The funny thing about having had several recognized governments and a complicated relationship with the crown that originally colonized you, is that you get a lot of independence days. This is the 1918 independence, which was technically granted to the Kingdom of Iceland (which doesn’t exist anymore and is also sort of the modern Icelandic state), but this independence kinda expired in 1940, at which point everyone was twitchy for other reasons. Apparently this one doesn’t get celebrated as much as the one on June 17th, which happened in 1944 and is the one that seems to have finally stuck (unlike the ones in 1209, 1874, and 1903. It’s been a funky time, independence-wise). This one still rates waffles with whipped cream though, so it’s still a pretty solid holiday.
We’ve started Physical Coastal Processes, and it is such a joy to be talking about things that actually exist. I missed sand.
We got taken out to two different beaches yesterday, carefully threaded into the few hours of daylight we still have, mostly to just walk up and down them and talk about swash zones and erosion scarps. The professor managed to bring a drone along, which is extra impressive as the airline managed to lose all of the rest of his luggage, including a very expensive camera and all his spare clothes while giving him a cough (it isn’t Covid, it just sounds like he’s trying to jettison a lung when he talks for too long. poor man).
Anyway, that’s why there’s this very funny picture of most of us being terribly distracted by the drone making a weird noise rather than than looking properly at the camera. This is what you get when you ask a bunch of nerds for pictures for an instagram story. Rampant distraction.
The second beach had little plumes of yellow sand and I was briefly Very Confused, because every beach is a black sand beach here. All the parent rock is black basalt, there’s nothing yellow on this whole island. But when I picked it up and srunched it between my fingers it was just a whole lot of shell fragments, which was a relief. The contrasting shell bits made for a pretty illustration of how sand moves up and down that beach too, and I spent a happy several minutes throwing handfuls of sand into the river mouth to track where the current was going and talking about sediment carry capacity. My hands got so cold and so covered in sand, but I always love talking about rivers and how they get wigglier with time.
I’ve been experimenting with scone recipes for breakfast, and this batch I put some orange-chocolate chips in and it’s delightful. It’s also a good reminder that when shopping in foreign languages some cognates are in fact false cognates, and it’s always worth googling whether some lunatics really put apples in chocolate or if ‘applesinu’ might in fact mean ‘orange’ instead.
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