Will elves block road construction in Iceland?

Amazing! This morning, as I was slogging through local news of just how much “torrential” rain had fallen — 4″ to 7″ — during last weekend’s storm, I didn’t feel quite so bad about my basement, which just had rivulets running through it. Not only that, but I’m not surprised they did, as the particular corner that generated them sits below the new 6″ drain pipe that’s going to connect to a new water collection tank next spring. Meanwhile, I don’t know what kind of tank yet, and I haven’t managed to figure out what to do with that funneled water for the winter. Then the storm hit. And so I was out in the rain, several times, each time with neighbors’ help, hooking up first one, then two long black flexible drain pipes to take the water away from the house.

Just think. It could have been snow instead, or ice, or sleet. It was just rain. And no doubt it will fill Monroe Lake reservoir which supplies Bloomington with all its water. Let us count our blessings.

Meanwhile, today, in the that same Herald Times newspaper, I noticed a story about elves stopping road construction in Iceland. What? Is the Herald Times going multidimensional on me? Then I realized, ah well, it’s Santa time, so no wonder. However, this seems to be a serious story. Just back from my walk with puppy Shadow, I notice that Laura Bruno, whom I consider an expert on the faerie world, ran the story on her blog.

Maybe the elves help Icelanders know how to deal creatively with the financial crisis? Because they do seem to be the only country in the world that not only knows how to rein in the big banks, but to hold bankers to account personally for their crimes.

Elf lobby blocks Iceland road project

Supreme court to rule on case brought by Friends of Lava, who cite environmental impact of highway and effect on elf culture

December 22, 2013


Reykjavik, Iceland

Friends of Lava has mobilised supporters to block the building of a direct route from Alftanes to Reykjavik (above). Photograph: Jose Fuste Raga/Corbis

Elf advocates in Iceland have joined forces with environmentalists to urge authorities to abandon a highway project that they claim will disturb elf habitat, including an elf church.

The project has been halted until the supreme court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as Friends of Lava, who cite both the environmental impact and the detrimental effect on elf culture of the road project.

The group has regularly mobilised hundreds of people to block bulldozers building a direct route from the tip of the Álftanes peninsula, where the president has a property, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer.

Issues about Huldufolk (Icelandic for “hidden folk”) have affected planning decisions before, and the road and coastal administration has come up with a stock media response for elf inquiries, which states in part that “issues have been settled by delaying the construction project at a certain point while the elves living there have supposedly moved on”.

Scandinavian folklore is full of elves, trolls and other mythological characters. Most people in Norway, Denmark and Sweden haven’t taken them seriously since the 19th century, but elves are no joke to many in Iceland.

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