Skip to main content

Home...

I woke up this morning to a family member had subscribed me to a Facebook group for the village I'm from in Iceland. When I say I'm from this village, I don't mean that I am born there - I'm born in Australia. I mean, it is where I lived the longest in Iceland. It is the village I know like the back of my hand. I have literally walked every street of this place.

Someone had posted a bunch of photos, and for some reason, several photos included my grandmother's last house in the village. This house had been torn down when I visited in August, so I was very excited to see it. These photos are taken from around the time we moved to the village last. My grandmother's house is the yellow house in the middle of the photo. She didn't own the house*, she rented, and she only rented half the house - the right side of the house with the black tar-paper cladding exposed around the windows.


When we moved to live with Amma in December 1982, three of my aunties, one uncle, and one cousin were already living with her. So, to be clear, her half of the house is where the black tar-paper starts and right of that. The first window is the kitchen window. The door is in the tiny entry, directly opposite the door was a staircase which took you up to an attic bedroom. To the right of the front door was the living room/diningroom, behind it was Amma's room, towards the front of the house (that window) was a teensy room that fit a single bed only), which you got to throught the bathroom/laundry, out back was a storage room of sorts. Once we moved in, there were nine people living there for several months, plus on occasion my aunties boyfriends.


When we first came to the house at Christmas 1982, the snowdrifts were up to the roof line at the door of the house, and we had to dig steps down to the front door. The snow kept coming throughout winter, and on more than one occasion, I remember people clambering in and out of the window to the attic bedroom that you can see in the picture below.

In the summer of 1983, when I was eleven, I had a summer job of taking care of five children during the day, they ranged in age from nine down to eighteen months. I look at the river, so close to the front door, no fence, those rocks, and it used to flow quite quickly. I remember my nine year old brother and my five-year-old cousin play with paper boats down there. I wonder if I'd trust Bryn with five kids next summer by that river...


These windows at the back of the house belong to my Amma's bedroom. Her boudoir. To me she was always very glamorous, she had a tendency to get about the house in a matching nightgown and robe sets, but not flannelette and quilted cotton like my English nanna, no, Amma's were always flowy and drapey like a 40s noir character with plenty of cleavage on display. and she always had a cigarette hanging from her lips. Her bedroom had a large Chinese paper umbrella hanging open and upside down in one corner of the ceiling and on a heavy buffet at the foot of her bed was white plaster sculpture we called 'The Kiss'. 


What I love about this last photo is seeing how close the mountains were. I love those mountains so much!

The other day I had a strange experience. A friend linked to an article about an Icelandic crime series which is currently available on SBS on demand. When I clicked through to the article there was immediately a photo. As I looked at the photo the word 'Seyðisfjörður' popped into my mind. Now, that is the name of a village. A village I have never been to. A village I have no association with whatsoever, in actual fact, so when it came to me, I laughed and thought it might be funny if the show was filmed or set in Seyðisfjörður. I kept reading the article and several paragraphs later, right at the bottom of the page, it said the show is, indeed, set in Seyðisfjörður. I had to look it up because I had no idea where in the country that place is. As it turns out, it's not far from where I stay a night back in September last year. I rang mum and told her and we came to the conclusion that the land is in our DNA, someone it is part of us and we are part of it and that is why we yearn for it and it calls us.

*As it turns out, my aunts tells me she did own the house and that it was utterly ruined by the last tenant and the township then sold it for demolition - or that is how I understand the translation of what I was told.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Do you have low self-esteem?

I don't.

I used to think I did, but having met several people who really do have low self-esteem, I've now come to realise I actually have low confidence (and note I don't say low self-confidence, but more on that later), and that is a different breed of animal all together.

I was having a chat with a friend the other day about people who constantly put themselves down. If you are a participant in social media you might be aware of this kind of person. Everyone is smarter than them, prettier than them, more motivated, better organised, or has greater talent than them. It goes further, some of these people are not at all opposed to running themselves down to others with comments like, 'I'm so fat' (and not in a proud, fat acceptance way, but in a negative, self-loathing kind of way), or 'I'm stupid' or 'I'm ugly'.

Some people are just fishing for compliments, of course, but the ones who persist; the ones who simply cannot take a complimen…