Aurora & Þorrablót

 

No doubt as you’re all back at work and sick of my happy posts about snow, aurora and other such nonsense, you probably won’t bother clicking on this link. If you do, I give you permission to hate on me for five minutes. Then go sign up for the salary sacrifice deal and do a great payback in a few year’s time. You won’t regret it! With everyone back at work, I finally feel like I’m on leave, not just summer break. Being a full time artist again just feels ‘right’.

This week’s highlight was most definitely Þorrablót  (pronounced Thorablot). It’s an annual excuse for a massive party that stops the whole of Iceland for a night. It is characterised by a smorgasbord of foods most of you would never want to eat, but are loved by the majority of Icelanders. It includes the following: fermented shark chased by a shot of Brennivin, boiled sheep heads sawn in half saggitally, sheep testicles and cheeks in jelly squares, fish jerky, fermented whale fat, more fermented shark, peas, apple purée, mashed potato and geyser bread. And yes, I ate the lot. Along with almost an entire bottle of gin. The whole town turned out in their best dresses and suits looking sharp. The local Rep group did a series of thoroughly rehearsed performances taking the piss out of their own for the various silly things done over the last twelve months. Even without getting the language quips, I found it hilarious. Following that was a band that played all the classics for three hours straight. I danced every song with fellow artists and locals alike and had a great time.

Beyond that, I’ve just been having fun in the studio working on more colour studies and getting in more practise taking photos with the new camera. It’s more than paid for itself. We’ve had several good nights of auroras to photograph of varying intensity, shape and speed. Sometimes I photograph them, sometimes I prefer just watch and enjoy the moment.

Aly rented a car the other day on a whim and took a few of us on some short trips. We did the drinks run to Blönduós in prep for Þorrablót, took another trip up to Kálfshamarsvik lighthouse and then scooted across to Gretislaug hot pot, returning via Sauðárkrókur, set of the tv series of Trapped. We missed Gretislaug the first time we tried to get there because the deep snow made the road impassable. Some other artists had been since and said it was disappointingly tepid, so we had low expectations. How wrong! What a marvellous place! Piping hot steam seeped in via the ground in true volcanic fashion while the sound of ocean surf crashed on two sides of us with snow capped mountains on our flank. Stunning, hot, isolated and totally ours and ours alone. We will definitely be going back again!

 

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