Saturday, November 24, 2018

There's So Much to Be Thankful For


Yes, I know there are some who disagree with that titled thought.  Some likely VEHEMENTLY.  To those sincere souls I say, “Go with what works for you, but I prefer my perspective.” 

Perhaps I’m feeling that way because I just returned from a week on our planet’s newest bit of real estate attending Iceland Noir, and for those of you who might be considering a visit to that magical land of myths and mythmakers (from Caro’s post yesterday, I’d say that includes our very own Glaswegian Queen of Mystery), I have a warning: Your spirit is about to be overwhelmed by the raw power of Iceland’s natural spartan beauty. 

This is my third visit in four years, and I’m hooked; so much so that when I stopped in Keflavik International Airport’s duty free shop to buy licorice to sustain me on the flight to New York, I instead bought a leather-bound volume of Icelandic poetry, and completely forgot about the licorice.

I love the place more each time I go.  Even the police are nice, as I learned when a taxi driver tried to rip me off, and when I didn’t give in to his demands, summoned the police in an effort to intimidate me, only to see them courteously agree with me and send him on his way.

The taxi driver meets his match

This trip was particularly special, not just because of all the old friends I got to spend time with, and new ones I made, but because my daughter and her family had tagged along. My son-in-law wrote a school report on Iceland when he was eleven, and this was his first chance to visit.  Even the relentless rain did not dampen our spirits (please tell me I didn’t actually write that last line). All that was missing from making this the perfect holiday were my straight A’s dynamic duo Texas grandchildren who couldn’t miss school for our frolic in Reykjavik and environs. Oh well, Bouchercon 2019 is in Dallas!

Yrsa's photobomber and mine, together again

I really was working
Here's where Iceland Noir took place
In the Idno

But enough about spiritual change…something so many in the West obsess about these days.  To quote the legendary Alfred E. Neuman, “What? Me worry?”  

Some say he couldn’t write those words today, but I say of course he could.  All he need do is visit Iceland, get out into the countryside, nibble on a bit of fermented shark, down a shot or two of Brennivin, and look in any direction at what nature has put in place and Icelanders work hard at preserving. 

Here are some more photos of what I’m talking about (the best ones were taken by Barbara Zilly, as usual):

Here's the story of Iceland's fermented shark delicacy
Here's were the fermentation drying step takes place
Here's what it looks like to taste it
And in conclusion, here's Iceland Noir's newest fan with the Queen of it all.



  1. All right, this has SIMPLY got to stop. This amount of fun and happiness is simply out of bounds, without reason, careless, dangerous, and a bad example for those...

    Oh, to hell with it. Carry on, my man, carry on. Jealousy springs eternal.

  2. Wonderful. How I wish I had been able to be there.

  3. Wow its informative post thanks for sharing it

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