Saturday, May 25, 2013

Not a lot...

Not really much going on around here, just figured I might do an update anyway...

Henry's birthday is coming up in two weeks' time, and we still don't know what we're getting him. He's at an age where he'll probably be excited about cake, and he might enjoy hanging out with a couple of friends, but I'm not sure he'll really care about presents... He gets pretty regular packages from his Amma in Australia, so I think he just assumes that presents are a routine part of life.

Anyway, we're kind of thinking of getting him a little tricycle type thing, if we can find one around these parts. Or maybe it's time for a trip to Akureyri? I've also started making him a stick horse, but I'm not sure if it'll turn out weird-awesome or just plain weird. Might finish it anyway, just in case. 

For his party we're just going to invite family, plus a couple of kids (whose parents we're friends with - coincidence?), eat some cake, and play. If the weather's nice, maybe we'll head to the playground and have a picnic instead!

My best catering plans have been thwarted by the shops here - I can't find mini mars bars or tiny teddies in order to make these (going to try it with big mars bars and some sort of animal crackers anyway!), and they don't seem to have normal hundreds and thousands for fairy bread! I found a whole bunch of different kinds of sprinkles, but they're mostly the longish ones, and in weird colour combos like brown and green... Boo. But I'm sure we'll get through it somehow.

What else? Work is still good, Ross always works hard, and spring is coming! This last week we had quite a bit of rain, but some really sunny days, too. So everything's looking green and hopeful at the moment. I really would like more warm days, but even if summer sucks here, I always have our Berlin trip to look forward to!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nothing and Everything

Whew it has been kind of busy and exciting around here! Please allow me a moment to review what I wrote last time, so I know where to start from now... Aha. March. Well then.

The big thing was that I got a job! Apparently they were still looking for more staff where my friend Edda got hired, and she put in many good words for me, so I got hired there just before Easter. Which gave me mixed feelings, on the one hand, yay: job, and on the other hand, boo: starting while Erin was here.

So! Let's do chronological order! Erin arrived just before Easter and spent a few days in Reykjavik, staying at the lovely Kex hostel and just generally being a good tourist. I drove down on Saturday morning, attended the christening of my new second cousin Sara Rós, then - after I'd finished eating ALL THE CAKE - met up with Erin in town!

I decided that I would stay at Kex, too. I usually just stay with family, so I've never really spent much time out and about in Reykjavik. It was a great decision! I've been recommending this hostel ever since Victoria and Daisy stayed there, but I'd never actually seen it myself. It is just as cool as they'd said, lots of really nice old furniture and knick knacks and a general nice vibe. Seriously, dudes. If you're on your way to visit me, go stay there first.

Anyway, we had a nice dinner in town, then did a bit of bar hopping. We ended up at a super cool place called Lebowski Bar, where we danced and had a pretty great time. It was awesome, but I'm not sure where my cool-bar-standards are at these days - it has been a while since I've been anywhere except Kaffi Krok.

Erin and I drove north on Sunday morning, and enjoyed some super sunshine on the way up. We had a lovely but possibly a bit unexciting time here in Sauðárkrókur - I mean, we went to the pool at Hofsos, then Grettislaug, the tannery and stuff. It was pretty much all the touristy stuff that you can do right here in town, and then Erin entertained herself while I was at work. I had a nice time catching up, anyway, and since Erin is now living in Scotland, she might be able to visit again sometime in the not too distant future.


What else? My job! It was new news when I first started writing this draft, but I've been there for over a month now. I was actually kind of surprised by how quickly I adjusted, and how much I like working there - it's basically an activity centre/workplace for people with disabilities. It's not anything I've ever done before, but as I pointed out in the interview, I've worked in service industries all my life, so it's maybe less of a stretch than it would be for some people?
In a bigger town, they would tend to split people up by age and type of disability, but since we're so small, we look after people with a range of ages and abilities. It makes the work pretty varied and interesting - no two days are the same.

Before I started, I was kind of worried about how I'd handle the work, emotionally and physically, but everyone's been really great. For a start, I'm working with my dear friend Edda, so she was super helpful while I was learning the ropes. There's also our boss lady, and then another couple of guys who are both pretty nice (full disclosure: one is awesome and permanent, the other is not-so-awesome but temporary, so I figure that averages out to 'okay').
All the clients are pretty nice, and I have been so surprised and relieved by how patient they have been with me while I've been learning. You're not supposed to have favourites, but I think we all do - as long as you're not neglecting anyone at the expense of someone else, I think it works out okay. 

The other thing is, I signed a confidentiality agreement when I started working there - which is totally understandable and good and valid - but I think that may have contributed slightly to my lack of blogging. I think I need to find the line of what is okay to mention in broad strokes, and what isn't. So I erred on the side of writing nothing!

Anyway, my point is that work is great and I'm actually enjoying it! Ross mentioned the other day that it was probably the first time ever that I come home with nice stories of stuff that goes on at work. I know I have enjoyed other jobs (Betty's comes immediately to mind), but that was more about my awesome coworkers - in this case, I'm actually getting a lot of satisfaction from the work itself. YAY!


It was Ross' birthday last week, and he booked himself in to DJ at the local restaurant/pub thing. It ended up being an awesome night, despite the clueless dude who runs the place - there was a bit of hassle with setting up and sound and stuff, but it all worked out. He may even do it again sometime, possibly even on a regular basis? We got to listen to good music and hang out with good people, so I'm definitely calling it a win!


And what else? I'm pretty sure my mum has only read this far in order to see Henry photos! Here they are, mum!

Henry in the snow

Henry and his glittery packaging

Henry and his massive hands

This guy, you guys. He's still great. He has gotten really chatty lately, tries to use full sentences most of the time (What colour Mummy eyes? GREY! - such a little winner). He loves going to school, plays with the kids there, and has started picking up a few Icelandic words!

He recently managed to catch hand, foot and mouth disease - no, not the livestock version, there's another type that is apparently a reasonably mild toddler illness, which grown ups are generally immune to. So, guess who managed to catch it off him? ME! 
In his case, Henry got a bit of a non-itchy rash on his hands and feet, and some ulcers in his mouth that put him off his food. I ended up with feet and hands of DOOM. It was so itchy at first, followed by unbelievably painful for a day, then it died down and just looked unsightly for a while. I'm glad he didn't go through the pain or itching, it was hard enough when he couldn't eat properly. 

Aaaaand I think that's about it. Or as much as I can think of for now. No doubt I've missed something super important and made everyone mortally offended and sad. I'll do better next time!