28 Aug

What on earth is Promming?

IMG_2992I’m watching ‘BBC Proms: The Story of Swing’ on BBC4 at the moment. Enjoying myself immensely, dancing around my living room. Being there is even more fun though, so I wanted to tell everyone traveling to London about Promming.

You’d think it was really expensive to buy a ticket to a Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall, but it doesn’t have to be.

The popular tradition of Promming, standing in the Arena or Gallery areas, is central to the unique and informal atmosphere of the BBC Proms. Up to 1,350 standing places are available for each Proms concert. All you have to do is turn up on the day of the concert and then you have the chance to buy a ticket for only 5 pounds. However, if you are going to a concert with famous performers or music loved by many, get there early and be prepared to stand in line for hours. People are usually in good spirit so being part of those queues can be a whole lot of fun.

The Proms has a long and wonderful story, read about it here!






26 Aug

A hidden gem!

IMG_2704There are so many hidden gems in London. When I decided to visit Kenwood House, a mansion from the 18th century, it was purely because I wanted to see the location of a scene from Notting Hill. For those who know the movie; I’m talking about the scene where Anna Scott is filming and William overhears her dismissing him to a fellow actor.

Little did I know that Kenwood House has a truly exceptional collection of paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Turner and Reynolds, not to mention the 112 acres of glorious parkland. It’s the perfect place to visit if you want to spend a day admiring art and be able to take a stroll in beautiful surroundings as well. It’s also interesting to walk around the house and explore the stories of it’s inhabitants and if you are hungry there’s a restaurant on the grounds, offering food that’s nice.

Kenwood House was built by Robert Adam for the 1st Earl of Mansfield and saved for the nation by Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh.

I highly recommend a visit to Kenwood House if you’re traveling to London.

Mother of all selfies. Rembrandt van Rijn - Portrait of the Artist.

Mother of all selfies. Rembrandt van Rijn – Portrait of the Artist.






04 Aug

Pleasure and Pain

shoes v aGoing to a museum in London is obviously very popular among tourists. The National British Museum is amazing and so is the Tate, but the world’s greatest museum of art and design, The Victoria and Albert Museum, is one of my personal favourites.

On the 13th of June, a new and interesting exhibition opened at the V & A. Shoes – Pleasure and pain looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe. The museum has an unbelievable collection of shoes, around 2,000 pairs spanning more than 3,000 years of history. The exhibition is on until the 31st of January 2016 and I recommend booking your tickets in advance if you’re thinking of going.

If you don’t have a chance to visit the museum, you can always take a look at their fascinating website. Did you know that the Stiletto heel was named after a Sicilian fighting knife? The Shoes Timeline gives you a unique look into the history of shoes.

The museum is on Instagram as well, and to those of you who have unusual pairs of shoes, it tells you that: ‘Whether it’s on #TuesdayShoesday or your favourite daily #Shoefie, we want to see your extreme footwear. Simply take a photo of your favourite shoes and tag it on Instagram with the exhibition hashtag #vamShoes.’


Photo from the V & A website.





02 Aug

A brilliant new comedy!

11144458_10206104639629084_2260183535306907241_oLondon is the theatre capital of the world so it’s a privilege to live here for someone who loves to see new plays. Last night I was lucky enough to witness a preview of a brand new comedy, The Lost Art of Lost Art. It’s a dark comedy about art theft, inspired by the past thefts of The Scream and the Mona Lisa. Molly and Lee think they’re masters of the craft. They’ve done the hard bit and ‘The Scream’ is hanging on their safe-house wall. It’s worth over £74million… if only they could sell it! The play asks questions like: How far would you go for money and is art nothing more than a price tag?

Two of the talents are Icelandic. Álfrún Gísladóttir produces and also plays one of the thieves, and Sara Hjördís Blöndal is the set and costume designer and also manages the stage. The production is the winner of the 2015 Scottish Daily Mail Award and is on its way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It’s directed by Lucy Atkinson, who was kind enough to talk to me before the show started. I asked her how she got involved.

The show last night went really well. The writing is good, the tempo was spot on, visually it was genuinely convincing and there was a lot of laughter, so the audience obviously liked the comedy. I wish them well at Edinburgh and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for those talented and clever kids.

Lee – Jamie Finn
Molly – Alfrun Gisladottir
Norman – Baker Mukasa
Nancy – Anna Crichlow

Producer: Alfrun Gisladottir (Raspberry Tart Ltd.)
Writer: James Hamilton
Director: Lucy Atkinson
Designer: Sara Hjordis Blondal
Stage Manager: Sara Hjordis Blondal & Stefanie Munck
Lighting designer: Jack Channer


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


11 Jul

Life in a Fishbowl

IMG_6522When the sun is shining bright, on one of the most beautiful Saturdays of the summer, going to a Film Festival is perhaps not what most people choose to do. Let alone to watch a pretty bleak Nordic film. A few film enthusiasts did so anyway to watch Baldvin Zophoniasson’s second feature, Life in a Fishbowl at the East End Film Festival.

The film follows three very different characters offering a cross section of society after the financial crash in Iceland 2008. A kind-hearted single mother takes on a demeaning career to stay afloat and protect her child; a dishevelled drifter drinks in order to forget his past; and an ambitious businessman wrestles with his conscience in the face of corporate fraud.

I talked to some audience members after the screening and they all liked the film. A few talked about how gripping it was and one said she wanted to marry Móri. Most of the people were eager to run out and bask in the sunshine but I managed to get an interview with Tim Evans, who was kind enough to sit down with me and share his thoughts on the film.




10 Jul

London in the Roaring Twenties

A few days back I posted a video of Reykjavik back in 1926. Now it’s time for London films from the same period.

The BFI has a whole lot of footage from each and every decade since filming began. For those living in the UK it’s easy to get lost for hours watching the captivating regional clips now available on BFI player. Britain on Film makes it easy to explore films with the help of a Film map. Brilliant idea! Unfortunately, due to rights restrictions, they can only make BFI Player available in the UK for now.

However, BFI has a Youtube Channel with a lot of accessible footage.

Now, this film from London’s Screen Archives is lovely.

And this footage from nightlife in the twenties always makes me smile.

Finally, London after dark. The old ladies in the end of the video are so amusing!

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!

06 Jul

A Song for Jenny

Programme Name: A Song For Jenny - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows:  Julie Nicholson (EMILY WATSON) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Nicola Dove

Last night I watched the film A Song For Jenny on BBC1. Even now my eyes water when I think about scenes from the movie. It’s heartbreaking to watch but worth it.  A Song for Jenny is based on a book by Julie Nicholson, a mother who lost her daughter during the 7/7 attacks in 2005. The book was adapted for television by the Irish playwright Frank McGuinness and Brian Percival directs. It’s very well written and directed. It’s often said that storytelling is all in the details and this screenplay is a proof of that. Emily Watson gives an incredible performance as Julie, one you’ll never forget.

Julie is struggling to accept her daughter’s death in the suicide bombing at The Edgware Road tube station. As viewers, we can feel the raw emotions through Watson’s performance, the anguish, the devastating wait for the worst news possible. Then the death of hope, the anger and the hatred, but also the complicated and mixed feelings when she tries to honour her daughter by letting go of the hatred, failing at first.

In this interview with The Express, Emily Watson talks about how she met Julie ahead of filming; ‘Julie was amazingly generous. She is a natural storyteller and has a sense of the poetic, despite her own grief,’ says Emily. ‘I asked her a lot of really direct questions and she answered them completely. Although she kind of lost her faith, she came through it and chose life and love and not hatred.’

If Watson will not take home a lot of awards during next awards season, I’ll be surprised. It’s not often we see acting on this level, not even in England.

A Song for Jenny is one of the most powerful explorations of grief I’ve ever seen.



23 Jun


20690_10205078130927008_7467613870083942491_nI noticed this street art in my neighbourhood a while ago and I like it. There is something about the little kid that fascinates me. Can’t quite put my finger on it.

I did some research and found out it was made by a street artist called Bambi. Rumours say Bambi is female and a former celeb in the music industry. Nobody knows. Some call her ‘the female Banksy’.


Bambi is from North London and in 2010, the vandalism of a popular Bambi stencil in Primrose Hill reignited a long running London debate over the preservation of street art and resulted in Islington Councillors proposing a community committee be established to rule on the future protection of street art. Her best known work is probably when she commemorated the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton with the satirical slogan ‘A Bit Like Marmite’ across their chests.


Her website