EPI came home ranting yesterday, and with good cause. Seems those […*] up at Northern Lights Corp., who oh-so generously bestowed upon their subscribers a ‘free’ digital de-scrambler a couple months back, have substantially jacked up their prices. Now all you readers outside Iceland prepare yourselves for severe pangs of pity, for what follows is a sad, SAD account of the price of telly-watching in this country.

For starters, there’s the compulsory licence fee of ISK 2,600 per month (USD 41/GBP 22/EUR 31). Operating word being compulsory. For that we get two decent radio stations and one crap TV station – its only redeeming features being a good newsroom, The Sopranos and ER. There is, granted, one other free TV station here, Skjár 1, which is a blessing, although its offerings are not particularly to YT’s taste. Which brings us to the bleedin’ Northern Lights. They offer two Icelandic TV stations: Channel 2 (redeeming feature: Six Feet Under) and Sýn (redeeming feature: none, as is all sports-related). In addition, there are around 40 foreign stations piped in through their ‘revolutionary’ Digital Iceland system, plus one station that shows movies 24/7.

The cost? Well, for the total package (which until now we’ve been suckered into) a whopping ISK 8,000-plus per month (USD 135/GBP 73/EUR 104). That’s in addition to the compulsory fee. Feeling sorry for us yet?

So we had a brief kitchen discussion yesterday and have decided to blow off Channel 2 and its sidekick, and keep the foreign stations. Which will slash our costs by around ISK 5,000 a month, which if nothing else will allow for a lot of DVD rentals.


Have just returned from the post office where I picked up flight tickets courtesy of the Nordic Council of Ministers, who are treating YT to an all-expense paid trip to the UK later this month to attend a translators’ conference. YT has never met those faceless Nordic Ministers but is humbly grateful all the same, particularly as the invite came completely out of the blue and through absolutely no inducement on my part. Sweet!


Today is ‘þrettándinn’, or ‘the thirteenth’, meaning that Christmas is officially over. Celebrated with still-more bonfires, only this time elves and hidden people come out to play and people shoot up (– no not like that!) whatever remaining fireworks they have. Not as spectacular as New Years but fun all the same.


Beautiful. Crisp and clear, with no wind and slight frost (–3 degrees). The ground is still white and the air cool and fresh. Sunrise was at 11.13; sunset scheduled for 15.55. Day getting longer!

*Insert expletive of choice.

PS- For some mysterious reason, my sidebar has dropped to the bottom of the page. Help!!