Dear readers. Now that this little project has graduated from being read only by a handful of people I know to being read by People All Over, I thought that a few random facts about YT might be in order. So to that end, we now give you an exclusive interview with YT, solely granted to the Iceland Weather Report.
The Iceland Weather Report: Some of our readers are confounded by your various monikers. You sign your posts ‘Alda’, on your profile your name reads ‘Alda Kalda’ and yet seem to refer to yourself interchangeably as ‘YT’ and ‘I’. Can you explain?
Truly, Yours: Certainly. Alda’s the name. ‘Kalda’s’ the alias, YT is obviously an acronym for Yours Truly. And ‘I’ – well, as Dido so succinctly puts it, ‘I am what I am.’
TIWR: Now, another perplexing aspect is the fact that you are obviously Icelandic but sometimes you refer to ‘them’ the Icelanders, as if you were not one of them. And you write in English. What’s the deal?
TY: I identify with the positive aspects of the Icelandic national character only. And as for the writing in English bit, well I’m kind of schizophrenic. I was born an Icelander yet socialized as a North American. A Canadian, to be precise. I’ve lived in Iceland, Cyprus, Canada, the UK and Germany, and Iceland again. In that order.
TIWR: Oh my (laughs nervously). That’s a lot of countries. Were you an army brat?
TY: No. Iceland doesn’t have an army.
TIWR: I see. (Embarrassed pause). Now, we know you spend an inordinate amount of time writing Weather Reports. Do you also have a real job?
TY: No. My last real job was at the British Embassy in Reykjavík, where I was the Press and Public Affairs Officer. I now have an unreal job, working as a freelancer – writing, translating, interpreting, copy editing… all in English. (Pause) I’ve had enough dysfunctional workplace experiences to last me a lifetime. (Pause) Being dysfunctional on my own is so much easier.
TIWR: Would you like share with Weather Report readers your best and worst job experiences?
TY: Love to. My worst job was slinging beer at the grotty old El Mocambo tavern in Toronto. The Elmo’s claim to fame was that the Rolling Stones played there once when they were in Toronto for a concert, because they wanted to go back and play in a seedy bar like the ones in which they started out. That was definitely the most dysfunctional workplace experience I’ve ever had. And this from someone who used to work at McDonald’s, where they forbade us to say words like ‘garbage’ and ‘rag’.
My best job experience, on the other hand, was working as an interpreter for the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman Treatment and spending a week inside Iceland’s prisons. It was amazing – enlightening, heart-wrenching and terrifying.
TIWR: What constitutes your immediate family?
TY: EPI, my boyfriend husband of the past nine thirteen years, and my daughter AAH, who is 13 17. EPI also has three girls, aged 23 26, 19 23 and 15 19, but they don’t live with us. We’re your average Icelandic family. Various parts that make up a whole.
TIWR: What’s your favourite activity?
TY: Opening a bottle of wine and having a kitchen party with EPI in which he cooks.
TIWR: What’s your greatest fear?
TY: Apart from the usual things, like something happening to my child (which is more of a terror, really) or my loved ones, it’s that I will become hopelessly dull.
TIWR: Is there hope for humanity?
TIWR: What will save it?
TY: The twelve steps.
TIWR: Would you like to tell your readers what you currently see outside your window?
TY: There’s a storm on, the rather spindly trees outside ducking and swaying in the wind, and rain is pounding on my windowpane. I’ll give the snow about another hour or so before it’s all gone. Weatherman says it will stay like this all day, which is Bad News because I’m desperately in need of a run. Temps are currently at the freezing mark and sunrise was at 11.17; sunset is at 15.48.
TIWR: One last question: Are you really schizophrenic?
TY: Um, no. I just like interviewing myself.