Friday, October 31, 2008

Long time no blog :) The world is going mad, Icelanders and British at playground war and lots of Americans actually considering voting for the most horrific woman on the planet, Sarah Palin, the anti abortion, anti homosexual, pro wolf hunting monster of all monsters. Having that kind of a person as Vice President and possibly President of the USA would be a step back centuries for womens rights and the environment.
Then Iceland... wow... I have been watching the news more than I have worked in the past weeks (yikes) but I guess I am not the only one. It is unbelievably difficult to watch your country being demolished by incompetent, arrogant, stubborn and stupid MEN both in Iceland and the UK. It is a clear sign that more women should be involved with politics, things wouldn't have gone so bad if there had been more women in control. The worst part is not the loss of money but that the same MEN that destroyed Iceland's economy are trying to build it again with crazy ideas. They say that now is the time to start using ALL of our energy resources, now we should go all the way and destroy our precious land as well as our reputation. We need new people and more women to take over, first of all Davíð Oddson, the chairman of the Central Bank and formes prime minister, needs to go before he does more damage, he really is the rotten apple and the core of our problems. He and the Progressive Party that has been in control for too long allowed the banks to expand and what they did was patting the business elite on their backs and nominate them as "The businessman of the year" and so forth. Now the progressive party denies all responsibility and wants to destroy our land. Outrageous !!!
Then there are Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling... Their motto is to kick a small friendly nation when its down instead of helping it. Its a good way to put the focus away from their own mess.

Icelanders are NOT terrorists!! Sign here please and take a look at the great "postcards" :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Vill Russia come to the rescue? Hah...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Edinburgh and Madonna :)

So much has happened in the last weeks that its gonna be too long to give full details, here are some highlights instead:

Edinburgh festival
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre - AMAAAAZING, highlight of the festival :)
The Military Tattoo - Tickets sold out in April but still we managed to get tickets! Totally amazing experience, specially the Norwegians which opened their act by swooshing by on rollerblade ski´s wearing viking outfits.
Stu and Garry at the Stand Comedy Club - Love Stu, Love Garry, Love the Stand Comedy Club, Im still laughing :D

Cardiff road trip
Monster Mash car - The coolest car in the world (see above)
Madonna concert - Wow, really amazing to see the most famous person in the world on stage but standing for 7 hours was hard ...
Stonehenge - A must see in the UK

Now I am back in Iceland for a week since my friends Magga and Sigurjón decided to get married with a very short notice :) So I am enjoying being home but holidays are over, today is my first day of an internet based GIS course, so work work work :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

125.000 Western Lowland Gorillas found in Congo !!! Amaaaazing :D

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Nightmare on St. Marys Road

Wow lots of stuff has happened since my last blog. After 2 1/2 amazing weeks in Iceland (with my family and friends and a special appearance of my 9 month old amazing and beautiful niece Agnes that fought for her life when she was only a day old) I came back to Oxford and moved into a new house. What a nightmare it has been!!!
After scrubbing our old house in Percy Street and leaving it completely spotless we moved into a PIGSTY !!! The landlord and the letting agency had promised us a fixed and clean house and then nothing had been done. We had to start by scrubbing the mold off the bathroom walls and clean the moldy fridge and throw away old food from previous tenants. Naharas bed was moldy in the cellar so she had to sleep on the floor for the first 5 nights. We have now lived here for 2 weeks and things are not all fine yet. But they have finally put a new floor on the kitchen and bathroom, thrown away the garbage that had piled up in front of the house (and moldy bed and other moldy stuff from the cellar). On top of everything the boiler broke so we had no hot water for 3 days and we discovered a leak in the cellar that was causing all the mold to grow. We spent all yesterday cleaning the cellar and trying to dry it, hopefully it will be fixed on Tuesday. But we have had 2000 false promises already so we dont trust anyone anymore.

We have been quite depressed about the whole thing but at least we had a nice living room (when it was not full of kitchen stuff) and we have lovely housemates, so its now me, Nahara, Joanna and Robert living together.

If you are living in Oxford and want to rent, I do NOT recommend City Properties !!!! Beware they are not professionals and they do not respect you. If you come and complain they make you feel like you are a naughty little child. We had to push push AND PUSH to get things done, things that had been promised to us when we signed the lease. Sadly I have been told that many landlords and letting agencies in Oxford (and the UK) will treat you like shit and make false promises.

Well this will be the last moaning about my house :) Its starting to look and feel lovely and I am sure we will be very happy here :) A trip to IKEA last weekend (thank you Kate lifesaver) made everything better, I bought some nice stuff for my room and now it feels quite cosy. I also cannot wait for my sister Helga to come visit me tomorrow :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Im soo happy, I got funding for my PhD studies from Rannís which will cover my living expenses the next 3 years wooohoooo :D Now I don't have to worry about student loans... and will be able to eat more than rice and dry bread next semester, and perhaps go to the movies from time to time... ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oxford and Poland

I spent a week with a group of Icelandic friends that came to visit me in Oxford (Sigrún, Snævar, Sólveig Birta, Steinunn, Ari and Pia María). We rented a house which turned out to be a cat heaven, no living cats but hairs of approximately 10 cats scattered around the house and even the non-allergic’s had breathing difficulties. For us with allergy it was pretty terrible so I made a call and asked for some help since the hoover was not working. So a jolly hoover guy came over (with the hoover on his back) and did some cleaning, it felt a bit better; at least we couldn’t see the hairs anymore. Well we didn’t spend all our time in the cat house, we went TOURIST around Oxford, we even went on the hop on hop off bus like real tourists do. We explored the colleges, ate lots of ice cream, walked everywhere, went on a castle tour and tried all the local pubs. We found out that it is Brasenose College that has the nose picking gargoyles; we came across a very angry doorman in Balliol College who threw us out when we were trying to sneak in for lunch. Apparently you have to run very fast past him so he doesn’t recognize you. A group of 5 tourist looking people with 2 children and lots of luggage probably didn’t look very college student-y to him. We walked in the footsteps of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and saw where they lived and worked. We also visited lots of museums where we saw dinosaurs, strange instruments, dodo bird and real shrunken heads (one of which starred in Harry Potter, dangling in the crazy bus that picked HP up). Talking about Harry Potter, we of course went to Christ Church College and walked through the famous dining hall.

Then it was time to say goodbye to my friends and go to Poland to attend the Summer School in Ecology and Biodiversity. I did not know what to expect from Poland. The first hours went like this: Tried to buy tickets to the bus in the airport kiosk and they did not speak English, there is something seriously strange when airport staff doesn’t speak English but ok, I got my ticket in the end. Waiting for the bus I met Fríða, the other Icelandic girl who was going to the summer school as well. We had never met before but she saw the Icelandair ticket on my bag and was brave enough to ask me if I was Icelandic. Thankfully she did because we came face to face to the most aggressive, angry and scary bus driver I have ever met. He constantly tried to close the door on me while I was standing in the doorway and then he started screaming at me in Polish when I handed him the ticket I had fought so hard for. After a minute of cursing in polish he finally gave me some money back (why I do not know) and that was it, we were on our way to Warsaw. We thought we should go off the bus at the end stop but when the bus finally stopped we had noooo idea where we were. We started walking and asking people for directions to the train station and in the end we had to take a taxi. Finally we reached the train station and then we tried to make contact with the information person but she didn’t even look at us, finally some guy took a pity on us and asked if he could help. So HE asked HER for directions to the luggage storage… very very strange. Finally luggage was stored and we decided to have something to eat, found sandwiches that were the worst we have ever eaten. Then we decided to wander off for a few minutes and across the train station we found this biiiiiig shopping centre with all kinds of lovely café’s and restaurants and we thought miserably at the horror-sandwiches we had just eaten and hoped wouldn’t make us sick. There was nothing to do but laugh and be happy that we had found each other and that we were not alone dealing with all these strange things. We met up with our group (65 students) and after a 4 hour extremely hot bus ride we finally reached Bialowieza where we were going to spend the next week studying ecology and biodiversity. It was so much fun and I met fantastic people from all over the world. We learned how to capture a wolf pack, to do bat recordings, how to identify small mammal remains and that lots of coffee might prevent you from falling asleep in the lectures. Not that they were boring (well some were…), no it was just a very tight schedule and not much sleep (and sometimes a little bit too much Zubr beer)…

A question I asked after one of the lectures intrigued the lecturer so much that he wanted to know my name and then he really wanted to have a talk about it. It ended in a 20 people workshop and I had to present the results. Something that I had not thought would happen but the following day I found myself with a microphone pinned to my shirt talking about if we could use pathogens in the battle with alien invasive species. Good practice since I haven’t made a presentation for almost 3 years now… Oh and my poster was chosen the 5th best poster yayyy, and the price was a gigantic stuffed mosquito, very cute ;)

Saying goodbye to my new friends was sad, but hopefully I will see some of them again… The polish people I got to know were lovely LOVELY, seems to be only bus drivers and people in public jobs that are a bit strange towards foreigners… Im sorting through my pictures, will put them in soon.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Earthquake in Iceland without me...

What a bummer, I wish I'd been home and felt it!! It was quite big 6.1-6.2 on the Richter scale and only 50 km from Reykjavík. People are already camping in the town of Hveragerði, which is very close to the source. They are just too afraid to be inside since there are constantly small earthquakes and they are expecting another big one.

Lots of damages on houses, roads, bridges etc...

These earthquakes are not connected to the volcanoes, in the case of volcanic eruption Im going home in a second, will NOT miss that :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This can't be more Oxford :)

The big rowing competition (Summer Eights) between colleges, people picnicking everywhere by the river drinking Pimms (what?) and cheering for their rowing team. Didn't bring my camera so I stole this pic from the Exeter college team, hope they don't mind since I will be staying there for two weeks in June ;)

I have to recommend an Oxford band that is really good, they are called Stornoway, very very good and funny :) Check out the Good fish guide !!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BBC- to be or not to be?

After saying no to the BBC (why did I do that in the first place WHYY?) my workmate urged me to contact them again and ask if the placement was still open. So I did and they kept me waiting for almost a week before they said that it was ok and that I could come the last 2 weeks of May. They just wanted to talk to the producer and see if these exact dates would be ok. Confident that this would work out I headed to my friend Sigga in Edinburgh and then found out that the whole crew will be away this whole time !!! It seems like its not meant to happen but they asked me to reapply and I could possible go there in September for few weeks... I don't know what I will do, the main reason why I want to go now is to find out what characters BBC contains. Are they animal lovers or just film lovers?

So here I am in Edinburgh and wow what a city :) Last night me and Sigga went on a ghost tour where we were taken down the vaults and cemetery and told (true) ghost stories in the darkness. The guide was such a good storyteller that at one point she said BOOO in the middle of a sentence and I totally panicked and started laughing hysterically :D Has never happened to me before. Very scary stuff and very scary city in the old times. But I'm loving it and will enjoy the city for one more day. Tomorrow I am heading towards Oxford again, will miss the Scottish highlands for sure but it will be good to start reading up for my project.