Yesterday we had a beautiful snow.The kind where the flakes pile up in delicate balance like they’re weightless.Right this minute, it’s snowing and raining at the same time. Ugly! It’s “supposed” to just rain, and wash away all this snow, but instead, it’s precipitating slush.Inside, it’s tropical, the little birds are growing up, four Silkie hens are insisting that they are broody, and I’m insisting that they’re not allowed to be. Everyone needs some entertainment, so I have to get in there and build and shuffle stuff. Another Silkie cross. Hair that won’t lie down, hobbit feet – a bad break when you’re a teenager. They are quite unfortunate looking when they’re in the middle stages, but they turn out quite handsomely, depending on who they’re crossed with. I have three crosses now.
After a terribly dry summer, the temperature suddenly dropped and it seems fall is here; the hot days are gone.
Week after week this summer the weather reports have been tantalizingly forecasting possible showers, but those much-talked-about teasers always vanish the day before they happen into the blazing sun icon – again – a whole row of full suns, week after week.
The apples are small, the grass is dry, we’ve already had a frost, and now, the weather has shifted into the third season and is plotting a course of decreasing temperatures – signalling to all that the last push of work – the last chance to do it, is on.
It’s time for toques in the morning – wardrobe change!
It’s been so warm and springy that waking up to a layer of heavy snow was a surprise. The garlic is up a few inches, the bees are exploring far and wide.
I was pretty sure that the snow on March 21 was the last, and for sure the snow on April 4. But no, there’s still surprises.
We had two trees fall near the old farmhouse in the morning, missing it, but we didn’t think much of the weather. For all we knew, this was routine wind for Nova Scotia. Only when we went out to “town” that we found the power was off everywhere, trees were hanging on power lines and the roads all over, and the storm was a big enough deal to have a name: Arthur.
A third big poplar by the house had a dramatic diagonal split in the trunk, and was creaking in the wind. I was really hoping it would come down on its own so that we wouldn’t have to fall it- danger tree. The storm was not bad through the day, but later on picked up a bit. I was outside watching, attempting and utterly failing to capture on video the drama of the young trees bending so impressively in the roaring wind. I love storms, although the wind started to break plants in the garden, and tore the fresh first pair of leaves off half our bean plants. The beans were doing so well, too.
The cracked tree held out all day, and finally, thankfully, came down just before dark. It twisted around like unwinding and fell opposite the other two, also refusing to hit the house. Apparently the house has a tree repelling force field around it and is determined to survive, so I guess we’ll have to save it. Our camper shelter came through unscathed too; the young trees it’s tied into bent plenty but held out without trouble.
It’s nice to be off-grid. Every day is a power outage.
We made it!
It’s a whole different season here. We’ve skipped fall and gone straight into early winter. It’s colder than I expected, and that’s a little alarming, to think how wild the weather might get over the next two months. Icelanders so far have only winced and made dire comments about cycling at this time of year. But the Northern Lights should be good. They’ve already shown.
Day one: after a predictably sleepless, and crowded, flight over, the usually drab ride from Keflavík to Reykjavík was beautiful in the dawn, with the mist rising from the dry grass and the column of steam over Bláa Lónið. We wandered around the city, getting groceries, overdosing on sugar at the first bakari we saw, and finding the best value ever on sim cards and the most pleasing cell phone service ever (from Tal), so we are all mobile-ly connected.
Totally demoralized vis-a-vis Icelandic. So much for enhanced eavesdropping; I can catch scant words per conversation.
After a long nap (I slept through HW reassembling his bike) and on a late search for something to eat we saw our first Northern Lights- a band of green that circled the whole sky, but faded quickly. We found ourselves gravitating to the things we did first on our last trip, and ended up at Gamla Smiðjan again for exceptional thin crust wood-fired pizza. Their menu is full of interesting topping choices like cream cheese, peanuts, and bananas.
Sunrise is about 7am and sunset 12 hours later. Temp +4C. Not so bad, but coming from uncomfortably hot weather, it´s a contrast. The locals are still eating plenty of ice cream, and there are still many cute cats out and about.
Day two: another familiar spot for breakfast (premium waffles at Perlan), another beautifully sunny day. We took our bikes out unloaded for some sightseeing (the harbour, Hallgrímskirkja, and Einar Jónsonn museum), then discovered that the water slide at Laugardalslaug is for grownups. In fact, it’s sort of scary, with parts of it blacked out completely and disco lights in other parts. At 500 kr. admission, Laugardalslaug is officially the best value in town, after the free walking tour of course. Unfortunately, Toby doesn’t do those free walks after Sep 14.
Finished with the exceptional soup and salad buffet at Kryddlegin Hjörtu, my favorite meal maybe anywhere in Iceland, I think. Awww, stuffed with good food.
Finally sinking in that we are actually here. Against all odds, including a few daily odds thrown at us in the last week of traveling.
Simplest of transactions conducted in Icelandic: two. Conversation by necessity in Icelandic: one. Times chickened out of attempting Icelandic even though I thought I knew what to say: countless. Humbled by communicative expertise of barely verbal toddler: once.
After trying to learn their language, I’m just in awe of how well they (nearly all) speak English, which is supposedly not so easy to learn either. Clearly it will take more than a dedicated year to speak Icelandic half as well as the average Icelander speaks English. That’s just depressing.