Thursday 26 May 2016

Frankenstein at the Royal Ballet

It's always a treat to go to the ballet, and doubly so when said ballet is on at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.  It's a grand venue that oozes fancy and you can't help but dress up a little bit. Don't want to let the side down and all that.
So when Guider extraordinaire and new-found ballet buddy Jazzy messaged me to see if I fancied going to see Frankenstein, it was an immediate yes from me.
Frankenstein is a new production from the Royal Ballet and a bit of a departure for me from the things I have seen in the past.  I have seen some of the classics: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet - but never really been to see anything contemporary.  I think that's largely because I was concerned that I might find a modern production inaccessible, and there are certain things that I expect to see in a traditional staging of a ballet that I thought I might miss.

Add to that the fact that I tend to go to the ballet alone as my friends are not particularly interested.  If I'm going to see ballet, I want it to be special.  I think it's worth spending more than I normally would for theatre so that you can see the detail, the footwork, the costume, the effort and the athleticism. If ballet isn't your thing, then it can be a pricey way to dispose of those hard-earned pennies. Tickets can pretty much cost you whatever you want to pay.  You can stand up in the gods for a tenner, but your view is somewhat distant and restricted; if you want to sit down, you're probably looking at something around £50.  More if you want your seat to have armrests, and a view.  Or you can pay a few hundred pounds to sit in a box.

So roll on Tuesday evening: not only do I have a ballet partner in crime, but we had excellent seats from which to watch Frankenstein.  I tottered along to Covent Garden after work, inhaled a burrito quite successfully with minimum mess (unusual, so high five to me) and met Jazzy. Picking up out tickets (and ice cream vouchers: necessary) we headed into the depths of the building to find our seats. The view was the best I've ever had at the Opera House and we amused ourselves wondering who all the people were and admiring the large rendering of a skull which dominated the stage's curtain. Everyone around us had really made an effort to dress up a bit, but having said that, they also didn't seem to be creating the impression of having come straight from work.

So my thoughts on the ballet?  Well, I am by no means knowledgeable, or discerning when it comes to ballet; I cannot profess to be an expert or a connoisseur. But I LOVED it.

Laura Morera as Elizabeth Lavenza and Federico Bonelli as Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein. © ROH 2016. Photograph by Bill Cooper
Frankenstein is in 3 acts, with 2 intervals (read ice-cream breaks) of about 20-25 minutes each giving an overall time just shy of 3 hours.  The first act engaged me immediately: the score was atmospheric, and we were introduced to the Frankenstein family home through a surprisingly traditional series of dances.  We saw the family adopt young orphan Elizabeth, we see her playing with young Victor, and we see them grow both in age and closeness. There's a rather lovely montage where the younger dancers and the older versions of the characters share the stage, entwining childhood memories through the home and unconsciously echoing their past in their future.  The pas de deux was simply lovely: flowing and aerial with so many effortlessly conducted lifts, and with a serenity that belies the gothic horror yet to come. And a word on the costumes: perfection.  That's the word. They oozed opulence and complemented the style of the production and the dancing.

I didn't know the story having never read the book, but we see our promising young couple become engaged, we see grief strike the family as the mother dies in childbirth, and we see Victor head off to medical school with a heavy heart. His grief drives his fevered imagination and in some of my favourite scenes, set in a wonderful lecture theatre.  As a dissection takes place, nurses in white robes flaunt severed limbs as the student doctors dance in formation, their spectacular frock coats whiling in unison, reminiscent of the way ballerina's skirts might billow.  This was an incredible scene, with glittering lab equipment, pyrotechnic electric generators, fearsome chemicals and a lovely inversion of a ballet that would perhaps traditionally be female. 

At the first act's climax, Victor, alone in the lab, finally creates his...well, a "monster" is never referred to.  We simply have his "creature".

Steven McRae as The Creature in Frankenstein © ROH 2016. Photograph by Bill Cooper
Steven McRae danced the Creature in acts two and three, and while there is an element of the monstrous in his performance, what was most startling was the stark sense of pain and betrayal he evoked.  While those around him perceive a nightmare, the creature simply desperately craves acceptance and affection.

As this craving turns bitterly inwards, and twists into depravity, we see the creature stalking his creator, his father, as he comes to terms with his creation and existence.  We see this in two fascinating scenes: in the first the creature steals away Victor's younger brother (a great performance from young Cabrera Espinach) and a seeminly harmless game of blind man's bluff transforms into a terrifying tragedy, the innocent charm of the young victim violently giving way to fear when the blindfold comes off and his antagonist is revealed. The second depicts Victor's descent into madness: while dancing at a ball with Elizabeth, we catch glimpses of the creature in a tailcoat, weaving in and out of the crowd, one moment a dancer, the next having melted into the background, leaving Victor to ever more frantically interrogate his guests.  The sense of impending disaster was almost palpable

In cruel imitation of the balletic forms, the creature entices his victims into dances that will inevitably lead to death; the performances are entrancing and laden with doom. And yet even Elizabeth, forced to twirl and float in a horrifying, macabre pas de deux, cruelly mocking the affectionate dance she shares with her husband, even she is hypnotised by the creatures spell and is danced to her death.

In the final scene, as Victor grapples with his creation who is both seeking solace and acceptance, and meeting out retribution, the ultimate tragedy unfolds.  We are left with the arresting image of the creature amidst his corpses on a barren stage, a ragged sunset dripping from the horizon.

Steven McRae as The Creature, Federico Bonelli as Victor Frankenstein and Alexander Campbell as Clerval in Frankenstein. ©ROH 2016. Photograph by Bill Cooper
It was hugely powerful.

The time in the opera house flashed past.  The production was tense and gripping, and we both felt we were almost glad of the intervals to give us space to breathe and relax. Interestingly, I have read a few reviews since seeing Frankenstein that seemed to find it somewhat disappointing.  For instance, the first act featuring the family drama seems to have been deemed unnecessary and some reviews claim the creature needed more stage time, and should have been less balletic.

As I said, I am no professional critic.  But Frankenstein gave me everything I hoped for and more in a ballet. It absorbed me in a gothic romance, and I felt empathy for a "monster".  I was treated to lavish costumes, magical sets and a tense and emotional experience.  The dance was beautiful, sinuous and breath-taking.  It was also creeping and crawling, unearthly and stunted.  But most of all it was accessible, and I could enjoy every minute both recognising the elements of ballet that I love, sometimes traditionally, sometimes with a twist, and sometimes distorted into horror to create character and depth.

So I disagree with these luke-warm reviews.  Perhaps if you watch world-class ballet all the time, you become jaded.  Perhaps I lack sophistication and am simply amused by anything that is sparkly and moves.  But this is an impressive production, unlike anything I've seen before, completely stunning and gripping, and I would highly recommend it.

Kisses xxx

P.S. It feels lovely to go to the ballet after work on a school night.  I think that's exactly what 20-year-old Kirsty hoped 29-year-old Kirsty would be doing when she moved to London.

P.P.S. Photos of the dancers in this post are from the Royal Opera House website, taken by Bill Cooper.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Recycling Scrapbook Designs

I am currently taking part in Shimelle's new class The Scrapbook Process which has an emphasis on considering scrapbook albums as a whole.  I am really enjoying going back through my albums, thinking about putting them together more cohesively, and getting more of my memories down on paper. 
As part of this process, it's lovely to pull out older pages that you love and breathe new life into them by recreating the design for a new layout.  Today I want to share how I recycled a page design that I used back in 2013, to make a new page for my album.
I made this page in Autumn almost three years ago.  You can read my original blog post here where I shared more details of the process of creating the layout, as well as the story behind the page.  I have always loved this page, which is due in no small part to the meaning it holds for me.  But I love the design too: I like that it's uncluttered but detailed, that there is colour but it all blends and there's plenty of white space.  I love little details like the wooden hearts and pegs, and my tape-measure ribbon, and I like that it embodies my usual style with layers, handwriting and a little camera. So this was the ideal page to scraplift.
When it comes to scraplifting, you can be as literal or as figurative as you like.  In this instance, I have kept a lot of the features of the original: the instant photo, the two little pegs, the tape-measure ribbon and even the same background paper. In fact I have several sheets of that background paper still in my stash as its such a brilliant neutral, but is useful when I want something a bit more than plain white.  I bought a whole bunch of sheets when it was available and I am carefully rationing them out!
The nice thing about scraplifting is that it removes some of the decision-making process, meaning I can just get on with cutting and sticking in my own happy little way.  So I kept the same page structure: layers of journaling cards and patterned paper in the middle of the page, anchored with a ribbon and topped with a little instax print.  But I matched the colours to the photo where possible, using sky blues, sandy brown and muted grey.  For the embellishment, I then departed from the original and just added whatever I fancied. I found the puffy travel-stamp-style stickers in Paperchase the other week, and they're lovely for travel pages.
Rather than imitating the original page precisely, I split the title and journaling between two locations.  This page tells the story of my visit to the Uyuni Train Cemetary; you can read about that particular adventure here. The title split quite naturally: the top reads 'Uyuni, Bolivia' so that the location is clear, and then the lower half more descriptive.  As these letter stickers are quite tiny, it's possible to get plenty of title on the page without overwhelming everything else.
I then used the journaling to balance out the design, adding some above, and some below.  There wasn't a huge amount to say as this is the kind of story that basically says I was there, and it was amazing.  I have lots of other pictures which I will put in a divided page protector to go with this page, and they will tell more story that I'd be able to in words.
All that remained was to finish off the embellishment: a hand-cut heart, a few wooden stars scattered hither and yon, and a splatter of ink droplets.  Because you have to have ink.
While there are clearly strong similarities between these two pages, I am also aware of their differences. While these two pages won't be together in the same album, I wouldn't actually mind if they ended up next to each other, as I think they complement each other well.  It's all going to depend on your personal taste, but to me these pages don't look too similar at all, despite the fact that one is a scraplift of the other.  Instead what jumps out at me is the consistency in the way I liked to scrapbook then, and still like to scrapbook now.
Kisses xxx
P.S. You can find more information about Shimelle's class 'The Scrapbook Process' here.  This is one of the best classes I have ever taken, so it certainly comes highly recommended from me!

Monday 9 May 2016

The Incomplete Guide to Photography for Girlguiding

In my humble (but let's face it, objectively correct) opinion, photography is an essential part of any Girlguiding trip.  Whether it's international, or closer to home, girls and leaders alike want to be able to show off the fabulous time they've had through excellent pictures.  So here is your handy go-to guide full of tip-top tips for photo-related success.

Tip 1: Safety first.

This isn't espcially photo related, but I feel it's good general advice for life. Also, don't run with scissors, and no matter how good your bath bomb smells, don't eat it: it will taste of soap.  Even if it smells exactly like cake.  Or chocolate.  Or chocolate cake.

And now I'm hungry.

Tip 2: Never attempt photography on an empty stomach. 

Recommended snacks include chocolate cake.

Tip 3: Assemble your equipment.

You will need some people to be in your photos, some smiles, and a camera.  However, nowadays, most phones have a camera (although if it is the kind of phone that is attached to your wall by a spiral cable, it probably won't).  So a phone-with-a-camera will also do nicely.  More advanced photographers may wish to invest in a selfie stick. These are available in shops from £1 upwards,

Tip 4: A picture is worth a thousand words.

However, the one above is worth 1003 words because it has 3 additional words in it.  This helps add to the context of the photo, and helpfully aids the viewer in their understanding of where the photo is taking place.  To add more value to your photos, you can carry around large signs explaining where you are, or you could even make use of naturally occurring signs as we did here.

Tip 5: Location, location, location.  

Having a nice place to take photos will help to ensure that your photos are nice.  And at the end of the day, nice photos will get more likes on Facebook. The church in this photograph provides a very striking location for the picture.

Tip 6: Composition is key.

You will notice in the picture above we are all striking a very strong pose.  We have attitude.  We have conviction.  What is not clear from the picture is that we were imitating a statue on a plinth above our head, and this is because the composition of the photo isn't quite right.  Before you take a photo, make sure everything you want to be in the photo appears in the frame of your shot.  If the statue had been included in the picture, the casual browser would immediately perceive that we were impersonating the statue, and would then be able to enjoy the hilarious joke.

Get it right, and this photo could be Comedy Gold, and many hours of mirth can follow.

 Even the best of us (i.e. me) can get it wrong sometimes, but the important thing is that we learn from our mistakes. However, as I'm in this picture, it couldn't possibly have been my mistake.

Tip 7: Take a mixture of formal portraits and candid shots.

The photo above shows the charming natural expression of cheerful ferocity which adorns the face of any member of the Senior Section at rest.  While it can be geometrically pleasing to arrange the subjects of your photos into a straight line and have them perform their best photo smiles, the relaxed, unfettered, slightly aggressive visage of the teenage girl in her own environment is also worth recording.  Calmly yelling "QUICK EVERYONE MAKE A CANDID FACE" will help you to achieve the desired results.

Tip 8: Make sure everyone involved understands that having their photo taken is completely optional.

 Some people don't like to have their picture taken, and that's absolutely fine.  You may want to take them aside and explain in a reassuring way that it's totally OK if they prefer not to be on camera, and that they can wait, alone, imprisoned, and shunned until they come to their senses.

This can sometimes be a very powerful motivator.

Tip 9: Always catch the cat. 

But if you miss, don't worry, as they tend to land on their feet.

Tip 10: Make sure you check the background of our photo before you click the shutter.

In this picture, while one of the Guides is perfectly poised in mid-air to capture a classic Jump Shot, two unidentified leaders are trying to execute a well-timed photo-bomb. This is a shame as this would have been an impressive picture otherwise.

The identities of the leaders remain a mystery, and they are certainly not Martha and me.  Nope.

Oh no, it happened again, but worse.

Tip 11: Don't jump on the photographer.

This is handy advice for those appearing in your photos, and a tip you may wish to pass on to any willing photographic volunteers. Varying the angle that you shoot pictures from is to be encouraged to create a wide range of visual effects. Taking a photograph from floor level looking upwards certainly makes for a dramatic picture!  Worthy even of two exclamation marks!!  But the Jump Shot (discussed briefly above, and in more detail below) should only be attempted by a) those with experience and b) from a position other than under the feet of those doing the jumping.

You have only yourself to blame.

Tip 12: Always bring the correct props.  

We found a lovely rainbow painted on the floor which could have been the basis of an excellent photo if I had thought to bring the right props.  But sadly, I foolishly brought senior section members on the trip instead of bringing Rainbows, who would have looked way more cute, and fit perfectly with the theme. What a wasted opportunity!

Tip 13: Follow the yellow brick road.  

Who ever heard of a purple brick road? If you have trouble remembering which colour brick road to follow, there is a handy song called Follow the Yellow Brick Road which will help.  You can find it on the internet, and also in The Wizard of Oz.  Here, our chirpy senior section members are playfully gesturing at all the brick road colours, trying to confuse you.  Little scamps!  I bet Dorothy never had to put up with that.

Tip 14: The jump shot: approach it cautiously with patience and understanding.

There is an art, or rather a knack, to the perfect jump shot.  The knack lies in getting everyone in the picture to hang in the air, defying gravity, just long enough for you to capture it forever in the photographic record.  First you will need to agree on a countdown.  In order to do this, you must first have a 15-20 minute discussion about whether it's best to count up or down, go on "GO!", "ONE!" or "THREE!", or after them.  There is even a school of thought which suggests that a count of 5 may be appropriate as it allows the photographic subjects to better anticipate their take-off.

For beginners, I recommend the tried-and-tested 3-2-1-GO! So that everyone jumps on go.  Whatever you decide, everyone will immediately forget and your first few attempts may appear staggered like the one above.  But don't be disheartened!  After a few thousand attempts, you will probably get it right at least once by accident!  Isn't that reassuring.

To improve, do make sure you give the people in your photos lots of positive encouragement and praise.  Use a pleasant tone of voice to scream "YOU! YOU JUMPED AT THE WRONG TIME" to those in need of a little extra self-esteem boost. Legs can be kicked out at jaunty angles to add interest, and the higher your subjects jump the better.  Plus, remember to smile!

Tip 15: If you are struggling to find a model who can pull of a good jump-shot with all the correct elements of jump-height, enthusiasm, poise and timing, you can always get a member of a cheer squad to help you out, if you have one on hand.

It's always advisable to travel with cheer squad members for this reason.

I'm sure you all found this incredibly fascinating and helpful, and you all learned bucketloads.  If you have a favourite photo tip to share, why not leave a comment below so that everyone can enjoy it and learn even more!

Kisses xxx

P.S. On a more serious note, make sure you only take pictures with permission of those featuring in the photos, and then store and share them safely and appropriately. Make sure you have the correct photo permissions from members and the necessary parents or guardians before using photos online.

P.P.S. This is my final Iceland post for a while and I want to offer my thanks to the terrific leaders who helped me pull of this trip, and my enormous gratitude to the inspirational girls from Middlesex East County who were an absolute delight.  It was such a special trip as they were enthusiastic, polite and respectful of the culture, they were willing to try every new experience, they conquered their fears courageously and laughed every step of the way. Girlguiding has a very bright future with members like these wonderful young women.

P.P.S. You can read about our adventures in Iceland by following the links below:

Sunday 8 May 2016

Girlguiding: Exploring Iceland's Golden Circle

One of the highlights of our Girlguiding Middlesex East County trip to Iceland was a tour of the country's famous Golden Circle.  This is a popular tourist route that allowed us to see some of the amazing landscapes and sights that Iceland has to offer.  And so after hearty breakfast of warm, cinnamon porridge and freshly baked bread, we packed ourselves into the minibus and set off!  Two of the girls opted to sit up with our driver, Gunnar, who patiently allowed them to use the bus microphone to commentate on any and all aspects of the journey. Which proved...generous.
We made our first stop by a frozen lake, not because it's one of the sights we had set out to visit, but because it was simply too beautiful not to.  It's astonishing that vistas such as this are relatively commonplace, but as we were all admiring the view, Gunnar pulled up and let us jump out of the bus to admire the prospect.

By April, the Icelandic winter is coming to an end, and the lake ice cracks and drifts off, melting back into water. We were lucky to see it in this half-way state. Jumping back in the minibus, the Senior Section commentary continued, pointing out a sign that said be careful of sheep (after looking around for some time, we had to admit that we couldn't actually see any sheep to be careful of), updating us on the weather, and snippets of the Matilda soundtrack, sung from memory. All fine until the following conversation ensued between our Commentator Extraordinaire, and the driver, although we couldn't hear what poor Gunnar was saying as he didn't have a mic...
Commentator: What does the sign mean?
Driver: *mumble mumble*
Commentator: Ah! OK, cool.
Everyone else: What did he say?
Commentator: Those signs give the recommended speed limit for the road you're on.  Right now, the recommended speed limit is 40.  And we are doing...65.
Cue the leaders putting heads in hands and trying not to laugh. Poor Gunnar indeed.
Our first official stop was at Pingvellir: the site of Iceland's original parliament.  In many ways, this is the site of very early democracy in action, as people would gather here annually to hear the laws read out from the law rock (down the canyon behind us), and anyone was permitted to stand on the law rock and address the assembled crowds.  Iceland is the home of the oldest, continuous parliament in the world, and it was impressive to see where it all began.
The views were wonderful and we enjoyed walking down between the canyon walls.   And stopping for our compulsory group photo.

Once we'd explored the site, Gunnar led us on to visit a waterfall which was really quite beautiful.  Or, as he described it "it's OK, if you like waterfalls".  

Our walk took us past a pool that, in the past, was specifically reserved for drowning "bad women" (men weren't drowned, they were banished) and we came across a pool that is so clear, it's regularly used for underwater filming. We tossed pennies in the water for luck, which is something you aren't allowed to do elsewhere in the country.

The waterfall was lovely, and therefore it was photo time again.

After our visit to Pingvellir, we hopped back into the bus and set off for our next stop: Gulfoss. If you're only going to visit one waterfall in Iceland, this is probably the one you should see.  It's huge, it's loud, it's powerful and overall pretty amazing!

The water cascades through the canyon in two tiers, the upper a miniscule 11m, and the lower a mere 21m. Yep, it's pretty tall.  The sky darkened ominously and the wind was definitely getting through our coats, but the views along the top of the Hvita canyon were worth a spot of inclement weather!

We bumped into a school group while there, who had inconveniently chosen the same colour hoody as our group.  So after some confusion in sorting out which teenagers belong to us, we scooped the girls into the bus (after a quick gift-shop stop for badges) and hit the road.

I've got to confess I was quite excited to reach our next stop: a visit to see some active geysers!  There are several in this area due to the sheer quantity of thermal activity, and the volcanic landscape, but the most impressive was Strokker.  This geyser goes off every ten minutes or so and jets of warm water shoot up in the air. Waiting for it was tense as the pressure builds up underground, and each time it exploded into life, the assembled group couldn't help but exclaim in ooohs and ahhhhhs. Splooosh! We watched it several times, including once where it went off twice in a row.

Steam drifted around the plateau and we saw lots of little tiny lagoons in all sorts of shades of blue and aqua quietly smoking away.

The Senior Section wanted to know if they could stand downwind of the geyser so that when it exploded, they would be under it. I said I didn't mind, if they didn't mind getting wet.

They got wet.
Fortunately our final stop of the day was at the Fontana baths for a swim in the thermal pools. The water was so warm and lovely, and after a day of chilly fingers, and being buffeted about in the wind, the sun shone gently and we could bask in the pools under the sky. A cup of tea and a piece of cake freshly baked from our stellar campsite chefs didn't hurt either!
That was the end of that particular day, but I have one more experience to share: a visit to some Icelandic Horse Theatre.  If you see the expression 'horse theatre' and don't really know what to expect, then you're in the same position I was in.  But one evening we paid a visit to get a bite to eat and catch the 7:00pm show.

Icelanders are justifiably proud of their horses (never ponies, apparently) as they are hardy, happily facing up to harsh winters, they can pull huge loads relative to their size, and they have a range of unique, very smooth, gaits. The breed has been isolated for so long that Iceland don't import any horses into the country at all, as there are concerns that the breed won't have the same immunities and that infection could spread wildly. The horses are raced in their special gait, the tolt, and it seems almost everyone rides.
Horse theatre turned out to be a show combining horsemanship, mythology and a history of the Icelandic horse told through video and theatre with a cast of 30 horses, 10 humans and a dog.  After the show, which was great, we were invited backstage to meet the cast.

The horses were very chilled and quite happy to have their soft noses and ears stroked and petted.  Hard life!

Once everyone had finished hiding behind the props and popping out from behind rocks like the elves in the show, it was time to leave.  So that's horse theatre!
Kisses xxx
P.S. You can read about more of adventures by looking at previous posts.  There is a link to our day in Reykjavik here, our visit to climb behind a waterfall here, our glacier hike here, and our experiences of climbing and archery. 

Sunday 1 May 2016

Climbing, Abseiling, Obstacles

When members of Girlguiding Middlesex East ventured to Iceland for a week, we stayed at a wonderful campsite called Úlfljótsvatn, which was huge and beautiful, and has its own lake and mountain.  Seriously!  We loved the time we spent on site - you can read about our archery session in the post linked here, and today is the tale of our experiences of climbing.
Our senior section are a pretty go-getting bunch, and were keen to tackle the challenge of the climbing wall.  We harnessed up, applied helmets, and the ascent began. 
The thing about climbing is that it's very easy to imagine: you put your right hand there, your left leg here, and you shimmy on up.  In reality, complaining muscles, little grips that are just out of reach and, y'know, gravity, make it so much harder!  But perseverance was the order of the day and our Senior Section girls did admirably.
Even when they'd got the hang of this climbing lark, the overhang seemed a bit unfair!
Most impressive of all, even those with a fear of heights gave it a go, and finished their session feeling proud that they had conquered their fear and managed to give it their best shot.
Next, came the abseiling.  Walking down the side of a building was definitely easier on the muscles than climbing up it, and some of the senior section zoomed down.  The views from the tower were lovely: it was a still day and the mountains were reflected in the still surface of the lake.  While it was quite sunny, there was still a chill in the air.

With everyone back on the ground safely, much to the relief of some girls, it was time to give the obstacle course a go!
Working round the course in the normal way seemed just too normal and straightforward for our merry band of nutcases.  Instead, everyone arranged themselves suspended from a tyre, and then tried to see if they could all swap places without getting down.
The answer is yes, if you are prepared to endure someone standing on you while your arms protest that you can't hang on any more but you're far too stubborn to give up.  Excellent work!
In fact, this proved to be quite entertaining as well so we had other attempts later in the week!
After all that effort, it was time to chill out.

In case you were wondering, the most sensible and obvious place to chill out is upside down under the monkey bars.

It was such a pleasure to spend time on the site, making the most of their activities amidst the snow-topped mountains.  And knowing that once we've dashed about working up an appetite, it's almost certainly going to be cake-o'-clock very soon thanks to the brilliant efforts of the fabulous staff and their freshly baked chocolate goodies!
Kisses xxx
P.S. You can read more about our adventures by following these links: our day in Reykjavik is here, our visit to an amazing waterfall is here, and our scramble across a glacier is here.