Happy holidays!

Well, here I am again! I have been extremely busy with various matters and also a family trip to Iceland, where, to my delight, I was able to cross two things off my bucket list: the Northern Lights, and whales! Both well worth the wait, and the anticipation.


It was good fun being with all the family, getting suited up for all the activities on offer: the whale watching, snowmobile riding on a huge glacier, walking on the beaches and close to the amazing waterfalls, festooned with rainbows.

Iceland is a worthwhile destination, a stark, dramatic landscape totally different to what I, at least, am used to.

On the glacier

It was amazing sitting by a motel window, in the middle of nowhere, at 11.30 pm, watching a show I will never forget: illuminated curtains rising and falling, the colours fading and brightening in turn. Simply awesome.

Meet Nila (below), a 15m humpback whale recognised because the flukes of her tail are very white. She gave a display of tail slapping, and even breached for us in a breathtaking performance—imagine a double decker bus rising vertically out of the water. No photo, because I prefer to watch events live than be stuck behind my phone. Also I am a useless photographer. Photo below (as well as the minke whale above), courtesy of our captain, who had a proper camera.

Another year over, and the news continues to be horrendous. As usual, art provides relief, and I have had the privilege to see a lot of it, and immerse myself in the idea that humanity cannot be that bad if capable of producing such beauty.

Joan Mitchell

Amongst many others, a standout show was the one juxtaposing Claude Monet and Joan Mitchel at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.

Monet flowers

The frames had been taken off the Monet paintings, giving them a surprisingly contemporary look, and they had been placed in such a way as to both contrast with and complement the abstraction of Joan Mitchell’s wonderful works.


The three Monet paintings below were originally sold to three different American museums, and have never been exhibited together before. I will leave you with this peaceful image with all my best wishes for the festivities ahead.

10 thoughts on “Happy holidays!”

  1. I’m jealous of the whales, and the Northern Lights. But extremely happy for you that you got to see them on your trip. Have a wonderful Christmas, Marina.
    Best woshes, Pete. x


  2. Hope you will truly enjoy the holiday season and that we all will be able to live in a better world in 2023 ! Your posts truly have made the current year easier to bear . . . and the frameless Monet paintings are a powerful sight . . . thank you for sharing ! Northern Lights – you bring back memories of a tiny me tightly holding Daddy’s hand standing on a beach in Estonia and watching what frightened, thrilled and became part of my ‘religion’ for evermore . . .


  3. Wonderful experiences! A beautiful way to end the year and prepare for the new one.

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring 😊

    Happy Holidays Marina!


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  4. Happy holidays to you and yours, Marina! Your trip to Iceland sounds wonderful, and it’s lovely to see some of your pics. Art continues to be a source of solace for me as well, especially in the dark, gloomy days of winter – that Monet flowers painting is stunning! X

    Liked by 1 person

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