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What’s the difference between Iceland and Ireland?

“One letter and six months!”

That joke made the rounds earlier this year when Ireland was deemed to be a few months behind Iceland in their economic meltdown.

Alas, the “one letter” difference is turning out to be rather more serious than a one-line joke for a bunch of claimants in the insolvent estate of Glitnir bank. Turns out their claims were sent to Ireland instead of Iceland, and by the time the mistake was discovered, the deadline to make claims had passed.

This rather embarrassing, not to mention costly, cock-up was made by a British law firm that clearly is NOT very clear on the difference between Iceland and Ireland.


Because the deadline to make claims has already passed, billions of ISK will have been lost for those poor peeps hoping to recover some of their dosh. Apparently the law on claims in such instances is very clear: if the deadline has passed, the only way to make claims is if all the majority of the other claimants agree to allow them. Which seems rather unlikely, seeing as it would mean a smaller slice of the pie for everyone.

Guess that particular law firm won’t be winning any competency awards for 2009, hey?

All that aside, I hope all of you have been having a wonderful and relaxing Yuletide holiday and are, like me, feeling like a stuffed goose, not to mention extraordinarily lazy.

Which has been very consistent these last few days – windy and cold and kind of unpleasant. We had a sprinkling of snow on Christmas Eve, a token nod to White Christmas, but apart from that – zilch. It’s been dry and icy, kind of bleh, although yesterday was very pretty. EPI and I went out for a walk and I kicked myself for not taking along my camera because it was a photo-op kind of day. We encountered a person all dressed up in supercolourful duds with a big down parka over top; “that could be Björk Guðmundsdóttir” remarked I to EPI and indeed it was, enjoying a pleasant stroll along the seashore with the local plebs. Right now it’s the middle of the night [isn’t that what Christmas is for? Blogging in the middle of the night?] and the temperature outside is 0°C [36F] the sun came up at 11.22 and set at 3.34.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • D_Boone December 27, 2009, 9:18 am

    Deja vu! This has happened personally where mail has taken an excursion to Ireland and then been returned “not known address” several months later even though it was labelled Reykjavik ICELAND.

  • Petri Aho December 27, 2009, 9:23 am

    That’s what I call epic fail.

  • BRADSTREET December 27, 2009, 2:36 pm

    Hmmmm,. I suspect that this is one law firm that is going to be thinking seriously about changing some of the letters in its name! Whoooooops!

    I’m glad that you had a wonderful Christmas. So did I, although I’m not sure whether I’ll ever need to eat again after Christmas Dinner (Burp).

    Sometimes your blog reminds me of a British comedy show called Stellar Street. The idea was that a host of Hollywood celebs move into a small street in London. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards end up running a local shop, whilst Jack Nicholson turns up in the pub, and so on. Here in Alda Street you can bump into the Prime Minister in the local supermarket, whilst Bjork takes a leisurely stroll along the seafront.

  • Knute Rife December 27, 2009, 7:19 pm

    Which firm, and more importantly, which malpractice insurer, because it’s about to take a hit.

  • kevin oconnor waterford ireland December 27, 2009, 8:22 pm

    What a priceless gem Alda where do you find them,telephone line to god etc.
    This in the daily heil today


    More twisted by the day back to same old question why should average icelander new born baby today owe 20 million krona as christening present therefore, said debt is to be smeared over the whole EEA due to the fact that they made lousy regulators and now expect joe sixpack to pick up the tab, I would on rice bowl suppers if I had that sucked out of me over the next 10-15 years 200 euros a week, at 350% of your GDP your debts have this World War One feel to them.There is however a get out clause, the plane to Norway maybe thats what they want given this scramble for the artic that seems to be going on at the moment, ie canada decides to build new naval base at the top gets round it all the way from I think 1867, call me an area51 freak if you will. Top tip for sophisticated lawyers Ireland thats the place with leprechauns with bags of gold at the end of rainbows- Iceland thats the place with elves hiding out in rocks in countryside shredding every pertinent document they can lay their hands on !!!

  • James December 27, 2009, 10:10 pm

    Well, it may prove easier to extract money from an insurance company than Glitnir’s estate, so hopefully that British law firm has enough professional indemnity insurance to compensate for its carelessness/negligence…

  • Stephen Cowdery December 28, 2009, 2:07 am

    Regardless of what one may think of her musical and dramatic output, I find it immensely heartening that Björk persists in her flamboyant, life-affirming behavior. She’s a real treasure!

  • Joerg December 28, 2009, 7:05 am

    That would explain, why I don’t get any reply on my emails to Iceland quite often – they are just being misdirected to Ireland. 😉

  • Vikingisson December 28, 2009, 12:32 pm

    That would almost be funny if it didn’t involve lots of real money. The shenanigans continue and will do so until every krona and farthing is tucked away in far off places. The investigations won’t help much unless a few token criminal charges makes you feel better, just like the corrupt Chinese system likes to do once in a while.

    So back to being way off topic and since Iceland and Ireland both like football, my blog had 4 interesting googlies this week for “Naked Icelandic Footballers Calendar”. They came from the U.S., Italy, and Finland. I don’t suppose they were searching for the women’s team calendar were they…… 🙂

  • alda December 28, 2009, 12:53 pm

    Thanks, everyone!

    I don’t know which law firm it was – that wasn’t included in the news report for some strange reason. 😉

    Víkingsson – actually it would have been one of the men’s football teams. One of them published a calendar of players in the buff.

  • hildigunnur December 28, 2009, 1:40 pm

    the Irish post actually has a stamp for this, I’ve more than once had a letter with the stamp “Missent to Ireland” on it 😀

  • James December 28, 2009, 3:09 pm

    Vikingisson – Those googlers may prefer elves to footballers…