Abandoned Farmhouses

 

The weather was so beautiful last weekend (unlike today) and like always when the sun is shining I wanted to take photos of something. My friend Ragna and I went on a little road trip just outside of Reykjavik and went into a couple of abandoned houses. In one of the houses I kept hearing a mouse and I was trying to figure out where it was, well the city kid in me didn’t really appreciate this invisible rodent but I tried my best to ignore it (in another words: every time I heard it squeak I would jump about two meters in the air) and kept taking pictures. We drove around for about 5 hours. Went to this little town called Hafnir and it honestly felt like going back in time. The houses were pretty old and there were hardly any graves in the cemetery. However it was interesting to see, some of the houses were so old I didn’t know if it was someone’s home or if it was abandoned. The church there was this lovely black color, however the paint was chipping so it gave the house a little of a ghostly feeling which is exactly what I want in churches. We decided to head home after a fun day of driving and I was a little tired after being behind the wheel for so long. Well kids, do not drive fast! You could end up hurting someone or you could have a similar experience to me and get pulled over by the cops for speeding and get a fine that you can’t possibly afford. Til next time!

I dwell in a lonely house I know

That vanished many a summer ago,

And left no trace but the cellar walls,

And a cellar in which the daylight falls,

And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

– Robert Frost

Auglýsingar

Harpa

Not too long ago Harpa was opened. Harpa is the new Reykjavik Opera House and I absolutely love it, I was even so lucky to be there opening night and listened to the symphony play spectacular music. I had a final exam the morning after and I almost skipped the opening night but my mother decided she wasn’t having any of it because I had been studying so hard and the exam was on the Bible and I attended Catholic schools for 8 years, so I thought this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was feeling confident about the exam. Since then I have been to numerous concerts in this amazing piece of architecture, the opening night is of course the most memorable but the Lord of the Rings concert is a close second. Usually when I go to a concert everyone is dressed in their fanciest clothes but when I went to the Lord of the Rings concert there was a sea of men with long hair wearing jeans, I love that Harpa is a place for everyone, doesn’t matter if you’re a fancy ambassador, a hipster or a poor university student, you can so easily fall in love with this house. I went there the other day with my camera to take pictures of Harpa and visited my friend who works in the record shop 12 Tónar which is on the first floor. Doesn’t matter how often I go there I never get sick of it.

I call architecture frozen music. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Coffee and Conversation

All one needs for a good afternoon is a cup of coffee and good conversation with an old friend. So that’s what I did after work earlier this week. I decided to meet up with one of my oldest friends at one of my favorite cafés in Reykjavik, Laundromat, and chat about our summer so far. I decided to use this opportunity and take a few pictures with my Pentax camera. My luck with this camera so far hasn’t been great, this has in fact been very challenging. That’s why I was so thrilled to get these photos back from the developer. They actually turned out good! I was also happy this particular film worked out because I love the atmosphere at Laundromat (they have books everywhere!). So I recommend you guys meet up with an old friend for a cup of coffee and good conversation.

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. – T.S. Eliot

My First Attempts at Film Photography

I’m one of those weird people that like to give themselves presents. I love giving myself presents if it’s for my birthday or a certain accomplishment, this time it was for my graduation, I’m sorry but graduating university is a BIG deal and I thought it called for a present. So I decided to buy myself a Pentax K1000, mainly because I’m a huge fan of The Blue Hour and I think that film photographs seem more authentic and more truthful (if that makes any sense). So I went to Brooklyn to visit my sister and got so excited to photograph Brooklyn on my new camera… turns out that this is a lot harder than I thought and I managed to screw up my Brooklyn photos, I was sorely disappointed! When the photo developer called and told me all 6 of my films were blank I started to think where I could go in Reykjavik to take pictures. The idea came to me a couple of hours later: Kolaportið! Reykjavik’s main flea market. So on I went to the flea market with my camera and a brand new film took what I thought would be amazing photographs and then I went straight to the developers. Well at least the film wasn’t blank, but the photographs turned out all grey and a little foggy. Now I was getting annoyed and realized I needed help! I decided to call my uncle who has a lot of experience with these types of cameras and boy, did he help me. So with my brand new knowledge of film photography I tried it again. My parents and I went to this small town Hveragerði, which is about 40 minute drive from Reykjavik. We go there in the beginning of every summer to buy flowers to put on the porch. I started taking photographs of the surroundings but something was off… I got home and started rewinding the film and there wasn’t enough restraint. But I decided to take the film to the developers and waited for the phone call telling me that the film was blank but the phone call never came yet I was still a little pessimistic. On my way home from work I stopped by the developers and picked up my photos. I was half right, the film wasn’t secure enough in the camera and it did get loose but before that happened I managed to take 5 photos! I have to admit after ruining about 8 rolls of film I am happy to finally see some results, even though they are not the best I promise I will practice and get better. This experience actually reminds me of a quote I heard once:

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas A. Edison

Fantasy Dinner Party

Imagine you’re having a dinner party for 10 people. What do you need to think of? What food to serve (lobster, steak and a rich chocolate desert), what wine to have with it (Champagne, Chardonnay), the location (preferably New York or Paris). The most important thing however is the guest list. Again, imagine you can invite any nine people you want, alive or dead, who would you invite? I have sometimes played this game with my friends so I’ve given this more thought than I would like to admit. So without further ado:

Woody Allen – The man is brilliant, intelligent and funny. He has made some of my favorite movies, in fact last Easter I would write essays during the day and watch Woody Allen movies in the evenings while eating ice cream. I think Hollywood is too caught up in special effects and what movies would make the most money that I haven’t been to the movies in a year, however Woody Allen never disappoints and actually writes a good script. I would also invite him because I think he could hold his own with this group.

Oscar Wilde – There isn’t a man in this world who has the same talent with putting together sentences as Mr. Oscar Wilde. I think he is actually one of the few men that I consider a genius. I spent three years studying literature at the University of Iceland and Wilde was one of the writers that inspired me to study that subject. And I’m sure there wouldn’t be a dull moment with him there.

Elizabeth I – I’d want at least one monarch at my dinner party (two might be kind of a disaster) and I would choose Elizabeth I. She is an inspiration in itself, she proved that women are just as capable at running an empire as a man is. She would probably intimidate my other guests a bit and that’s always fun.

Jane Austen – I wrote my thesis on Austen’s novels. She is highly intelligent, hilarious and interesting. She also has a way with words that I envy her for, when one reads her novels it’s so apparent why she is considered one of the greatest novelists. Who wouldn’t want to see Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde have a conversation? I think that would be mind-blowing!

Stephen Fry – My favorite British comedian. Everything Stephen Fry does turns out brilliant: A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder, QI and all those TV shows he does for BBC. If there is one person in the world I wish I could have a conversation with, if only for an hour, it’s Fry.

Dave Chappelle – He seems to be the whole package, he’s intelligent (which as you have noticed is very important for this dinner party), funny as hell and someone who can have a serious conversation and can lighten the mood.

Meryl Streep – I’d want her there, I don’t know why I just would. I think she is one of the most endearing and wonderful actors today and is without a doubt one of the „Greats.“ She’s also a good role model for those actresses who want to be taken seriously. I thought about other actors but I decided that she would be perfect for this particular group.

F. Scott Fitzgerald – Yes, another writer. Another one of my favorites, I think The Great Gatsby is one of the most influential American novels that has ever been written. He also knows how to enjoy wine, my guests must know how to enjoy wine.

James Lipton – Anyone who has watched Inside the Actor’s Studio will understand why I want him at my dinner party. Not only is he very interesting and intelligent but if there is anyone who can get my guests to admit their darkest secrets it’s Lipton. I could just imagine him having a conversation with Elizabeth I about her reign, asking Fitzgerald about his marriage to Zelda, asking Austen about her life as an independent woman in 19th century England. Oh yes, he would have to be there.

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives – Oscar Wilde

Birds

Birds are my all time favorite animals (penguins and owls being the best) and I used to envy them as a child, the thought of being able to fly anywhere seemed so freeing to me and still does, I guess. I actually drive far away from Reykjavik in the hope of seeing and owl or eagle somewhere, I am that obsessed.

A forest bird never wants a cage. – Henrik Ibsen