Today it rained here in the Reykjavik area for the first time in about three weeks. It might have rained once at night during this period but other than that the days have all been warm and sunny, as have the nights since we are now in 24 hr day mode. A three week dry spell might be something people in drier areas of the world are used to but here it is almost like a foreboding for the apocalypse.
We have had to water our lawns and plants, which is a recent development and today I left a meeting where one of the attendees was bewildered as he had arrived in a shirt and it had started pouring down in the meantime. He had unluckily walked instead of doing the typical Icelandic thing which is to drive, no matter how short the distance. Preferably in a modified off road truck. It can get so bad that if you need something from the trunk of your car you try and reverse to reach it. This does not work of course.
Plants and trees are not our thing here in the north. No one really knows what the trees are called, except for the few botanists and biologist that have furthered their education and taken a PhD. The rest of us call trees with needles Christmas trees and the rest are leaf trees. And we would recognise a palm tree although we have none at all. Iceland is pretty much a no tree zone. But this lack of tree familiarity dates far back, we have a very old saying that goes: The apple seldom falls far from the oak. Which makes no sense seeing that apples don’t grow on oaks. Well maybe in the old days.
The smell following a rainstorm is wonderful. Every speck of dust has been grounded and the freshness of the crisp clean air is something one wonders why perfume makers don’t try to tap into. Why would anybody want to smell like a cloying rose when you can smell like sweet rain?
And now it has stopped raining and the air outside beckons. My dogs are also beckoning but not as elegantly. I actually feel like jogging for the first time in my life. This is possibly an exaggeration as this has once before happened to me. And I managed to sit it out. I am of a generation that grew up at a time where if you saw a grownup running this person was either being chased by someone very angry and stronger that the one running, or it was a lunatic. But things have certainly changed; everyone is running all over the place – in between driving. The running is for a work-out involving going from A to A, while the driving is for everything else involving moving, but from A to B.
I do not get the clothing used for jogging here and probably in other, warmer places of the world during winter. It involved pants that are very tight to cut the air resistance, much like body-paint really. Firstly, body paint is not a good look if you are a woman whose name is not Giselle, or if you are a man of any name. And secondly the point is working out so why would you want to make it easier but cutting down the air resistance. If you jog as a human billboard you need only run about half of what you do wearing the body paint pants. And that means you get back home sooner and can go out for a drive.
But the guy in the photo above is wearing more traditional running attire, i.e. shorts, although his legs are not what one usually associates with athletics. This man is Oscar Pistorius from South Africa, the first amputee ever to compete in the world series in track and field. His legs are an Icelandic invention, produced by a local company named Össur, which I can say very proudly is global leader in orthopaedics.This being said, the air smells so nice I am still tempted to try running.
There is lunacy in the air tonight.
Yrsa - Wednesday