This morning I woke to the buffeting wind against the window panes, an almost regular feature of life here. The sea outside was laced with whitecaps, and the outer panes of the double glass were flexing in the gusts. The wind here is almost constant, even on the nicest of days, and while it does serious damage to your hair (maybe this is why the Icelandic haircut preferences tend towards messy... if you can't be it, join it), it certainly clears out the lungs well.
Last night, for example, we went to a seedy Thai/Icelandic restaurant/disco near the main bus station in town, and after a spicy beery meal in the smoky atmosphere, nothing was quite so welcome as the first gust of air when we stepped outside again. At the end of a long workday, I step out the door and the wind picks me up and shakes out the worries. The wind keeps me swimming quickly too, so I can avoid having my arms in the wind-whipped air as much as possible.
Unfortunately, this wind also creates problems when combined with those ravens I'm always talking about. Two weeks ago, one of them let loose as they flew past the window, leaving a huge splatter across both panes of our living room window. In spite of the collective creative potential of the two brains in the house, J and I have been unable to figure out how to remove it. The window is two panes wide, and each pane is four feet wide (more than a meter each for you Euro readers). They can only be reached from the balcony on one side, and we're on the fifth floor.
I tried some creative gyrations last weekend, involving a mop and some pretzeled contortions on the balcony, but I only managed to smear the nearer one a bit, and the leftmost pane is still sullied. Now, every time the weather is bad, I keep hoping the wind is blowing off the sea, and maybe, just maybe, it will scrub our window clean. I've run out of other ideas, but I've gotta say, the view is NOT the same with a huge white splatter in the middle of it.
Ship sighting: Some heavy tanker action today- there are four different ships either arriving or departing. One of them is Kotlas. Apparently this is also the name of a town in Russia, so the image search for this one was full of pictures of Russian buildings, and all kinds of shady-looking boats in the port there.