Friday, December 18, 2015

Home again

Well, we've been back from Iceland five days, having spent a couple of days in between with my lovely sister, niece and sparkly nephew-out-law, and our house sitters have just this morning left.

Peggie, Sidney and Millie waiting to go

They provided us not only with that service, and lifts to and from the airport, and canine cuddles for the dog-deprived, but also, as ever, overwhelmed us with all kinds of generosity too abundant to list in detail, from the piles of delicious food, such as this Christmas cake:

Yes, those marzipan plums do look rather suggestive
 to these floral beauties just opening as we arrived home, and now filling the entire space with their luxuriant perfume:

to gifts of stunning art pottery, a passion of theirs which they can't resist sharing:

mince pies and hot chocolate in salt glazed mugs for supper tonight

Also, dismayed at our culinary shabbiness and with typical practical thoughtfulness, a new oven seal ordered on-line so we can actually use our proper oven for Christmas dinner rather than managing with the table top one until we get around to buying a whole new cooker.

So now, having had a couple of weeks filled with gorgeous gifts - pools of steaming blue water, swirls and ribbons of light, rides in the snow, walks on the ice, ravishing crystalline cold and wonderful human and animal warmth - the approach of actual Christmas threatens to be something of an anti-climax, and I find it is almost upon me with little time left to buy stamps, write cards, catch posts, put up decos etc etc and generally do all the things accomplished effortlessly by people with far more demanding demands on them than travelling to fabulous places and being looked after and spoiled by kind family and friends. So if we owe you a card and it's a no-show please forgive, but know you are surely in our hearts*.

However, I am looking forward to taking some time now to go over the enormous number of pictures from the trip, getting rid of the many blurry and duplicate ones, and sharing them here or elsewhere, as well as searching for the perfect Icelandic yoke jumper pattern to best show off the really very cheap Lett Lopi wool I got at the Handknitting Association of Iceland shop and had posted on since there was no way I could fit it all in budget airline hand luggage and maybe even knitting it, or indeed just eating our way through a small fraction of the delicious food left by our house sitters.

So, more anon.


*Though of course much of the essence of the votive pieces of printed cardboard exchanged at the Feast of the Mutual Obligation is that they exist to placate the spirits of connection and acquaintance so old and atrophied that there is usually no possibility of reaching their recipients by the normal means of communication practised and followed by actual, still active friends and loved ones. In other words, if you read here you're not likely to miss getting a Christmas card and draw the conclusion that we're probably dead. I know, I snark about it every year, without justification or good grace.


Zhoen said...

Such amazing friends you have, human and canine.

Check obit, check blogs, everyone still alive, go on with day.

Jeff said...

Welcome back from your travels! Best wishes for a happy Christmas.

marly youmans said...

I'm looking forward to Iceland pictures--loved seeing Beth Adams's photographs, and I'm sure yours will be wonderful. Not surprised you have just generous and artful friends. Merry Christmas (when it arrives!)

Avus said...

So glad you had a nice break in Iceland and a happy homecoming. Those house sitters are treasures to be cultivated!
A very Happy Christmas to you and Tom, Lucy and I hope that 2016 will be healthy, prosperous (and maybe a new dog in the family........?)

Ellena said...

and both of you, dear Lucy and dear Tom, know that you are in my heart.

The Crow said...

Yeah, but I love it when you snark, Lucy.

Happy you are home. I was missing your posts, not to put too selfish a point to it.

A race along the beach ahead of you, to dance with unbounded joy upon your return, to shower you with gratitude, love and loyalty like no other creature can do, to keep your feet warm and make your heart glad at the sight of it in your home. Cats, which I also love, make you earn their affection. Dogs will give it at first sight.

Happy Christmas, you two!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Welcome back dear Lucy and Tom, glad to know you're here and eager to catch up with your Icelandic adventures.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you had a lovely time Lucy! Sending wishes to you from here for a very merry Christmas and happy new year :) x

Catalyst said...

I love it!

My card sending is down to a minimum this year and it's getting less and less with time. Such a pain.

Roderick Robinson said...

SEASON'S GRATITUDE (Because the familiar phrases at this time of year don't work for me.)
For corresponding with me on so many levels and on so many subjects; for teaching me how to interpret, appreciate and handle emotion; for a string of revelations from what I regard as a fascinating quirky life; for picking up detail I have missed; for picking up big stuff I have missed; for making me laugh; for making me reflect; for correcting me with enormous tact.

marja-leena said...

I am delighted with snarks, dogs, friends and gifts! Glad to have you back and I eagerly look forward to your Iceland photos. Happy days ahead as you enter the Christmas season! All best wishes to you and Tom. (I'm sorry no cards made it out of my home this year while I battle a most nasty bug...)

Lucy said...

Thank you everyone, the web albums, and belated Christmas cards, are making progress.

Z - we do indeed. One gets to a point where it is reassuring to know people are still alive. Or not.

Jeff - thanks, you too. Looking forward to the December calendar poem!

Marly - we are a little daunted by following Beth's hard act, since we had three days of organised trips against fifteen serious hikes and self-drive road trips, but we'll do our best! Happy happies to you too!

Avus - they are indeed. The new dog matter is so tricky, and we are so torn. I am perusing refuge websites one minute then looking back at the Iceland photos and reading sagas and thinking I must surely see Thingvellir in the summer before I die, and many other places, and the fact may be we can't have both. Bugger it.

Ellena - 'tis mutual, dear friend.

Crow - oh dear. See my reply to Avus. I just saw a husky-cocker spaniel cross puppy on a refuge web site. I was smitten, fortunately she is taken already. Then we think about Bram and the problems with him, and the fight we witnessed between Sidney and Peggy, and all the places we still want to see... so torn. Thanks for the snarking affirmation!

Natalie - thanks dear friend, they'll be along shortly. Beth's a hard act to follow though.

Chloe - same to you dear girl!

Cat - Thanks. The pain attached to the passing of time and the losses it brings is truly a part of my bemoaning the activity, not only that I'm a lazy whiner!

Robbie dear - I had just sent you and VR a non-Christmas card expressing something of the same, only not as eloquently or touchingly. My thanks.

ML - I am blessed. Get well soon.

Rouchswalwe said...

You're back! Did you try Skyr? How was the icelandic beer? And was it really windy? Looking forward to the photos and happy to hear your oven part is on the way.

the polish chick said...

welcome back, dear lucy! and i feel your pain - i've been back from poland 2 days and did put up the tree but rather than decorate it fully, i've merely covered it in a sparkling mess of angel hair and i must say i quite like the effect - all the shine, with a fraction of the work.

i agree with your assessment of the card situation - i've long since given up on cards. don't like sending them, don't like getting them, in particular the ones with merely a signature of the sender, as if a corporate sentiment was all that was needed along with a reminder of the sender's name. the only ones i can stomach are the photo ones, but they still take up space and i refuse to keep them. email me a photo of your kids, i don't want the paper. yeah, not much for sentimental gestures, am i?

glad you loved iceland. i really do want to go and missed a golden opportunity living here, since we have inexpensive and direct and SHORT flights. oh well, such is life.

the cake looks gorgeous, suggestive nubbins notwithstanding. life in the snow, and all that!

have a most glorious season, and screw the guilt and expectations! you are who you are, and you are both wonderful!