Sunday, 29 April 2012

Right!

We are going orange again!!
Work has been okay the last few days. Not much going on and definitely not those awful long days of old. It will probably really kick in sometime in the second week of May. And since half the staff went walkies, there is the same amount of work for less drivers! Should keep me in overtime at least...

Wuppie is almost back to normal. Not his ear though, his ear will never be normal again, but it least it stopped oozing and stinking. I just have to clean it out on a regular basis, because it's even harder to clean now than it was before (and he always had dirty ears before). He doesn't mind though, it stopped hurting as well.

Tomorrow is Queen's Day in the Netherlands. The day when we (officially) celebrate the Queen's birthday, but basically it's just one massive excuse to have the biggest open air market in the world: every city, town, village and hamlet will have stalls, carpets, cars and what have you with adults and children trying to sell you all the stuff you sold the year before.

In the mean time the Queen herself makes an appearance in two or three villages or towns in one region of the country. And masses of people show up for that. And where there's masses of people, there are buses. And I will be driving one of them. I will remember to take my camera to see what fun I can spot tomorrow (I doubt it will be the Queen) and of course I will put on my lovely orange hat. Got to stay in keeping of course!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

'Earth'

Wow, how about making it difficult to pick! In the end though, I picked this photo taken of the earth from above, from an airplane. The subject matter is Houston Airport in the USA and I took this photo last year as I was flying home from my two-week stay in Canada.

I remember flying back from Edmonton. The first part of they journey was to Houston and from there I would catch a plane to Amsterdam. The weather was fantastic and I was able to see most of what we passed underneath. I am not sure, but I think we passed the Rockies in almost its entire length! Of course I didn't take any photos then (silly me), but I did when we lifted off again to fly to Amsterdam. Soon after leaving Houston though, the clouds became thicker and I wasn't able to see as much anymore. I did spot Prince Edward Island in the dark though, it was the last landmass I was able to see before we started flying below the clouds again in the Netherlands.

This is my sixteenth entry for Photo Theme for Thursday. Why not join?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Life is a merry-go-round!

It was the first school trip of the year for me. Quite early in the school trip season, but there has to be a first one I guess. As we drove there I was trying to ignore the loud singing of 'we are nearly there, we are nearly there'. What an incredibly annoying song that is! Especially if you still have over half an hour to go!! We did make it in the end though and nobody was hurt. I think, because one of the last pieces of road we drove on was old cobblestones! My, was I glad I still have my own teeth, otherwise I think I would have needed a new pair of dentures!

Anyway. The journey had led us to a small amusement park which looked as if it had scrounged all its rides from funfairs and the children all loved it. Besides that they could eat all the french fries they wanted, burgers, kroketten and frikandellen. There was ice-cream for free and orange cordial. Candy floss was only €0,20 (about a quarter US dollar), so of course I got one of those (I love candy floss). And I had to go on the merry-go-round. I love them!

I wanted to sit on the rooster, but a child beat me to it and I didn't feel it very appropriate to just kick the child off, so I got on one of the horses. I handed my colleague my camera and he made several photos of me during the ride. Some were of the top of my head, some of my legs, some completely out of focus and some actually were really nice. He blamed it on the fact the horse was going up and down. Yeah, right!

The way back to school was a little quieter, the children were tired. We dropped them off about 400 meters from school where they were not seen and then drove the empty coaches to the school. And then the first school trip of the year was over. Ahh...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Well, that's new!

Ever since two of my ladies passed away (Sophie and Mathilda), the remaining two monsters have been acting a bit different. Linette has become a bit more vocal now and will let me know that she doesn't want me to walk around at home: she wants me to sit on the couch and have her on my lap! If I am behind the computer she will every once in a while come up, miaow complainingly and then go downstairs again. She is a silly puss!

Wuppie of course has had to deal with his ear being all funny. After I came back from London it was still very thick and it had started to smell as well. And to ease the pain, he had started scratching his ear, which did not result in a nice look. When I came back from the visit to my sister, the ear was oozing: both blood and I guess some pus. I was able to squeeze it all out though, which was good. And now the fluid is mostly gone. There isn't room for it anymore, since his ear is really thick and hard and tough. He has stopped scratching and the ear looks a bit better again. Apart from it being thick and hard and tough of course!

The thing he does now if he doesn't get enough attention: he stands on his hind legs and puts his front legs on my legs: I want attention!!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Goodbye Norway, hello Netherlands

The cabin covered in snow
Packing and cleaning were the first two orders of the day yesterday. Pack my suitcase and clean the cabin that is. After I had finished both, I had to take the key back to reception, where of course nobody was present (is that why she offered me a job: to actually have somebody present?). So, I left the key in the same place I got it from: the mailbox. I threw out the rubbish I had gathered over the course of my stay and then drove down the mountain for the last time.

Hey, that's me!
Once I got down the mountain I stopped at the local supermarket (well, one of several) to get some really nice and sweet breakfast. Literally sweet: it was screaming with sugar! And then I started on my way back to Oslo. I had wanted to visit a museum in Kongsberg, but I got the museums mixed up and the one I went to wasn't open yet and I drove straight past the other one! Museums in Norway seem to open some time in June and close again in August: tourist season only. So, I drove on and decided to go native. Well, Viking native that is! If you remember (of course you do, you lot are clever), I went to the FRAM museum on Saturday and that was only one of six I could have visited. This time I visited the Viking ship museum.

The biggest Viking ship with beautiful decorations
It was probably used for pleasure only before it became a grave
The Viking ship museum is housed in a large quite unassuming building and is the home to three Viking ships found in the late 1800's and early 1900's. All three ships were used as graves for wealthy people and in the past there had been gold, silver and weapons as well, but graverobbers had gotten hold of that long before they were excavated. One of the ships was put back together again as much as possible and most of the things found in it were on display as well. I had hoped to have a bit more information about Viking life and stuff, but alas, the three ships and their contents were all there was. A missed opportunity I feel.

One of the many things found on the ship above
Other things were sleds, sewing and cooking implements,
food, furniture and horses and dogs
After the Vikings I left and headed towards the airport. I arrived way too early and had to wait nearly three hours before boarding began, but I was a bit worried about traffic out of Oslo, so didn't dare be later. It was very busy at the airport though (there are a lot of national flights as well as international flights), especially since it's not very big. At one point I felt as if I was waiting to go on a rollercoaster: there was a sign saying the waiting time from that point was 6 minutes. I had already been in line for about 5 as well! Again (as in the Netherlands) no sign of passport control. Must be new!

The flight itself was fairly uneventful, until the last part when the baby in the seat in front of me started howling and wouldn't stop. The headache that had been building already, now came on with a vengeance! Fortunately we were nearly there and I could get off and away from screaming baby. I had asked my parents to pick me up from the airport and they had dutifully arrived to do so. My parents are the sweetest! Thank you mama and papa!! They dropped me off home and here I am again. Back to normal life again.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Gunnar

Two homes under one roof
Could I be living in one of them soon?
I promised to tell you all there is to know about Gunnar right? Well, he is Norwegian and works (amongst others) for Hjartdal Community, one of the many small communities that make up Norway. And by small I don't mean size-wise, but inhabitant wise. Size-wise it's actually fairly big (in my opinion anyway) and it includes part of the mountain range in Telemark. Inhabitant wise they have under two thousand. In three larger villages and several hamlets and such. So, any newcomer is greatly appreciated. Even if she does come without husband and two children, but two cats instead. 

So, I met up with Gunnar at his workplace in a different community altogether(?) and there we went to work to get my Norwegian cv properly done and dusted. I had translated it back home, but there were several things that weren't quite right. Nothing major, but it would sound better if I did it just a bit differently. So, I rewrote the whole thing on his computer. Then he set me to work again: this time I had to write a letter to two different bus companies, one on either side of Hjartdal Community. At first I was completely flummoxed and then I had a brain-wave: start in English and then translate. So, that's what I did: first I wrote it in English and then I translated it. He made me add one more sentence to it and that was it. We printed the letter and then I changed the address and the other thingymebobs in the letter to the other company and printed that one off too. Letter and cv in an envelope and hey presto: my first applications to Norwegian jobs. 

After that we went to Hjartdal Community itself. And there I met (drumroll please) the Mayor! He was a very nice young man and told me a little about housing etc. He said it was cheap living in this part of the country (which is still twice as expensive as in the Netherlands by the way), he showed me a leaflet (which I was allowed to keep) of a new development in Sauland which was for sale. And het told me that if I got a job either side of Hjartdal and still wanted to live in that area, they would do everything they could to help me find a place to live etc. How nice is that? Or how desperate for new people of course, but I didn't want to say that to them!

So, the first stones are rolling, now to just get that language down!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

'Spring'

This week's prompt is quite fitting: after all it is spring. And spring it is over here in Norway. I am staying on the top (or near the top anyway) of Lifjell (in the Telemark province) which rises to little under 1300 meters. And there is snow here. It snowed when I arrived, it snowed when I took this photo last Monday. Two kilometers down the mountain and the snow is hardly there anymore though and another two means you will only see it on top of the mountain!

There is still snow on the roofs of the cabins, but during the day it will melt off and you see drips from all the roofs. During the night though, snow falls again and adds to what has just melted away! As I am typing this on Monday I can only tell you a lot more is still expected to fall especially from Wednesday onwards. Rain in the valleys, snow on the tops. You've got to love Norway!

This is my fifteenth entry for Photo Theme for Thursday. Why not join?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

What a difference a day makes!

My cabin before the heavy snowfall
As I got back to the cabin last night, I saw them coming in: slowly but deadly. Snow clouds! And during the night they dumped quite a bit of snow on little old unsuspecting me in my cabin. And on the car! Of course, being on the top of a mountain means that the chances of snow are much higher here than they are down in the valley. After I paid for my stay and wrote some postcards to certain family members (as I try to always do), I made my way to the car, cleared it to some degree of all the snow (thank you for the brush rental company) and drove off. The first 3 km the road was covered with snow. After that, the road was nice and clear. However, it snowed until well into the valley. Of course I then had to take a turn up another mountain (or the same mountain, but a different side) and there was more snow. I had seen them removing the road markers yesterday, which in my view might have been a bit prematurely, but the roads were still okay. 

They could do with some hats and gloves and what have you
Photo taken in Oslo
After I made an appointment with Gunnar (more on that on Friday), I decided to do another lovely trip. I knew it wouldn't be as lovely as the trip I took yesterday, but hey, I am in Norway, I might as well see something, even if it is p***ing down all day! Instead of getting out of the car on certain occasions though, I stayed in it and drove. Just drove. I went down to the seaside and then I drove straight back out. Took a wrong turning (didn't want to do the same route twice), turned around when I could and got stuck behind a real slowpoke. Mind you, I've been overtaken several times by people who think I drive too slow!

I am almost expecting a polar bear to show up,
after all, I did see tracks around the cabin the other day!
I thought about buying a hat at some point, but decided against it, I would rather go back 'home' and pig out on some crisps I bought yesterday. The road up the mountain was really good and the snowlevel had risen compared to this morning. But at about three km from the top, the roads were once more covered with snow. Some jokester had thought it would be funny to swerve along the road, but nearly ended up in the valley! At least I saw his skidmarks right up to the edge. It didn't stop him though, although the swerving was a bit less after that. I tried to just stay straight, but it is a narrow winding road and at one point I felt the car skid. It was a good thing I have wintertyres and that I was going slow. Otherwise I would have ended up down in the valley! I made it up though, safe and sound and parked my car in such a way that I don't have to do any three point turns in the morning: I can just drive off. As long as I don't have to dig myself out first of course!

I didn't take any photos today, so here are some I took earlier this week!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Only take photos and leave footsteps

Left footsteps, took photo!
As the weather today was a far cry from yesterday's rain, I thought it might be a good idea to actually go around and see some stuff. I had of course seen some stuff yesterday, but not much and besides: it rained or snowed most of the time. So, after a nice breakfast of toast, milk and orange juice, I set off down the mountain. Some clouds were coming in, but not many and when I got to the stave church of Heddal (see Sunday's post), I was able to vastly improve on those nice pictures only because it was sunny!

Eidsborg Stave Church
After I had seen that again, I made my way to the next one. It wasn't that far, distance wise, but it takes a long time to get anywhere it seems, because you can't really build up any speed: too many curves in the road. It's a good thing it isn't yet tourist season, because I bet it would have been teeming with traffic in that case. Anyway, I made it to Eidsborg to yet another stave church. It was by no means as nice as the one in Heddal, but the surroundings were! It was beautiful. A little village in a small valley, a smallish lake and then overlooking it all: the church. 

Old barn. They are basically the same now,
including the ramp on the right
Next to the church was a small open air museummy bit: a lot of old buildings from Eidsborg and immediate surroundings had made their way to eternity. Although I don't think all the grass and trees on the roofs were original. In the olden days, people used what was available and in Norway, wood is widely available. So, all houses and barns and sheds were made of wood. The roofing however wasn't for some reason, that was made of turf. The stuff that you've got in the garden. Nowadays, houses and barns and stuff are still made from wood (especially in the countryside), but the roofs are now covered with shingles or roof tiles. 

As I made my way from Eidsborg, I had to go down a very steep hill or mountain probably. A 21% decline and very very narrow hairpin turns. I passed through a lovely town then, that had some notion of Canada to me, probably because of the square outlay of the streets. I also spotted a lovely old Shell sign and had to stop to take a photo. 

This was the gravel road. Told you it wasn't wide!
The rest of the journey back was more hairpins (going up this time), a lot of lakes, part of the Telemark canal (which looks like a big lake to me) and a lovely gravel road. Wide enough for one lorry, it was a two-way road! I actually passed one car during my 12 km on it as well, so I knew it wasn't a one-way system they operated there.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Linen

So, remember when I said I didn't have any bedlinen? I did have two duvets and two pillows in my room (and two more of each in the bunkbed room), so I wasn't completely aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh. However, it didn't all look that nice and even after I phoned someone and had left a message in my best Norwegian (not very good yet), nothing much happened. Fortunately I had two towels from home. I used one to cover up the pillows and the other one as a towel for yours truly. 

However, sleeping under the duvet without any sort of cover and on top of the mattress with a not so nice looking cover wasn't my idea of having a great time in Norway. But, I scoured my suitcase and found a pair of leggings I had chucked in just before closing it. I also put on a pair of socks (which I never ever ever wear to bed) and I kept my long sleeved t-shirt on. Not the best solution, but the other one was staying awake all night which wasn't much of a plan either. 

The night passed reasonably. It was quite warm in the cabin and in bed (yes Kay, I do have indoor plumbing and good heating, no need to send Lindy all by herselfsies) and I woke up several times. Once I got out of bed properly though I took a nice warm shower, to wash all that yucky ickiness of off me. 

This morning I went to not pay my bill, and asked about the bedlinen. Since I had come all the way from the Netherlands by plane I wasn't going to be lugging all of that around. She agreed with me that it was necessary to have bedlinen and actually proposed a move to me! Another cabin was all decked out and absolutely stunning. It also had white couches which is not a good idea for me: I like eating on a couch! However, I did get some linen and that was all I wanted: nice clean sheets. So, when I got back from my drive and shopping spree this afternoon (I have to take care of my own stomach needs here), I made my bed and now it looks a lot better!!! I will definitely sleep a lot better.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Glorious!

I was parked!!!
Do you remember how yesterday was just a glorious day in the capital of Norway? Well, today was another one. If you are a duck that is and liked rain, because it rained almost all morning and beginning of the afternoon. And when it finally stopped raining: it started snowing!!!

I only had to do about 140 km today, which isn't that much, but of course I couldn't even find my way out of Oslo properly. I blame it on the roadworks and the rain clouds, which prevented me from seeing the sun and any shadows, which in turn prevented me from knowing what direction I was heading in. I found my way out in the end though, not to worry. When I finally got out of Oslo, the roads were actually pretty decent. Until we came to Drammen and from there on the maximum speed was only 70km/hour. If you were lucky! 

Heddal Stave Church
Since I would have arrived quite early at the site, I had decided to visit a church first. The biggest 'Stave church' in Norway! So, I was of course expecting something along the lines of Westminster Cathedral, but in wood. Alas, it was a bit smaller. Remember the church next to Westminster Cathedral? Oh, you know the one, I am sure. Well, it's about half that size again!! But very beautiful, despite the rain. Unfortunately I wasn't able to look in (unless I had been there at 10 am for the regular service), because the tourist season hasn't started yet: June. So, I took some outside photos and went on my merry way. 

The bell tower
There were two routes to where I am now: one on a nice big wide and quite straight road, the other on a not so nice narrower and bendier mountain road. I chose the latter. And everytime I could see snow on the mountains in the distance. Very pretty, but I didn't really want to stop for photos. I was sure I would see them some more. Boy was I right in that! As I took my last turning to my 'hotel', the road went up again. And up some more and more and more! And it started snowing a little and then a bit more. It stayed on the road a little which was not that much fun. But, then it cleared a little as well and all of a sudden I saw where I was supposed to stay for the rest of this week: on the top of a snow-capped mountain. Not in a hotel (there weren't any left in my price range), but in a cabin for four people! Of course I knew that in advance, so don't worry too much. And no, I am not sharing the cabin with anyone. It's just for myself!

The dining area
The only thing lacking now is the linen. I only have one teatowel and two towels I brought from home. No bedlinen though which is quite annoying, since there doesn't seem to be anybody here to get me some. Perhaps I need to phone somebody. 

View from the dining area
Anyway, the cabin is okay, the views really good and I think I don't have to worry about drunk folk out on the town tonight. 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Of naked people and the South Pole

Stortinget (The National Parliament)
I spent a beautiful day in Oslo. I started off with a nice breakfast and then I made my way outside. One of the first buildings I encountered was the National Parliament building of Norway and there were tours going as well. So, I followed some people and ended up waiting for nothing because we were ten minutes late. Fortunately an hour and a half later there was another tour and I made sure I was on time for that! We were told about the history of the building, the history of Parliament and were allowed to take photos all the way through!

The 'Fram' (Forwards)
After that I made my way up the hill to the King's palace, which was in scaffolding because of works to the roof. No nice photos of course, but I tried my best. After a spot of lunch I made my way to the harbour because I wanted to visit a museum on the other side of the harbour (I needed to take a ferry to get there or go the very very very long way round). I wasn't quite sure what museum it was going to be: I only had the choice between 6! It was either Viking ships, Norwegian houses from all over, a church, crossing the Pacific, the Norwegian Maritime Museum or the Fram Museum. I picked the last one in the end. 

Five Norwegians made it to the South Pole first
The Fram museum is a museum dedicated to a ship. It made three notable voyages in its 'working' life: the more or less forgot the first two, but the third was a real blow to the British: it was the ship that took Roald Amundsen and his crew to Antarctica, making it possible for them to beat Scott and his crew by a whole month in being the first to reach the South Pole.

Naked!
Now of course you are all wondering about all those naked people now, never mind about what else I did today: what about them? Well, Oslo is very keen on statues and they are everywhere! There was two naked girls, two naked boys (with a certain part of their anatomy very shiny I must say) and there was a mother with her two children. All in the buff! But, so I wouldn't offend anyone, I show you the one above: of a naked mother and her naked child(!).

Friday, 13 April 2012

I made it!

So, I made it. The plane was a bit late, but that didn't matter too much. I had plenty of time anyway. As we arrived at Gardermoen airport, the clouds lifted and I was able to see Oslo from the sky. I had been talking to a Dutch woman (who looked very Norwegian by the way), who herself had lived in Norway for about 7 years. As we got off the plane, the luggage arrived soon and I then made my way to the car rental place. 

I had decided that I would not speak English if I could in any way help it, so I started off in Norwegian and fortunately the guy behind the desk didn't mind too much about my atrocious accent or my wrong usage of the words. I understood him (kan du gjenta det?) and he understood me. My car is a really nice Toyota Auris and apart from the missing cruise control and many many chips on the outside of the car, I am quite happy with it. 

As I drove into Oslo, it was a bit confusing. First of all I didn't have a map and I hadn't really bothered with printing out a route, so I had to depend solely on my gps. Which have the tendency to not work while in tunnels. And Oslo has a lot of tunnels. In the end I just took an exit and lo and behold: I was nearly there! When I finally managed to park my car and ask in the hotel about where to park, they didn't have any record of me! None whatsoever!! Turned out I needed the hotel 250 meters away. *Sigh*

That hotel was even worse to park my car in front of though, since there were tramlines right in front. So, I drove around, found a parking garage and parked it in there. I got all my stuff out, then walked up to the exit and was completely lost. According to my gps I was less than 400 meters from the hotel, but I couldn't find my way. In the end I asked a lady and she showed me, all the time talking in a mixture of Norwegian and Danish (she was from Denmark). Of course I didn't understood most of what she said, just something about the Norwegian government having enough money for some fancy something or other and nothing else. 

Anyway, I am in my hotel now and haven't once spoken English. I have mixed my limited Norwegian knowledge with Italian (si si), but I have a car and a hotel room. Oh and a map, so I can go explore the center of Oslo tomorrow. Today only a photo of my hotel room, tomorrow I hope a few more photos. 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

'Silly'

Well, I think the photo this week conveys enough silliness to meet the demands of this prompt: Silly. It's a photo of my sister and I taken several years ago when we were on holiday in Belgium and Luxemburg together. We were staying in youth hostels, seeing the sights, and being silly. As we do! Oh, and I am the up-side-downy one!

This is my fourteenth entry for Photo Theme for Thursday. Why not join?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Fed up

Church in Kristianstad, Sweden.
Not the one we went to on Easter Sunday!
I was fed up last night. Fed up of spending time with my family. Not because I got fed up of them, but because I have hardly had a minute to myself for the past week and a half. First that trip to London, then the trip to my sister. But now I am home again. On my own. With my monsters.

The Easter weekend at my sister's was uneventful. On Saturday we went to visit Belleek, but since the factory was closed, the only thing left to do was browse the shop. Don't worry: I did come away with a few nice items. Then on Sunday we started off with an eggy breakfast. Then it was off to church and after church we just spent the afternoon doing not much at all.

On Monday my sister and I went out shopping: some jelly for me (we don't have that in the Netherlands), some cheese for my Mum and some dvd's for me. During the afternoon I rearranged my sister's bookcase. Since I had been sleeping in her 'office' room, I had seen her bookcase in complete disarray. I know she had it more or less alphabetised before and she let me do it again. And if I could fit in some books that had come with my parents: even better. So, I spent my afternoon rearranging books, getting annoyed every time I found another B-book when I was already on G! I got there in the end though, with room to spare.

On Tuesday morning we had to leave very early to get to the ferry in Belfast. After a calm crossing I took the wheel and drove all the way to Newcastle, only stopping in Gretna Green for some lunch. The ferry in Newcastle was already waiting and after quite some wait we were finally allowed on. My cabin was great: a double bed (better than an airbed I can tell you) and seaview. My parents had originally claimed it to be theirs, but I refused! Make a better booking. However, I had upgraded them and they got a lovely cabin with seaview and two sets of bunkbeds, making it easier for both of them to go to bed.

This morning we disembarked around ten and then drove home. My home first of all, to drop me and my stuff off. The monsters certainly were happy to see me again. They will have to take advantage of me while they can however, since I will be leaving again the day after tomorrow!!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Clotworthy Dobbin

As I am sipping my Clotworthy Dobbin (which is a beer of some sort), I thought I would tell you all about my day. Well, to start off, I went to bed early last night: I was absolutely beat. Travelling after a short night after several not very long nights is not the best for me. But I woke this morning quite refreshed, even when you consider I slept on an airbed!! The shower I took later was great as well, even though my sister did discover that as a result of my shower, water was coming through the ceiling.

During the afternoon we (my parents, my sister and I) headed towards Belleek, a small village on the Northern Irish/Irish border. We actually were in Ireland for about 500 meters as well. Unfortunately the Belleek pottery didn't have any guided tours today due to the fact that the factory itself was closed for the weekend. They did however have a great shop, where we browsed for about 45 minutes, even though it wasn't that big. I ended up buying one teapot for one with a Christmas motive and a lovely little vase. Oh, and a housewarming present for my sister that she picked herself.

After we had made our way back to where my sister lives, we went shoeshopping. Which apparently is something my parents do when they visit my sister. Small pleasures and that. I found a lovely pair of shoes that fit perfectly as well, but I will not wear patent leather shoes with socks, so I didn't buy them. Then afterwards we went to the supermarket where we bought pizzas, drinks and other stuff to help us through the weekend. And tonight we are just all sitting down, reading, zapping channels or surfing.

Tomorrow we will be going to church, which will be something different for me, since I only go to church for funerals nowadays it seems. Then on Monday we will probably be hanging shelves and curtains and stuff. And then on Tuesday morning we will be leaving very early to catch the ferry to Scotland and then home. I will keep you posted!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Planes, trains and automobiles

Well, I was home. For a total of about 6 hours that is! I arrived home early in the morning (around 2am) from my trip to London and after quite a short night I left again to go to Northern Ireland to visit my sister for a few days. Not the best idea I ever had: leaving early, but I will get over it. 

My trip to London was good as usual. I know the teachers, the teachers know me and we all know how we operate. Unfortunately we weren't able to just sway the captain of the ferry to let us on an earlier one, so we were quite late this year. It was fun though and I got to see things I hadn't seen before. I even went to a museum: Tate Britain, where I looked at paintings until closing time. 

Mr Turkey seen at Wimpole Hall Home Farm
Gobble gobble
So, I left London on Thursday morning on a coach, we then took a ferry, drove some more on a coach and the last bit home I did by car. This morning I took a bus, then a train, then a plane and I was picked up by my sister in her car. Oh, and I cycled home last night, so basically all modes of transport are covered. 

I will be spending Easter at my sister's, together with my parents who will be arriving later tonight by car. I will be returning with them and I will actually be home for two whole days before setting off to Norway again. I have a busy life at times...

Thursday, 5 April 2012

'Hands'

I sometimes wonder how they come up with the prompts they come up with, but I looked and looked and even found a quite recent photo that contained a glove. Which is allowed in the 'hand' prompt! Yippee!!

Anyway, I took this photo only two weeks ago in the American Airborne Museum in Sainte Mère Église in Normandy. A lot of those display cases displayed items used for combat and there were a few that contained items used for sports and the like. It certainly doesn't look anything like the gloves we used when playing soft ball in high school!

This is my thirteenth entry for Photo Theme for Thursday. Why not join?

Monday, 2 April 2012

London

White Cliffs of Dover yesterday
We had some glorious weather today. Absolutely fantastic. I dropped the kids off at Greenwich and then made my way to the coach park. Which wasn't that far away, but it still took me the better part of 45 minutes! London traffic...

After I had parked, I made my way into the center of town to get a bit to eat and perhaps see the Queen. Well, the bite to eat was easy, I never did get to see the Queen though. Just her house. I think it's a bit large for two, but that might just be me. Oh, hold on, I forgot the corgies! Sorry, I take back what I said.

Buckingham Palace
Following Buckingham Palace I made my way back to the bus. I stopped off to get some books first and then went back. I got a chair out (thank you colleague) and sat outside, soaking up the sunshine. Then, when it was time to pick up the children again, I drove there, parked the coach and waited. And waited. And waited. Turned out, the teachers weren't completely sure about where the entrance was. In the end one of the teachers did find me though. In tears! I was reading a sad book and the main character had just passed away (I will write a review soon).

Tomorrow we're off to Cambridge, with two stops on the way: one at the Duxford Imperial Warmuseum (a lot of (American) planes from WWII) and the other at Wimpole Hall, a large estate. So, I leave you and might see you tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Norway

Photo taken in Sweden last year
I thought I would leave at least one pre-posted post, since I just learnt we aren't staying in our regular hotel. So, I took the chocolate eggs out of my luggage (the owner of our regular hotel was a real sweety and last year she drove me to my bus every single day) and intend to now give them to my sister. I bet my parents have a little space for them in their car! Anyway...

Yesterday I finally did what I have been talking about for so long: I booked myself a flight. To Oslo! I will be leaving Friday 13th and returning one week later. I trust I will be speaking absolutely fluent by then, although I might be a bit optimistic on that score! I don't quite know what I am going to do yet, but I am hoping to make my way to the Telemark region to perhaps meet with someone I have spoken to during the Scandinavia fair in January. I would also like to see whether there are any buscompanies out in the sticks, since I prefer the sticks to the city. Then again, Oslo might be a better bet to find a job. Either way, I haven't quite made up my mind yet, but the flight is booked. It will be a busy three weeks coming up.