Whatever you´re doing, wherever you are right now, make me a promise that one day you will come to Iceland in the winter. Yes it´s cold and yes, there´s not a lot of daylight, but a country covered in thick powdered snow has an ethereal mystique that I for one have never seen before.
In the past 48 hours I´ve watched geysers spit huge clouds of water and steam into the sky, a kind of earth burp that will never end. I´ve seen a giant waterfall and felt like I was on the edge of the world as the water crashed down around me and the spray showered my cheeks with droplets of ice. I´ve swum in an outdoor thermal spa, in the dark, surrounded by steam and mist and wondered whether this is what it´s like at the border of life and death. If so it´s something to no bad thing. I´ve covered my skin in white Icelandic mud on a promise of eternal youth and watched the northern lights dance their crazy green dreams across the stars. I´ve also bought the most fabulously kitsch Viking-themed tat for one and all (this country has the tacky souvenir factor down to a T), walked around a Viking longhouse (go to a museum called 871) and lost my phone in a Rejkyavik nightclub owned by Damon Albarn. It is yet another tribute to this country that within 25 minutes I had said phone back. In London it would have been bought and sold on eBay by now.
The only thing I have realised is that I am too old, mentally if not biologically, to party here. Yesterday, after attending three parties in the warm up to the night out itself, I found myself falling asleep in an Irish bar at 3.30am and begging for a taxi while my Icelandic host wanted to dance the night away. While there is a lot to be said for getting the drinking done first (booze here is prohibitively expensive. I spent twenty pounds last night on a pint of beer, a vodka/lemonade and a bacardi/orange), my sad old body can´t cope. Once the drinking stops, it´s time for bed these days. I have somehow lasted til 5am the last few nights - but it´s been a challenge. My sister (without whom I wouldn´t be here, we are staying with friends of hers) has ventured out again tonight, our last night. I meanwhile have opted gratefully for a night of blogging and composing a love letter to MC (we nearly split up last weekend but I don´t want to marr this post with all that right now). In any case being away from him here has made me realise just how much he means to me. I am pathetically excited about seeing him tomorrow. Even though I don´t want this current adventure to come to an end.