Notes from Skridulsklaustur, East Iceland #2

In the evenings, the sun dips behind my mountain and casts a shadow across the valley and up the moutain on the other side like a sun dial, letting me know its time to stop writing and make tea.

One of the curators of the museum and culture centre downstairs was kind enough to show me around the visitors centre this week. It is so full of juicy historical artifacts, it was brilliant. I can’t believe that I get to live and write in the house of Gunnar Gunnarsson, but also that there is Iceland’s only fully excavated monastery at the bottom of the garden! I can’t recommend enough that visitors to East Iceland come here and fill yourselves full of historical exploration.

There are waterfalls. When the sun is out, the air feels warm and you can comfortably bask on the lovely big rocks in short sleeves, feeling like the luckiest woman in the whole world. Once or twice I’ve been tempted to dip my toes into the rock pool thinking it might be a nice way to cool down, but the water is so cold that it almost burns.

The poems that I am working on are a small series that form a kind of story or short novel, mostly set around Morcambe, Lancashire. It feels counter-intuitive in a way to be surrouned by such strange and incredible scenery, and be writing about Morcambe! (Not that there is anything wrong with Morcambe, you understand). But that is the way with writing sometimes, you need the distance and change of scenery in order to choose the right pieces of a place to put into your writing.

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A narrow mountain path with a delightful sheer slope into a ravine along one side. It was also windy. Jeepers.

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