mánudagur, febrúar 28, 2005

rockall forbi

More gleanings on Rockall.

Here is a Dutch sailing song; the final verse mentions both Rockall and Iceland's Breiðafjörður:
Wij lopen 't eiland Rokol voorbij
Al naar de vogelscharen, dat kan ieder openbaren
En dan vandaar, en dan vandaar naar Bredefjord
En daar dan smijten wij de kollen buiten bord

Here is another version, I think in Afrikaans, though I am not sure:
Toen loopen nuus ‘t Eyland Rookol voorby
En nae’ de Vogelschaeren dat kan ied’reen openbaren
En van dae’ naer (bis) den Hoek Bredefiort
Daer smytten me de kollen alle buuten boord
I was only able to find these because I knew other spellings of the name Rockall, and those I learned after happening on this essay by Ken Hitchen from the Edinburgh Geologist on overshore nomenclature in the North Atlantic. Rockall gets its due there. The reader also learns that several undersea features on the south-western edge of the Rockall Plateau bear names originally of Middle Earth. There are seamounts named Rohan, Gondor, and Eriador, and banks called after Lorien, Fangorn, and Edoras. A peak is named Gandalf's Spur.

More curiously, to my mind, is the story behind the mysterious Rockall mentioned last in my previous post and its influence on submarine placenames. That website has to do with a series of books by Antony Swithin, who turns out to have been a geology lecturer at Leicester University. Hitchen explains it this way:
As a boy, Swithin was fascinated by the remote Rockall Island which, in his imagination, became a continent of magical places and beings. His novels, about the mythical continent (!) of Rockall, and written in a similar vein as Lord of the Rings, have provided names for the Lyonesse, Owlsgard, Sandarro and Sandastre igneous centres.

Another igneous center has been named for Swithin himself. He must be pleased.

Though Hitchen does not mention it, Swithin was influenced by the old idea that Rockall was the last remnant of a vanished Atlantis. That is, the fabulous pedigree extends backwards yet further.

The influence of fantastic geography on actual geography would seem to be greater than one might initially have imagined. These ideas loop back on themselves, and soon it will be difficult to rightly characterize any placename as fictional.

sunnudagur, febrúar 27, 2005

rockall miscellany

Ever apt to being charmed by small windswept islands, I present a Rockall miscellany.

Some basic information on Rockall from a British perspective (who else would call this North Sea outcropping "pudding-shaped"?) can be found here. A more snide, more full, no less British history of Rockall that nonetheless gives more time to Icelandic and other claims to the rock is here.

The islet has been involved in shipwrecks, both of the Helen of Dundee in 1824 and the Norge, which sank after striking Rockall in 1904. It has been important in landhelgisdeilur and thus in the Cod Wars as a point from which to reckon maritime territory.

Flanders and Swann sang a song of Rockall on that account of which this is the first verse:
The fleet set sail for Rockall,
To free the isle of Rockall,
From fear of foreign foe.
We sped across the planet,
To find this lump of granite,
One rather startled Gannet;
In fact, we found Rockall.

I am unsure of the date of the Irish lyric 'Rock on Rockall,' but it seems likely that it is of the same period. Certainly it was penned in response to an English claim on the rock ('the groping hands of Whitehall') of just the sort Flanders and Swann satirized. This verse charmingly claims not only Rockall but Man for Ireland based on Fenian legend:
For this rock is part of Ireland,
'cos it's written in folklore
That Fionn MacCumhaill took a sod of grass
and he threw it to the fore,
Then he tossed a pebble across the sea,
where ever it did fall,
For the sod became the Isle of Man
and the pebble's called Rockall.

A quasi-literary claim to the rock has been made in the realm of humor by the Rockall Times. Alarmingly, the editors seem to have tried periodically to land on the islet itself.

Evidence of other attemped colonizations can be found her and there on the high seas of cyberspace. The largely electronic micronation of Waveland is nominally tied to Rockall, though nowhere near so robustly as the folk of Sealand are to Rough's Tower, and they seem not to have tried to scale the thing. I do not know what the denizens of this Rockall think of the Wavelanders.

föstudagur, febrúar 25, 2005


I am very impressed with the little white roses I bought last Saturday. They are still greedily sucking up water from the glass vase and blooming without going blown. Still, this is the rose that has stood both for the might of York and for resistance against the Nazis. This bouquet has no such enemies to contend with, neither Lancaster nor fascists, so perhaps it is only to be expected that it weather a full week standing in the relative comfort of my study.

Rhymed poetry about flowers has always seemed to be a bit too much, but I find John Boyle O'Reilly (1844–1890), who writes thusly of a white rose:
The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.
Quite. I note that my whites do not blush so; if anything they are slightly green.


Do not tell my neighbor that her cat is in love with me. She is a good friend, and would not want her to become jealous.

But her cat, who is a dapper black and white fellow, is always happy to see me, and moreover when I hoist him up in my arms, he breathes into my hair and licks my ear with his raspy tongue. He is very romantic.

miðvikudagur, febrúar 23, 2005

one and two


Swept onto the dance floor by a long fellow, a colleague about two meters tall, who can't dance, by his own admission, but is enthusiastic, and he tells me, leaning down to get my ear, that it had been really funny at dinner. I don't understand: how's that? Well, he says, when I had gone by his table and said hello first to him and then to the fellow next to him, the chap had been totally tongue-tied, utterly incapable of speech in my presence. What? and I laugh. My dancing partner goes on: he had made a little fun of his dining companion once I had walked away, and the man had been utterly mortified; I'd spoken to him and he had experienced complete vapor lock: "I just took one look at her and knew that I was going to say something appallingly stupid" - so he just clamped his jaw shut and felt ridiculous. So says my dancing partner and swings me around.

I remember I laughed. I threw my head back and laughed, and it was very agreeable to dance -even badly- with a very tall man whom I did not know well or care much about and laugh, leaning away from him, with my head thrown back.


I used to think I followed well. This may well have been a misconception from the start, but I cannot be certain. Certainly I do not follow well any longer. I have strange notions about where my feet should be, and I skip about in ways sure to vex all involved. I can catch myself on my heel well enough, avoid tipping ass-over-tea-kettle into some other couple on a backward-going promenade. But when my dancing partner steps back himself, I stumble forward into the void.

þriðjudagur, febrúar 22, 2005


I had only just learned this word when it went springing by in sleek, dun form, waving a slightly feathery tail behind it. Lurchers are gazehound crosses, part greyhound, whippet, or saluki and part something else. It is said that they do not lurch per se, but as supreme poaching dogs get their name from a Romany word for a thief, lur. I am skeptical, though it is a fine romantic notion.

This one was like a deer, göfugt dýr, long head and shining red-gold tawniness.

Where had she come from? In my mind's eye I see her on the other side of town clearing the fence at the dog park like a stag and making it up the hill in under a minute. I couldn't see anyone about who seemed attached to her in that invisible way people are to their dogs even when the dogs are not on leads. She didn't look over her shoulder at anyone to check where she should be headed. She seemed bent on business of her own further up the hill. Could she be a stray, a nomad, a gypsy dog? Did I see a collar, or did I imagine it? I cannot remember.

day running

Smells from the loop:

Hot rice vinegar
Perfumed soap
Car exhaust
Rain both coming and going

The sky roils almost like a March day on the Nes, though with fewer gulls and no oystercatchers whatever. But there are big seething masses of blue cloud aplenty overhead. I flare my nostrils for a whiff of salt or iodine, but I do not find it.

mánudagur, febrúar 21, 2005

night running

Running after sunset I hum to myself in my own head, keeping a rhythm, rolling lyrics over in my mind, filling in the ones I don't know by rote. Lately it has been:

You will never walk alone

In forty minutes I pass as many people out walking. Some are, in the most simple sense of the word, alone. All are engaged in conversation. The ones who seem at a glance to be solitary walk with their heads slightly inclined, elbow cocked to bring one hand up to an ear (usually the left one), and they chatter into their palms and their fingertips. The very well-equipped have headsets, and not even the posture of their shoulders betrays that they are--mentally--elsewhere, though the voice does when you get near enough.

Physically they inhabit space as if they were both participants in the conversation. They take up the whole sidewalk with their unhurriedness, their obliviousness to their dim and leafy surroundings, a slightly drunked meander and the odd emphatic gesture (for the benefit of the clairvoyant or clairaudient?). They remind me of Oslo's four-in-the-morning crowd making its way from the nightclubs north and west through the palace grounds towards the dormitories, trailing second-hand smoke and belches smelling of Hansa, Tuborg, Carlsberg.

I presume these garrulous walkers to be sober, their weaving a by-product of taking part in conversation not strongly tied to the space through which they move. They lurch and sway a little, as if leaning on a companion who is quick to steady them, but that companion is elsewhere, the interlocutor. The streamers floating on the air behind them are purely verbal and have no scent detectable to me, the runner trying to squeeze by on the left, the right, no the left -- Heya! Can I get by? Thanks.

They jump to one side and keep talking.

laugardagur, febrúar 19, 2005


Four unexpected things encountered in the last few days:
The word "lurcher"

Dreams of giant airplanes

Chicken bone

Fiddler with a pierced lip sawing out J. S. Bach at the market

More rain

Nei, annars kom ekki rigningin svo aldeilis á óvart. En samt.

föstudagur, febrúar 18, 2005

la chasse sauvage

Reynard votes Labor (and perhaps all Watership Down does as well): the Hunting Act has passed. Foxhunting, deerhunting, and the coursing of hares with dogs have been outlawed in Britain as of today. The last legal hunts rode out yesterday in Wiltshire and elsewhere. The foxhounds are getting the bulk of the press, it seems, but the Guardian has one photo of a black greyhound, the last winner of the Waterloo Cup in hare-coursing, receiving what looks like an emotional kiss on the brow. I wish they had printed his name.

I feel several ways about this news. Hunts are splendid, yes, and old and all. I am not too choked up about the foxhounds. They seem like game beasts as likely as any to find some worthwhile other career. Much as I like hares, I am sure I would also like them in a stew, and so I have no inherent reason to oppose sending round-footed greyhounds, springy like wires, to bring them in their long mouths to the pot.

I have great affection for foxes and pity for them too, those inedible little flashes of red fur and cleverness. They always seem so entirely--and unchivalrously!--overmatched by the cataract of horses, dogs, and red-coated bluebloods surging over fences after them. Furthermore I have recently read Lady into Fox, which is very recommendable, terrible and sad, and which does nothing to diminish my natural sympathy for all things vulpine. That sympathy has meant that I have always pulled for the fox to escape. That is always the better story. The hunt itself winning the day is a vulgar triumph, it seems to me, crowned with a meager tatter of bloody fur.

My favorite hunts are anyway the spectral ones, ever in pursuit of some eternally fleeing quarry: a mermaid, a forest sylph, a damned soul, an enchanted hind. Those must at all costs be permitted to continue. We'll not stand for Herne or the Oskorei or Odin's Orkney hunt being shut down. No indeed.


Outside the chapel, a crow in the topiary.

fimmtudagur, febrúar 17, 2005

in the scriptorium

After printing out chapters I, II and IV, which are the ones that exist (and in the course of which one is obliged to change the ink cartridge), one wants to escape the balance of the work in a textafræðilegt and codicological direction. Oh to be able to write a brief note mourning, decorously, the unfortunate loss of the middle quires as well as the beginning and end of the work at some unknown point in the manuscript's transmission, expand a bit on what chapter III must have looked like based on the internal evidence of the surviving text, add a few thoughts on the probable nature of the prologue and epilogue, considering what is known about the prologues and epilogues of the genre as a whole, and call it a day.

þriðjudagur, febrúar 15, 2005


Mig dreymdi í nótt að maður kom til mín, vel limaður og í dökkum klæðum. Var hann leitandi á svip. Mér þótti hann spyrja: Hvernig er ég?

Veistu það ekki sjálfur? spurði ég á móti.

Ég er svo gleyminn, þótti mér hann svara.

Ég skal segja þér, sagði ég. Og kvað ég svo:
Headed like a snake
Necked like a drake
Footed like a cat
Tailed like a rat
Sided like a bream
Chined like a beam.

Svoleiðis, þótti mér hann segja.

Svo sneri hann í brott og í því vaknaði ég. Mér þóttist sjá svip hans er hann fór.

Þá var dagmál og bjart. Heyrðist hundur gelta úti.


Rain surprises today and soaks hundreds of the young and smitten buying marked-up roses, me out without my umbrella, and the dark green sheet that had been drying on the fire escape. But what a good excuse to stay in and drink port.

sunnudagur, febrúar 13, 2005

má bjóða þér brú?

Christo's Gates look like they are very striking. It is too bad not to see them in person. I am perversely pleased to see that New Yorkers are collaborating with the artist in expanding the bounds of the work into a communal performance calling into question the nature of art, ownership, public space, commodification, and spectacle.

As least, that is how I interpret Christo's warning:

If anyone tries to sell you a ticket, do not buy it. This would be an act of fraud, because no tickets are needed.

I am eagerly keeping an eye for signs of those collaborating artists here.

Update: This guy is not buying it, anyway.


Saturday is when I do the weekly floral innkaup, but I have had a lie-in and risen too late to buy roses. That is as well. A good lie-in beats roses in my book. And when I do make it to the store (for Pinot Grigio and bread, not roses) there is a tumult of flowering everything there, and I am repelled by the excess of reds and pinks.

On the way back up the hill, I admire the spiny sweetgum seed pods (Liquidambar styraciflua) that have piled up against the curb in the bend of the road. I have always liked them, their little split spines like bird-beaks and their lightness. I recall being eleven or so and picking one up on a field trip, holding it in my palm and looking at it as the boys walking behind me, not destined to become great wits, made a tendentious claim to precocious puberty through a kind of training-wheels version of sexual harrassment: "Be careful not to get pricked ... huh huh ... don't get pricked."

I may forgo flowers entirely this week and go back out to the street for handfulls of sweetgum pods, set them on the table in a glass bowl.

laugardagur, febrúar 12, 2005


Macpherson is getting into the canon, they say. And if you want to see the original, look here, but you know, it might be gone. And, ach, sometimes that's the way it is.

But apparently the Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature is trying to give Macpherson his due. Professor Susan Manning, the editor of the volume in question, is quoted speaking about the Ossian kerfuffle, the great supposed hoax of its day, saying that it was a misunderstanding:

"That’s why it’s not as simple as a fraud versus a genuine translation. A lot of Highland readers said, ‘Yes, this is a translation, we remember these stories’. They would attest to its authenticity whereas the sceptics - often English or Anglo-Scots - would say translations require original manuscripts. "It was a clash of culture between an oral and a written tradition."

But now Macpherson is getting into the book. Johnson must be spinning in his grave, about ready to fight that duel now.

föstudagur, febrúar 11, 2005

slattern moon

Slender, slender new moon tonight -- white and sharp like a cat's claw I found between the floorboards once -- but she is round-heeled: she lies on her back.

I had had a phrase wedged in my memory about the "new moon lying on her back," and seeing tonight's luxuriously tipped moon I finally looked to see where I had those words from. Of course it turns out that I am thinking of an African new moon, Karen Blixen's moon over the Kenyan coffee plantation.

That moon must (logic dictates) have been even more slatternly than this one for being in a more southern sky. The angle of her reclining must have struck the Danish Baroness Blixen; she would have been used to more upstanding northern crescents. I know I heard that phrase long before I thought much of Denmark to the north or Africa to the south. Now I live somewhere else and this moon makes me think of both Denmark and Kenya.

fimmtudagur, febrúar 10, 2005

ef það heitir ekki neitt

Perversely, the net-journal of Iceland's Placename Institute (Örnefnastofnun) does not place each article on a separate page with its own name, eh, url. If you want to read Sævar Þ. Jóhannesson's article on camp names from the American and British occupations of Iceland, you will have to navigate from the forsíða of Nefnir yourself. But here, because I like lists, is a list of some of the names:


Bunker Hill

Very odd to think of Skerjafjörður as Ford Fjord, but perhaps no more odd than the íslenskuð örnefni I've mentioned before.


Stopping by a friend's office to chat, we both become aware, suddenly, of the absence of a great wolfish whiteness beneath the desk. We get sad about the eyes and agree that he had been a good dog, verdens kjekkeste hund, the kind of animal properly addressed in heightened language, in Old High Canine if at all possible. We sigh.

She then brightens and motions to the picture of the Boyfriend. It has become clear to her, she says, that he is somehow the reincarnation of that beloved dog. She sparkles a little as she lists their common traits and describes the Boyfriend's slow acceptance of this odd, unorthodox idea as a positive one. I nod.

However, I point out, the Boyfriend would probably not take it well if I were to try rolling around on the floor with him and biting his ears. She owns as this is likely correct.

miðvikudagur, febrúar 09, 2005


On Sprengidagur the Stöð 2 news shows a little item on að sprengja -- not on bursting from overeating (appropriate for Fat Tuesday) but on the heart exploding from grief (appropriate for February, season of the Valentine? Perhaps).

It seems that a new article in The Psychologist makes the case that heartbreak and its effects are deserving of real respect and attention from psychologist and psychiatrists. Stöð 2 points out that Icelanders are familiar with the seriousness of heartbreak from their own medieval sagas, particularly Laxdæla saga, in which Hrefna, widowed after the slaying of Kjartan, lives only a short time before dying of a broken heart - þat er sögn manna at hún hafi sprungit af stríði - literally bursting of sorrow.

Here is the text. Or watch the clip.

It's a strange little news item. They clearly had some trouble finding footage that suited. People strolling up and down Laugarvegur works with nearly anything in a pinch, I suppose, and the weather can of course be counted upon for dramatic, dismal effects. Obviously a close shot of someone experiencing actual heartbreak was out of the question. Just as well, really.

The clips accompanying the description of Laxdæla are unfortunately from the recent film of parts of Njáls saga. They depict not Kjartan Óláfsson being slain tragically by Bolli but Gunnar Hámundarson doing in someone who richly deserved it, and the woman snorting to herself is not the gentle (if colorless) Hrefna but Hallgerðr, she of the thief's eyes and the bowstring denied. All embarrassing in a spot that presses the notion that we all know our sagas.

Weirder than that is the strange cheeriness of the þulur reading the headline ástarsorg getur verið lífshættuleg -- "heartbreak can be deadly!" She seems gleeful, all Hallgerðr and no Hrefna.

What unknown saga lies behind that chipper delivery? I picture Amor, that other great bowman, in Gunnar's stead, making a stand at the window when his bowstring breaks. Did this woman refuse him a lock of her hair to braid a new one in his hour of need? Was the battle lost for that, whatever forces arrayed against Amor holding the day? Her hair seems short for a bowstring, but one never knows.

mánudagur, febrúar 07, 2005


The enthusiasm natives may have for their national traditions is not a given in all cases, but when it does manifest itself it does not surprise. The enthusiasm emigrants and expatriots have for the same is well known; the pull of home and its ways is strong. The obsession with the traditions of the home country exhibited by the descendents of the emigrants of former times is famous and well-studied. The pull of the imagined remembered home never even seen possesses a strange power -- perhaps one should simply say possesses and leave it at that. The enthusiasm demonstrated by certain by rights wholly unconcerned parties for the traditions of a distant land with which they have chosen for their own mysterious reasons to associate themselves is not at all well understood, but neither is it a wholly unexampled thing. One does meet such people. But the vigor with which some (by rights even more wholly unconcerned) friends of such people participate in or even instigate the celebration of such traditions once having gotten wind of them is entirely inexplicable.

That being said, however, it should be pointed out that some traditions end up making more sense in a new and unconnected place, having been translated into (of all prosaic tongues) English, as when a Monday morning starts with a brisk and festive walloping of someone's backside and the cheery cry of buns! buns!

sunnudagur, febrúar 06, 2005

under the sun

I've passed that old black dog three times now on my way up from the market. She walks stiffly, with the air of a stout, sourmouthed shopkeep. The fur on her face grows in odd tufts. She lies in the sunlight on that corner and gives me the once-over as I go by, but she is not interested in exchanging pleasantries.

If she is the dog I think she is, then I have seen her before and I have heard her story once from the afternoon girl in my old café across town. She was bitten badly in the face as a puppy by another dog, and it's made her a little wary and a smidge ugly. I remember the afternoon girl telling me this between drags on her cigarette, a smoke break in the sunlight outside when a pause between customers permitted.

That café is no longer. Neither the afternoon girl; she was killed by a late-night drunk driver years ago. I was away and did not make it to the funeral, but I am told that her biker friends turned out in their finest leathers and rode as a guard of honor behind the hearse. It must have been regal. The bikers I see now and then at another café one town south of here, taking their coffee while leaning against their shiny machines.


These days go by periodically, ones on which I honestly cannot recall why it is that I do not own a cat.

Then I think: maybe I do own a cat, and he's just out on his rounds. I see him in my mind's eye making his brindled way around the neighborhood, paying respects and having respects paid. Dodging under parked cars. Regarding indoor dogs haughtily through the glass. Turning, as he steps along, each forefoot inward and over like a cardplayer picking up his hand of cards from the table and holding them near his chest where he can just see them before setting them back down.

Then I wonder when he'll get back, full of neighborhood gossip but meowing for dinner. Then I recall that I do not own a cat, and he scampers away again until the next one of these days happens.

laugardagur, febrúar 05, 2005

klettar og drangur

I remember only a few things from Friday morning's dreams.

A steep, curving descent by air, full as steep as the approach into Ísafjörður, past high black volcanic cliffs. There are hundreds and hundreds of elaborately decorated graves in the crags where the nests of sea birds might have been. Some are the graves of beloved animals; these are clustered on the steepest peak separated by a narrow strip of water from the shore proper. Banking, they are very near. In the high-latitude sunlight the gravesites seem festive. The decorations are colorful and they flutter in the ocean breeze.

The town comes into view in pieces, each one suddenly, from behind an outcropping. The architecture is ornate and precious, like Dutch baroque: stepped rooflines and carved brick, all in a tiny scale, like parts of Brussels squeezed onto Heimey. I am pointing out the charm, happy to see the place again, eager to share my local knowledge even if it may be a little outdated. My invisible interlocutors (two? three? I must judge by voices) are impressed, excited; they ooh and ahh. I do not know who they are, even if I am meant to. No, wait: one may have the head of a dog. (I am not sure about that.)

On the ground, that evening (it is a bright northern summer night), there is a party. I attend. It takes a long time to recognize there someone I used to know. He's changed, cut his hair, bleached it. He doesn't meet my eyes. I find I do not care.

föstudagur, febrúar 04, 2005


I remembered that there was a dog saint, not just a dog-headed saint as Christopher sometimes is, but a dog who was martyred and sainted. Somewhere in France in the Middle Ages. I could not remember his name.

This disturbed me. I don't like forgetting the names of things, even less so the names of dogs, especially good ones. I went looking.

His name was Guinefort; he was a greyhound, blessaður. His story is told by Étienne de Bourbon, a Dominican, in De Supersticione. His day is the twenty-second of August. There is book about him as Le saint lévrier, the greyhound saint, or really: saint chaser-of-hares. The breed is an ancient one, called in Latin Leporarius because of its usefulness at coursing for small, fleet, long-eared game. I prefer to imagine him coursing after hares than being martyred after his battle with the serpent.

I am pleased to see that he has other admirers.

örn og skikkja

The great broad-winged bird circling in the distance in the late morning must have been an eagle. It was too big to be a hawk. I slept through the clatter of the jays and rose late to see through the branches of the nearest trees the eagle sailing the forenoon thermals to the west.

They are reevaluating bird intelligence, I hear, and not just among the corvids, though they are certainly more than clever. The Times was just saying that "[r]elative to its body size, the crow brain is the same size as the chimpanzee brain." Apparently the idea that intelligence must come in a brain organized like our own, in layers of cells, is coming under attack. The avian brain is set up differently, in clusters rather than layers. We think with the neocortex; they may think with the pallium.

Cortex means outer covering, especially the bark of a tree. Pallium is another kind of outer thing. In ancient Rome a pallium was a kind of men's overgarment or cloak. Later it became a liturgical garment. Trying to imagine bird intelligence, seeing the eagle this morning, I wonder what it is like to think with a cloak.

miðvikudagur, febrúar 02, 2005


Windy, blustery, blowy, gusty. Your sleeping brain heard the wind in the trees and in the three hours before waking it dreamt fitfully of thunder and rain. But the world is dry. The bare branches outside the window are still gray. The air moves through them, and they sway and twist as if restless in their own dreams, winding the covers as they turn and turn.

rabbit rabbit

I was remiss today. I did not utter the magic phrase upon first waking to ensure my good luck this month. I do not recall exactly what I said first, but it was not rabbit rabbit. February is not generally such a bad month that I feel supernatual help is more necessary than in other months. November is in my experience worse. Nevertheless every little bit helps, you know, som kjerringa sa mens hun pisset i sjøen. Far be it from me to turn down some slight betterment of my overall fortune. Or perhaps I should be philosophical, grateful that the first words out of my mouth were not more along the lines of Faaaaaen... the rent!

Still, still.

I offer the gods of February this image of Dürer's 1502 hare instead. Perhaps this will assuage them: not just a lapine but one labelled 15-02, as if marked for the celebration of Februa on the fifteenth of this month.

There. We should be quits now.

Hvaðan þið eruð