Sky as a Kite

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Socialized Health Care

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I got my second vaccination this week! Like thousands of others I was asked to come to Laugardalshöll, the only indoor arena in Iceland. Last time I was here was for a Sigur Rós concert.

The vaccinations are surprisingly well organised. Actually, I generally think I have been unfair on Icelanders on their ability to organise things. The management of the crowds at the eruption (creating parking spaces, hiking paths and keeping everyone safe and informed) has been exceptional.
The vaccination organisation could have been set to music. The rows of chairs emptying and filling like clockwork, nurses moving synchronized from row to row. It took about half an hour for 400 people to be vaccinated, during one day the amount of people vaccinated were thousands.

All of this was organised by the state run health care centres, with the nurses being the unsung heroes, as usual. The Icelandic state as repeatedly screwed the nurses in collective agreement negotiations, last one was last year, in the middle of the epidemic. No matter who is in government, each is happy to use the government's to restrict the nurses right to strike to force them into compromises. I hope that maybe in the next negotiations everyone remembers how much the nurses stepped up during the epidemic and comes out with them in solidarity.



The smoke rising from the mountains behind me? That is the volcano.


Picture of the week - Girl at pool

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girl_at_pool

All the things I miss: family, sun and woods


Picture of the week - Hvalfjörður in the evening

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hvalfjordur_evening


Cool German words - Frühlingsmüdigkeit

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Frühlingsmüdigkeit is spring tiredness. A chronic tiredness one experiences around March / April. There are two explanations

1. Vitamin D is depleted after the dark winter in March
2. Warm winds (Föhn) in April cause headaches, tiredness and lack of concentration

Here in Iceland there also is

3. A complete psychological inability of me to deal with snowstorms at a time of the year my inner clock tell me flowers should be blooming, leaves should be coming back and it should be warm enough to drink coffee outside in the sun.
Tomorrow is the official first day of summer and yesterday it was still snowing.

Fortunately, I had my first dose of vaccination last week and can hope to be travelling to Germany in the future. If I'm really lucky I make it there during strawberry season!


Picture of the week - Volcano (edited)

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This picture is edited together from several pictures of the volcano, making the eruption look bigger (see the previous picture for comparison). I also worked with several layers to deal with the extreme difference in light, wanting to keep some details of the black lava, wanted to have the snow look brighter, without having the eruption being overexposed and finally bringing out the blue in the sky for some more contrast. Basically all the work professionals would put into the picture (with less skill involved).

volcano

Then I converted it into black and white, 66.6% red channel and 33.3% blue (I could not do 100% red, as there would have been too much noise. Should have converted the raw picture, or even better, take a black and white picture in camera.)

volcano_bw

Now that I have some more knowledge what to focus on, next trip I can bring a tripod and put the right settings in the camera.


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