“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.