This is a typical example of an Icelandic house from the early part of the last century. These were made of wood and covered with corrugated iron siding – something that is still very common here, particularly if the houses are made of timber. This type of siding has a lot of advantages, e.g. a) it does a good job of channeling all the rainwater we get, b) it allows the timber to breathe, which is essential – otherwise it starts to decay, c) it is relatively easy to replace when rusted through – something which must be done every few years, particularly by the seaside, d) you can paint it in all sorts of funky colours [Reykjavík is renowned for its colourful corrugated iron roofs].

They don’t build houses like this any more as a rule, but the old ones that do exist are usually fairly coveted and well-maintained. And it must be said that the timber houses with corrugated iron siding usually have a uniquely warm and cosy atmosphere that the ubiquitous concrete blocks common these days simply do not have.


This, on the other hand, is the world’s biggest eyesore. It happens to be located near my house and boy, is it horrific. [Another, view here, should you really want to feast your eyes.] A few years ago it was bought by a development company called ‘New York Developments’ or something equally absurd [absurd because it’s an Icelandic company that has nothing to do with New York] that had Big Plans to make lofts out of it [aha – we make the New York connection. Sort of.] Unfortunately, before they could turn their plans into reality, the owners were arrested for embezzlement and imprisoned. And this ugly blemish of a building has been sitting there ever since, a big fat temptation for vandals and firestarters. Who rarely let an opportunity pass to indulge their vices.

… Because there’s no wind. Plus it’s turned very mild all of a sudden: 12°C at this very moment according to mbl.is. There’s a very slight breeze and it’s overcast and rainy. The downpour they were predicting hit the east of the country yesterday so the people in the village of Höfn in Hornafhörður had to get their canoes out to move from house to house. All very surreal. This morning the sun came up at 08.21 and this evening it will set at 18.04.