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

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

Autumn and Blueberry Picking

Autumn. I don’t know how to describe this wonderful season. I always feel like there is change coming my way when the colors start to change and darken and you start wrapping your sweater around you and see the first signs of winter. Autumn also means blueberries here in Iceland. My mother and I drove an hour out of Reykjavik until we saw these gorgeous blueberries all over the place, got a bucket and started picking. My mother put the blueberries in the bucket at great speed while I sat there and enjoyed eating them. Afterwards we came home and made a blueberry rhubarb crumble and ate it hot with vanilla ice cream. Unfortunately we had to get the rhubarb from my uncle’s farm but I am hoping my mother gives in and starts growing them in our garden.

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. – George Eliot

Sunny Afternoon in a Caravan


Oh, the north. I love travelling north, I don’t know why, I just do. This time it was to the north of Iceland. My family and I decided to spend one week in a caravan, which we hardly ever do. My grandmother’s caravan is located in an enclosed area in the north and is only moved in the winter. When I got there after a long drive I sat down in the caravan to rest for a while and realized that the light was beautiful and the caravan had this wonderful 1970’s retro feeling. I assembled my camera and started taking photographs and was so delighted with the outcome.

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. – J.R.R. Tolkien

Fog

I love taking photographs in fog. The colors change and everything seems so mysterious and magical. When I saw there was fog I decided to grab my camera and my dog and take a walk in my favorite place in the Reykjavik area: Grótta. There is a gorgeous lighthouse there and birds everywhere. It’s especially gorgeous in the fog. When my dog and I got there I turned on my ipod and enjoyed the voice of Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in my headphones and started walking. I walked for almost two hours and photographed everything around me.

It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog. – Joseph Conrad

Animal Farm

I love it when Spring arrives and with a short drive out of the city there are lambs everywhere! How cute are those little animals? These specific photographs where not shot just outside the city, actually far from it, in fact this is about a 5 hours drive outside Reykjavik, but you get what I mean. My uncle’s farm is located in the north of Iceland and my family tries to go there as often as possible since it’s where my mother is from and judging from my northern accent and way of speaking some people jump to the conclusion that I am also from the north (I have no idea where I am from since I was raised in Japan, live in Reykjavik but speak with a northern accent, it’s all very confusing). But getting back to the point. I got to go into the barn and take few photographs of sheep, cows and all the other creatures that were hiding there.

FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD – George Orwell

Kitchen stuff

I can’t imagine a better place to spend my time than in the kitchen. The smell, the food and it’s also the room in the house that I feel most comfortable. The feeling I get when I cook or bake is so wonderful. Taking a few ingredients and creating something delicious that my family will enjoy is one of the best feelings that I know of. When people tell me they are dieting I always feel sorry for them because I feel like they are missing out. What’s the fun in eating something delicious and maybe a tad sinful if you can’t enjoy it. Why do people feel guilty when they eat?

I just hate health food! – Julia Child

Cemetery


The sun was out! That doesn’t happen enough times here in Reykjavik. So I decided to take advantage and head downtown and take pictures. For some reason I decided to check out an old cemetery and I am glad I did. The way the sunlight appeared through the branches and leaves of the trees made the light so amazing. I was the only person there and everything was so quiet and peaceful.

There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there. – Colonel Harlan Sanders