sarahblack: (Iceland)
I'm back in Iceland! I got back last night, but I didn't come online since I needed to sleep.

The journey went pretty well. It was long, but not as stupid as the journey from England to Australia. (I didn't have to spend the night freezing to death in the overly air conditioned airport in Abu Dhabi.) I did have to spend 8 hours in Heathrow, but that was fine. I had a book.

Right now I'm going to have a shower and enjoy a big glass of ice cold tap water. Oh, Icelandic tap water. How I have missed you.

Later on I'm going to visit my sister and my nephew and go DANCING. Yay!

sarahblack: (Glance)
I can't believe I'll be in Iceland in a few days. It's kind of surreal. Also I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I am so excited to see my family and get back to my gym, but on the other hand... I don't have a job to go to. I don't really know what I'll do with myself with no job and no school to occupy my time.

Could someone just pay me to go to the gym and to the swimming pool? That would be optimal. Maybe I could trick rich people who are out of shape into paying me for going to the gym for them?

Anyway, Narrabri is becoming unbearably hot. It's not quite there yet, but I have a feeling that this is a good time to leave. I will miss my grandmother and Lindsay. Being at their house is always such a wonderful experience. Happily, I will see them in Iceland before too long.

Christmas this year is going to be an epic family celebration. All of my family members who live in Australia will be there! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Christmas is still more than a month away.

Icelandic friends! Maybe I will be seeing you soon? There must be some excuse to party coming up...

Depending on internet access, this might be my last post from Australia. So I guess I'll see you guys on the flip side. Ciao!
sarahblack: (Bertie Wooster)
It has been decided! Þorri and I are returning to Narrabri next Friday. It will be an interesting cross-country journey involving a bus and two trains. We'll have to leave Byron Bay on Thursday because one of the trains is an overnight train! It will be lovely to see my grandmother and Lindsay again. (As well as my grandmother's wonderful collection of books!)

As I mentioned in my very brief previous post, the stay in Byron Bay has been a dream come true so far. We could have been luckier with the weather, but I'm definitely not complaining. We've has some amazing sunny days.

However, I haven't told you guys a thing about Sydney! This post will be novel length if I try to go into all the details, so I'm just going to post a few pictures along with a few comments.

Sydney )

Last Monday Þorri and I flew to Byron Bay. We've been spending time with Lindsay's daughter's family as we are crashing at their place. But like I said in my last post, we've also been able to take a trip to Currumbin Sanctuary (Australian animal "zoo"), walk to the most Easterly part of Australia, and hang around the beach for a bit.

Pictures! )

Tomorrow we're going to have a day of pampering at a spa and then we're going to the Lounge Cinema to see Looper. I'm really excited! I haven't had a full body massage since I was here in 2006! The Lounge Cinema is a treat as well. You sort of lie around instead of sitting! It's so comfy.

P.S. I totally recommend The Iron Lady. Fantastic film! Meryl Streep is a genius.
sarahblack: (Giselle dress)
Soon I will be in the air heading for Sydney! Before I leave I wanted to give you guys a brief overview of what I've been doing for the past few days in Albury.

- I went swimming! It felt like I was home. Also it was exercise. Desperately needed physical activity. (Am turning into a blubbery beast.)

- I visited the family of an exchange student that used to live with my aunt. Turns out his family home is right outside Albury, and he put me in touch with his mother. She proceeded to invite me and Þorri to lunch and feed us all the things. (There was quail, squid and kangaroo meat among other things. All super delicious!)

S5005665
The house was beautiful!


- Erin took me and Þorri to see Beechworth. It's an old gold rush town just south of the border in Victoria. We had a wonderful afternoon of walking up and down the picturesque main street, buying sweets and amazing honey, checking out the old court house and the old jail where Ned Kelly bought it. (Ned Kelly is a sort of Robin Hood figure in Australia.) There was also a telegram station! You could send an actual telegram and watch this amazing old gentleman send it in Morse code! Most entertainment I have ever received for four dollars.

S5005694
Apparently sending a telegraph via Morse code has beaten a text message via mobile phone!


- I checked out the Hume Dam and the Hume Lake with Erin and Þorri. It was really beautiful, and we were able to wave to Jack (Erin's boyfriend) who was out sailing on the lake on a yacht. Erin and Þorri did a little bit of wading and skipping stones, but I kept to the shade since I had forgotten all about sunscreen. Silly me.

S5005751


- Otherwise Þorri and I have been playing a lot of Scrabble, eating a lot of yummy food (Erin is a wonderful cook) and using up all of Erin and Jack's internet. It's been great!
sarahblack: (Haaapppeee Audrey)
There really is nothing quite like staying with my grandmother and Lindsay in their house in the Middle Of Nowhere, Australia.

You never know when some interesting animal might decide to pop over for a visit. My grandmother likes to feed the goana lizards that live in the neighbourhood, and they will come up to the porch and practically eat right from out of her hand.

S5005555_


Animal invasions and other things )

In the evenings, before dinner, a glass of bubbly with some strawberries thrown in is not an uncommon sight. (Beers, or even glasses of Gin and Tonic can sometimes be spotted by the keen observer.)

Avid readers will find themselves in paradise. Books full of murder mysteries, politics, history, Australian wildlife, Icelandic geography, famous literature, short stories, poetry, photographs and anything you could possibly want to read about, abound.

Would-be farmers would be happy here. Last week we were invited to go with Lindsay to the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute to observe the annual Field Day. This consisted of eating delicious barbecued food and looking at a lot of wheat. We heard Lindsay give a talk on the history of the different wheat species that the University of Sydney has been involved in breeding, and heard about a lot of different research projects that Ph.D. students are working on. Wheat is being made to need less water, resist disease, resist heat, become more nutritious and generally do whatever we want it to do. It's fascinating!

S5005580


On Saturdays a market springs up alongside the river in Narrabri - perfect for bargain-hunters. This weekend Þorri and I went with my grandmother to have a look. There was a man with an ice cream machine! He put scoops of vanilla ice cream inside, along with a scoop of raspberries or strawberries or whatever kind of berry that you wanted, and out of the machine came perfect berry flavoured soft serve ice cream! I want one of those machines.

I bought honey from a nice lady who first tried to get me to taste all the different kinds of honey she had for sale, and Þorri bought a lovely straw hat. (No-one tried to make him taste all the hats first.) My grandmother bought some beautiful flowers.

Life in the country is definitely something special. Plenty of animals and plants to keep you company, books to read, naps to take, bubbly to drink and all kinds of activities to keep you occupied.

For example, tomorrow me and Þorri have been invited to see the cotton crops get planted. I've never seen anything like that. (Iceland is not exactly famous for its agriculture.) Apparently there will be huge machines involved. I just hope my hey fever doesn't give me too much trouble.

Iceland

Jul. 31st, 2012 05:00 pm
sarahblack: (Iceland)
It's so nice to be typing this on my own computer!

I'm in Iceland right now, but that's about to change this evening. I'm about to fly to Paris! And this time I won't be on my own. Thorri will be going with me. I can't believe I get to spend an entire week in Paris with him. It's such a dream come true after months of solo travel. ♥

The past few days in Iceland have been really nice. I've mainly been spending time with my family and Thorri, but I've also managed to make an appearance at one party, at a Christening, and at a couple of dance classes.

It's been wonderful to be able to play with my nephew, see my parents, my grandparents and my siblings, and just enjoy their company.

I was so happy to be able to see the girls at [livejournal.com profile] sigrundora's birthday party, and of course the birthday girl herself. I will have to remember to get her present to her when I come back to Iceland! I hadn't really finished unpacking it when I went to the party.

Being able to go to two dance classes was more than I had hoped I would be able to do, so I was ecstatic about that. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't know any of the steps and that I would just look ridiculous, but everything turned out wonderfully! It was so nice to catch up with my dance friends. ♥

I was really glad as well to be able to attend the Christening of my childhood friend's baby girl. I attended her wedding in January, and I would have been really sad to miss the Christening of her first child. Turns out she named her baby girl after herself. (It's kind of a tradition in her family. She's named after her mother, who is named after her mother!)

Anyway, I really need to run to the swimming pool right now. Next time I post I will probably be in France!

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Sarah Black

March 2015

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