Stage 2

5 weeks into this perilous journey, I wish I felt like some long lost explorer travelling new lands as described in the history books. Riding horseback across mountains of white in search of the next cave or another form of shelter from the blustery winds. But alas, it's not so.

Instead, its pretty fun. Riding around freezing your nuts off on a horse without some thermals and a French Press sounds like it would suck balls.

But there is the warming weather, which leads to the ice covered streets which means that in an instant, you can fall on your bum and hurt yourself. And not being able to decipher the name of the meat in the packet at the supermarket without consulting google translate. 

However, when one speaks three words in a fluent manner that confuses the Icelanders into believing you are an actual Icelander, that feels neat. Until they spray you with a ton of letters ridden with diacritic symbols more than your brain can handle and you have to give in and tell them you have no idea what they are saying. They laugh, which is kind.

However, falling into these last four weeks has been a process of the previous four. Talking and mingling with the community. With Nils and Steinuum, Víðir (The Captain), Allen, Alda and Erlendur, Heiðar, Mosey. That role call in itself sounds like the credits for Lord of the Rings, but theses people ain't little film trickery little people. They are larger than life, big in talk, expressive in their history and so....fucking.....chilled....out. In all seriousness, I haven't heard an angry word.

And of course, the crazy, "why on earth would you come here in winter" residents. Emmi, Terro, Lydia, Anna, Emma and Rhea. All themselves with their quirks and oddities, but also their passion. To see a thing or idea get sculptured from the ground up is quite delightful, and you get to watch the whole process.

But the two that have become centre stage for some of my work are Bully and Dotti. Brothers in law, and fisherman kings. Two of the few remaining self employed fisherman in town, who pull in about 3 tonne of fish a day. 

Yup, 3 fucking tonne.

I can use the word "fucking" because when you actually witness the drop off at the end of the day, you kind of loose the plot at how much bloody cod is passing your view. And bloody haddock, bloody stonefish, bloody stingray and that orange one I keep seeing that I don't know what is called.

And then they offer you a few for dinner. And you can't say no.

And the aforementioned Captain Víðir offers to come over and help fillet them. So he brings over his dogs to keep us happy, fillets the fish and the fellow Germancooks a crazy meal while you talk about Glasgow and LA to others, all while sipping a glass of wine.

And then you peak out the window. And the lights of the town glimmer their tungsten glow. The pine tree out the back shifts slowly in the breeze. You hope for the northern lights later in the evening and you eat.

All in this little house. At the top of a hill, in little Husavik.

Justin Batchelor