Nothing newsworthy has been going on here in Iceland this past week. Summer seems to have settled in, quite nicely at that, and almost everyone appears to have gone on vacation – leaving me with little to report. Even our troublesome geology is taking it easy, relaxing and enjoying the warm sun and the just perfect, tickling breeze.
I looked at what the internet papers were saying and the main news item was that a seagull had attacked a rabbit. What a scoop. Oh yes, also someone left a discarded tire on the beach near Grindavík. Spectacularly interesting. This period of the year, July and August is always like this. Our parliament is on vacation so the politicians are lying low and nothing really happens. It is called the cucumber period with respect to the news, probably meaning that there is little to report aside from how the cucumbers in the greenhouses are doing.
I guess no news is good news, a phrase that can be understood in two ways if your English is not perfect: a) it is good news when nothing is on the news, or b) nothing good can be considered as news, i.e. to be news it has to be awful. I realize that grammatically the latter is not a correct translation of the meaning of the phrase, but it does ring true. At least here, the more pitiful or horrible the news, the better. I‘m sure a seagull helping a bunny free a carrot from the ground would not be reported. It is just that our horrible news in normal times is not really all that horrible. When I was living abroad and came home for a visit I would first really feel back when I heard the evening news on the radio with reports of someone lighting fire to a trashcan or someone giving birth in an ambulance on the way to hospital. Not exactly fodder for crime novels.
There is one other thing that just hit the airwaves ten minutes ago, namely that the US is about to announce an embargo on trade with Iceland due to our whaling. This is a bit odd considering that our annual quota is 30 minke whales out of a pool of about 174,000 animals and 9 fin whales out of about 30,000 animals in our seas – compared to the 50 bowhead whales hunted in the USA a year from a population of about 10,500. Does not make sense to me but I guess you cannot enforce an embargo on yourself. Anyway – it will all turn out OK as the US has always been friendly to us and a close ally when we have really needed one. Even good friends don’t agree on all and everything.
So aside from the bunnies, seagulls, tires and whales that is it for now. Maybe next week something really exciting will have happened. Who knows, a beached whale might choke on the discarded tire, mistaking it for a licorice life saver, only to be given the Heimlich maneuver by a flock of seagulls.
But this would not make the news as nothing horrible happened. Unless…. the tire was catapulted into the air due to the Heimlich, landing on a bunny and squishing it. Aw poor thing, but bunnies have no luck do they?