Thursday, 27 December 2007

and that just about wraps it up for Christmas

Well, that was Christmas. Yes, I ate too much, but more important- ly, I took waaaay too many photos. Some are up on Picasa, one is my current desktop, and another is here.

Luce and I have nearly finished reading all the poems about the Yuletide Lads, their mother & her husbands, and the Christmas Cat. I am also working my way steadily through Luce's After Dinner Mints (he told me I had to be careful not to close the drawer too loudly so that I could eat them with impunity - I'm not sure if this means I'm allowed to eat as many as I like so long as he doesn't hear...)

And it's back to work tomorrow - Christmas here is a long weekend, not a month-long holiday!

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Christmas Bread

We made some traditional Icelandic Christmas bread the other day, you may have seen the photos on picasa. Here's a video of the cooking process.

In other news, we have now passed The Shortest Day, and I'm expecting to be woken by the daylight 7 minutes earlier tomorrow. Hopefully by the new year I can get up before 10am...

Monday, 17 December 2007

What do we think of Reykjavik? She's alright!

Bliss! Icelanders have their own brunost!! It's called Rjóma Mysuostur, and it's a lot like my favourite Norwegian brunost. Hagkoop (the local Coles) also has Tine brand Gudbrandsdalost brunost, but at $20 for a 500g block, Luce wasn't very encouraging when I expressed my interest in purchasing some. Thankfully the local stuff is only about $6.

I've been collecting 'odd things about Iceland/ers/Reykjavik' in my head, and I thought it was time to post them:

1. The bus drivers here are ab-so-lute-ly insane. They accelerate up to red lights, roundabouts and bus stops before slamming on the brakes, they accelerate far more ferociously than any bus I've been in before has been capable of, they take corners like they're on rails (which they're not - snow or ice is more like it), and I've yet to have a bus trip where at least one person didn't get thrown out of their seat on one of these manoeveurs. Think Harry Potter on the Knight Bus, and that's pretty much what it's like, except here the chairs are bolted down, and there is a mysterious heat that warms your back and toes, and for which I've yet to find its actual source. They also don't open the back door until they've completely stopped, which always leaves me worried whether I'll be let out at all!

2. Icelanders don't seem to say 'hello', 'goodbye', 'excuse me' or 'please'. They also don't mind bumping into you and pretending it didn't happen (personal space in a queue extends only as far as your bones). This contrasts massively with boarding a bus, where everyone stands back to let everyone go on first - no pushing whatsoever.

3. The Wind is quite extraordinary. It can blow strongly enough so that if I jump in the air, I land somewhere different to where I took off from. This is quite fun when it's blowing in a direction you want to walk in, but I got a bit of a shock once when a sudden side-ways gust nearly landed me in a massive puddle (that I had thought I was a safe distance from!). It's also scary near roads, where you can never be sure that you won't get pushed into oncoming traffic... or that oncoming traffic won't be blown into you. I stand well back from the gutter now when I'm waiting to cross the road, ever since I found tyres tracks 2 foot into the footpath one snowy & icy evening. And heard the stories about the cars blown off the roads, and my office buddy's skylight that got blown off at 2 o'clock in the morning.

4. Icelanders totally don't 'get' Christmas. There's no Santa, only 13 elf things that come and lick pots and bowls, slam doors, peep through windows, eat your skyr and sausages, and chase your sheep. Oh, and their mother who's a troll, along with her latest husband. And the Christmas Cat of course, who eats children who don't wear new clothes at Christmas. I think Gryla the troll also eats children. (Actually, nowadays the 'Yule lads' (the elves) leave a present each night for the kids in their shoes, and if you're naughty you just get a raw potato. None of which really sounds like the Christmas I knew as a kid.) Luce and I were talking about this today, and really, Christmas here sounds like it's run by bunyips and drop-bears - there's rather a lack of Americanisation in this part of Icelandic life at least.

5. Icelanders have a love affair with cars that I imagine is only matched in America. For example: it's a 10 minute walk (if that) to the shops. Our landlord thinks that that's too far to walk (okay, so a big shop is somewhat out of the question). But there's a general perception that anything more than 2 minutes is driving distance (one uni building to another for example - I kid you not). I had assumed that this was because the weather was so bad that no-one could tolerate it. But it's really quite warm here. When it rains, the temperature goes up to about 8 or 9 (which feels like about 20). It's MILD. It's far less extreme than what I've experienced in Norway (or Melbourne for that matter), where everyone gets about in the outdoors, and they have a saying 'Det er ikkje dårleg ver, bare dårleg kle' (there's no such thing as bad weather, there's just bad clothers). People who I've mentioned this to here have just looked confused.

Sorry for the long post! We took the camera to Ikea yesterday, and we're making Christmas bread on Tuesday, so more photos then!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Tales from the Binding Workshop

Gave my talk yesterday, looking at differences in the acceptability of long-distance binding of seg and sin in Norwegian, which fitted in very nicely with the preceding talk, AND I was cited (different works too!) by two people in their papers :) (the two I most wanted to meet, and not only do I like their work, but they are both lovely people, and we're going to arrange me going to Oslo in May or so).

Us foreigners were then taken to the Blue Lagoon this evening, where we paddled about in bath-warm/hot water, covered ourselves in beneficial white mud (silica mud) in the lava pools created in the run-off from a power station down near Keflavik, I turned into Beetroot Face in the saunas and longed for snow to roll in, and then we had dinner. Somehow the conversation turned to people falling asleep in lectures, and we had a bit of a 'that's NOTHin'!' competition:

  • I told about my student who didn't take notes, but would sit up straight watching me, and so was very obvious when he slept;
  • Ken told about a small class where two students side by side listed to the same side as they slept, and the rest of the class tried to work out if there was a strange gravity effect there;
  • I told about my first years, and the guy down the front who I used to lecture specifically for, trying to keep awake;
  • Ken told about a postdoc's job application talk, where 5 of the 9 panel member audience fell asleep in one guy's talk, and then how he fell asleep in the most recent job talk where he was a panel member, and that person got the job;
  • someone (Øystein?) told about a class with 3 students, one of whom was a maths student who used to read the newspaper and then fall asleep in class, until a maths topic arose;
  • Helge told about a guy who had one student in his class, who fell asleep, and mentioned later that he didn't know whether he should keep talking or not;
  • and Höski told about a guy giving a lecture, who was so tired he actually dozed off himself in the middle of his own talk!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Hello Reykjavík!

I've actually been badgered for details, details and more details, and for photos too. I've uploaded several albums to Picasa now, if you didn't get an invite, then I probably don't have your email address (I'm not convinced I want my photos public, so they're all password protected).

Basically, I've started work, it's cold but not stupendously so, the hot water smells, it's dark lots but not always, mandarins come from spain and bananas come from brazil, L nearly faints every time he sees the price of anything (but still manages to overcome his fear and spend up anyway...) and Icelanders seem to like it if you try to speak Icelandic. Oh, and I think I've found somewhere to dance salsa :D

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Visas schmeezers

Get this: You apply for a residence permit once you arrive in Iceland, NOT while you're still in Australia!! So, "The 90 day visa you have received [...] gives you 90 days to travel to Iceland." Weird, cos I thought Australians could spend 3 months in Iceland without a visa! [update: the special 'D-visas' that we got allow us to apply for residency. If you squint at it, it sort of makes sense. Sort of...]

Our current visas allow us to travel to Iceland. When you arrive in Iceland, we then register our Icelandic address and have our mugshots taken at the Immigration office. THEN, the immigration office will issue your residence permit card. I'm glad (hope?) the immigration office knows what's going on...

Visa thrills and spills

It's heart-pounding excitement here, as our visas appear to be for 90 days, instead of the full year they were supposed to be. No-one in Iceland appears to be at work yet, but L is frantically calling and emailing to find out what the story is. Stay tuned!!

Monday, 26 November 2007

visas nearly in hand!

From the Royal Danish Consulate General in Sydney, who issue the Icelandic visas:
"I have received your passports today AND the permit from the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. Your visas have been issued and I will return your passports with the visas in the Express envelope you enclosed tonight."

Happily, the race between the visas and the flights appears to have been won by the visas - but I'll confirm this once we have our passports back in hand!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Bought plane tickets!

Wow, we're leaving on Friday, the 30th. Tulla-Bangkok-Copenhagen-Reykjavik. 6 hours in Copenhagen, but only 2 hours in Bangkok, so that L seems to have done a good job finding flights. Flying with Thai Airlines. Right, I'm off to go climbing - all this excitement has left me needing an escape. (Omg, I have a presentation to give in 2 weeks!) Have begun acclimatising to Iceland time - they're 11 hours behind us *sigh*.

we zijn dar biiiijnaar, we zijn dar biiiiijnaar....

we're going to iiiiiiceland, we're going to iiiiiceland (sung to the tune of 'we zijn dar bijnaar', but you can imagine any annoyingly ear-wormy tune you like) - our visa applications have been approved! Now we just need to send our passports to the Danish Embassy in Sydney to get the visas stuck in, and we need to buy our tickets. Oh, and pack. we zijn dar biiiiijnaar, we zijn dar biiiijnaar... !!!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Cracking that whip

My Icelandic Head of Department has now called the Iceland Directorate of Immigration on my behalf, explaining "the urgency and vital importance" of getting my visa SOON, and how important a person I am :) . He also told me he told them that "we had planned an international conference here in relation to your arrival on the scene and now everything was up in the air because you weren't here yet. She answered me back and promised to look at your case tomorrow." So, cop that, you unenlightened immigration officials you.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Going-away party

Well, still no visas or plane tickets, but we've had our going-away bash now! The photos are up on picasa, but you need to be invited to see them, so drop me a line if you'd like viewing rights of our lovely friends at our take-over of Papa Gino's last night :)

Friday, 16 November 2007

visas next week?

"Your application will be examined next week. Your representative will be informed if any further documents are required, or if your application is approved."

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Plane tix update....

Um, so, we didn't buy our plane tickets after all, since they would require payment within a couple of days anyway, which we don't want to do until we have our visas. But I have now heard from Iceland that they will be emailing the visa details to Sydney for us, so as soon as they're approved, we'll be gone in a few days.

Enquiries about our departure/arrival dates are becoming more insistent, from friends here, and from our landlords there, but sorry, we're still 'aiming at 21-22/11'. The linguists in Reykjavik, meanwhile, seem to have nothing to say at this stage.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Visa/dates update

I've been getting lots of emails and requests for updates, and the bottom line is: no, we haven't bought our tickets yet, because we still don't have our visas!

I sent an email to every embassy and consulate remotely connected with us getting our visas, and received several replies, so I have some idea of the timeframe: Iceland (the Directorate of Immigration) received our visa applications on the 24/10. For a process that normally takes 3 months, they're 'working as quickly as they can', and I expect 3-4 weeks turnaround on that (so around the 17th). Iceland then informs Sydney that they can 'issue the visa'. This means that we send our passports to Sydney via registered mail, and the person there said that, depending on workload, it would probably take a couple of days to get our passports back, with the visa permits stuck in them (so around the 20th).

We're planning to book plane tickets this afternoon, for the 21st (I think), with STA, because if we need to reschedule our flights, it doesn't cost anything. Flight Centre were going to charge $100 per flight to change, and booking online is about the same. Since we're going to be cutting it fine with the visas, we really need movable tickets. And this means that, even we once we've booked our tickets, this doesn't mean we'll be leaving the country then!! But the 20th/21st of November is a good approximation, hopefully.

We're expecting to hold our going-away party on Monday the 19th, at a pizza place in town, so hopefully folks can bring kids and there won't be any clean up. But we'll send an official invite closer to the date (unless too many people say that date's no good beforehand).

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Visas and workshop updates

Our visas have been confirmed to be being processed (wow, look how convoluted a sentence can get if you remove all the agent NPs!), so any day now we'll be able to get our tickets! So we have person numbers, and Luce has paid his health insurance, while my work pays mine (gee, does Iceland have any ties with America I wonder).

Also, for the workshop, I have scoured my thesis for the 3 most cited folks, after those already in Reykjavik, and suggested their names as guests. Fingers crossed one of them can make it!

Oh yeah, our package arrived (obviously). It made for a happy little L for a few hours there :) .

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Houston, we have a contract!

My contract finally arrived stupendously late on Thursday night - a single A4 Word document with half a dozen of a dozen fields filled in. And that took 5 months to produce. We filled in and sent off 9 different forms, including contract, residency & work permit applications, health insurance forms and I don't even remember what the others were. Start date set for 26/11/2007, and apparently they expect me to work a 40 hour week. Actually, make that 48 40 hour weeks. Omg.

Sent off all the forms yesterday, and have been happily tracking the package online - it departed from the DHL facility in Singapore at 7:28 this morning, on its way to Reykjavik!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

This is Australia calling...

so, L actually *called up* Iceland last night! (He's on Skype, and he's not afraid to use it...) He tried to put a stick of dynamite up them with regards to getting the contract done, so we can apply for visas, etc, and the words he got back sounded positive. Apparently I'll be getting paid a bit more than what they thought earlier :), and they're just organising my contract now in English. So, any moment now, it should arrive!

I also found out that both of my requested people can probably come to my workshop (yay!), and that if I feel like inviting someone from outside of NORMS, that is also possible. Ie, the people I want to speak to aren't important enough - aim higher!! (And... choose a topic!)

Thursday, 4 October 2007

everything but the visa...

So, add Denmark to my list of places I might be able to collect data from :D "...West Jutland (Denmark) in February - and we'll try to get you there if you want to ;-)" Aaaaand, my name's down on the grant application for data collection in the Pharoe Islands (that spelling looks strange). "I took the liberty of putting your name in as somebody who would be able to and be interested in using this opportunity to collect (and make use of) some new data on Faroese reflexives. Hope that was OK." Ah, the liberties being taken... actually... I think I could get used to such liberties being taken... ;)

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Contract? Visas?

"we are working on this... a lot of paperwork!" Uhuh. It's a country of 300,000 people, and it sounds like 90% of them must be bureaucrats - how long can getting a contract sent out take?! It's now nearly 4 months and counting...

Friday, 14 September 2007

An address!

We'll be living in/at/on Víðihlíð in Reykjavik. Yay! We'll have a spare room, so start preparing your visit now! Check out our street in GoogleEarth, or have a look on the maps:
A map of Reykjavík:
The University is here:

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Flat #2

I've just heard from Flat #2, and it sounds quite lovely - the owners (who live upstairs - it's one of those houses they have in Europe where each floor is self-contained, and when the teenage kids move out, the bottom floor gets rented out) both work at the uni too. I've accepted it ($2,000 per month, sounds cheap!), and hopefully hear back about it soon!

Flat #1 "not available"

The close flat is no longer available! (Person decided not to move.) So House-elf Margrét said we should write personally to the owner of flat #2, and plead our case, saying what lovely, quiet, responsible, interesting people we are. Flat #2 is the fully furnished one - hopefully they respond soon. I started the email in Icelandic, because one of the few things I can do is say 'Hi! My name's Tania!' ;)

After the initial disappointment and some trawling on YouTube, L & I have decided that maybe it's better we're not right in town - we saw someone's video looking down from their balcony at 3am, where it's daylight, and the streets are chockers with cars & people, and the noise echoing up the street is like it's the middle of the day!

I'm looking forward to seeing what their words for 'day' and 'night' mean: in Norwegian 'dag' means ~6am-~7pm, (with 'ettermiddag' being around midday-7pm), 'kveld' means ~7pm-midnight, and 'natt' means midnight-6am. Daylight (or the lack of) doesn't change this. I remember coming home from a bbq dinner with E & her 5 year-old daughter, where Daughter was talking about the tv she was going to watch when we got home. E told her she was actually going to bed, because it was night-time. Daughter replied (shading her eyes from the glaring sun), "But I can see the sun right there!". The Viking's reply: "Yes, I know it's broad daylight. But it is nonetheless night!" ("Ja, men da e natt forda!")

Saturday, 1 September 2007

We're not criminals

Got our criminal record checks back a couple of days ago, and neither of us have a record. That the Australian Federal Police know about. :) L chucked a tanty when I said we'd probably have to send over the hard copies, because "the piece of paper is forgable in the hard copy, so why can't we just email a pdf scan of the things?!"

Applied for a flat

okay, we've said we'd like to live in the small-but-close-to-everything flat, and we'll find out next week if it's still available. House-elf Margret has said she'll help us buy a bed and mattress before we get there, because the house is furnished with a washing machine only, which she said 'might be a bit uncomfortable'. Fingers crossed!

Monday, 27 August 2007

applications update

It turns out that our employer is supposed to organise our person number for us, even though it's in the section of the work/residency permits that we have to fill in.


We've been offered a choice from 2 places to live in via House-elf Margret. Both are in houses with 2 flats, the owner lives in the other flat, and we would share the garden. #1 is very close to uni and shops, but only 60m2 and not fully furnished; ISK 70,000 per month (~ $1,400). #2 is fully furnished and around 100m2, but nowhere near uni, shops or public transport; ISK 99,000 (~ $2,000) per month! "This is a good flat for good price but rather bad location if you don't have a car." Um? I guess no-one likes walking or bike-riding when it's dark and icy...

Not sure if we'll get more offers, hope so!

A map of Reykjavík:
The University is here:

Flat 1: Bræðraborgarstígur, MAP 7
Flat 2: Víðihlíð, MAP 3

Monday, 20 August 2007


So, we now have a person who I've been picturing as a kind of elf for some reason, helping us to find a place to live in Reykjavik. We're requesting 2 bedrooms, because of the number of people who have said they're going to come for a visit. So, if you haven't already, you should look to see whether Iceland fits your idea of a good holiday destination in 2008!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Iceland Uni HR joins quest for visas

Finally! An email about our visas from Admin Oskar at Iceland U, who states that "We know the process very well"! Excellent. So, we've sent off our criminal record check to the Federal Police of Australia, because that's the very first thing we need to do. In fact, we already sent it off, but I think L said we needed to include photocopies of our passports too. So, tomorrow then. :)

Admin Oskar also said that "'Place of residence' is the first issue to be solved", so it looks like we might have an address soon. Although L is moaning on and on about finding out my salary, so I've asked about that again too.

So, what will we find out first: whether we have a secret criminal record, who our landlord will be, or how much dosh we'll have to spend on touristing around Iceland... Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of ... Iced-Tee!

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Icelandic visa application anyone?

Good grief, the things these Icelanders want to know before they'll let you in the country: 'Registration of cohabitation'; who is 'the applicant's representative' in Iceland; 'opinion of a trade union'; whose house will you be renting while in Iceland?; insurance company (must be on a special list); *and* 'he' means 'she' (not in Australia it doesn't - I keep feeling like I'm filling in forms for L!)

Honestly, 'opinion of trade unions'!! Apparently it might mean something like 'is there a trade union who'll have you?', because being a member is compulsory. But, we need to know where we'll be living and everything, and every time I try to check an online renting site, I get the message 'sorry! Nothing available to rent at this time in Reykjavik! Try another area?' Gah!!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

"No news is good news"

So, yesterday being the first of August, I decided that folks in Iceland should have returned from holidays and sent me all the information I need to start applying for visas etc, so I emailed, and got the response that "no news is good news". Also, "23/11 is fine as a starting date". So now you know! Our next step is to apply for residency visas...

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Icelandic in a week,

Yep, apparently he did it! You can follow a link to see interviews of him, he sounds really normal, but I haven't heard him speaking Icelandic yet. If anyone knows a link to this, please let me know!

L confirmed work

Hurrah! L's boss and L's boss's boss are of the opinion that, if everyone is so keen on the idea of telecommuting, then they should try it out! YAY!!! So now both of us have secure jobs in Iceland, and for exactly the same time :)

(PS, I still haven't heard back if Iceland was going to pay for a quick visit in August, so I guess that's a 'no'...)

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Update to First Contact

Have now sent off my updated CV to Iceland. Very pleased to note nearly 2 pages of publications :) Have also requested a start date of 23/11 instead of the 1/11. Oh goodness, it's starting to feel like I'm going to Iceland! Finally, I may be going over in August for a week, but I'm not sure if Iceland was offering to pay for me or not... Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


well, i just learnt what that little orange icon at the end of the address bar is for - subscribing to my blog!! Click and you're away. Thanks for that Simon :)

First contact - Iceland returns from France!

Firstly, I *think* they might be offering to pay for me to go to the Grand Meeting in August to meet everyone. I'll let you know. I think I'd miss a class if I went, not to mention a week's trip OS is a nightmare health-wise, so not sure if that's a goer.

Iceland gave us an extra contact for L to find work there, and has said he'll assist where he can.

As to what I'll actually be doing over there: Iceland thinks me studying Faroese (in addition to Norwegian and potentially Icelandic) is a great idea, since the massive Faroese data collection for the whole project will take place August 2008. (Now I'm even more excited - Iceland AND the Pharoes (sorry, no idea how to spell it in English).

And finally, I'm going to be part of the Syntax Variation Group. You all managed to remember 'Long-distance Reflexives' for my thesis, so I'm expecting you to now manage the SVG. :D (that's a super-massive grin to match my own smirk that I think is about to burst off my face...)

Friday, 29 June 2007

I'm funded :)

Just received word from Norway that Iceland needs to prepare its letter of employment for me... It's getting realer! (It's more Germanic to use the morphological comparative form than the analytic French loan 'more real'.) Not yet sure how much I'll get paid, the maximum amount Norway has to give Iceland for me is 568,000 Nok (69,270 Euro), which includes "the university’s gross salary for a researcher in your country, social costs, overhead costs and general expenses". So I guess I'll be getting about half of that. Wonder what 35k Euro will buy in Iceland?

Monday, 25 June 2007

Gone walkabout: one Icelander

The email I just got from Norway says:
"I just heard he is hiking around Mt. Blanc, wherever that is. Things do slow down a little in Scandinavia in June, at least around the universities. I am sure he'll get back to you soon after he returns."
So, I guess there'll be no exciting updates until the Icelander checks back in to civilisation...

Saturday, 16 June 2007

no word from iceland yet., but icelandic improving..

Emailed head dude in Norway again yesterday, to find out why the guy in Iceland hasn't contacted me yet. Surely they're back from their fieldwork by now?!

In better news though, I'm working my way through the Icelandic Online course at a great rate of knots. I think I'm going to be okay at reading and hearing Icelandic, but useless at the actual talking. One of my salsa dance teachers last night mentioned that autistic guy who 'learnt Icelandic in 10 days' - I'll do some investigation and find out how much he learnt, and which languages he already spoke!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

To subscribe to my blog, so you'll know when I've added stuff

1. From gmail click on the arrow next to MORE, then select READER.

2. There is a drag-n-drop bookmark that you can put in your bookmarks toolbar. It shows up as 'Next >>'

3. When you're at a blog or page with the little RSS icon, or a page you think you'll want to follow from a distance, push the subscribe button. Then push SUBSCRIBE TO THIS FEED once you're inside GReader.

Easy peasy. (thanks brent!)

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

learning icelandic!

Have spent a couple of hours starting to learn Icelandic, thanks to the fabulous free online course which tönchen pointed out to me at It's really a lot of fun! I've been using the translator occasionally from, but on the whole the course is brilliant!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

shout it to the world!

I've told just about everyone I can think of now! The guy who offered me the postdoc is happy that I can rework my original proposal, and is also happy if I start in November, and skip the August grand meeting. I can meet the other members of the project later on anyway - turns out it'd cost around $5,000 to fly to Iceland for the week in August, but prices drop to about $2,000 in November (thanks Justine at Flight Centre). What, no-one wants to have a holiday entirely in the dark?

L seems to be getting places with his investigations, S is happy to live in our lovely house while we're away (if not, A can). All that's missing is an email from the guy who's head of the Icelandic Linguistics department to acknowledge that I'm coming! Oh, and an official letter of offer, but I'm guessing that will have to include details about starting dates and salary and benefits and such like, which would involve this guy having emailed...

Monday, 4 June 2007

I'm going to Iceland!

I applied for a postdoc back in January, to be part of a pan-Scandinavian project. I wrote a proposal for Lund and a proposal for Oslo. Heard nothing until suddenly at the start of May, when I received an email saying I was ranked 5th of 7 applicants, for 5 positions, and feel free to comment on the ranking before a final decision was made. I commented, then panicked slightly, since this is not normal procedure in Australia, and god knows whether I'd commented 'correctly'!

I had made up my mind to wait until June before I asked what the final decision was, but for the last week in May I found myself checking my email an inordinate number of times, and decided I needed to email them straightaway! I then got a response, saying a person ranked ahead of me had been offered the Oslo position (her first preference), and if I could imagine myself in Reykjavik, then they'd welcome me aboard. Hmm. Can I really imagine myself in Reykjavik?? Not yet, but I've been trying very hard, and I think I'm starting to!

So I wrote a reponse 'That's very exciting', and heard back 'That's very positive'. All very hedgy, but still kind of solid. L is now looking to see if he can get a job there while I'm there, my cousin is coming to Melbourne for 12 months for her PhD and may be able to live here (in our house), and the world seems very full of possible happy conjunctions