“For some time no one had heard our clock, any more than if it had not existed. But for these last few days the living-room was quiet, and then I heard that it was still ticking away. It never let itself get flurried. Slowly, slowly went the seconds in my grandfather’s timepiece, and said as of old: et-ERN-it-Y, et-ERN-it-Y. And if you listened hard enough you could make out the sort of singing note in its workings; and the clear silver bell struck. How good it was to hear once again the note of this clock in which there lived a strange creature! And to have been allowed to stay here in Brekkukot, in this little cottage which was the justification of all other houses on earth, in the house that gave other houses purpose.”
“While I was growing up I never heard the word ‘happiness’ except on the lips of a crazy woman… My grandfather was once asked, sympathetically, how the people at Akurgerði, who had lost their breadwinners at sea, were keeping. He answered, “They have plenty of fish.” In the same way, if someone asked how anyone was, we invariably replied: “Oh, he’s fat enough.” – which meant he was well, or as they would say in Denmark, he was ‘happy’. If someone was not well, one said: “Oh, you can see it on him.” And if the person under discussion was more dead than alive, one said: “Oh, he’s a bit low.”, “He’s off his food these days.” or “He’s packing his bags now, dear fellow.” Of a mortally ill youngster it was said that it did not look as if he would ever have grey hairs to comb.”
The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Guðjónsson Laxness
If you’re considering a trip to Iceland, get yourself fully vaccinated, let 15 days pass, book your tickets, pack your cozzie and some wind/rain proof outer layers, grab your passport and go!
“Birthdays need to be celebrated. I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday that a successful exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone: ‘Thank you for being you.’ Celebrating a birthday is exalting a life and being glad for it. On a birthday we do not say: ‘Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.’ No, we say: ‘Thank you for being born and being among us.’“
Here and Now by Henri Nouwen
It’s been a bumper birthday week! Thank you for all your wishes.
I received a card in the post all the way from Bufallo, NY. I’ve had calls and messages from friends and family near and far. I’ve been sung to IRL and on WhatsApp by some very talented people – and some not so talented, but equally enthusiastic.
I got a bag of thoughtful gifts from my family in Hull, including a card decorated by KL-M, my littlest niece. (see photo, left).
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”
To a Mouse by Robert Burns
Our flat is still not sold.
The whole experience has been super duper weird.
It’s been re-painted, re-floored, re-bathroomed, re-priced, sorted, tidied and be-flowered, re-agented and re-photographed to within an inch of its life, and still barely a jot or a tittle (or if you prefer the Greek, an ‘iota’) of interest from any self-respecting buyer.
‘”I can’t tell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit.” “Perhaps it hasn’t one,” Alice ventured to remark. “Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.” And she squeezed herself up closer to Alice’s side as she spoke. Alice did not much like her keeping so close: first, because the Duchess was very ugly; and secondly, because she was exactly the right height to rest her chin on Alice’s shoulder, and it was an uncomfortably sharp chin.’
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Apparently.
No 1. – We ventured to put our flat on the market. What have we gained? Just 4 viewings in 7 weeks and two drops in price. No-body wants our gorgeous little flat in Fulham!
No 2. – I applied to 4 universities to study in September. What have I gained? I have 2 unconditional offers and 2 “Your application is with the relevant department for consideration.”
“‘There’s no end to this tunnel,”‘ said Peter; ‘everything has an end, and you get to it if you only keep all on.’ Which is quite true, if you come to think of it, and a useful thing to remember in seasons of trouble – such as measles, arithmetic, impositions, and those times when you are in disgrace, and feel as though no one would ever love you again, and you could never – never again – love anybody.”
The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
Having spent a glorious, somewhat truncated 3 and 3/4 months in in the beloved country, we sadly had to make a dash for the border on Friday.
BBC News had been ‘ranting’, for a few weeks, about the 77 cases (now 113) of South African COVID variant found in the UK. And then, about a week ago, the rant took an ugly turn. Suddenly there was talk of hotel quarantines, Biden closed US borders to South Africans, Emirates followed suit, KLM and Lufhansa also freaked out – and so did Hubby.
So we planned our escape via Doha on Qatar Airlines.