Lockdown Armchair Travel – Iceland in 1998

I is for Iceland – not the supermarket but that frozen little island to the north of the nearest Viking. We went there for a week in March/April 1998, during which time the day temperature warmed up from -4 to +3 degrees. Positively balmy!

So what do you think of, when you think of Iceland? Mainly – ice!


I took lots of photos on this holiday but for some reason can only find a few – and I’m not sure where most of them were taken. I know there’s the amazing place in the centre of the island where the tectonic plates meet – and all the steam rises out of the centre of the earth!


The very bold and daring might creep right up to the edge and look down!


Not that far from the capital Rejkjavik you can find the Þingvellir National Park




It’s an extraordinary landscape



Our hotel was the Saga and was just on the outskirts of Rejkjavik, which gave a very picturesque view of the city as you walked in.




The big pond was frozen when we arrived, but had turned into water by the time we left!


Plenty of opportunities for some quirky photos



And the locals were very friendly


Sorry not to be able to show you more of the sights, but this is a little taster if you fancy going, or a small souvenir if you’ve already been! Tomorrow it’s back to the theatre memories, and some shows I saw between July and September 1979. Stay safe!

2010 Eurovision songs I like so far

Many parts of Europe have been getting their backsides into gear to start selecting their Eurovision entry. UK – not yet, quelle surprise. Here are just a few songs that I’ve heard in these preliminary stages that I have really enjoyed. I think they have all already failed to qualify or are unlikely to qualify for Oslo – such is the way of the world when it comes to choosing your Euro representative.

In Iceland, microphone problems combined with some high-pitched squeaking put an end to the chances of this little gem. A disco number where Iceland met Turkey but more in terms of grocery shopping rather than national pride.

Also from Iceland, a nice guitarry sound from a group that maybe didn’t come across as having an exportable identity, but nevertheless satisfies the inner soul musically.

And a more upbeat Icelandic group entry, one that cannot fail to bring a smile to your face. (Well it does to mine.)

In Norway, there is a song through to the last chance saloon round that whenever I hear it I cannot get it out of my mind for hours. I would have thought that was a good thing for Eurovision. It’s done well in the charts there too.

I’m fond of this one too, sung in Norwegian, which may not be to its advantage in Oslo but might make it stand out to the local crowd when it comes to making their Big Decision.

Alexander Stenerud has another song in the Norwegian final and I don’t think it has the same dramatic intensity of Find My Girl, with which he failed to go to Moscow, but it’s certainly enjoyable and entertaining.

The Swiss entry has been announced; it has a certain charm, and I enjoy hearing it at the moment, but I don’t think it’s going to bring Switzerland to the forefront of Musical Note.

I know I have omitted a number of entries that might be considered to be “fan favourites”, but these are the ones that have given me most pleasure so far. I’m also a bit behind on hearing songs from outside the Nordic areas, I admit. I think my favourite from this bunch is “Yes Man”. What’s yours?