Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Home is where the heart is..."

"... so your real home's in your chest." - Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, 2008


Ah yes, back to the busy grey of the city... It is pretty nice to be back, we got to see all our lovely housemates again! But I miss Iceland already!



Aw...

We had a pretty chilled out day today - Ross applied for some jobs, and I did some washing and went to the library... I've decided I want to learn how to knit properly and make awesome things - look forward to a year of lumpy handmade presents, guys!

While talking to Sigga in Reykjavik, I mentioned that I wished I knew how to knit. She pointed out that it's not anything you're born with, you just have to knuckle down and learn! Good advice.

Anyway, I got these two books from the library:

 

Big Knitting AND Party Crochet? This is a world of excitement that I never dreamed of!

So anyway, while we were in Iceland, we heard about (and were impressed by) my grandpa's legendary needlepoint skills. Then when we visited Helgi and Sigga, they served jam that Helgi had made himself! Ross has decided that real Icelandic men know their handicrafts... You can see where it's going, right?




I'm trying to teach Ross to knit.
It's like the blind leading the blind here, I offered to show him how to cast on, then had to redo it about twenty times before I got it right. I think my hands know how to do it, it's just a matter of keeping my brain out of the way...


 His mouth is open because he's swearing at it.

Tomorrow I'm going to buy some fat needles and thick wool - a la Big Knitting - and I should have a poncho in about five hours' time*!
 
*I'm not making any promises. It's possible I'll just wander off and forget to finish... On the other hand, if I'm going to be procrastinating about job hunting, then I may as well be doing something useful!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oooh!



We saw the northern lights!


They didn't show up well on photos - it's weird because they look so clear and glowy and luminous in real life. I guess there's really not much light involved, it only looks bright next to the black of the sky.


We drove to Akureyri today, it was fun and productive - we got some batteries for Amma, printed some photos and found the mysterious 'horse and man cream' that Ross' dad got while he was over here in summer... It felt like a treasure hunt! Unfortunately Vicki's computer wasn't fixable in one afternoon, so she'll have to reboot it when she gets home - can't win them all.


What else? Oh yeah, I promised photos of gross out dinner Þorrablót, didn't I? WELL, I got out my camera at the beginning of the night, ready to take a picture of a cute (and supposedly edible) lamb's face, only to be confronted with the low battery screen of hell. Boo! So, no photos from me. Maybe Vicki has some.

I managed to avoid eating the worst foods by hanging out upstairs with my little cousins - pretty awesome kids.
I can remember when I was younger, I had a total fascination with the loft at Amma's house, and the trapdoor and the dangerous stairs... I guess it's universal, because I spent the evening trying to keep them from overbalancing through the trapdoor onto their horrified parents' heads. Finnur was scary, he kept trying to squirm away from Ross - not realising that Ross was the only thing holding him up. Good times.

Anyway, we've had some lovely family times, nearly time to go home!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lazy, lazy days...

I have been enjoying the lovely holiday feeling of doing nothing! We accompanied Vicki and Freyja on their long walk yesterday, and that has honestly been the most energy I've used for a while.




Holidays are nearly over, though. We've booked our flight back to London for the 25th of January, and after that we'll both have to go straight into job-hunting mode! I think I'll probably just apply at the coffee shops in the area - I don't really mind working a dull job, I just want a) something I'm confident at, and b) something that doesn't require a commute!

What else? Ooh, tomorrow Amma is hosting a Þorrablót for the extended family. That's where you eat all the 'traditional' (read 'mostly revolting') Icelandic foods - rotten shark, blood pudding, pickled sheep testicles and of course boiled sheep heads! There's also some nice stuff, like hangikjöt, dried fish and rye bread, so it's not all bad! I will be sure to take lots and lots of photos!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Icelandicizing and birthdays...

Hmm, nothing super exciting, just becoming more Icelandic every day...

For example: I've been sleeping til lunchtime regardless of what time I go to bed. At first I figured, yeah, I've been having some late nights, I'm on holiday, so it's fine, but it's becoming a bit ridiculous. Maybe I'm part bear.

Ross, on the other hand, has been keeping busy and helping out. Yesterday he cleared most of the snow and ice off Sigga's roof using a combination of screwdriver, crowbar and broom.





On Wednesday I went up to the farm with my great aunt Maja and great uncle Mundi, to play cards with my great uncle Þóri. Amma was supposed to go, but she had invited a Jehovah's witness lady from Akureyri to do some bible study with her. She tried to phone her and cancel, but she couldn't get through, so she sent me to play instead - you need four people to play whist, and she didn't want to let them down.

It was actually pretty fun, it's educational playing with people who really know how to play. Luckily they weren't too competitive about it, or at least not enough that they called me on my mistakes...
Cousins, siblings, fellow Perth-Icelanders: do you remember learning to play whist based on how much the old man across from you shouted when you played the wrong card?  I certainly do.
Anyway, it was all obviously for the best, as my great uncles were impressed with my mad whist skillz in the end - I put it down to dealing correctly (four then three then three then three) and remembering to pass the deck to your right (never LEFT!) to be cut. Mad skillz, I say.




What else? We had slátur for dinner last night... Or more accurately, we each had a taste of it for entree, then Sigga saw our pain and ordered us a pizza for dinner! Slátur is the delicious Icelandic delicacy made of blood, rye flour and fat sewed into a sheep's stomach. Mmm...




And it's dad's birthday today! Happy birthday Dad (and Elvis)!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Another photo!




This is one that Ross' mum took, but doesn't endorse enough to put on her blog...
Mind you, at the time, I was also shouting NO PUT IT DOWN! YOU'LL BURN YOUR FACE OFF! YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAAAAACE!

But it's a pretty neat photo, isn't it?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hap-happy new year!


Here's wishing everyone a lovely 2010!

We had a great night here in Sauðárkrókur - I felt like I took lots of photos, but I had to delete most of them due to blurriness. Vicki has some great shots, but she may not have put them up yet. And if she decides not to use them, I'm definitely stealing them and putting them here instead!






Anyway, we had a lovely dinner at Sigga's - I say dinner, but it was bordering on feast proportions! We had lamb and ham and smoked salmon and salad and potatoes and all kinds of beans (both green AND yellow) and Sigga made her awesome berry and kokosbollu dessert! It was epic.

After dinner we played board games for a while, then had to pause while we watched the Áramótaskaup - it's a TV show that they do every year, a summary of the events of the year in skit form. I'm pretty sure parties all over the land grind to a halt while it's on. I didn't get all the jokes, but it was pretty funny anyway.



We went up to the graveyard to watch the fireworks, which were over the top as usual. They must have lasted for twenty minutes if not more! We came back down the hill to let off our own fireworks, although we just had two big ones and some flares and sparklers... It was a good amount of fire for us, I think.



Argh, this post is slow going because I keep being distracted by all the nice things on TV. We've seen Tom and Jerry, Charlie Chaplin and now it's the Wizard of Oz!
I might have to take a break and eat some ham and watch a movie, but I think I covered all the main points - fireworks are nice and New Year's Eve is fun when you spend it with lovely people.