Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Good news

Two of my fingernails are coming detached and since the two doctors in my life are currently both in the States I was reduced to googling my situation, i.e. "fingernails falling off". The internet told me that I had come into close contact with levels of high radiation. Since it is never dark out here these days I do not know if I glow in the dark or not. And I am not the proud owner of a Geiger counter. I am sure my diagnosis would have been less impressive or exagerrated had it been provided by an actual doctors, not one made up of bytes.

I sometimes find that wine descriptions have the opposite effect on me than what the taster intended. I do not want to drink a liquid “reminiscent of buttercups with a whisper of fresh soil and a gun-metal aroma”. Often the words selected are way over the over the top and either intended to increase the price of the bottle or to establish the taster as a serious connoisseur with super-human taste buds and outlandish smelling apparatus. I recently came across a very funny one from an amateur member of a tasting group. It read: Like a donkey defecating into a vat of blue cheese. Another one that made me smile was meant to descibe an over oaked red: Chateau Two by Four. Another inteded for the same read: A wine only a termite could love. After seeing this I really want to orgainse a group to take a wine tasting class with the sub-intention of competing amongst ourselves for the evening‘s most ridiculous description.  

But this purple prose is catching on for other beverages, at least here in Iceland. Coffee is now branded in the same way and the writers of these descriptions are just as superfluous as the wine guys. Last week such a decal made the news here as an inside joke in the coffee packaging factory accidentally went out to market. It read: The coffee is full bodied, lively yet low in acidity and has a lightly spiced enchanting tang. If you wish to be sodomized phone Gummi B. Not really along the saccharine line set out at the beginning.

This newsflash about the dirty coffee is typical of what is in the papers these last couple of weeks. There is nothing going on as everyone is on vacation. On Saturday the weather office had predicted a storm and due to the lack of things to report this was blown out of all proportion, no pun intended. Everyone in Iceland was asked to walk around their homes and remove any loose items that the wind might pick up and owners of trampolines were given special warning. My husband and I did an inspection and secured everything in sight and even bid farewell to all of the plants we have recently planted in our new flower beds. We were certain that on the Sunday morning they would be stems at best.

But nothing happened. You would not even have been able to fly a kite it was so calm. The following day the news started backtracking. We had interviews with meteorologists that said the weather had been absolutely crazy at 1000 m height. And there was a report of a man being blown over on a campground on the south coast.

But I guess a no-show storm beats one that does make an appearance. Just as no news is good news.

Yrsa – Wednesday


  1. Yrsa, only you could start a post with radiation poisoning and make me laugh out loud!! I once read an assessment of the South African red wine, Pinotage, that said it tasted like burning tires. I wondered how that critic knew what burning tires taste like.

  2. Annamaria - I was actually thinking of you when I wrote about wanting to go to a wine tasting and make up wierd descriptions. It was the lymrick competition that jumped to mind. A lymrick wine description would win for sure.

  3. Annamaria, maybe the wine critic was a victim of necklacing - the horrible practice of throwing old tyres over a person, drenching them in petrol, and setting fire to them. Ghastly. I prefer to think of pinotage (at least bad pinotage) tasting like bananas. Yrsa, I guess you don't get bottomless cups of coffee in Iceland.

  4. Yikes, Stan, not even the most pretentious wine critic deserves such awful violence. Yrsa, I am working on wine tasting language limericks. Here is what I have so far:
    Love and wine made the girl's head feel spin-ish.
    Talk of both brought expressions quite grin-ish.
    Was it the man in her bed
    Or a large glass of red
    That had great legs and a very long finish.

  5. Sigurdardottir, you've done it again. You created a party atmosphere (just with words, no sheep's head) that has Annamaria limericking and Stan on fire! You've also helped me overcome a lifetime addiction: your (hysterical) piece has convinced me it's finally time to just say "no" to gummy bears.

  6. Have you heard? General Motors recently bought a large vineyard outside of Detroit and has just released their first vintage (named after two classic car brands, of course)...

    Studelet is a fuel for your car,
    Made at home in a mayonnaise jar.
    Finger nails it strips,
    Eats skin from your lips,
    And tastes best while eating a cigar.

  7. I'm presently enjoying a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with 'hints of pepper, kiwi, gooseberry and lime with a finish of wild mountain cherry'. Not sure what that all means, but the wine is fabulous!