In truth, for reasons explained below, I made no progress at all on the book from August through the end of , a period when I had been hoping a hard final push might get the job done. But if you want to learn the details of all that has been going on in my life that has prevented me from finishing a very long awaited and long overdue next book, then read on for the long answer, because what happened to book 5 is due to all that has happened to my wife, Jeanette, and to me since late So let me explain, first by providing some background.
Seven years ago this past April Jeanette and I moved to our small farm in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in western Oregon. It was a major leap of faith for several reasons. First, we were moving into a totally new lifestyle, a homestead farm existence, which neither of us had any prior experience with. Jeanette had been a cardiology nurse her entire adult life, while I had worked in criminal law, primarily as a police officer, federal agent, and prosecutor.
With this move, neither of us would be working day jobs anymore I had actually not worked outside the home for several years prior, due to a health issue. We were planning to support ourselves financially by a combination of income from my writing plus income from investments in the stock market I had made over many years.
We also expected that as we produced more and more of our own food on the farm, we would hopefully see some reduction of our living expenses. So although neither of us would be holding outside jobs, working for someone else, in a sense our plan required each of us to juggle several jobs. I had four: writer, publisher, investment manager, and farmer, while Jeanette was my partner in publishing and the farm, and ran the household.
Our juggling act worked pretty well for the first several years here on the farm. Back then, the e-book market, which before around was a very minor segment of book publishing, was continuing to grow year by year as Amazon almost single-handedly strove to develop it. Amazon grew the e-book market by two methods.
First, for a number of years during the early growth period of the market, each year as Christmas approached Amazon would offer new, improved versions of their Kindle e-book readers at low prices, to induce persons who had not yet tried e-book reading to take the plunge, or to give an e-reader as a gift to another. During this period, every January millions of new Kindle readers would come online, and their owners would be looking for e-books to buy. During those early years of the e-book market expansion, I saw my book sales grow and produce a strong income stream for us. The book sales in the early years on the farm were often more than enough to cover our monthly expenses, and if we occasionally needed a bit more, the returns I was receiving on my investments were more than adequate to cover the balance.
So in those days I was able to let the investment side of our multi-faceted life for the most part drift along on auto-pilot without requiring much of my time or attention. The farm side of this life has always been quite time consuming, however. In the early years there was a lot of learning of new skills and problem solving, and there is always a LOT of physical labor.
During our first year we planted an orchard of nineteen fruit and nut trees on one side of the farm, around a single, ancient apple tree located there, which we over time pruned back into strong productivity. That work is finally beginning to pay off: last year we harvested numerous apples, a decent crop of peaches, and our first crops of pears only two of those, and our big ram got to one before we did , cherries, and Kiwi fruit. In our first year here we bought chicks and raised them to become a source of eggs and, occasionally, meat. Each year we have planted a large garden, producing significant quantities of numerous types of vegetables that we enjoy fresh during the summer and fall, and preserve by freezing and fermentation to enjoy over the winter.
Because most of our five acre farm is open pasture which I did not want to spend my time mowing , the first year we acquired a small herd—three ewes, each with a lamb—of heritage Soay sheep, the oldest domestic breed of sheep still in existence today, and the breed closest genetically to wild sheep. Our first year with the sheep was a struggle—we lost three to illness—but as the years passed our herd grew, and eventually we were able to start harvesting the excess rams for meat.
Dammit, our mature ram and leader of the herd. During those early years here we were able to keep enough balance in our multi-sided life for me to complete writing and publish The Long Hunt , book 4 of the Strongbow Saga , in late , to work with a narrator and produce all four books in audio format over the course of , and to take a research trip to Ireland to support the planned final segment of the Strongbow Saga story, as well as a stand-alone novel set in the Strongbow Saga world, The Beast of Dublin , which I had been writing on and off since The continuing Strongbow Saga story has long had a definite structure and conclusion in my mind.
That final part of the story will take place mostly in Ireland, while the Sigrid story takes place in what is now northeastern Russia. That proved to be much more of a challenge than I had anticipated. There are far fewer sources—both original ones dating from the Viking era plus modern analyses and interpretations—of the Vikings in the east than exist for the western Viking world, for which numerous studies, sources, and types of historical evidence exists. The Russian research ended up taking well over a year, bringing me into before I was finally ready to start writing book 5.
And that, unfortunately, was when the juggling act of our lives here became badly unbalanced and much more of a challenge. A number of things went wrong in First of all, it was the beginning of a period of higher than normal temperatures and drought in western Oregon. There are always wildfires in the northwest during the summer, but the wildfire season was especially bad in Oregon during due to the heat and drought. Several major fires burned not far from our farm—one about ten miles further upriver, and another on the other side of the mountain ridge that rises above the river directly behind us.
During August, many days the smoke from the fires was as thick on our farm as heavy fog, and the air quality in the nearby Eugene-Springfield area was so bad that numerous outdoor events were cancelled. Our finances were no longer working out as planned by , either—in fact, that problem had begun even before then, by The e-book market had reached maturity around —huge numbers of readers were no longer joining for the first time every year.
And the amount of e-book content available had grown to millions and millions of books, magazines, etc. So the lower your rate of sales were, the less likely your books were to be found, which lowered your sales further, which lowered your placement in searches further…you get the idea. As a result of all of this our monthly income from books sales began to gradually decline, and by had fallen off considerably. At the same time that our book sale income was decreasing, one of our monthly expenses—the cost of medical insurance—was significantly increasing.
In , it cost a little over a thousand dollars per month for insurance coverage for both of us and at the time, that seemed high. And because the income from book sales had fallen so much, the amount I had been making in passive dividend income from my investments was no longer enough to bridge the gap between our income and expenses. So to make up the difference, during I began engaging in options trading to generate extra income by selling options contracts. To give a brief and simplified explanation of what that entails, there are two basic forms of options contracts there are also a number of more complex combined types of options trades, but I rarely used those.
The other type of basic option contract, a Covered Call, is considerably less risky for the seller, but does require the seller to own the stock which is the subject of the contract. For over two years, I sold both Puts and Calls—numerous of the former—and was successfully able to generate enough income to more than make up what we needed to cover our monthly expenses.
However, options trading is fairly time intensive. Compared to earlier years when I could only check in on our investments once a month or so, now I was spending an hour or two at my computer most days every week—time which could otherwise have been spent writing. And always in the back of my mind I was aware of the risk. If the stock market were to crash while I was holding a large number of Put contracts, I would be on the hook to buy a lot of stock. Also by , our herd of sheep had grown large enough to where we needed to sell some, to avoid ending up with a larger herd than our five acres could support.
Soay sheep are VERY reliable breeders: every spring each ewe can be depended on to produce a lamb, and occasionally some give birth to twins. Before we could try to scramble to line up another sale, disaster struck. Not all of the sheep participate—they are a semi-wild breed, and many of them are quite skittish—but a number of them very eagerly do, and it helps us control the herd to have a number of tame, friendly ones. But one morning in November of , however, he apparently felt Jeanette was not feeding him enough, and out of the blue butted her quite hard in her leg.
At first we thought her leg was just badly bruised, a painful injury but one that would quickly pass. But actually, there had been significant damage to the muscle fibers deep in her thigh, and bleeding deep in the muscle there. About a week after the injury, in the middle of the night her leg suddenly swelled, became extremely painful, and she was unable to bend it, all of which caused us to make a middle of the night run into town to the hospital emergency room. It turned out that the pain and swelling were caused by pooled blood deep in the muscle tissue which her body was trying to dissolve, causing an inflammatory response.
When that process was completed, her leg should, the doctors assured us, return to normal. But the muscle did not heal as the doctors had predicted. The pain and lack of full mobility persisted even after the swelling had ended. Ultimately, Jeanette had to begin a course of twice per week physical therapy in Eugene, involving massage, stretching, and strengthening exercises, to gradually restore the muscle fibers to their normal configuration.
It was a slow process, which continued from late December through April of We have come to love living in the country, but there are a few downsides. Trips to town, which require a drive of a little over an hour round trip, do tend to eat up time and limit what could otherwise be accomplished in a day. We also had to stop what had been an important part of our weekly exercise and fitness regime: hikes in the hills above our farm three times per week. We considered neither of those alternatives viable after the attack. It did not happen immediately, but eventually Robbie met his fate.
So from spring through early summer we abandoned everything else we could—our hikes and other regular exercise, plus my writing—to try and catch the garden up. Every crop came in later than usual, some produced much less than in typical years, resulting in less for us to freeze for winter consumption, and some types of crops we regularly grow never reached maturity at all.
I have thinning discs and arthritis in my lower spine. In the past, it mostly has caused some stiffness and soreness in my back if I worked too long in a bending over position, but during it worsened into almost constant pain, at its best moderate at times, but fairly severe at others, making the level of physical activity our farm life requires far more difficult and wearing. On top of the constant back pain, I was very sick for the entire month of August.
I have had Multiple Sclerosis since the late s. It is an unusual disease, and there is still much that doctors do not know about it, including what causes it. The damage to the brain can cause a wide range of effects, depending on the area of the brain affected. Some people with severe MS lose the ability to walk, lose part or all of their vision, and some die from the disease. There is no cure for MS, although there are drugs that can, in many people, slow the progression of the disease. I was on one of the treatments for MS—a weekly injection of interferon—for several years after my MS was first diagnosed in The short-term side effect of the injections was flu-like symptoms for about 24 hours after each shot.
But I eventually also began to develop a more significant side effect, damage to my liver, so the treatment had to be discontinued. Fortuitously, however, by that time Jeanette and I had begun eating the Mediterranean Diet, a diet high on fruits, vegetables, and seafood, and in which only modest amounts of meat, and essentially no processed foods, are eaten. The foods in the Mediterranean Diet tend to have high anti-inflammatory qualities, which seemed to have a very beneficial effect on my MS, because even after I discontinued the interferon treatment, my MS did not worsen.
In fact, it gradually improved to the point that while not gone altogether, it very rarely showed itself, and when it did, symptoms would usually only last for a day or so. By , despite not having taken any sort of treatment for MS for well over ten years, I had not had any significant episodes of the disease during that time. That changed in August of My MS had a major flare-up that lasted the entire month. In addition to pain and fatigue, I experienced major numbness in my hands and legs, cramping and spasms in my hands, and often significant dizziness.
But the daily workload on our farm does not pause for illness. So every morning and evening I would stagger up to the barn and garden with Jeanette, to tend to the sheep and chickens, and water, weed, and harvest the garden—efforts which left me exhausted by the end of most days. Fortunately, the MS flare-up tapered off in September. But because of all that had happened by then, I had made very little progress writing book 5.
Jeanette and I tried to come up with a plan for the remainder of the year that would hopefully allow me enough time during the fall to push and complete, or at least come close to completing, writing the book. Although we usually plant a fall garden, in we decided not to, to save me time. But even without a fall garden, we still had a major farm issue to deal with that fall. The drought which had begun in continued through all of and into the early months of Spring rains in a normal year here in western Oregon usually continue, in a gradual tapering off process, into early June, after which the summer months are typically almost rain free.
In typical years, our pastures have a growth spurt during the spring, and are quite lush by early summer. But the spring of was unusually dry, and the grasses in the pastures—already somewhat stunted by the drought of the preceding year—never achieved their full growth. On top of that, our already too-large herd of sheep expanded dramatically during the spring lambing season, so that by summer we had twenty-eight sheep. So by the end of summer we were facing two must-do tasks: we desperately needed to reduce the size of our sheep herd significantly, and also needed to try to rehabilitate several of our most badly damaged pastures.
We blocked off and reseeded several sections of pasture, so that hopefully at least those areas could recover over the winter and in the following spring. We sold ten sheep to a buyer from Washington State, and sold two for meat to a Mongolian family from Portland who wanted whole animals for a traditional christening celebration. We also gave away one of our young rams for butchering to some friends, butchered another for my son when he came for a visit at Christmas, and butchered Robbie for ourselves.
In addition, a young ram born during the spring apparently ate something that severely disagreed with him and he died. But was not through with us. As I mentioned earlier, during I had begun selling options contracts to generate extra income. It had proved enough of a successful means of generating income that over time I had gradually increased the amount of options trading I was doing.
Because I was selling a number of contracts each month, usually with expiration dates three months out, as of the beginning of October I had waves of contracts with expiration dates each month through January of The effects of the widespread tariffs—which, contrary to what Trump claims, are actually paid by U.
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In the U. The stock market eventually recovered in early , but for three and a half months I got slaughtered on the options contracts I was holding. As stock prices plummeted, the buyers of the contracts exercised them to cut their losses, meaning that over and over, when I would log onto my brokerage account each morning, I would find that I had bought shares of stocks that were now worth far less than I been required to pay for them. Nevertheless, because of the extent of my exposure, I was forced to immediately sell the purchased stocks at a loss, then sell other investment holdings over the three month period to generate enough cash to cover the losses.
Although that three month period was more than a little bit of a disaster, I have, over the years of my life, gradually come to recognize that to a remarkable degree, when something bad has happened to me—something that, at the time it happens, feels like a huge setback—I will actually find when I reassess that new opportunities have become available or are coming, and in the end, in the long run, my life shifts in some way for the better if I am open to seeing the new path s to take.
My financial crisis in the last quarter of turned out to be just such a positive twist.
It was a true trust fate experience. First of all, it convinced me that options trading is not a viable long term solution for producing extra income. When the economy is strong and growing and the stock market is rising, it can be profitable. But sooner or later, the economy always takes a downturn and the market falls, and the risk of trading options when that happens is just too great.
I believe that is especially true now. Although the U. More and more economists are predicting that we will fall back into a recession, possibly a severe one, by , and a growing number are saying a recession could begin this year. That realization brought me to another one.
As I mentioned earlier in this overly lengthy post, I have invested in the stock market for many years. Over time, I eventually came to focus most my investing on companies that paid a dividend to stockholders, and that dividend income was the source of our extra, supplemental income when we first made the leap to this new life.
In order to make up for the extra income option trading had been producing for me when it was going well, I needed to at least double that. Fortunately, I have found a way. But first let me briefly cover the second one. Over the years, the value of what originally were fairly modest investments I made in those companies have grown quite a bit. What exactly are you waiting for? I am going to interrupt this personal story for a moment to strongly urge everyone to try, if you do not already invest in stocks, to find a way to start doing so.
If you want financial security, unless you are already wealthy or in line to inherit wealth, you are going to have to take responsibility for building that security yourself. The earlier you start, the better. There are certainly risks involved with investing in stocks. The stock market goes through cycles of growth and crashes.
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These things happen. But the stock market always bounces back, and over time, ends up stronger than it was before a crash. As long as an investor does not panic and sell during a crash—a move that makes paper losses real—but instead holds on to his or her stocks and waits the downturn out, the vast majority will rise again, and eventually surpass where they were before the crash. That, too, has happened to me several times since I have been investing.
I would particularly urge any young adults who are reading this to start building your financial future now. Retirement may seem like something that is a very long way away, but if you do not start planning and saving for it now, when you get older you may find yourself facing the reality that you cannot afford to retire. Beginning is easier than you might think. There are a number of very easy-to-use online stockbroker services.
To get started, just apply to open an investment account and make an initial deposit. Spend at least some of it on your future by investing it. How do you know what stocks to invest in? I certainly am not knowledgeable enough to research and identify companies on my own to evaluate what to invest in. I rely on experts who are much more knowledgeable than me to do that. There are numerous types of market advisors out there, who sell their expertise and investment recommendations to investors. Some are, to be frank, charlatans. There are many who are not, although the rates of success of their recommendations, and the fees they charge for their investment advice, can vary greatly.
They specialize in analyzing and recommending companies in a little-known niche market called Closed End Funds, or CEFs, which are relatively small mutual funds that specialize in various types of investments. There are a number of things I particularly like about the CEF-based investments these analysts recommend. Third, the Contrarian Income Report offers a proposed portfolio of CEFs and other funds that pay monthly dividends, especially geared toward providing a steady stream of income for retirees, which was exactly what I needed.
We all have to take care of ourselves and our families, and that seems to be getting harder and harder to do in this country these days.
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End of the infomercial, and back to my story. As finally ground to an end and began, Jeanette and I resolved to regain control over our lives. On the financial front, I have been selling off all of our prior stock holdings, and reinvesting the funds in high-paying CEFs, and have been closing out selling options contracts. I have also been working at reclaiming a better level of health.
An x-ray of my lower back revealed that the arthritis there has caused a portion of the spine that is supposed to be curved to become straight, which was causing my constant pain. Instead, Jeanette and I have resumed doing a yoga workout together once or twice per week—something we had been doing up until things went crazy in The stretching and strengthening yoga provides has brought a dramatic improvement to my back. We have also resumed regular workouts with weights, and our regular hikes in the hills above our farm, both of which we had dropped during the struggles of Unfortunately, that did show new damage, which presumably occurred during the August flare-up of my MS.
We will need to reduce the herd size again during late summer or fall—that is going to be an annual task going forward—but at least the situation is not dire like last year. This now-lush pasture was almost barren in places by the fall of We also have tried to reduce the size of our garden somewhat, for this year at least, to hopefully free up more time for me, although it is still a large garden. The spring and early summer are always extremely busy until all of the various crops are in, and this year has been no different, but we are nearing completion of that process.
We will see how the summer goes—how much I am able to get back to writing—and decide based on that whether to plant much of a fall garden. We are trying to clear time for my writing. Our garden is almost completely planted now. Of course, there are always things that happen to disrupt even the most careful of plans. In late February, this area had a freak blizzard, with over eighteen inches of snow falling in about 48 hours. The snow was unusually wet and heavy, and broke or brought down trees all over this part of the state.
Power outages were widespread—we were fortunate to only be without power for 24 hours, but some areas were without power for up to two weeks, and a few small communities were cut off from the outside world for that long due to the roads to them being blocked by numerous fallen trees. On our farm, we had a number of trees with heavy limb loss, and several fence lines that were broken in places when the fence posts broke from the weight of the snow. Dealing with all of that damage has taken time, and there is still some fence repair to be done.
The surprise blizzard of late February did a lot of damage, bringing down numerous trees across the region and breaking several areas of fence on our farm. Nevertheless, so far has been a positive year. Jeanette and I rejoice in this life, in its beauty, the closeness to nature, and even in its challenges, and we are thankful to have the opportunity to spend every day together, sharing this incredible experience. We will continue to search for ways to restructure our lives to give me writing time.
I will get books 5 and 6 to you, and finish The Strongbow Saga. E-book editions for other distribution platforms, including Apple and Kobo, will follow. Bringing these German language editions into being is the result of an ongoing partnership with author Ruth Nestvold, an American ex-pat who lives in Germany. Many thanks to Ruth and her husband Chris, who is the German language editor of the series. I have had several very kind, gracious inquiries from readers recently asking about the status of book 5.
An update on that is due. First, let me reveal that there now are going to be two more books in the Strongbow Saga series, a fifth and a sixth book. First, the remainder of the Strongbow Saga has two very distinct plot arcs. The second, which will be book 6, concerns the return voyage to Denmark—a relatively short segment, but one that will contain some significant plot developments—then the journey on to Ireland, where the final confrontation with Toke will take place.
A major part of the delay in getting book 5 out was the research necessary to write the Russia part of the story. The history of the Vikings in Russia is not nearly as well known or understood as is their history in the west, in their own homelands, in Europe, and in England. By contrast, for the period in which the Strongbow Saga is set—the mid 9 th century—there is relatively little data available about Russia.
There are essentially no contemporaneous accounts, save one or two brief, cryptic mentions in Frankish sources, and only a few mentions in the old sagas. Most of the data is just archeological findings, which, while they reveal the presence in the north-western Russia area of Viking-age Scandinavians, do not provide a clear picture of what exactly was going on there. The picture is further muddled by the fact that the later-written annals of the Rus, the Russian kingdom which was founded by Swedish Vikings beginning sometime in the mid to late 9 th century, are more legend than fact when trying to tell the origin story of the Rus kingdom.
But eventually I finally did process the very extensive amount of researched data into an understanding of what I believe is a very likely historically accurate composite of mid-ninth century Viking Russia.
Progress on book 5 has been, in fact, delayed in recent months by unforeseen problems, in that both my wife and I had to deal with some health issues that ate up a lot of our time. And living on a farm as we now do, there is always work to be done that cannot be ignored, and must take priority when time is limited. But those health issues seem to be behind us now, thankfully, and hopefully will not delay my writing any more. Although I have not tried it, I suspect a deer heart would also work well.
To begin, using a sharp knife split the heart lengthwise by cutting along one side, and open it out flat. Trim out all tough inner chamber walls and valves, so that only the main body of the heart muscle remains. To make the stuffing, chop some of both the white end and tender green leaves of the leek. Crush the juniper berries with a mortar and pestle. Dice one slice of bacon into roughly one-quarter to one-half size pieces.
Place the chopped leek, crushed juniper berries, chopped bacon, and blueberries or lingonberries together in a bowl, and stir them together with enough honey to bind them together. Place the stuffing in the center of the opened heart and fold the heart closed around it. Wrap the heart with two to three slices of bacon to cover it, then wrap and tie with cotton cooking twine. The original cooking method, according to the recipe, would have been to put the heart on a spit beside an open fire and roast it slowly till done.
I cooked it on a charcoal and wood smoker grill, in which a fire is built in the firebox using a charcoal base with pieces of wood added, and the heart was placed in the attached smoker compartment, so that it was slowly cooked by offset heat and smoke. Turn the heart periodically to cook evenly on all sides. When done, the bacon will be crisped and brown, and the heart, though cooked through, will still give off red juices when pierced.
In Part 1 of this continuing post, I wrote about—in addition to the fact that book 5 of The Strongbow Saga is still a good ways from being finished—the problems that we are all now facing and will face in the future due to climate change. As I explained, some dangerous times are coming, and we truly need to pull together—in this country, and also across the world—and help each other in order to face them. The fact that, in the United States at least, we are currently not doing a good job at all of pulling together and one reason why, plus a bit of history to put our current times within a larger context, is the subject of this installment.
I am 66 years old. There has only been one other period during my life when I have seen this country as divided as it is now. The troubles of that period grew mostly out of two ongoing events: the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, which to some extent was an outgrowth of the Cold War. Although the Civil Rights Movement, in which black Americans began protesting their unequal treatment under the law and in practice in the United States, began in the late s, it gained momentum and public attention during the s as protests grew more frequent and larger, and—particularly in the south—opposition to the movement by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists became violent, including by murders of civil rights protestors and bombings of black churches.
The violence against blacks led to the creation of the Black Power Movement, which espoused a more aggressive approach than the peaceful Civil Rights Movement, and ultimately led to the rise of armed groups such as the Black Panther Party, who sought to prevent mistreatment of blacks, particularly by the police, through their own threats of armed retaliatory violence.
The most prominent leader of the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, was assassinated by a white supremacist in In reaction to the assassination, large scale violent race riots broke out in over U. Shocked by the extent of the violence, President Johnson and the U. Congress quickly passed the landmark Civil Rights Act of , which added to protections of the earlier Civil Rights Act of The Vietnam War also had its origins during the s, but the major involvement of U. However, as the level of U. A turning point occurred in , when the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched the bloody Tet Offensive, aimed at overthrowing the South Vietnamese government.
Seafood is central to most Icelandic cooking, particularly cod and haddock but also salmon , herring , and halibut. It is often prepared in a wide variety of ways, either smoked, pickled, boiled, or dried. Additionally, boiled or mashed potatoes, pickled cabbage, green beans, and rye bread are prevalent side dishes. Coffee is a popular beverage in Iceland, with the country being third placed by per capita consumption worldwide in ,  and is drunk at breakfast, after meals, and with a light snack in mid-afternoon.
Coca-Cola is also widely consumed, to the extent that the country is said to have one of the highest per capita consumption rates in the world. It is a type of schnapps made from distilled potatoes and flavoured with either caraway seeds or angelica. Martin Miller blends Icelandic water with its England-distilled gin on the island.
Several strong beers are now made by Icelandic breweries. Sport is an important part of Icelandic culture, as the population is generally quite active. Popular sports include football , track and field , handball and basketball. Handball is often referred to as the national sport. They then lost to hosts and later finalists France in the quarter finals. For both the European and the world championship, Iceland is to date the smallest nation in terms of population to qualify. Iceland is also the smallest country to ever qualify for Eurobasket. They did it in both and Although Iceland has had great success qualifying for Eurobasket , they have not managed to win a single game in the European Basketball final stages.
Iceland has excellent conditions for skiing , fishing , snowboarding , ice climbing and rock climbing , although mountain climbing and hiking are preferred by the general public. Iceland is also a world-class destination for alpine ski touring and Telemark skiing , with the Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland being the main centre of activity.
Although the country's environment is generally ill-suited for golf, there are nevertheless lots of golf courses throughout the island, and Iceland has a greater percentage of the population playing golf than Scotland with over 17, registered golfers out of a population of approximately , Iceland is also one of the leading countries in ocean rowing , Icelandic rower Fiann Paul became the fastest and the most record-breaking ocean rower.
He has claimed overall speed Guinness World Records for the fastest rowing of all four oceans Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Arctic in a man-powered row boat , as well as the Guinness title of the first rower to ever hold the record for all four oceans simultaneously, claiming 24 Guinness World Records in total for Iceland by Swimming is popular in Iceland. Geothermally heated outdoor pools are widespread, and swimming courses are a mandatory part of the national curriculum.
Rifle shooting became very popular in the 19th century with the encouragement of politicians and nationalists who were pushing for Icelandic independence. To this day, it remains a significant pastime. As of [update] , there have been nine Icelandic chess grandmasters, a considerable number given the small size of the population.
Iceland won the world bridge championship the Bermuda Bowl in Yokohama, Japan, in and took second place with Sweden in Hamilton, Bermuda, in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 25 June Island republic in Northern Europe. This article is about the country. For other uses, see Iceland disambiguation. Coat of arms. See also: Names of Iceland. Main articles: History of Iceland and Timeline of Icelandic history. Norwegian rule. Danish rule.
Home rule. King- dom. See also: Age of the Sturlungs. Further information: — Icelandic financial crisis and Icelandic financial crisis protests. Further information: Geography of Iceland. Landscape as seen from Laugavegur hiking trail. Main article: Geology of Iceland. See also: Iceland plume. Main article: Climate of Iceland. Main article: Wildlife of Iceland.
Main article: Politics of Iceland. See also: Government of Iceland. Main article: Administrative divisions of Iceland. Regions of Iceland. Main article: Military of Iceland. Main article: Economy of Iceland. Main article: — Icelandic financial crisis. Main article: Transport in Iceland. See also: Renewable energy in Iceland. See also: Education in Iceland. For statistics on demographics, see Demographics of Iceland. See also: Icelanders. Population projection 1 January  Year Low Medium High , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Largest cities or towns in Iceland statice.
Main articles: Languages of Iceland and Icelandic language. See also: Icelandic name. Main article: Religion in Iceland. Main article: Culture of Iceland. Main article: Icelandic literature. Main article: Icelandic art. High School precinct in Akureyri.
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Main article: Music of Iceland. See also: Media of Iceland and Cinema of Iceland. Main article: Sport in Iceland. Iceland portal Arctic portal. Statistics Iceland. Retrieved 6 May Government of Iceland. Retrieved 14 October In English, this church is commonly called the Church of Iceland. Retrieved 10 March Retrieved 7 May International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 7 March United Nations Development Programme.
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Faroe Islands 1 autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark. Svalbard unincorporated area subject to the Svalbard Treaty. Polar exploration.