|Norman the Troll|
I feel like an eccentric, rock-dwelling elf writing from my Reykjavík attic apartment, complete with fairy lights, candles and a little Viking troll for company. I have just returned from work, feeling rather proud of myself. Not only did I manage to dodge the china cup which was lobbed somewhat unceremoniously at my head, but I learnt the phrase: ‘toggaðu upp buxurnar! nei, ekki typpið, EKKI TYPPIÐ! ’ (‘pull your trousers up!’ I will let you google-translate the rest…). My endeavours to stop disabled children eating glitter, however, were marginally less successful. Nonetheless, I am in Iceland. After three years of Old Norsical dreaming, I bade farewell to Cambridge and began my journey to the frozen North. With no job, no house, no plans and (alas) very little common-sense, I rocked up in Reykjavík with only a back-pack and pair of cowboy boots to my name.
At last, I had made it across the Whale-Road.
In Iceland, home of hipsters and brennavín, over-sized jumpers and Sigur Rós, many exciting things happen. The aim of this blog (cunningly named to reflect both my literary interests and general giantess-ness) is to document my adventures in the Land of Fire and Ice. I shall regale you with tales of naked communal showering and my mission to combat Icelandic grammar, of skyr-curry and ‘Björk stalking’, of knitting obsessions and chasing hat-eating autistic children through shopping malls and car parks. I shall recount my struggle to survive as a ‘vegetarian Viking’ in a country which favours svið (sheep’s-head) and hákarl (fermented shark) over hummus and falafel. Like the intrepid Viking warriors who first set foot in Iceland over 1000 years ago, I have a lot to learn from this quirky little island marooned in the North Atlantic. Although often labelled as the odd, tea-drinking Brit, an útlendingur (‘foreigner’) who cannot rave until 6am and has never eaten whale, I nonetheless embrace the challenges posed by a new country and culture. Yet whatever the (Odinnic?) trials, nothing will deter me from my ultimate quest: to marry a Viking farmer, write novels and make jam in my little Icelandic farmstead surrounded by íslenskir hestar (Icelandic horses), mountains and, most probably, trolls.