Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard that they exist
in the minds of some people.

Thor Heyerdahl


This is a translation of a translation of Birgom’s diary. The original is written in what Birgom would call English (although he’d write it Inglis), but it’s not an English you’d understand easily. You’d probably manage to work out quite a lot of it, with some difficulty, but some of it would be next to impossible. A bit like me trying to read Chaucer, or more like Chaucer trying to read my diary.

Mostly I haven’t tried to copy the original English directly, because not only has the language evolved almost beyond recognition, but Birgom’s handwriting is hard to read in many parts. It’s mainly Owen’s excellent Laana translation that I’ve translated into 21st century English.

A word of caution about dates: 662 is not 662 AD, and I don’t know how much to add to convert it to AD.

Where I can match place names to 21st century places, I’ve used our names for them; otherwise I’ve copied Birgom’s.

Please excuse oddities in the language – particularly the almost complete absence of quotation marks, and the erratic use of tenses. As far as possible I’ve followed Birgom’s writing in these matters.

Both Owen and I have added a few annotations – Owen’s are in {curly braces} and mine are in [square brackets].

If you want to know more about Owen, you’ll just have to read Exile.

If you would find it helpful to know how to pronounce the names of people and places, there are audio samples at Pronunciation. This opens in a new tab so you can refer to it for each new name if you want to to.