Friday, 30 August 2013

Iceland - turf houses

More photographs from our holiday in Iceland.

I glimpsed several of these old Turf roofed buildings from the coach as we travelled around southern Iceland. We stopped to take a closer look at these. 

They have recently been used as farm buildings, I don't know whether they were ever houses.

We also saw this little turf roofed church which was very simple but very beautiful inside.

Turf roof houses are very traditional Icelandic houses especially in the country areas. We saw examples of some that had been rebuilt at the folk museum at Skogar.

The museum has rebuilt several original buildings in the style of a farm in the 19th Century, The farmhouse nearest with the three white windows was originally built in 1896.

Inside it was furnished as it might have been in the 1800s, the bedroom below is around 1838

and the parlour from1896.

I don't have a picture of the kitchen which was quite dark but this is the view from the window.

Also at the museum were replicas of more recent houses, some of which were lived in until the 1970s before being dismantled and rebuilt at the museum.

The following pictures may be a bit muddled. The disadvantage of going on an escorted tour is that you don't always have quite enough time to spend at some places before having to move on. While everyone was having lunch, I decided to go hungry and run about seeing as much as possible - I can eat anytime but I might not see this again!

Anyway, here are some photographs from the interior of two of the houses from the first half of the twentieth century.



and sleeping.

There was a lot of embroidery on display, some of it quite delicate. Its difficult to judge from a museum but these houses certainly felt very loved, filled with  home made furnishings.



and pictures.

I liked the raised 3D effect of these flowers, imagine sitting in lamp light working on pieces like this.

Lastly a picture of the school house built in 1911.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

an hour at the beach

We have been regularly visiting at Bournemouth Hospital. This Sunday as it was a lovely sunny afternoon and as we were only a few miles from the coast we decided to brave the Bank Holiday crowds and go to the beach.

Arriving late in the day we could park right near the beach (at a price!), walk straight from the car across the sand and into the sea. Perfect.

Dark clouds came and went but the showers stayed out in the channel and we had a pleasant quiet time

strolling on the beach and in and out of the waves.

As I observe the increasing frailty of my parents and parents-in-law as they get older, I think about the finite time we all have to spend in the world and the importance of making the most every moment.

The beach is a good place to do that.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Late Summer

Its been a full summer, holidays, visiting family and spending time at home in the garden but of course , it has to end. This past week change is in the air, cooler nights and misty mornings, darkness falling earlier, harvesting in the fields, flowers turning to seed heads in the garden, all signs that we are moving slowly into late summer and then to autumn.

This week I visited the gardens at West Green house again. The look here was much softer than earlier in the season, less colour in the herbaceous borders, a quiet calm as if the garden was marking time waiting for the change in season.

Still lots to look at and photograph as I wandered around. As I walked around the lake, a heron flew low overhead and perched in a willow tree. Its a bit distant in the photograph but what an elegant bird.

My own garden is lacking in colour in late summer as I mainly have perennials which flower earlier in the year so I was looking for ideas for late flowering plants. The was plenty of inspiration and I have decided on a late flowering phlox and perhaps another echinacea.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Iceland - beaches of black sand

A few photographs from our holiday. I will post more as I sort through them. These are the black sand beaches at Vik and nearby. The "sand" is black lava washed by the ocean.

I particularly like the last photograph in the series. I took this standing on Vik beach in the evening looking south. From that point there is no land mass between where I was standing and Antarctica. It was an amazing thought and made me feel very small.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

a day in my life

a day in my life - Wednesday 14th.

I've been posting these posts on the 13th of the month but this week I completely forgot so this is a day late. My excuse is a lingering cold, a sore throat for a week with headaches and shivering thrown in from time to time. I am not good at taking things easy when I don't feel well, my instinct is to push through but this doesn't seem to be working so my day was one of rest and hopefully recuperation.

Up early (there is only so much rest I can take without being an inconvenience!) to take my husband to the station for 6:45 and my son to work for 7:00. Returning home I made breakfast but didn't feel like eating it so went back to bed for a couple of hours and ate it later.

After another rest I printed some of my photographs from our holiday in Iceland ready to show to friends in the evening.

Next, lunch

followed by a little knitting in the garden.

This is my current project, the top down Icelandic sweater from Craftsy. It is knitted in the round but will be a cardigan so I will be cutting the steek down the centre. This will be the second time I have cut a steek, the first in the Rams and Yowes blanket went well but there are fewer steek stitches in this pattern so I expect it will be just a stressful second time round!

In the afternoon I drove my younger son to bowling with some friends and then picked up eldest son from work. Early evening I drove again to meet my husband and some friends for a meal. By the time we had finished eating it was getting dark, a reminder of how quickly this summer seems to be passing.

By the time I had driven us home I was not feeling so well, so it was bedtime for me, hoping to feel better soon.

Monday, 12 August 2013

away, home, away, home again

Pingvellir National Park, Iceland
The last three weeks have been very full with travelling and holidays. It has been great but now I am ready to be quietly at home for a while with little planned.

At the end of July we spent eight days in Iceland. The first five days were spent on an escorted tour. This seemed to be the best way to see lots of the Iceland sights but the downside was that we spent extended periods of time in the coach travelling long distances. The tour was based in southwest Iceland and titled Volcanoes and Glaciers. We saw both, lots of waterfalls, geysirs and beautiful scenery.

I took hundreds of photographs which I still need to sort through but I chose the one above taken in the National Park because I wanted to convey the calm, serene beauty of the country. We were struck by the flat coastal plains, miles of lava fields which we passed by in the coach and the quiet emptiness and huge skies were amazing, so very different from the crowded south east of England.

At he end of the holiday we spent three days in Reykjavik just pottering and wandering by ourselves which was a good contrast to the hectic coach tour.

Back home and youngest son had loan of some equipment to carry out field work for his final year dissertation so I had just five days to find and book a suitable cottage in the Brecon Beacons so that he could start his project. Not an easy task at short notice in the school summer holidays but I managed to find a house in Brecon and off we went for a five day break. My husband was unable to take more time of work but eldest son who hasn't had any time off yet this year did manage to take a few days at short notice so for most of the time it was the three of us. My role was to drive to suitable streams and wait/walk while measurements were taken which once the weather cleared up was very pleasant. Eldest son who has completed courses in mountain safety and navigation, took long exhausting walks in the middle of nowhere so he was happy too.

Now we are back home and I have to turn my attention to my much neglected house and garden and generally get back to normal.
As always though, being away from routine gives an opportunity to think about the things we do everyday often without a second thought. In the last three weeks, I've watched virtually no television and spent little time online, I'm not saying whether this is good or bad just that there has been a difference and its something I want to think about. For now though its good to be back and see how everyone is in my little corner of blogland.