Posted by: jeanne | June 14, 2017

swimmingsoccer, working with kids

working when you have kids is always tough.  they take all your time and complain you don’t pay enough attention to them.  you feed them their favorite foods and they complain you don’t give them ice cream.  you be painstakingly fair with them and they complain that the other one is getting preferential treatment.  kind of like republicans…

today (tuesday) started the combined swimming and soccer practice for both boys.  connor has swimming from 10:30-11, avery from 11-11:30.  then connor’s soccer starts at 1, and avery’s starts at 2:30.

today was cold and windy, with the clouds coursing in from the ocean.  so i stayed in the lobby of the swimming pool and played chess with avery (his new passion) while connor had his lesson, then watched connor watching avery take his lesson.  today the teachers took both classes into the big pool with swim fins (looking like shark fins and strapping around their chests) and paddle boards, and had the kids swim from one side to the other.  i got video of both of them.  avery got in the pool about 10 minutes early, and wanted to hang out with connor, but that was instantly disruptive, so i made him get out and go into the little pool to wait.  he refused until an adult in charge enforced it.

the adult in charge is the head of the rotary club in town, and he came over to introduce himself and talk about rotary.  i was very glad to be involved, as these are all important people in the town, and if i want to get anything done here, i need to make as many friends as possible in order to enjoy any kind of help.  he was so pleased with me, he brought me two cups of very strong, bitter, espresso that i drank gratefully, sitting there watching the steam blow away from the pool’s surface.

avery is older than the rest of the kids taking lessons in his group, and i suppose he’s getting to be a stronger swimmer.  after only a few minutes, they had him remove the shark fin and took away the board, and he swam back and forth for every back or forth the other kids took.  so that’s good.  it looks like he won’t miss not being able to finish out his two weeks, and the teacher gave me a discount because there are two of them, and avery will be leaving in the middle of next week (wah).

avery struggling with the straps of a sharkfin flotation thingie

after swiming, we went home, i fixed some skyr with frozen blueberries, and we left the boys watching a video at the kitchen table, while jim and i went over to inga’s house to talk about putting a troll on her wall.  but first we went back to kleifar to get good photos of the town from that vantage point, so jim can include it in the long mural he’s designing for the factory wall.  he woke up this morning with that idea – he’ll be ending the panorama with a view of the town.  he’s not actually thinking of making a coherent scene out of hte views of our lovely fjord, and that’s going to drive some townspeople crazy, but he doesn’t care.  i’m going to have to explain artistic license to people.  or else alter the design after jim goes home.  hey, he’ll never know, right?  (not)


inga’s house is visible from the main drag, adalgataj, one of a row of attached houses a little in fron the road.  this aspect will make the troll we’re going to put on her house a bit surprising to passers by, so i think it needs to be a little bit special.  we met her and her husband, saw the house, showed them one of jim’s drawings, and asked for input.  at this point they don’t care what we want to put up, but we will run the drawing by them anyway, because they have to live with it.  they assured us they have a ladder, and we inspected the house from a distance and closeup, to see what we’re working with.  the space between the small and large windows, over the door, is where we think it best to fill, and we can use some of the horizontal space.  her husband, ingimarwas in a car accident and walks with a cane, so we discussed whether the troll we put up should have a cane too, or was that a bit too sensitive?  he seemed to like the idea, so perhaps we could put a raven sitting on his cane, over the window area.  we’ll see what jim comes up with.  it’s going to be technically challenging for me to paint this, because i’m going to be on a ladder, and i get vertigo (i love an obstacle!).  but i’m pretty sure i can do something in black and gray in 4 sessions, which means 8, of course.  a week’s work should do it.  hhaahhahahahah.


i took photos of ida’s kaffi klara last night, and jim will be designing the troll woman cooking, with her kids and husband helping, all of them caricatures of the actual family.  we’ll need ladders or a lift for that one, too.  it’s going to be on three adjoining walls, and will have to go up at least ten feet.  plus, the building is red, so i’m going to be working in offwhite and black.


right now i’m sitting in alice’s car, parked at the soccer field.  i was out here with connor for his session, and froze my ass off.  connor stood around like a lump for a long time, but finally got into the spirit of it, and will learn to enjoy it.  but the little kids have a second session of playgroup, and he joined that after practice, and right now he’s off on a hike with the other kids, while avery is fully engaged in his soccer practice.  and looking at the field, i see that kids regularly melt down here.  the coaches were over hugging and talking to two kids who must have collided with each other during scrimmage.  they’re kids.  i wish i could get a hug and a talking to when i feel bad.  oh and now they’re putting the two kids together and talking to both of them.  good.  it must be difficult coaching kids.  i’m glad i’m only a parent…

connor in the middle

i’m pleased to say that our ill resident feels much better today.  we had a shuffle between the two group houses yesterday, as two of the artists were crammed into a tiny studio space in number 12, while the large studio space at number 10 went empty, so one of them moved all her stuff over to 10, and now seems much happier.  number 12 is going to become very crowded now that visitors are coming to stay for awhile, so it’s good that we adjusted things.  there’s just no way to know where you’ll be happy in a situation like this.  you can look at floor plans and photos all you want, but when you get here and see the reality of your quarters, it begins to look very different.  personally, i’m over the moon being in alice’s house.  i don’t actually like being in a group house during an art residency.  i’d much rather be by myself and just not have to socialize at all.  i want to be able to dive into the psychosis of intense focus on art and no proper sense of the passage of time.  i want to be able to talk to myself, scream, walk around naked.  you can’t do that in polite company…

i’m trying to figure out when we can go for a jaunt, to see godafoss, myvatn, dimmuborgir, and asbyrgi (all the sights i saw when lara took me out there three years ago).  but the weather is forecast rain for the next five days (so what?  not only so what is forecast because it never works out that way, but also so what because we have rain gear).  oh yes, we’ll have to go to the pool at akureyri, they might want to see the folk museum beyond that, and there’s always lunch and the whale museum (or the space museum) at husavik to take in.  way too much to do, an all day trip even if we skip half of it.  but with swimming and soccer, i’m not sure if we’ll be able to do it at all, especially if the rain actually sets in.  and jim and avery leave in the middle of next week.  siggi and runa are exploring the idea of taking them to the westfjords, where siggi is from, and that will take at least a day.  they leave friday afternoon of next week, so they’ll have to leave here on tuesday or wednesday to make a trip of it.  we will see.  i’m not looking forward to their leaving; rather the opposite.  we’re going to have to arrange with our friend marie to scan and send any designs i ask jim to make once he’s back home, and all sorts of other interesting workarounds.

today we have decided to go traveling, because it’s the last clear day forecast, and because we have a break in the soccer schedule (a game in blonduos), so we’re going to do the so-called diamond circle, and visit godafoss, husavik, asbyrgi, hjodaklettar, and dimmuborgir.  i’ve probably mentioned the idea, but we’re going to take the chance today.  so i’ll end this now and post another one after our little (7 hours of driving) drive



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