Thursday, 30 June 2011

The juggler

What does a 9-6 job, five days a week do to me?
It makes me too tired to do anything afer that because:
- The feet hurts from standing too much. So all I wanna do is sit.
- After all the dispensing and mind boggling problems to solve, I just want to be brainless after work.
- I couldn't be bothered about what I have been eating. So, adding more kg.
- Question myself when I get home: Did I give the correct drug to the patient? I hope so *prays*

On my days off, I just want to rot at home and do minimal walking.

Thats why there seems to be a lack of photos.
I haven't brought out my camera once to take pictures of this place eventhough I have been here for a month already.

On a brighter note,
Pictures will start popping real in two weeks time....
The job needs stamina, but its really like being in heaven, working with angels to shoot arrows at the earthlings to give them life... well, at least a longer life to live XD

Im only a student. Looking at the real pharmacist working, time will never be enough to finish everything daily because the pharmacist is needed at the front counter, the dispensary, the admin work, the shop floor, the private consultations, the services, CD reg, stock check.... n so on...

In conclusion, the right answer to this question will be:
Why do you want to be a pharmacist?

Because I am a professional multitasker :)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


A little bit of comic relief: I looked out my living room window this morning and this is what I saw. Momentarily boggling, for sure ~.^

Have you tried Dynamic Viewing yet? Five new views in all. Use the blue tab at the top of the view page to check them all out .

Sunday, 26 June 2011


Some things take time to finish, like the new building at corner of Lækjargata and Austurstræti (right there on this amazing interactive map of our pretty city.) It replicates the one that burned down in 2007, which was one of the oldest in our city. (From the picture in the last link you can see that the new building was raised up a whole level, which actually suites the sightline just fine.) We're all happy to see this corner, which anyone who has visited Reykjavík will have passed by at least once, looking fine and shiny again.

In my response to a reader's comment in the last post, I put myself in the awkward position of having to back my words up with action and find something slightly unique relating to Iceland to present to visitors. And here it is: just about as random and bizarre a connection as you could imagine between Iceland and California. Thanks to a local woman, another FBI manhunt is done.

On an artistic note, please treat yourself to some true beauty by watching part 1 of the latest Weird Girls Project video, this time set to the evocative Love the Earth score by Imogen Heap. Producer, Concept Artist and Artistic Director Kitty Von-Sometime has once again created a work of art (be sure to view it full screen and then watch more of her work offered in the Vimeo menu, with soundtracks by some of Iceland's best musicians.)

Have you tried Dynamic Viewing yet? Five new views in all. Use the blue tab at the top of the view page to check them all out : )

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Baby me

I was always the fat one AND chubby, with sugarcane arms.
Also the first to get bitten by mosquitoes... up till now.

Good thing is: I haven't lost the smile :D

Monday, 20 June 2011


Seltjarnarnes is one of my favorite spots to go for an easy seaside stroll (or midnight golf) as well as for an almost guaranteed great photo or two. This shot, taken at midnight on a lovely June evening, is of Nesstofa, a 1760's fusion of Danish architectural expertise and Icelandic esthetics. It currently houses the Medical History Museum of Iceland and has recently been the focus of an archeological investigation.

For anyone coming here I highly recommend you pick up a copy of the very popular 25 Beautiful Walks of the Greater Reykjavik Area, which I had the pleasure to translate into English, and which includes a wonderful and detailed description of the nature and history of this area (and the website selling it online,, is pretty cool itself, though of course you can also find it in all bookstores here on the island.)

Have you tried Dynamic Viewing yet? Five new views in all. Use the blue tab at the top of the view page to check them all out : )

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Boys in Girls Dresses

We lived in Hong Kong from when I was aged 5 to 7.  One day my Dad, who liked taking photos, asked the three of us boys to pose for photos in front of the electric fire.  Stephen (eldest) dressed in his scout uniform. Alan (middle) dressed in his cub uniform.  Peter (me, the ikkle one) wasn't in either of those organisations.  I was 6 years old. And I wanted to wear a dress.

Hong Kong - back then
So I did. Christ knows where I found the thing, but I wore it. The design of the dress could probably attract a pretty solid case of crimes against humanity at the Hague nowadays.  I wore it with a doily on my head.  It is perhaps the most embarrassing picture in the history of mankind (or was - more later).  My dad took my photo nonetheless, and into one of our photo albums it later went.

Evil Big Bros

My brothers, quite naturally, took the piss out of me mercilessly. My dad was in the army. He was not an educated man: he had been placed first into foster care aged 8, then when he ran away, into the "Cottage Homes" orphanage near Portsmouth. The orphanage was later the subject of all sorts of child cruelty claims through this period (see here).  He left school at 15 with no qualifications at all and literally no where to go.  He did a motor apprenticeship and joined the army - there he served 23 years, fought in three armed conflicts, and made the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Mutti and Dad
My father was however a very intelligent and kind man. "Don't be so silly" were pretty much the words I think he used to my big brothers, as they tried to mock me in my dress.  "Some grown men dress up as women and make money out of it. One is called Danny La Rue.  There's nothing wrong with it at all." This was 1977.  Silence followed.  My brothers shut up.

ME! On holiday in Camargue, aged 7

What my Dad did that day, was in my opinion nothing short of amazing.  I firmly believe nothing can influence your child's sexuality.  I happen to be gay: I realised it when I was about 13 or 14.  Whatever the cause, to me personally it's as natural as being right or left handed - we are simply that way - fight or suppress it as much as you like.

I wasn't "girly" as a child; I was happy and balanced, had really good (both male and female) friends and was enormously comfortable in my skin.  I was never picked on: I was the popular golden haired boy at school and outside. I was known as the Cheshire Cat I smiled so much.

In a similar vein to your sexuality, for whatever reason some guys (straight and gay) obviously like to cross-dress. Personally, I can't say I have ever felt a pressing need to wear women's clothes again since this time.  If people do, good luck to them.  I do wish that a few more parents could have been as wonderful as my dad was if their children wish to dress up as many do.  He showed sensitivity and inclusion, made me feel loved, and tried to reinforce to both me and my brothers that it was okay to be different.
Is my lack of transvestism because of Dad? I'm no child psychologist, but I totally doubt it.  I think I would have done it, or not done it, regardless.  What I do know is that by behaving differently he could have turned a happy child into a miserable one for no reason whatsoever.  Dad died in March 2000 suddenly of a heart attack whilst training for the London marathon, aged 60.  I love him for many reasons, but this episode sticks so clearly in my mind.

Society has the problem

If you get the chance, watch "Ma Vie en Rose" - a French DVD about a little cross-dressing boy.  You rapidly realise he does not have the problem - society and more specifically his family does.  His parents come close to wrecking a young life for fear of what others think.  The movie is actually superb; and without spoiling the end, very redeeming and uplifting.

Oh and the famous photo? I stole it out of the album and ripped it up at 15.  I was worried it revealed early gay inclinations (totally confusing sexual orientation with transvestism, obv).  What a shame, I could have posted it now and had a laugh with all you guys.  It really WAS awful!

Marry you/ I want you

From him:

To him:

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Twang

My tutor, the pharmacist tells me, "You occasionally have a Scottish twang when you speak."

I must say, my accent is completely Rojak now.. A little bit American due to the months spent there, Malaysian, Scottish and now, British - the west side.
Jumbled indeed!

First week at Boots was an eye-opening experience. It was definitely a lifetime opportunity to work with them and to learn things I would never learn if I were return to my homeland. A bonus for me would be the two pharmacist in charge, the dispensers and healthcare assistants, who were really dedicated to their job and passionate about helping others.

One thing though:
I used to work in a restaurant 7 days a week and I swore I would never want to be a waitress ever again as I don't see myself standing on my feet for the entire day FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. Lol behold, I am entering a profession where standing is the only way to get the job done!
The four modules to qualify as a home carer

The cert I received from passing the test

Maybe one week is too early to say much, but so far I AM SATISFIED :)

Whats up next week:
The first e-test, Having to read up on all the inhalers as I'm going to counsel patients on how to use it,  and more dispensing.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER: Matthew Marteinsson

Matthew, who hails from Vancouver, was the first winner of our Facebook Win a Print from Iceland Eyes contest (he chose this image, Dreams, and says he's quite happy with his prize.) When he sent me his mailing info I couldn't help but notice that his last name was definitely Icelandic, so I asked him about it. Turns out, he's got connections to our island. He replied:

Yes my family traces back to Iceland. My great-grand father moved to Canada around the turn of the century. As far as I know they came from northern Iceland and he was a Lutheran minister. Of course when they came to Canada they moved to Gimli ["the heart of New Iceland" in Canada] where my grand father was born. I've been to Iceland twice so far. Both times during [music festival Iceland] Airwaves. I still want to come during the summer to try and find the farm the family came from. My dad has a painting of the farm which has the name of the area on it.

He shared some of his pictures from his last visit here with me and I invited him to be a guest photographer. When we'd chosen a photo he wrote:

I found what I had figured out from the painting I grew up with. It had the mountain from this site on it and had Svartárkot and Bardardalur written on it. I hope to come back some time and get up to there.

[This shot] was from the first day of my second trip to Iceland during Airwaves. With my great-grandfather coming from Iceland I've always had a calling to visit. Like it was in my blood. Each time I've been I try to get as off the beaten path as I can. I always want to find the little hidden spots that will really stay with me. This old boat seemed like it must have some wonderful tales to tell.

Thank you Matthew for sharing a bit of your history with us. It's a pleasure to meet another long-lost cousin ; )

Just so you know, our Facebook and Twitter pages are chock full of many more cool and interesting links that don't make it to the blog. So do drop by, and keep your eyes open for our contests where you can win prints of your favorite shots and maybe even a book or two!

Have you tried Dynamic Viewing yet? Five new views in all. Use the blue tab at the top of the view page to check them all out : )

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The European Union

Earlier today on Twitter I was told I was the "only person in England who supported the EU".  Thrown into this was the implication that because I'm half German the actual total was zero.  A quick tweet produced a reassuringly high number of responses that suggest the contrary.  Here I set out why in my opinion the EU is basically a great thing.

Single Market or Political Project?

There are any number of reasons for supporting the EU.  Even most Eurosceptics would accept that the remarkable achievement of creating a free trade zone and single market across a historically disparate area of 500 million people is to the general benefit.  This market contributes to wealth generation, millions of jobs, and has led to a huge rise in prosperity since its creation.

Signing the Treaty of Rome 1957
Clearly, however, the EU is not a simple free trade zone.  To those who say that the EU somehow "sneaked up on them" from behind the cloak of the Common Market, just go back and look at those texts of the Treaties of Paris (1951) and Rome (1957).
It's there. Right at the start. Hidden in those sneaky things those called preambles.  The aim was always primarily to create a political and an economic union - let's agree that it's a bit daft to suggest it's not.

Free Trade Zone Instead: Norway!

Those who object to the political aspect of the EU would have us leave the EU to join the European Economic Area (EEA) - a free trade zone "without all that interference from Brussels".  I'm not an economist, but as a lawyer would say they are (apparently) frankly astoundingly ignorant of the realities of the EEA.  A functioning single market cannot operate without a body of law and robust institutions to enforce those rules - otherwise it is not worth the paper the agreement is written on.
Poor boy: he needs a say in EU

Norway is the example the Eurosceptics swiftly grasp at.  Norway is indeed a member of the EEA - which gives it access to the EU single market.  It also means that the law of the European Union applies pretty much lock stock and barrel to the country - with almost zero say in its creation.  Norway has to enact EU law in the areas of social policy, consumer protection, the environment, company law etc.

Norway has virtually no say whatsoever in the creation of EU law, no representation in the European Parliament or European Commission, and its contribution to the EU budget was in excess of €1.2 billion over the last five years.  In return it receives zero from EU development funds.

Great, eh? Bring it on, UKIP - I'm sure your voters would go for this if it were explained to them.

Yes, Norway is wealthy - a model continental Social Democracy in fact.  Much of this prosperity comes from its natural resources and some extremely clever long term planning and investment by its government.

Switzerland too has done well with wealth creation - again intimately tied to the fact that the EU is by a long way its biggest trading partner.  Unlike Norway it does not contribute to social cohesion funds, because it only belongs to EFTA - but again it is subject to the jurisdiction of an EU court (the EFTA court) and it accepts swathes of EU law without any say in their creation.

Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland accept this -frankly far from ideal situation- because on a simple cost/benefit analysis, close ties with the EU benefit them greatly in economic terms.  The lack of a say is presumably considered worth putting up with.  I wouldn't be so happy if I were a citizen of the countries concerned: I'd be out campaigning like Mrs T did in 1975.

Peace after War

Vote YES! Thatcher campaigns 1975
The EU is a political project.  The "European Dream" comes out of the wreckage of WW2.  40 million had just died.  Europe lay in rubble on a scale we cannot imagine in our worst nightmares.  Centuries of wars and bitter hatred had come to a head with the development of nationalism and its departure from being a 19th century liberal ideal to a 20th century excuse for aggression, hatred and racism. 

Again it is not just about the "common market".  It never was.  Those who say they voted only on that in 1975 are a bit silly.  Again guys - read just the preamble to the Treaties!  It has institutions and makes rules well outside the scope of that - it was in fact a reaction to the destructive forces of nationalism.  It intended to link the economies of Europe together so that war would never again happen.

My German family experienced the full horrors of the full horrors of this.  My English family were twice bombed out of Portsmouth in Luftwaffe raids. The grotesque cost in human suffering, destruction of life and culture are no joke.  European cities and families are still scarred by these horrendous times in 2011. 
Never Again. Königsberg 1944
Of course no one can prove that the EU has ensured almost 70 years of peace for its member states - history does not do "what ifs".  The fact is though that the existence of the EU does coincide with an unprecedented period of peace, prosperity and cooperation between European nations.

My belief is that the EU *is* responsible in large part for this: where disputes frequently led to war, now differences of opinion are worked on in a spirit of cooperation for the first time, literally, in its history.  Pooh-pooh this if you wish Eurosceptics - but just a cursory look at Franco-German relations from 1800 to 1939 compared to 1949 to 2011 reflects a sea change of unimaginable dimensions.

The effects on people's lives of this period of peace cannot glibly be dismissed because there are other reasons you dislike the idea of European integration.  It bloody well matters - more than almost anything else in life can to the people of this continent.

Rights of Ordinary Europeans - yes, that's me and you :)

There are plenty more reasons I love the EU.

European Court of Human Rights
As someone who believes strongly in liberal values, I stand wholeheartedly behind the ideals of the European Convention of Human Rights, which although created separately, is now part of EU law.  It was not Tony Blair's government that voluntarily equalised the gay age of consent or dropped the illiberal and idiotic ban on gays serving in the military - both cases were resisted by UK government lawyers in European courts.  The votes in Westminster only came after our country was ruled against and because our MPs had to.

As a social democrat, I support the EU for its efforts to improve the work position of people across the continent.  How many anti-EU Sun readers realise that their 4 weeks mandatory holiday is an EU creation, or that their working week is limited because of EU law? How many women would be happy to put up with (legally permissible) lower wages that existed before the EU acted to prohibit them? The evils of racial discrimination have been prohibited by law right across the 500 million bloc.  Time and again, European law and European human rights law have protected ordinary people in the EU against their governments and interest groups that seek to maintain the status quo.

Help Us, EU!
In the process of EU law making, countries that drag their feet have pressure put on them by others to raise standards.  We see it in social policy, in human rights, in permanent and temporary workers rights, on the environment, on animal rights.  When the EU bans battery chicken farming (effective 2012) it has very real effects right across a bloc of 500 million people.  Excellent.

If our (or another EU) country won't do it on its own, great that the consensus helps matters along. If one country swings out with an unacceptable agenda, the rest pulls them into line: Latvia and Poland can't get away with homophobic moves because of EU pressure. Romania and the Czech Republic cannot continue to discriminate against deprived minorities such as the Gypsies.  The EU acts to improve the lives of citizens across the Union sometimes directly in opposition to their governments.  Wunderbar.

I love immigration.  It is essential to the life blood of a country. I love the fact millions of Eastern Europeans have come here to work since 2004.  I love the Schengen agreement - I see borders as annoying, artificial historical throw backs that are in large part useless.  The House of Lords EU Select Committee unambiguously stated "We believe that in the three major areas of Schengen-border controls, police co-operation (SIS) and visa/asylum/immigration policy-there is a strong case, in the interests of the United Kingdom and its people, for full United Kingdom participation." Of course this would never do - Daily Mail readers need to feel safe behind their barbed wire and hostile UK Border Agency employees and signs.

The EU stands for a mixing of people across the continent. I can (and I have) lived and worked without restriction in Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Finland.  So has my brother and he has studied abroad free too.  I receive free emergency health care when abroad in 27 countries.  If I'm denied boarding EU law places obligations on airlines.  My mobile phone roaming charges are capped: no government could have introduced that itself and no multi-national would have done it voluntarily.  I have an ease of travel across this wonderful continent that was impossible in my mother's lifetime.  I LOVE this about the EU. Uitstekend!

Banning Curved Bananas

Those EU straight bananas
People frequently say "I agree with the EU ideal, but Brussels is doing it wrongly".  How exactly, I ask? Ever thought that the major failing with the EU is its quite dismally poor PR record and that you can't always believe the relentless attacks of the right wing press in this country?  Banning curved bananas, calling English chocolate "vegelate" - yeah what an utter pile of cack those stories were.

Still you hear about the EU "gravy train"... well the Commission employs the same number of people at the average medium sized city council anywhere in Europe.  They're actually doing an extremely important job too, much of which is concerned with working against big companies in the field of competition law - guess who that benefits? Yep, we consumers across the EU. 

Gotta love pix like this: suck it up Tory Eurosceptics :)
The Common Agriculture Policy is attacked.  I know it takes up a huge chunk of the EU budget.  The press makes out it's all some kind of French Farmer conspiracy.  Again I'm not a farmer, nor an economist - I'm not really in a position to pass informed judgement, but I will not just swallow this because the Daily Fail tells me it is so.  As with any other huge undertaking, there are no doubt areas that could be done better: so let's reform them.  It does not invalidate the whole enormously important and successful project.

Democracy Deficits and EU Referendum

The "democracy deficit" also comes up time and time again.  The critically important EU law flows from meetings of the Council of Europe - yep, that's our Chancellor of the Exchequer or Foreign Secretary attending those meetings and exercising their powers on behalf of us, the voters of the UK - some of whom at least voted for them.

It's not faceless space aliens making these laws: voters amongst the 500 million Europeans regularly take part in democratic elections and elect leaders who then represent them by way of delegated power.  Who was it elected the politicians who created the Treaty of Maastricht or Lisbon? Yes, that's right, it was our premiers, voted for by erm, us, in erm, democratic elections.

The powers of the EU parliament have also been strengthened - people still complain and yet of course at the same time don't bother to go out and vote in EU elections *facepalm*.

Kinda irrelevant pic. But hey!
As for the referendum issue - guess what, I didn't get to vote on membership of Nato.  Or on hosting the 2012 Olympic games.  Or to triple higher education fees.  Or to renew Trident.  Or to keep nuclear power.  Or to have a monarch or a presidency.  Or to reduce the deficit. Or, or, or....

Surprise: we are not Switzerland - our country doesn't vote directly to create laws on either every day or fundamental issues - so why single out EU membership?  Some countries such as Eire have referenda written into their constitutions. We do not.

There is a party that stands for withdrawal from the EU: UKIP.  If you feel so strongly about a departure, you can vote for them in a general election.  Otherwise accept that our democracy functions by voting in regular general elections and our delegating issues to MPs and the government that is formed. 

Little Englanders and English Europeans

I'm sure there are intelligent, non-xenophobic voices that can argue against the EU.  My sneaking feeling, however, is that what is more frequently behind anti-EU sentiment is a mentality that inherently regards "our way of doing things" as superior to that foreign lot across on the continent.  I utterly reject that.

To me nationalism is fundamentally a failed, damaging, backward, tribal philosophy and I am glad for the most part that it is a dead or dying force in Europe.  I identify with people of similar outlooks, interests, and philosophies wherever they are from - not because we happened to be born on the same island.

I am an English European. I am extremely glad to have been born in a time where this is, in fact, far from a contradiction of terms.  The EU represents to me both in practice and in principle: peace, prosperity, respect for individual and collective rights, a mixing of people, and a progressive non-nationalist agenda.  Long may it continue.

Monday, 13 June 2011

I'm living the dream

The end of the first week in WSM, Somerset. I'm loving it.

Today marks the first day I am a Boots employee. I travelled two hours to reach the Boots Divisional Office in Bristol. It was a 10am till 4pm training session. We get paid for attending training! My division had two very enthusiastic male staff, giving us training tips n introducing us to the world of Boots! Aim: To make us Legendary Pharmacists!

I was told it was boring. But, NO, it was FANTASTIC! I learned so much that I look forward to start work and can't wait for the 8th week to meet up with my fellow West division people again. In addition to that, there was free flow of hot chocolate, coffee and tea and there were brunch, lunch and tea breaks which allowed us time to mingle with the other West division students. Majority of them were from Bath Uni. We also had plenty of group discussions and presentations during the day.

S.T.E.Ps to impress:
  • Smile
  • Tone of voice
  • Eye contact
  • Posture
Smiling has not been a problem of late. Everyone around me has been helpful from the bus driver to the train ticket counter lady to the passengers to the housemates and even to the people on the streets. I love it MUCH more than Glasgow.

Day one at the pharmacy begins tomorrow. The staff and my tutor were lovely when I dropped by to say hi.

Sunday, 12 June 2011


Strolling along Laugavegur on Friday, I came across a performance piece, Hásálfar, gracefully presented by a trio of artists: performer Sandra Gísladóttir, dancer María Þórdís Ólafsdóttir and electronic musician Viktor Birgisson, who now go by the name Samaris. They are part of an ongoing Creative Summer Groups production by Hitt Húsið, the Cultural and Information Center for Young People, deftly managed by incorrigible Ása Hauksóttir, an artist who has seemingly single-handedly advocated for the youth of our Smoke City for years now. Aside from the entrancing music and subtle artistic display of the trio, what caught my attention was the nature of the material they were performing: their objective is to reanimate the classic Icelandic elves tales in modern dress, to "intertwine folk stories with today's modern society."

What specifically got my attention, though, is the location they performed at: the newly renovated edge of a triangle, where the Nike store used to be, that I dreamt years ago was the location of an Elves Hall. Synchronicity in action.

I received an email today from Sara, who is coming to Iceland in September, asking a classic and important question: what to pack for her trip. The answer is a little bit of everything. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a more detailed answer, and read this post for a few more hints.

While looking for these posts (using the blogger search box in the top left corner) I ran across a post with links to some important info for visitors. I'll post them again for you here:

Where to Get Good Coffee, Drinking Water, Driving in Iceland, What to Wear (see end of post), Quality Fleece, Taking Care of Your Silver Jewelry, Swimming Pools, The High Cost of Alcohol, Pizza, Reykjavik with Kids, Buying Groceries, Places of Historical Interest.

Read and enjoy!

Have you tried Dynamic Viewing yet? Five new views in all. Use the blue tab at the top of the view page to check them all out : )

Friday, 10 June 2011


Why, of course you can!

Knit-graffiti left at the top of Skólavörðurstígur by an intrepid, and sentimental, tourist.

(Have you tried Dynamic Viewing yet? Use the blue tab at the top of the view page for five amazing new views.)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


A tourist takes a shady break on a bench in a tiny park right by Hallgrímskirkja. There used to be a house on the lot, a ramshackle cottage that was torn down a few years ago and replaced by roll-a-lawn. I pass this lot almost every day (a wall of the college where I teach is in the background) and certainly did not expect it to stay empty and green for as long as it has. With the addition of of a couple of arty sheep silhouettes and a bench, it's now a proper park-ette, though as is only visitors take advantage of its idyll.

Was the land bequeathed to the city, I wonder? Is there some green benefactor purposed with sprinkling small gardens about town? Nice thought, and with the same healthy benefit as our pop-up Heart Park, which I wrote about in 2009, and again last year when street artists took it over with urban style (note that the brick wall in the first link is the 'canvas' in the second ; )

Grass, trees, some benches and art...has there ever been a better combination to soothe a city's soul?

Sunday, 5 June 2011


One more photo from Arnarstapi, on the Snæfell Peninsula, and this one in honor of our seafaring men and women of the last millennia-plus on National Seafarer's Day, or Sjómannadagur. Iceland Eyes offers great thanks for their courage and sacrifice throughout this country's history. (And not least to my father, Þórir Pálsson Roff {Thor Roff in the States} who served a four year tour of duty in the U.S. Navy on the USS Great Sitkin 1960-64, with some excellent stories to share for it : )

Thinking of sailing to/around Iceland? Every summer we get scores of intrepid sailors visiting our harbours in their fancy yachts and sloops. If so, visit the Icelandic Maritime Administration site for info. And be sure to be here in time for the Sail Húsavík Nordic Coastal Cultural Festival 2011. They've got some very lovely boats set to attend.)