Now that 2011 has just about finished its tour of duty I have given some thought to what it had to offer, both good and bad.
Of the most horrific news were the various natural disasters, from the earthquake and the tsunami in Japan to the flooding of Thailand and the famine in Somalia. Mother Nature was not the only entity attempting to crush the human spirit, humans themselves made various attempts at this, most notably the acts of terrorism in Norway which felt incredibly unreal and out of place. Not that terrorism has a place. I must be clear on this, there is no spot in the world deserving of such acts, although this does not stop them from take place again and again. But in Norway? Other occurrences less heart wrenching were in my mind the following:
Oil keeps getting more expensive and I suspect it will soon be hung from platinum chains in small bottles to be used as jewelry. The prices of sigarettes keep going up as well but I do not think I will see the day when they will be used as bling.
It was not the year for dictators. This is counterbalanced by the fact it was a good year for those dictated.
From the Arab spring sprung hope eternal. Although the finale has yet to be written it has developed into one hell of a cliffhanger and despite logic being on the side of the reformists it could certainly go either way.
The Euro teetered and tottered and has yet to either fall on its side or regain its balance. Iceland is the only country standing outside the Eurozone that still wants to join. Make that the only country period as many of the ones now in want out. Even Turkey is no longer interested. We are a bit loopy here.
Iceland made the first installment of the Icesave repayment to Holland and England, paying about a third of the debt back – 2 billion pounds of a total of 6 billion pounds. It is now foreseen that all of the money Holland and England paid to their citizens at the collapse of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki will be repaid as the assets belonging to the bankrupt bank now appear to cover the bill. In a strange turn of events this prodded ESA to drag Iceland to court and sue the country as a whole for more than what is owed. This was not at the instigation of Holland or England as they are satisfied now that full repayment is next to certain. For those not familiar, ESA is not the European Space Agency but the EFTA surveillance authority which is a bit of a drag as it would have been more entertaining for us to be sued by astronauts than bureaucrats.
Prince William married Kate Middleton. They threw a big party and lots of ugly memorabilia was produced and purchased. Why did I include this? Probably out of inner jealousy because secretly I envy countries with such strange establishments as royal families. Most of the other Nordic countries have kings and queens, but we don’t. I have suggested we get a pharaoh and build a big pyramid downtown but no one here has wanted to champion this great idea with me. Alone one accomplishes little.
Grímsvötn erupted and flights were delayed, mine for one back home from Crimefest. I was seconds away from purchasing passage home with a container ship headed to Iceland manned with a crew from the Ukraine. I now regret not having gone through with it. It is never the yes decisions one regrets, only the neighs. But this volcano thing we have going here is becoming a bit repetitive and annoying. They say next year we might surpass the intro with grumpy old Katla. Let’s hope not.
Osama Bin Laden was shot. He had it coming.
Dominique Strauss Kahn was arrested for sexual misconduct. Like Bin Laden, he too had it coming.
And lastly, today an announcement was made about which book was the no. 1 bestseller in 2011 in Iceland and turns out it was my latest, the one about the missing passengers and crew from the yacht. Funnily enough all this made me do was worry about what I should write next. And made me hope that like Bin Laden and Strauss Kahn, I had it coming.
Finally I wish you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous new year 2012.