Fog and More Fog

We have had a lot of fog in August. Every morning I read (or try to read) the Faroese news on http://www.portal.com, and I check the link that has 17 webcams in different places around the islands. There have been several days when they all looked just about the same – white fog. One nice thing about foggy days, is that there is no wind, and everything is calm.

Several people have asked me when I am leaving the Faroes. I will fly to England on 4 September, spend 3 days there, and fly home to San Francisco on 7 September. I have been busy with all the details of packing up everything after living here for a year, and I haven’t taken many pictures lately. After I get home, I plan to post some of my favorite pictures from my time here in the Faroes.

A Busy Week

This has been one of those weeks when everything happens at once. I have been so busy that I even forgot to take any pictures for a whole week.

I have started packing, and so far I have 4 large boxes ready to ship back home. I will leave the Faroe Islands on September 4, spend three days in England, and get back to California on September 7.

At the end of August, my friend Kathleen will come to the Faroe Islands, and we will give several performances in the Fuglafjørður Culture House of a play that we have performed in California. The play is based on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian who was killed by the Nazis at the end of World War II. The priest from Fuglafjørður is helping to organize and publicize the play. I have written some publicity for the play that he is translating to Faroese.

I have spent at lot of time during the past year trying to make a book of paintings by Heðin Kambsdal, one of my relatives. During the past few days we collected about 65 privately owned paintings and delivered them to the photographer in Tórshavn who will photograph them for the book. Tomorrow we will start returning the paintings to their rightful owners. Last week we also met with the person who will be putting the book together for us. Hopefully in a month or so, the book will be finished, in time for Heðin’s exhibition in the Focus Gallery in Tórshavn. Guess what I will be giving everyone for Christmas this year? Unfortunately, I will miss out on seeing the book when it is published, because I will be 8 time zones away in California.

We have had every sort of weather this week, with rain, wind, fog, sun – well, not every weather, because we didn’t have snow. We even had a perfectly clear night, with the nearly full moon reflecting in every bay and sound, as we drove home from Tórshavn very late, after picking up and delivering paintings.

Good news! I sold my car, but I can keep it until the end of the month.

A Night at the Opera

… or An Evening in Elduvík
The gorge at the edge of the bay at the base of the cliffs in Elduvík was the site for an evening opera recital. Rúni and Susanne Brattaberg performed of arias from several well-known operas. Rúni is Faroese, originally from the island of Suðuroy. I believe that Susanne is German. Last August I heard them perform in the Nordic House in Tórshavn. This was a more unusual site for a performance. In the Faroe Islands, music performances like this are a family affair, and the audience included babies and small children, their great grandparents, and everyone in between.

The road into Elduvík is a narrow one and a half lanes, with occasional turnouts for traffic to pass. The local drivers seem to think it is two lanes, and they usually ignore the turnouts don’t even slow down for on-coming traffic. They must be right, because I didn’t see any evidence of car accidents, and I managed to miss all of the approaching traffic. Cars parked all along the edge of the road leading into town, and every available parking place in the town was filled. The audience filled the landing at the base of the cliff, and went half way up the stairs, as well.

A Walk to the Dump

The main road around the Fuglafjørður bay that goes past my house ends at the dump or transfer station. This must be one of the most beautiful settings for a dump in the whole world, but especially on a warm, sunny, summer evening. This time of year wild flowers are scattered over the hillsides, and the newly cut hay is starting to dry. I pass several waterfalls on the way to the dump. The word Fuglafjørður means bird bay, and you can always hear the birds and watch them dive for fish in the bay. I don’t think the streams here ever go dry, which is not surprising, considering the 300 days of rain per year.

After my walk, I went to a relative’s house up near the highest part of Fuglafjørður, and they have a quite different view of the bay from mine. Just a quick note on cultural differences I observed. Over the weekend I went to parties at three different homes, one for St. Olaf’s festival and two for birthday parties. In each case I was invited to the party by a relative who didn’t live at the house where the party was held. (This wouldn’t happen where I live in the USA.) Birthday parties are usually an open house, and friends and relatives come for cakes and coffee all evening long.

Gone Fishing

One afternoon my children and I went fishing in Jørmund’s boat with Jákup Arnold. We sailed out around the headlands near the entrance to the Fuglafjørður bay. We started out with three fishing poles, but one had a broken fish hook and on another the line broke and the hook and lures were lost. Fortunately for us, the fish liked the third fishing pole, and we caught quite a few fish. Natasha and John learned how to gut the fish – I just watched.

Two days later, I took my kids to the airport, and they returned home. They flew from the Faroese airport on the island of Vágar, to an even smaller airport in Reykjavik, Iceland. Then they took a taxi to the larger Icelandic airport in Keflavik, where they took a direct, non-stop flight to San Francisco, where they took the BART subway system home.

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