Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A cozy warm December

 I haven’t written in a while but now that the dark, wet season has descended there’s more time for such things. We’re having an unusually warm winter with temps up to 10°C/50°F, which is usually the high on a summer’s day. My winter wools and fleeces are still buried in the back of my wardrobe, while warm boots, hats and mittens are collecting dust. It’s December and we’re 34 miles from the Arctic Circle. This is crazy. The mountains are brown, and the tiny patches of snow recall a landscape in late June. But it’s dark and we are getting a lot of rain. It’s downright gloomy and some people might even say depressing … but I like this. I like everything about this place, even the doom and gloom.

Although my bike is snugly packed away for the winter, I try to get out and walk a lot. I start the day with a walk through town, around 6:45 just as the bakery is opening its doors and the morning rush of people come and go at the tiny health club, Stúdió Dan. There’s quite a bit of hustle and bustle this early in the morning. At noon I go out again to run errands – post office, office supplies, groceries, hardware store, whatever. I can easily go to three different places and be home in 15 minutes, with time enough left on my break to read a chapter in my book and enjoy a cup of coffee. Or I’ll take a leisurely walk on the beach, if it happens to be low tide and the wind is agreeable. 

And slowly but surely, people are getting in the Christmas spirit; every day more houses are covered in bright lights and decorations with varying degrees of tastefulness. At 4pm I head out for the late afternoon walk with Angela. Sometimes we take backpacks and head to the Bónus store, 4km away, to give ourselves a tiny little goal with a reward at the end. Or we might hike to the next village of Hnífsdalur or into the valley of empty summer cottages. 

So here are a few pictures from these last few warm winter days.