Sunday, 4 December 2016

Day 4: A Christmas wreath on Sunday 43

Yesterday I showed you the first three photos of the progress towards a wreath. Today the remaining two. I can tell you it was very very fiddly! But great fun to do.

As you can see in the final photo I have added a special someone. He is still missed a great deal (tomorrow it is three years since his death). 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Day 3: A wreath is done!

I started making a wreath about a month ago. It was meant to go on the door to the hallway, but I have since changed my mind. It's too beautiful (I have been told I am quite modest) to hang in a place where I will only see it on my way into my home.

This is however only the first of two wreaths. The other one is still in its infancy and I don't even know whether I will be able to finish it anytime soon. Mind you, I am not too worried. There's always next year!

Anyway, I only show you the first few photos, you will have to come back tomorrow to see the finished result!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Day 2: Come Fly With Me

We're part of a community called Blogville, which is inhabited by cats, dogs, crabs and yes, a teddy-bear or two! It's a great community and there is a lot of love going around. And when one of us is a bit poorly, a lot of love comes from all those cats, dogs, crabs, teddies and their two-leggers. Sammy is a feline in America and he loves to travel. 

Unfortunately he is not as young as he once was and it can get difficult to get about. So, Madi (a fabulous feline who I like to call my friend) and Easy (a handsome Weimaraner from France, who sadly passed away suddenly on November 30th) came up with the best idea for Sammy. 

We loved this idea, also because Brom has just travelled/is still travelling and Mara will be flying today! So, this idea? Tell Sammy about a great place anywhere in the world, he or his two-leggers might want to visit. Well, that's going to be easy!! Right?

What about London? Mara is travelling there today and staying for a couple of days to enjoy the Christmas markets. Covent Garden, Hyde Park, Oxford Street, South Bank. So much to see in such a short time. 

Or Brom says, what about a trip to Vienna to see the famous Lipizaner horses in a show? We saw them in training only a few months ago and that was exciting. 

Miss Oswin however is not too fond of travelling, unless it means going out in a proper garden with grass and a lot of mice. 

In the end though? We all voted for the Austrian/German Alps. Beautiful views, no cars, a lot of nature. Plus a couple of mice probably. 

Sammy, we hope you will love our destination and that you will soon be able to go travelling the world again!

Update: Sammy will be visiting all those lovely places I mentioned and all the places everybody else chose as an angel. He passed away earlier this morning and has joined Easy. We are so sorry for their two-leggers. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Day 1: So, what about those decorations?

I have said several times that I will not start decorating until after December 5th. All you Dutch out there will understand that, but there are of course non-Dutch reading this blog as well, so for you I will explain. 

Growing up in the Netherlands, we never got Christmas presents. Well, not counting the book, mandarin and couple of nuts we got from Sunday school. Other than that: nix, nada, nothing. In fact, when I was in primary school, out of a class of 37, there was only one girl who celebrated Christmas with gifts. All the other 36 celebrated St Nicholas. 

St Nicholas is a saint (hence the St) who comes to the Netherlands, Flanders (in Belgium) and some regions of Germany in early December. He used to have one helper (Black Peter), but after WWII, the Canadians that helped the country to get back to normal felt that was a bit meager and they added scores and scores. 

St Nicholas lives in Madrid, Spain during the year and in November he makes his way by steam boat to the Netherlands. Together with his Black Peters* and his horse Amerigo. On the eve of his birthday which is on December 6th, he, his horse and his helpers take to the roof and leave presents for all the children. 

And this means I can't possibly put up decorations to mark Christmas, when St Nicholas hasn't been yet! It would be sacrilege!!!

*In recent years there has been a massive back lash against Black Peters. They are seen as racist because their faces are painted black. Are they slaves? Are they chimney sweeps? Mind you, in Suriname, a former Dutch colony where most inhabitants are in fact black, they paint St Nicholas white!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Defeat

It's the last day of November today and I must admit, the month has ended on a bit of a low note. Because I had to go home early today. I tried to work, but in the end I admitted defeat. 

For me the only thing that seems to help when having the dreaded H is eating. Apples, bananas, sweets, sandwiches. I will eat. Continually. Which in turn fills up my stomach with too much food. And I start feeling sick. You know what I'm getting at.

Anyway, I went home after having done most of my shift and got a few hours sleep. Miss Oswin joined in, but alas, no respite as yet. 

Tomorrow is a new month and let's just hope it will be headache free one at that. 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The tree

I don't like to put up my Christmas decorations early. I start on or after December 5th and that is the end of it. In fact, even though my Christmas cards are written and stamped, I will not post them until that day!

So, what do you ask is that Christmas tree doing in this post? Well, I decorated it. Yep, you read right. I decorated it. Although I hasten to add: it's not my own. It's the one at work.

Last year someone had hung some baubles in the tree willy-nilly. Not nearly enough and either with huge gaps in between or so close together, you couldn't get a piece of paper in between. So, I redid the whole thing. 

And then this year, I was told to do it again. Not redo, just do. Which I did. For some reason Norwegians have this vertical decoration. Ie, vertical hanging tinsel. I don't like it and since I decorated: horizontal. Much better. But, if you look closely, there is one strand of beads hanging down. I do, after all, live in Norway!

Monday, 28 November 2016

The Move

There goes my stuff
Four years ago to the day I started my first day in Norway after having arrived on the 27th. I was nervous, I was tired, the adrenaline was throwing its weight around (it stopped after about three weeks if I remember correctly), I didn't understand a soul and I only knew one person and not even in real life!

I am not nervous about living here anymore. I know what to do and where to go. I sleep well at night. The adrenaline has calmed down. I understand most people and I made friends. And I got a cat, which is probably the most important. She came into my life as the last of my Dutch cats made her way to beyond, so perfect timing!

Four years ago I was on the threshold of a new life. Yes, I (still) have my doubts of whether or not I made the right decision and probably will have for many more years to come, like all other emigrants. But, in general? 

Yes. I made the right decision!! Here's to the next year.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Brom's Photo on Sunday 2016-42

Coocoo

I will be showing you the last photos of my stay in Northern Ireland. Today is the very last day of the festival and it has been a great working holiday for me!

The lions were a bit scary and I really had to think they were just pussycats like Miss Oswin!

'Rock the Flock' is the church's praise band. And my three sheep were allowed to see it too! They loved it.

I think this was the story of Jonas. It was a very big fish! 

So, that was it for my participation in the Teddy Bear Bible Festival here in Northern Ireland. Thank you Gera and all the church people for letting me join! I loved it. 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Nope

Right. Another day, another post. But today I don't really know what to write about. Instead I will continue knitting gifts and sewing them under the tree(!). I had thought of making a pumpkin pie, but I think that will have to wait for the more inspiration-filled tomorrow. 

So, that's it for me for today. Sorry...

Friday, 25 November 2016

Black

For some reason, the world seems to think that everything that comes from across the pond is great. Well, actually great!! With the exclamation marks. 

Even though we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Norway, in fact I don't know of any country in Europe that does, either in October or November, they have decided to join in the 'Black Friday' craze. 

As I was driving my bus this morning, I noticed that the parking lot at one local mall was choc-a-bloc. At 8am! The shops don't open until 10am, so I wondered what was going on. And then it dawned on me: Black Friday. Or more to the point, the beginning of Black Friday, because some shops make it last for about a week!

I hit the shops after my shift today as well. Got some canned pumpkin, some rye flour (they are not going into the same dish), some marshmellows. I prefer baking to going shopping in the madness and I certainly don't want to be fooled into believing I get something at an amazing price, since a fair few shops actually up the prices in the weeks leading up to this Friday. 

Crazy I tell you!