Category Archives: Iceland 2008

Grila and her Bad Bad Bad Cat

One Scary Momma

One Scary Momma

Santa´s Evil Mother is named Grila — in the picture above you can see the bag at her side — it is filled with naughty children who she is taking home to enjoy with perhaps a glass of merlot and a sprig of parsley.

This Grila entirely of Driftwood, kelp and sea shells

This Grila is made entirely of Driftwood, kelp and sea shells

Gila has thirteen elves — young boys who represent various forms of impishness verging on evil, but they are nothing compared to her cruel kitty-cat. Kitty, (not sure of her name or even is she has one), likes to hunt for small children and if she catches a child, she plays with it llike a normal-of-this-world cat would play with a mouse, and then she kills the child.

Bikini Grila is my favourite

Bikini Grila is my favourite

Fortunatley, if a child recieves new clothes at Christmas time, they are protected from Grila´s evil feline. Let´s hope that in spite of the terrible economy, parents in Iceland will at least buy new socks for their little ones.

The students in the local schools around Klaustrid have been creating the most wonderful Grila dolls, some of which I’ve copied into this post.

Grila´s in the Window at Klaustrid

Grila´s in the Window at Klaustrid

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A Productive Day in East Iceland

White on Black

White on Black

OMG, I´m sleeping again and what a difference this makes to my life. I got lots done today — finished an article for an upcoming book, and submitted it, hopefully on time. I also had time for a really long walk to visit my sheep friends down the road, and crawled about in a half-frozen waterfall.
Next weekend is the Christmas Buffet and everybody in the house is busy getting prepared — Some of the rooms have been decorated with dolls the local children made of the woman who visits thier houses for the thirteen days leading up the Christmas. She´s a bit spooky. She´s got an appetite for humans and is already on her third husband, the first died (not sure how) and she ate the next one. She also eats naughty children, but does give gifts to those who are well-behaved. Some of the dolls are in the image of a woman with the ugliest nose in the world, often dressed in a bikini, or as a model, dragging around a bag of captured children who will end up in her soup pot.

You know, re-reading this, it is possible, I got the story wrong, but I don´t think so…As I learn more about Christmas, I´ll keep you posted.

weed

Loner

Loner

I like the Black Sheep -- think it´s his eyes...

I like the Black Sheep -- think it´s his eyes...


Through Branches

Through Branches


gate -- stone and wood

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One Week Today and Getting Lots of Writing Done

Wide Open Sky

Wide Open Sky

I didn´t see a soul today — a big shout out to skype — keeps me talking to the outside. I´m still not sleeping well, which means that I end up waking really late, and that cuts down on the hours of sunlight. Usually I go for a walk, but today, it just looked so cold outside that I didn´t bother — I regret that now, but it´s dark outside and no place does dark as well as Iceland. It´s an all encompassing blackness, where you can barely see your hand when you hold it out in front of you.

I´m not really sure where the time goes. I´ve been working on my new book for hours every day. Sometimes I feel that it is going really well, and at other times, I hate what I have written. This is, I know, every writer´s lament and I miss not having anyone to bounce my rough draft off. I guess I am working on blind faith, knowing that since I´ve done it before, perhaps, I can do it again.

I hit the 21,000 word mark. I am aiming to write at least 15,00 words per day, and then I begin each new day by re-reading and heavily editing yesterday´s work. My characters haven´t quite taken over yet, and this is a bit of a worry. I write well into the night, at least until I find an English language show on our one channel. I don´t miss TV at all — at least not our 160 stations with nothing on them that we have at home.

House from the road

House from the road

Today, because nobody was around in the afternoon, I played my ipod on full volume and danced around like a crazy person. It struck me how odd it would look if there were hidden cameras in the house, because I was shouting out the words and really having a great little dance session all on my own. And then it struck me as odd that I would even have that thought…

When Christmas celebrations start here, there will be an elf and a singer and I think maybe a clown in the house, so that will be refreshing company in the evenings. I am not afraid of clowns, like so many people are — thank god. I think I am pretty brave to be here on these dark days alone, and I am really enjoying my own company…I don´t know if that is a good thing or not :). Not to say that I don´t get lonely, but I am under the impression that I am quite good company. Of course, I am biased.

This is about as close to outward bound as I´d ever want to get…and I am very comfortable and warm in the house. I should mention, that the people, when I see them, are really super. They are kind and welcoming and fun to be with.

I am in Good Company

I am in Good Company

That´s all today.

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Images of East Iceland

Air IclandThe flight from Reykjavik to Egilisstadir took approximately 55 minutes — we flew over incredible white mountain peaks and landed in a tiny airport, which I later found to be about 45 minutes from the house.

weird-and-loud-landing-gear

Signage to Klaustrid

Signage to Klaustrid

What´s on My Counter?

What´s on My Counter?

out-the-window

Today it is bleak outside — the snow is blowing sideways past my window and I´ve decided to stay in and not venture down to the pasture to visit my four-legged pals. Sitting here, looking out of my window, I´ve come to realize that there are many different shades of white — at times like this, I wish I could paint.

That said, perhaps I can paint, because in New York, there were many street vendors selling their Obama art. I met some pretty talented people there, but I also met some real scammers. I mean, even I can draw a stick person in black paint, add and afro and call it the President Elect. Who buys this stuff?

How Birds See the Valley

How Birds See the Valley

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More Images from Klaustrid

View of front of house

View of front of house

sheep-in-field

view-from-house

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Klaustrid Where I Am Staying in East Iceland

Gunnar Gunnarsson Mansion

Gunnar Gunnarsson Mansion

I took this photo at 3pm this afternoon.

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Egilsstaoir — East Iceland: Write, write, write

This is possibly the windiest place in the world, but it is also one of the most visually stunning places I have ever visited. As I sit at my computer, on the top floor of the Gunnar Gunnarsson residence at Skriduklaustur in the Fljotsdalur Valley, I am looking out at an enormous yellow field flanked on one side by steep snow-covered mountains and on the other by a massive lake — I don’t know the name of this body of water, and if I did, I couldn’t pronounce it anyway, but I do know that it is home to a giant worm, much like the Loch Ness Monster or the Ogoppogo in British Columbia.

The isolation here is challenging to get used to, and when the wind howls and batters my windows, I find sleep to be almost impossible. On the upside, I am writing for hours every single day and my novel is beginning to really take shape. My friend and editor extrodinaire, Joy Gugeler, is going to ‘pop in’ on her way to Toronto in a couple of weeks and I think she will be quite pleased with the progress made. I can’t wait to see her — it will be so excellent to have someone to talk to and I think I will be able to sleep knowing that there is someone else in the house.

James is in London — just a stone’s throw across the Atlantic Ocean and it makes me feel good to know that we are in the same time-zone.

I walk every day, but am reluctant to venture outside at the moment in case the wind picks up again and I get blown away like a leaf…

There are no big predators here — only reindeer and fox — so walking is stress free and enjoyable, and although the roads are very narrow, the few drivers I have encountered are polite and respectful.

Every night at 22, there is an English language program (most often from the UK, but sometimes from the States) on our one channel, and this, for me, signals the end of the writing day and the time to kick back and prepare for the long, dark night ahead…what a baby, but it’s the truth 🙂

I really enjoy the lady who runs the Klausturkaffi in the basement of the house — and when she isn’t here, I miss her presence and the aroma of fresh baking that floats up the stairs to my little apartment. In fact, I think I might pop down now and see what’s cooking.

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