This blog will be dedicated to the beautiful passions of life: Food, Film, Football (Barça), Philosophy, Literature, Art and Humanity.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Animal Lover

This was my very own sheep, I fed it allowed it to suck my hand, and followed into all corners of the island, making sure it would not fall into a lake, or get hurt by the bigger sheep. I like the fact that it is a black sheep, find that quite amusing. Later on, as nature very often goes, it was sent to Stykkishólmur and the slaughterhouse there. I was deeply affected, but my bank account grew and I got a jumper and a hat out of it.

The farmer Svana on the island has about 300 sheeps (she is my mother's friend, remember in previous post where another farmer was mentioned). She keeps a notebook on all details of every sheep. Each sheep is marked in the air with a "tatoo" however she claims she recognises each sheep from a mile away just by its face, walk, run and sound. Truly impressive.

This was my favourite cow. I slept on her, next to her, ate the same food as her, everything and I milked her with great care. I think I spent more time with this cow than with any human being.

In Flatey there was also a wild wild bull, when it escaped the phone rang around the island (there were only about 20 houses) to break the news. It was one of these bulls who was "not a friend of humans". It was pure testerone and so aggressive. One day there was a rumour that me and a friend Lisa were with the bull. True I was walking under the bull and my friend walking in front of it stopping it every 2 metres to put some vaseline in its face, as we thought he would like it. We loved this bull and to everyones mystery - the bull seemed to love us.

I just loved this dog. It was my second best friend. His name was Lubbi.
I have a big collection of photos with animals, after slagging and bitching about bitches for almost an eternity, I just want to say: I love Animals.


Adiós The Devil (bichos/bitches/beasts)

I lost something like this jumper. :(
Like I mentioned in the previous post I was invaded, not by the wholy crusaders, but by the devil itself.
A few days have passed, but I am still obsessed.

What I have learnt is following:

* Throw away the worst infected clothes, preferably all infected clothes.
* With the ones who will not throw out, take them out of the drawer, hoover them not well but perversely well. Take them out into the garden and beat them, beat them and beat them. The eggs will still be in the garment, hoover them again, beat them again, hoover them again. Leave outside for 1 day. Wash them by hand with lavender soup, leave outside to dry (those bitches do not like sunlight), take to the dry cleaner, leave outside.
* With the drawer, you need to hoover the drawer really well, you do not want any eggs left there. Wash it with lavender soup, leave out in daylight, was again, leave outside for two days. Hoover again and wash again. If it was really badly affected, I would get a pest control firm to take care of it.
* Hoover everything in your room, all little corners, everything. Wash floor and if the invasion was bad, the walls with lavender soup.
* Personally I can't stand those chemical moth balls, that make you smell like a looser. I bought some herbal ones, but I also recommend cedar wood and lavender leafs to leave in your wardrobe.
* Now with the wardrobe and house clean you should be able to put your clothes back in the drawer, bring them back from the dry cleaner. Having the garments washed thoroughly it should free them of eggs and other disgusting rests of the bitch.

The bitches do seem to LOVE the Icelandic Lopi(wool).
The fact is that I am moving in 2 weeks and I DO NOT want to take the bitches with me. I hope that my method will work and not one sign of them in the new place.



The Master, I wanted to have these pictures in the blueberry picking post, but here they come.

SRH in action.

Looking for the perfect spot, browsing, inspecting, looking, patience.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This Is The Devil

Please help me to beat the Devil.

Dear Bug Clinic,

To be horror I opened up a drawer yesterday, as I am about to move. What I discovered was a jumper full of moths, I heard something falling into the cardboard box, perhaps eggs, it was quite a prominent sound, then I took it away and hoovered it and hug holes became visible. It went straight in the bin outside my house, the next was a jumper next to it, which did not seem that moth ridden, still has some holes in it, but I hoovered it, it is in a plastic bag, but I am not sure if I should throw it out or if it rescuable. What happens after you discover some holes, but it seems clear of eggs and things like that. Can you hang it outside and it will become moth free?
I guess I should bring it to the dry cleaner. In the drawer underneath I had some other clothes, but they seem ok, they have all been hovered and left out. I read somewhere that they do not like day light so I have left them in bright rooms. Is there something I should do, perhaps also take them to the dry cleaner. Once you have them how can you get rid of them?

I would really appreciate any help as this is quite a disturbing matter for me.
Many Thanks,


Monday, June 19, 2006

Thoughts so Far

The World Cup So Far

A lot of teams went into the first round very cautious, afraid of making mistakes and having to take on a gigantic task of having to win following games, which is not surprising as big nations such as Argentina, France and Portugal were heading home early last time.

What you will read is not a comprehensive account of the World Cup, but more of almost a brainstorming exercise to recall moments that have caught my eye.

As Penélope, anotherblockerr noticed that the Puma shirts are so much more soaked than other brands. One wonders if it is a technical fault or if it is meant to stick like glue to the body as a cat suit, perhaps to prevent any air going through and thereof slowing down speed. Although I doubt it, but it is curious.

I was glad to see Xavi taking the world stage he so deserves, when he got injured I had to check the internet every five minutes to see if it was all a dream (nightmare), however that injury meantiniquitya could prove himself and is now included in the squad. He could well be that important 12th player, the one who comes on when legs are tired. I think what England lacks is a Xavi, a player who can hide the ball if your team is leading and if you need a goal, you can make the ball run and the opposite players after it. A metronome. Spain is lucky to have three such players, all from the school of Lamasksa - Xavi, Iniesta andceasec, even if I think Cesc is more physical a almost a Lampard kind of player.

Argentina, I can just say O my Diego. It was beautiful to see them slowly, slicing through the defense. The most beautiful of them all was perhaps the Cambiasso goal, 24 passes 47 seconds and almost all of the team had been involved. Personally I had noticed I did have a cold turkey. When the world cup started all I wanted was to see Messi, how much I had missed him, he is one of these players, that make things happen, where nothing stands in the way of the goal, not just literally. He is so direct, even quicker with the ball than without it. A pure joy to watch and i feel proud to share it with the rest of the world.

England do not seem to have learnt from previous tournaments, where the temperature hits 30 C, they keep hitting the ball up as fast up as they can and then chase it, like schoolboys. This England teams seems to lack something they have always had. Spirit, they seem totally deprived of any ideas, any creativity and the sense of desperation in the T&T game when Rooney was thrown on the pitch to rescue things. There seems no sense of a plan. I also admit I can't stand Eriksson or Svennis like they call him in Sweden, he is like a dull middle-management or a manager for Woolworth. No personality, no blood running in his vein, no soul, nothing and his team play like that, a cheap nasty product from Woolworths.

Brazil, what can one say apart from that Roanldo is fat. Playing both Ronaldo and Adriano is a crime, they are far to static, both Kaka and Ronaldinho need movement to thread the ball in, as for now the opposite defender nows exactly where the two strikers are; parked.

Raúl can have some sort of place in the Spanish squad, his form does not allow the team to be built around him, like previously, but I think that his experience anspiritit and feelings towards the national team can be valid. Never in the first team, but very valid as a Spiritual Guide. Un Juanito.

France, little to say, almost no interest in them. I boycott them since Giuly was not included.

How come there are so many Africans at each game? How can Togo have so many supporters? It must be that all Africans living in Europe go to each countries matches in a brotherly support. In their wardrobe at home, they have a full set of the five countries.

Australia look like the Williams sisters of football.

Worst coaches so far: Lippi, Eriksson and Parreira, all equally stubborn.

Ronaldinho is playing out of position, almost in a Xavi position, there is no way he can be of any use there, especially aBrazilil play in a strike of 2 m by 40 where you have two huge rocks parked in the middle.

I do not like the Bermuda shorts of the competition. One longs for the player who wears no tights to have them slipping up in order to catch some flesh, but unfortunately most of them wear a leopards undeneatth. A shame for the ladies and other leg catchers.

I like the fact that all the players of Argentina seem to have a haircut they have had since the early teenage years, the only exception being perhaps Crespo, but look at Sorin, Riquelme, Saviola, Maxi Rodriguez, the goalkeeper, it is not one you gain in your early twenties, but a timeless one from the delicate age of 14.
Some words of my friend Sam:
"Maradona's daughter is very fresh faced is she not -
and with that wonderful mix oembarrassmentnt and pride
that every child feels for a parent".


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Glory Glory Man Utd

A beautiful play on Manchester United. A billboard found outside an evangelical church in London.


The Champions of the Golf Competition of the Old People's Residency. Each summer a golf competition takes place, as you can imagine it takes much courage, skill, motivation and patience to beat through the weather of Iceland.

Icelandic Anecdotes

One year when I visited Iceland I used to visit this second hand bookshop. I spent quite a bit of time browsing the books, looking up subjects I could be interested for all kinds of use. The owner's son worked there, he is a son of a famous Icelandic artist and the owner of the bookshop. Unfortunately for him, he is just extremely ugly, not a nice thing to say, but apart from being friendly and slighlty eccentric you can't get a way from that thought that he is very unlucky with his looks. While I was there other customers came in and out, one had the feeling it was a community centre for eccentrics. In a society which is fairly small and one tends to know the "strange" ones, it was their place. It was a place where one could allow oneself to be whom one was. There was something beautiful about that. After a long browse I finally bought some chess magazines from 1972, all of them, mainly focusing on the World Chess Championship that year. When I went to pay there was a glint in his eyes of approval, I had made a good choice. I kept coming back during my stay, to see if they had anything new in stock and on my last visit I chose a couple of books by the Icelandic writer Throbergur Thordarsson (one of my favourites) and when I went to pay, the young son, refused to take any money. It was a gift.

When I went back to my mother's friend, whom I was staying with, she told me that when my mother came back to Iceland after my parents divorce she had rented a house on Flatey (an Island in Breidarfjör∂ur) from this bookshop owner son's mother. Later my mother's friend bought that summer house of her and later bought the house they are living in (a wonderful old wooden house with corrugated iron) off his father. So perhaps there was another reason for that gift.

The Friday Dance
On Friday's the people at Hrafnista (the old people's residency) would get together for a dance. THe orchestra was made of a few harmonica players and a drummer, all living at the residency. As the classical tale tells, the women and men would sit opposite each other, waiting for the men to invite the women up for a dance. It is one of those moments which brings some joy and liberation into a life that might not be as it used to be.

Trips with the Old People's Residency
While I was visiting Iceland, quite a few trips were organised by the residency, one was to the old Whale Fishing Depot. It was a memorable moment and one could not help thinking that this could have been one of their many jobs in their youth. The station has been empty and unused for quite a few years now, but its architecture and surroundings are impressive. The smallness of the building gives you a clear idea of a small nation, its huge tanks stationed across the landscape, a desolate touch.
Another trip was to the cinema to watch The Sea, a film by Baltasar Kormákur.
In one of the first scene a fishing boat is destroyed and with the first hit, the whole cinema screamed. There was a pain in that scream. how it hurt to see a fishing boat being destroyed. It was one of the biggest cinema experienced ever.

I find churches quite magical. In Iceland, as a recent country, one which has a fairly new history, the churches take all shapes and a lot of them are extremely eccentric if one could say that. With an architecture that is quite esoteric and individual, if not slightly anarchic.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Starting fairly young.

Drinking water during the experience with SRH.

Blueberries is one of the most delicious fruits. I just love it. I guess it is a bit like funghus picking in other countries, apart from that you can eat them while you are picking. I never really end up with a full bucket, as I tend to go into an ecstatic mode, where my gaze switches from one spot to the next then I throw myself down (like the bull Ferdinand did under the tree) and just lie there stuffing myself with this fruit. It is not something I do often and I had the opportunity to go on a bluberry picking trip with Sveinn Rúnar Hauksson and that was something. It is not a long time ago, but I really have a longing to do it again. Sveinn Rúnar has as a hobby to work as a doctor and is involved with all kinds of activites, and his main job the head of the Iceland - Palestine Organisation, but he also likes blueberries. Each summer a couple of weeks of to pick blueberries. He has become the expert in Iceland and each autumn the papers, television and radio phones him for tips where there is the best crop. Each crop is meticulously marked, with the jam, juice marked who it was picked with, when, where and so on. All detailed in a black notebook that marks up the statistics of this hobby. I admit he was not very impressed with be way of picking blueberries. Almost shocked and repulsed (I am exaggerating) at my frivolity.



Iceland is the second largest island in Europe, first inhabited by Norwegians, escaping the Norwegian king. The first man to settle was Ingólfur Arnarson in 970.

The story goes that Iceland discovered America (Leifur Eriksson), but were clever enough to keep quiet about it.

Iceland was ruled by Denmark from 1387 independence in 1918, where all foreign relations were made by the Danes and in 1944 Iceland became a republic.

Iceland is a nation extremely proud of itself and as you can imagine life was not easy there. I always have a feeling of total desolation, it is like being stuck on a raft in the middle of the ocean. The weather can change quicker than your eyes blink and I remember where one day it was so windy one could not walk straight, the next day it had a beautiful Northern sun and the next day it was raining all day.

It must be the only country in Europe where you have a total sense of nature being more powerful than any human being or any civilization. You just do not push nature.

Many summers were spent on the island Flatey in Brei∂arfjör∂ur, where my mother had made friends with the local farmer. There were two farmers on the island. It was a thriving community until in the last part of the last century, there was still a school there, but slowly only the two farmers are left. For many years my mother's friend was on her own with her sheep, cows and dog. As often the two farmers did not communicate. A friend recalls one moment staying in the "Doctor's House" (where the other farmer lived) and looking out of the window, there was a snowstorm and the only light you would see was a glint from a window in the not too far distance, but you would not talk to them.

Iceland has always been dependent on fish and had Marshall help well into the seventies, when the last Codwar was won against Britain and slowly the economy started to thrive. (Check post on the Codwar, Coldwar, February and March 2006).

Iceland became part of Nato and I remember my great grandmother recalling the fear of the Russians arriving, so the Americans came and are still there. During the cold war Iceland played a big strategic part, both due to its position but also had important events like the World Championship in Chess, where for the first time a Russian (Spassky) and an American (Fischer) played for the glory of the Championship.

I still remember the excitement of the Chess master coming to town (not the one in 1972, but the one in the eighties).


As winter is long and very little to do, reading has always played a big part in social life and Iceland proudly boasts that their habitants buy the most books per person.

The landscape has a huge impact on the person, where you can see the burning passion, inner turmoil through the vast empty landscape, the volcanoes going through their blood, the changes of light and dark, but also it is a place where people believe in themselves. There was one a worldwide research where people in all countries were asked who they did believe in and most people stated, God, the state (etc) while the Icelandic majority said: MYSELF.

Iceland also had the first female president in the world. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, or Vigga vinkona (Vigga the friend). She was a theatre director and I remember going to the swimming pool where she would be swimming next to you. When you meet someone Icelandic the question is always: who's folks are you of. You always know someone they know.

Food used to be very bland, maximum were a bit of salt and pepper on the boiled fish. Slowly with people having travelled all over the world, they are starting to use their fresh ingredients to produce some very good dishes. Some of my favourite chefs (personal chefs) are from Iceland. My father (from Barcelona) remember arriving to Iceland in the seventies, he was working in a small town outside Reykjavík and people would gather to look at the foreigner.

Now Iceland has a thriving culture, both at night, but they have always had a decent coffeehouse culture, where it is common to meet over a cup of coffee somewhere in one of the many cafés. There are lots of concerts, it is not unusual to go to the theatre and during weekends, the bars and clubs are packed and the atmosphere is quite amazing or just plainly Wild.

There are a lot of good culture coming out of Icleand. Some very good bands, good writers and film makers.

I recommend following:

Sigur Rós
Sigrí∂ur Nielsdóttir

Sigur∂ur Gu∂mundsson
Nína Tryggvadóttir
Jón Óskar
Kjartan Gu∂mundsson

Dagur Kári - Nói Albinói
Fri∂rik Thór Fri∂riksson - Cold Fever, Angels of the Universe and Children of the Nature, as well as the documentary Cowboys of the North (about a yearly cowboy festival in the north of the country)
Baltasar Kormákur (catalan-icelandic) - The Sea & 101 Reykjavík

Thorbergur Thordarsson
Bragi Olafsson
Gyrdur Eliasson
Halldór Laxness

There are many more, but I don't really follow it all up.

This is an island, where I spent many of my summers, Flatey on Breidarfjördur


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another Good Dinner

Roast Cod with Potatoes and Tomatoes

Serves 6

6 cod fillets (each weighing 200-225 g), skin left on
1 kg new potatoes
500 g tomatoes, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil

For the Chermoula marinade and sauce
large bunch of coriander (about 75 g), chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp ground chilli pepper
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon or 3 tbsp white wine vinegar

Sprinkle the fish with salt. Mix all the chermoula ingredients in a dish and marinate the fish in half the quantity for about 30 min.
Peel the potatoes if you wish and cut into slices about 7 mm thick, and the tomatoes into slices 1 cm thick. Brush the bottom of a baking dish with oil, put in the potatoes and tomatoes, and dribble a little oil on top. Sprinkle with salt, then turn the vegetables so they are well seasoned and lightly coated all over with oil. Put the dish in a very hot oven pre-heated to 240 C for 50 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. During the cooking, turn them over once so that the top ones bathe in the juice released by the tomatoes.
Take the potatoes and tomatoes out of the oven, place the fish fillets on top, skin side up and return to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the fish is cooked through - it will be when the flesh flakes when you cut into the thickest part.
Just before serving, pour the remaining chermoula over the fish, letting it dribble on to the vegetables.

Roast Pepper, Tomato and Apple Salad

Serves 6

3 fleshy red bell peppers
1 large onion, sliced
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
500 g tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 or 2 chilli peppers, left whole
Salt and black pepper
2 sweet apples

Place the peppers on a sheet of foil on an oven tray under a pre-heated grill,
6-9 cm from the grill. Turn them until their skins are black and blistered all over. Alternatively - and more easily - roast them in the hottest oven for about 30 minutes or until they are soft and their skins blistered and blackened, turning them once after 15 minutes.
To loosen the skins further, put them in to a plastic freezer bag, twist it shut and leave for 10-15 minutes. Another old way that has the same effect is to put them into a pan with a tight-fitting lid for the same length of time. When the peppers
are cool enough to handle, peel them and remove the stems and seeds. Now cut them into ribbons from the stem end.
In a wide pan, fry the onion in 2 tbsp of oil over a medium heat, stirring often until lightly coloured. Add the garlic and stir until it just begins to colour, then add the tomatoes and chilli peppers. Season with salt and pepper and cook gently for about 15-20 minutes.
Leaving the peel on, quarter and core the apples. Stir the red pepper ribbons into the onion mixture, then put in the apple quarters, cut side down. Cook gently until the apples are tender, adding a little water if the pan become too dry. Turn the apples skin side down towards the end. Serve cold, dribbling over the remaining oil.

Friday, June 09, 2006

WC Memories


I can recall the World Cup in Spain 1982, being on a remote island off Iceland, where little did I know, but all the women in the house supported Italy ( and I did follow) due to their good looks. I remember Mexico 1986 and how the danes had me seduced, of Italy 1990 I remember little not even sure it was that world cup or the one after, where England beat Holland and my best friend Eva went with England and I just could not understand her, how could she do this to me, when the game finished I could hardly speak to her. Then came 1994 and the ecstasy in Sweden, where I spent the summer, I was kind of glad (or not kind of, but really glad) when Brazil bet them on the way to the finals. The game was shown in a concert venue, which I had made my second home and I must have been the only one cheering the Brazilians. 1998 - hmm, the England Argentina game, I do not like the English national team and felt an instant gratification in the sending off off Beckham, I liked him even less than I do now (whereas now I am rather indifferent towards him). Back to 1986 and the great moment of revenge for the Argentineans, it was to become the start of one of the bitterest rivalries in modern football.
I am not sure of the Argentineans, but the English really do not like them. They are just the opposite of what the English strive to be. And that cheating. I can just recall one friend who actually likes the Argentina team, and who sees the beauty in that hand of god goal. Something which he describes in these words: "There is just something so pure an beautiful about someone with an immense godlike talent who still chooses the way of cheating".
2002 was strange, with a lot of good teams going out in the early stages, there was a sense of hope that Spain would reach fairly far, and I could even sense an optimism from my connections in Catalunya (something rare), but as tradition comes it was not to be that year. I felt so sorry for the Argentinean people and I could almost feel it far too deep, the pain and sorrow of the struggling country who had placed all their future hope on their national team, perhaps it was a burden too much. I was also proud of Rivaldo and Ronaldo (this was before he went to Madrid), this is also where I fell in love with Ronaldinho, he resembled a horse (one of my favourite animals) his grace an cheekiness was seductive and then I even found him sexy. The famous England Brazil game was watched in a cinema where I worked and when Rivaldo scored I jumped up shouting: Goooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course, people told me to shut up.
That World Cup was also the one with marathon breakfasts in bed watching the games, I have to say I enjoyed it much more than being in a drunken pub atmosphere, it even felt intimate and personal.
I got great hope for this one, even if it won't be watched in bed.