Archive | February, 2012

Magic Carpet Ride

25 Feb

It wasn’t what I envisioned, but then again, at time there was no internet.


Foroyar (OEjvind Dahl)

At the time, I thought the only sure way of getting to know people in different regions of my country would be to go and live there, maybe  in a motor home, and get a job waiting tables, or something else that would involve a lot of human interaction. While that plan was on the back burner Flickr showed up and gave me a motor home and a job, so to speak, in the Faroe Islands.


Faroese Women Enjoying Tea ( Alessio Mesiano)

Ten Flickr photographers have graciously granted permission to link their photos here. Each picture  is an invitation — like pulling back underbrush while you’re on a hike, revealing a new trail to follow . Click your heels (I mean “mouse”) and you’re off!

You can take Google translator with you if you want to,  although it is of scant help. Early Irish was the first language spoken in the islands, but it was Old Norse that really took root. Sometimes choosing “from Norwegian,” will give you some clues. Often posters will include an English translation, which is helpful for this Alabama girl.  Once, reading through a series of comments  wherein I understood not a word, I came upon the emoticon for a smile, which I understood quite well. Smiling is still the language universally understood.

Torshavn Faroe Islands Denmark

Torshvan, Faroe Islands, Denmark (John Hales)

Caught that, did you? That the Faroe Islands are part of Denmark? Indeed they are, and have been since 1388. You were expecting Norway? That’s one surprise — the other is the grass roof. A centuries-old method of keeping a building warm that is now being experimented with in many other places, you’ll find these sod roofs on many buildings in the Faroes.

What you won’t find, at least not yet, is serious over-crowding.


Sunrise (Joannis Sorensen)

Although people are starting to move closer to the best ports, its 50,000 residents have chosen to give each other space. Thirteen thousand live in Torshavn, its capital and largest city.  I had to look up the population of Mobile and Vero Beach get a real idea of what that meant: larger than Vero was when I was growing up there, and about 1/30 the size of Mobile.

P1000856 FZ150

Harbor for small boats, Torshavn (Jaakup)

Pictures tell the tale — in the Faroe Islands, you can go for a walk. Long, beautiful walks. Long, beautiful, let your spirit go free walks. You can also, believe it or not, ski through a tunnel.

Pedestrian tunnel

Pedestrian Tunnel (Jan Egil Kristiansen)

Maybe I should rephrase: Your long, beautiful, let-your-spirit-go-free walks might be seasonal, unless you have a proper coat.

Brand New Day

Brand New Day (Bardur Thomsen)

Even if you walked all year, you wouldn’t cover as many miles (44,300) as the Arctic Tern. (Well, maybe you would. Who am I to say?)

Arctic Tern, Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Arctic Tern (**Anik Messier**)

Torch Carriers making ready to Throw the Torches on the Boat

Torch Carriers making ready to Throw the Torches on the Boat (Eileen Sanda)

This picture, of a traditional New Year’s Eve celebration in Vagur, left me wondering about New Year’s Eve traditions across the world, and about our strong instinct to come together with friends, family, or as a community when something “new” is about to happen.

Like Cayman Brac and many other comparatively small communities, the Faroe Islands often bids adieu to children as they graduate from school and leave home for bigger places and opportunities that appeal more to them. Technology may to turn out to be a mama’s best friend, as more and more work can be done from a laptop, any place in the world.

Faroe - Resting at Mykines lightouse

Faroe – Resting at Mykines Lighthouse (Copyright, 2011, Andrea Ricordi)

Work when you had this view to distract you? You’re right. Probably not. 😉

Small note: I have tried, with the help of OEjvind Dahl, to compensate for my keyboard’s lack of the special letters used in Scandinavia. When people have been kind enough to share their work the least I can do is spell their name correctly. Im hoping that I got it right, but if I didn’t, please let me know!

I am also having now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t problems with a couple of my links, which can only mean that I haven’t finished my Link Posting Lesson. Maybe by next Friday….

P1000856 FZ150

21 Feb
P1000856 FZ150 by Jákup
P1000856 FZ150, a photo by Jákup on Flickr.

Let’s see if this works!

It wasn’t where I planned to go, but then again, I had no idea it was there….

18 Feb

You know how it is. You tell your mouse to take you to Ireland and it goes off on a wild tangent all its own, spying the two little white dots on Google Maps, zooming in, getting the name, zipping off to Google that name….

The next thing you know, you are 5000 pictures deep in the Faroe Islands Flickr Group, enchanted.

—A group of sparsely inhabited islands; a place for long walks and spacious thinking.

—A place to go and be, rather than a tourist attraction to go and see.

Speaking of mice …

And the best laid plans of mice and men….

The pictures I planned to share with you, after having secured the permission of the photographers, will be coming later, after I figure out how to insert a link.

Meanwhile, back at the car wash, I am again keeping my promise to myself, to blog on Friday.

See you soon!

Here we go!

10 Feb

Where are we going?

I don’t have anything to say, which, now that you mention it, is pretty much my real life conversationable (new word) problem.

I ask people how things are going with them. I offer consolation. Recommend a book.

The Awe-Manac says that today is Umbrella Day. I thought Badonsky made that up, but apparently someone else did, although no one seems to know who.

I don’t care much for umbrellas. Rather, I should say, I don’t care much for using them. The mechanisms confound me and I end up soaking wet and embarrassed. (True, it is unlikely that anyone is paying any attention to me, but that doesn’t seem to quash my self-consciousness.)

Umbrellas themselves are often bright, colorful, and whimsical. We should all carry them every day, just to make the world a prettier place.

Bumbershoot —  now, there’s a word. This alternate word for umbrella  started my Favorite New Words collection. (Thank you, Sheila.)

Unbrella (an umbrella turned inside out) — also fun. (From “Embiggen the Language,” in Table Talk.)

All of which led me to “The Art of Looking Sideways,” by Alan Fletcher.  Captivated by its entries, my writing time eking away, I was interrupted by remembering a bit from Anne Lammot’s  CD writing seminar. Oh, the ways we can stall the writing!

A friend’s nudge. (Patricia Scarborough’s 200th blog, re: Getting Started)

A hike in the woods. (Camp Keystone, 1966. No idea where I was going; beautiful view; discovery! )

A quote, lazily saved without attribution. (On keeping the commitments we make with ourselves.)

Where are we going? On a lark. An adventure. A revealing. A discovery. I hope!