Tiny turf houses…

Look! Sunshine! Out there! How lovely! Hope it’s nice where you are.

I have some noofings to share with you… I’ve been building houses…

Okay, not real proper big ones – tiny Icelandic turf houses, but instead of using turf I’ve used felt (no surprise there!).

“But what’s a turf house, stupid?” I hear you cry…

Turf houses go right back in history to the time when Iceland was first settled in the late 800s. Whilst there was a fairly plentiful supply of birch trees, they weren’t particularly suited to heavy construction, so frames were built and something that was plentiful – turf – was fitted around the frame in blocks. Turf houses continued to be constructed, and their design continued to evolve, right up to the 18th century. The most commonly seen Icelandic turf houses date from this later era – they’re called burstabær…


The turf provided very good insulation, and also stopped drafts getting in – in fact, it’s making a little bit of a come back as building material these days.

And so without further adoooo… I give you my very own turf houses…


And here’s one on it’s own…


They’re made by needle-felting together pieces of thick wool felt sheet, then tiny details (the door and window frames and door handle) are added by needle-felting in merino wool, and the window panes are made with a couple of tiny cotton stitches to the back of the final layer of felt. I’m rather pleased with how they’ve turned out.

In fact, I got so into this building lark that I made a church too…


It’s loosely based on this little blue church in the village of Seyðisfjörður in east Iceland, where my father lived.


So there you have it! Hope you like my little constructions!

Until the next time… x

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My dear old dad…

I’m back – have you missed me?!

I took a few months break after my dear old dad was taken very ill – sadly he passed away on August 18th. He’d lived in Iceland for the last 10 years, so with me being in the UK and my sister living in Switzerland as you can imagine things were rather difficult. Thankfully we were both able to time our last visit to see him so that we were able to be with him together for a few days before he died. The hardest day of my life was having to say goodbye to him on 12th August when I left to return home, knowing I’d never see him again…

But I don’t want this to be a sad blog entry, so I’d like to share with you a lovely, funny, story about Dad…

In 1999, the year after we lost our Mum, Dad came to Iceland to visit my sister and I who were both living over there. It was a big thing for him, as he’d only been abroad once before (not including his National Service!) and never on his own. On his way home, he was told at the airport that the flight was overbooked and there was no room for him – but thankfully, he was then told that there was a spare seat in Business Class so he boarded and was very impressed with the extra leg room and big seats. There weren’t many people in Business Class, and the others all seemed to be travelling together.

Soon after take off, a ‘young lad’ came over and started talking to him. He sat down, and they spent the whole flight chatting – he even gave Dad his in-flight meal as there weren’t enough to go around due to the overbooking. Dad told this ‘rather scruffy but well spoken and polite lad’ all about his two daughters he’d been visiting, and about how they were both teaching music in Iceland. The lad said he was in the music business too and told him his name, but Dad had never heard of him. At the end of the flight, he handed Dad a bit of paper with these words written on them:

“I’m Robbie Williams, ex-Take That”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How utterly cool is that?! And how sweet! I bet Mr Williams actually found it rather a refreshing change to chat to someone for nearly 3 hours who had never heard of him! And how lovely of him to give up his time to keep an old man travelling alone company! Dad was quite surprised when he later saw him on telly performing, and realised how famous he was!

So there we are, hope you enjoyed my little story about Dad, one of the many, many wonderful memories of his life that always makes me smile 🙂

Miss you awfully Daddy, but you were such a lovely, lovely person that I always smile when I think of you, and always will 🙂