Tuesday, December 19, 2006

5 days to Christmas

It's raining and I feel a migraine coming on. I am therefore not in a Christmas mood.

Here's a cute gingerbread creation for you to look at. Some of the animals are made from marzipan, others from gingerbread, and some from plastic.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

6 days to Christmas

We had our Little Christmas at work on Friday. By all accounts, our Little Christmases are very tame compared with some. We had dinner together, a typical Icelandic Christmas meal of smoked lamb, potatoes in white sauce, green peas and leaf bread. This was followed by fun and games where no-one was humiliated (too much), a Christmas gift exchange, and ended in a Singstar sing-off where it was not always the best singers who won.

Speaking of winners - the Höfði model won the gingerbread house contest.

Here are some more contestants:

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Friday, December 15, 2006

9 days to Christmas

I had a lovely "Little Christmas" with my friends last night, with plenty of Christmas food and presents. I have finished decorating the apartment, including the tree. My present last night was four silvery little birds that are now perched in my Christmas tree.

Here is another lovely creation from the gingerbread house competition:

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Can you imagine eating this? I would feel like I had demolished a work of art.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

10 days to Christmas

Yesterday after I posted my Black Christmas rant I went shopping for Christmas presents at the Smáralind mall and what did I find? The annual Katla baking company's gingerbread house competition was being held there instead of at Kringlan where it has heen held up to now. First I smelled a lovely aroma of spices and baking, and then the houses came into view. There are not as many fancy or over the top professional-looking houses in the competition as there were last year, but there are more houses that look like they were not just made to enter into the competition. Below is the fanciest house, and one of only two that I recognised as models of actual houses. This is a model of Höfði house, the house where many official receptions are held by the city council of Reykjavík, and the site of the 1986 Reykjavík summit between Reagan and Gorbachov. I will post more photos from the competition in the following days.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's 11 days to Christmas...

...and I'm not in a Christmas mood today. Why? I just had my teeth cleaned, and it was bloody expensive. And bloody. Even after a cup of sweet tea and a slice of vínarterta, my mouth is still full of the metallic taste of blood and the icky taste of the dentist's latex gloves. This means I'm in the perfect mood for a little rant.

We all know that fashion is a dictator of the worst kind, but deciding that black is the new red for Christmas is taking fashion dictatorship too far. Christmas is supposed to be a holiday of joy and happiness, lights and bright colours. Not black. Black is the colour of death and sorrow, depression and funerals, not Christmas. I snapped this gloomy wreath, better fitted for a funeral than the holiday of life and light, on the Laugavegur shopping street a week ago. While I do think that a little black dress can look very chic at any time of year, I draw the line at black Christmas decorations.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

12 days to Christmas

Everyone seems to have finished decorating and there are twinkling coloured lights everywhere. I decorated the Christmas tree on Sunday and am preparing to receive my, hmmm, hmmm, crafts group on Thursday. I shall be very surprised if ayone does any crafts at all ;-)

Here is an idea for recycling scratched Christmas balls: Make covers for them.
This one hangs in my living room window along with several others that I rescued from the trash last year and made crocheted covers for.
Christmas ball

Saturday, December 09, 2006

15 days to Christmas...

...and today I go on one of several Christmas present delivery runs I will make before the holidays arrive.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

16 days to Christmas

When my radio alarm switched on this morning, there was a Christmas song playing. This is the first time it happens this December, and of course it put me in a Christmas mood.

This shop window was half-way from the transition from Halloween to Christmas displays:

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

17 days to Christmas

Last night I attended a heavenly Christmas concert at the Fíladelfía church in Reykjavík with a group of friends. The church's gospel choir performed gospel songs, carols and Christmas psalms with a pop band and a number of soloists. We all left with a lightness of heart and smiles on our faces.

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A decorated tree twinkles in the twilight.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

18 days to Christmas

Last night I did battle with a string of lights, and lost. I have two strings of coloured lights that I have hung in my living room window for the last several Christmases. Each has 50 lights and they are looong. I have not been able to bring myself to put up hooks in the window frame, so I always hang them with suction hooks that I attach to the window glass. This time the suction cups would not catch, and the whole thing fell down again and again and when I plugged it in to check the damage, about 10 bulbs were out. Not good, because the strings were bought in the USA and then re-wired in such a way that I could plug them straight in without using a current adapter (you wire two equally long strings of lights together in a special way). I got those lights at a Dollar store many years ago and they have lasted...and lasted...and lasted beyond all expectation. But now I only have one useable one, since you can’t get replacement bulbs here. Oh well, it gives me a perfect excuse for buying new Christmas lights...

Here is a simple and tasteful Christmas window decoration:

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

19 days to Christmas

They played my favourite Christmas song on the radio this morning. Full as it it of bad language, there is something irresistably cheerful and christmassy about "Fairytale of New York", but only when performed by Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues. Last year I heard a cover version that not only featured characterless singers, but actually sanitised the song.

Here is a window display that I like, even though it is a bit of an oxymoron.
It has the advantage of being a winter display rather than a Christmas one. The shop is great - it has all kinds of interesting retro stuff.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

23 days to Christmas...

...and today after work I will start to hang up my Christmas decorations.

My favourite chocolate shop: Vínberið. Sometimes it's enough for me to just go in and walk one round inside the shop, inhaling the aromas of chocolate and other sweets, to satisfy a craving for chocolate. Sometimes.

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