EPI and I back from a mini-break. Which YT purposefully did not announce in this space because I’m paranoid that People (bad People) will take the opportunity to break into our place and nick all our nice stuff like the Christmas ornaments I bought in Oslo two years ago.

The mini-break was actually a journey into the Icelandic southern lowlands to spend a night at the cosy Hótel Rangá which is an Icelandair hotel and perfectly presentable as such. That’s to say if you’re not put off by the massive stuffed polar bear that greets you at the front door, reared up on its hind legs with mouth-a-gaping (the brochure, rather erroneously, has a picture of said polar bear with the words “Warm welcome” next to it – yah, as if, warm welcomes is definitely what one thinks of when accosted by a polar bear). The purpose of the mini-break was to enjoy a Christmas buffet and overnight stay courtesy of EPI’s workplace – with all his colleagues and their various hangers-on (spouses, that is).

We set out yesterday afternoon around three and it was still light. I insisted on driving because in my life I have had more than my fair share of car accidents, have sustained two whiplash injuries which are most certainly the worst of all car-related evils, and am seriously paranoid in cars – a condition that is made worse if someone else is at the wheel, because then I’m missing the illusion of control. But I digress. We drove into darkness and ever worsening conditions on the roads; thank God for those robust winter tires with the nail studs in them. We had a blast, though, listening full-volume to an old David Bowie tape that I found somewhere and has a bunch of old stuff like Aladdin Sane, Panic in Detroit, Heroes (the unabridged version) and many many more.

Arriving at the hotel, we were giddy and high from the ride and the anticipated good times ahead, so EPI simply hugged the polar bear and we giggled at the fact that he was only half as tall (EPI is not a small man, which gives you some idea of the size of the monster), and the ridiculous Santa Claus hat that it was wearing on its head and matching scarf around its neck (I kid you not. Why on earth someone would dream of dressing the thing in such a get-up is quite beyond me). Then we headed to our room where we continued to laugh ourselves silly at the picture on the hotel brochure (the building all lit up and dark with the most garish tornado-like northern lights swirling all around it, like Stephen King meets the Wizard of Oz) and then laughing even harder at the mini-bar prices (a tiny miniature bottle of cognac for ISK 1000/USD 15 – Give Me A Break!). And this was before we’d even imbibed anything! Which gives you some idea of what we were like about an hour later (after we’d polished off a (half) bottle of Moet champagne!), to say nothing of around midnight or so.

Now to make a long story short (because this could go on for much much longer), the evening was a roaring success, ending with EPI and I outside in the hot tub at 2.30 in the morning in the middle of a raging blizzard. So cool!

Mild, slight wind. EPI and I went for a walk around the golf course and found a dead swan (!) perfectly preserved … it looked like it was asleep. So lovely.

Temps around 4 degrees Celsius. Sunrise was at 10.55; sunset 15.41.