Monday 27 January 2014


All photos taken during the walk
I went on a walk yesterday. I had wanted to do it on Saturday, but there was a storm blowing, so I felt I was better off inside. But yesterday morning, bright and early, I put on my walking boots and went on my way. After all, it's good for my health and I need the training for my walk/hike during the summer.

Lovely little place
I bought those walking boots about 13 years ago and I have had trouble with them since the start. As a matter of fact, in those thirteen years, I have only worn them twice! The first time I took a walk to visit a friend. Who lived about 30km from where I lived! I didn't do the whole journey, taking the bus part of the way, but the time I arrived, I was not friends with my boots. 

It just needs a whole lot of TLC
The second time was a hike in Germany and the Netherlands. Twenty kilometers over reasonably flat (compared to Norway anyway) country. After only 5 of those 20 I was struggling and the blisters started to appear. One on each heel. Both were taped up and I never felt the right one again. The left one however, caused more and more trouble and by the time we finally had made it (dark by then), I just wanted to get the boots off. I had a bloody blister about 4cms big! It was agony. I skipped the second day of walking and went home to lick my wounds (not literally, I am not that agile). I didn't walk properly for a week.

What you doing?
The walking shoes I have now are okay. They do the job just fine on flat, even surfaces. Or even not so flat, even surfaces. But for Norwegian hiking, I need something better. Like ankle high boots. Sturdy. Water tight. Good. Which I have. So, yesterday I put them on and did a little tour. Only 3,5 km (2 miles). They felt allright. Until I noticed the blisters. One on each heel. 

Next time some blister plasters before I set off I think. Because the boots are good. (And yes Pepperfly, I will get some proper advice as well)

Sunday 26 January 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-3

The yellow basement windows
I live in a small wooden cottage in the Norwegian countryside. Freestanding. Old. And did I mention wooden? I like living here. I really do. I can crank up the television to the max (which I hardly ever do by the way), I can walk around naked (again: hardly ever, read on to learn why) without being seen and I have great views. 

This small wooden cottage has a serious drawback though. One that I mentioned already: it's old. And with old comes weird and wonderful. Like more closet space than I need, sloping roofs, sloping floors and all the other things I have talked about in the past (toilet? water? remember?). And when the wind is blowing, which it has done ever since early December it feels like, it's hard to heat up the place. 

Only single glass, so I covered them with insulation material I had lying around
I have a hot air pump by the front door. Great! The best place to enjoy that thing is halfway up the stairs! I have an electric heater in the bathroom. Great! If I don't mind paying double for electricity. And I have a woodburner. Great! I just need to haul up the wood every day (it's in the basement).

But, as I said: it's hard to heat up the place. And the main reason for that is all the gaps and cracks and whatevers. The downstairs basement door was letting in cold air like it was for sale. Never mind me not locking the door, that basement door did more damage! So, I had to insulate it. But with what? Well, luckily I had the remainder of the insulation stuff they used on the house just lying in the basement. So, first I stuffed the windows and the I covered the gaps and cracks and holes of the basement door. 

Perhaps it's not pretty, it's certainly not very practical,
but it's a solution for now!
Insulation material held down with carpet tape, which is nailed down.
The upstairs basement door however, was just as bad: a lot of cold air was seeping through. For that I had bought insulation strips. It took me twenty minutes and freezing hands, but in the end: no cold air! Yippee! 

Hopefully it will all work a treat! And make my home just a bit more comfortable when there is a storm blowing!

Friday 24 January 2014


Finally it's the weekend. Lovely weekend. Two whole days off. No alarm clocks (3 if you please), no work. Just me and whatever I want to do. The dishes? Well, hardly necessary since I do them every day now (shock). Cook a proper dinner? I might. Make lolly-pop cakes? That sounds like a good idea. 

I will need to do some serious stuff though: get the basement door a bit better insulated than it is now. A lot of cold air is coming through, which makes it harder for the warmth to stay in. I will need to do something about my car as well: it looks like it has the white measles. I guess the salter came by one evening and my car was too close to the road. 

Other than that I will be working on my Wuppie album and I will try to make some books out of my blog. One for each year, but I will have to do some serious editing. It might take a while. 

For now though: Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman and Jack Frost are fighting the Boogey Man. 

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday 23 January 2014

Three options

There are three options as to what happened sometime between 10.30pm last night and 05.00am this morning. 

Option 1: Somebody broke into my home. Didn't take anything, didn't leave any traces, but forgot to lock the door.

Option 2: I didn't lock the door properly last night. Even though I did take the key out, I can't remember whether I checked whether the door was locked or not. 

Option 3: I sleepwalked at some point and unlocked the front door. 

Option 1 is not really logical. My television was still there, as was my laptop, my camera and my money bag (from work). 

Option 3 isn't really logical either. I only sleepwalk when I have nothing to do and working every day, meeting people and talking to them is not nothing. 

So, option 2 sounds like the most likely option. I didn't lock the door properly. Now, not locking the door is not such a huge problem. But when you wake up at 5am and it's howling because of the wind, while you know the wind comes from the wrong direction for howling... 

Turns out, an unlocked door can be opened. And open doors are not good, especially when there is a lot of wind. And it's cold outside. The heat pump couldn't keep up and the house was like a fridge all over. A hot shower got me warm for a bit, but once out from under, I was cold again. The car was equally cold and once it got warm, there were only 2 kilometers left to drive! And then it was back out in the cold. The bus I had to take wasn't much better: a total of 0 degrees inside! I have been cold all day it feels like. 

One more day to the weekend!! Hopefully with locked doors and no wind!!!

Wednesday 22 January 2014

One of those

It doesn't happen that often, but when I woke up on Monday morning, still lying in my nice warm bed, there was only one thought running through my head: five days to the weekend! And that was before I had done any driving at all!

It's not that the driving is bad. Or the weather. Or my colleagues. It was just the thought that a whole week of work lay ahead of me. Five days of route 5 and 7 and 2 and 1 and 24. 

When I was asked this afternoon whether I wanted to some extra driving (overtime!) I declined. Because the thought of a few extra hours before there were only two days left of this week, was too much. 

It's not that I am in a bad mood. Even if the uniform people had me down as a man. That has since changed. I caught some cheats on the bus (always nice). Í am just a bit down. 

Two more days to the weekend!

Monday 20 January 2014

The monk and the crocodile

I had to work last Saturday. Not unusual at all. It happens more often. Usually Saturday is rather a quiet day, unless it's nearly Christmas and then it's mayhem. It wasn't nearly Christmas though and it was rather quiet. As I was making yet another trip to the center of town, I all of a sudden noticed a man standing on the corner. Which is not unusual. At all. There are several men living in this neck of the woods and occasionally one of them will stand on a corner. This man was different however. 

This man was a monk. Now, Haugesund is not known for its catholisism. Yes, there is a Catholic church, but I think my house is about the same size! So, seeing a monk in the center of Haugesund was quite strange. The thing that made it funny though, was the fact that he had apparently lost his way (not the funny part) and was checking his i-pad or whatever it was he had in his hand to find his way! Which I thought was very funny. I am easily pleased!

As I was leaving the center of town again, I was picking up people to go to town (it's a round trip bus really). Two girls got on, just before teenage age. The first girl handed me some money for her ticket and it felt funny. I turned the ten-kroner coin over and there it was: a crocodile! There was a crocodile sticker stuck to the coin. I peeled it off and told the girl (who had already sat down) that she had forgotten her crocodile. Well, I may be easily pleased, but so were those two girls: they giggled all the way to town! 

Sunday 19 January 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-2

Remember that lovely snowman I made only a few days ago? Click here to see it again. However, the last few days saw a lot of thaw and a lot of wind and the result was that on Sunday I had to rescue my hat and scarf before they would be blown into oblivion! 

Sorry Albert!

Tuesday 14 January 2014


Not much to say today. The weather was glorious (sunshine all day), the roads were awful (most of them were snowcovered still) and I was off early. 

The rising moon
And being off early meant that I had enough time to take some photos of my backgarden. Which was quite treacherous actually. Some patches had snow about an inch deep, other patches were closer to two feet! But there were beautiful snowdrifts to be seen and to take photos of. 

Hello Mr Snowman!
After the photos I decided to make a snowman. It was quite nice snow, but not really to make a large snowball from and then heave one on top of the other. So, basically I made a large mound and that was the snowman. I did it once before in Germany and this one looks a lot like it. 

I must have so many photos of this view, but I can't stop taking more!
The only thing is: I will need to make some more hats and scarves! Using them on my snowmen all the time is not conducive to keeping my head and neck warm!!

Monday 13 January 2014

Slipping and sliding

A light dusting of my backyard on Sunday
It had been forecast for a few days already: Sunday the temperatures would drop and the snow would start to fall on Monday. And guess what: it did!

We saw some light snowfall yesterday as well, but that was hardly enough to cover a anything. Today however more than made up for it, since it started at around 10.30am and hasn't stopped yet. There is quite a bit of wind as well, which makes for some treacherous driving at times. Some parts of the road have been blown completely free of snow, while other parts have foot-high snow banks! 

A photo from Sunday again
As I was doing my driving today, I was severely hindered. The snow itself of course, which stuck to the windscreen wipers, so I had to occasionally get out of the bus and clean them if I wanted to see anything. Then there were the roads: clear and snowbanks. And of course the other traffic, driving too fast and spinning around or too slow and annoying me. 

The snow is not expected to stay for a long time. By the end of the week, the temperatures are due up again. Hold on, I just checked: due up and then down again. Heavy cloud covering as well? This might mean more snow! Which means snowman!! 

But right now: the fire is roaring and I am enjoying my hot chocolate. 

Sunday 12 January 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-1

You might be forgiven for thinking that the photoshoot I had done yesterday was almost completely in black and white. It wasn't. There were several photos in colour and this is one of my favourites of the whole lot. At least it was a pose I felt comfortable with. No trying to get my legs in positions they were not used to. No putting my hands on my head or under my chin in poses that felt funny. Just me, sitting on the ground in my jeans and shirt. 

Saturday 11 January 2014

Bucket number 1

I had wanted to do it for years: get a professional photo shoot done. Hair, make-up and wardrobe. And then lots of photos of me in different poses. How to go about it though, after all, I am not one for the women's magazines and the make-overs and things. Then I moved to Norway and some of my new friends recommended me to a photoshoot thingy. The first time they called was about five months ago and today I finally was able to go.

I arrived at 9.30am and was the first in the make-up chair. A lovely Swedish girl (the whole thing is Swedish apparently) did my make-up and told me exactly what she was doing. Especially about my eyes, since I don't think having my eyes covered in heavy make-up is any good. But she did a splendid job. The hair I had to do myself, but with it being short, there is not much I can do with that. Wardrobe as well was my own and I chose a lovely lilac sweater. 

I only had to wait a few minutes before I was called (first again) to start with the photos. Stand behind a box, sit on the box, a hat appeared, sit on the floor, a mirror. I had to have my hands in weird positions, look up, look down, look away and even look straight ahead! She kept asking me about my glasses though: could I take them off? Well, no, not really. It's not that I don't see anything, but my glasses are part of me and I want photos of me!

After about 30 minutes (I think) the photo taking was done. I only had to wait a few more minutes and then I could see the photos myself and choose any I wanted. A total of 60 photos to look through in black and white and in colour.

The make-up and photoshoot were free (since I was a recommendation), but I would have to pay for any photos I wanted. And after looking at them, I decided I wanted, since they were fantastic. Most of them anyway, but the difference between only 10 and all (60) was so little, I decided to take the lot. 

The whole experience was a great experience. Even taking the make-up off afterwards. Which took the better part of 20 minutes and a lot of cotton pads. No wonder I don't usually wear make-up and certainly not that amount. The work involved in first putting it on and afterwards taking it off is too much for me. I had rather spend time in bed! 

So, my photoshoot is in the bag. My professional photoshoot! I just hope they will be around some time in the future when my sister is here. I would love to share the experience with her and possibly get some photos taken of the two of us together! For now though: mission accomplished. One down on my bucket list for 2014!

Friday 10 January 2014

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

The setting sun a few days ago
All those little things that happen in one day. Because life is like a bus: nothing for ages and then four at once! So in random order:

My sceptic tank was emptied again. According to my landlady it should be once every six months, I am lucky to get four months out of it! I don't get it...

I had my annual dentist appointment. No holes, not even any plaque! 700 kroners for ten minutes! Easy money for them...

After weeks of rain, wind and storms, the weather is finally slowing down. The temperatures are slowly dropping and from next week they should hug the zero. The one thing I find fascinating however is the fact that temperatures are more or less the same, day and night! In the Netherlands, there was always a difference. 

The photo certainly didn't do the view justice. 
I said it before: Norway is celebrating its 200th anniversary of the birth of their constitution. For that reason they invited a lot of bands to the military tattoo in May that have (had) something to do with that. I wondered about the Dutch entry: Royal Military Band Johan Willem Friso. What do the Dutch have to do with Norway, other than introducing plenty of words, sayings and jenever (alcoholic drink)? And then today I found out: 2014 is also the year the Netherlands have been their own country! Mystery solved...

There was one more thing I wanted to... oh yes: muesli with vanilla yoghurt and mini marshmellows. Mmmmm

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Moving along

Royal Military Band Johan Willem Friso

If there is one thing that I hate about the internet it's when it's not doing what it's supposed to do. Like ordering tickets to the tattoo (and no Janice, it's not an ink tattoo, it's a music tattoo, a military one at that). I have tried several times now and every time the site just doesn't do anything. I can see the empty unsold seats, I just can't fill any of them! Very annoying. I will have to phone tomorrow. I tried today, but they close at 5pm. 

But, the flights are booked. I will be flying on Friday night, leaving me free to work during the day and fly back again on Saturday night and then I will go to the afternoon show. This leaves the Sunday free to work as well if I choose to. And according to my current rota, the whole weekend should be a work weekend. First the ticket to the show though and then I will see what I can do about the rest. Oh, and a hotel room of course. No sleeping in a box for me! I am no cat!!

Tuesday 7 January 2014

One at a time

I should have made one resolution: be a better blogger. Because I have been awful lately: not posting anything at all. Even my sister commented just now. We talked for a while on skype. Or at least tried to, since my connection was a bit on the iffy side. 

The reason we talked was 1. we are sisters and 2. I had booked a flight to go and see her. Yes, one of my bucket list 2014 is about to happen. Not for another three months, but when in April I will fly to Oslo and then on to Dublin. Back will be from Dublin to Copenhagen to Oslo and then home. Easy it ain't!!

I also got other news today: my request for a few days off to go and see the military tattoo in Oslo has been granted, so tomorrow I will get on the phone and try and get all that sorted. For some reason I can't book a seat for the event online, which is annoying to say the least. 

So: numbers 3 and 4 are a definite go! April and May are sorted. Apart from that: next month will see my friend Pepperfly taking a plane to come and see me for a few days. Exciting. And then there is the thing happening this Saturday. It is on my list, but I won't tell you which one it is!! You will have to find out for yourselves. 

Other than that not much is happening. The rain is ever present here, although the outlook does seem to be a bit better early next week: dropping temperatures and more importantly: no rain. Yesterday was my first day off of the new year and I enjoyed it by doing not much at all. Which is the best way to celebrate a day off in my opinion. 

The photo at the top was taken before Christmas. And no, I wasn't visiting Russia. Although they did sell potatoes. Very special potatoes apparently, since every time I drove past (from 8am to 3pm, several times) there was a huge queue. I had seen it before, but had never taken a photo of it. This time I just stopped the bus and took one. 

Thursday 2 January 2014

A new bucket

Linette wishes you a great 2014 too. If she weren't sleeping that is!!!
Let me just start by wishing you all a very happy, healthy, relaxed and fun 2014. I hope this will the year all your dreams come true, however small they may be!

Now, I have long since stopped making New Year's resolutions. Basically, because they are broken by noon on New Year's Day already. But this year I decided to do something similar to resolutions. I will make a list of the things I want to see/do/learn this year. It will be a list of twelve, so it should be doable to do one a month. Some will come from my main bucket list, others are new. All have in common that they are relatively easy to accomplish (she says, confidently). So, here goes:

1. Have a professional photoshoot (from the main list). Should be achievable in February/March, depending on the photographer. 

2. Learning how to ride a horse (from the main list). Should be achievable. Not quite sure where to go, but I can find out.

3. Visit my sister in Northern Ireland. Well, if the Tide planners work with me on this one, this should happen in April. 

4. A tattoo. This year it will be the 200th anniversary of the first constitution of Norway and that will be celebrated by a bigger and better tattoo! And when 'my' band (KMKJWF: the one I occasionally drove around in the Netherlands) is also on the poster, I certainly should go! May for this one.

5. A German Christmas market. Yes, yes, I know Christmas has just been and most of you probably still have the tree up, but this is a list for the whole year and I hope that in December I can make my way over to Hamburg to visit its Christmas market.

Buckingham Palace
6. A musical in London. Or just London. With my sister? In November? 

7. Aurlandsdalen. You have read the horror story that was Aurlandsdalen. It was the one where I was walking on the fumes of the fumes left over after the fumes had burnt! And I want to do it again? Well, yes. Since I hope to be in better shape this time. I should be, because if I'm not, I won't be allowed to come! Probably August.

8. It will be my Mum's birthday this year. Strange thing: it happens every year! But this time she will turn OAP! So, definitely worth a visit. August/September.

9. See some more Norway. After all, I haven't really seen that much of this vast country. I would love to visit Hardangervidda. I only drove through it a couple of times, but we never stopped to enjoy the scenery. Summertime for that!

10. Get a second satellite dish so I can FINALLY watch Doctor Who and so much more. End of January most likely! Yippee!!!

11. Get a dishwasher. Since I am not too fond of washing dishes (understatement here people), I think this would make me a perfect birthday present. So, June it is!

12. Meet a fellow blogger. Somewhere. At some point.  

So, that's my list. Should be doable, achievable and accomplishable. There will be a lot more things happening hopefully: like the May 17th Parade and rowing race. Outings to other places. People visiting and me visiting people. Hope you will be there enjoying the stories with me.