Life

Last night I was lying in bed and flipping through the Yule catalogue from the Kringlan mall, as you do. EPI: Whatcha reading? ME: The Kringlan catalogue. Very exciting. EPI: Ah, ok. See anything you like? ME: So far, no. I'm hoping I'll find something, though, so I can put it on my list. I'm kind of stuck for ideas. There was a moment, in which I pondered the absurdity of this situation. Then ...

Everyone's doing them: end-of-the-year posts. I've never done one before, but suddenly for no apparent reason I felt inspired. So here's my own personal year in review, in no particular order. SLOG OF THE YEAR My degree. Puh. Increasingly I found myself wondering what the hell I'm doing it for. It's so bloody time consuming, and let's face it: it's not like it's going to help me launch a career. But it's something I set out to finish, and finish I will (this spring). And besides, it hasn't all been pointless. I've learned a whole bunch of stuff that I will be putting to good use very soon. More on that later. VICTORY OF THE YEAR My personal overcoming of my own self-destruction when...

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...

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...

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...

October 6th, wery wery significant day in Icelandic history. Four years ago exactly, Icelanders gathered in front of their screens and watched as then-PM Geir Haarde announced that this country was going to hell in a handbasket, national bankruptcy was imminent, and that we could well be sucked into some dark and horrible vortex along with the banks that were all collapsing, one by one. He ended the address with the now-famous phrase: "God bless Iceland." The ensuing panic was palpable, we were all in shock, thinking that we would be instantly transported to the third world, and that our future would be made up of some weird apocalyptic universe. Thankfully those awful visions did not come to pass. However, we...

Earlier today I started a new discussion thread on my Facebook page regarding bilingualism and second-language acquisition. The topic has garnered quite a few responses and given me cause to reflect and analyze my own linguistic performance in different languages - for whatever it is worth. The status I posted, quite flippantly I might add, was as follows: Have just been listening to a lecture on second language acquisition, in which the concept of bilingualism was addressed, plus one thing that I've never actually heard discussed before. It's the idea that when bilingual people switch languages, they also switch personalities. It is something I've been aware of almost my entire life. I've been bilingual since I was five (well actually I was...

EPI and I went for sushi a couple of days ago, at a place called the Fish Market. Before I go further, let me unequivocally state that the sushi was really yummy. Anyway, we both order green tea with our sushi. We get a small tea kettle with a single teabag in it, plus two little teacups. Meanwhile, I notice (as you do) that two of the three women at the table next to us also order tea. They get a teapot, presumably filled with hot water, and each gets a teabag or two on the side. So it comes time to pay. The girl at the bar rings up our order and charges us for two portions of sushi, and two green...