If you explore old farm sites in remote areas in Iceland, you will find boulders, set at the boundary of a tun, a house field manured from a barn. This, in Icelandic culture, is a yard, or garden. A pretty special place. With a boulder.
These boulders are all chosen. Many have animal shapes. Many of those are ravens. Some are dwarf stones. Here on the old road up to Vatnjökull from the Fljótsdalur, it’s a raven, which is fitting, because when you walk up the trail, the ravens are watching the whole time, to see if you’re going to tumble down into the gorge and become lunch. it’s best to honour wise creatures like that.
In the 1970s, A-Frame housing, cheap and easy to build, was all the rage in Canada. We were being very modern and Scandinavian back in those years, two things we’ve given up. We also soon grew tired of living at a slant and having half our floor space unusable (not to mention bonking our heads). I lived in a house like the one below for two years.
After that, we all gave it up and invented the 1980s, which was all about rectangular solids painted to look like California, with Tudor trim. In Egilsstaðir, however, the 1970s are still alive and well, because, well, it’s Scandinavia and, also, they couldn’t afford to throw anything away. And it’s still modern! A lesson for us all.