Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our World was in Iceland for a while

Photo by Richard Schear, 2014

Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik is the largest church, and the sixth tallest architectural structure in the country of Iceland. We visited Iceland for my husband's birthday at the end of March and for part of April.

Posted for Our World Tuesday: Easter 2014 Edition

N is for NEMA and Northern

Posted for ABC Wednesday

I missed part of the alphabet while we were away on our most recent adventure, and the only "N" I could remember seeing in Iceland was the Northern Lights, which we were unable to photograph without a tripod.
Then I found this photo of a sign in the Icelandic language.
"NEMA pJONUSTUUMFERD" doesn't really get the point across because I can't replicate the extra letters in the Icelandic alphabet, but it gives you an idea how long the words can be.
I don't know about the house that the English part of the sign refers to, but I am here to testify that Icelandic seafood is delicious indeed. I spent most of my adult life in or near the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, with plenty of excellent seafood all around me, but (may my beloved BC forgive me) it doesn't hold a candle to Icelandic seafood from the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nothing to say, eh?*

*Canadians are known worldwide for our use of "eh?" at the ends of sentences.

John Cage (Wikipedia)
Kerry introduced US composer John Cage to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads today. He is most famous for his composition entitled 4’33, which refers to four and a half minutes of silence...silence that is anything but soundless.

He is also known for his “poem” ...
"I have nothing to say, and I am saying it, and that is poetry."

Unlike many Real Toads members, I am not participating in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) but I couldn't resist the idea of writing nothing about nothing today. Keep a watch on the Real Toads blog, however, my friends, because I am contributing a prompt to keep the others on their Toad-toes.

The Big Goose Egg

(from Wikipedia)
I also have nothing to say,
and I can say it in rhyme,
I can say it once or twice today,
or I can say it all the time.

nothing’s a nonentity,
a nobody, unknown,
and I can write it in a book
or express it in a poem.

nothing, nada, zero, zilch,
is all I have to say
because it seems I’m feeling quite
nonsensical today.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Not horsing around here

A patient, sweet-natured Icelandic Horse waits for its rider to arrive. I've always been afraid of horses, but no one could be afraid of these darlings. I hugged many horses in Iceland and loved every one of them.
Larger than a Shetland but smaller than a quarter horse, Icelandics are pleasant, patient, and purebred... the government has laws against importation of any other breed to this small island nation.
I now have a Facebook friend in southern Alberta who has a ranch for Icelandic horses near the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. I've told her not to be surprised if I suddenly show up for some horse hugs.

Posted for Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty. Hugs to you, too, and a special hug for your baby.

Also posted for Pet Pride, hosted by the Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India. Thank you, and a wag and a happy "woof" from Lindy to Bozo.

"My rider will be along any minute. I'm so excited."

"But I'm not so excited that I can't have a little nap while waiting."

Photos by Richard Schear, March/April 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reflections in Reykjavik

Today we're joining the very talented James, of Something Sighted, for his Weekend Reflections meme.
This week, I bring you a small assortment of reflections from Reykjavik. The sculpture of the Viking ship is graceful, and the mountains in the background are gorgeous.
The large hall where performances of many kinds entertain the citizens of, and visitors to Iceland, reflects the clouds and the sun, and is beautiful itself.
However, I think like the duck best. He's an eider duck, and his mate is not far away but is busying herself with fishing. We did see her catch one, too, while he was reflecting on his somewhat wavy North Atlantic mirror. This duck, his mate, and another pair kept us laughing as we strolled the waterfront.

Photos by Richard Schear, March/April, 2014

Wonderful is Wisteria

For Transforming Friday, at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, today's prompt is from Hannah, who tells us of the amazing wisteria vine, which bears beautiful blossoms for hundreds of years. Therefore, it is symbolic of longevity and immortality, especially in Japan where it seems to bloom forever.

I am
wistful when I think
wisteria lives so long
Flowering Wisteria sinensis
or Chinese Wisteria
(from Wikipedia)
and why, therefore, not I?
it is prettier by far
and loved by one and all,
but why, wherefore, not I?

I am
grateful when I think
wisteria lives at all,
that such beauty exists
in our modern world,
its lilac-coloured flowers
reminding us of eternity.

I am
happy when I think
of many generations
sharing stories of kisses
beneath the flowering vine,
half an acre of blossoms
reminding us all of love.

Kay Davies, April, 2014                                          

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The land of Eyjafjallajokull

By now, almost everyone knows we went to Iceland. My husband wanted to go there for his 70th birthday, and he dragged me along, kicking and screaming, because I had never thought of visiting Iceland. It sounded very cold, and we were already very cold here in Alberta.
Dick was captivated by all the compound words in the Icelandic language, and I almost learned to pronounce the name of the volcano which erupted in 2010, wreaking havoc with the airspace over all of Europe. Eyjafjallajokull.
Say that three times quickly. It doesn't get terribly difficult until the end.
Eye-yah-fee-aht-lah-yo-kutl. The final two consonants are pronounced as they are in at-lah, but sort of swallowed, a soft explosion of the T and L sounds.
So, home again, I have been hoping for Words Count with Mama Zen at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
I got my wish today.
MZ has asked us to write about April, in 66 words or less.
We were still in Iceland at the beginning of the month, so here are my 66 somewhat bilingual April words. (If you speak, read, or are Icelandic, please forgive me for playing with the language. No harm is intended at all.)

From Vinnufatabúdin
it isn’t very far
to the Buxnadagar,
you won’t
need a car.

By the
Balkanika Cafe,
says pay and display.

If you have time
on your hands
get a cut at
Hárskeri almúgans.

The Bílaleiga
Akureyrar Holdur
in this picture tells us
the temp is
plus ten Celsius.


If you decide
to go out
to Kringlumyrarbraut,
we’ll go along,
give us a shout.

by Richard Schear
March/April 2014

Ditties by Kay, written today.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Trying something new this week

My friend Yam has a linky on her blog, and I've never linked to it before. Today she features lovely photos of a sunny day in Scotland.
I know how scarce the sun can be in Scotland, not to mention England, Ireland or Wales, so I'm responding with some sunshine as well.
I can't say "with some sun of my own" because my husband took these photos during our trip to Iceland.
Yam says it's less-speak-more-peek today, so I will be quiet now, and show you some Icelandic sunshine from last week.

My husband went riding, I didn't. I love the Icelandic horses, but I would have had a lot of difficulty getting on and off. I know, because I have trouble with my own chair at home.

Photos by
Richard Schear 

Very late or very early?

This is the back of the big statue of Leif Erikson, an Icelander who is said to have discovered Finland. If you enlarge the photo, you can read the inscription from which I got this information.

Fish story for Open Link Monday

I ate a lot of lovely fish in Iceland
I ate salmon, arctic char, and plaice
but it cost so much for eating out in Iceland
some foods we couldn’t even try to taste

and as for souvenirs, well, just forget it
they cost an arm, a leg, and more, to buy!
but we enjoyed our holiday in Iceland
with hot springs, mountains, sea, and such blue sky!

Posted for Kerry's Open Link Monday
at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Top photo:
I thought I was getting an open-faced sandwich of salmon on bread, but it turned out to be salmon on half a pancake. Who knew?

Second photo:
my first taste of arctic char

Third photo: ordinary souvenirs such as mugs and plates were priced right out of sight, and out of reach. Iceland is, after all, an island by the bottom of Greenland's east coast, and although there are greenhouses in the countryside, almost everything has to be shipped in.

Below: Reykjavik as seen from a fish restaurant near our hotel.

Richard Schear photos.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Our Lindy critter smiles with pride

The photo on the top right was taken last year, before all the grass turned brown. Lindy smiles as the sunshine warms her face.

In the photo on the lower right, she smiles when the sunshine is warm despite this winter's snow.

Posted for
Camera Critters hosted by Misty Dawn
Photos by Richard Schear, 2013, 2014

and also for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India

Lindy says, "Hi, Bozo. I like your soft, friendly smile!"
and Lindy's mom says, "Hi, Misty, it's nice to be back at Camera Critters!"