07 April 2006

The living air

This morning I woke to the buffeting wind against the window panes, an almost regular feature of life here. The sea outside was laced with whitecaps, and the outer panes of the double glass were flexing in the gusts. The wind here is almost constant, even on the nicest of days, and while it does serious damage to your hair (maybe this is why the Icelandic haircut preferences tend towards messy... if you can't be it, join it), it certainly clears out the lungs well.

Last night, for example, we went to a seedy Thai/Icelandic restaurant/disco near the main bus station in town, and after a spicy beery meal in the smoky atmosphere, nothing was quite so welcome as the first gust of air when we stepped outside again. At the end of a long workday, I step out the door and the wind picks me up and shakes out the worries. The wind keeps me swimming quickly too, so I can avoid having my arms in the wind-whipped air as much as possible.

Unfortunately, this wind also creates problems when combined with those ravens I'm always talking about. Two weeks ago, one of them let loose as they flew past the window, leaving a huge splatter across both panes of our living room window. In spite of the collective creative potential of the two brains in the house, J and I have been unable to figure out how to remove it. The window is two panes wide, and each pane is four feet wide (more than a meter each for you Euro readers). They can only be reached from the balcony on one side, and we're on the fifth floor.

I tried some creative gyrations last weekend, involving a mop and some pretzeled contortions on the balcony, but I only managed to smear the nearer one a bit, and the leftmost pane is still sullied. Now, every time the weather is bad, I keep hoping the wind is blowing off the sea, and maybe, just maybe, it will scrub our window clean. I've run out of other ideas, but I've gotta say, the view is NOT the same with a huge white splatter in the middle of it.

Ship sighting: Some heavy tanker action today- there are four different ships either arriving or departing. One of them is Kotlas. Apparently this is also the name of a town in Russia, so the image search for this one was full of pictures of Russian buildings, and all kinds of shady-looking boats in the port there.


Anonymous said...

How about getting one of those kids'water canon/gun things. If it didn't work, at least you could play with it in the hot tub. FB
MB says to get a garden hose and hook it up to your laundry outlet.

cK said...

Do they have extension-arm tree clippers in Iceland? Or is the demand for such just not high enough? (How many residential trees are there to be clipped? Can't be many. ...) If you can find something like that, you might tether a sponge to the end, and, well, you see where I'm going.

Something there has to have extension arms. Is there an Icelandic version of Ace Hardware? Where would Jon Madden go if we could get him there? (He won't fly.)

tsduff said...

Ha ha - that is funny, and sad. I sympathize with your problem. I have a similar one: I have a skylight above my bed on a very steeply angled roof. A giant oak tree towers above my house, and the squirrels are constantly using my roof as part of their freeway route to the other side of the yard. They often pee as they leap through the branches above my skylight, leaving their "trail" behind on the clear window of the skylight. No way I can get up there to scrub it off - so I depend upon the rain to wash it down. Lately that hasn't been a problem, as we have had a record amount of rain this month. I worry about summer....

carmen said...

I believe this is proof that the ravens read your blog. And they have a very mean sense of humor!

ECS said...

PBs: I love the ideas, especially the water guns.

cK: We have trees, but I can't say I've seen ANY tree-clipping services anywhere. They're just not big enough for that, or maybe too precious to cut a single branch from. I had to ask J about the Jon Madden reference (I'm kind of a clueless country kid) and yes, we do have something like that, right next door, in fact. It's called BYKO. If it really starts to bother me, maybe I'll have a look. Hardware stores are always worth a visit anyway.

tsduff: I keep hoping for weather to come the right direction, but the rain generally comes in from the south, and this window faces north. I guess it'll become my next "things to watch" project. Eye on the turd.

Carmen: I bet those mofos are piggybacking on ours. It's close enough that they're probably up there now, enjoying their wi-fi with sea view. Oh yeah, that's what I'm doing too :-) I can't get too mad at 'em though, because I do love watching them fly by so close.