Iceland

Agility, attitude, combat, speed. A list of four things, pulse across the screen as described by the pussycat dolls on MTV. We sit, finishing off our pizza and beers – banished upstairs with the Americans. The football has finished, Selfoss women won 2-0 at home. It’s been a peaceful adventure to the north of Iceland. There’s something very nourishing, spending time with your sole surviving parent. A rightness, echoing the day I arrived in this world. I bought myself a beer, and a double dinner, having accidentally purchased a salad, which needed a pizza to wash it down. I’d tracked down my dad and his friend, who were visiting for a conference the week before in Reykjavik. They were mellow when I arrived, heads lolling after too little food and generous bartending. We caught up but before too long, we settled into old rhythms. It frustrated me, but other people often have other things on their minds – distracted. There had been a funeral a few weeks before and it hung about making me restrained, fretful and pensive. I’d hitchhiked to Siglofourdo, which took up the entire Saturday afternoon. I’d met some gems. Maria, the fun mum. Thor, the alternative medicine man. Schvet and his psychologist girlfriend, the likes of which loved hiking. A curious couple who ‘did not give a fuck’ about very much. A cute blonde from the USA who was working remotely and mourning the loss of a parent (I found out through social media), and a local of Sigló who had been drinking all day and playing golf – he got me the last leg of the journey in record time. Sigló was a peaceful town with and old museum retailing the days of overfishing: Herring, whale and the rest. A lazy chocolate shop, a new hotel, a pool and BIO engineering facility (testing remedies for cancer and arthritis using the waste products of shellfish). The first full day in Sigló I ran north a few clicks along Trollskagi, (troll peninsula) to an orange lighthouse. It was a lovely trot, which took me along an 880meter tunnel which cut clean through a mountain. It struck me, as the tunnel was the only way to pass, the high calibre machinery that would have been required and the resulting interior. Moist and illuminated by a few lamps; sos phone and fire hydrants placed in the pull-over station every 100meters. While taking a few snaps of the lighthouse, the owner of the farm next door returned home and let out his dogs. They charged straight for me and nipped at my hands until I stopped moving and played some catch with a few rocks. They were wonderfully trained and had kind, inquisitive souls. I went to the farm and requested on my; bald, vein pulsing Icelander to look after his dogs. My cat had recently been run over – and I feared they might meet the same fate if they followed my up to the road. The jog home was a breeze, as it was mostly down hill.

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