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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Melancholy, tower climbing, gin and French Plaits

Hi Hi!

I have exactly 12 days left before I touch down in Blighty and the last few days have been a real mixture. For starters, the weather (sorry it's the English person in me - starting with the weather) has been what I can only describe as 'English' with a smattering of magic thrown in. Yesterday was dull, drizzly and tepid - really reminded me of Chesterfield on any given day in February, however, as often happens in Derbyshire, there was amazing light in the sky which was breathtaking. Sunset a couple of days ago was so beautiful and so pink that we all stood outside for ages watching it. This is Rhona, from Scotland, entranced, who, by the way, gets on a bus in Edinburgh, whose livery was designed by my multi talented nephew David Cook. Small world...

Our little studio by the sea
There has been no more swimming yet, but today was the perfect weather for it. Instead we decided to have challenges. Riding around the studio on bikes is a bit tame now, so the tower it was. This is a 10m steel structure outside the studio, set in concrete. You can go up the inside, where you would only break an arm or leg if you fell, or the outside, which would be a much more dreadful outcome if the handhold didn't in fact, hold.....

We are now up to 4 people having scaled the tower. It's very scary as you climb up, worse coming down...

victory wave on an outside climb
victory lap
What a setting though! The weather today was spring like. Icelanders talk about the weather all the time now as well as they have never had a milder winter in memory.

Yesterday was different. It stated with rain, moved into drizzle and ended up dull. I did however stand in the same spot watching the mountain when this happened:

I also walked further along the coast from the studio than I had been before trying to get to an outcrop of rock which I thought would be interesting to photograph from. I walked for an hour to get there and found this massive fence - to keep me out? or to keep something in?

if I go around to the waters edge, does that mean I can officially keep walking?

stretching all the way to the main road
It was a bit disappointing and I can't understand why the fence was there? No livestock at the moment, but perhaps it was for sheep in the summer. 

I also found a brilliant blue box on the beach which I played around with, moving the camera around the subject.

abstract blue box
My studio wall
The other thing that happened today was an impromptu hairdressing salon. French plait tuition for Sophie and I had a moment of thinking about Lizzie and doing her hair, which made me get a little emotional. I then listened to Chiquitita and had to go to get a tissue to blow my nose #notcryingmuch...

Sophie is an amazing writer and one of her poems really moved me. Here's a line or two:

"But my hands are white starfish and I've never broken a bone." The whole poem is wonderful and will be out soon for release. I will let you know when. 

I can't remember Tess this young, but came across this picture and went 'ahhhhh'.

So, I'm going to finish this as I'm tired and need to eat and sleep. Sorry it's short, but I was soooo happy about climbing the tower, I wanted to share the euphoria.

I'll be in touch soon, promise.

Bless Bless,


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!!