Heime

daud dis

isblå, bleik

blendande, fjetra

fagre Hekla

frose, vakker, lokkar

gåtefull tek tåka til

eg trur på troll

frå truande tinden

flyg kvite vinden

over vandrande vatten

var

vart eg

meg

hengjer frå matt spegel

fekk vengjer

flaug eg så

med ljå

sparde fe

full av ull

takk

land

av is

gråmose

og dis

Reklamer

Houses have souls

Those who have eyes have a soul. Windows are like eyes. The word window was adopted from Norse vind-auge in the Viking age, and means wind eye. So, houses have souls.

Eva Kittelsen, January 2010. Edited photo, taken in Bergen, Norway.

Can you see them?

I feel sorry for houses that are being torn down.

This is just virtual grafitti. I would like to paint this for real, but will probably not (too much work),  so I thought I could just as well post the picture.

But I like the idea. Mouth paintings under house eyes would be art interacting with the urban landscape, which is what is such a good thing about street art.

I have more house soul pictures that might show up here. Will post them under the tag houses.

Feel free to use, share and remix content, but please refer to me, this blog and the Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license, and use this licence for any remixes (and it would be cool to see those).

Redesigned cheese slicer from a sheep’s horn

Yesterday, I had a workshop at my place. We sewed clothes, made christmas cards, candles and ear rings – and I made this cheese slicer. It is my new favourite kitchen tool!

I had an old cheese slicer with no handle. At this point, I should thank myself for having such hard times throwing away old, broken things.

The new handle is made from a sheep´s horn. I took the horn with me this summer, when we had to shorten the horns of a ram whose horns were growing at an inward angle, to prevent them from growing into his skull.

I made a hole in the horn using a drill. First a 2 mm bit, then widened the hole with a 3 mm bit. Filled the whole with glue before I put the cheese cutter on the handle. I used a glue gun, which was what I had at hand, and it works fine so far. I could always put it back on using something stronger if it falls off.

I lashed leather thread around the bar between the handle and the slicer for finery, a smoother transition, and to hide a recession on the bar. I might put on more leather thread to smoothen the transition even more, and might file down the sharp cut edge of the horn.

The horn is not treated with anything.

If someone does not know what a cheese cutter is – I do not know if this is the case; I cannot imagine living without one, however I have heard that it is not common outside the Nordic countries. Very strange. Anyway, since this is what I have heard – I will explain. But I must say it feels kinda funny. A cheese slicer is a kithcen tool used for slicing cheese. It gives you thinner slices than a knife does, but it does not work for soft cheese. You hold the cheese in front of you, put the slicer on the far (top) end of the cheese, and pull towars you. Your delicious slice of cheese will instantly appear on top of your cheese slicer.

I have more sheep horns, and plans of making more of these tools. Maybe I can start producing a set of kitchen tools? Cake spades, spatulas and ladles. All with the same Viking look. What do you think?

My soul refused to leave Iceland with me

My soul stayed behind when I left Iceland, and is now flying over the rugged mountains and flowing in the streams over the basalt columns, bubbling up from the thermal vents, playing with jotuns in the lava fields and horse riding on the high mountain platou.

Iceland must be the most beautiful island in the world. I haven`t seen it all, but I feel there is no more to see. This is the place.

The landscape is breathtaking! You have already heard that, of course, but I cannot stress this enough. Marvellous!

The climate is not that different from Norway, and western Norway, where I live, share some of that mountain-fjord feeling; the ice age U-shaped valleys. The main carvings of the land makes me feel at home; the shapes are familiar, but the texture, the surface, is so exotic! This is of course due to Iceland´s volcanic rocks; the rugged peaks on those mountains, the craters, the black lava scattered all around like numerous lurking trolls…

And the colours! Red iron specked rocks, green Racomitrium mosses, yellow birch and willow leaves and shades from black lava to grey basalt against blue skies and with white fumes rising from thermal fizzures.

All around is sheep and horses of traditional breeds that through small scale use have survived Man´s alteration of the animal body for more meat, more production, more money. No, these are small, natural, old style, furry, multicoloured sheep and horses with wits and instincts. However, the land is suffering from overgrazing and erosion. They are planting exotic, invasive species like Sitka Spruce and Lupins, since very few species can establish in the harsh conditions. I am kind of worried about this, but that is another story.

The language is poetry in my ears. I love the letters ð and þ, and the sharp r´s. Norway share a cultural history with Iceland, but Icelanders are closer to this Norse cultural heritage than us Norwegians, infected by the oil as we are, and having a spatial connection to Europe. The remotedness out on sea has preserved language as well cultural feelings in Iceland. Some people here even believe in trolls, just like me.

Iceland has no army! Just peace.

The city of Reykjavik is quite small and intimate. Everything is centered in one main street. Saturday night in Reykjavik is crazy. I should probably not have gotten so drunk, then I could better have seen how amazing this happy, intoxicated crowd probably was. However, I did contribute well to the spirit of the street.

I love Hostels. I love their atmosphere and how you always talk to strangers who also travel alone. You go eating and drinking with strangers, and travel further with strangers.

Across the street from my hostel I found my regular café! Café Hjomalind, with vegan food and the nicest people, art exhibition downstairs, and beautiful furniture. But they were no longer allowed to rent the place, and had to close the café down three days after I left!

I do not enjoy shopping. However, in Reykjavik, I scraped my account down to the last Icelandic króna.

I found a silverware store that sold entirely traditional jewellery. It is the most beautiful things I have seen; rings and arm rings like those found in Viking graves, bracelets shaped like Midgardsormen, earrings with dangling silver droplets, scythe formed earrings and much more.

The wool store! Oh my god. I spent half a day in there. The icelandic sheep are similar to the Old Norse sheep we have in Norway. The wool has another quality than that of the common sheep; it has two layers and more lanolin. Many products are knitted with the natural colours of the sheep: coke black, brown, red, different shades of gray, and white. The patterns are also traditional, and some of it was hand knitted. I also bought a sheep poster and a horse poster made by Bændasamtök Ìslands, the Farmers Association of Iceland.

Reykjavik is packed with second hand shops! Almost the entire street was filled with them! And the cooles clothes, I have never seen so much nice looking stuff gathered centered in one small place. They have a really good taste in Iceland. I usually hate shopping except from at second hand stores and fly markets. However, this place was the cream of the second hand stores powered by twenty!

Music. Just a few words. The traditional songs are just as cool as those we have in Norway. Iceland has a lot of bands,  a lot of great stuff – I think they all seem to be very original. I have to post one of my favourite Björk songs:

For more Icelandic music, check out the Twitter list @gogoyoko/icelandicbands.

Some of the Icelandic roads are terrible. But I like gravel roads. Maybe we went for the wrong car, we rented the white one, a Nissan Micra.