Am somewhat bedraggled today because had rather an excellent time last night at the party, although not quite as excellent as EPI, who went full-out and took no prisoners. It had all the ingredients of a successful Icelandic bash: Copious amounts of wine, excellent food [reindeer carpaccio with raspberry vinaigrette; grilled monkfish; chocolate soufflé], coffee and cognac, beer and vodka, one guitar, one piano, lots of singing, everyone gathering in the kitchen, unexpected guests turning up, being the last out, getting home at 4.30am, etc. etc.
Our friends, the hosts – she a publisher, he an architect – live in one of the most beautiful historic houses in the centre of Reykjavík. They bought it many years ago and painstakingly restored it to its original splendor and let me tell you, it is the most stunning abode that I have ever had the privilege of entering. In fact it is so gorgeous that a couple of years ago, the Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum [who paints incredibly eccentric pictures, including this self-portrait-with- enormous erection, and makes an incredible amount of dosh doing it] was in the market for a house in Reykjavík [because he decided he had found the perfect environment to feed his eccentricity so he moved to Iceland and became a citizen] saw this house and decided he wanted to own it. He offered our friend P – the architect – ISK 120 million for his house, cash. [And I’m sorry, that’s such a lot of money that I don’t know how to convert it to USD or GBP]. And P said ‘No’. And a very astonished Odd asked why. And P looked at him like he was crazy [which he kind of is] and said, ‘Because I live here.’
Anyway. A grand time was had by all, particularly our Famous American Writer who was the life of the party and regularly morphed into different characters [a Texan cop; a blues singer replete with guitar; a Scottish boutique owner; a Cuban immigrant in Florida…]. YT had the great fortune of sitting next to him at dinner and not only got an earful of jokes [which I vowed to remember but today have completely forgotten] but also endless factoids and tips about the publishing trade. Meanwhile, the editor across from regaled us with stories about Other Famous Authors that have visited Iceland, that had the effect of completely altering my opinion of certain authors that I thought were the cat’s ass but which after last night I’m not so sure about.
Anyway, it’s late and I’m beat and I think I better quit before I say something I might regret in the morning.
… In a word, wet. Walked back to our friends’ house to pick up The Unit that had wisely been left behind, and it rained like gangbusters the whole time. [Just as it had on our way home last night, in fact, which meant that YT had occasion to use the umbrella that has been occupying the rear window of The Unit for the past year and a half. EPI tried to stay beneath the umbrella with me but kept wandering off which was just as well because I think getting drenched only did him good last night.] It’s mild, though. Temps right now are 3°C and sunrise was at 9.50 and sunset at 16.33.