Wednesday, 18 January 2017


When we go on those hiking/walking trips, we both take photos. Even if we have been there before, we will take new photos of the same thing again. It means as well, that our trips usually take a bit longer because of all that photo taking. 

One plus of the both of us taking photos is that I get some photos of myself. I haven't got a nice and fancy phone with which I can take photos (shock, horror, but yes, it's true), so if I want to take a selfie it has to be done with a big cumbersome camera.

The first two photos were taken during the drizzle-trip. We came to a bridge and the water was just running down. I had a good rain suit on and stood underneath while my friend took several photos. The second one was taken a little later during that trip. For some reason I have my eyes closed. 

The third photo shows me at the beginning of the no-drizzle-trip. Well wrapped up, but the hat came off within ten minutes, as did the gloves. The coat was opened and the scarf was loosened as well. And the last photo shows me walking from the photographer (Unni). It looks emptier than it was, because there were a lot of people about.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The other side

The great grandmother who I think is dead.
But then again, she might still be alive and a miracle to scientists!
The main reason I work on my father's side of my genealogy so much is the ease. The ease of finding stuff. Everything is gathered in one archive. Plus quite a few of my (far-away) relatives have been really good in putting notices in the main paper for that area regarding birth, marriage and death. Which makes it quite a doddle to find stuff. Don't get me wrong, there is still frustration over people not found, information not available, but still...

My mother's side of the family is altogether more complex. She comes from a small village close to a river. That river is also the boundary between two different provinces. Each with their own archives. Not only that, where the archive for my paternal family has digitalised most information, the maternal side tells you to go to the archives themselves. Which is rather annoying when living in another country. 

And don't get me started on newspapers. I did find a report about one relative in a paper a few years ago, but when I tried to look it up the other day: couldn't find it! Fortunately I found I had it saved to my computer, so all is not lost. But most of my maternal relatives either weren't that willing to put notices in papers or I just can't find them. For some reason. 

Another thing that I can't find is the date of death of my great grandmother. She was born in 1885, so I do have this presumption that there is a possibility that she might have perhaps passed away, but I just can't find it! Anywhere! I will get there in the end, don't worry, but it is frustrating. 

A great-aunt. I believe her husband died in a lightning strike which actually made the paper.
One thing I did find out though was about her siblings. Her parents were busy making a family, but circumstances did not help. Out of a total of 12 children, only four lived past the age of 2 and made it into adulthood. Also, names were being reused. A child died, the name was used for the next one. And as 'luck' would have it, each time a girl died, another girl was born. The same went for the boys. Until the mother passed away at the age of 37. 

Mind you, it's not all bad news on the maternal side. A few years ago I already discovered that we have royal ancestry. But younger sons didn't always marry as favourably as the elder ones and in the end we were labourers. Making an honest living though, which is the most important. Plus, I think I have already gone back to about the fifteenth century for most of the rest of the family. Now it's just a case of finding the specific people and their stories. 

As always, I will keep you posted!

Monday, 16 January 2017

No drizzle

After last week's drizzled hike of nearly 14 kilometers, we decided to take it just a bit easier this week. It was a place I had been before with that very same friend and I remembered it well: it was long and it was very steep and tiring. 

Snow covered mountain tops in the distance
In fact, it was a whole 2 (TWO) kilometers, which is basically nothing and it wasn't that steep either! Mind you, when we were there, I was off sick with some demons running around in my head, I was severely out of shape and going up the stairs was steep for me. 

This time we weren't on our own like last time. There were lots of people and children and dogs taking the path up to the lighthouse. Plus, another friend had joined us with two of her children, so we were a little group as well. 

Fortunately this week there was no drizzle in sight. In fact, it was a gorgeous day. Blue skies, albeit with some non-bothersome greyish clouds and hardly any wind. There was a light dusting of snow, there were pigs and before we knew it, we were at the lighthouse! 

Nature playing with water and ice
We had a bit of a snack and then we made the two kilometer trek back to the cars. A beautiful day. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-2

It snowed late Friday night/early Saturday morning, leaving a light white dusting. 

Miss Oswin didn't mind too much I think, checking out one of the bushes along the drive.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

And another goodbye!

Out with the old...
Yes, not only did I buy a new cardigan yesterday (70% off), I also bought a new coat. For the first time in forever I bought a new winter coat! Up to now I always wore the jackets/coats I was given as part of my uniform. And during the past four years I wore the very first one I got as a bus driver in Midnet Tours. That was in 1999! 

... and in with the new!
The coat is still looking good, but it's not up to par for Norwegian conditions. Plus I wanted a new coat. One that looks just a bit funkier than the one I use now. Finding one in the sales was brilliant. Shame it didn't come in a brighter colour like pink or orange or yellow, but it came with a great discount (40%). And I can always brighten it up with my pink scarf and my orange hat.

Friday, 13 January 2017


I found you about twelve years ago. Lying on the shelf in my coach. Left behind by a gentleman. He didn't seem to want you back and I took you home. I cleaned you up and then I started wearing you. 

You didn't mind when I spilled food. Or toothpaste. You didn't mind when I used the sleeve to wipe my face when working in the garden. You didn't mind the holes that eventually started appearing after all the washing. But we both knew you were nearing your end. You were fading. And you were getting thinner by the wash. 

I have to let you go now. Sorry. To make room for the new sweater/cardigan. Nice and fluffy. Warm. Comfortable. 


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Up and down

The quay side from where we row.
The (closed) car park on the left.
Those of you who have ever visited my adopted hometown of Haugesund, may remember to have seen the quay-side. Pepperfly especially should, since she went on a rowing trip with me and several others, my very first year here. 

Regarding that rowing, those row boats are awfully difficult to get in and out of. In was a case of hoping I would get to the right spot and out of was a case of several of my strong male colleagues hauling me out! 

Some of the sandbags were still there.
Today that would not have been necessary. Today I could have just walked right in from the quay to the boat. Perhaps a ten centimeter drop? Perhaps a bit more? But nowhere near the meter it usually is at high tide. 

Today was extra high tide or spring tide. Which meant the water was extra high. One hotel (the one my brother and his family stayed at when they were over here) had sandbags in front of the place. Just in case! And the car park where he parked and where we would get in our row boats: closed! Just in case. 

Apparently it didn't quite come up. The water that is. But it was quite impressive to see nonetheless.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


Sometimes that's all you need to make your day a brighter day: a photo of a cat. In this case of course it's Miss Oswin. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Step first cousin once removed

Doing genealogy can be so frustrating at times. Trying to find someone a near impossibility. And at other times people just seem to drop out of nowhere. With histories that I have never heard about. Of course the question at those times is as well: do I have the right person. Perhaps there was another person with the same name, same date of birth? Perhaps...

So, as an amateur sleuth, I do what I have done several times in the past: asked for help from others who dig into their families as well and might know where I can find certain stuff. And today they came up trumps!

The person I am talking about now is the person I had found only recently, in fact, during the Christmas holiday. A sister of my paternal grandfather married a man who had two children from an earlier marriage. The eldest of those two children was a boy and he served in the Dutch army in what was then the Dutch colony of Indonesia.

When Japan invaded, he, likely along with the rest of his outfit, was captured. Over the course of the next year, he was transferred to different camps. He became ill in October of 1943 and died on December 31st of that year of beri-beri. 

It's fantastic and sad at the same time to find a story like this. On the one hand it makes a great story for the book I am planning. But on the other hand: my father didn't know anything about this person, even thinking his step-uncle had two girls. It seems as if Jan has been lost in time. Forgotten. 

The only thing left to find now (apart from a few more details of course) is a photo. To make sure he will not be forgotten again!

Monday, 9 January 2017


I had made the decision to go on an easy walk to start off gently in my new season of training for the triathlon. And the hike we were going to do was a hike around a local lake. Well, not quite local, but local enough. I wasn't quite sure about its length, but the path was mostly gravel, there were to be no rocks to climb up and over, so all was fine.

Until I looked out the window early yesterday and found that it was raining. Well, drizzling really, but in the end you are just as wet, so I might as well call it rain. Was that a reason to cancel the trip though? If I had been going on my own: definitely. But, since I was going with a friend, nope! 

So, on with the walking gear, I found the rain gear and in the car the whole lot (including me) went to pick up my friend. I wasn't quite sure where to park and start the route and neither was my friend, but a lady at the petrol station was able to point us in the right way. On with the rain gear and off we trotted. And we trotted and trotted and trotted. 

We trotted through the drizzle, took a few photos, trotted some more, took some more photos and after about four hours we were finally back at the car. Nearly 14 kilometers (about 9 miles) we had trotted and I can tell you one thing: at the end I was thoroughly fed up! The drizzle/rain was never ending, the path was never ending, I had blisters and I was tired. It was so good to see my car. It was even better to eat the hamburger we got on the way home and the best was the shower once I was home again. 

My first training might not have been as easy as I had planned, but we did it anyway. On with the rest...