02 August 2007

Summertime slowdown

Well, just as promised, summer in Iceland has brought about an almost complete change in the office atmosphere. Unlike the US, this time of year is holy and for Not Working, so although there are people in the office, the most busy looking thing is the table fan oscillating gently, ruffling the paper stacks on the empty desks. People will take 3-4 weeks off, traveling a little, and often just hanging out at home. The REAL vacation feeling doesn't properly begin until the second week of being away from the office anyway, everyone says here. There are plenty of package trips to sunny places in Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands, but many people will do that and then spend a week of fixing the summer house and hanging out at home on one end.

Outside the office, the mania generated by the summery weather continues. I had visitors in my house most of July, and the weekends and the non-work hours have been full of excursions, trips to the pool, or just sitting around outside, anywhere that's not in the shade. The country is sun-drunk, lying in all sorts of odd places just to catch a ray or three to store up for the long winter ahead. I've seen people sprawled against the warm stones of a building foundation, lying on the unused steps of the old Landspítali building, their lab coats hanging from the door handles. Any chance to toast your shins to a crisp.

On the days when rain clouds sweep across the city, I stay inside and weave, watching the tourists traipse up the hill below the window, shrouded in slickers and hoods. The bouclé I'm working with slides off the shuttle too quickly, the rattling of the bobbin mirroring the clatter of rain on the window, but soon enough the tangles are smoothed out and the project comes off the loom. I put another warp on to weave some more, measuring out the rainy afternoons in weft picks.


tsduff said...

I'm glad to hear your loom is up and running... I know it was such a massive effort to get it over there and repaired. You make weaving sound so easy.

ECS said...

terry: the weaving IS easy! Just takes a bit of patience but it's really straight forward. I've missed being able to do it, and as it gets darker and more inside-y here, I'm hoping to do lots more.