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I’ve been doing quite a bit of work for one of the ministries lately and am reminded once again of how amazing it is that this nation manages to function as an independent republic.

Consider: we’re a nation of 300,000 people – about the size of a suburb in most large foreign cities. Of those, only a portion pay taxes. Nonetheless Iceland manages to operate, on a world-class scale: A national theatre, a world-renowned symphony orchestra, a national art gallery, a major national library, a national museum, a culture house, a national broadcasting service, a film centre, three professional municipal theatres, a bunch of smaller chamber orchestras, loads of municipal libraries, loads of municipal art galleries, a film fund, a music fund, a drama fund, a children’s cultural fund, a royalties fund, funds for allocating monthly salaries to professional artists, a film archive, a national archive, a translation fund, a literature promotion fund, a fund for decorating public buildings with Icelandic art, an archaeology fund, a manuscript institute, a language fund, a whole bunch of community centres running diverse activities, an outstanding athletes’ fund, and much more.

And that’s just in the field of culture. That’s not counting the health care system, the educational system, the universities, law enforcement, the road system, the foreign service, government administration, and a whole bunch more that I’m surely forgetting.

No wonder old Rudy Giuliani called the Icelandic economy ‘a miracle’ when he was here a couple of weeks ago. Because when you stop to think, it kinda boggles the mind. How is it possible for a nation of this size to exist at all?

It’s really windy right now. YT has caught herself a bit of a cold so am holding myself back from embarking on that bracing walk around the golf course that I would like to be taking right now. mbl.is sez it’s 12°C and the weather office has issued a storm warning in the south and southeast of the country. Overcast and winds from the east, which is why it’s not colder [as opposed to those killer northerly winds]. Sunrise this morning was at 08.05 and sunset due for 18.22.

PS. The lovely Orchidea, prompted by this post, has launched the Pass the Prozac award for the most depressing movie ever. So high-tail it over to her site and nominate your favourite gloom-and-doom flick – I can’t wait to see what she winds up with!