Hair and Back Again — The Story of Norman the Nomad

| April 13, 2012

The little nomad with big ideasThere are some who say that Norman was borne of the wind. That he was a free-wheeling spirit who just happened to pop into existence one day and has been hanging about ever since, perhaps hoping to be bought a beer or two. The fact is, we really don’t know a great deal about our enigmatic little Nomad, but since he’s made his home in our London office, and absolutely insists on bunking down in our backpacks whenever we go away, we figured it was time to let our little mascot shine.

Though Norm’s never been one for long speeches, he does on occasion, regale us with stories about his days growing up in the Scandinavian countryside – splashing about in the icy fjords, tickling trout and messing about in boats.

Valley heights

Norm insists that he was brought up under the typical Viking mantra – to be strong, multi-skilled and to never admit that you have a full stomach. Though his mother and father attempted to instil all three qualities in their son, it seems the final proviso was more than enough to occupy the majority of their offspring’s time. Try as they might, Arla and Dønnes could just not fan the flames of a fiery fighting spirit within Norm’s soul, and very soon, he grew hungry for more than just the local meats and meads.

As those tricky teenage years went by, an insatiable appetite for adventure began to consume Norm, and he began to question what life could be like beyond the valley he called home. It was purely by chance then, as it is in all good stories, that a mysterious stranger came to seek shelter in the Skjeggestad* household and, holding with custom, he paid for his keep by recounting his ventures and voyages to all four corners of the globe. And it was in those rapt moments where all this nomadic nonsense really began. Though he was gone by sunrise, one could say that this beguiling figure had Norman at ‘Hello’.

Little more than a month later, Norm was ready to set sail and discover a brave, new world all of his own. On this fated journey, he would take only his father’s sword (though its blunted edge would barely make impact on a block of butter), his mother’s shield (to protect his precious beard from dragon-fire) and, of course, the horned hat of his Asgardian ancestors (so he was told). These would serve forever as a reminder that his roots within the mountains remained as deep as those of Yggdrasil within the world.

What followed were the ‘Wilderness Years’, the details of which are a little less than vague. What we can deduce however, is that Norman has been journeying so far around the globe for so long, that he’s had to start all over again in order to remember exactly where he’s been. On occasion, he will catch a distinct whiff on the wind and be sent down a trail of déjà vu and nostalgia that it is hard to get him to snap out of. But it was one such sensory side-track which brought Norm wandering right in to our office one blustery Autumnal day.  Though what he expected to find was some misty reminder of his former meanderings, what he truly found was a brand new family, and a home away from home.

Amongst firendsWhile Norman is free to come and go as he pleases (though we do make sure he sends letters back to his parents and gets an early bed time once in a while), we secretly think he’s enjoying this luxurious jet-setting life a bit more than he lets on. One thing we know for certain is that he was, is, and always has been, entirely content with little more than the bare necessities. Just as long as those necessities include a fresh pair of socks and a few snacks in his satchel. Though Norm has fully embraced his new life here with us, he has resolved to never let go of his origins, which sometimes leads to a bit of kerfuffle when airline staff tell him that swords are not suitable carry-on. We just can’t wait to see what he gets up to next.

”Berre den som vandrar, finn nye vegar”

Only he who wanders, finds new paths


*(meaning: the place of the bearded one)

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Category: Norman's Adventures

About the Author ()

Once upon a time in New Zealand, a very large, very loud, hissing cockroach landed on Hannah’s head. In Florida, she mistook a jellyfish for a plastic bag and was promptly stung. In Newquay, a penguin with murderous intent tried to eat her shoe. Despite all this, Hannah can’t be kept away from touching things that she probably shouldn’t in foreign countries. This is probably a misguided attempt at experiential learning. She has lived in Cornwall most of her life and is still trying to adjust to the time difference in London, despite having moved there many months ago. When she grows up she wants to be a Mexican Luchador.

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