How cute is this ? The municipal leader in a small community in the West fjords, a woman named Andrea, was worried last year that no child would be born in the community so she promised, as kind of a joke to her friends, that she would knit each child born from now on a woolen sweater. The town of 270 inhabitants are now experiencing a baby boom! She stuck by it and has in one year knitted 11 sweaters 🙂
Only in Iceland… 🙂
I came across this article in the Guardian the other day, about child death rates in the western world for children under five. My country, Iceland, happens to have the best outcome of all countries with the rates 2.4 per 1000 while the UK has a ratio of 4.9 and the US a staggering 6.6 per 1000.
While the articles focuses mostly on public health care and financial status of parents in the UK, I’m wondering if there is something in our culture that we do differently and could be beneficial to look at. I only have Denmark to compare with personally, since we lived there for two years while our oldest was 2-4 years old.
I got actual goosebumps watching this video which was shot on my peninsula. Jökull Bergmann runs a Heli-Skiing service, that is takes you to the top of some mountain of your choice where you ski down as far as you can, all the way down to the shore, no tracks or trees in your way. This video was shot by Warren Millen featuring ski stars Julia Mancuso and Jess McMillan along with the model Sierra Quitiquit.
It really reminded me of a trip I took with my aunt some four years ago. Sadly not with a helicopter – I have yet to experience that. The highest mountain by the bay is Kaldbakur, actually right across the bay from the peninsula, approx 1200m tall. My aunt lives in the village Grenivík by the shore right under the mountain, about 30 min drive from our house. We drove half way up by car on a fairly nice gravel road and went the rest of the way to the top on their snowmobile. It was amazing when we got to the top, there was no wind at all. The temperature was actually nice enough just to have a light sweater on. And the view was magical! It was late in the day – the clock was approx 20.00 in the beginning of June, at a season when the sun doesn’t set – only takes a dive in the sky. It took us about 20 min to ski down – I’m not as skilled as those on that video of course and that mountain isn’t as steep as theirs. But it was pure heaven. Can’t wait to go again someday.
This has to be the most memorable concert I’ve been to.. ever! It was a Sigur Rós concert in July 2006, they were filming ‘Heima’ a documentary about their music and arranged gigs in various places mostly out in nature. This place, beneath the recognizable landmark ‘Hraundrangar’ mountains, is close to my parents house, only about 40 min drive. We heard about the gig the day before, we were actually spending some time at my parents house because we had sold our apartment in Reykjavik at the time, had shipped *all* our stuff to Denmark where we would be spending the next 2 years. So in a way this was an emotional moment of enjoying the Icelandic nature and saying goodbye for now.
The concert started at about 20:00 and ended a little over 22:00. The admission was free and there was no service available. Nobody expected it either. I remember one police car observing the roads, that’s the only security I saw apart from a couple of yellow vested boys showing us where to park. And the parking lot was the nearby grass field. We brought blankets to sit on and stay warm with temperature around 10-15°c but clear sky and hardly any wind and then just enjoying the music and the sound echoing in the mountains and watching the sun hardly going down.
(pic at the top is from here)
This is one of my favourite songs from this summer. Simple version of Beyonce’s Halo by icelandic band Hjaltalín. I think i’m responsible for at least half of the hits of this song on YouTube.
Another brilliant performance from Hjaltalín is from their live cd/dvd Alpanon, recorded with The Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Háskólabíó, June 2010. “Suitcase Man” is a capturing mysterious song, I love it!
On my 35th birthday last april my hubby gave me the Ólafur Arnalds cd which I had been longing for and listening to on youtube for a couple of weeks. Ólafur Arnalds is a great composer and storyteller through music, mixing piano and strings with beats so you don’t really know whether you’re listening to pop music or classical music. I love that mix.
He’s from Iceland but I’ve never seen him live and he’s been touring the world apparently, but he’ll be playing in Harpa, our new concert hall, in october at the Iceland Airwaves music festival. I might have to get me a ticket.
That last one is called “Lag fyrir ömmu” or “song for grandma” and you need to listen to it all the way through! It brought me to tears..