Wednesday, 30 April 2014

It’s Snowing And Nigel Fills His Boots!

We woke up this morning after a very noisy, tempest tossed night ….. our corrugated roof has proved to be soooooo romantic and atmospheric  ….. and when we drew back the curtains we found that …….
……. everything had turned white, Nigel had had another wish from his Icelandic Ice Bucket List granted ……
…… no eruptions, just snow!!!!  The emotion in our room was robust but manly!
DSC00467But, there was no time to dawdle and look out of windows in a whimsical fashion, as Stuart said we would be seeing plenty of snow today and that we should make haste to a hearty breakfast …..
So Nigel stoically availed himself of the very useful room shoe horn to work his feet and accompanying blisters into his walking boots …. and made aforementioned haste to the breakfast room ……
…… where he tried buttermilk for the first time (a touch sour for his liking), with Cheerios' …..
….. home baked bread with continental meat, lamb pate and cheese … which is becoming his firm favourite …..
…. although I have had to sadly warn him away from being independent and carving his own bread from the chef’s breakfast loaf because I fear the knife could become a lethal weapon in his hands …..

….. and then of course there is breakfast salad, an idea Nigel is coming round to.  He certainly “filled” his boots, but then, he had a MAHOOOOOOOOSIVELY, MAHOOOOSIVE  day ahead ……

…… one where he would find himself sitting ……. …… on top of the world …..

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Staying Under The Path Of A Rampant Volcano

We have moved on to a new hotel, Hotel Katla, which it soooooo unbelievably romantic!
From our window  in the far distance,  we can see we can see mahoooosive waves breaking on the the black volcanic beach.  We are almost in the middle of nowhere, under the shadow of Katla, the largest and most active volcanoes in Iceland ……..
…… Stuart says if it decides to blow we have to move immediately, which even Nigel finds slightly worrying, and as such has been keeping an hourly spume watch since we arrived.

Our first hotel was very modern and lacking atmosphere, however Hotel Katla is very much to our taste and style with it’s wooden panelled rooms, rustic chandeliers and antlers …..
…. ambient lighting ……

…… Icelandic net pelmets ……

…….. and very welcoming fish and chip suppers …..

…… not to mention the opportunity to do a little Icelandic lounging on squashy real leather sofas !!!
Yes, Hotel Katla will do us very nicely, this is how we dreamt it would be …….  however, if we hear or feel even the faintest of rumblings in the night we will definitely be the first on the Johann’s vunderbus ….. and why we have chosen not to wear our pyjamas during our stay!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Darrell Indulges In His Guilty Pleasure – Gary Barlow

As you know,  before we came away to enjoy the geological pleasures of Iceland …….
……. Nigel and I treated Darrell to indulge in his guilty pleasure, to wit one ticket to see Gary Barlow at the LG Arena in Birmingham.
……. And from all accounts it was an emotional evening from which Darrell is still recovering ……
……. judging by from the heart-rending phone call I received from Darrell shortly afterwards,  Gary obviously did not disappoint, well, ….. except perhaps one tiny weeny let down ……
…… when he failed to pluck Darrell from the audience to sing “A Million Loves Songs” to! However, it was understandable, despite Darrell pleading, with all vigour his heart and soul possessed, (at the top of his voice), Darrell sadly reasoned that his being sat in Block 9. Row Q, it would have been hard for Gary to pick him out his plaintiff calls and anyway, it was also a long way for Darrell to run to the stage to be with his hero…… and Gary would have had to sing another song while waiting for him, thus spoiling a beautiful moment!!!
However, half through the concert Gary did move to a platform in the centre of the arena
…… where Darrell said he felt he could almost touched Gary…… what is he like?

 So all in all for Darrell had a most wonderful night ……. and a million love songs later Darrell was a very happy if emotional bunny!!!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

There She Blows …..

Quelle jour!!!!!We finally got to Geysir, one of Nigel’s Holy Grails of Iceland, it was sooooo spooky and eerie, but not in a Derek Acorah type way, this was beyond anything he or we had ever experienced!
It was as if we had been transported to a time before life began ……

Everywhere you looked there was steam coming from out of the ground…. and the smell, well Nigel can produce some whiffs …… but this was a smell that came from the very bowels of the earth and was beyond anything that Nigel could produce (for once!!!)The streams were flowing, boiling and bubbling before our very eyes, in a most unfettered manner, and I had to keep Nigel on such a tight rein ….. awe and wonder is all very good, but Nigel was like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car ….. he was more beside himself than I had ever seen before  ….
…… and above all else, all he wanted to see, bless him,  was the geyser erupt and blow!
I told him that he would have to be more patient than he had ever been, ever,….. and look for a “blister” to appear in the hot pool that it would erupt from …… which was a sign that it was about to blow ……
……. and that he needed to protect his eyes and  NOT to look up when it went,  because he would be showered with boiling water ….
……. so he waited, and waited, and waited, not daring to draw breath …. and then …… it happened!!!  OMG, OMG, OMG ……..

….. leaving one very apoplectic monkey …… with absolutely no hope of doing anything with for the rest of the afternoon!!!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Nigel’s Icelandic Ice Bucket List

I have to say that Nigel has been waxing VERY lyrical during our most momentous of momentous trips to Iceland ….
…… however, I am afraid, sadly,  my very amateurish photography isn’t doing any real justice to the stunning views we have been experiencing. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer size of every thing, from huge and wild expanses of lava, to glaciers that seem to go on forever and mile upon mile, upon mile, upon mile of black ash …..
If we knew or could even pronounce “OMG” dans Icelandic, believe me, we would be saying it a million times over every day!!! It really is the land of mahooooooooooooooooosive awe and wonder, as well as the midnight sun (which we haven’t seen yet).
Anyway, Nigel has drawn up an Icelandic ice bucket list of all the things that he would like to see or experience while we are here, which include (worryingly), an spuming volcanic eruption, an earthquake of not too many Richters, ideally a 3 or 4, geyser bursting forth ….. and the aurora borealis …..
……. as well it snowing profusely, then he’d like to suck on a glacier to taste pure water, sit on an iceberg and find a holey stone to take home for Darrell and then finally …. swim in the Blue Lagoon!
Oh …………. and have a daintier sandwich in his lunchbox ….. like everything in Iceland, even the sandwiches are mahooooooosive!!! Although he has very much been enjoying the luxury of being availed with two fillings, usually a continental meat and cheese!  At home, chez Castle Greysquirel he is allowed one or the other but never both!!! As Johann our driver has taught him to say ….. “Bragðgóður, bragðgóður, mjög mjög bragðgóður!”  Which translated means  - tasty, tasty, very very tasty as there is no word for nom in Icelandic!