This is the house the local magician lives in. It’s much bigger inside than it looks from the outside, which is why he doesn’t have any windows, so as not to shock any people that might happen to peer in. He has barbecues on his porch in the summer, he told us. And in winter he eats a lot of herring. The only supermarket this side of the pass used to be the most expensive in the world, but since the crash it’s now only the most expensive in Iceland. So, he said, he catches what he can during the summer, storing it up like a squirrel, and the rest of the time he works on perfecting the art of pulling food out of his top hat. He said he’d been trying to perfect this for thirty seven years and had got nowhere yet, but that he was one of life’s great optimists and would try, try and try again. As I was leaving he gave me a balloon twisted into the shape of a reindeer, but I popped it on a bare twig on my way home. It’s a shame I didn’t get a photo. It was beautiful.


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