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So, the avian flu is systematically spreading through Europe, and next stop Iceland. At least that’s what they’re predicting, since our migrating birds come here via the UK and Scandinavia. As reports reached these shores of dead swans in Denmark, the Chief Veterinarian’s Office sent reps to hold meetings throughout the country with regional veterinary authorities and the like, just to put everyone on the alert.

According to EPI, someone said the flu already came to Europe last year [I can quote no sources, consequently I’m not selling this story for a higher price than I paid for it*]. Which raises a few questions about our thespian swan, which those of you who have been reading for a Very Long time may remember. The abridged version if you’ve joined us since: EPI and I found a swan just over a year ago, out by the golf course where we like to stroll on fairweather days [and other days]. It was dead, in pristine condition; the National Theatre caught wind of our discovery through reading TIWR and our swan ended up starring in one of their major productions, and EPI and I got complementary tickets to go see it in all its limelit glory. And now our swan has been in our thoughts of late, particularly because there was no obvious cause of death. At the time we speculated that it might have been killed by a flying golf ball, but in light of recent events we’re no longer so sure. Macabre it is. Oooh.

We went to The Theatah this evening to see The Threepenny Opera. [Incidentally, I am consistently amazed at the incredible standard of cultural productions in this country of merely 300,000 people, it truly is incredible.] One of my very favourite musicals, on account of the excellent music and lyrics by that supertalented duo Brecht and Weill. Don’t those songs just kick ass? Classics like Pirate Jenny and the Jealousy Duet and Mack the Knife [of course] and all the rest, too… this particular production was directed by one of Iceland’s young megatalents Stefán Jónsson, who has come through with a handful of razor-sharp and supremely entertaining theatrical productions in the past few years. It was all punked up, adapted to our life and times, of course, and all the various scenes were ‘Brought to you by Bónus’, or ‘Sponsored by KB Bank’ or ‘… Og Vodafone’… or any number of other large corporations. They weren’t really, but it was a crafty touch, and quite funny to see ads and logos from the various companies life-sized on billboards there up on the stage. Sort of like Baz Lurmann meets Bertolt Brecht.

The cast was fabulous, particularly a new starlet named Halla somebodyorother, who has completely catapulted herself to Icelandic megastardom with her performance. [Although not so much that her last name escapes me at the moment.] She actually did this whole number [… for 3pO aficionados it’s the song that goes: ‘No you can’t just let a man walk over you, cold and dignified is what you are…’ don’t know the official name of it] on a yoga mat, doing the most backbreaking, double-jointed exercises imaginable: standing on her head, back-flips, legs up leaning on her arms… man, it was superhuman, really it was… and the whole time she sang like an angel, without even getting slightly short of breath. I was in complete and utter awe. Truly. It didn’t seem humanly possible for her to do those things, but she did them and moreover she looked very human doing them.

[Update: if you’re interested in hearing a couple of songs from the production, here’s a link. The page downloads kind of weird – at least in Firefox – but if you click on either of the links on the far right of the page you can listen to a) Mack the Knife b) a duet between Mack and the Police Commissioner – don’t know the English title. Below are the lyrics in Icelandic. The former is sung by Selma Björnsdóttir, who serious Eurovision fans will recall as Iceland’s contestant from last year.]

Namely old Sylvía Nótt, who today was elected Iceland’s sexiest woman. Why? … Was she elected? Well, you remember a couple of weeks back when we had Man of the House day [Bóndadagur in the vernacular]? And they elected Garðar Thór Cortes as Iceland’s sexiest man? Well, Sunday is Woman’s Day [hehe] and so they had to elect Iceland’s sexiest woman, obviously – equality and all that. So for what it’s worth. I thought you just might like to know. Seeing as how you’ve been following her career and all.

Seriously, the last two days have been horrid – dry and extremely windy [like, gale-force]… just the sort of day where you want to hide under the duvet and not come out till spring, and we had two of them, back to back. But anyway, it’s all looking up now, temps have risen from sub-zero to 4°C and the winds have slowed somewhat so it’s getting bearable. And at least we have sunshine now and reasonably long days. And tomorrow, Saturday, we have the Eurovision Finals i.e. the Icelandic preliminary ones, in which Iceland’s sexiest woman is already the hands-down winner. Mark my words. Sunrise 09.17, sunset 18.08.

* Icelandic expression: Ég sel hana ekki dýrari en ég keypti hana.



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