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Monday, 5 July 2021

Walking In Iceland

Map of Iceland

It is 1977. We are strong, fit, active and in our twenties. We are about to go walking in the land of ice and fire. We will be flying to Keflavik (near Reykjavik) on Wednesday. 

Iceland Notebook 1977

There follows a saga based on this notebook. It was an organised group walk, backpacking through a wild and uninhabited part of Iceland. I will post at intervals over the next few months to allow time to transcribe and edit, and select photographs.

I nearly didn’t go. When friends Neville and Gavin first booked, I thought I couldn’t afford it. I was about to start university as a mature student and had been told it was likely I would have to self-fund the first term because of a previous term on a course abandoned a few years earlier. I worked twelve-hour nights in a canning factory to save up. The local authority then told me I had been awarded a full grant, which in those days was far more generous than student finance now. When Gavin had to drop out at the last minute because of work problems, I was in as his substitute. The canning factory money went on the Iceland trip and a high spec. stereo.

(next part)

21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I suspect it's going to be just as exhausting transcribing it as it was doing it.

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  2. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime!

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    1. It was. I always meant to go again but never got round to it.

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  3. I look forward to hearing about it. My travel notebooks are of a similar style, red Silverline ones, and I still use them. I also went to university as a mature student, for me 1978.

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    1. I didn't keep a notebook for every holiday, but now wish I had. I find that reading them again 40+ years later is as enjoyable as looking at the photographs.

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  4. As Weaver says, can't wait.

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    1. I'll post Wednesday on Wednesday and try to keep to the right days, although some are going to have to be a week or even two weeks apart.

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  5. How exciting! It sounds like you were meant to go on this trip. I look forward to your next post!

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    1. A lot of what I did in 1977 felt as if it was meant to be.

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  6. That is something to look forward to!
    Narrow Feint? I have never come across this term.
    In 1977, I was 9 years old and about to leave elementary school and start at the grammar school a few buildings down the road from there. Exciting times!

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    1. Too young to come, I'm sorry. You wouldn't be able to carry a big enough rucksack. Narrow Feint refers to the horizontal line rulings on the pages, probably a stationers' term.

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  7. I should think money well spent. Many decades ago we had free tertiary education, brought in by a Labor(sic) government, then watered down a couple of decades later by another Labor government, then a conservative government massively increased fees and university education now costs thousands.

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    1. In taxes paid later and contribution to society then I would say definitely.
      My daughter will graduate next year with an enormous loan - more than we paid 30 years ago for the house we live in. She's unlikely to pay much of it back, if any. Since UK universities were commercialised and had to compete with each other, there are now as many people in marketing and quality control roles as in teaching and research. It costs taxpayers more than it ever used to, except it counts as loans rather than spending. It was better value under the grant system.

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  8. It sounds like an exciting journey. I know the dentist yesterday was moaning about these enormous university fees for his daughters but once they get a job and the deductions start it sort of fits into their life.

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    1. One gets pilloried for saying it, but girls are more likely than boys to have lower earnings, work part-time and take career breaks. In the 30 years after graduation over which repayments are deducted from earnings before the debt is written off, there may be few years in which they earn enough to reach the repayment threshold. Degree subject and likely job also come into it. Very different for boys or girls who go into high earning, lifelong full-time jobs.

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    2. When I went to university, everyone got the same and no one had to pay anything back.

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  9. Looking forward to this - especially as I visited Iceland myself in 1991 - and I am not talking about the supermarket with that name! It's edifying to recognise that your own Iceland trip happened 44 years ago!

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    1. Well, yours was almost as long ago. I don't think I've ever been to that other Iceland.

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  10. I think I'm going to be envious.

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