Wednesday, 31 October 2007


I've added a hit counter there to the left and the number I chose is not random but an actual Google Analytics assements of visits to my site over the past year. Thanks to all who've dropped by ... 33,000+ visitors in twelve months is definitely not too shabby!

Monday, 29 October 2007


We got a light dusting of snow over the weekend, just enough to ensure that everyone not equipped with winter tires slides around a bit while braking and has a hard time of it on inclines. I saw a slow-mo collision on Skólavördurstígur today that was exactly due to this half a centimeter of snow we've gotten, and even though it can be a pain, I'm assuming I'm not the only person in town to hope we get a good meter or two more of the white stuff this year, just like it used to be in the old days.

Saturday, 27 October 2007


This shop is called Drekinn, or The Dragon, and my dad says it's the new best hot dog place in town. The hip cats who grace the ads on the side of the building are actually the owners and they've done a decent job of sprucing the place up and adding a measure of coolness that most corner shops lack. I still joke with Valentina that she's not allowed to hang out there though, no matter how nice the owners are. I dread the idea of some future her lurking around in front of any shop, smoking cigarettes and drinking half-liter cans of Coke. Thankfully it's not an image that sounds at all enticing to her, either!

I actually initially tok this shot because I thought it was kind of cool that the bakery had left seven boxes of buns and some other vendor a box of something else there on the doorstep on a Saturday morning, and that it was all still intact and undisturbed. I'm t hinking if we had more homeless, poor and starving here those boxes would have disappeared long before I walked by at 9 am.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Here's a happy Valentina and Marsibil at a fall meeting of the girls who went to the YWCA summer camp Vindáshlíð. I've always thought it unfortunate that the acronym for the Young Women's Christian Society here in Iceland is KFUK (if you can give me the full name I'll give you a gold star!) There used to be an office for the society downtown on Austurstræti when I was a kid visiting my amma, and I was always a little shocked because I wasn't sure if the people who worked there knew what the name looked like to an English speaker. To this day it doesn't sit right with me, though the society itself is a wonderful thing and my daughter certainly enjoyed her stay at their camp this summer.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Day After

I suppose I can't let Reykjavik's annual Iceland Airwaves music festival weekend pass by without posting something about it. I only saw one act this year, at the Mál og Menning bookstore on Laugavegur this afternoon, and I don't even know who it was. Some swell female crooner and a couple of jazzy backup guys (Babar maybe?). The fesitval was sold out this year again and my father said yesterday that the main shooping street, Laugavegur, was swarming with foreign accents and people hauling music equipment around. That's the cool thing about this festival: Reykjavik becomes, for one weekend, a very international place, just like a tiny San Francisco or like a small slice of London, or New York. And this year the organizers tackled the overcrowded venue issue by holding free concerts all over town, like the one I witnessed at the bookstore today. They get a big plus for that!

This still life is one I happened across this morning, the day after the last big concert night of the festival. A broken beer bottle, a lighter, an empty cig box, stubs, a half-full ashtray and a copy of yesterday's Grapevine festival guide all grace the scene, a fine memorial to last night's downtown action.

Thursday, 18 October 2007


See if you can figure out what happened moments after this picture was taken...

If you answered, "the muscled-up SUV with the hyper-inflated tires can't make it past the two cars left jutting out at irresponsible angles by Icelanders who can't, or can't be bothered to, parallel park and it's a one way street, as are all of the side streets (going in the wrong direction) the SUV has already passed, and the driver wouldn't be able to back up anyway because there are at least seven cars in line behing him," you'd have answered correctly. By sheer luck of timing the owner of the silver car showed up before road rage made a mess of everyone's easy Sunday afternoon.

And the owner of the black car? I wouldn't be surprised to find out that his vehicle got a bit bumped that day as, even with the other car gone, the ferry of over-bloated highland adventure jeeps and vans that just had to drive that particular quaint street that day still had a hard time getting past the blockage.

Just another simple scene from the pretty little city of Reykjavik!

Monday, 15 October 2007


Something about this scene, even though it involves a trash can, seemed pretty to me. Probably the colors, and the idea that the owner of this double stroller has passed out of that phase of their life and is moving on. Out with the old and all that.

The city of Reykjavik has also been cleaning house recently, saying good riddance to our mayor of a year and a half due to a scandal involving a public utility and private profiteers. I'll let Iceland Review do the honors of explaining the situation in more detail. It's a complicated series of events involving power plays, money and alliances that, frankly, are beyond my desire to understand. Ahh, politics. Sometimes a simple scene like the one above and the story it seems to tell are very welcome in our often overly-convoluted civic lives.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


There's a crazy number of moths flitting around town these days. I'm not sure if I've just not noticed them in previous years, or if we're having some kind of trend related to global warming and such. Kids here call them butterflies (fiðrildi), though they're technically mölfluga, or "grain flies," in Icelandic (see here for a proper description of the difference between moths and butterflies.) Since we don't have very many insects here, and really no true butterflies (except a type of small white one and Painted Ladies on occasion), kids often have little reference as to what a true temperate climate butterfly looks like, with big colorful wings and all that. The only butterfly our little one, Óðinn, has seen is the cute and smiley mascot for Baby TV, our very favorite channel to watch.