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Not a present for your friends to open

So the local satirists have been having a field day with old Elton John’s appearance at the birthday party of one of Iceland’s nouveau riche last weekend. My favourite cartoonist drew a toon in Blaðið in which old Elton was in a queue with some African orphans, asking “Is this where you apply for grants to buy clothes and jewellery?” [on account of his ‘benefactor’ having launched a philantrophy fund on the very same day to help poor people in Africa]. And this evening Spaugstofan did this whole send-up with Örn Árnason sitting at the grand piano crooning Goodbye Yellow Brick Road...

“I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing the bloo-oooo-oooes

[I should mention that the Icelandic subtext in that clip is not a direct translation but a total send-up of the whole situation.]


Later, when EPI and I were idling about, he asked me, “So who would you pick to sing at your birthday party if you were disgustingly rich?”


Off the top of my head I said I’d probably pick Lisa Ekdahl [a dear friend gave me this CD for Christmas and I just love it] or Diana Krall. EPI said he’d pick King Crimson or Eric Clapton or Paul Motian. EPI: “But what if you picked someone Icelandic?” Hmm. That was a tough one. I finally came up with Ampop who I really like, and on reflection I’d probably pick Emiliana Torrini, as well. Whereas EPI would like to make up his own band with a selection of his favourite musicians. He’s such a sophisticate.

So who would you pick??

Especially as it is right now – mild and reminiscent of spring. Amazingly, now at the end of January we have an extra three hours of daylight over what we had during the winter solstice, just over a month ago. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be heading into the light once more. Seriously, I’m starting to think the Nicelanders are the way they are because they internalize the whole death-rebirth seasons thing so intensely, what with the going into the heart of darkness each year, and then back out again. Armchair theory, for what it’s worth. Currently 4°C [highs of 7 today], mild, damp. Sunrise today [Sunday] is at 10.24 and sunset 16.58.



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