Posted by: jeanne | June 18, 2019

fótbolti in iceland, etc

as far as connor’s concerned, it’s all about fótbolti.  i’m sure i have the declension wrong, but at least i’m putting in the effort – i found an app that teaches icelandic.  there are several available, but duolingo – my favorite language app – won’t make an icelandic module even tho there is great clamoring for it.  so i downloaded something called drops, and it’s fine, but being the professional cheapskate that i am, i won’t pay for unlimited access, and so only get one lesson a day.  vinsamlegast, duo.

football (soccer to yanks, south africans, australians, new zealanders and other ex-british colonies) started up for the kids just tuesday, and we’ll be here for three whole weeks of it.  connor will learn more in those three weeks than he would in an entire season back home, because here they’re serious about it, where it’s only now that the women’s team is winning so much that they’re beginning to take it seriously in the states.  but here, they live and breathe football, and kids younger than connor work diligently on their footwork up against the sides of houses and out on the playing and practice fields.  so he’s rellly pumped up about it.  we brought all his gear with us, except his ball, and he gets dressed in his socks and shin guards the moment he gets out of bed.  they have practice four times a week, two days here in olo, two days in siglo.  i have to pack him a snack and water, and see him onto the bus two days a week right around 1pm, and then go get him or wait for him to walk home at 4.  three hours of practice a day.  at home it’s an hour a week.

the aerslabelgur (bouncy thing) has been the target of teenagers recently.  i’ve been catching sight of them from my window, riding up on it with their motorbikes and scooters.  the immediate effect is to blow out the edges and cause it to collapse, which is merely wrong.  but if they should fall on it with their bikes, the metal edges will surely pierce the rubber/plastic surface, and then that’ll be the end of the bouncy thing.  so i did the parent thing and told the people at the pool, who aren’t around late in the evening when this has been happening.  and since it’s a small town, they knew immediately who was behind the problem.  so i may be a rat, but the kids who bounce all day don’t mind so much.

the mountains are greening up by the day.  the dark brown stains have turned to dark green, and now and then a bright acid green flows up the mountain along a dried up water course.  on the sunniest slope behind the town, there is a huge field of lupins, turning blue now.  they were the only green parts of the mountain when we first came, and now they’re patchy blue and also growing by the day.  by the time we leave, in only two weeks, all but the steepest slopes and the patches of scree should be growing again.  and there are tiny birch trees that grow along the ground, and there’ll be lots and lots of blueberries to be found there come august.

the moon is almost full, meaning 180 degrees from the sun.  that means in lower latitudes it is only visible – full – at night.  but here it’s a strange 180 degrees, because the sun is up all the time, and the moon rises in the east, gets high in the sky, and crosses to set behind the mountains to the northwest – all in broad daylight.  i don’t know if it stays up, as the sun does.  i hadn’t expected to be able to see the full moon at all, because 180 degrees and a sun that never sets.  i haven’t actually gone out to observe it at 5 in the morning.  but next week i’m planning to bundle up and go to the harbor to watch the sun skim along the ocean before popping up again.  perhaps i’ll be able to see where the moon is as well.  i remember driving back from asbyrgi very late at night, and seeing the sun to the north, getting lower and lower, but doing it sideways, like a plane landing.  and then i remember noticing that it was getting higher, and i hadn’t seen where it turned around, and thought this was too amazing for 2 in the morning.

friday.  at 2 this morning, i got up at a noise outside, and saw a road authority truck stopped in the middle of the main street, with two guys in yellow vests using a chalk line to snap across the painted crosswalk just up the street.  then i went back to bed, and when i went out this morning, all the crosswalks in town had not only chalk lines, but fresh paint on them.  so the road crew spends all night going from street to street and town to town, repainting the road markings.  next they’ll do the line down the middle of the road, and i’ll bet that’ll be in the middle of the night, too.  makes perfect sense.  and since there is only about 4 month of the year when this type of work can be done, it stands to reason they’d hop to it when it is dry out.

and it has been quite dry out.  the temperatures are seasonable to very hot (9c to 35c (in the sun)), and the skies are mostly a clear cerulean blue, with clouds only clinging to the mountains at times.  but yesterday we had a fog that blew in off the sea all day.  it made for a beautiful 5 hour sunset (from around 10 to around 3), with golden clouds curling over the tops of the mountains and evaporating at tremendous speed as they dropped down the sides.

jim has turned around two new mural drawings, and i’m waiting for the owners of the walls to prep so i can put them up. hint, hint.  tommi has promised me he will have his surface prepped by next week, and i despair of asgeir getting to his factory wall this year.  maybe next time, i still have all the drawings, so.

theodora prepping her wall

i’ve redrawn one of the cats on unnar’s wall (the hoop troll), and while it’s not good enough, it’s still better than before, so i’ll keep altering it until i’m happy about it.

the cats need to look like troll versions of their real selves, just like the troll woman resembles unnar, but how to turn a cat into a troll is beyond both jim and me, so we’ll see how it works.  how do you make a troll cat?  horns? claws? fangs? scruffy fur?  the other cat, the one that will be jumping thru the hoop the trollwoman is holding out, has been much more trouble.  i asked jim to draw a pouncing cat, or one ready to pounce, but he couldn’t get the pose i wanted, so when i got here i went searching on the internet for a better pose, and really couldn’t find what i was looking for.  but i did find a cat that is reaching out for something, and that will have to do.  it will be four or five times bigger than the cat the trollwoman is standing on, tall enough to reach the hoop.

gisli, up at the high school, located a stash of housepaint that i used on the trollwoman and mythical beast, so i walked up there with a grocery trolly and got three gallons of something, mostly likely blue and dark gray.  so i have a couple of colors.  svanfridur up at the farm (hlid) also has colored house paint, and has invited me to scavenge from her stash.  i’ll be doing a scene of the mountains on the barn door for her and her granddaughter to paint in, so i’ll be going back up there anyway.  connor, runa and i went up wednesday evening, right after connor got off the bus from siglo, and they fed us coffee and kleinur.  runa talked to them mostly, and now and then translated something i wanted to tell gunni and svanfridur, which is such a big help.

connor played with the border collie, a real working dog who can’t stand to be bored, and followed connor around with a ball in her mouth, ready to chase a pebble if only he would throw one for her.  while i was there, svanfridur let me know she’d like more work done on her wall, and i was more than happy to agree to do it.  so i took pictures of the view from the farm, and will go up in good weather probably next week.  connor of course can’t wait to see his friend haldor ingi, who he hung out with while i was painting the farmer and singer trolls.  haldor is their grandson, who lives down near reykjavik and comes up during the summer.  so maybe he’ll be here while connor is still available; we’ll see.

there is some lovely art on the walls up at hlid

svanfridur drove us back down the hill and dropped us off at the pool, where we had almost an hour to swim.  she loaded me up with lamb from her freezer on the way out, and i stuffed it into the ice cream freezer in the lobby of the pool so it would stay frozen.  that night we had lamb cutlets that she’d already cooked and then froze – so yummy.  and real soon now we’ll roast that saddle of lamb.  i now have enough meat to last the whole rest of the time i’m going to be here, and maybe even leave some for unnar.

saturday.  it’s tourist season now.  kaffi klara is getting them by the carload, some stopping for coffee and the delicious cakes, some to eat lunch or dinner, some to spend the night in the guesthouse.  there’s a foursome of swiss men who come to olo every summer to go fishing.  they haven’t caught anything this summer, tho, but they do love their coffee with huge hunks of cake topped with whipped cream.  i’ve been helping out whenever i can, but they’re pretty well staffed, so it’s only to keep my hand in.  this weekend is seeing one of a number of the town’s families having their yearly reunion.  even tho people might not live in olo, it was where their grandparents grew up, so they descend here from all over (i heard american accents among them), camping out or staying in the family summer house in kleifer (just up the road).  they all meet for a business meeting at some point, and then they have a big session of fun with all the kids (i didn’t count 50 of them playing at tjarnarborg, across the street).  right now they’re back at tjarnarborg having a big dinner.  everybody’s wearing nametags, and they’ll be there all evening, having fun.  the national holiday is on monday, so there are a lot of activities planned, and we’ll be keeping up with them, because olo has the longest water slide in iceland, an extreme extension of their ski jump, and even connor will be going down it until he’s blue in the face.  i’ll have hot chocolate and a hot bath ready for him, because the pool will be closed.

today i found some colored paint to add to the paint gisli found for me, and even tho it’s mainly interior paint, i’m going to put it on the wall anyway, because i just can’t stand to see unnar’s wall in shades of gray when it screams out for color.  it was very hot today – 35c in the sun – so i spent much of the day outside painting in greens and pinks and purples.  i still need some dark gray, but maybe i can mix it.

after having had two warnings by the elves (after having almost fallen twice), runa finally fell in the street, and busted herself up badly enough that she had to see the doctor.  poor baby.

sunday.  happy full moon.  sadly, our connor’s dog lily died last night, after suffering a stroke.  this is the 3rd dog we’ve lost this year, sudie dying of a stroke just one year ago.  we have no idea why lily died suddenly; she was in good health, and we don’t keep poisons in the house or spray for pests or anything like that.  connor is certain that they miss us when we go away, and that seems as good an explanation as the only one i can come up with, which is that the elves don’t like us travelling so much.  it’s a very sad thing to lose our dogs so quickly, and both he and i had a good cry about it.  he recovers more quickly than i do, and managed to have fun at the pool with his friends, while i just sat and wallowed in depression.  his solution is to get another dog.  i don’t know, tho.  it’s pretty painful to lose one after another.  our pet cemetery is getting kind of crowded.

monday.  today is icelandic independence day, and all over iceland they have celebrations.  in olafsfjordur, there was a brunch at kaffi klara, a ceremony at tjarnarborg, bouncy castles and the longest waterslide in iceland.  and it rained.  which didn’t keep people away at all.  the last time we were here for national day, it also rained, and the kids just took off their socks to get into the bouncy houses, instead of just their shoes.  connor was soaking wet, but that was okay because everyone else was too.  and he went down the slide until he was blue in the face, as expected.  then he came back to the house and took an hour-long shower.  i spent most of the day working in kitchens, helping ida make brunch at kaffi klara, and then helping asta clean up at tjarnarborg after all her helpers mysteriously evaporated after the event.  it was a good day for me, at any rate.  and i’m pretty sure connor enjoyed it.

tuesday.  and it’s raining, all day, for the next day or three, so there’s no painting outside.  i’m not even sure there’s going to be football practice.  the pool is open, however, and there’s a saddle of lamb to roast.  and we’re only a block from kaffi klara.  and i have half a novel to finish.  sigh.  can’t even see the mountains to continue a painting i started when the skies were blue.  everybody else is asleep, and i got up at 7:30 thinking maybe it wasn’t raining, to discover that it just wasn’t raining on the side of the house where the window is.  i got up so early that i put the coffee grounds into my cup, rather than the french press.  and with only leftover independence day cake to eat, i’m already buzzing.  maybe i’ll clean the house.  do the laundry.  read a book.  finish this post.

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