Monday, 26 June 2017

Peanuts

I have a saying I use quite often: he/she has the brains of a castrated peanut. In other words: none at all. I must admit I roll my eyes on occasion while driving (ok, more than 'on occasion'), but today there were some people who must have had a brainectomy, because they were just unbelievably eye-rollingly stupid!

Mind  you, it did get me into some overtime, so not all was lost. I still have to make up for the time I used for traveling to the Netherlands earlier this year. I might even have to do a complete day of overwork (shock horror), but if I can avoid it, I will. I do have some vacation days left, but I want off over Christmas and need all my vacation days for that. 

In other news (and yes, this time there is other news): I received two large packages today. I had been expecting them and was very pleasantly surprised when I opened one. Yes, only one, since the other (same) package is for my sister. 

You may recall my little sister being here not long ago and on our trip over the Hardanger Plains, we both loved this view. And we both wanted it on our walls. So, photo on canvas and hey presto! It looks really good and I will have some more made as well. Different views of course and different sizes as well. I have taken so many photos over the years and I really want to use them for more than just filling on my computer. 

It could even be my birthday present to myself!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The list

The back of Wimpole Hall.
Possibly too big.
About six weeks ago I mentioned that at some point in the future my sister and I want to move into one big home together. We had found a kitchen we both liked and looked at our finances. 

Well, we had another look and at this moment in time, we have about enough for all the kitchen cabinets, probably the fridge/freezer and the cooker and we might stretch to a large kitchen table. As for the actual kitchen to put all that in? Not yet.

But you can't just live in a kitchen, especially not with the amount of stuff we both have. So, a list was needed with all our wishes. Here goes...
His bedroom at Wimpole Hall.
Too fussy for me
  • We want a bedroom each with adjacent bathroom and dressing room. Plus, so she won't have to watch Doctor Who and I don't have to watch her monkey show, we want a sitting room each. 
  • The large kitchen with enough room for a huge kitchen table and chairs and some additional comfy seating. Plus a pantry/larder and a utility room. 
  • A nice comfortable living room. 
  • A craft room. Mainly for storage though, the actual work will probably take place anywhere else, but the storing of all of our yarns, fabrics, buttons and what have you, will be in the craft room.
  • A library. We both have lots of books and even though we both own the same books to some degree, she also loves Harry Potter and I like my Georgette Heyer. It will also need to house the 'books' and administration needed for the house.
  • A basement for: a Lego-room for my sister. She makes those huge houses and streets and needs plenty of room for that. A wine cellar for all of our (2) bottles of wine, plus whiskey, port, amaretto and whatever other goodies we have. 
  • An indoor/outdoor swimming pool and sauna. Perhaps a small gym since we have the room?
  • 3 or more guest rooms with their own bathrooms. For all the guests that want to see what we've actually managed to achieve. 
  • Downstairs toilet. I do NOT want to have to run upstairs...
The Trevi Fountain in Rome. A bit over the top perhaps?
  • A double garage.
  • A barn to hold the garden furniture for our...
  • Big garden with orchard and fruit bushes. Perhaps a pond or small lake. Fountain is optional.
  • A linen room.
  • A conservatory.
  • A small cat's room (ie litterbox room)
  • A cinema room.
We will probably end up in something like this.
One each (there are four)
We want a symmetrical house with Georgian height rooms. Perhaps a Roman villa-style building (U-shape) with the guest rooms in the wings. Preferably everything wheelchair proof, since you never know what's going to happen in the future. We want a courtyard and a veranda. 

The chances of this all happening and us getting what we want are of course quite slim. But, if you are dreaming, you might as well dream massive! 

Now we just need to win the lottery... 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

School!

After nearly two weeks I am back at the computer to do some blogging. Brom has retired his tired paws and will gather strength for our next trip. In the mean time I am back and not only here, at work as well. 

Yesterday and today they were ordinary town-driving. Nothing special, but busy. Tomorrow my shift starts a bit later and it starts off with some school driving. Unfortunately the school has already finished for the holidays, so there won't be any driving for me. I am really unhappy about that (Yeah, as if...). 

It does mean however that I have to sit at work for the first part of my non-school-driving and then for my break. I had better take my mouse work with me. 

In other news... there is no other news!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Brom says goodbye

Coocoo

Today was a bit of a sad day, because Gera was going home. I really liked having her here. We did a lot of nothing and a bit of cooking, baking and sight-seeing. The perfect holiday! The next time I will see her is in two months, so not too far away. 

I don't know either...
Mara says it is quite nice to have the house to herself again. And Gera said it would be nice to sleep in her own bed again as well. But they had a great time together. 

As of tomorrow I am on leave from blogging, until our next holiday when Mara and I will be driving to the Netherlands. I am looking forward to that very much. 

But, here are a few photos of the two of them/three of us during this past holiday... 


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Brom's Photo on Sunday 2017-19

Wall art in Stavanger

Giddy-up!

I loved this rock. It looks like it has lots of seeds in it.


Taking a (precariously balanced) selfie on the Hardanger Plains.

Mara kept this coat for 25 years, but it was time to let it go. Bin!

Mara, I think the 'beschuiten' were baked too hot!

This will be the 'ontbijtkoek' or honey cake.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Brom does very little

Coocoo

Here I am again! I was raring to go again today, but Mara and Gera felt a day of rest was in order. So, that's what we did. Although they did plenty. 

At the beginning of the Hardanger Plains
They went shopping (again), but this time they only got some groceries. Well, and a coat for Gera, but it's a really nice one. 

If you want peace and quiet...
Mara played around on the computer a lot, but she says she wants some music when we're traveling to the Netherlands in August, so I guess it's ok. 

Cold!
When we drove back from the Hardanger Plains the weather was so bad, it was really dark by the time we got home at 11.15pm. Last night however there was no rain and hardly any clouds. So, Mara and Gera actually left the house at 10.30 to drive up Steinsfjellet (Stone Mountain) to see the sunset. 

Sun setting over Haugesund
Unfortunately some clouds were coming in off the sea obscuring the sunset, but it was the best night of the holiday, so they were happy anyway. 

Gera's new coat
There had been several plans for today, but in the end they decided to bake 'beschuiten'. It's a Dutch bready type foodable that is not made of bread at all. I think I might have to supervise here, because you never know what they will end up baking if not!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Brom sees a waterfall

Coocoo

Did you miss me? Did you wonder where I was yesterday? If you did, it might be wise to remember I am on holiday with the Two Dutch Dopes! The ones that took the wrong train just because it was standing at the platform. The ones that forgot money, driver's licence, tickets to the Edinburgh Tattoo. Just to give you an impression of their dopiness. 

The wrong and small waterfall
Okay then, yesterday. Do you remember the plan? If not, here it is: first we would put everything in the loft that Mara wanted to keep. Then we would take everything that Mara didn't want to keep to the Salvation Army (around 10 am). And they did that. Noooo problem. They had talked about driving to see some waterfalls that might be nice to see, so after having dropped the stuff off, that's what they did. 

Langfossen (the right waterfall)
The first waterfall they saw was a bit... ehm... small. Turns out it wasn't the right one, because only a few minutes later there was a nice big one. So, we parked the car again and took photos. We finished our lunch (bought at the small waterfall place) and continued to the next one. Which was a bit more spectacular, although I did wish Mara had brought my rain hat. Not because of any rain, but because of the spray of the water.

Låtefossen (the more spectecular one)
While driving from one waterfall to the next, the plan became: drive on to the little town following the waterfall (called Odda), get out there, walk around a bit, get back in the car and drive home. Possibly with some dinner at the small waterfall place (Åkrafjordtunet). And then they saw a sign with a large map on it. Well...

Wool on tree!
They drove straight through Odda. And just kept driving. And driving. And driving! Because they had changed the plan. Instead of Odda, they were going to see the Hardangervidda. A big nature area that was just around the corner(!). It wasn't just around the corner, but it was doable. Mara said. 

Our favourite view
We stopped in Eidfjord, because they saw some wool on trees. I mean, really? That's worthy of a stop? But, I had to grant them that: it was. After that, we got some supplies: water and bamsemums (marshmallows with chocolate) and on we went. Towards the Hardangervidda (Hardanger Plains). 

Panoramic view
Well, what can I say other than: it was soooooo worth it! It was beautiful! It was stunning! Every turn we took, there was a new view that took our breath away. Want to see snow capped mountains? What about snow covered ground and ice covered lakes? It was just... WOW!

Snowball! 
After all that we drove down to the town of Geilo and they wondered. Because the plan had been to see the waterfalls and return home, the subject of supplies had not come up. Nor had the subject of GPS or road map, since it was an easy way to the waterfalls. It was by then around 5.45 pm and we were a long way from home. 

View over an icy lake
Mara asked at a local petrol station about the shortest way home: basically the same way we had come. The big question however was: would we? Or would we get some basic night supplies and get a hotel? Well, in the end they had themselves a pizza each and drove home! And we didn't get home until 11.15 pm!

A great tasting pizza Mara said
It was a long day and Mara (who had done all the driving) and Gera were tired when they got home. But boy oh boy, it had been a beautiful day, despite the rain on our return. That's what happens when you are having a holiday with the Two Dutch Dopes!

During the return trip.
And yes, there was plenty of rain in those clouds.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Brom gets worried

Coocoo

Today was surprising. Very surprising! Perhaps you know that Mara owns a few Christmas films. And by a few I mean nearly 300!! I know, right! Way too many. But she loves them and they are on show and today...

She packed more than half of them away, ready to go to a charity shop! Not only did she do that with dvd's, she also went through her bookcase and removed a fair amount of books to be donated as well! And she didn't stop there. Yarn that was unused since the beginning of the century and lots and lots of knitting needles. A few lights and many other things found there way into large bin bags to be donated.

To go to the loft, including the two large bags of wool.
Not only that, she put the remaining yarn in a big plastic box and then started filling smaller plastic boxes with a lot of books that she is NOT getting rid of (mainly maps and touristy books), because, in her words, she and Gera will need some books to fill the library they are planning to have in the big house they want!

A dress she wore once when she was 20
To be donated
Of course that wasn't the end of it. Because, I will be honest here: Mara is not known to be the tidiest of persons. But she and Gera put the donate-bags in the car and the small plastic boxes in the hallway, ready to be taken up to the loft tomorrow. It's not a hundred percent tidy yet, but it's not bad for Mara and Gera!

Yep, I am sitting on the bag with dvd's.
All the other bags will be donated as well.
Tomorrow we will take everything to the loft and then we will drive past the charity shop (Salvation Army) and drop everything off. After that? Mara hasn't told me yet, but she says it's going to be nice. As long as the weather is nice...

She wore this dress once for a fancy dress party a long time ago.
To be donated.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Brom goes cultural

Coocoo

It's me! With more stories of our lovely holiday here in the good ol' United Sta Norway. And today we took a bus and then a ferry and then back on the bus and then we had arrived. Because we went to Stavanger. A lovely town/city about 90 minutes away. 

And it proved to be a lovely place indeed. Lots of up-and-down and right-and-left streets and alleys. So, the first thing Mara and Gera did? They hit the shops!!! What? I thought we were going to be cultural and visit museums and churches and such. Instead we went into a shop. I must admit, I do despair of those girls some times. 

But in between all those shops, Mara had her camera out, because she saw things everywhere! A little statue of Johanna and her little brother and then, not 5 meters away, a wall painting of the very same. We saw beavers and a turtle, sheep and a billy goat. 

And there was a lot of fun art on the walls. Plus some boards with funny texts. So, we did get cultural as well. Although not as much as I had feared (I will have to be honest here, I am not so much into museums and churches and such, I prefer to be outdoors. I am after all a bear!). 

The plan had been to stay well into the evening, but in the end we left at 2.15pm and we were all perfectly happy with it. Mara's haul? An 80's cd with 80 tracks (still no Madonna) and a cd with music from the 50's and 60's. A little money bank in the shape of a pineapple. Six storytelling dice. Two Christmas tree ornaments. And books. Of course!

Gera was a bit easier on the buying front, but she bought a lovely train game (Ticket to Ride). She loves to play those board games like Catan and this train game, so when she found the Scandinavian version, she had to have it. A Christmas mug and plate and last but not least a little tin troll. We are after all in Norway!

We had a lovely dry day with a bit of shopping and a bit of culture. Oh, and a bit of tightrope walking as well...

Monday, 12 June 2017

Brom bakes a cake

Coocoo

Yesterday was a quiet day we spent doing not much at all. However, Mara did use that nothing time and made me an apron. Because today we were going to bake a cake!

Mixing the carrot cake mix
Mara likes to bake apple pies and people love to eat them, so she had decided to bake one today and invite some colleagues over to eat it. And because she had some carrots left over, she decided to make a carrot cake as well. 

Ready to go into the oven
The first cake we made was the carrot cake, because it needed to cool before we could put the buttercream on. It was hard work, but it was fun as well. And the apron worked really well! Not a bit of flour on me.

The finished carrot cake with the buttercream icing
After lunch Mara and Gera continued with the apple pie. Gera made the dough and Mara peeled all those apples. I just looked while more and more apples went into the bowl. 1,5 kilograms or 3 pounds of apples! Mara is not very good at following the recipe though: it said a handful of raisins and she put nearly four big hands in. But she said it would taste great.

Checking on the apple pie
In the end only two people made it down, some had to work and others had other commitments. Which means that... we have lots more cake to eat this week. 

Ready for our guests
I don't mind at all...