About the Icelanders: the ‘rules don’t apply to me’ mentality

June 8, 2015

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 […]

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Factoids about the Icelanders: Solon Íslandus

May 8, 2015

This illustration is by Iceland’s most famous vagabond, Sölvi Helgason, who called himself Sólon Íslandus. If the name sounds familiar it is because there is a restaurant/bar in downtown Reykjavík by that name. Sölvi was born into poverty in 1820 and from the age of six was fostered out to various farms. He started roaming […]

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Factoids about the Icelanders 3

May 1, 2015

Back in the old days, everyone in Iceland HAD to have a place to live, meaning they had to be a part of a household on a farm. It was the law. This meant that workers were obliged to find a position, and while there, they were under the complete and utter authority of the farmer […]

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2014: My Year in Review

December 31, 2014

Dear everyone: it’s the end of the year and so time for a quick look back. This blog, as you likely know, has traditionally been devoted to Icelandic politics and society … and quite frankly I can’t really bring myself to review the past year with that particular focus. However, I have done a quick […]

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The list goes on

November 3, 2014

In a post I wrote last week I alluded to the growing anger in Icelandic society over the actions or non-actions of our current government. I also wondered whether the subservient mentality left over from our colonial days was causing Icelanders to simply take all the insults and injuries handed to them and shuffle on, serf-like, pretending nothing had happened. Well, […]

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Day two: sublime pool, dramatic Djúpavík and a factory that defies all logic

June 15, 2014

Day 2 of our superexcellent West Fjords adventure: We woke up to the sound of birdsong in our lovely, compact cottage in Trékyllisvík. Got up and went for a run along the gravel road (the roads are pretty rudimentary around here), after which we drove the short distance to Krossnes for the express purpose of […]

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Reykjavík Mayor Jón Gnarr: will he run again?

October 30, 2013

So the campaign for next spring’s Reykjavík elections is off to a roaring start, with endless sponsored posts and pages on Facebook for this candidate or other. The election promises are already flying, too, with one Independence Party rep promising better weather in Reykjavík if he gets elected. And lest you think this is modelled […]

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Icelandic Folk Legends now available for Kindle

July 19, 2013

Everyone! I am thrilled and delighted to tell you that my book Icelandic Folk Legends is now available for Kindle. It is a collection of 15 traditional stories translated by Yours Truly, plus an introduction in which I discuss traditional Icelandic storytelling on the old farms, the formal collection of Icelandic folk tales in the […]

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Announcing our new eBook!

February 14, 2011

As some of you may recall, when I decided to stop writing this blog last October I claimed I was just about ready to launch a new eBook. For various reasons it’s taken a bit more time than I initially thought; however, it is FINALLY ready now. Huzzah! It’s called The Little Book of the […]

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Some links, as per your request

November 14, 2010

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for your kind and lovely words — and your encouragement — in the comments to the last post. I am truly touched. Some of you have been asking for links to other blogs about Iceland written in English, and of course it was remiss of me not to think […]

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