I had my first dinner party in Iceland. I think that it’s a sort of nesting thing that I need to do to feel comfortable in a new space. The apartment that I’m in has china that is similar to the china that Rob and I have at home. I invited Jodi, Sam, Sarah and Julie to dinner.
The Menu Four Icelandic Cheeses and crackers
Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus Bisque
Spinach Salad with Fresh Mozzeralla, Fennel, and Apple
Wild Mushroom Risotto
BlÃƒÂ¡bÃƒÂ¦r are the Icelandic blueberry. They are crisper than the ones in the U.S. and have a milder flavor.
I went shopping at Hagcaup, which is sort of the Icelandic Fred Meyers, with Sarah on Saturday. We had coffee and a pastry (pecan pie for me) afterward–I actually found decaffinated coffee. I know this may not seem like much, but I’ve had a really hard time finding it, and regular coffee does not agree with me. I’ve missed the taste.
In the evening I went out with Caroline and Ãƒ?sta to see a dance performance called Things that Happen at Home. It was very funny, even though I didn’t understand a single spoken word. The audience gave them a huge and extended standing ovation. I asked if that was a usual response to a performance, and was told that it was rare.
I spent the morning on set as the live hands for Ziggy, played by Thor. Yes. Thor. I am in Iceland, remember? Anyway, I had to catch a football from a hike and then throw a lateral. You know how brilliant I am at sports. Fortunately it was a tight shot, so no one had to know where the ball landed.
I also got word that I’m moving on Wednesday. Actually, I’m moving in to my new place on Wednesday, I’m moving out of my current place tomorrow morning. I’ll spend tomorrow night at Julie’s.
I spent the day being fairly domestic. I did laundry, cooked, washed dishes. Went for a walk. Read. Napped on the eighties sofa. Nothing terribly exciting, though I’m looking forward to my clean laundry. There are no driers in Iceland, or at least there are very few. All the washers are frontloaders, and all the basements have rows of clotheslines strung across their width. At least, all the ones I’ve been into thus far.
The rest of the afternoon went very fast, afterall. I was called in to help with a periscope and football shot. Were we where trying to make it look like a football bounced off a periscope. Not easy. I also played in the puppet shop some, trying to make the Mayor’s half-body legs walk.
After work everyone went to Magnus’s house for a party and then to a concert. The interesting thing about Iceland is that things go pretty late. The party started about 9:30, and the concert was at midnight. It was a band, Studmenn that was hugely popular at one time, and have been around for twenty years or so. One of the men in it has been voted sexiest man in Iceland for eight years running. They are a dance band, so the concert experience was not a music hall. It was a converted gymnasium, with a lot of open floor space for people to jump, gyrating, up and down. Don’t get me wrong, there was a real sound system and stage, but it’s not really my scene. I’m glad I went, but I’ll ask more carefully what someone means when they say ‘concert’ next time.
Culture day is one of the biggest celebrations in Iceland. 100,000 people come to Reykjavik to celebrate culture; it seems like there was music on every street corner. Jodi, Sam and I started the day downtown going to galleries.
We visited a large church on a hill. You can see it from most places in town.
Inside, a man was playing the organ,but he stopped right after we sat down. The space is really stunning.
Then we wandered some more before taking a break while we waited for the fireworks.
At the end of the night everyone gathered in large open area to watch fireworks. Initially I was skeptical because a band was playing on the mainstage and it was waaaaay too loud. But I have to say that the segue was very nice. I think that the area must be a parking lot normally, because there were street lamps everywhere. When eleven o’clock rolled around, the singer spoke enthusiastically to the crowd in Icelandic. I assume he was saying something like, “Are you ready to see some Fireworks! Count with me! One, two, three!” and on three all of the street lights went out and rockets shot into the air. It was pretty spectacular.
I went out with Jodi, Sam and Sarah to the Luxes, which is a luxury movie theater. It has leather recliners and serves beer and wine. The weird thing, and this is apparently standard in Iceland, is that every movie has an intermission. I don’t mean the Icelandic ones–we were there to see Hellboy for crying out loud–but halfway in, they stopped the film so that everyone could go to the restroom and visit the concession stand. Strange.
My flight from Portland got in at 11:10 a.m. My flight for Reykjavik doesn’t leave till 8:50 pm. I have a loooooong wait. So far, I’ve gone from terminal 4 to terminal 7, which is where Icelandair is, and then back to terminal 4. There aren’t any food options in terminal 7.
I had a bean burrito for lunch. I know you’re terribly excited by these developments. Meanwhile, I am enjoying high-speed wireless internet access. Whee.
I got a call on Thursday from Lazytown offering me a job. I’m heading to Reykjavik for a two-week trial to see if we’re mutually compatible. If everything goes well, they’ll keep me till the end of the year.
That’s a long time.
Rob and I are both comfortable enough with the idea for me to go, though neither relishes that much time apart. I leave tonight, which is more than a little crazy.
I’m also terribly excited because the day before the Iceland call, I got an email from The First Line telling me that they want to publish my short story The Shocking Affair of the Dutch Steamship Friesland. This is my second short story sale, and I’m starting to feel like a real writer. (Now if I can just get someone to buy my novel.) If you live in Portland, OR you can buy a copy at Powell’s or order it through The First Line’s website. My first sale was also to them and is in the summer issue; my new effort will appear in the fall issue.
I’ll try to use this site as a way to keep folks up-to-date on what’s going one.
(Tor Books – July 14 2020) Mary Robinette Kowal continues her Hugo and Nebula award-winning Lady Astronaut series, following The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, with The Relentless Moon. The Earth is coming to the boiling point as the climate disaster of the Meteor strike becomes more and more clear, but the political situation is already overheated. Riots and […]