Got an email from my uncle this evening, assuring me that he had cast his vote for the Weather Report [last chance, everybody!] and also reminding me that I have some pretty significant ties to the captain’s quarter noted in the last post. Which, as it happens, I had not forgotten, but had simply omitted because I didn’t have a photo of the particular house central to those ties – the house that my great-grandfather built, and where both my father and my uncle were born.
My great-grandfather on my father’s side was a sea captain who graduated from the Stýrimannaskóli in 1912. Like all the other sea captains he built a house in the area, on Öldugata, which – if you remember your lesson from last post – means ‘wave street’ and is a derivative of alda [it’s alda in the possessive case, in fact] – as well as being a woman’s [given] name.
My great-grandfather named his only daughter Alda [well, Guðrún Alda, actually, but she was always called Alda], which probably says something about his strong ties to the sea. And because it is common here in Iceland to name children after their grandparents, I wound up with the same name as my grandmother – Alda, meaning ‘wave’. When I moved back to Iceland nearly 14 years ago, the first apartment I bought was on Bárugata, which – you’ll recall – also means ‘wave street’ and happens to run parallel to ‘Öldugata’ – ‘Alda’s street’ – where my great-grandfather built his house, and where both my father and my uncle were born. In fact, I looked down on both ‘wave streets’ from my window – Öldugata from one side of the flat, and Bárugata on the other.
And thus concludes the story of YT’s ties to the captain’s quarter.
AND AS OF TODAY, I NO LONGER HAVE PERMISSION TO BITCH ABOUT THE WEATHER
Because today totally takes the cake in the miserable weather sweepstakes. It was awful. In fact I decided to white-knuckle it through my endorphin withdrawal today, despite the fact that I was desperate for a run, because the weather was so damn ghastly. What was it, you ask? Blizzard, snowdrift, freezing rain? Hell no, that would have been fun. This was the coldest mutha of a wind we’ve had for years, a mean wind that blew through in violent spasms and just sounded bad. There was not a single bit of humour in the weather today – it was just nasty. Right now we have -8°C but feels like -18, and that’s 18F and feels like 0°F. [Yeah yeah, I know you have it worse in Minnesota, and believe me, I sympathize!] Sunup today 10.13 am, sunset 5.10 pm.
PS in case anyone is interested in knowing where this captain’s quarter and environs are located, here’s a map.