The North Sea

Do you ever feel like running away to live on the Moors in Scotland or in some beautiful, serene foggy Icelandic village?

I do.  My house :D

This morning my buddy Kent posted a FB link to this song: Árstíðir – Heyr himna smiður

It’s a hymn in Icelandic. But I gotta tell ya, it’s so much more than that. Icelandic is a beautiful language, It is the only living language that retains the thorn (þ and Đ, with variations)–a letter from the runic language Futhark which makes the “th” sound. I love Icelandic because it reminds me of Anglo-Saxon, but in a living, breathing variety. The music from that island is also incredibly haunting (see Ólafur Arnalds’ 0040Pú ert sólin, or 3055 or Sigur Rós, etc). I can’t tell whether it’s something about the loneliness of such a sparsely populated island, the cold harsh northern climate, the connections to Viking/Nordic seafaring culture, or just the ethereal connection to my Anglo-Saxon roots–for some reason I’m drawn to that part of the world.

This afternoon I’ve spent hours listening to Icelandic music and studying Wikipedia articles on traditional music, culture, politics, climate, history, and language, and I’ve branched out to Scotland, the Isle of Man, and other areas from that part of the world. For some reason a part of me yearns for the rugged simplicity of a life on the cold, fog-swept moors of Scotland… It’s weird because I love technology, I hate the cold, and I can’t stand fish, yet something pulls me back there.


Anyone want to move away with me? I think I’d like to live anywhere shown on this map:

Sometimes I spend too much time listening to music and studying language and culture from those areas and I just want to buy some sweaters and boots, carve myself a kayak, and grow a gnarly beard and live in a shack as I write a book… Like this guy:




Filed under On Randomness

6 responses to “The North Sea

  1. I am listening to Olafur Arnalds at this very moment! And I am adding Iceland to my mental checklist of places to visit. We should do a backpacking trip. That would be amazing.

  2. Marina

    I have a serious flirtationship with Jonsi’s music (I totally freaked when one of his songs was at the end of How to Train Your Dragon). I totally get the haunting, ethereal quality you’re talking about.
    On the subject of Scotland, my great- or great-great-grandfather came over directly from Scotland. I’m of the Ramsay clan *stands tall and proud* I absolutely LOVE bagpipes, and I’d love to visit someday. When Kent and I are rich…

  3. “Do you ever feel like running away to live on the Moors in Scotland or in some beautiful, serene foggy Icelandic village?”

    I had that exact thought sitting at my desk at work one night last fall. Then I did it. Of course, Reykjavik is not quite a little village, but it’s so cute and serene. And I spent three weeks in Isafjordur in the summer, which really is the definition of peaceful.

    • Alex M. Jennings

      I forgot to respond to you, Hannah! But I was excited to read your comment. I am so jealous! Did you learn any Icelandic?

      • I’m working on it. I’m here for a year, then Denmark for a semester, then back here for a semester, so I have time. I can order coffee and basic things like that as well as pronounce most things.

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