Well, I am all moved in to the new flat. Unfortunately it doesn't quite have the internet yet. We got a router, and we're supposed to be getting it free because Ahmad works for the government, but as always with these things there is vesen with getting it to actually work. I have never once managed to get the internet sorted out anywhere without some sort of hassle. So I am in Babalú writing this and doing all my various internet chores, like filing my tax return (quite simple, since I do not owe any tax at all at this point) and registering my change of address. 

Apart from being cut off from the internet, my fifth limb, everything is great in the new place. I have a bed and a chest of drawers in my room, and I made a bedside table from a cardboard box, and a bin from another cardboard box, with a picture of a bin on it. The actual bin that was in the box is in the bathroom, but I almost like mine better. One thing that is nice, which I didn't think about before, is that now I am able to live in a place where the room temperature is actual room temperature, rather than Icelandic room temperature. Heating being pretty cheap over here, most Icelanders seem to have become fiercely defensive of their right to walk around their home in their underwear, and they adjust their radiators accordingly. I myself was brought up in the "just-put-on-another-jumper" school of thought and appreciate being able to wear more than just my underwear without overheating. When the snow and cold weather stops, I reckon we'll be all right just having the heating off entirely. It actually did stop for a bit a few weeks ago, but then winter changed its mind about leaving. Hasn't snowed for a few days, though, so maybe spring will be in time for Easter. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Yeah, so all the essentials (apart from the internet) are pretty much sorted, after a few trips to IKEA and Góði Hirðirinn, and some work on We own a washing machine as of yesterday, although it actually needs a part changing before it will be functional. I hope we get that sorted out quite soon, before I run out of clean clothes. But I suppose I can always go crying to a friend's house or to the Laundromat Café if things become critical. Anyway, I have to go to the shops now to get some stuff for dinner. Can't just spend my whole day off in this café.

Adventure in Hvalfjörður

Last night I went out on an adventure. Logi, Maria, Bjarni, Ewelina and I went out in Logi's jeep and drove to Hvalfjörður, which is a fjord north of Reykjavík. We were heading to a natural hot-spring that Logi knew about in order to sit in the hot water, drink beer and look at the northern lights. You may have heard, there have been some explosions on the sun recently, which is causing some cool auroral activity. The forecast site actually said that it would be "extreme", so we were pretty excited. 

The place was basically in the middle of nowhere, on a little peninsula inside the fjord, if that makes sense. So there was water on both sides, and mountains beyond the water. There was a man-made water-tight hot-pot sort of thing, made of rocks and presumably concrete, and the water from the hot-spring had been channelled into a pipe, which it was possible to move in and out of the pool. If you had the water always flowing directly into the pool it would be far too hot to stand, so we took it out and put it back in in turns. So of course it was fine once you were in, but getting in was a different matter. It was around 1°, with some intermittent snowstorms. Standing in the snow getting undressed and changed into your swimming costume in these conditions, by the light of a torch, is somewhat less than comfortable. I was shivering so hard I could barely stand up straight, but it was definitely worth it.

The moon was almost full, so there we were in this hot pool, drinking our páskabjór, surrounded by moonlit water and snowy mountains with the northern lights arcing over us. It was pretty incredible. The actual lights were not quite as good as I was expecting - they were mostly white rather than the green ones I've seen before, but still very cool nonetheless. It was getting on for midnight when we got there, and we left around two in the morning. The clear skies probably lasted for about half of our time there, and then the snowstorms blowing through started to intensify and the cloud lowered. We all looked like those Japanese monkeys, sitting there with our hair and hats encrusted with ice and snow. 

We waited for the next pause, and then got out, which was probably worse than getting in. I didn't get so cold, because you have a lot of residual heat from the pool, but I was dismayed to discover that my bag had blown over and partially filled with snow. And then I accidentally dipped my towel in the hot pool as I got out, rendering it useless. My pants were too wet to put back on, but the rest of my clothes were OK. I scrambled to put on as many as I could before I started to cool down and then raced back to the car in my socks, quite damp and covered in snow. My phone had also fallen out and been lying in the snow, but luckily it was absolutely fine. We arrived in Reykjavík at around three in the morning, definitely glad to get back to a warm bed.

Overall, an amazing experience. Definitely not something you do everyday, and something that you can probably only do in Iceland. This is an incredible country.


I found Simon! I had pretty much given him up for lost forever, but it turns out he was in the pocket of a coat I don't wear very often all along. So happy. 


Well, there's been quite a lot going on in my life recently. The big news is that I am moving house very soon! My situation at the moment was only ever going to be temporary, and I was planning to find other accommodation some time in August. However, events have conspired so that I will be moving in with my friends Ahmad and Thomas a lot sooner than I had anticipated. It all happened very suddenly - we met at my house one evening to discuss living together, had a look at the listings, phoned the number for a three bedroom basement flat on Grenimelur, went to look at it and pretty much made an agreement with the landlord that night. You might think that is a bit hasty, but honestly, good accommodation in Reykjavík goes really fast. It is a great flat; my bedroom will be a bit small, but the communal areas are super spacious and it's an excellent location, just into 107, a short distance from where I am now. If everything goes well then this will be the first place, apart from my parents' house, where I will live for more than a year. I am definitely looking forward to that.

I have found someone else to move into this room, and then hopefully should be spending the first night in my new home next Thursday. Exciting! The only trouble is that my new toaster is pretty much all I own in the way of furniture and household appliances, and Ahmad and Thomas aren't much better off. Accommodation in Iceland is rarely rented furnished, and this place does not even have a fridge yet. There's going to have to be some IKEA-ing and some trawling of and so on to get some second-hand stuff. As well as the fridge, a bed is particularly urgent. 

In other news, the job is going OK. It's not so exciting or well-paid of course, but I've been working with some nice people and the free food and drink is good. I am not very good at cappuccinos, but otherwise I feel like I've mastered the coffee machine. The weather recently has been a bit rubbish, squally is the word I'd use, with a lot of hail, showers, sleet and brief flurries of snow. But on the other hand the winter darkness is well and truly over and the summer brightness rapidly approaching - in fact it's only just over a week until we'll be getting more daylight than Britain.

So I suppose I'll keep this blog updated on how the move and everything goes. In the meantime, I leave you with this picture of swans and one of my favourite views in Reykjavík. I know like eighty percent of the pictures on here are of the Tjörn, but it is hopelessly picturesque and I can't help myself. I'm sure you enjoy looking at it from all angles and in different weather conditions as much as I do, right?

Whooper swans looking for clues on the Tjörn. It's a different sort of swan to one you might enjoy in a sandwich in Britain. It has a rather bitter taste.