Sunday, 14 November 2010

Pimp My Blog!

Ok, so that’s not a very inventive* title. Still, I wish to record how awesome my blog looks right now in case I ever decide in the future to change it.

Why I’d do that is beyond me, but here goes. For posterity’s sake.**

blog nov2010

It took hours.

Now I’m going to have a shower and maybe go for a bike ride. Pip pip!

*which I just spelled ‘infentive’, so kudos to my brain there…

**I do not know what that phrase means.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


I’ve been baking.

When Loa put out the advert for the opening of her new children’s clothing shop, Emil og Lina, she wrote on it: “Miss Potter will be baking.” That’s me… so bake I did. I made Vanille Kipferl, Schokoladenherzen, Basler Leckerli (or tried to – failure because there is no honey) and Experiment Cupcakes.

Why are they called Experiment Cupcakes? Read on…

Find recipe for cupcakes on the internet. Don’t have half the ingredients so make up for it by doubling the amount of banana. Look into cupboard. Chuck in some cocoa powder, then some more because the colour hasn’t changed enough. One teaspoon of cinnamon. Two teaspoons of cinnamon. A tablespoon. Recipe says ginger next? Don’t have any ginger, cloves will do. Oh, I do have ginger. In it goes. Dough’s looking a bit wet. Add a handful of oats to soak up the liquid, then another, then another. Oats are healthy. Ok, now oven. DING! Huh, they look funny. Let me eat one. Yum. Oats are healthy.

I put all the biscuits in a tin but I’m not sure that was a good idea because they taste a bit funny now……… It’s not airtight, and it’s intended for tea.


But, hey, photos!

Sitting in the tin, looking surprisingly evil…

Schokoladenherzen! Or rather, Schokoladenglocke und –mond.

Yeah… I’m not going to claim I baked these, but they taste great!

Experiment Cupcakes!

Crescent-moon Vanille Kipferl.


Because I’m a girl.

Because I’m young.

Because I’ve just got my first money-earning job.

Because I am a victim of consumeritis.

Because shoes.

Because Topshop.


Because… £266?!

I really love the flat, simple, there-to-do-a-job, fleece-lined boots. Very un-Topshop, actually. And I like the ring set, the colour and cut of the dress (though it’s a bit short), and the pearl claw necklace.

Sorry this is such a stupid post. :)

Friday, 12 November 2010

It’s 2AM

How did this happen? Why am I up so late?

Oh well. I was thinking that it’s time for me to stop reiterating the same old issues and instead actually show you something about where I am in Iceland:

DSCF3848 DSCF3850 DSCF3884 DSCF3872 DSCF3873

Monday, 8 November 2010

Rosh Hashana (2 months late)

Right, guys it’s Rosh Hashanah time.* No more wiffly wabbling about how being an au pair isn’t all peaches and cream – by the way, yum – no, I’m going to tell you about some things which make me happy. Things like:

… walking on the beach of black sand on the bank of the broad river outside the house, slipping on the frozen puddles by the water, laughing aloud in the stillness, find in a stream which steams and dipping my hand in it to find it’s the temperature of lukewarm tea.

… watching Forrest Gump for the first time.

… eating heart-shaped spice biscuits which taste of my German childhood Christmas.

… reminiscing about the summer and about how much I loved the group I spent the two best weeks of my life with - Johanna, Ginta, Katka, Chelsea, James, Melanie, Wiebcke, Ainara, Marcos, Joaquin/Spain, Akino, Kazuko, Masu/Tatsuhiro/Taxi, Gin and Hélène.

… the little music player on the right. Go on, have a look. :)

… Gary Sinise in this photograph:


… Amina’s words about learning to respect yourself. She may not even know or remember that I was listening, but they rang true to me. I am happy and proud to be who I am most days, and on the days I’m not I still love and forgive myself. Because if there’s one person you have to be able to rely on, it’s your very own self.

And just in case someone mysteriously goes missing, you can probably rely on Gary Sinise to brood on Manhattan rooftops, pace camera-wards, clench his jaw and find the killer in a thrilling, hectic and ultimately successful chase.

Ahhh, CSI.

*To avoid confusion, I’m not Jewish.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Friday afternoon poem

Baby sleeping, Sun setting, mountain glowing red and white
Where strong men once set their tents before the first winter of night
They closed their eyes at close of day, and waited for the springtime dawn
My eyes turn South as Baby’s mouth starts breathing out his waking yawn

Sand on my tongue

Dear Diary,

Today I ate some chocolate and some rice crispies and some old stir fry and I drank almost a bottle of a very orange fruit drink which is probably juice.

I watched Happy Feet and Shark Tale, both of which were genuinely entertaining, though the voices in Happy Feet make it the winner for me. I love Elijah Wood.

Regarding Icelandic, I memorised the indefinite case endings for relatively regular nouns. There are almost 50 endings in that set. I wrote a four-line poem which I am very proud of even if it took an hour and is probably mistake-ridden, but here it is:

Ég vet ekki lengur, hvað ég er að gera hérna

Ég bitaði eplið, sem lofaði mikila gleði

Ég eftirsjá ekkert, en ég vil að fara heim.

Af því að núna er allt bara sandur á tungunni minni

And finally, today I decided that I’m coming home after Christmas. I’m really happy with that decision.

Yours sincerely,


Monday, 1 November 2010

Jealousy is a sad emotion

Warning: introspective post about myself. doesn’t make much sense.

I’m feeling weepy in this moment, listening to Khamsina – that’s Stevie to you and me – sing her beautiful songs. She makes me think of Enya, of Susan Enan, of Kate Rusby, of Leonard Cohen, of Eva Cassidy. And they are all dear favourites of mine.

So where does jealousy come into this? Well, something few people I now count as my friends know about me is that I used to sincerely wish for a life singing and performing on a stage, and something which nobody knows is that that’s still a dream of mine. And now Stevie is fulfilling it. I really like her, both as a person and as a musician, and I can see she deserves it seeing how hard she works at it, so my jealousy is tempered with shame and regret, because I know I never pushed myself enough and was never brave enough to show people that it was my dream.

I don’t talk about it because I haven’t got a lot of confidence in my musical skill. I have a decent voice but it’s almost totally untrained, and I’ve never had the dedication to practice playing the guitar or piano until I reach a professional standards. Even though I feel I have a few songs which are really good, it’s not like I can sit down and just write a good song – it seems totally haphazard when something clicks and 99% of the time what comes out sounds wrong. Not like what’s in my heart. Lyrics are something I really value so I spend a lot of time working on them, and they’re the one thing I am relatively proud of.

The thing I lack is other people. People who I can ask to honestly critique my music rather than just feel too impolite to say “that line is a cliché” or “you shouldn’t try to sing that high”, and someone who can make suggestions because my music is like most things I think about or create: at its birth, private, but as is my nature I want to share, so I seek input from those I love and trust. I also need people to play with, to write accompaniments with. It’s like the old saying: “one hand can’t clap on its own”. When I am in creation with another, I have ideas falling over themselves. It’s as if the interest of another in my self and what is in my soul frees my tongue and fingers and mind to reach a hand to my heart.

I want to write songs with others because that’s when I am happiest. It’s a beautiful thing to write a song with a friend and I miss it so much. Music is poetry and art, yes, but it’s also the highest expression of human perception of and relation to the world and its inhabitants. Doing it alone is self-destructive. Someone with a beautiful voice, and someone else with a knack for poetry, and another with a genius sense of rhythm will create something far more beautiful than a lonely ambitious girl with clumsy fingers and tears in her eyes.

Oh, fuck. None of that makes sense, does it? And I have so much left to say… why do I find it so hard to write what I feel?

It’s just… I love music and can feel it missing in my life. That’s all. Even if it’s just singing in a choir, I need that again. It’s almost like music takes the place of religion in my heart and I… I can feel it missing.