July 1-3, 2005 Ã¦ttarmÃ³t (Clan Gathering) of the decendants of JÃ³ns Einarssonar and JÃ³hÃ¶nnu ÃžÃ³rdÃsar JÃ³nsdÃ³ttir at ReykjaskÃ³la, HrÃºtafjÃ¶rÃ°i.
JÃ³n and JÃ³hanna were my great, grand parents and are long since dead. TannstaÃ°abakki is a farm just up the road from ReykjaskÃ³la which has been in our family for at least the last three hundred years.
It is where Pabbi lived on and off for the first 14 years of his life and it is where Amma and my grandfather, a USA Army Corporal courted.
After arriving at ReykjaskÃ³la we were shown our rooms in the “Pall Palsson Wing” which is where those descendants of my father who were not camping stayed. This meant that we were in and out of each others rooms and running amok in the hallway.
After settling in we drove up to TannstaÃ°abakki where a night of food, drink and cheer was waiting, set up in the barn were trestle tables and outside a BBQ was just getting fired up. It didn’t take long after we arrived to find Toti and his troop and I set off with Silja and Birta as they showed me the things they had discovered like the dog with young litter which was getting a lot of attention from all the youngsters or the horses that they liked to pat. A little while later a joyous sound rang out when Soley arrived and we gave each other a big hug.
After Mum, Matthew and I had been introduced to a variety of people and short conversations of English were spoken, the adults grouped off and started talking in Icelandic to each other and Mum, Matthew, Soley and I headed down to the “beach” and explored, played and had our own merriment.
Once the sun had started to move away and the wind started to blow across the water we headed back up to the barn to spend the night humming along to Icelandic Folk Songs whilst the rest of the crew sang, smiled and had fun. Since Mum, Matthew and I aren’t exactly up with the whole Icelandic thing, most of the songs we stood round watching. There were some songs however which were ones we knew in English, so we could sing along to those ones. More often the case was that I buzzed about taking photos and Matthew and Mum stood round talking.
Day 8 – July 2, 2005
The night before SkÃºli had passed around word that if any one who was interested could come watch the milking of the cows in the morning, so of course Mum, Pabbi and I took up the offer and actually were the only ones and arrived before the milking had started so we went for a walk along the fjord as Pabbi pointed out the places he had played as a young fella and what had changed over the years.
After a while we walked back up the farm and chatted to SkÃºli and GuÃ°rÃºn as they went about the dairy business.
Once we got back to ReykjaskÃ³la and had our breakfast where Mum was just as excited as she had been since our first trip to the grocery store at the chance to have Sour Milk on her cereal (much better than buttermilk). Mum and Pabbi headed off to chat to people I guess and Matthew probably was sitting somewhere listening to his MiniDisc player I headed off to act like an 8yr old with my nieces. Taking silly photos, playing soccer and attempting to play croquet, passing the camera round to whom ever wanted to take photos with it; Silja, Birta, Nonni(?) and who knows who else – it is not me, my camera and my life but us, my camera and our life 🙂
Around midday everyone headed up to TannstaÃ°abakki, where we were told about some of the things that they are now involved in with raising chickens, running school tours and the weather station etc. Karl had come up from Reykjavik by now so it was fun to have him around to join in on the fun and games. Birta had taken my camera again by now and was no longer just taking photos of people in “Team Red” but all the “Teams”.
After the tour was over we headed back to ReykjaskÃ³la where Matthew and Karl played foxtail with one of the bags of clothes that we had left with him to bring up. Considering the things those two have played foxtail with over the years (old Christams trees etc) it was no surprise when they started this up. As we carried stuff in from his car, Matthew had now grabbed my camera and started taking some photos.
Once we were all settled we went over to the Reykir Folk Museum which is just near the school and suprise suprise GuÃ°rÃºn was on the door, collecting admission and handing out guides. This museum is chock full of items from the local area including quite a few items that were made by my great, great grandfather Einar SkÃºlason in the mid to late 1800’s.
It also includes a boat which was made in 1875 from drift wood for use a shark fishing boat in Winter and was in use until 1915, as well as a tiny boat that came in two halves for easy transport on horses, as well as a couple of reconstructed interiors of 1800’s homes.
After the museum, Matthew and I headed off to the games room with a whole troop of people from the “Pall Palsson Wing” to play air-hockey, table-tennis, mini-golf and other assorted games that we came up with what we found around.
However the sun was beckoning and after looking at the egg laying hens; Soley, Birta and JÃ¶kull decided to make a dam in the little stream that came from a hot spring up the hill a bit; I joined in, offering advice and warming my arms and legs in the warm water.
Once the dam had been built to the best of our capabilities it was time for all the kidlets and adults to be rounded up to get dressed up for the dinner. We were all on our best behaviour as we found our place card and listened to speeches that we had only a few ideas as to their content. After filling up on a wide array of foods including some very yummy brussel sprouts, I moved over to the table where Matthew was sitting and for some reason we started building little boats out of the place-cards and using wax from the tea lights to give them weight. After we had each made one or two we raced as slowly as we could down to the stream to launch our boats. Along the way we managed to draw the attention of some other kidlets and Karl and before long we had raced back up stairs to the dining room to scrounge more place-cards and tea lights to make more boats to have an all out boat race.
Before too long though the boats started to get shipwrecked on the banks and had to be decommissioned as race boats. Then we moved down to the shore where there were more kidlets playing in the late night sun; skimming rocks, playing round the whale bone, digging and having fun.
This next photo is one I really like because there is my shadow as I take the photo, Karl and Matthew in the middle finding suitable skimming rocks and Hafthor and Soley are in the background heading off home.
Once the youngest kidlets were tucked up in bed, it was time for the mice to come out and play 🙂
SkÃºli been a man of many talents had called up his band to play for a barn dance where we had fun drinking and watching people dancing before joining in on the chicken dance and the hokey pokey, watching Toti and Anna show off their dancing skills as they tore up the gym floor with their fancy footwork and seeing my parents the happiest I had seen them in ages dancing together on the gym floor. Once we were all tired out from dancing or watching we headed outside to stand round with a few drinks sharing stories and making jokes.
Day 9 – July 3, 2005
This was a lazy day, we packed up our gear and headed back to Reykjavik to pick up Aunty Margaret from the airport and Karlâ€™s car before driving back to Borgarnes to spend the night with HjÃ¶rdÃs who had prepared a stellar lasagne for tea and to do more washing in preparation for the start of our trip round Iceland in the morning.