Thursday 27 June 2013

The bird

As I looked out of my bedroom window the other night, I saw this huge bird (in my eyes anyway) standing on the rock across the road. I ran for my camera hoping it would still be there when I got it and I was lucky. It was. I took the photo and ever since I have been wondering what type of bird it was. Was it a typical Norwegian bird or was it more European and international?

Since I couldn't find it online and none of my colleagues knew, they only thing for it was to facebook the photo and hope for an answer. Well, I got answers allright! Anything from snipe and northern lapwing to heron and stork! Of course I should have only asked my friend Pepperfly because she might just be omniscient and she said it was a (Eurasian) curlew. Which it is!

It is a migratory bird, so quite international. Like me. It likes invertebrates, but will also eat earth worms and small crabs if the opportunity arises. Unlike me. Not too fond of the earth worms!

Anyway, now I know. Life in Norway, isn't it great?

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Little update

No, I still don't have my own internet and it might actually be my own fault. Something to do with mail and things: I had been sent a letter instead of them calling me! Of course the letter didn't arrive and I never knew anything about them not being able to offer me internet. Which means that none of the other providers will be able either. Apart from one, which I will have to phone tomorrow. Hopefully they can help me. Otherwise I will scream!

On Saturday we had a staff surprise party. Gathering at a pub, taking a boat and going to one of the islands near to Haugesund. We had Bacalao (something Spanish/Norwegian with fish that apparently not many Norwegians like) and we saw the St Hans fire. St Hans is the Norwegian Midsummer. In my mind Midsummer is on the same day all over the Northern Hemisphere, but not according to Norwegians. They celebrate it on June 23rd!

While at the party I talked French with the wife of one of my colleagues. Apart from a few slip-ups I was alright. And if the slip-ups were in Norwegian, it wasn't a big problem: she speaks Norwegian as well! I was happy to be able to get proper sentences out though, very relieved. 

Talking about languages: I finished my Norwegian course. Honestly, I don't feel I learned that much, partly to do with the fact that I was faster than the other three (they had only been in Norway over 10 years each), both in understanding and writing. Partly to do with the fact that we only really had three months. Ah well, the teacher gave me some course work that I could do at home, so that is good. 

My furniture is finally all gathered in one place again. There was a bit of huffing and puffing and occasional swearing while we were trying to get some things upstairs, but we managed. The big dresser I used to have in the living room is now in the hallway and it is a bit big. It fits and there is enough space left, it just looks too much. The daughter of my helping friend might be interested and she can have it, no money asked!

The large wardrobe is still in pieces and will remain that way: there is no way I can put it together upstairs and having a wardrobe in the hallway is just silly. The wood is still good though, so I might actually use it to make some bookcases. Use the doors as the sides and the remaining wood as the shelves. 

First however there is one more week of work to go. And when I say work, I mean work. Long hours, short breaks. Ah well, it keeps me out of trouble. I hope! On Saturday evening I will get my first visitors to my new home: the parental units. They will be driving up to Norway, which means I have sent them quite a wish list of things to take along to me. Stroopwafels and custard powder amongst them. 

Wednesday 19 June 2013

The garden

It's official: it's an apple tree!
I live in a smallish house in the Norwegian countryside. Actually, the house is probably bigger than the house I used to live in in the Netherlands, but the way it has been laid out is such, that I haven't even got half the room I had in the Netherlands. The garden however is a different matter. It is definitely bigger. A lot bigger. A whole lot bigger. 

Since grass has the tendency to grow for some reason and I refuse to have a goat roaming about near my apple tree, it falls on me to actually make sure the grass is walkable height. Of course you could say grass that is about a foot high is also walkable, but that's not an option if I ever want to have a garden party! So, I got myself a lawn mower and a strimmer and set to work. And then yesterday I had to do it all over again. 

I started around 11am. I was finished by 4pm. The main reason being that I only have one battery to my mower. I also got into fights with the apple tree, since it looks lovely, but its lower branches are as the word implies: low! I had to empty the grass catcher time and time again. I had to battle through the flies/mosquitos/creepies that fly around. And to top it all off: my mp3 player conked out! Fortunately only a dead battery, but still...

Spending the better part of five hours working in the garden while the sun was glaring did make me tired though. And I still had to work! I am glad I did it though, since today was a miserable day, with rain and drizzle and more rain and more drizzle. 

Monday 17 June 2013


The old address
I've been having a bit of bother with my mail lately. Ever since I moved really. Basically: I am not getting any! I get junk mail and I got a total of two postcards (one from Pepperfly and one from Debby, thank you), but I think they might have just slipped through unnoticed by the postal services. All other mail goes right back to where it came from apparently. 

I was fed up with it. I want mail. So, I went to the post office today. And asked why I didn't get any mail. Turned out that just telling people my new address doesn't do it here in Norway. Nooooo, I needed to fill out a form so the postal services knows where I live now. 

When I first moved to Norway, I never had to fill out any form. All my mail just arrived. Without any problem. Yes, the postperson wrote me a note to tell me I needed to have my name on the mailbox as well, but as soon as I complied, it was fine. No more notes and all the mail I wanted. 

Now I promised Pepperfly to put my name on the mailbox as well. Unfortunately I have lost my lovely sign. Well, I know it's somewhere in the house, but I don't quite know where somewhere is. It might be anywhere!

I will have a look again tomorrow and then stick it on the mailbox so the postperson knows I live there!

Sunday 16 June 2013

Photo on Sunday 2013-13

If I wasn't so happy living where I live right now, I would seriously consider this area. Every time I come here, it's different and beautiful. It's a bit further inland, but this view is absolutely gorgeous. The only drawback would be wintertime, when the (uphill) roads would be quite icy and snowy. But when the sun's coming up on a nice summer's day, the mist is coming in and the birds are singing...

Friday 14 June 2013


No trip to Florence for me this year!
In Norway (like in the Netherlands) they pay out holiday money. Giving every employee a paid holiday. Which is fantastic. And even more fantastic is the fact that they actually pay out 12% (in the Netherlands it's 8%). Unfortunately I don't get it. Because I wasn't paid until January I haven't earned anything over 2012. So, no holiday money for me. 

The second unfortunately is the fact that I do have a holiday coming up. Starting Monday in fact. Three weeks in total. And of those three weeks, I will be working for two! Basically because I can't afford to be free for so long. Don't get me wrong, I will be paid during a holiday, but no overtime or no late/early/split shift bonus. Which can make quite a difference. 

I have a budget to work with. And my budget takes a certain number as base. If I earn less than that amount, the budget goes out of the window. Three weeks holiday means below budget, means no food or petrol or even worse: rent. 

Mind you, I don't really mind working for the next two weeks. I will after all have one week off. A week in which my parents will descend upon my home. I might need a holiday afterwards!

Thursday 13 June 2013

Oh my

Interspersed with Norwegian.
And getting there. 
And rain.
Norwegian summer.
Long hours,
Short breaks.
Blonde on the outside
And blonde on the inside.
Strawberry liqueur
And orange juice.

But tomorrow: 
I am off!

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Trouble in paradise

Nothing to do with languages, just a nice photo
If you're reading the title and you start imagining the worst: like dead in a ditch, in prison, homesick (to the Netherlands), severely ill or anything worse: don't worry! It's nothing like that! In fact, I guess most of you wouldn't even call it trouble in paradise, just a little annoyance. 

Now, as you know I used to live in the Netherlands for a few years prior to my move to Norway. When in the Netherlands I would travel to Germany quite regularly and while in Germany I would speak German. I speak after all fluent German. Or so I thought. Because I've lost the ability. My brain is not cooperating, especially my speach center. I understand it perfectly still, I just don't speak it anymore. 

Last Saturday I wanted to speak German to a nice couple from Germany. It didn't happen. If I said one German word, two Norwegian ones would follow, making the conversation quite weird. Plus I know that French is the same deal. I can think of the sentences in my head, but once they come out of my mouth, it's just jibberish. 

So, I am talented at languages, but rubbish at the languages I am fluent in! How weird is that??

Sunday 9 June 2013

Photo on Sunday 2013-12

Did you ever pretend you were the traindriver and use all the dining chairs as the carriages? I don't think I ever did, although we did build a 'house' under the table. 

Anyway, today's photo is taken in my garden and features my new dining room chairs. I had a dining table, but no chairs. So, when a colleague said a friend of hers had a table in the offering... I have two tables now and six chairs: four that belong to the table and two royal (albeit a bit shabby) ones. The last two will go upstairs and will only come downstairs when needed. I just need to clean them, since there's quite a bit of dry mould on them.

Saturday 8 June 2013


It is almost the meaning of life. But not quite. Just one short. And to be honest: I don't mind it at all. Because after the first 20 I had had enough. But I was only halfway through the shift. The shift of toing and froing the 800 meters. 

It was fun though. I got a lovely photo taken by a colleague (see top) at the beginning of my stretch. Had a few laughs with some children on the bus. Saw a mini viking and a lot of big vikings. Tried to speak German (and completely failed, more on that in a later post). 

I saw Avaldsnes Church 41 times today!
The last thing of the day was take back some very disappointed English people. I knew they couldn't get beer after a certain time in this country, even if the supermarket is still open. I thought it was 8pm, but that is only on weekdays. On Saturdays it's 6pm. So, they were a bit dejected. Now they had to do their partying with 4 liters of red wine, 4 liters of white wine and a bottle of wodka. I've partied on less!

Anyway, time passed quicker than I had thought possible. My overtime note is written and I will be heading home. With a little detour to the Mac probably. I am in the mood for bad food!

Friday 7 June 2013

Nothing wrong

I got an email today: what was wrong with my blog? I presume the email came since I haven't posted anything lately. It's not that I didn't have anything to post about. It's quite the opposite, but I still haven't got any internet at home and the person I am borrowing internet from, seems to turn it off occasionally! Not very neighbourly I think...

Anyway, in a nutshell, here's what's been happening this week: I worked. I mowed the lawn a bit more. I went out to dinner. I got an email from the bank saying they couldn't transfer the money because some details were missing. How on earth they can call themselves a bank I don't know: I was able to find out no problem! I went out for coffee with the girls, I took photos, updated the photo book, worked a bit extra, had fun, didn't get enough sleep and plenty more besides.

Tomorrow I have to work. Resembling my old job in the Netherlands somewhat. Toing and froing all day long. Ten hours in fact. But where in the Netherlands the toing was usually over a distance of about 10 km, over here it's a distance of (drumroll) 800 meters! In other words: half a mile! The froing is the same distance again! And I will be doing that for ten hours! On my own. It will be great...

The weather has been great lately: sun and nice enough temperatures. No floods anywhere near me so that's good! I am still loving every second of my job here. And the people. I miss my old job less and less and do enjoy the time off more and more! I am still saving up to get my second satellite dish so I can watch the BBC and I still have to get internet sorted. I may not be around very much in the near future because of it and I don't always want to do it at work. But I am happy and well! Which is of course the most important thing.

Sunday 2 June 2013

Photo on Sunday 2013-11

I have several trees in my garden. According to Pepperfly there isn't a fruit tree. According to a colleague there is (a plum tree apparently). Well, as long as it's not a cherry tree I am happy enough!