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Happy 2013 everyone! So the world did not come to an end [although apparently there is still a chance for the apocalypse], and now a whole year of possibilities stretches before us, blank as an unpainted canvas. It feels like a new beginning, even though the whole construct of time is just that - a construct. Minutes, hours, days, years ...

A somewhat unexpected and unconventional Christmas story has captivated the minds and hearts of the Icelanders this year. Just over a week ago, a prisoner escaped from Litla-hraun, this country's only maximum-security prison [although the "maximum" part is rather open to interpretation, as the convict escaped by crawling under the fence]. Obviously a major search was launched, but after seven consecutive days of searching, there was still no sign of the escapee. The prisoner in question was in for attempted manslaughter, as he had tried to kill a woman. During the investigation, it transpired that he had got in touch with her and threatened to finish the job, so to speak, so obviously his escape was taken very seriously [a couple of...

Christmas. Season of cheer and goodwill. The time when we are all supposed to love one another, to cherish one another, and to make each other feel special. That message comes at us from all directions - movies, TV commercials, adverts, songs. Happy families, loving couples, smiling people ...

The other day I was listening to a podcast [again] - this time Outlook from the BBC. They were interviewing a woman whom they billed as "one of American's most respected mental health professionals" - a Dr. Marsha Linehan, who has created a treatment program for severely suicidal patients, and who just recently came out of the closet, so to speak, to reveal her own history of mental illness. It so happened that, just as I was listening to this, I was mentally composing the last post in my head, and so much of Dr. Linehan's story resonated with me. Thankfully, my battle with mental illness was quite not as severe as hers - I was not schizophrenic, I did not...

Recently, while listening to The Moth [one of my absolute favourite podcasts], I heard the storyteller say this: The emotional dimension is the least interesting part of the human experience.  I had to go back and listen again to make sure I had heard correctly, because this just boggles my mind. How can anyone NOT be interested in the emotional dimension of human experience? To me, the emotional dimension is the MOST interesting part of human experience. Exploring the emotional dimension has been for me like exploring a landscape filled with thrilling revelations and experiences, beauty, truth, joy, exaltation, intense pain and the innumerable other nuances that constitute being human. The narrator in that Moth story was a scientist, and in listening it was brought...

Sometimes I look at people, and I think: Somewhere along the line, that person stagnated. Their spirit congealed. Do you know what I mean? It doesn't entirely have to do with age, either. A person can be 18 and seem 38 in their demeanor and manner and way of speaking. And even when they're 68 they still seem 38 because they just kind of stagnated there. I'm not speaking of people who are young in spirit, or who "have no age" because they are timeless. That is an entirely different thing. No - this congealing is never good. It's heavy, cumbersome, and somewhere, deep down, it is insincere. I notice it a lot with politicians. And public officials. "There are two kinds of people," she...

Lately I've been fascinated by the way we perform different roles in our lives. Sometimes we cast ourselves in roles, sometimes they're thrust upon us, and sometimes other people cast us in roles that we have no idea we're in. Or we suddenly find that we're in a role conceived by somebody else, and other people are getting all mad because we're not playing our part properly. Roles are a funny thing. Sometimes they work fine for a while, and then all of a sudden you realize that you've outgrown a role, but the play is still going on. Only you're having increasing trouble being genuine about it. You start to get irritated and cynical, and feel like you're wearing something...

When I first signed up for Facebook, I was delighted by what it offered me. During the course of my life I'd lived in so many places and made so many friends that I couldn't possibly keep up with everyone via traditional email [to say nothing of snail mail]. But with Facebook, I had them all in one place, so to speak. Their pictures, thoughts and various goings-on showed up in my news feed and it was great to be able to see what they were up to. Sure, I knew that in return I had to hand over to Mark Zuckerberg various bits of info about myself - my age, where I lived, my likes and dislikes - but that...

As many of you no doubt know I have hitherto not been known for my prowess in food blogging (although I CAN cook - honest!) but as it happened I posted a pic of my freshly-made müsli on Instagram today (because that's what you're supposed to do with food, right?) and a few people asked for the recipe. I am completely addicted to müsli and have it for breakfast almost every day. I always make my own and I haven't had the store-bought stuff literally for over a decade, unless I'm travelling or something. For years I made a very basic recipe, adding my own variations depending on my mood - raisins, almonds, dates, dried cranberries etc. - but a few...