Posted by: jeanne | June 9, 2017

early success

today’s friday, and i left off telling on tuesday, i think.  if i don’t write it down, it didn’t happen.  so my day book is now full week by week, which is extraordinary for someone who never does anything…

jim toddled off to the museum to paint figures with the boys from reykjavik.  i missed meeting the mayor because he’s only in residence in olafsfjordur for a couple of hours on wednesday mornings, and then he goes to siglufjordur to do his stint there.  oh well.  i did manage to draw up a couple of posters about the troll murals and the children’s workshop i’m planning, get lara to translate them into icelandic, and post them in various places around town (the library, the pool, the grocery).  and we all went for a swim, including grandpa, who first went into the hottest hotpot, and then complained bitterly at the temperature when i asked him to sit in the slide pool and watch connor.  because duh you get into the coldest pool first and work your way up.

against the stated rules, the lifeguards decided that it’s ok for connor to put on water wings and go down the huge slide by himself, as long as i was watching him.  so i sat in the slide pool for a long while, and then eventually joined jim in the hotpot with the other adults.  when connor’s teeth started chattering – not from the water but from climbing the 41-step tower to get to the top of the slide – the boys came into the hotpot with us.

there was a frenchwoman in the hotpot with jim, so we had a great conversation about iceland, france, the horrible political situation at home, etc.

in the evening we all went to siglufjordur for dinner at an artist’s house.  turns out it’s the artist who makes those wonderfully whimsical wooden figures you can see in various places.  her name is ala.

she lives in her studio, which was enormous and filled with wood.

she’s been cooking for hours, and had all the tables out and extra chairs, and the tables were set for a million people.  we were thousands for dinner; she must have fed us loaves and fishes.  actually, she did serve fish, among other things, and i brought a loaf of bread, so maybe so.

we had a great time, with lots of artist conversations.  the boys behaved themselves admirably.  it was cod and potato casserole, mushroom and broccoli casserole, sweet potato and broccoli casserole (really really good), salad, bread, pesto.

way more than i’m used to eating, but i took two servings of fish so i could mop up the sauce with my bread.

after a very long time over coffee and tea, we came home.  it took two cars, and i got to sit in the back cargo compartment.

interestingly, the weather in siglufjordur was completely different from the weather in olafsfjordur.  it had been raining all day over there, and over here it was sunny and cloudy by turns, but the only rain was up in the hanging valleys.

the boys went straight to bed.  weeee hah!  and so did we.  jim gets up at between 5-6, and i stay sleeping until 8:30.  the boys wander down sometime after that.

on thursday jim went back to help in the museum (they open saturday).  avery had another practice and connor played on the playground while i took a timelapse of the clouds coming over the mountain.  the pool was closed for some reason stated in icelandic and thus a mystery to us, so we came home and the boys got restive quickly.  i began my felting project by making a pair of duct-tape shoe lasts.

duct tape is very useful, and not just for making the boys be quiet

the carpenter came to fix the front door, which was nice.  he kept slamming it, and the air pressure pulsed every time.  over dinner the boys decided it would be fun to throw their food, so i got quite put out with them, but didn’t have the opportunity to string them up because alice dragged me off to a rotary club meeting at the hollin restaurant (the only restaurant in town).

there was food – cod and potato casserole – and tho i was two minutes late getting there, everybody was already inhaling their food, so i slipped in and inhaled mine.  yum.  one of the museum artists was there, and he and tommi (the guy who does the printing, makes all the signs in the town, and leads the search and rescue team) presented something visual about the museum.  it was good to see them having trouble with the a/v equipment – that’s universal at least.

and they conducted all their business in icelandic, of course, so i just sat there with a silly smile on my face until alice raised her hand and introduced me.

i whipped out the sketches jim had made, and described my intended projects – troll murals on walls visible from the main road, a 2m troll sculpture by the side of the road with a ‘troll crossing’ sign opposite, a kid’s workshop with little paper troll houses wheatpasted up against the stone fences, a troll cave bus stop made from a shipping container and old hay bales, and a 5m stone troll up on the hill at brimnes farm.  i wasn’t sure if they liked the idea or not, but one guy took me up on it right away.

i went with the guy, who turns out to own the fish drying factory, and he showed me various houses in town that he said i might be able to put trolls on.  including his house on the hill, where he lives with his family.


we drove up to brimnes farm and he showed me where things were, but the farmer wasn’t there (he was at a meeting of the fire department), so we’ll have to go back.  he also explained some of the intricacies of filling a worldwide market in fish, and all the various things you can do with fish depending on how much you can afford to buy (dried heads and spines can be pounded up and made into a protein-rich porridge, for example).

one of the town’s two ships came in during the night

while we were sitting in front of alice’s house talking about these things, jim came back with the boys.  they’d gone out right after i left to go to the meeting, and had spent two hours at the playground, running off the food-fight energy.  and a good thing, too.  jim and i left them watching an animated show, and went out with the camera to get pictures of all the places i might have permission for (including ida’s kaffi klara, for which she already has an idea!), and to discuss what we might want to design for the various spaces.

then jim ate dinner.  omg it was 10:30 and he’s eating dinner.  the boys went up to bed and were mercifully quiet on this, their last night having to be quiet for alice’s comfort.

and then it was today.  today i need to show alice i can drive so i can borrow her car while she’s gone.  i’m driving her to the airport later this afternoon (and going to the shops in akureyri to save bunches of money over the grocery prices here).  we’ve already gone swimming, and now avery is off on a bus with his team to siglufjordur to practice there.  i’ve driven the car so alice knows i can drive (for over 45 years now…), and i’m just going to finish up here and get ready to go.

the weather is sunny and crisp; the snow-dusted mountains gleam in the sunlight; the hotpot is magnificent to sit in while the boys scream down the slide; i’ve got more public art to create than i can handle in three months; and all is well with the world, except for a certain political morass that i hope blows away right after the volcanos go off…


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