serious

Sunday.

Quiet. Today I have mostly been rereading the late Desmond Bagley's "Running Blind". It's a spy thriller, set in Iceland around the time it was wrtten - about 1970. There was a BBC Scotland adaptation of it (well, the hero's Scottish, y'see . . . sorta) in the late seventies that I remember watching and enjoying at the time but don't remember anything about. Sometime later - perhaps as late as the early eighties - I swiped my granddad's copy of the book and read it. Somewhat shamefully, I still have it. Barney's pretty much blind now, so he probably doesn't have much use for the thing, but I should probably have gotten around to giving it back sometime in the last twenty years.

If I've borrowed anything of yours and it's been a while, please remember to remind me.

Anyway, I had the map of Iceland that I picked up last weekend open on the floor next to me. As it happens, I visited a few of the locations and travelled a few of the roads that appear in the book. Some of these I was aware of, and some I wasn't.

It's a very good read. Looking around the Marvelous InterWeb, I notice that a fair proportion of people who mention this book also say that they were very taken with the portrayal of Iceland and Icelanders. Some of them seem to have visited as a result. A couple retraced part of a route across the interior by bicycle.

Little-known Iceland fact : after about 90 years of being almost exactly dormant (episodes involving a hundred pounds of soap powder notwithstanding), Geysir has apparently gone off a few times in the last couple of years. The accounts vary in how often they say this is and how impressive compared to its former glories, though. It follows some earth tremors in southern Iceland in June 2000, apparently, which have increased the hot-spring activity in the area generally.

Understandably little-known non-Iceland fact : said Granddad, Barney, joined the Royal Artillery in 1937. After Dunkirk he volunteered for Commando training, which is how he met my Gran - they were based in Ayrshire, which is where she's from and where I (and my mother before me) grew up. The next few years were spent on things like coastal raiding and worrying training exercises. He was then, and is still, a communist, which had more than a little to do with his motivations. Between then and finally retiring, he was mostly a joiner.
The few war stories he's told me revolve around how terrible the officers he served under were.

In practical terms, I've put some clothes in the washer. I had a smallish whisky, which was very nice. After that I decided to get the drill out and finish putting up that curtain-rail. And a moment later I decided that maybe that wasn't such a good idea.
Iceland
It follows some earth tremors in southern Iceland in June 2000, apparently, which have increased the hot-spring activity in the area generally.

I went there in July 1999, and saw quite a few hot springs and geysirs (amongst lots of other things, my favourites being the Blue Lagoon and the beaches). I can't remember which ones I saw, but it was all quite fascinating :)
Re: Iceland
The Blue Lagoon was very nice - suprisingly, because I wouldn't have thought it was my kind of thing at all. Were you there before or after the remodelling?

The only geysers and hot springs I saw were around Geysir itself. Very impressive, though. And very smelly.
Re: Iceland
Blue Lagoon: I think it was after, but I might be wrong. Maybe I'll have a check in my Iceland file (read: Bag of Random Stuff and Wods of Photos) after I've moved and done some sorting out. I do remember being worried there would be too many people there because it was a major tourist attraction, but there wasn't many at all the day we went so that was nice. I think I can say it was one of the more unusual experiences in my life!

In summary, we were based in Rekjavik and went on various coach tours around the south and west regions. IIRC the geysers were only in one place which sounds like it was where you went, but there were hot springs at a few different places we visited. I would like to go back one day and do the east and north sides!
Re: Iceland

In summary, we were based in Rekjavik and went on various coach tours around the south and west regions.

Likewise. I'd like to go back for longer and see more of the country.

IIRC the geysers were only in one place which sounds like it was where you went

It's the famous bit. It features in that book, although apparently not in the TV version.