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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Happy Tuesday!

I can't believe it's now Tuesday and I haven't been in touch for 4 days...

It's been a funny old time. Sharing a house with someone for a month, you do get to know their good and bad points. (I am certainly not immune from this and I'm sure Sofia and Ell have tales to tell about my washing up freakery...at the very least)

Anyway, Ell left on Sunday and it certainly left a big Bostonian shaped hole in my heart. I've never had such animated and detailed discussions about the USA and have learned so much about a liberal 20 something's views on everything. I have learned about:

  • Gun laws and why (it is perceived) that they won't work. Particularly as the Americans take their constitution so seriously and think that if the police/army have guns, then so should they. (Oh and also, all the gangs and drug lords have illegal weapons, so would still shoot each other all the time...
  • There is a significant mistrust of those in power and most Americans certainly didn't vote Trump. (50% didn't even vote) However, if my friend is correct - and I wouldn't dare doubt her - people totally didn't trust Hilary, so the opposition was negligible. (Echoes of Brexit, anyone??)
  • Boston has the most wonderful thing artistically, where galleries have a party once a month on a Friday (with lots of galleries that means a party a week!) This not only means that artists get great exposure and the chance to network, but that the shy ones (obviously not Ell...) get to get a bit tipsy whilst attempting to schmooze curators and gallery owners. The 'do's' include wine and food and performances of music, dance and other general exciting stuff.
  • I now know that all the American teen films about 'Spring Break' are watered down. The truth is far far worse.


The most important thing I have learned from the first month is that a 50+ year old English (Northern English at that) woman with 2 kids and a totally different life experience, can learn from everyone and can have a beautiful friendship with a 23 year old, opinionated, (in the best sense of the word) bright, beautiful, talented amazing artist from Boston MA. Watch out for Eleanor Mary Cepko. I believe she will be exhibiting in the MOMA within the next few years.

Ok, enough of the sycophancy. I'll pay you later Ell!!


So, that was Sunday. I then moped around for the next 2 days, being a bit pathetic but loving having the place to myself. I cleaned from top to bottom (not difficult as it's a bungalow) and enjoyed a clean sink and washing up done as soon as made. I have the very annoying habit at home of washing up before sitting down to eat sometimes.... (OCD??)

I didn't realise that the official cleaner was coming yesterday, so I made her job a lot easier.

I found an amazing rubbish tip, which reminded me of the rubbish dump on the Store field at Whitehill Road when I was growing up. I also remember that the children's home around the block would often chuck things away which were not needed, or the batteries had run out and I would go and take them. I remembered the time I found some Walkie Talkie phone (with a wire obviously....) and they only needed batteries. We played with them for ages until the street thief nicked them. anyway I digress. The thing that reminded me of that time was this:


It just looked so forlorn. A bit like how I was feeling.

discarded nets

No idea about this lot. There was assorts of stuff. No tellies or fridges though, which is what you find thrown away in the UK.
I also found this amazing shed, which is quite a way from the sea, but had bits of seaweed tangled in its door. It could be the wind blowing it about, but this also looks very forlorn.



So to today. The snow is completely gone now. It's quite warm outside - for Iceland. I took my hat off today and went without gloves for at least half an hour. Seriously though, all the locals are saying how unseasonably warm it is, but that the winter will start in February. That's tomorrow then. Better get the Long Johns out again. 


This is the ice which comes down the valley and runs into the sea just along from the studio. Last time I was here it was walkable on. Now it's all cracked up and floating to the sea. You can't tell the scale from the photograph, but some of these were about 7 feet long. 

I'm not sleeping very well. Could be because of the vast amounts of coffee I'm drinking, but I generally stay in the studio until between 10.30 and midnight, then go home hoping to sleep. Last night I went to bed at 12 and was still wide awake at 4am. Then slept until 6 and back to sleep again until mid day. I can't seem to get into any kind of routine. 

I forget to tell you that I saw the most amazing aurora the other night but didn't have my tripod as I'd left it at the studio... I stood on our porch and tried to hold the camera steady. Luckily, the lights were so bright, that I didn't need a long exposure:

I love this one. It's like an angels wings



So today, I wanted to enjoy the 'me' time a little more so went to the cliffs. This is becoming my 'South Shields' here in Iceland. I spent time just sitting watching the waves crashing in and made some nice pictures. I miss everyone at home. I'm missing Steve and the kids so much. (and the dogs) Today has been the worst so far. I am also missing my Tuesday nights so very much with my best friend, and she's ill, so I would have loved to be there with her tonight. I've been sending the most positive vibes I can muster, but I think the fog and rain in the UK is preventing them getting through. 

Here's my offering from today:





And my two favourites:




This goes out to anyone feeling a bit forlorn. (three forlorns in one blog - serious stuff) 
Especially to Rachael Pinks, my brilliant Chris,  Steve, Lizzie (especially massive hug coming your way) and the amazing Matthew Danger Jackson. Send me some positive thoughts as I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm sure I'll be back to me tomorrow.

Love,

Aly x


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It would be great to hear your views or any questions you have about Iceland, Skagaströnd or the residency. Fire away!!