26 Jul

Stuff Brits Like

51QGr-P7A2L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_One of the things I like most about living here is the British humour. Brits are specialists at making fun of themselves and that I absolutely love.

Stuff Brits Like: A guide to What’s Great about Great Britain is a new book by author Fraser McAlpine. The introduction of the book says it ‘celebrates why we like puns and pedantry, decorum and drawing willies on things, Trainspotting and Downton Abbey, apologizing needlessly (sorry) and cocking a snook. We cheer both the underdog and the bad guy, we adore melancholy types like Morrissey and grumpy Eeyore… and we love being told off by scolds.’

It didn’t surprise me one bit to read that the Queen was regarded as the most iconic Brit and that tea is the nation’s favourite drink. A bit more unexpected was that the Sunday roast and Curry beat Fish and chips in the competition of the favourite British dish. 

Some of the British traditions rub off on you. After three years I find myself apologizing needlessly a lot more than before. So much in fact that when I’m visiting Iceland my friends sometimes look at me as if I’ve turned into a an elf or a troll. I still don’t understand the love Brits have for boybands, soap operas and marmite though.

24 Jul

Gorgeous Iceland!

Recently I’ve watched a lot of those popular short films showing the Icelandic landscape and nature. This one is the first of them to make me a tad homesick. It blew my mind, quite frankly.

The filmmakers are from Germany, studying Audiovisual Media at the Stuttgart Media University. They say their desire was ‘to capture that stunning landscape and wildlife and take viewers on a journey through this magical island.’

They most certainly have managed to do that.

21 Jul

Two Doors Down

IMG_5367If you happen to be in London, there’s this little coffee shop in Kentish Town I highly recommend. Two Doors Down opened only a year ago but has become very popular since and was recently chosen the best new coffee shop by the  Coffee Stop UK awards.  I’ve been a regular almost from the first day.

I love the combination of the best flat white you can possibly get and chatting to the owners, Rich and Klara, in a truly cosy atmosphere. I’ve talked to other guests quite often as well because, somehow, they make everyone feel like home. They’ll probably even remember what you like! The food’s also really good, f.ex. the toasted sourdough with fresh avocado, tabasco, lemon and cracked pepper or the homemade quail egg sausage rolls.

To be able to create and maintain an ambience like that in a coffee shop is pretty magical.


Address: 73 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8NY


15 Jul

Drink the tap water

Photo: Hörður JónassonMore guests are visiting Iceland than ever before. When you walk around central Reykjavík during the summertime  you hardly hear an Icelandic word. Each time I visit my homeland ten new hotels have been built and there are far too many ‘puffin shops’ downtown already. That’s what the locals call the tourist shops due to the popularity of the puffin as a souvenir.

Lonely Planet has published an article with 14 dos and don’ts when visiting Iceland. It’s pretty good and most of it is useful. You definitely should drink the tap water, wash properly with soap before taking a dip, stick to appropriate roads and take the weather seriously.

Generalisations about the nation always make me smile. Don’t take it seriously although there may be a grain of truth in it.

‘Icelanders are a generally hardy and open-minded group with a dry but vibrant sense of humour. They tend to speak impeccable English, and are game for a chat, or to tell you about their favourite places to go. Respecting local etiquette and laws (along with not whingeing about the weather, or how hard it is to get to the natural wonders) will go a long way in endearing you to them, and open opportunities for local connections.’



09 Jul

Tube romance

11713776_10205937902860769_2331837453524767084_oIt’s complete chaos in the capital due to a tube strike. All major lines are completely closed, making this the first total shutdown in 13 years. The bus queues are endless.

Fortunately it will be over by midnight.

I love the London Underground. For an Icelander, not used to this luxury, it’s so brilliant to be able to get from one part of the city to another so easily and in such short time. It can be madness during rush hour but apart from that it’s splendid.

However, I’ve never thought about the London Underground as a replacement for Tinder or whatever people use these days to find love. Apparently one can find romance on the tube, or so they say on ITV, where they also list top stations to find singles.

Wonder if commuters will find love in the chaos today!

08 Jul

Iceland seen from above


I’ve learned a trick I play a lot,

though lesser men may cavil:

never to stir from near this spot

yet nonetheless to travel.

Jónas Hallgrímsson / Dick Ringler

When Jónas Hallgrímsson wrote this poetry in 1845 he probably didn’t imagine that 170 years later, a London based Icelandic woman would think about his poem while admiring her homeland with the help of drone footage. It’s never been easier to sit at home and travel the world at the same time. Whereever you are, I hope you enjoy those amazing images of Iceland!

Jónas Hallgrímsson

Jónas Hallgrímsson poetry 

22 Jun

My beloved Primrose Hill

11415470_10205826143266849_1252669487698795569_oIn the words of William Blake ‘I have conversed with the spiritual Sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill’. It’s my heaven as well. One of my favourite places in London. It’s such a privilege to be able to take a stroll up Primrose Hill most days. It has one of the best panoramas the capital has to offer, but also fields of green, beautiful trees, and yes… tourists. However, they usually just visit the same spot so it’s easy to walk a bit further and be alone with your thoughts. You can read more about Primrose Hill here.

WILLIAM BLAKE  (1757 – 1827)

Poems and Prophecies. Everyman/Dent, 1950.

From Jerusalem, Chapter 2 (To the Jews) p.190

The fields from Islington to Marybone,

To Primrose Hill and Saint John’s Wood,

Were builded over with pillars of gold,

And there Jerusalem’s pillars stood.

Her Little-ones ran on the fields,

The Lamb of God among them seen…

The Jew’s-harp-house & the Green Man,

The Ponds where Boys to bathe delight,

The fields of Cows by Willan’s farm,

Shine in Jerusalem’s pleasant sight.