A cold, cold walk on Christmas Day

It has become somewhat of a tradition in our family to go for a walk or a stroll after lunch on Christmas Day.

This year, Karl and I took Stella for a walk round town. Christmas Day was mighty cold for Reykjavik, the weather bureau recorded -9.7°C at noon on Christmas Day! A vast difference to the 25.4°C or so that was observed in Brisbane at noon on the 25th.

We went down to the harbour and then strolled back through the “west side” home to get ready for Christmas Day dinner with Kata’s paternal family.

As it was Christmas Day we wore Santa Hats for the walk, sadly the Santa Hats were not wool or super fleecy so did not really provide optimum warmth :/
Karl and I on the jetty
Karl and I on the jetty

Karl and Stella at the end of the jetty
Karl and Stella at the end of the jetty

Love the ice patterns on the jetty
Love the ice patterns on the jetty

I loved how the ice had formed on the timbers of the jetty, the bevel that formed on the edge of the timbers was ice free as were the screw/nails holding the jetty together.  You can see in the above photo of Karl and Stella how the ice looked from a different angle on the jetty timbers.

I saw a few more than three ships on Christmas Day
I saw a few more than three ships on Christmas Day

There was quite a few ships docked for the holidays, I wish I had got a photo of just three ships so I could have said “I saw three ships come sailing in, on Christmas Day”

Rocks frozen into the sand
Rocks frozen into the sand

These rocks were mostly frozen into the sand/gravel as when the tide went out leaving behind wet sand/gravel it promptly froze.

Looking out from the slips
Looking out from the slips

It was a very low tide so we were able to go the slips at the bottom of the dry docks to attempt to scavenge for treasures.

Ice starting to form on the harbour
Ice starting to form on the harbour

It was so cold that ice was starting to form on the still parts of the harbour! That was pretty cool to see.

Frozen seaweed
Frozen seaweed

I loved the ice edges on the seaweed 🙂

The snow is very pretty on the mountains
The snow is very pretty on the mountains

Obligatory shot of snowy mountains.

Art
Art

 

 

Sam Strawberry Man
Sam Strawberry Man

Some newish art on one of the doors of Vallarstræti

Aníta Hinriksdóttir out sprint training on Christmas Day
Aníta Hinriksdóttir out sprint training on Christmas Day

I saw these two running up the street and thought that they might be tourists out of run for something to do on Christmas Day when not much is open. When they reached the top and turned around to walk down and repeat the hill sprints, Karl recognised the girl as a champion Icelandic middle-distance runner who has been breaking more than a few records in the past years.

The sun starts to set
The sun starts to set

Then it was time to head back home to get a bit warmer and dressed to go to dinner.

 

****

Yes, it has been a whopping 255 days since my last post. I have written a few drafts in that time but I’ve just never pressed the publish button. Here is to hopefully a few more posts appearing shortly.

H

 

Dinner

Because tonight is the one night of the year pancakes are a totally acceptable dinner. Mmm pancakes! or pönnukökur to be more correct, since the only type of pancakes this house knows is Icelandic pancakes (well and also the Ayrshire pancakes that my maternal grandmother used to make).

There is only three types of toppings pancakes in our family can have and that is red jam (any berry or rhubarb jam) with cream, golden syrup with cream or brown sugar, lemon juice and cream. Yep cream is just as important as pancakes when it comes to pancakes!

This picture though, tells a lot more than just that I had pancakes for dinner but it about the Icelandic pancake pans that Karl brought over with him for my Christmas present in 2008, Grandmum’s narrow metal flip, the paper towel holder that Grandad made and of course a Lotte plate…

Here is hoping that you too enjoyed pancakes at some stage tomorrow and I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow 🙂

ohhh Christmas is near, 37 days to go.

and before you say it is 38 days, I count down till the 24th, it’s the day we do Christmas.

I love Christmas. Without a doubt it is my favourite time of year. The last few days I’ve been working on some of my Christmas crafting and I’m doing my first batch of Christmas baking tomorrow. In saying all that though, this Christmas is going to be oh so very different to any Christmas past. There’s no Pabbi to dish out the rice pudding or to hand out presents from the tree. When we were in London on the way home from Iceland, we came up with the idea to go to New Zealand for Christmas to hang out with Mum’s sister and her family. Mum, Grandad and I are going (Matthew was not interested in the idea and is staying home) on the night of the 23rd and return on the night of the 31st. Will be great to catch up with my cousins and get to see the first great-grandchild.

I’m so tempted to start putting up decorations in my room but I’ll wait till Dec 1… though I’m going to hang a few porcelain snow flakes in the next few hours. They are white, you’ll hardly be able to see them hanging from the white shelf against the white wall …

This Saturday is the Christmas BBQ for the Icelandic Club -> hence the Christmas baking tomorrow. Really looking forward to the BBQ especially to catch up with one of my good friends who I’ve not seen in an obscene amount of time. I’m going to take along a big container of Loftkökur … mmmm. A funny note to mention, google Loftkökur and my recipe is normally the first or the second result to appear :). When I was in Iceland a few months ago, one of my sister’s told me that someone she knew had been raving about this Loftkökur recipe that she had found on the net and how great it was. She sent the link to my sister and my sister replied – that recipe is from my sister 🙂 so funny.

Loftkökur, ready to eat

In order to make Loftkökur, though I need the secret ingredient so I made a trip over to Mum’s today to pick up the Hartshorn salt, I also “borrowed” two of her biscuit trays … and I brought home some of my Christmas decorations.

mmm Hartshorn salt, there’s nothing quite like a sniff of Ammonium bicarbonate.
Smelly goodness

In other news, I go back to work tomorrow! yikes. I’ve got some crutches which make getting around easier. The first thing on the agenda for me to do tomorrow at work will be finish organising the Christmas Party – it’s next Saturday night. It’s themed, the 20th Century. There was too much debate amongst my two other planners between doing a 20’s theme or a Mad Men theme. I ended up suggesting let’s do the 20th Century instead. People can come dressed from whichever era they wish and if they don’t want to put much effort in they can just come as the 90’s.

I’m doing an early 60’s/late 50’s theme. I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of a few essential packages to arrive early next week for my outfit. All I have left to do is figure out my jewellery (will probably try to find some “pearls” at diva or the like) and practice my hair. I’m going to have to do some op-shopping before then though to find a shirt for N to wear. I’m so excited, can’t wait to see what outfits people put together.

French music vs Icelandic food, the battle for which is written about first

aka a really long post title.

I’m/We/A group of us are going to see Gainsbourg on Wednesday night at Palace Centro. I received an email a few weeks ago offering free tickets so I thought why not. I recognised the name but typical of me could not place a song title or the like.

I finally got round to watching the trailer and it looks really good – yeah it’s a bio-pic but the music, the setting, the people, it’s all good.

The Trailer

Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus

and moving on….

I came home today to find a little red box sitting on the counter, a Pósturinn box. A birthday present from halfway round the world. I then artfully arranged the contents for a photo, with a sort of building blocks theme … note the Give Way sign, I like getting that sign in photos I take on the deck.

Life Essentials

mmm Prince Polo bars, a Hraun bar (sort of like the Icelandic version of a Picnic – as in a chocolate bar that looks a bit ugly but is pretty tasty) and an obligatory chocolate liquorice bar – I’m no fan of liquorice but some things just have to be sent. More importantly in the parcel were two jars of jam. One marked Red Lava 2010 and the other RGH2 Sept 2010. The Red Lava is a chilli jam, a “flavour bomb” for want of a better phrase, the other RGH2 is redcurrant, honey and ginger. I think RGH2 will go pretty well on the fruit toast.

I also finished uploading all my photos from the Iceland trip on the weekend – just have some video to get up at some stage. Go have a looksie, ahh I wonder when I will get to Iceland again.

Dyrhólaey, 355/365

and with that tomorrow, I get my stitches taken out 🙂

Iceland at work

Iceland at work

This is what my desk looks like at work, at knock off time when all the files have been locked up. I’ve always had 4×6 photos or postcards running along the top of the mini-wall. A few days after I came home from Iceland I made 9 A4 collages of a whole bunch of photos from the trip to put up at work. It has been a great improvement over a bunch of 4x6s and I think it looks a whole lot better than the digital photo frames that are typically used. Co-workers pause and look at them, I get to smile at all those faces and places I miss and it just brightens up my drab desk so much!

Week 2 of uni is now over and I’ve got a lot of respect for all those who work full time and study part time…. It’s a hard slog, I’m slowly getting into the swing of things and I’m sure in a few weeks it will be like I’ve always been doing this.

Here is a photoshop comp of the 9 A4 pages together. Click on the photo to see it full size.
The photos on my desk mini-wall