Poppets, lovelies and dear ones,
Given the extra blogs, and much needed post-adventure down time, I don’t have a massive amount to report (by my standards!) on the last few days. However, I did want to get back to my regular Sunday spot. So here’s a brief round up, complete with two pudding based anecdotes- so fret not!
On Wednesday evening (15.03.17) I reached the pinnacle of my culinary pudding achievements as a British person in Iceland. In 20 minutes, I rustled up custard. From scratch. And without the assistance of a can, packet or powder. Just a little sugar, 2 egg yolks, some abandoned rice flour (in place of cornflour), milk , an immense amount of stirring and most importantly- a whole-lotta-love! In the moment of a custard based need (a crumble that would potentially remain dry and unnacommpancied…disaster right?!) I stepped up to the plate, and made custard. Emergency custard. Rustled out of nowhere. And it was glorious. You may think we don’t have a lot to offer in the way of gastronomic delights in the UK- but in that moment, consuming that comforting hot liquid gold contained within a bowl, I don’t think I’ve ever loved my country more! We may have a chequered history, but custard…you’re welcome world! (*To clarify I am aware custard is probably just another thing we stole and claimed as our own- but this was definitely the British variant!)
Having been lulled into a false spring, the snow came back on Thursday (16.03.17). In the evening, having spent the day in the Factory I walked home in the eerie, dusky light as the wispy snow, carried by the wind snaked and danced across the roads creating beautiful patterns. I stopped and watched. Another of mother natures surprising daily gifts.
On Friday (16.03.17), after a morning working on a new mountain print and not feeling like I was getting anywhere, I got a much needed postal pick-me-up. Despite all the wonderful tech available, it brings me such a joy to receive news from home in a physical form. Not only did my Mum surpass herself, but the unexpected receipt of a letter from one of my lovely volunteers from the museum was a wonderfully heart-warming surprise (complete with another pudding recipe I’m now dying to try- and raised the question of the week: I wonder if Icelandic supermarkets sell sponge fingers?!). And even though I also discovered that customs are holding a parcel hostage, believing it to be chargeable goods and services, rather than a gift from a generous and gorgeous friend- I felt so loved from afar. So thank you so much support team- you did good!
Now more than half way through the month, we checked-in in the evening, to discuss our work and where we were at with ideas. Despite being artists working across a broad spectrum of creative areas, individually focussing down on our own interests- for me it is really important to have a platform and space for discussion during each monthly residency period. Not only is it interesting to have insight into what inspiration others are drawing from their experience, but also a way to consolidate and join dots in my own practice. And to have input and a chance to discuss other artists/performers/musicians who I may not know, but may have some connection to what I or someone else might be doing is really useful. It’s an enormously fun and exciting experience being in this country, but after all- our art is what we are really here for! So it was a thought provoking and insightful evening.
Yesterday (17.03.17) the weather really descended, grey and snowy. Not even a fun sort of snow- just the sort of snow that sticks to your glasses! As a consequence I stayed pretty much confined to the cosiness of my room with comfy clothes, Peaky Blinders and a pen and paper for company- only venturing as far as the kitchen to make myself some solo pear pancakes.
Late in the evening, having thought about it all day I sought comfort in an old friend- rice pudding. It really was just one of those days! I think being away from home has prompted these cravings for comforting British classics- I really never have more than fruit or yoghurt for pudding usually. But taking time and putting love into familiar sweet treats, whether it is for others or just for myself is a real pleasure and helps me feel so much more connected to home. So late night rice pudding with cardamon and cinnamon it was- and after 45 minutes of constant stirring (alas I did not have the patience for the oven baked variety!) I had what I craved. Suitably warmed and comforted on a monochromatic day- I could go to bed safe in the knowledge I had some over to have cold with jam the next day! Yummo!
So a much briefer window into my Icelandic life this half of the week- but after such adventure last weekend it’s been good to settle back in to a more regular pace. Flowery as ever, but maybe it is a relief for you, dear readers, not to be overwhelmed by my usual high word count. But I can assure you normal service will resume…!
TTFN, much love from the fjord,