mandag den 28. februar 2022

Á Íslandi 23

The prompts, we were given for Wednesday 16 were:





I have still many words for this continuing story. And if you enjoy reading it only half as much as I enjoy writing it, I will continue till I run out of words. This seems to be a long time yet, as I used NO words for this instalment. 

Finnbogi, Marit, Monica and Knud went through the portal to get Walther. Monica had brewed a sleeping draught and all were armed with the best hexes and counter-spells they could get.
The rest of them waited in apprehension.

Susan sat next to Ella, and they told one another of their life, Susan told of her children, they both told of their work and Susan recounted how she found her magic again and what had happened since. Suddenly Susan remembered what Sandra has said and asked Ella: "Do you know a woman called Klara Weber?"
"Klara?" Ella said, "Yes I do. She is a librarian in Schiltach: Why do you ask?"
Because she's Aamu. Do you remember her from the Farm?"
"Yes I remember her. She was Finnish, very quiet, one of the smart ones who listened more than she spoke, and then she was one of the red ones."
"In the beginning she was more Lis' friend than mine," Susan said, "but we studied wandsinging together, and I got to know her quite well. She was a fabulous friend in need.  Did Walther know her do you think?"
"No, I don't think so. He was not much of a reader. Now, thinking back, I can see that he befriended only people, he could use in one way or another. I really feel like I just woke from a nightmare."

The children began seeping down into the hall for the final cake and a cup of tea or glass of juice before the Mál sameinast was cancelled at the end of the day.
Rasmus sat with his two girls at a table near the entrance and listened patiently to Roseanne's recounting of a computer duel between herself and Little Susan, while still having half an eye on the door to the portal room.  Finally they returned, Monica and Knud almost dragging a befuddled Walther between them. Mary raised her head and looked at Walther: "Papa," she said, "That man needs his head tickled too, and phew, he stinks. Has he been using Mum's yucky perfume, you think?"
"Finnbogi!" Rasmus called."Come over here, please."
"Yes, just a sec," Finnbogi replied and soon came over to them.
"Mary," Rasmus said, "Can you please tell Finnbogi what you said about Walther?"
"That sleepy man Monica and Knud helped to bed just before."
"Oh yes," Mary said, wrinkling her tiny nose. "He stunk. Just like Mum did. She said it was her perfume which I did not like. But why did that man go and use Mum's perfume. And he need to have his brain tickled too. He's like me and Roseanne inside now, No not like ... more like another itch. I can't say. He needs tickling."
"Mary, how old are you?" Finnbogi asked.
"Almost six," she answered, "I'm a big girl."
"Yes you are," Finnbogi replied. "Can you tell me a bit more about your mum's perfume?"
"Sometimes ..." Mary said. "Sometimes mostly when Mum was in the kitchen, I did not like her smell. I told her, and she said it was her perfume, that small girls did not like that perfume. But Roseanne never could smell anything. Mum kept on putting on the smell even if I did not like it. And she used it more and more often. Then we caught the flu. Mum's perfume bothered me very much. But after she gave us the pink medicine, I could not smell it any more. But now I can smell it again. Can you tell why the sleepy man had put on Mum's perfume?"
"Mary, you know you're a witch, like your Mum and Papa and Roseanne, don't you?" Finnbogi asked.
"Yes. Like in the movies," Mary said, "I want to have a big cauldron, and a broomstick and a hat and a wand. But I don't want to have warts and straggly hair and be old and fat. I don't want a toad either."
Finnbogi laughed. "Sorry. I'm not laughing at you. But at something Susan told me, you know she said almost the same thing when she was told she was a witch."
Mary smiled. "She's a nice witch. She has no warts or a crooked nose. But she's afraid of broomsticks!"
Finnbogi laughed again: "Did you hear what Knud told us today, That some witches and wizards are better at one thing than another. Susan is not good at flying, she will say so herself if you ask her. But she's fantastic if you want to call an animal. I have seen her call a cow in the middle of a town. And it came, quickly. My special ability is to smell good or evil, nice people and bad people. And it seems that you can do this too. The perfume as you call it is not a thing from a bottle. You can sort of smell Walther's bad thoughts about us, who brought him here. Hang on a bit. I want to play a game with you." Finnbogi rose and returned with a bundle of wands and Susan, Rósa and Knud.
"Close your eyes," Finnbogi said, "place your hand here, over this wand and tell me if you can guess to whom it belongs. It's our wands, and then some we have borrowed."
"Easy." Mary said. "This is Susan's wand."
"Yes," Susan said. "It's mine."
"And this one?"
"Fine! This one?"
"Someone. A lady I don't know."
"And this"
"Rósa's wand."
"Yes it is!" Rósa said
"And this one?" Finnbogi asked.
"That's not a wand at all, just an old branch!" Mary said.
"That was a test, or maybe just to tease you a bit" Finnbogi said, "and it's perfectly true. I just cut it from a tree outside the door. What about this one?"
"Someone else and Mum!" Mary answered at once.
"Yes, And then this one." Finnbogi placed a new wand under Mary's hand.
She sat quiet for a little while. "This one ... I think it belongs to Knud."
"Perfectly true," Knud said. "It is my wand."
"And this last one?" Finnbogi said.
Mary took her hand away from the wand and said: "This one belongs to a lady I don't know. But sleepy man has used it. It stinks! A lot!"
"Thank you, Mary! You can open your eyes again. He turned to Roseanne, who had sat quietly, looking at what happened.
"Roseanne, Can you do this at all?" Finnbogi asked.
"I don't know," Roseanne answered.
Finnbogi looked at her and smiled: "You have been looking, Now try it out." He waited til Roseanne had closed her eyes shut, then placed his own wand at the table and guided Roseanne's hand to it.
"It's a wand!" Roseanne said. "It feels alive. But I don't know how to tell if it's Susan's or yours or what."
"Try this one then."
"Another wand, or maybe the same. I can feel the magic, but no persons."
"That is perfectly normal," Finnbogi said, "now try this one." He placed the branch at the table.
"That's so not a wand, that's the branch," Roseanne said in disdain. "You're teasing me as well."
"Guilty!" Finnbogi said. "No doubt you're a witch too, but we already knew that. All of us do know a wand from a branch, and a spell from a comics strip with our eyes closed. You have yet to discover your special kind of magic."
He turned to Mary again: "Mary, I'll tell you more of your magic tomorrow. Now everybody's here and just waiting for Knud to end the day."
Knud took his wand from the table and rose: "Dear friends," he said. "Today has been a long and exciting day. We still have many questions without answers - and some answers without questions. The only thing I can say is to repeat what a wise, old king once said: Tomorrow is a brand new day." He raised his wand: "And with these words, I bid you all good night. Mál skiljast hver frá öðrum!" he said swishing the wand.
... to be continued

Poetry Monday :: DNA

If you want to read some better  poetry,  Diane - who has taken over the hosting of  this challenge - and Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings - who also supplies us with topics - are writing wonderful, funny, thought-provoking, ingenious and honestly well written verse. Go and read.

  Karen of Baking in a Tornado has joined us in this crazy pursuit, and promises us at least a poem a month - may  we hope for more!

  SpikesBestMate often publishes a nice verse in the comments.

  Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey who has been a faithful participant, is slowly returning to blogging after her husband's passing from this world. Let's continue to send warm thoughts, good energy, and lots of prayers her way. And dare we hope that she will join Poetry Monday again.

Believe it or not - I almost don't.
I have now participated in Poetry Monday for 3 full years.
This is my Poetry Monday post no. 156

Today's topic is DNA - it's something to do with letters inside of me

There's somethbing inseide me, in my DNA
I think it's an error, I truly cant say
There's an A and a G
A C and a T
But I think the good Lord was a bit sleepy-eyed
As I was created, I simply can't hide.
That I've got the whole alphabet stuck inside.

So I've got to write, sometmies every day
That's how I'm created, I can't get away.
When sometimes I try
When I feel all dry,
I draw and I sew and I try to have fun,
But when I'm to sleep, all the words seem to run
And then a new story has simply begun.

- - - - -

Next Mondays topic is: Telephone (or Say Hello Day)

søndag den 27. februar 2022

Á Íslandi 21

The prompts, we were given, are:





For this part, that fits in between Á Íslandi 20 and Á Íslandi 22, I used Excitement.

Marit returned after a short while and said: "Come in, Sandra is pleased that you have come."
Susan, Knud and Marit entered the room. Sandra sat up in bed, propped up against a mountain of pillows. She smiled at them and stretched out her hands.
"Oh," Susan said. "It is so good to see you sitting up again. You look much better!"
"I feel much better," Sandra said, her voice firm, but still not loud. "That antidote really worked wonders. Some day soon you'll have to tell me the story of how on Earth you ever came to possess a gargoyle's tears. But today you had something to ask."
"Yes," Knud said. "And I'm happy to see you better too. But Martine said you knew about Aamu, the last of the wandsingers."
"You're sure she's still alive?" Susan asked.
"Yes she's still alive, I'm certain" Sandra said, "that if of course if she has not died in the last couple of months. She went to Germany and met a man and fell in love, or maybe she met a man, fell in love and then went to Germany. But any-old-how, she now lives in Shiltach ..."
"Shiltach? That's Ella's town!" Susan interrupted.
"Later!" Susan said, "she's part of the gargoyle-story, but I know the town - we even have a portal there."
"Wonderful," Sandra said. "She married Uwe Weber, and at the same time she changed her first name to Klara, seems she got tired of people not being able to pronounce her name."
"And now it's time you get out, this was enough excitement for one day," Marit said. "Sandra needs lots of rest."
"I'm tired of resting," Sandra protested, but even Knud could hear how shaky her voice had become.
"We'll return, I promise," Susan said. I have many tales to tell and much to ask. Get stronger. Then we return!"
They both shook Sandra's hand gently and left.

 ... to be continued

Sunday Selection -- Garden Time & Commuter Knitting

Lørdag var vejret som lovet: Havevejr. Selvom vi vågnede op til isblomster på badeværelset og rim på pytterne, så skinnede solen, der var næsten ingen vind og cirka plus 10 grader.
Jeg var i haven og plantede blomster. Og så var jeg på årets første cykeltur!

Saturday as promised, we had gardening weather. Even though we woke to frost on the window, later The sun shone, the wind was almost not blowing, and it was, well not hot, but decidedly not icy as it has been until now. I planted some flowers and rode my bike for the first trip of the year!

Rundt om min "nyplantede" lygtepæl satte jeg krokus og Balkananemoner.
Og to sten .. der skal altså være flere.

All around my newly "planted" lamp post I put Balkan anemones and Crocuses.
And two stones. More to come.

På indkøb havde jeg ledt efter "sære" krokusser, og det må de her da siges at være.
Der var også nogen hvide, der ikke ser helt hvide ud, men de var uden skilt.
While shopping, I had been looking for crocuses not the usual blue, white or yellow. I found these fitting my bill.
And I found some white ones as well, they did not look white-white, but a bit off-white. They had no label (or whatever these thingies in the picture are called).

Strik. Pendlerstrik igen-igen, bus- og togsæder er en god baggrund for strikketøjet. Og jeg strikker endnu et af mine vandhaneskørter. Denne gang i "restefarvet". Jeg har mindst en million bittesmå garnnøgler i alle regnbuens farver. Nu bliver de sorteret og strikket op med en brun/hvid hør/bomuldstråd som det gennemgående element.
Knitting is once again commuter knitting - bus and train seats set off my knitting nicely. And once again I knit a thing for the sink, using alternating short rows. I'm knitting in "left over colour", as I have a million small and not so small balls of yarn in many, many colours from an unending number of projects through the years. Now they are sorted in colour and knit, with a white/brown cotton/linen thread to keep it all together.

En mere undervejs, Garnet bliver bundet sammen og vundet på krydsnøgleapperatet. Herligt nemt at strikke fra i stedet for små, runde nøgler der smutter ud og triller rundt.
Another one just begun. The blue yarn is tied together and wound into cakes, easier for knitting than small balls jumping out of the bag.

lørdag den 26. februar 2022

Á Íslandi 22

No, I'm not getting old or confused or forgetting anything, and you have not overlooked a post either. This is not the next logical piece of the story. An instalment is missing. We should now hear what Sandra told of the missing Aamu. But this morning I had an idea for this here chapter.
Á Íslandi 21 is to follow later.

I used ONE words of the given prompts: Flee.

Here's the list of prompts from February 23rd.



 Finnbogi, Lis and Tage returned just before dinner was ready. They called Susan, Knud, Martine and Rósa to them.
"Yes," Finnbogi said, "as far as I am concerned, it is David. A reduced, bitter David, older than his years, but still him. By the way, I un-trapped the portals again. We might need them."
"Do we have a way of keeping him secure here?" Susan asked. "I just hate the thought of anyone - even him - spending more time than necessary in those cells."
"We could secure the smallest outhouse," Knud said. "The walls are thick, the door and lock are sturdy, and a one way-dome would make it magically impenetrable. He would not be able to flee from there."
"I think this needs a vote." Rósa said. "After all we're potentially endangering everyone here at Birch Manor."
Knud nodded and said: "I'll gather the old apprentices. Let's meet at the stairs leading to Sandra's room. She'll have to cast her vote as well."

Soon all 13 old apprentices were gathered outside. Fiona opened the door to Sandra's room so that she could hear.
Susan described her stay in the cell: "It is almost total sensory deprivation. You can't hear a thing, almost not see, and you do not know where you are or what will happen. I think I was in there for ten minutes, but it felt like days. It is inhuman."
 "But he's evil," Rósa said. He killed my family.
"No, Martine said, "It was not him. He condoned the killings, but he did not do it. Tristan did, as far as I understood it."
Sandra said, "Yes, Martine, "and maybe Torben. Remember, David was just a boy."
 "Just a boy, maybe," Finnbogi said. "but he caused strife and discord wherever he came."
"I'll go and get Ella," Susan said. "She knows him better than any of us."
"Then why did she not warn you?" Knud asked.
"She was maybe spelled," Susan said slowly. "Sometimes she began saying something, then she stopped as if she forgot, I just thought she was getting old."
"Get her!" Sandra said in as strong a voice as any of them had heard from her since she fell ill.
"A premonition?" Fiona asked.
"Yes," Sandra answered, sounding tired.
"Everybody off!" Fiona said. "It's time to eat, and time to give Sandra a draught, your hare-brained schemes are tiring her out."
"Tiring in a good cause," Sandra's voice was heard. "But no need to come back for my vote. I say bring him here!"

Susan hugged Knud, grasped a couple of buns and some slices of meat from the laden table and went off direction portal room. Soon she stood in the clearing in the darkening German wood. The dizziness was definitively getting lesser, Susan thought smiling, and walked towards Ella's cottage. Light was streaming from the windows. Susan knocked, and Ella hastily opened the door.
"Oh, hello Susan, I thought it was Walther, He has not returned from work yet."
"No," Susan said, "And he won't return. He is in Iceland right now. He used the portal and was trapped there. We need you to come to Denmark and  tell us a bit more about him."
Ella looked at Susan: "Did you kidnap my husband? Why? What has he done?"
"As far as we know, nothing yet," Susan said, placing her hand on Ella's arm. "And we did not kidnap him. He used the portal himself. Please trust me. But if he is what we think, then you, I and everybody is having a problem. I would like to say no more rigth now, and only explain this once, to everybody. Please come."
"I'm afraid to," Ella whispered.
"Be brave!" Susan answered. "Remember the baker from town, remember Granny, Remember Corinna, my gargoyle. Be brave for them"
"Is my Walther a skinturner?" Ella said terrified.
"Come with me," Susan said, "I have a story to tell, but it's not my story, and I really, really want to tell it only one time."
Ella took Susan's hand. "I'll come. But I can't go through the portals alone, you need to take me."
"I will, and I won't let you go!" Susan said squeezing Ella's hand.
While Ella dressed, Susan munched the buns and meat. She was thirsty, but something warned her against drinking the water. Instead she took a sample in a small vial.
"Do you have your own well here?" she asked.
"Yes we do, and when I was small it was the very best water, I knew. When I returned to live here with Walther it did not taste as good. But memory is a bad master, as Walther always said, when I complained."
Together they walked through the dark woods and Susan used her wand to light their way. Ella grasped Susan's hand as they went through the portal to Iceland.
"What a ghastly place," Ella said. "I feel as if I'm buried alive here."
"It's not a nice place to be, no," Susan said, shaking her head to clear it. "When we were young, it was more welcoming, with carpets, paintings and such. Now only the bare bedrock remains. Let's get on, this is like a central station, where the lines cross."
She pulled Ella into the corridor, down it and into the next portal room. Then they went through the portal to Birch Manor.
"Here we are," Susan said.
The others had eaten and the children had packed off to the only room where digital connections were possible at Birch Manor. Susan and Knud had decided that Smart-devices were counterproductive to the teaching of witchcraft and scrambled the waves apart from in what they called the office. Now all the children had gone there to be on SoMe and play intricate games against one another.
All the old apprentices and Martine were waiting for them, even both Fiona and Marit were present. "Sandra's fast asleep," Marit said. "And sleep is still the best medicine."
"This is Ella!" Susan said, and Ella made a sketchy bow. "Please all sit down while I talk.Yes you too, Ella. I am going to tell a long and tangled tale, and if anyone can semja or copy it for the archives, and for My, Helge and whomever else to read I'll be happy."
Rósa said: "Can do." I used to be the one taking notes, I think I still remember the spell. She rose and got pencil and paper from the storeroom. She placed a wad of papers in front of her, took the pencil and her wand: "Sem þú, Susann!" she said swishing her wand. "Say something, please Susan."
Susan said "Hello, my name is Susan." which was nicely written on the top of the first paper. "Fine, It works," Rósa said, "Just go on."
"I have to go far back in time," Susan said with a glance at the pen and paper which did their job, as far as she could see. "When we began studying at the Unicorn Farm,  all was not idyll and flowers. Some of the apprentices, led by one boy, had the idea that only children from magical parents could be expected to do magic, or at least being good at it. It irked him that Fiona was as good a flyer as she was, that I could call animals, any animal, better than him, and that My could whip up a potion and do it right each time. This idea is, I suppose, as old as Adam and Eve. If it had stayed with rivalry, competition and such, we of non-magic parents could have fended for ourselves and kept our own. But it turned into harassment, peaking for the first time at the broom racing in our first summer, where that boy and a bunch of followers hexed and sabotaged the brooms, leading to near fatal accidents. The teachers took it seriously, and did a lot to set him straight. We thought he was brought to better ways of thinking, but in our third and last summer a foreigner arrived from Belgium. He and some of the professors and apprentices, led by the boy, now young man, began a reign of terror at the school, planning to overtake first Denmark, then all of the Nordic countries by means fair or foul. We, that is some of the teachers, including Martine, and a handful of us apprentices, stopped them at the cost of our own magic. Unfortunately, as we only recently realized, the sister of the foreigner was the mastermind behind it all, not the foreigner himself ..."
She looked at Martine who sat waving her hand to get her attention: "Please," Martine said. "Name them. Secrecy breeds fear, and we are done with fear."
"Martine is right. Secrecy does indeed breed fear. The apprentice, who led the others on, was called David Hansen. The two teachers were Torben Søeborg and Birgitta Svensson. The foreigner was called Tristan and his sister Eileen Teresa.
Teresa, as we knew her, died in Paris around 20 years ago. And as Teresa was not there when we killed the magic, her magic was still intact, albeit untrained. She had a daughter, and she taught her daughter, not well, but revenge is a strong motivator. This daughter, Liisa, married Hilde's son, Rasmus. Liisa sought revenge, but in her efforts to do so, she teleported from Copenhagen to Tromsø. She overstretched her magic doing so, and is now in a coma in the hospital in Tromsø.
We know for certain that Torben and Tristan died soon after the magic were taken from them, and we read in the papers that David died during a riot in Copenhagen eight years later. This we now doubt, as we suspect that Walther, Ella's husband is actually David in disguise. Walther, let's keep that name for now, tried to come here, or somewhere else via the portals under the mountain - that is where the portal from Ella's town leads. We had set the portals up as traps, and he is now in a stony prison under the mountain."
Susan stopped and had a drink of water. Then she turned to Rósa: "You can stop the semja now." When the pencil lay besides the paper Susan continued: "Now our quandary is: Do we leave Walther in the cell under the mountain, or do we bring him here? We have an outhouse with sturdy walls and a spell to keep him in. We should be in no danger. And of course we're going to search him and take his wand."
She turned to Ella.
"Ella, do you have anything to add?" Susan asked. "You ought to know him a great deal better."Ella shook her head in confusion. "I do not know," she said. "We moved to Granny's house mainly to get away from my siblings, as they did not like Walther. I loved him, and I trusted him. He always told me that he felt he was simply not good enough for the smallest and prettiest of the bunch. His magic was not much, I always found this an asset, as I have none of my own as the only one in the family. He was always a bit circumspect, feeling inferior to and I suspect jealous of my siblings. As I said, in the end, when granny died, we moved to her cottage. I still spoke to my sisters often, but we did not visit."
"What did Granny think of Walther?" Susan asked.
"She was old, senile, but she did not like him very much,"
"And you did not trust her either?" Susan asked. Then she turned to Fiona. "Is there anything left of that antidote, that Sandra does not need? Then I think Ella could do with a sip. Finnbogi, please smell this water." She handed him the vial, she had filled in Ella's house.
"It stinks!" Finnbogi said simply.
"Ella," Susan said, " I don't know how to put this. but I think you have been used, gaslighted and generally abused."
"But why?" Ella said vehemently, "I do not have any magic, I can't do anything for crying out loud!"
"No, exactly. You are thus unable to find him out. And if Walther is really David, he knows that I would try to find you, if I ever had my memory and my magic back!" Susan said.
Fiona returned with the antidote. "I wonder if this is an antidote to any and all potions?" she said, and poured a small glass for Ella.
Ella looked at it, sniffed it and looked up at Fiona again. "This smells and looks just like one of Granny's potions," she said. "Somehow it reminds me of Susan as well. As she was when first we met. Well in for a lamb, in for a sheep. Cheers!"  And then she drank it up. All looked at her in silence, Rasmus very intensely.
"Wow," she said. "My head feels clearer now, It feels a bit like I have been sleepwalking for a long, long time and now, finally is really, truly awake."
"Do you know what's in it?" Susan asked. Ella shook her head, and Susan said: "Cerinna's tears. I kept them hidden all those years, now I'm so happy to use them."
"Well, yes, urm ..." Ella said. "Now I have to say something that's not easy for me." She looked around. "I know all you old ones. It's strange to see you old and grey like me, when in my memory you're still the children you were when we met. But I trust you on the evidence of those memories alone. Because now they are growing in my mind. And I remember David and Torben, and Tristan ... and I remember Teresa, too. I have met her many times since. She often came visiting. Walther ... he is David, I think so too ... told me she was a remote cousin of his. And that she did not like magicians. Now that was a lie, as I often saw them cast spells together. But he, no they, made me -- forget? not notice? not care?" she ended on a confused note. "Walther has indeed been lying to me, gaslighting is a suitable expression."
Monica rose and smelled, then carefully dipped a finger and tasted it.
"Aided by this potion in the water," she said in disgust, "you could not help it."
"I feel dirty, soiled, abused. Sad and angry at once. I'd say let him rot in that cell under the mountain to the end of his days," Ella exclaimed. "On the other hand, we need him here, to get the truth, all the truth out of him. Wring him dry and ..." she began crying and Rasmus went over and held her close.

After a short while, Rósa got up: "I suggest a vote, a simple count of  hands will do."
Knud rose as well: "All in favour of bringing Walther here. Raise your hands."
Almost everybody did.
"And those against," Knud said. Only Rósa, Finnbogi, and Rasmus raised their hands.
"Anyone abstaining?" Knud asked. No hands rose. "Then it is decided. We bring Walther here."

... to be continued

fredag den 25. februar 2022

Gode nyheder -- Good News

Efter sidste års ulykkelige slutning er der håb forude
--  UgleTV --
After last year's unhappy ending there's hope anew.

Og lørdag bliver det havevejr ifølge DMI/Bedre Vejr!
and Saturday DMI / BedreVejr (Better Weather) promises gardening weather!

Á Íslandi 20

The prompts, we were given, are:





I just carry on, but I did not succeed in using any of the words

Also as every morning after breakfast, Rasmus took the portal back to Tromsø to visit his wife, Liisa at the hospital, and to see if the doctors had any news for him.

During lunch, Rósa, Heidi, Martine, Hilde, Marit and Knud sat at the same table.
Heidi said: "All the children that are old enough, need wands. We have only given wands to the original apprentices and a few of their children."
"How old is 'old enough'?" Rósa asked. "I totally agree, by the way, and I'm more than ready to do my share of wandsinging. But is there a legal age for wands?"
Martine looked at her: "How old were you, when you got yours?"
"13," Rósa answered, "but My was only ten. She was the youngest of us all, she was still only ten at the first Easter fire."
"Was she too young?" Martine asked.
"No way!" Rósa said.
"So," Martine said, speaking slowly, considering her words, "maybe it's not a set age. Maybe we need some kind of test. Like for teleportation?"  
 "That might be the answer," Rósa said. "First thing Saturday, when My and Anna has arrived, we wandsingers have to talk this over with you and Sandra." She turned to Marit. "Sandra will get well again, won't she?"
"She will," Marit answered, "She might never get her old strength back, but we have no lack of willing and eager hands and feet here. She'll have to not overdo it for some time yet to come. Actually her impatience and willingness to react on her premonitions are her worst enemies. We'll fill her up to here," Marit held her hand level with her throat, "with strengthening potions. She is strong, so given nothing untoward happening for the next while, she'll make it. She should be able to come down and participate in a friendly discussion on wands and  wandsinging Saturday!"

Rasmus, Lis, Tage and Susan all returned at the same time, almost erupting from the portal room into the dining hall.
They gathered at a large table with all the other old apprentices and Martine. While eating, Rasmus first told of Liisa's condition. This was quickly done. No changes in her condition or strange brainwave pattern. Physical exercises had been added to her regimen to avoid loss of muscles. In short nothing new.
Lis, Tage and Susan meanwhile had news. Lis spoke for them all. "We went to the portal complex under the mountain. And we found a way of seeing the prisoner without being seen. Tage and I looked first, and the Susan, who  confirmed, that it was Walther, Ella's husband whom she met in Germany, But Tage and I both had another person in mind upon seeing him. Do you care to guess?"
Knud looked up, and so did Martine: "You first," Knud said.
"David?" Martine asked.
Knud nodded, and so did Lis and Tage.
Susan said: "Well, I do not know. It could be him, but so could a lot of other men our age. 50+ years changes a person. Is there any way we can tell. I mean a magical way?"
"Every person has a unique 'feel' to me," Finnbogi said. "That's an innate part of being a 'red' wizard. Like Rasmus found Hilde's wand mum-like, I can always 'feel' who you are. If I put my mind to it that is. It's hard, using rather a lot of energy. But if I still remember him, and if he still 'feels' the same ... I do not know is the simple answer."
"I suggest that you, Lis and Tage go back and look at him," Knud said. "Then if Marit and Fiona think it OK, Susan, Martine and me should go and find out Aamu's whereabouts from Sandra."
"Yes, I agree," Susan said. "We have to find her, if not for anything else, then to be assured she has not been helping - or used by - Liisa and Walther. You can sniff me when I return home from her, if we find her that is; can't you, Finnbogi?"
"I sure can, and Rasmus can help me. He seems to be keen on the smell of black magic," Finnbogi answered.
Monica looked out through the window: "It's still raining hard, no flying or herbing this afternoon. I'll  be happy to show a simple potion to everybody, and speak some of materials, and the importance of using the right stirring rods."
"Yes just tell about some of our former mishaps," Susan said smiling, "but not enough to undermine our authority."
Then Susan rose and so did Knud. "Marit how says you, Can we speak to Sandra now?"
"I'd say yes," she answered, "but I go with you and speak to her and Fiona. It's almost time for me to replace her anyway."
Finnbogi, Lis and Tage also arose. "Phew, Tage said, I don't look forward to yet another trip through the portals, but what must be done, must be done. At least we've eaten well."
"Yes, it can be felt, tasted, smelled, and savoured that Hilde is here, I'll be sorry to see her leave once the holiday's over. But..." Knud said.
"Nisser!" Martine said. "We could sure use some, but how? And can that be done again? I think Gilvi had a special deal with them."
Rósa said: "Finnbogi and I have to look into this, I have an idea of where Katla, the young Icelandic Nisselady might be found. So maybe, just maybe. But later, not now."
Everybody went their way, Knud and Susan followed Marit over the yard and up the stairs to the rooms where Sandra stayed. Marit bade them wait and slipped inside.

... to be continued

Fredagsfrustration - hæveautomater -- ATM's -- Updated

     Denne gang en mindre, og dog irriterende én af slagsen.
     Og undskyld for at udgive og så hive dette indlæg ned igen. Jeg havde glemt, at jeg allerede var kommet med én Fredagsfrustration. Og én Frustration pr. fredag må række 😉

     Uglemor kan godt lide at betale med kontanter, derfor hæver hun troligt penge i en hæveautomat, for at kunne betale i diverse butikker. Men hver evig eneste gang får hun mindst to femhundredekronesedler, for det meste tre og nogengange hele fire styks. Og forleden fik hun oven i købet en tusindkronekroneseddel. Det er ellers en seddel, bankerne fraråder os at bruge på grund af risikoen for falskmønteri. Man må dog regne med at den er ægte, når den kommer ud af uautomaten.
     Men hvordan skal Uglemor bære sig ad med at få mindre sedler ud af automaten? Den eneste løsning, der falder hende ind, er den let molboagtige at hæve et mindre beløb adskillige gange.

-- 💵  💰  💶 --

   This time a minor, yet annoying one of its kind.
  And sorry to have posted and un-posted this post last Friday already. I forgot that I had presceduled one Friday Frustration already. And one Frustration per Friday has to suffice 😉

   Unlike the majority of Danes, MotherOwl likes to pay in cash, so she regularly withdraws money from an ATM to pay in various shops. But every single time she gets at least 2 five hundred crown notes, mostly as many as 3, sometimes even four. And the other day she even got a thousand kroner note. This is our biggest banknote and one the banks advise us not to use because of counterfeiting. But you have to assume it's genuine when it comes out of the bank.
  But how will Uglemor manage to get smaller notes out of the ATM? The only solution she can think of is the slightly pea-brained one of withdrawing a small amount several times.
Her er en 1000-kroneseddel for dem der har glemt hvordan sådan én ser ud.
And a thousand kroner note for those who never saw one.

1000 kroner is approximately 135 Euro, 194 Canadian Dollars, 210 Australian Dollars, 152 American Dollars or 112 British Pounds.

And today, getting out a new portion of cash, I found some kind of solution. If you ask for an amount of money, NOT the standard solutions given at the ATM you have an option to choose how you want them. From now on MotherOwl is going to get 2200 kroner instead of the usuual 2000. 🤑

torsdag den 24. februar 2022

Á Íslandi 19

The prompts, we were given, are:





I just carry on, and used
Smash and Anyway.

"Now someone has to go there and see who it is. When that is clear, we discuss what to do," Finnbogi said
Lis and Tage began speaking at once.
"You still do that?" Susan asked exasperatedly. "Lis, please speak."
"We go there?" she said. "I am curious to see that portal place, I promise I won't use any of the portals, but I always wanted to see a Portal Major."
"You knew about those?" Finnbogi said. "I thought I was the only one."
"You forget that my forebears back from time immemorial have been mages," Lis said. "Oh it feels so good to be able to say such things for fun again."
"I think I have to go with you," Susan said. "I suspect Walther of using the portals."
"Walther? Who's he?" Lis and Tage again spoke simultaneously.
"Argh!" Susan said, "I feel like smashing something. You're hopeless. Walther is Ella's husband, I met him while visiting her in Germany, in order to find the antidote. He's kind of fishy, Rasmus and Finnbogi say that he stinks - magically spoken, that is. Anyway, I'm going with you."
Heidi said: "Can I come too?"
"Nope, Fiona said, "you're not going. Portal travelling is not good for you yet. Besides, we need you for teaching."

"I bow to the healer," Heidi said. "What is today's program?"
Knud answered. "In ten minutes, when the tables have been cleared, we gather. After Mál sameinast the program depends largely on the weather. The weather forecast promises, or threatens, rain soon. So, Icelandic language is first, then I think Heidi should give a demonstration of transformation with a little theory. After lunch if the weather clears, flying lessons and herbs? Fiona how say you?" Fiona nodded "Else simple potions, and healing. We keep it simple and all together or in random groups until everyone has arrived.
"I think we have to meet, all of us and soon." Hilde said earnestly. "As soon as possible. When can this be?"
"Apropos which," Susan said. "Does anyone have news of Helge and Anna? When will they arrive? And should someone go and ask My to come earlier? And .. Oh ... all this chaos have totally made me forget Frank and Freja - that's Sarah's son and his wife. They have four children, Janet, Peter, Carla, and baby Thora. What is today? I'm getting behind with all what's happening."
"Today is Thursday my dear," Knud said.
"We have a little more than one week until we got to be back at the museum," Rósa said. "We also still need to discuss if anything can be done for Kirstin."
"And we still have to find Aamu as well. But Sandra knew something, now she's hopefully getting better, I can ask her," Susan said.
"And my children, and Olav and Monica's, Marit and Jan's children ..." Hilde said.
"But not now, Knud said. "Now we have to get up and make ready for the gathering. First things first."

Knud rang the big bell outside the dining hall, and when all had gathered, he cast the Mál sameinast. Then he spoke: "Today we're going to start teaching and learning of magic here at Birch Manor. The first lesson will be Icelandic language for beginners. Who here speak Icelandic already?"
Rósa and Finnbogi raised their hands, Marit and Jan looked at one another and hesitatingly raised their hands as well.
"We have been travelling to Iceland for all our summer holidays since the children were small. We have been taking lessons too," Marit explained.
"Great" Finnbogi said. "I just realized that my knowledge of Icelandic grammar is faulty. You can help!"
"It's always like that with your own language," Rósa said.  
Knud looked to the sky and said: "Everybody inside in the hall. Find a place on a table, books will find you!"
While Finnbogi and Rósa taught everybody to count to 20 in Icelandic, Hilde made the notebooks and pencils soar through the air. Roseanne and Mary sat on either side of their father and looked so happy and smiling, that Hilde could hardly get her eyes off them. Slowly the old apprentices, now teachers-to-be left the hall and gathered in a big classroom.

"We have to think and plan," Knud said. "Susan, Lis and Tage you leave now to go trough the portal to Iceland and find out who's there. The rest of us must try to do some thinking as to who is where and how to carry ion from here. Now Marit is with Sandra, Rósa and Finnbogi are teaching our children and grandchildren, everybody else is here." He looked around at his old co-apprentices Heidi, Monica, Hilde, Knud, Fiona, Olav, Jan and Martine their old teacher.

 . "We need to get an overview over who and how many we are." Knud said. He hung a giant paper on one wall, and had it partition itself into a humongous grid with 19 rows and 4 columns. Then he began writing the names of the living apprentices in the first column. In the next column he added their partners and marked those in silver who were married to one another; himself and Susan, Olav and Monica, Marit and Jan, He turned to the others once again: "The next two columns will be for our children, and their partners, spouses, sweethearts ...  whatever. The next one again for their children, our grandchildren. To make it easy for me, please write in your own kids and caboodle, like I do it now" he said smiling, adding his and Susan's six children with spouses and children. Below the grid he added Sandra and Martine.
After those present had filled in the empty cells, he filled in Sarah's children and their families. He thought for a short while, then he swung his wand, and the names, he touched, turned green. "Those are already here," he said touching his own name, then Susan, Hilde, Fiona, Rósa, Finnbogi, Marit, Jan, Olav, Monica, Lis, Heidi, and Tage. "And of course Sandra and Martine. Then to those, we know where are," he said touching the names and painting them yellow: "My and Helge are liquidating their shops, Anna is working, and will come Saturday, Sarah is incapacitated, Kirstin is handicapped, but we will see what can be done as soon as the worst fracas is over and done with.  Only Aamu is totally missing," he finished, touching her name and making it red.
And soon as the grid was filled in as well as could be done, My's children were still missing, and nobody knew if Helge had any.
He swung his wand again and the names took on colour. Finnbogi and Aamu were the only red ones, Marit and Fiona the only yellow ones,  Of the ones actually at Birch Manor Monica was the only blue one, the rest were a fairly equal split between green and purple.  
Finnbogi and Rósa came back: "Now everyone able to, can count to 20 in Icelandic." "That was our first lesson too, Hilde said. And they all went into the dining and study hall.

Knud kept standing, while the other apprentices and Martine sat down at the table next to him.
"As you might or might not know," Knud began, "magic comes in schools. It's easier to explain like this maybe: Some kinds of magic comes easier to some people. At Unicorn Farm we were assigned a colour, I don't know if they just invented the colour code or it had some history?" Knud turned to Martine, who shook her head. "I don't know either, it was Gilvi, Thora and the Kuusisaari twins who did much of the planning and so on. I only entered relatively late, I was the youngest back then," she said with a shrug.
"We won't assign colours to any of you just yet, Normally it's the first thing to be done, but this year is not normal," Knud said with a small laugh. "We're teaching grown-ups and children, total beginners and some that have an idea of what they are doing. But no matter what, we need teachers" Knud said. "And at least until Helge shows up I am the oldest," many of the old  apprentices laughed. Knud unrolled the big poster and hung it on the wall
"Well! Blue is for potions, and Monica, please stand up," Knud continued. Monica rose. "You have promised to teach us all potions until My arrives."
"Yes," Monica said, "until My arrives."
"Yellow is for flying and healing. Martine will continue with the flying lessons," Martine rose and was met with applause, most had already had the pleasure of riding or at least handling a broom under her tutelage.
"The healing part will me taken care of by Marit and Fiona, Marit is right now with Sandra, but Fiona please get up." She did and was met by energetic applause from Rasmus and his daughters and quite a few of the others.
"Green is for Nature magic, animals, familiars and such likes. Susan and I will have the pleasure," Knud said bowing to the collected wizards.
"Then Purple," Knud went on, "Purple is for Transformation and divination. Heidi is going to be master of transformations, and Jan will do divinations." They both rose and bowed, and was applauded. They sat down, and Knud continued again: "Then we have portals mastery, the Red ones, who also dabble in the finding out of good and evil. Finnbogi will come from time to time and give lessons and tuitions when he can for his work in Iceland." Finnbogi rose and had his applause.
"Now," Knud said, "I give the floor to Heidi. As it's still raining, we're not going on a field trip, but stay nice and dry here, looking and learning of transformations." He bowed to Heidi who rose.

... to be continued

onsdag den 23. februar 2022

Á Íslandi 18 -- Words for Wednesday -- 23 February

For the last time in 2022 the prompts can be found at  C. Lee McKenzie's blog.

More about the Words for Wednesday challenge can be read over at Elephant's Child's blog.

The general idea is to make us write and read what others wrote, and cheer along the other participants.

  This is also a challenge, where the old saying "The more the merrier" holds true, therefore:
Please, remember to follow their links, go back and read other peoples' stories. And please leave a comment after reading. Challenges like this one thrives on interaction, feedback and encouragement. And we ALL need encouragement. 
The prompts, we were given, are:




I just carry on, and only used the first four words.

Monica prepared the antidote, at the same time inaugurating the new Alchemy room. She was quite enchanted with the lavish premises, and happy to meet many of the old cauldrons, stirrers, rods, weights and ingredient containers, she knew from the Unicorn Farm.
"We used almost all the things, we found in the old well," Knud said hearing her exclamations. "Only the bottommost cauldrons had rusted through. We are happy that you are pleased."
"I am," Monica said, "very much so, but I am even more pleased that My will come down and take over the potions mastery. I and Olav are happily busy with the vine and party shop in Oslo. I suspect that Marit and Jan will come down here more than we will. We are a pair of homebodies," Monica added with a fond look in Olav's direction.

Next morning first thing in the morning Marit and Fiona went to Sandra's room with the antidote. All the residents of Birch Manor were gathered outside, or down the stairs, in the yard just below Sandra's room. All were quiet as mice. They all found  the wait eternally long. Small scurrying sounds could be heard from the staircase where Heidi, Tage and Lis stood together with their spouses and children and their children, Sandra's great-grandchildren, ranging in age from 11 years down to the 2 months old in Heidi's arms. Of course they all were hoping for Granny Sandra to get well again. Finally the door to Sandra's room opened and Fiona came out, wearing a huge smile. "Sandra is better, the antidote is doing its job. Later today we'll see if she needs to have a drink tomorrow as well. And now, please, Roseanne and Mary come here."  Rasmus came, holding one daughter in each hand with a firm, almost desperate grip. "I so hope it works!" he said.
"It worked like magic with Sandra ... Yes, Pippin, you may go in to your granny with that bouquet," she said smiling down at Lis' youngest grandson, who had gathered healing herbs in the meadow all morning. "Sorry, you two. Here's a good morning drink for each of you. You did not eat anything yet, I hope?"
"No," Roseanne said, "Dad said we were not allowed to, I have been thinking of eating all morning, but I have not et anything. It was hard!"
Mary nodded: "Me too, I gave Dad my candy yesterday, it was too tasty."
"Smart girls," Fiona said warmly, patting Mary's head. Then she gave each of the girls a small crystal goblet with a concoction shimmering in grey, green and gold.
"It looks like those colour changing candies," Mary said, "And it smells like them too. They are my favourite candy" She emptied the glass ant looked up at Fiona, then at Rosemary, then back at the glass. "I don't feel sick any more! I feel good, fantastic."
Rosemary smelled the potion as well. "Smells good," she took a tiny sip, "ahh, jelly beans," she said and slowly, savouring drank it all. She looked at Fiona wih big, round eyes and smiled: "Yes! I do not feel yucky any more. I have almost forgotten how the pink medicine tasted. It feels so good!"
Rasmus placed his hands on their heads "Do I still tickle or itch your brains?" he asked. "No, Dad, you do not tickle my brain any more," Mary said, "It just feel nice, like ... like a brushing, very soft."
"Oh dad," Roseanne said, "I .. I think I'm going to explode."
"Was it that bad?" Rasmus asked, "you never told me."
"No," Roseanne said and Mary just shook her head.  "It was ... I had ... I almost forgot how it was not to feel sick," Roseanne said finally.
Fiona looked at her "Just like when you get used to a bad smell, and then goes outside in the fresh air?"  
"Yes that's it!" Roseanne said and Mary nodded so much Fiona almost got dizzy looking at her.
"I'm afraid I'm a down to earth man," Rasmus said. "But I am hungry!"
Everybody laughed, and Susan said: "Well then it's a luck that breakfast is ready in the dining hall."

While they sat, enjoying the last of the crumpets and tea, and the children seeped away to play outside, a shrill note broke the relative peace and quiet of Birch Manor.
"The portals!" Finnbogi said. "Someone used the portals to Iceland and is now trapped under the mountain."
"Oh, no," Susan said. "I hope it's not My or someone easily scared. Those cells are terror inspiring. And how do we get there when they are set as traps?"
"The Birch Manor one is not," Finnbogi explained. "One, I had to return here, Two, we have control over the portals here, and three, we had to be able to go there once that alarm sounded."
"Yes, I see. Of course," Susan said. "What now?"

... to be continued


The kangaroo is a wallaby and it has been living in the wild on the island of Lolland for years. The animal association comments that it is totally possible for a kangaroo to survive in the wild in Denmark, eating grass, sprouts, herbs, bark, leaves and so on, and it looks well fed and fit. The only problem would be hard winters where a kangaro could suffer frostbites on ears and tail.

Picture - TV2-øst                                        More pictures  - TV2-Øst

Normally kangaroos geting loose in Denmark, meets with a car sooner or later, resulting in its demise. This one is one smart kangaroo survivng for years now.

tirsdag den 22. februar 2022

Á Íslandi - 17

And still I have not used all the prompts, we were given for Wednesday 16, so I continue.
The prompts were:


For this instalment, I used
solace. Tomorrow is Wednesday, with a new crop of words. And I hope to continue with an instalment a day, but I won't promise anything.

Marit soon sat absorbed in the notes and books and Susan leant back against the wall and relaxed. She was on the verge of sleep when Marit gave a loud yell: "I got it, I found it! Here it is. A potion of purple dreams!"
"What a strange name," Finnbogi said, and Marit began reading with great trouble, and read the words twice, three or even four times before she hit the right one. Then Susan chased the sleep from her eyes and offered to read aloud.  Susan began reading the strange words and translating from German at the end of each sentence: "Trank der lila Träume. Wie man die Magie zum schlafen bringt und Menschen schwach macht; meaning Potion of purple dreams. How to make the magic sleep and people weak."
"Who would do this?"  Fiona asked.
"It seems my wife would," Rasmus said in a toneless voice.
"Sorry," Fiona said. "I did not think before I spoke. I'm a healer, I just can't imagine inventing a potion like this. Susan please read on, and let's find out how to counter it if it's possible."
Susan continued: "Zutaten, Drachenblut 1 Prise. Lila Fliedederblüten 1 Lot. Diese gut mengen und in ein Vierling zerronnene Butter mischen. A pinch of dragon's blood, 1/32 pound lilac flowers, purple variety, mix well and add this to a quarter of a pound melted butter. Let me see, we do not need this  ... let something ... Silber und Kupfer, blah blah blah ... Ruhen lassen ... Ah, here, Gegenmittel oder -gift, that means antidote, Tränen einer magischen Kreatur .. Tears of a magical creature in pure white wine. to be taken in the morning before you eat anything else. Repeat for up to four days if necessary. That's not too hard."
"You forget we're not at the Unicorn Farm any longer. The only magical creature we have access to is the disappearing dormice. And I doubt they cry even if we pinch them." Fiona said.
"Yes I forgot. But wait, Cerina, the gargoyle, her tears. I wonder if I still have them." Susan jumped up and almost overturned a chair in her haste to get to her bedroom. She returned just as fast. "Yes! They were still where I put them these many years ago. These," She extended her hand and opened is, so that they all could see what she held in her hand;  something most of all resembling two grey, shrivelled marbles. "These are the tears of a gargoyle. If that is not exactly what we need now, I do not know what is!"
"Oh," ´Susan said. "Did Monica and Olav ever promise to come down, and what about Jan. I spoiled your birthday party by showing up, and I have kept you here and busy ever since."
"Dear Susan," Marit said. "You have not kept me here. I have stayed willingly and knowing what I did. I have phoned home several times in the very few days past. They are all coming via the portal tomorrow - they still can do this, Can't they, Finnbogi?"
"Yes, he answered, They use the normal portals from Oslo to here, no problem. It's only the ones under the mountain that are set as traps."
"I'll ask Monica if she can come here early. This potion is far too important for us to fumble trough. Do you remember the Sunshine potion?" They all did and laughed or smiled, at the memories.
"This is where I miss the old teachers most of all, and wonder if they felt as insecure as we do now. Let's find and ask Martine. Even though I'm loath to disturb her. She's having the time of her live teaching all our children and grandchildren how to handle and fly a broomstick." Marit said.
"Oh let's wait until tonight. The potion should be taken in the morning, the text said, and not a word of letting it rest. And I do not begrudge Martine the fun teaching," Susan said.
"Where should we keep the copy and all the other papers?" Knud asked. "Not even a bank vault is really safe from a wizard."
"In the trap rooms." Finnbogi said, "There's a cubicle for storing. It can be locked in such a way that you need three out of six persons present and answering a set of questions before it opens."
Susan copied the antidote recipe meticulously while the other discussed who should be the key persons.
In the end they agreed upon Hilde, Finnbogi, Rasmus, Rósa, Knud and Marit.
They left as soon as Susan had finished copying and returned an hour later with a small book.
"Gilvi had used the room already. It was keyed to me, Rósa and Hilde," Knud said. "He has left us this little book."
In the evening, after all the grandkids had been chased off to talk themselves to sleep,  all the adult wizards and witches of Birch Manor and Monica, Jan and Olav had arrived from Oslo early to help make the antidote, gathered in the dining hall.
Susan, Rósa and Hilde cast a one way-dome together, marvelling at the ease with which Gilvi and Thora had done the same half a century earlier.
"Now," Finnbogi said. "Let's see what Gilvi and Thora had to tell us. I Rósa and Hilde had to answer quite a lot of strange and funny questions in order to hold this book. He opened it and read: 'June 20th. To my future apprentices, now witches and wizards. If you ever read this pages, I know that the magic has been reawakened and that at least three of the apprentices we deemed trustworthy are still alive. We are, as you might guess Thora, Täthi and Taavi Kuusisaari, Martine Haugen and me, Gilvi. As I write these pages the magic is threatened by the greed of a group of magicians under the auspices of Torben Søeborg, Tristan van der Meer and his sister Eileen Teresa. The latter being the brain behind them. They have slowly ensnared more people at The Farm. First David Hansen, Birgitta Svensson; later, Josh Traustason, Marja and Josta Koivu, Bjørn Anderson and a few others. We have decided that we have to do something about it.
Next entry is from June 26. This has been the last week at The Farm. We have been busy teaching the apprentices we trust in, and a few of the uncertain ones a lot of what we would have had to wait until later. But tomorrow at the summer celebrations, I and the magic in our corner of the world is going to die." Finnbogi stopped reading and blew his nose. "You were right, Susan," he said, his voice raw with unshed tears. "He knew, they knew." He resumed reading: "Today Tähti and Taavi brewed a decent amount of Mondrian, and a small vial of the lethal antidote, which I will  drink soon. After the brewing we solemnly burned and buried Gryffon's Bestiary. I then emptied the jar of Mondrian into our well, and by tomorrow at the party all of us will have had enough." Finnbogi looked up, and resumed reading once gain. "June 27th or maybe it is already 28th. The deed is done. All the apprentices and teachers are placed where friends and families will soon find them. The wands are broken, the magic has died. I have destroyed the portals, and will destroy the last one as I go back to The Farm. I will try to save as many as the books and things by burying them in the old well. When that is done, I 'll burn down the Farm, and wait for death to claim me. My only regret is that Teresa was not at the party. I have warned the magic societies in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. I do not know whether they will listen. May the Light protect and bless us all."
Rósa spoke: "He was the bravest and best wizard that ever lived. We are going to work hard to make him proud!" All drank to this and Fiona added. "Thora, Täthi, Taavi and Martine showed great courage too. Even though they did not give their lives, they gave their magic. Without the solace of knowing that anything came form it or any hope of ever getting anything back."
Marine rose: "It was hard to eat and drink, knowing what it would do to us. But we choose freedom! And I would choose the same way again given the choice."
"We have been smarter than he gave us credit for," Knud said with a smile. "He told us almost nothing new in this touching testimonial."
"We can thank the ghost, Persephone, for this," Susan said. "Without her help we would never, ever have found the books in the old well."

... to be continued

mandag den 21. februar 2022

Á Íslandi 16

And still I have not used all the prompts, we were given for Wednesday 16, so I continue.
The prompts were:

For this instalment, I used no new words.

Susan packed a bag with a few necessary things, and a hand of bananas. Then she hurried to the portal room and jumped through the portal to Iceland. 'How good we insisted that Finnbogi connected these portals again,' she thought to herself fighting off the dizziness. The portals under the mountains were not scaring any more and Susan went quickly to the room bearing the name Schiltach over the door. She braced herself and went through. When she opened her eyes she stood in a clearing not far from the  small cottage where Ella's granny had lived. 'I wonder who lives there now,' Susan thought. 'Ella's granny can not be alive any more. Well I won't find out by standing here.' She picked up herself and walked the short distance to the door that held so many memories for her and knocked. The nameplate bore Ella's last name. An elderly man opened the door and said: "Guten Tag, kann ich Ihnen helfen?"
"Erm, ehh, Ja, bitte!" Susan said gathering together her German. "My name is Susan Thorsen from Denmark. I come looking for Ella. I know her from long ago. She said to visit if I ever come here again. I came, today. Her grandmother lived here. I thinked you may help me."
"Come inside," the man said. "She lives here."
"Here, in granny's house?"
"Yes. But now she's at work. Will you wait for her, and would you like some tea, you look tired."
"Yes please, I'd like both. I'm rather urgent." Susan said, mixing up the language.  
"Wait a minute. Susan you say. And from Denmark?" Susan nodded, suddenly feeling hope soaring inside.
"Ella told me a lot about you. Oh, sorry I'm her husband. My name is Walter, pleased to meet you. Are you one of us?"
"I am what ... oh, yes I am."
Walther drew his wand and cast a pell, Susan recognized as the Mál sameinast.
"Thank you," she said in Danish, "My German was getting rusty."
Walther smiled. "A bit! You were in a hurry, you said. I surmise you need our help in some way. Ella told she went to Denmark many years ago and found you, but that you did not know her, and did not know what you were."
"That's true. We slept as we call it for many years, but now we're awakening. Something bad has happened, and I need Ella's help."
"Let's go and find her, then. Tea can wait. She's working at a local hotel, her shift is over in half an hour. Then you can sit by the river and talk, while I do the shopping," Walther said, and opened the door to the passenger seat of his newly polished grey car for her. While they drove through the woods, Walther told Susan  "Ella's Granny died many years ago and Ella's parents are dead too. But all her sisters and brothers are alive. They all married and had children, only not us."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Susan said. She took a banana from her handbag and began eating. "Sorry. I always get so hungry from going through the portals."
"You used the portal? It's not a trap any more? That's good news indeed."
Susan's heart almost stopped as Walter parked the car at a green and white timber-framed inn with flowers everywhere. "Ella works here?" Susan said "This is the very inn I stayed at when I met her."
Susan got out of the car and looked up. And there, under the eaves a grey and green gargoyle figure hung. "Cerina," Susan whispered. (* see note)
Together she and Walther went into the inn. He embraced Ella, dressed in a dirndl-like dress still. "And my dear," he said, "can you see, who came to visit you?"
Ella looked at Susan and looked once again: "Susan. Is that really you?"
"Yes. It's me!" Susan said. "And what more is, I'm ME again," she said smiling at Ella.
"I'll leave you two to reminiscing," Walther said. "I think you won't miss me for some time."
Ella embraced him again and then turned to Susan: "Come let's sit on the terrace and then you tell me all about it," she said.
"I'd love to," Susan said, "and I will, but not now. We have a serious problem in Denmark." And as quickly as possible she told Ella of Torben, Tristan, the Mondrian at the summer party. their reawakening, the strange things happening and their growing suspicion, and final certainty of Liisa's identity. She told of Sandra, of Rasmus and her children and ended by asking what became of the copy of Griffon's Bestiary that her granny copied.
"Aww," Ella said. "what a story. We followed it a bit from the sidelines, but then so much happened here with granny and all, she fell ill, and died not much later. Then I met Walther. My oldest sister inherited this house first, and she took all the magic things, as I could not use them. Walter was disappointed, but well it is our granny and not his. I'll phone my sister and ask what happened to all those old papers."
Susan sat looking over the river and up at the gargoyle while Ella called her sister and spoke much and quickly for a long time.
She looked downcast when she finished the call. "My sister told me that all her books and notes were stolen not very long ago. Someone broke into their house and stole what they could find of magical things, not the cauldron and such, but rare ingredients, silver spatulas, all granny's books and notes. She did call the police and also asked the magical society for help. But none were able to say anything. Only one, an old wizard, told her that the thief was a woman from the North. She took that to mean the north of Germany, but Norway would be just as plausible."
"I feel doubly stupid now!" Susan exclaimed. "Of course it is Liisa. I just hope that some of the papers are in that bag of things Hilde found at Liisa and Rasmus' place. We might be able to find the rest with a thorough search of their house. I really have to get back. I'll send you a full report and photos and ... even better, why don't you come and visit us, won't you?"
"Yes I see. A visit is a wonderful idea. I would like to meet everyone again, and see all the children. I'll get Walther to take us home."
Walther came quickly and returned Susan and Ella to the small cottage in the woods. Susan spent a precious but short time reminiscing with Ella before she tore herself loose and hurried through the portals back to Birch Manor.

She returned, totally exhausted in the middle of the afternoon tea break. She grabbed a stack of muffins and cookies and sat herself in a a table in a quiet corner.
Knud came over and poured her a mug of tea, grinning broadly. "You're back. Wonderful. Did you find Ella?" Susan nodded, her mouth full of delicious muffin.
"We have been busy making classes and finding out who will teach what. I'll return later and hear more. Enjoy your break and get your energy back, you look like you need it," Knud said and tousled Susan's hair affectionately.
She sat eating her way through her loot, savouring Hilde's baking and the hot, sweet tea when Fiona and Marit, Rasmus and Finnbogi returned. They joined her at the table, and began eating as well. Soon Rasmus and Finnbogi looked at one another, and Finnbogi said: "Susan, you stink!"
"What!" Susan said. "Sorry, I took a shower this morning as usual, I have been busy, a trip through many portals and a talk with Ella and her husband. Now what kind of welcome is this?"
"No," Rasmus said, "It's not a physical smell. It's a magic one. You smell, I'm loath to say, as if you had been rubbing shoulders with my wife, Liisa. Whom did you say you visited?"
"Ella in Shiltach and her husband, Walther. Ella is not a witch, but everybody else in her family are. Walther is too, he cast the language spell at us there."
"Will you let me feel you," Finnbogi said. Susan nodded, and Finnbogi placed his hands on Susan's head. "Yes, male, he is evil. I wonder none in Ella's family has found him before now."  
"They are all potion-masters," Susan said, "and the Germans are not as all-round trained as we are. They believe in specializing. The portals! I told him they worked again. Can you make the ones under the mountain into traps again?"
"I will do so at once," Finnbogi said and rose.
While he was away, Susan drank her tea and tried to still her anxiety. Hilde came and joined them.
"What is the news about Sandra?" Susan asked, as much to think about something else as from genuine concern for Heidi's Mum.
"It is a curse," Rasmus said, "or maybe a potion. Something magical at least that's sapping her energy, leeching her magic and strength.. We did bring her here, and Heidi, the twins and all the rest will follow later in the afrernoon, when they have finished packing."

Hilde told Rasmus what his daughters had said about Liisa's pink medicine. "Could it be the same potion, only working more damage in an old, frail lady than in two healthy girls?" she asked.
"It could well be," Rasmus said. "Let's wait for Finnbogi to return. I feel hopelessly inadequate, I have so much to learn. Raw powers are not enough."
"You have learned much already," Susan said. "That realisation took me a year at The Farm."
Knud came back and sat down with a cup of tea. "Do tell of your visit to Ella's. Could she help us?"
Susan recounted the visit. And halfway through Finnbogi returned. He looked grey and worn, and bade Susan continue as she made a move and sat down silently and ate.
When Susan had ended her narration, she turned to Hilde: "Hilde, all the things, you found in Liisa's hideout, where are they?"
"They are here, in my backpack," Hilde answered. "Somehow I did not want to leave them unattended." She opened her backpack and pulled out an ordinary looking shopping bag. "Here they are. Let's have a look."
Inside the shopping bag were several old books, a leather box containing small, stoppered bottles with writing in flowing German Script, a bunch of old wands and silver stirring implements kept together with rubber bands and an assortment of strange, small objects marked with staves - the Icelandic, magic runes. In the bottom more, bigger vials were rolled into a woollen baby blanket.
"Ella's things," Susan exclaimed.
"And lots from our museum!" Finnbogi added.
Susan went through the books and wads of papers: "And here's the notes from Gryffon's bestiary!" she exclaimed triumphantly holding them aloof.
"Can I see?" Marit asked. "I have an idea what kind of potion could do the damage."

- - - - - -
* The story of Susan and Cerina the gargoyle can be found here: Susan in Paris.

We have a Kangaroo (No-Poetry Monday)

I just had to share the news. A kangaroo has been seen in the southern part of Denmark!
The owner has not been found, a local zoo has been asked,
but says that they count their kangaroos every morning, and are not missing any.
I wonder what this forebodes as the theme for today's Poetry Monday is
Just now I am too involved in Susan's story to rhyme.

A screenshot from the news.
Source: TV2øst.

søndag den 20. februar 2022

Á Íslandi - 15

And still I have not used all the prompts, we were given for Wednesday 16, so I continue.
The prompts were:


And for this instalment, I used

In the afternoon, Rasmus and Finnbogi were about to leave with Marit and Fiona to see Sandra at her house. On their way out to the car, Fiona stopped at the table where Susan and Knud sat talking to Martine, Rósa and Hilde.
"This is a bother travelling to and fro all the time. Could we bring Sandra and the whole caboodle here?" Fiona asked.
"I don't see why not," Knud answered, and Susan nodded slowly, thinking: "She could have the room over the old stables, where the principal had her office when this was a home for special needs people, It's out of the way, facing the road, where almost nobody comes. If Heidi, Tage and Lis have no objections, and it's medically advisable, it would indeed make life a bit easier for us all."
They left in Fiona's big car as it was big enough to have a person lying down inside it.

Hilde looked at the others and asked: "What do we do with Mary and Roseanne? Should they join in the teaching or not. and what will we tell them?"
"Well," Knud said. "Rasmus left with Fiona and Marit without doing or saying anything."
"We spoke about it yesterday, no this morning," Susan said. "He would like the girls to be taught with the others, and I agreed. It is not a question of if they realize what we - and they - are but when. And I'd like  them to be told, not find it out."
"I'll tell them," Hilde said. "But I'd like one other to come along, I think Susan would be the obvious choice, as you gave their father his wand."
All agreed on the suggestion and Hilde and Susan rose and went to the stable, where all the children were gathered, admiring yet another batch of new bunnies.
"Susan, if they keep reproducing this rapidly, we'll be drowning in rabbits very soon. Can you either sort them in male and females, or would you like me to tell them not to have bunnies any more?"
Little Susan answered: "I'll keep them in separate cages from now. Granny. I am going to have some help build them, but will do."
"Fine," Susan said. "I'll keep you to your word."
Hilde saw her two youngest grandchildren and called them to her: "Mary and Roseanne, please come here. I need to talk to you!"
"We did not do anything," Mary protested, "and if you talk to us, the others will run off again, and leave us alone with the babies."
"No, they won't," Hilde said. "Today we have planned a surprise for everybody at Birch Manor."
Susan clapped her hands, and slowly the 20 other pair of eyes sought her out. "Today we have a surprise planned for all the children at Birch Manor. And by 'children' I mean all children. My children, Hilde's children and their children, all the way from Nina, my oldest daughter, down to Heidi's youngest grandson, who is only a few weeks old. Now you all go and wash faces, hands and feet, change any dirty shirts, blouses, pants get the drift and make your parents do the same. We all meet in the dining hall in 20 minutes from .. NOW!" Susan said looking at her old fashioned watch.
"You two stay here," Hilde said, as Roseanne and Mary were on their way off too. "Your father is not here, and as I said, I want a word with you."
"We did not do anything wrong!" Roseanne repeated.
"No you did not. I know," Hilde said. "But I want to talk to you all the same. Sit down!"
Roseanne and Mary realised that they had better do as they were told and sat down on the bench next to Hilde. Susan sat at the other end of the bench.
"Do you have any idea what the other children are doing in their secret place?" Hilde asked. "And it's OK to say if you do. We know what they're doing, so you're not telling on them," she added.
"No," Roseanne said. "I do not know. I tried spying on them, but they seem to have disappeared."
"They have fun," Mary said. I can hear them laughing, but I can't find them. I always think I'll see them just around the corner, or in the next room, but they are not there."
"I'll tell you a secret," Hilde said. "We are wizards, all of us here, and you too."
"Like real wizards?" Roseanne asked. "I thought it was only something in the movies and books. Can you do magic?"
For an answer Susan drew her wand: "What is this?"
"A stick," Roseanne said.
"A wand, stupid," Mary said, pushing her older sister. "She just told us she's a witch. Ammirite?"
"Yes, you're right, Mary," Susan said laughing. She swished her wand through the air and the bale of hay next to the bench shimmered, moved, shifted and turned into a deer.
Then Hilde drew her wand. She also swished it, murmuring a few words in Icelandic and slowly soared up to the low roof, surrounded by blue sparks that danced and sparkled around her.
"Can I learn to do that?" Mary asked in wonder.
"Yes you can, but it is not all fun. Some of it is hard work. When first I tried it took me three days to learn how to make a pincushion into a hedgehog," Susan said, smiling at the memories. "And I nearly killed us remembering the wrong word for 'swallow' in Icelandic. That's the language of magic for us, and Finnbogi and Rósa have agreed to teach us. You'll have to learn a lot."
"And we have a small problem with you two," Hilde added. "You tell me you can hear the other, but not see them. Your father made your brains tickle yesterday, and I can't feel your magic at all. Something happened to it. Someone put your magic to sleep. We are all going to help you make it wake up."
"Mum did it!" Mary said. "It was that strange medicine she made us drink when we had that bad cold."
"Yes," Roseanne said slowly. "It tasted bad. It made me more sick. I still feel sick when thinking of it."
"Can you describe that medicine?" Hilde asked.
"It was pinkish," Mary said. "It tasted yucky."
"Yes pink," Roseanne agreed. "And yucky. Like Brussels sprouts and beer and, oh just yuck!"
"Bitter?" Susan said.
"Yes bitter's the word."
"If I did not know better, I would say it was some kind of Mondrian," Susan said.
"Yes, but it can't be!" Hilde said. "Gilvi got that bestiary. You told me, and I trust him to have placed it somewhere out of reach if he did not actually destroy it. We'll have to ask Martine if Thora ever told her anything."
Susan sprang from her seat and facepalmed: "I am a total idiot. There is another copy of Griffon's Bestiary. Ella's grandmother borrowed the book to copy it. I forgot! You take Mary and Roseanne to the meeting. I'm off!"
"Remember to bring something to eat," You're going through a lot of portals, I suppose."
"I will. And please tell Rasmus, Finnbogi, Fiona and Marit about our suspicion when they return."
Susan hurriedly found Knud and told him when she had just realized. "I'm off to Schiltach to speak to Ella. Now."
Knud just hugged Susan and held her close. "Take care, Sweetheart. I can't bear the thought of something happening to you," he whispered.
"Nothing will, I promise," Susan assured him and walked off towards the portals.

... to be continued

Sunday Selections -- Bits and Bobs

 Lidt billeder fra den forgangne måneds tid

-- 📷 --

Some pictures from the past month.

En strikket vandmelon til Storesøster  -- A knit watermelon for BigSis.

En smuk mølle set gennem et støvet vindue  --  A beautiful old mill seen through a dusty window

Purløgene spirer frem  -- The chives are sprouting

Og rabarberne er på vej op -- And the rhubarbs too.

Jeg fandt søreme en pil med røde gæslinger til mit røde bed -- A willow with red catkins for my red bed.

Vintergækker i trængsel -- Lots of snowdrops.

Garn, der skal vindes op, vaskes, bejdses og farves -- Yarn to me wound, washed, mordanted and dyed.

Farve fra stokroser -- dye from hollyhocks.

"Kikset er det nye sort" Valentinskage, en dag for sent, underligt knoldet og glasuren (den er grøn, altså) var lidt for stiv, for jeg løb tør for citronsaft. Men den smagte godt.
-- 📷 --
"Ungainly is the new black" Out valentine cake, a day late, it turned out lumpy, and the frosting (it IS green!) was made with too little liquid, I ran out of lemon juice. But the taste was great.

En smuk natsværmer, jeg kender ikke navnet -- A beautiful moth, name unknown.

Og sidst, men ikke mindst en fin blå glasting fra en genbrugsforretning
-- 📷 --
Last but not least, a beautiful blue glass thingie from a second hand shop.