Thursday, 25 January 2007


The icicles are all melted here in Reykjavik. We had a right snappy below-zero spell during the first half of January, but its gone now. There's just a few dirty mounds of roadside snow to show for our little winter. And I went ahead and had the snow tires put on the car, finally. I kept delaying (though they're supposed to be on by November) because the past few years there's been so little need for them. They just rip up the ice-free tarmac, helping make winter skies a weird green just at the horizen as the ground up road dust mixes with exhaust and other industrial fumes. Yes, we have air pollution in super-clean Iceland. A bummer to admit, but true.

So the post-Christmas sale season is ending and life is returning back to normal as we settle in for the long haul to Easter. The sun shines longer by minutes each day, and before you know it it'll be light all night long. Actually, that's months off, but it's nice to know some things are sure bets in life.

Hello to mom and dad in Hawaii and we all hope you are enjoying life on the slightly more lush lava rocks on the other side of the globe. Óðinn has four teeth now and Valentina is super as usual. We miss you both! These icicles are, of course, just a little reminder of home...

Thursday, 11 January 2007


Even though we're getting a lovely soft blanket of new snow even as I speak, I thought it would be nice to post a happy scene from last summer, replete with trampoline. This house is such a huge part of my childhood experience, sitting as it does nex to the house my mother spent many years in at Óðinsgata 17 in the Þingholt neigborhood of the city center. Valentina, Óðinn and I live just around the corner on Baldursgata.

My grandmother Ásta lived next door to this house for, I think, nearly forty years (Mom, can you correct me here?) and for at least the last thirty this house has been pink. There were three girls around the same age as my sister and me who lived here (Sibba, Sigga and Nanna) and we played together every time we came to visit Iceland. Sigga and Nanna's families still live here and I see them every once in a while. We all have at least two kids now and have lost the innocence I see in our faces in old photographs, but we still have smiles for each other and hugs. I love watching their kids play in this yard because it brings back memories of Iceland the way it used to be, when there was two kinds of soda, Appelsín and Coca Cola and they came in little bottles and there was really only one good candy bar, the Prince Polo, that fizzled in your mouth when you washed it down with a sip of coke. And the corner store sold black licorice and peru brjóstsykur and we could pay with aura or just a few króna.

Those days are over and Capitalism has come to stay, but at least kids still play in this yard and thank goodness the house is still pink.

Monday, 1 January 2007


Gleðileg ný ár, or Happy New Year!

Here's a shot of a bursting firework just outside our balcony last night. It's always absolutely amazing to watch all the thousands of pretty little bombs and flares in the sky. Every home in Iceland, it seems, has at least a sparkler lit on New Years Eve. Unfortunately such a thick blanket of smoke gathers after the first ten or fifteen minutes of serious explosion, that's to say by quarter after midnight or so. Regardless, it's a beautiful sight.