Sunday, 16 November 2014

And the winners are...

As you know I would normally put up my Photo on Sunday post today. Since it is Sunday today. But today (yes yes, too much use of today) it is also the day for the winners of my annual calendar give-away.

So, taking into account weather conditions in the Serengeti desert, annual rain fall in Helsinki and the amount of traffic on the road by my house, I decided to write each entry on a piece of paper, fold it up, mix all the bits of folded up paper up and then pick two! Blindfolded!!

Congratulations to the winners. As soon as the calendars arrive, you will be sent one.

Saturday, 15 November 2014


I already got the letter from the hospital over a week ago, but I just forgot to mention it. Besides, I haven't been online that much either. The good thing of course is that I now know with a 99,9% certainty what the problem is and if it is, I know the cure as well (hysterectomy)!

I suffer most likely from myomas (or uterine fibroids). That is not something I just came up with, my gp said it first. And seeing as it runs (somewhat) in my paternal side of the family, I am quite confident about that diagnosis. Of course it still doesn't explain the tennis ball (the gp after all didn't have an explanation for that), but it could just be an external one. Either way, I was referred to a gynaecologist. 

After a few days I got the letter in the post saying that they had evaluated the information they had received and thought it was necessary for me to be seen by a gynaecologist (!). I needed to be seen before the middle of December and now I have an appointment on December 9th, a week before their own deadline. 

Then earlier this week I got another letter. If I could please get in touch with the MRI people and get them to send the scan over to the hospital since they hadn't received it. They ought to watch more Sesame Street I feel (cooperate). 

In the mean time however there are plenty of other things to keep me busy. Work for a starter. My team leader activities, course work and tonight the annual company Christmas dinner. And then there are the lots of Christmas films to watch on television. Busy busy busy!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The slippery slope

Oil and water, speed and obstacles? No chance!
I had forgotten all about it: the slippery course I was due to take on Monday. Fortunately I saw it in time and managed to get on it. 

Working as a busdriver in Norway can be difficult at times. Especially during the winter months, when there may be snow and/or ice. It could get slippery. Of course I have driven in all sorts of weather conditions, but not so much on slippery surfaces. And it's not part of the Dutch curriculum either. Concerning driver's licence I mean.

So, when the opportunity arose to do some light training, I was in. And last night was that opportunity. First we got a bit of light theoretical training. Then we saw how much we would weigh at collision speed (several tons in my case, if driving over 80km/50mph). And I was asked to get in a lovely driver's seat with a seat belt. I was then pelted down a slope and came to a very abrupt halt. It might have been only 7km or 4 miles an hour, but I can still feel it today. Imagine what it would do at higher speed!

But we gave it a go!
But then the main event. There were two to three on every bus and off we went. We started off slow and everybody managed to stop. But we had to drive faster and faster and after a while they put some obstacles in our way as well. Nothing major and at low speed we managed to avoid those, but the higher the speed got, the deader the traffic cones were!

It was great fun, but I learned a great deal as well. When the roads do get slippery: slow down! Anything over 50km or 30 miles an hour is too much! Especially if you have to swerve to avoid something. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-32

Yesterday the weather was quite nice after a very very very blustery Friday. Today the weather has returned to its blustery form, this time however it includes a lot of rain as well. Needless to say that going outside is not something I am looking forward to. 

So, something else was needed. Like making 'peppernuts'. Or ginger nuts. Spicey nuts. There are no nuts involved at all and precious little pepper. Cinnamon, nutmeg and a few other spices however... My kitchen smells fantastic!

I had decided to make two batches at once, which was not too good in the making the dough department, but I managed in the end. Then I had to make small balls of the dough. Well, from a far distance perhaps...

Then they had to go into the oven. Three batches in total. Twenty minutes wait and one batch was done. So, about two hours from beginning to end. Making the house smell like a bakery and my stomach grumble.

I didn't eat them. Only the ones in the small bowl. Plus one extra. This afternoon I am invited to a collaegue's home for 'komler'. Not really any clue as to what it is, but it is Norwegian. They will get a small Dutch gift in return! (Although I might save some. Scrap the might. I will save some for myself)

Monday, 3 November 2014

Anybody for a game of tennis?

As you know I have been suffering some severe pain over the last ehm... six months now. At first it was thought that it might have something to do with muscles and stuff and lack of excercise. Until the pain moved from my leg to my lower belly. From where it spread to my hips (especially my right) and back and upper leg. 

So, I went back to the doctor and she ordered an MRI-scan of my lower body. That happened two weeks ago. The result was due four working days later. But when I called last week: nothing! Annoying to say the least. By this time I was taking between two and three doses of painkillers a day. I decided enough was enough. 

After looking at my schedule I decided this Monday (ie today) would be a good day for me to see my gp again. (see how I still put work first). The other decision I took was one I regretted almost immediately, but once taken I wasn't going to untake it until I was told otherwise. It concerned taking the painkillers, or more to the point: the not taking painkillers!

This time I didn't have to wait that long. I had expected to sit in that waiting room for about an hour or more, but I guess it was no more than about 15 minutes before it was my turn. The results of the scan were in as well. 

My spine is showing some sign of wear and tear, but no worse than is to be expected in a person of a certain age. So that was nothing to be worried about. My hip bones and stuff also looked as fine as could be expected. 

However (and here's where the tennis comes in), the scan did show a growth ON my uterus. About the size of a tennisball. The thing is though: the person 'reading' the scan couldn't make out what it was. He doubted that it was a tumor or anything else malignant, but he couldn't be certain. Plus there was a small growth in my uterus, but that is quite normal my gp told me. However, it could cause menstral cramps. 

Well, uterus, growth inside and out and a lot of pain? Guess where I will be heading next, urgently! Yes, I will be seeing a gynaecologist within the next three weeks to determine what the unknown growth is and whether that is the root of all my aches and pains. And once determined, what will be the next course of action. So, now I know. Sort of. 

And on the subject of painkillers: I am to continue taking the pills I have been taking lately. Doctor's orders.

Update: I have just learned that several members on the paternal side of my family have had problems with myomas and have had to have a hysterectomy as a result. Which at least removes more worry for me!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-31

When my sister was here we had some real goodies to eat. Kale 'n' mash is always good, but no photos. I did get a photo of the waffles I made though. They were delicious with the remainder of last year's plum jam and with this year's blackberry jam.

My sister made filled 'speculaas'. A Dutch treat that we were able to recreate fortunately. Internet certainly has its uses! We ate the cookie/cake before photos could be taken though. Too delicious!

Saturday, 1 November 2014


I may not have been blogging much this year, but I haven't been sitting still. I have taken plenty of photos during this past year and as usual I have made a desk top calendar. And as usual, you will have a chance of winning one! 

This year's feature photo is of the Kelpies, with huge thanks to Yamini who showed them to me. Other photos include photos of Norway, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Oh, and the Netherlands as well. 

Anyway, your chance of winning? Just comment on this post and you will be in with a chance of winning one desk top calendar for 2015. Closing date will be November 15th Norwegian time! Two calendars will be up for grabs, so give it a go! Good luck.

Friday, 31 October 2014


I was driving home last Monday morning. The road I live on is not a wide road, parts of it are wide enough for one car, some can accommodate two at a push. As I was driving on the 'at a push' part, a car with a trailer came towards me. Nothing uncommon with that. The load he had on his little trailer was pipes. Plastic bendy pipes. 

I saw it happen. Some of those pipes started to bend and then swing out of the trailer. Right in my path! I hit the brakes, but the pipes hit the car anyway. I stopped and so did the stranger. We checked my car from all angles and according to the stranger, the only damage the pipes had done was to the mirror. A scratch. All the other damage wasn't damage but dirt. 

Well, writing a whole insurance form over a little scratch was a bit much, so in the end we settled for an exchange of some money. Which will probably cover the change of tires needed tomorrow or next week (summer to winter). 

The thing is though, the damage was according to the stranger. I think it had been there a bit longer! He was adament though and who am I to argue with somebody who is about to give me money...

PS: my shopping was all over the car when I got home. The only thing left in the bag were the eggs. In their carton. Only two were cracked, but I needed to have breakfast/lunch anyway.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


The scene of some severe water damage right now
I have been getting some grief over my non blogging habit of late. Not even a Photo on Sunday! Not good. Not good at all. 

It's not just blogging that is down at the moment. It's facebook, emails, anything to do with my laptop. No, it's not broken. No, my internet is not down. It's me. 

I am a bit down. All to do with that pain in my lower abdomen. With not hearing from the MRI. From waiting and taking pills and not having had a good night's sleep in a long time. Add to that some new duties at work, a very dry course and of course my ordinary work. Not conducive to a happy Mara!

I will be visiting my gp again next Monday (she doesn't know yet), and will be wanting a referral to a gynaecologist. Hoping that he/she can figure out what is wrong. Because I am now strongly inclined to think it has something to do with my female parts. 

Taken last summer, it is now a lot higher and wilder. And more destructive...
Now, if you are worried about me because of the all the flooding happening in Western Norway: don't. It's not too close to me and so far we have had no problems. If you are wondering when The Man is going to go, the geologists are unsure now, but I hope it will be during the day so they can film it. Oh, and The Man is the name in English for a mountain that is breaking up. Not volcanic, just rock, but breaking up anyway. 

So, hoping that I will soon get answers, get some good night's sleep and some more Christmas films (did I tell you I loooooooooove my birthday present to myself: best thing ever this satellite!). And of course to blogging a bit more often.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Animal magnetism

Boxes are magnetic to cats!
Photo taken by my sister
I was at work today and for some reason I asked about my time off for the coming Thursday. Since I would be having my MRI then. Problem was however: the traffic controller couldn't find any mention of that time off. But I knew they had done it! Why oh why couldn't I find the note I had?

Fast forward about twenty minutes and the traffic controller asks me to come to his office. The note was for today, not for Thursday. But the appointment is for Thursday though. Or is it? I got confused and in the end I phoned the MRI place and got the confirmation: the scan was today! 

So, I went in today. Took off everything with metal in. Was told to lie down on some board or other. Got some earphones. And was then rolled into the big machine. Twenty minutes of a big hammer trying to kill a little bird, of grinding, beating, rattling and a lot more noises and I was done. By then my hips hurt and it took a bit of effort to get off the board. 

I will find out in about four working days (from my regular doctor's office) whether it is prolapse or not. I suspect not. If it isn't, as I suspect, I want another referral. This time to see a gynaecologist. Which I feel is more to the point than the interesting MRI. 

To be continued...