Qeqertassuak. Gurr-kurr-tiss-wack

Tags: KT Tunstall

Bleak, sleet, cold; howling packs of half wolf hounds that have had their barks bred out of them. Black sand, with blue white icebergs as big as multi-storey car-parks, road bridges, office blocks. Their little relatives pecking at sand, littering the beach. Each of these unliftable baby ‘bergs look like something. A chicken. A swan. A turtle.

The dogs are everywhere, chained, wet, wild. I see a mother with two unchained puppies strangling herself to try and reach a huge hole another dog has dug himself, all the other dogs wailing and straining towards it. The dog in the centre has caught one of her puppies. I walk away feeling ill and deeply domesticated.

This is an exceptionally hard place to live, for people and for dogs. Thank god they have access to mad coloured paint; this little town looks like Tobermory/Balamory after Bungle and Zippy decided to buy time-shares. Clumps of multi-coloured houses perched on the permafrost. Trying to imagine how the hell you survive winters of gruelling minus temperatures when the sun totally disappears for two and a half months. Christmas, as you can imagine, is a really big deal here.

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