“Pinch, punch, first of the month.”

That’s what Shay said this morning, just before she hit me. We kept seeing yellow cars, too.

I booked our trip to Reykjavik as a Christmas present for Shay, and it feels like that was a lifetime ago. I can’t believe we’re finally on our way.

I guess our story begins last night. I had the monthly strategy call with KX10 and Shay had her pottery class, where she made a super cute model of a cat reading a book. The timings worked out so that she came over just as the call was finishing, and we spent the rest of the evening watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The plan was to have an early night and to get a decent night’s sleep, but that didn’t happen. We fell asleep at about 2 AM after doing a guided meditation, then woke up just after six and played some Wii. I kicked Shay’s ass at Carnival Mini Golf and won at Worms: Battle Islands (out of us – the computer beat us both), and then we packed our stuff. I had one last pass at cleaning the flat and jumped into the shower, then set up the Biggie cameras.

After that, we walked to Shay’s, stopping off at Starbucks for coffee. I bought Shay some sort of chocolate pretzel iced coffee creation that she said was the best thing she’s ever had there. We had just enough time for Shay to give me a quick tarot reading and then Tracy drove us to Luton Airport.

Shay was amazed that there’s no smoking area and police knocking around with rifles. Check-in was relatively painless and we ended up at the Smithfield for lunch, which was over-priced but pretty tasty. I had the veg market brunch: vegan sausages, roasted peppers, flat mushroom, smashed avocado, roasted tomato, chunky chips and baked beans. They refused to give it to me without the beans, ew.

From there, we boarded the flight, which left late because one of the doors hit the steps and they had to get a technician to check it out before we left. We were sat next to a musician of some kind who had to move all her shit so we could sit down. It was cute because we spent most of the flight cuddling up and reading, although we were also glad to land so we could go and vape.


Hús Máls og Menningar

She’s drinking Coca-Cola,

he’s drinking Sprite,

the people are singing

“so good, so good, so good”,

except they shouldn’t.


The snow outside

crushed to ice

and a man shouts something

about the apocalypse,

we’re not scared of zombies

even though the cold

might stop them

from decomposition.


Window-ledge guitars

better than my butterfly,

my bumblebee,

not as good as the wolf

but the wolf needs new strings

and is on the other side

of the Atlantic.


Shay looks sad

but she says she’s only tired,

I feel like I was punched

under the stomach.




the phenomenon

and not the magazine.


The walls have eyes,

10,000 books,

and a couple of tote bags.


Yesterday: live music.

Today: live music.

Tomorrow: live music.


It was cold outside, but not as cold as we were expecting. We found the shuttle bus no problem and then it was a 15-minute walk to the hotel. We were stuck outside for ten minutes while I tracked down a message they’d sent with our instructions to get in, and we only made it because some other people who were staying there arrived and held the door for us.

I think the anxiety of international travel kicked in then, because I had a stomach flare-up and was feeling ill. But I felt better after a little sit and so then we wrapped ourselves up and went for a stroll in search of live music.

I found a place on Google called Hús Máls og Menningar, which was a book shop, bar and live music venue rolled into one, so that was a good little adventure. We only stayed for one drink and then the music ended and Shay (and I) needed sleep, so we made our way back to the hotel.

That’s where we are now. Shay is just dozing off while I catch up with this, and I’ll be joining her shortly. We were going to get up at 6:30 AM, but we’ve just found out that our Golden Circle Tour is cancelled. I’m going to call them up at 7 AM when they open and see if we can either do it later in the day or first thing on Friday. And the Northern Lights tour we’re meant to be going on was cancelled tonight and so fingers crossed it goes ahead tomorrow.


First World Problems in the Snow

Stop cancelling things,

it’s only the weather

and not a celebrity

caught in a Nazi salute

or a streamer

wanking to deep fakes.


I know

if your car breaks down

in the Icelandic countryside

or you run out of fuel

in the winter,

you probably die

or get frostbite.


But I’m only here

for two rotations,

and I don’t want to miss

what I came for.


I came for love,

but it cost me money,

and the bank notes I got

are mostly useless.


Nowhere takes cash,

it’s card only,

and I’m worried about

my bank account.


Same story,

different country.



Holy damn, it’s cold. Cold and wet. And it’s not doing the eczema on my hands any good.

I fell asleep pretty much as soon as I finished writing and Shay had already dozed off. I was up at 7 AM to see about re-booking our Golden Circle tour, and we eventually managed it for an 11:30 AM pickup.

We were collected from the BSI Bus Terminal and so that meant a one mile walk through the snow. Our feet were already wet by the time that we got there, and we had a tense half hour when we weren’t sure whether they were going to show up or not. Fortunately, they did.

The tour was fantastic. The coach was nice and warm and our guide was super knowledgeable, and so we picked up a lot of info.

Our first stop was at Þingvellir National Park, where the Icelandic Parliament first met over 1,000 years ago. It sits on the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, which are drifting slowly apart, and so there are some stunning chasms and a long walkway. We saw the stone that the old chiefs used to stand on, as well as the site where they used to drown women by putting them in burlap sacks filled with stones. Most of the witches were men, who got burned at the stake; the women were incestuous, unfaithful or guilty of infanticide due to leaving unwanted babies to freeze to death in the snow.

We just had time to grab a coffee and browse the gift shop and then we were off to our next destination, Strokkur Waterspout. We saw some steam and some hot water bubbling out of the ground, but we were too cold to wait around for a geyser. Instead, we had a quick wander and then sat inside. Shay spent £40 on a bracelet and I got more magnets, a French book of Icelandic fairy tales and a piece of volcanic rock that had been turned into a tealight holder.

Our next stop was Gullfoss, or the Golden Waterfall. In the early 1900s, there were plans to turn it into a hydroelectric dam, but a young woman called Sigríður Tómasdóttir took offence. She loved the falls and when her father (who part-owned the land) refused to stop the development, she walked barefoot to Reykjavik – which was 71.5 miles away – and begged parliament to intervene, saying that when the first construction equipment arrived, she’d throw herself over the falls. She needn’t have bothered. Parliament didn’t’ intervene, but the plans fell through anyway.

It was a beautiful place, and we got some great photos, especially when the sun started to set. Shay said it was her favourite place in the whole world. She got some goodies from the gift shop there, too.

Then it was time to head back to the hotel, but we only got halfway. Our bus was blown off the road, down a hill and into a snowbank by a strong gust of wind. A lot of people panicked, but I was mostly annoyed because I needed to take a leak.

It took an hour and a half for the police and a replacement bus to arrive, and the driver killed a little time by telling us a ghost story. The whole thing reminded me of Bram Stoker’s Snowbound and has inspired a book idea…

The second coach stopped at some services that were frankly unprepared for thirty full bladders, and then someone in a car cut us up and almost caused a second accident. But we made it back to the city, survived the walk to our hotel and now we’re in bed with the radiator on. What a day.



We almost died



Not from the ice

we kept slipping on

or the snow

falling from the roofs

in the smoky bay

of Reykjavik.


Not from the cold,

the biting wind

that left my hands


looking like an eczema plague

made me a zombie.


Not by shifting tectonics,

nor by being burned

at the stake

as a heretic,

a cis white witch

with a dick,

or a mother

who left her baby

on her doorstep.


Not from the geysers

bubbling from the ground,

80-100 degrees Celsius

so don’t dip your hands in,

not in visitor’s centres

or because of the weather,

the coldest winter in 100 years,

they say if you don’t like it,

wait 20 minutes

and it’ll change.


Not from a computer,

it’s called a tölva;

not from the prophetess of numbers

or her disciples.


Not in a forest,


if you get lost in the woods,

stand up,

the trees aren’t as tall

as you are.


Not from a horse

or an Icelander;

not from telling them

you love their ponies.


Not from the golden waterfall,

either from going down in a barrel

or hiking barefoot to parliament.


We almost died


our bus hit

a crosswind

in a blizzard.

And we skidded

off the road

into a snowdrift.


And our bladders burst

while waiting

to be rescued.



Writing is hard today because the cold has made my eczema worse, to the point at which I only have three unaffected fingers and my hands just bleed and ooze by themselves, now.

We slept like a pair of logs, except or when I went to take a leak and woke Shay up. We had to check out by ten and so we packed our stuff and headed out into the snow. It was weird because we ended up walking down Laugavegur at 9:30 AM and it was still pre-dawn. Most places were closed, although we stopped off at a hippie shop for souvenirs.

Our first real stop was the Icelandic Punk Museum, which is in a converted public toilet. It was cool to wander around but pretty small, though for 1,000 krona, you can’t complain. There was a guitar there you could play and it was actually in tune, so I ran through the chord progression for Watch the Planet Die.

We were hungry after that and so we were going to go to a place called Vegan World Peace, but it turned out to be closed due to water damage. We went to The Laundromat instead, where I had the best vegan brunch I’ve ever had, with elements of a cooked breakfast plus fruit, pancakes and granola.

Our next stop was Kattakaffihusid, the cat café. I had a coffee and we chatted to a few of the cats, so Biggie will be jealous when we get home. It was a great experience and even better because you could go in for free, unlike most of the cat cafes I’ve heard of in the UK.

Then we walked towards the harbour and checked out the Aurora Centre. The snow and ice was treacherous and the wind was insane because there were fewer buildings to shield us. The museum was cool, though. We learned a lot about the aurora, watched some video footage on a huge screen while lying on bean bags and tried on some VR headsets, which I’ve somehow never done before. They gave out free coffee to visitors, too.

That was our last attraction, and so we walked from there to the BSI bus station, almost dying in the process from the traffic and the weather. We had time for a coffee (and some pizza for Shay), and then we took the bus to the airport.

The wind was insane on the road and so we’re lucky that we didn’t have a repeat of yesterday’s accident. We’re both shattered and so I tried to nap, but I just ended up feeling travel sick.

Now we’re at Keflavik Airport, but our flight’s been delayed by an hour and so we’re hanging out at Joe the Juice and waiting for our departure gate to be announced.


Steroid Cream

A man’s hands

are the tools with which

he marks the world,

the automatic weaponry

he fights his wars with.


Without his hands,

he’s ‘armless,

he’s a snow shovel

on the beaches

of Normandy.


This man’s hands

are red with anger,

anger at another man

who took his sweet time

at a photo booth.


The skin is flayed

like the Boltons’ banner,

fingers cracked and weeping

like a patient

on a psych ward.


Like an honest politician,

they hurt when they bend,

and also

they’re non-existent.


They’re nothing but pain

and inflammation.



The flight home was okay once we were finally able to board, but it was two hours late in the end because the bad weather delayed our plane coming in. It also took forever to get through customs, especially because the automated passport scanner didn’t work for me and so after waiting in one queue, I had to wait in another. They asked me a bunch of questions about why my passport hadn’t worked and so I had to explain that I have no control over whether or how their computer system works.

Tracy was good enough to pick us up and take us home, and so we made our way to meet her at the medium stay car park and then headed home, arriving at mine at about 1 AM. The original goal had been to get back at 10:30 PM.

Biggie had missed us, and so we gave him some fuss for a little while and then ordered a pizza. We ate that while watching Buzzfeed Unsolved, then I finished sorting through my photos and we passed out.

Iceland trip = complete.


Icelandic food and drink reviews from Shay:

  • XL New York style cheese pizza: These are delicious. They come warm and they are the size of two pieces of normal pizza. They are delicious and by far my favourite so far. 7/10
  • Cinnamon stick: It comes warm but not the best and quite dry. It did have chocolate syrup on top but most of it got stuck to the bag. 1/10
  • Icelandic chocolate milk chocolate with toffee and sea salt: Delicious, addictive, flavoursome chocolate. Worth the money and hard to just have one piece. The toffee and sea salt adds the perfect amount of sweetness. I would definitely buy it again if I had the chance. 9/10
  • Hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate chips: Warm hot chocolate for the cold weather. The presentation was fabulous and looked really tasty. The chocolate I had before may have dampened the taste. It wasn’t the best in the world. It had a bit of a weird flavour and was a little bit chalky. 3/10
  • Caramel milkshake: This milkshake was super sweet, just how I like it. It came with whipped cream which adds the perfect amount of decoration and thickness. They were very generous with the caramel and whipped cream. It’s worth the money and I wish I bought two. 10/10
  • Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and butter: These pancakes were really filling so I wasn’t able to finish them. They were super generous with the maple syrup and butter. They were really nice but lacking a bit of flavour. 6/10
  • Aurora centre coffee with oat milk: The coffee was lukewarm and watery. 0/10
  • Næra icelandic skyr snack strawberry crunch: It’s okay for the price but really dry. Feels like eating cereal without milk. 3/10
  • XL New York style Hawaiian pizza: This pizza was even better than the cheese one which I didn’t think was possible. It was super filling and I would definitely buy it again. 8/10