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Happy New Year!

Last day of the year, and the party spirit is in the air. Here in Niceland we’re gearing up for the mutha of all parties – our wild and crazy New Year’s Eve celebrations. Fireworks are sold unrestricted to the general public and at midnight everything just goes ballistic. The fireworks are [primarily] sold by the search and rescue teams for fundraising and this year, apparently, sales are NOT down over last year, despite the kreppa. Go figure.

The most popular fireworks this year are cakes decked out with pictures of infamous figures in Icelandic society – bankers, politicians, et al, who shall be duly dispatched to the sky at midnight. Kaboom!

Meanwhile, the tourists have arrived and all suites are booked in the major hotels. Chez YT we’re preparing for a dinner party for seven – EPI and YT, three of our girls [the fourth has to work] my father in law, and our friend Paul – after which we shall check out a brenna and watch the áramótaskaup [see here if you have no idea what I’m on about] before heading up to the nearest hill to watch the pyrotechnics at midnight.

MEANWHILE
We have a winner for our Googlie of the Year … and it is …

stressed out penis pics, from the Isle of Wight, Virginia.

CONGRATULATIONS stressed out penis! You win a lifetime supply of … Prozac. Whoo-hoo!

[Ahem]

Dear readers, thanks for another great year, it’s been a privilege sharing these ramblings and rants with you. Thanks to all of you who contributed with insights and input, and extra big thanks to those who made a donation this year – big or small. That’s really special to me.

May the coming year bring you many, many blessings and much peace and love. And so, from all of us here at the Weather Report…

GLEÐILEGT NÝTT ÁR!

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  • Runa December 31, 2008, 6:33 pm

    …….May the coming year bring you many, many blessings and much peace and love. GLEÐILEGT NÝTT ÁR!……….

    Same to you Alda! Thanks for being there throughout 2008. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you will have lots of good news to post in 2009. Happy New Year to everyone in Niceland.

  • JoeInVegas December 31, 2008, 7:09 pm

    Happy New Year! Glad that you are still around reporting for us.

  • stef December 31, 2008, 10:28 pm

    have a happy new year! enjoy the fireworks for those of us in other countries (like the US) who aren’t as fortunate to have something so friggin’ awesome. 🙂

  • Binna December 31, 2008, 11:56 pm

    The Googlie of the Year is great! Have a look at the Isle of Wight, Virginia on Google map. Why for cripes’ sake this godforsaken one-horse town is called “Isle”? Because of the winning wight?
    Happy New Year to you, Alda, and thanks a lot for your work!

  • Roy January 1, 2009, 1:04 am

    Good things and bad things regarding last nights celebrations:

    Good:
    Fireworks impressed tourists possibly bringing them back next year .
    Fireworks impressed Icelanders possibly uplifting spirits.
    Sale of fireworks helped the Icelandic Rescue Teams.

    Bad:
    Fireworks demonstrated to tourists that Icelanders are not in financial difficulty .
    Fireworks not as impressive to those Icelanders suffering from extreme financial difficulties especially the ones that have had to seek food aid from local charitable entities.
    A direct contribution to the Icelandic life saving teams would have put more money in their coffers and would have denied the repressive Chinese additional revenue.

    Yin and Yang, there is no free lunch! Gleðilegt nýtt ár!

  • hildigunnur January 1, 2009, 4:18 am

    I saw a definite change in fireworks shot up, not so much exactly at midnight but well, the quarter-of-an-hour before, at least, everyone seemed to be saving their fireworks until the hour itself.

    I wanted to buy fireworks for the first time in my life, but the Bankaterta (Banker’s Fireworks’ Bunch Thingy) cost 24 thousand krónur and it really wasn’t worth it…

    Roy, nope, a direct contribution wouldn’t have put more money in their coffers, do you realize how much more expensive the fireworks are here, and how little the Chinese get paid???

  • Dave Hambidge January 1, 2009, 9:51 am

    Peace to all. And Alda, were you leading the revolt at Hotel Borg last evening? At least according to;

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/4047235/Icelandic-TV-program-featuring-PM-forced-off-air-by-protesters.html

    dave

  • Andrew January 1, 2009, 12:53 pm

    “And Alda, were you leading the revolt at Hotel Borg last evening?”

    That’s some way to bring in the New Year! Is Iceland suddenly full of anarchists?

  • Roy January 1, 2009, 2:03 pm

    Hi Hildigunnur ,
    What I was saying was this, if your plan was to support the life saving teams, the teams would have more money in their pocket if they didn´t have to give you fireworks for you donation. Is this a difficult concept for you? It´s not rocket (no pun intended) science!

  • Magnús January 1, 2009, 2:59 pm

    Hi Roy

    I see your point but for me it’s simply a question of economics.

    Sure, I could have given a rescue team a 1000 ISK and then went across the street and spent my budgeted 20.000 isk or so on fireworks with someone else.

    Now, someone rational would say that I should have given the whole 21.000 to the rescue team.

    But I ask in return. Where’s the fun in that ? My 21.000 gave me and the children a good hour of reckless fun.

    No champagne this new years eve though…

    Happy new year everyone !!

  • Becky January 1, 2009, 4:56 pm

    Happy New Year!

  • Ljósmynd DE January 1, 2009, 6:23 pm

    Happy New Year! And as the days become longer again and the darkness retreats I hope for positive news from Iceland in 2009.

    At least am I already planning our summer holiday in Iceland – provided that Icelandair won’t skyrocket the air fares.

  • alda January 1, 2009, 8:18 pm

    Thanks for your lovely New Year’s wishes!

    Roy – Fireworks demonstrated to tourists that Icelanders are not in financial difficulty . — why do you see this as bad?

    Hildigunnur – yes, we did too … there definitely weren’t as many as last year, or in years previously.

    Dave – oh yes, that was me with the big wire-cutters, chopping in two those cables! 😉
    Seriously, though, AAH was working nearby and some of the people who had teargas sprayed in their eyes came running in there … apparently it was pretty chaotic.

    LDE – not likely that Icelandair will raise prices too much – they want and NEED foreign visitors now.

  • alda January 1, 2009, 8:57 pm

    PS – I’ve uploaded a few photos from last night to the Facebook group. And also to Flickr.

  • Roy January 2, 2009, 12:34 am

    Hi Alda,
    The truth shall set you free. Whistling past the graveyard isn´t buying anything. The tourists might as well know the truth. We are basically f****d and it´s not a bad thing that the tourists know it. Do you find it repugnant that tourists should look upon this magnificent display and declare that Iceland on the one hand is crying in its beer and on the other is telling the world that we have money to burn! As a journalist you shouldn´t lose sight of the fact that each and every event that occurs in this country is broadcast to the rest of the world. Everyone in Iceland lives in a fishbowl and that fishbowl is available for viewing by almost everyone on earth. You can´t, with sincerity, blog about how folks are suffering on the one hand and on the other salute the “mutha of all parties”. Record numbers of Icelandic families are asking for and receiving food and other aid. You and yours, as you have written, don´t fall into this category and I suspect you never will. My wife and I are also ok but we have other family members that have been affected and will be depending upon us for help which we will surely give. A nation of wonderful people, great history, fantastic cuisine and beautiful scenery doesn´t need the “They sure know how to celebrate new years eve” moniker to be recognized as a country worth visiting. Iceland is much more than that…much more…

    Great organizations!
    Mæðrastyrksnefnd Reykjavíkur
    Rauða kross Íslands

  • Dietmar January 2, 2009, 8:45 am

    Happy New Year Alda. I was out of town for 9 days, so I also wish you a happy belated Birthday (mine was on the 24th!). May this New Year bring you and the whole of Niceland some much needed joy and prosperity.

  • alda January 2, 2009, 12:00 pm

    Roy

    1. No, I do not find it repugnant
    2. I am not writing here as a journalist
    3. I do not, as a rule, blog about how people are suffering
    4. I do not agree with putting a specific image out to the world that isn’t the truth – whether you like it or not, Icelanders did spend money on fireworks and did fire them up and they did have a big party. That’s the truth and so that’s what the world should see. Anything else is manipulation.

  • Roy January 2, 2009, 8:40 pm

    Alda
    My last comment regarding this subject.
    Regarding item number 2

    According to Webster you are a journalist, see item b:
    1 a: a person engaged in journalism ; especially : a writer or editor for a news medium b: a writer who aims at a mass audience2: a person who keeps a journal

    Regarding item number 3
    Living in Seltjarnanes would substantiate this.

    Regarding item number 4
    I assume that your thoughts were that every Icelander setting off fireworks was financially able to handle it so no more comments about that. Fair enough. (see item 3)

  • Alex January 4, 2009, 5:39 pm

    A very Happy New Year to you and yours!

    (And thanks for the blog.)