As Rachel Allen talks to Barry Egan about her cool Ice­landic mother (see page 14), Pat Fitz­patrick asks what else the land of Bjork and Vik­ings has done for us

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - FIRST PERSON|TOP FIVE -


They gave a right kick­ing to the Ir­ish clergy in the 8th Cen­tury who then took it out on the rest of us for the fol­low­ing 1,200 years. Thanks so much for that, Vik­ings. A lo­cal greeted the first boat­load of them to sail up the Lif­fey, wear­ing their horny hel­mets and just itch­ing to go on the ram­page af­ter a feed of drink. “So you must be the Vik­ings then,” says yer man. “No mon, we're a stag party from New­cas­tle. Can ya, like, show uz t'way a Tem­ple Bar?”


“You look like you've seen a ghost.” “No, I was just lis­ten­ing to a Bjork al­bum.” “Let me guess, you for­got you had it on be­cause there was noth­ing for 20 min­utes and then she scared the be­jay­sus out of you when she made a sound like a crazy whale.” “Got it in one.” “Why do you go around with her on your iPod all the time, so?” “Bjork gets me a lot of ac­tion with the arty chicks.” “You're a com­pli­cated man.”


Ap­par­ently planeloads of Ice­landers flew to Dublin in the early Noughties to do their Christ­mas shop­ping. No­body saw them. We were all in New York buy­ing nine pairs of 7 For All Mankind jeans be­cause the to­tal sav­ings on eight pairs didn't quite cover the cost of the flight. If you still can't see what's wrong with that logic, our good friend the for­mer pres­i­dent of Uganda will be in touch. Keeps hav­ing prob­lems with his bank ac­count.


The H is in case you mis­take him for Geir Haarde. Dif­fer­ent fella al­to­gether. This one is Ice­land's for­mer prime min­is­ter, pros­e­cuted for his mis­man­age­ment of Ice­land's econ­omy in the run-up to their fi­nan­cial col­lapse. Geir H's big­gest mis­take? Not be­ing born Ir­ish. The clos­est that one of our lot came to be­ing locked up was when Ber­tie did that News of the World ad from a cup­board. Hon­estly, his­tory will piss it­self laugh­ing at us.


Ice­land's most fa­mous soc­cer player. Most peo­ple would find it dif­fi­cult to name the sec­ond most fa­mous. Maybe be­cause it is Tot­ten­ham mid­fielder Gylfi Sig­urds­son. Try say­ing that af­ter a few pints. Or be­fore them. Eidur was glad to leave Eng­land when he swapped Chelsea for Barcelona. He had enough of this: “What's your name, mate?” “Eidur Gud­johnsen.” “Ei­ther Gud­johnsen or what, mate?” He was so sick of that pun. It re­ally wore Eidur down.

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