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2015

Out shooting birds

This week, instead of posting one picture, I want to post a few that I took during our ring road trip last week. Our final two nights were spent at Kolkuós, a historic trading post that some idiots wanted to turn into the main garbage dumping site for north Iceland. [It’s the same morons who want […] Full article

About the Icelanders: making up words

As many of you no doubt know [especially if you have read this], the Icelanders have a language committee that makes up new Icelandic words for things or concepts that pop up. By which I mean that Icelandic doesn’t just take the word, say, “computer” and call it “kompjúter”. Instead they submit the object “computer” to the language […] Full article

The bookdrop tour is ON

Today I am hitting the ring road [that circles Iceland] to distribute my books to retailers. We’ll be stopping in Höfn, Seyðisfjörður [two nights], somewhere near Húsavík [no accommodation booked yet so it looks like we’re winging it], two nights in Akureyri, and two nights at Kolkuós in Skagafjörður. Here’s a picture from magical Kolkuós – we […] Full article

Yesterday I saw a man of a respectable age out walking his dog. The dog stopped next to a light pole, crouched down, and pooped – as dogs do. The man stopped, observed, and when the dog finished started to walk away. “Shouldn’t  you pick up after your dog?*” I asked him. “Yes, I should,” he […] Full article

About the Icelanders: Elves as Prozac

According to the old folk stories, the Icelandic population had a curious relationship with the elves or hidden people [terms that are used interchangeably in Icelandic and mean the same thing]. The hidden folk were, obviously, hidden [read: invisible] to humans, yet they could see the humans without any difficulty. Which is kind of unsettling when you think about […] Full article

Beautiful Brúarfoss

This waterfall, called Brúarfoss [Bridge falls] is one of my favourites in all of Iceland. It is off the beaten track, tucked away inland, with no road save a hiking/horse riding track to access it. I used to rent a cottage every summer very close by, and it would take me about ten minutes to reach […] Full article

When non-Icelanders hear about the Icelanders’ belief in elves, they usually picture us believing in the existence of little leprechaun-like creatures with pointy hats, or tiny fairies that flit among the flowers like butterflies. The “belief” aspect notwithstading [personally I don’t know anyone who believes in the existence of elves, though certain sections of the Icelandic […] Full article

For centuries, Iceland was an oppressed colony. Among other things this oppression took the form of a trade monopoly, in which the Icelanders, by law, were only permitted to trade with Danes – our colonial overlords. All merchants in Iceland were Danish, or Danish proxies, and the merchandise they profferred in return for Icelandic wares […] Full article

Otherworldly

Last year when we did our Ring Road tour, we spent the first night in a place called Þakgil, in the south. To reach it, you turn north at a turnoff just past Vík and drive inland for about half an hour. We had no idea it was that far, and were starting to think […] Full article

I am perpetually fascinated by people’s histories and how they inevitably manifest in their present circumstances. The same goes for nations. A nation’s history tends to manifest in its present, just like an individual’s does. Take Iceland. For several centuries we were oppressed by our colonial overlords. Iceland became an independent republic in 1944, just over 60 […] Full article