• Mirjam Blekkenhorst

Everything (un)usual...

Last year I was asked to find 100 items that are usual to us and our life here at The Edge Of The Arctic. And maybe not so usual for others. This morning I stumbled upon this list and decided to share it with you.

Everything usual to us, Ytra Loners: 1. Clean water from a hole in our backyard 2. A river running down our fields, full of arctic trout 3. An abundant lake with brown trout 4. Hiking for hours without meeting anyone 5. Silence, just sounds of nature 6. Icelandic strong sheep 7. Icelandic beautiful horses 8. Raising geese 9. Raising chicken who then give us fabulous egg 10. Border Collies, help out with the work, great companions 11. Stormy winds 12. Very short, dark, winter days 13. Long summer days where the sun never sets 14. Abundant bird life; cliff birds, waders, seabirds 15. Great feeling of freedom 16. Raising kids on family farm, working together as a family 17. Kids who seek to come home to help in the business 18. Speaking Icelandic, Dutch, English, Danish, a little bit of German and Frisian and Spanish 19. Driving a quad 20. Driving a snowmobile 21. A long sandy beach 22. Green mountains 23. Blueberries 24. Vegetables in hoop house 25. Organic meat 26. Dishes with just homemade food 27. Baking incredible cakes 28. Lots of rhubarb 29. 9 studio’s, all in different color and interior 30. A comfortable Jacuzzi 31. Driftwood 32. A restaurant decorated with driftwood 33. Heating our houses with driftwood 34. Collecting eider down 35. Tasting egg of eider duck, geese and guillemot in spring 36. Are not able to throw things away, repurposing everything 37. Building stables, combining old and new, in a very economical way 38. Driving Land rovers 39. Driving kids to school until they are 15 years old 40. Kids leave home at their 15th, move to a city for their studies 41. We know ‘everybody’ in a 200 km radius 42. Daily life with animals 43. Foresting, planting between 4000 and 8000 trees each year 44. Celebrating new years eve just the 6 of us, with a little bit of fireworks, all alone on our hill 45. Celebrating Christmas with our rural neighbors, a dance where 0 – 100 years old is dancing together 46. Feeding sheep in stables in winter 47. Releasing ewe with their lamb to the mountains in summer 48. Round up sheep in September and October 49. Separating sheep, days where all farmers are working together 50. Bird cliffs with puffin, guillemot, northern gannet, kittiwake and fulmar 51. Gyrfalcon 52. Ptarmigan 53. Everything ca. fourth year spotting a snowy owl 54. Great northern diver and red throated diver 55. Turnstone, knot, sanderling and purple sandpiper on our beach 56. Birding hide on the best birding spot of our beach 57. Arctic tern attacking us when hiking up our lane 58. Snow in May and June 59. Neighbors at 8 km distance 60. North Atlantic and Arctic ocean meeting 61. Seals 62. Spotting whales and dolphins 63. Just below Arctic circle 64. Fresh sea fish from our fishermen in the village 65. On a good summer day it’s 15°C, heat wave when 25°C 66. Fields are flooding when raining or snow melting, just water all around 67. Hundreds of whooper swans on lake in spring and autumn 68. Arctic fox 69. Guests from all over the world 70. Guests writing their theater play 71. Artists working on their art 72. It takes trees ages to grow 73. A great ability of patience and perseverance in order to being able to live here 74. Going with the flow; of nature and weather conditions 75. Herbs and mosses 76. Living with live and death 77. Lambing; 24 hours watch, 800 lamb are born in3 weeks 78. Deep connection with nature 79. Knowing the names of all mountains, hills, stones and landmarks 80. Knowledge of a great deal of history of our area 81. Hiking trails, marked or mapped 82. Offering hiking tours and holidays 83. Offering land rover tours 84. One hour drive of Arctic Henge and most northern point of Iceland 85. One hour drive of natural warm swimming pool 86. 1 ½ hours to canyons and rock formations, Ásbyrgi, Hljóðaklettar 87. Within 2 hours to Europe’s, biggest waterfall, Dettifoss 88. 2 hour drive to warm sea bathing, Geosea 89. 2 ½ hours to hot springs, bubbling and smoking and warm water bathing 90. Ocean kayaking 91. Ocean boat tour, rock formations and puffin spotting 92. A parking place loaded with snow 93. Driving through snow blizzards 94. A plane wreck 95. A shipwreck and lot’s of stories of ship stranding’s 96. Possibility of polar bears swimming inn 97. Lot’s of abandoned farm houses 98. Books with history of Langanes 99. Remains of NATO base on top of mountain 100. Helpful people, ready to offer a helping hand any time.

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