It is November, which in Iceland is very definitely winter. The mornings are drawing closer and closer to the midday point, the sun hanging low in the sky. We awoke to the first light snowfall a few days ago, snow which is now a thin layer of slick white ice coating the pavements, temperatures hovering just below freezing. Not a single leaf left on the trees, not a chance they could have clung on in the gales that whip through Reykjavík. The edges of the Tjörn are crusted with wind-frothed ice, although there's not a chance of walking on it yet. Christmas decorations have begun to appear already, as seems to be inevitable these days, although thank god I haven't heard any Christmas music yet. 

The bright point is the jólabjór in the warmth of the bars - the Kaldi is particularly good, the Gæðingur also well worth a try. Last Friday I went to Hemmi og Valdi with Siri, stumbled upon some poetry night, too late to relocate since we'd already bought a pint of the jóla-Víking. Some of them weren't bad, some of them seemed to go on rather too long. In general I prefer music to poetry in a pub setting. When it was over Grétar joined us, and then Ewelina and Kalli, and we headed down to the Microbar on Austurvöllur to sample the more upmarket jólabjórs. The only one I haven't tried now is the Tuborg, imported from Denmark, where I believe the tradition of Christmas beer comes from. 

The university semester is gearing up towards final projects and exams, so there's a lot to do on that front. I'll be finished on the 10th December, and then my flight back to England is on the 18th. I'm spending Christmas with the family of course, but then coming back to Iceland for New Year's Eve. I want to see what all the fuss is about, although odds are it will be anticlimactic. Apparently the fireworks are really incredible, and I missed Fireworks Night of course, so it would be nice to see some good ones.

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