Monday 31 March 2014


The fabric: a deep burgundy red
As you may know, I am not one of the worlds' shoppers. I mean, put me in a bookshop and I am happy to spend an hour or more there, but clothes shops are different. But even I need to go in one on occasion. Because it's a cold country here and I need to keep myself well covered. 

Today however, I went shopping for a different reason. If you remember I spent last year's Constitution Day in jeans and a sweatshirt. Which stood out like a big red sore thumb in a sea of neat toes. And I knew I had to do it different this year. So, when I was on holiday in the Netherlands only a few weeks after that, I bought fabric and gave it to a friend of my mother, who then proceeded to find patterns and then made the most beautiful outfit. 

Home made lace! I have such a clever Mum!
The most beautiful outfit was missing a few components though. Like shoes. And you can't just use any type of shoe, no, they have to be black, in my case low-heeled and have a silver-coloured buckle. I would also need stockings, preferably white. I needed knee-length bloomers that would have to be tied with ribbons instead of using elastic. A white underskirt. An undershirt plus another shirt with long sleeves that peep out from underneath the sleeves of the top. 

I needed a brooch to hold the thin shawl in place. Earrings to add some glamour. The lace necklace, lace bag and cotton and lace cap are still being made, but should make it to me in time. A corset or something similar was deemed by me to be a bit too much, although some nice new undies...

One of the tricky parts: closing the front of my chemise. Fiddly!
Anyway, I got most of the list. The stockings will have to come from erotica'r'us, since they are nearly impossible to find. The underskirt will have to be made by yours truly, but I don't think that should be too much trouble. The bloomers have been bought, but are not what I would prefer. They will have to do for now though. The long-sleeved undershirt is a bit harder to find. Any ordinary blouse would do basically, but without a collar, so I have some searching to do still. 

One thing I can tell you though: shopping is very tiring!

Sunday 30 March 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-08

Is it a bird? Is it a bee? No! It's a superhero (of sorts) in a tree!!

Photo taken on my walk last Tuesday.

Wednesday 26 March 2014


Not my car. Unfortunately...
Reading posts by others is often a game of remembrance for me. They write about how and where the drove cars and I remember the time I got my dad to curse like a docker. Something he is not prone to do at all at all! My dad is after all a nice man who doesn't curse. Unless it's to do with a hammer and his thumb. Or me driving onto a motorway.

Now, you have to picture the scene in your head. A young innocent girl (don't laugh) got her driver's license in the UK. Bought a car and when she moved back to the motherland, she took said car back. Occasionally something would be wrong with said car and it would need some tlc. Which was usually given by one of my dad's many colleagues. I don't know what he did on a day to day basis, but in the evenings he would take care of cars, mine being one of them. 

One day I had to leave my little red Fiat Panda behind and my dad allowed me to drive his car back home. All went smoothly, all went well. And then I was about to join the motorway. Well, hammers and thumbs in the way were nothing compared to me doing that! My dad went from a gentle man to a dockworker in a matter of milliseconds. 

I realised my mistake and reversed and when I took the proper entrance to the motorway (my dad still muttering at my side), we saw what we would have met had I continued on. A large lorry and trailer! I was not allowed to drive his car for a while after that. 

And if you haven't got the whole picture clear in your head yet: I drove the car up the exit ramp. Into oncoming traffic. Becoming a ghost driver (as they call them in the Netherlands). About to become a proper ghost driver (as in the dead version driver). 

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Getting out

I had a day off today. Because I work this coming weekend I need a day off in the middle of the week and I am quite happy with that actually. And since the weather was absolutely glorious today and I was up early as well, I decided to get out of the house and go on a walk.

It took a bit of time to get out though. I had to read a book (in Norwegian!), I had to have breakfast, take a shower. But finally at a quarter to eleven I got out the door. I walked down the road to the main road and from there to the small nature and wooded area in the vicinity. Since the flowers are blooming so much in my garden (snow drops and crocusses), I had expected to see a lot of colour in the woods, but I was quite disappointed. Nothing colourful at all!

There was however plenty of beauty to look at and take photographs of. Like ice on the pond, shadows, mud. I got back after about two hours, muddy boots and all (note to self: when there is a plank in the middle of mud, use it. Otherwise you might end up ankle deep in mud!). 

I walked around in my garden for a bit, taking photos of this that and a bumblebee and taking a small film. The film is taken from the hill just outside my kitchen window and is a 360 degree take on the surroundings. The dark house you see is the house I live in and the white house is my nearest neighbour. 

Monday 24 March 2014

The water saga

Imagine the damage this could do!
After I did my shopping after work today I drove home. It was early in the afternoon because once every six weeks I actually finish before midday! Shortly after I got home there was a knock on the door. The insurance man. The people-in-the know (otherwise known as landlord and -lady) had phoned them two weeks ago about the flood and leak. 

He checked the bathroom (fortunately no ruined things there: the insurance wouldn't cover that) and the kitchen and was quite disappointed when his wetness meter gadget didn't register anything. So, for a treat I took him down to the basement. Where his wetness meter gadget went absolutely berserk! Well, the insurance man was glad he got some readings!

The ceiling in the basement was still damp and it now included some mould as well, which hadn't been there two weeks ago. And then all of a sudden, there was another knock on the door and before I had a chance of going up and answering it, we heard footsteps and somebody came down the stairs. It was the man-in-the-know. Which was a good thing, since the insurance man was about to ask some questions about how it was all going to be paid. 

So, tomorrow, or the day after, the ceiling in the basement will come down. There will be some fans installed to dry the insulation and if necessary it will be replaced before the boards will be replaced as well. In about a week or so. 

The saga continues...

Thursday 20 March 2014


The church after which the road I live on is named
Now if I could only pronounce it!!
After having lived in Norway for about a year and a half now (not quite, but getting there), I can quite honestly say I understand a fair bit. Not everything mind, but definitely a lot more than when I first got here. 

People have always commented on the fact that I spoke such good Norwegian. And I did, even I know that and am not afraid to say so. The thing is, a language is not just speaking. It's hearing as well. And even though I heard, I didn't understand. Since what they speak over here is not what I learnt. In fact, there are only two people (out of over 200) that have always been relatively easy to understand. Both come from the East of the country where the language spoken is a lot closer to the language I leant originally.

But on occasion, I will make mistakes. I talked about window wipers one day (I needed new ones for the old car) and one of my colleagues just erupted in laughter. When she was able to say something, she told me why she had just erupted. She was seeing two burly hunky men lying on the bonnet of the car wiping the windows. Because instead of saying vindusvisker (the thing) I said vindusvasker (the person). 

Then, the other day I was telling some colleagues about the infernal mystery light. And they kept throwing funny looks at me, until there was one who actually asked: are you really talking about lice? The Norwegian for light is lys. The y is being pronounced halfway between a u (as in demure) and e (as in see). Just try it. Make the sound for one and then move to the other and stop halfway. The Norwegian for lice is lus. The u is pronounced like the u in demure. And the problem is: I can't get enough distinction between the two. 

Now that would not normally be such a problem. Usually by the rest of the word people understand which letter I mean: a y or a u. Or an i, since it's a mixture of the i (pronounced e) and u of course (still with me, or do you need to read the whole thing again?). However. I live on a road which spells in nynorsk. Which means a y. Which I cannot pronounce properly. So, every time I have to tell people what road I live on... I am in trouble, since I can't pronounce it! Annoying to say the least. 

At least the rest is getting better. 

Tuesday 18 March 2014

The mystery

Did you ever see that episode of Friends where they find a switch and don't know what it is for? They nearly destroy the wall to find out and still don't know. I have a mystery that is the opposite, although... 

If you look at the photo of the front of the house, you can see a high light on the left. And since I moved in, I never used that light. I would have liked to, but the light switch wasn't working at all. Same for the other outside light. Although that would work. Occasionally.

Was it wrong to assume that both those switches control both outside lights?
Then last week, the light was on. I didn't even notice immediately, not until I went to bed and wondered where the light came from. And for a whole week, I wondered how to turn it off. Because the light switch that was there, wasn't working. 

Well, yesterday I finally found out. The switch in the hallway I always thought belonged to the (non-existent) light in the hallway was not for the light in the hallway. It was for the outside light. 

The house I live in is a weird house. I have more storage space than I know what to do with. The floor slopes. The main heater in the house faces the staircase and doesn't do too much good in the living room. I can touch every single ceiling without standing on tippy-toe. And light switches are found all over.

It's big. But it is not even near the other switches!
PS: I didn't turn the light on. When the man-in-the-know was here, he brought wife (woman-in-the-know) and children with him. One of the small people must have done it. 


Monday 17 March 2014

A bit of everything

Not my cat. I wasn't allowed to take her/him home. I sure wanted to though!
I had written a great post on Friday night. About men and wrenches and spirit levels and stuff. I saved the post about four or five times and then published it. Only to find out that only a tiny bit was posted and the rest was lost. Since I couldn't be bothered to write it again, I am sorry to say you all had to do without a piece of absolute brilliance and I know your lives are a little duller right now. 

The weekend passed with me getting the shelves for the bookcase from the store. Now I only need to build said bookcase and finally get my books in order. As opposed to how they are now: higgledy piggledy in a closet. Even my sister commented on it when she was here in November: not like me! Plus I got my computer cleaned a bit. I have had trouble with whatever and decided to transfer a lot of files from the C to the D. And then I found out why the trouble: when I used to listen to Norwegian radio back in the Netherlands, it apparently saved it to my computer. Without me knowing!

I deleted them all and all of a sudden there was a lot of free space again. Wow! Unfortunately when I started the computer up again the next day, several other things had gone as well. Which had me looking everywhere and trying to retrieve them again. Annoying. Luckily though, the computer still works. Even if most of my shopping sites have gone.

I have had a lot of excuses for me not going out and walk for about two weeks now. I had done something silly with my big toe and could hardly walk (for one day). I finished late. Or early. But Sunday I would go out. I would. I would! It rained. And there was a lot of wind. The television was nice as well! I didn't go out. 

So, a new week this week. Early mornings and late afternoons at work. Split shifts. The finals week of Masterchef Australia 2013. And hopefully a bit more sun and a little less rain. And a few walks inbetween work. 

Thursday 13 March 2014

Murphy and the cats

Something else that originated in Ireland
Have you ever heard of Murphy's Law? Everything that can go wrong will go wrong? Apparently originating in Ireland?

Have you ever lived Murphy's Law? Dropped a just buttered piece of toast by accident? And it of course landed butterside down. Because it's after all Murphy's Law!

Going on a completely different strain of thought now though: did you ever see a cat fall out of a second story window? Guess what: the likelihood of it landing on its feet is nearly 100%! 

I promise: I never pushed a cat out of a window!!!
But... what happens if you put a bit of buttered toast with the butterside up on the back of the cat and then gently push it out of the second floor window. Would the cat land on its feet? Or would the cat fall on its back thanks to the buttered toast and Murphy's Law? 

In fact it's neither. The two would balance each other out and the cat with the toast on its back would just hover in mid-air. At first of course the cat would be in total panic. But after a while he would relax. Even start to purr.

Now purring cats make a sound. And this sound was heard by beings far far away. Very far far away. Beings that wanted to conquer the world. But how? After all, they only had one functioning flying saucer, which isn't much in the whole conquer the world scheme! 

Is it one? Found in Germany.
The answer was those cats. So, with the one flying saucer they had, they came down to earth, caught all the cats, got all the bread, a few toasters and of course butter and flew off to wherever. After a few days of severe toasting and buttering they finally were able to get the cats all fitted out. And after fitting the cats to all the saucers, the pushed everything out of a second story window and off they went. 

There was a problem though. They had left the care of the cats in the hands of some disinterested youths. They preferred to watch Mrs Brown's Boys and listen to U2 than feed the cats. And cats get hungry. And when cats get hungry they will try to find food. Guess what: there was food on their own backs!!

Gougane Barra in County Cork
You might be able to guess what happened next. The cats contorted and ate the toast on their backs. Which meant that instead of hovering and flying, the saucers now went hurtling down. All the way to earth. Where the cats landed on their feet and escaped. The saucers made huge holes in the ground that quickly filled with water, creating the small and big lakes now dotting Ireland. The aliens didn't stand a chance and perished.  

So, next time you see a lake, remember: don't ever tie a piece of buttered toast to the backside of a cat! 

Second Blooming
This was a bit of Blarney prompted by Spin Cycle. Thank you Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie and Gretchen at Second Blooming.

PS: no cats were harmed in this story. Well, apart from the cats that landed on that island in the Irish Sea that is. They got their tails caught underneath the saucers, leaving all the cats on that island tailless for ever!!

Wednesday 12 March 2014


Sometimes it is just easier to do things yourself instead of depending on so-called men-in-the-know. As you know I had a flood last Friday. A big flood. It leaked somewhere and all I knew it was coming from underneath the shower cubicle.

The man-in-the-know (also known as the landlord) came and fiddled with the pipe and after about an hour of fiddling he declared it leak free. He tried the shower for several minutes and no water was coming, so great!

When I took a shower on Sunday I wasn't as trusting though and put a bathmat in a strategic place. Which was wet after my shower. It still leaked. I got down on all fours and then down on my stomach to try and locate the leak. Which I found easily: it was still dripping. I couldn't fix it though.

I had understood somebody would be along to repair the leak and stuff on Tuesday. Perhaps next Tuesday, because I didn't see anybody yesterday! But my laundry basket was overflowing and I wanted to be able to use the shower without having towels everywhere.

My birthday present of several years ago! Very much wanted!!
My toolbox at one point contained duct tape. Don't know where the point went, but the duct tape was no more. A saw or a hammer wouldn't be much use either and then my eyes landed on a small roll of innocuous looking white tape.

Of course: the gas tape! The tape used to close the possible gaps for gas pipes. I don't have any gas in this small wooden cottage in the Norwegian countryside, but a leaky pipe is a leaky pipe!

Running the washing machine after fixing(?) the leak was a nervous undertaking. All the dirty towels were heaped where it might leak and I checked about every two minutes! But I am glad and very proud to be able to say: the leak is no more.

See, all it takes was a woman!!

Saturday 8 March 2014

The Book Thief

When I saw the ads on television for this new film called the Book Thief, somehow or other I felt there should be a book it was based on. So, I searched, found and then found the book in a local bookshop. Which I bought of course (the book, not the bookshop). So...

The blurb: Here is a small fact
You are going to die
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. 

Some important information
This novel is narrated by Death
it's a small story, about:
a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery

Another thing you should know
Death will visit the book thief three times.

My verdict: well, it was a bit difficult to get into the book, mainly because Death (who is narrating) occasionally intersperses with his own thoughts. However, once I got over that, the story flowed nicely. More than nicely actually, I got totally hooked on it. Of course I only read it on the bus. So, a few pages here and a few pages there were all I was able to. But in the end, I read the last fifty pages at home. And cried at the end. 

The story is about Liesel who will be dropped off with her brother at a foster family. However her brother dies on the train and that will change a lot in Liesel's life. And all this takes place in Germany just before and during World War II. And I was really glad to read about normal families and their joys and sorrows. Yes, there were Nazis and yes, there were Jews being deported, but it gave another glimpse as well. A life of poor Germans who didn't necessarily support the Nazi party or the whole 'all Jews are bad' idea. Which made the book a richer book for it. 

There was however one thing bugging me. The blurb mentioned a concentration camp for her parents. But in the book there is no mention of it. Yes, her parents were communists, hence Liesel and her brother are going to live with another family. Yes, the likelihood of her mother ending up in a concentration camp is very likely, seen as she is a communist, but not even Death really went into that (and he did for many of the other 'minor' characters in the book). Plus there is hardly any mention of her father at all. 

Anyway. I would recommend the book. Definitely. To young adults as well as older adults. Because it is a great book. Now I will have to see whether the film lives up to the book...

Friday 7 March 2014


I wasn't allowed to take her home! But she was sooo sweet!
Last week was filled with posts and then this week: nothing! I went back to work, which isn't the most exciting thing in the world, since I do mostly the same runs every day. I had a headache every day, but only on the right side of my head. It's finally gone now (for how long is another question though). The week started off great weather wise though. Calm and nice. Yesterday it started raining, but nothing much really. I thought. Today it rained again. A lot. Basements were flooded in the center of Haugesund and some of the roads looked like swimming pools. 

Since I had worked all week, I decided to take it easy this weekend. Do the dishes, do some laundry, watch some paralympics, do some blogging. So, as soon as I got home and changed, I bunged the laundry in the machine and got it going. I got a glass for some orange juice, turned on the television and sat down to watch the paralympics opening. When it was nearly finished I wanted a sandwich and as I stepped into the kitchen, I got a wet foot. A wet foot! And when I looked into the bathroom (which is located next to the kitchen), I realised I was lucky. Because the bathroom floor was covered in an inch of water!!

I had seen some water coming from underneath the shower cubicle a few times already, but I had figured I had spilled some water through the curtain while hosing the cubicle after a shower. Well, apparently not! Because all the water that the washing machine expelled, came from underneath the cubicle and the floor got flooded. 

I certainly didn't think I would spend my Friday night filling bucket after bucket after bucket and then emptying them outside! Then again, at least it got all the dust out from underneath the washing machine...

Sunday 2 March 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-07

During the day (especially on Friday in my case) we were quite active. However, during the evening, both of us would be completely pooped and enjoy the nicer things of life. Some television, a book, some liquorice (Pepperfly) or marshmallows (me). And of course ice cream!

Saturday 1 March 2014

Up, up, up!

After a day spent car part shopping and visiting the bank and another day that I spent on my own shopping for a car, yesterday we finally managed to do something together. I decided to take Pepperfly up to Steinsfjellet. I climbed that hill/mountain last year (here's the link) and knew it was doable for me. As for Pepperfly: she walks nearly every day so should be completely fine.

Not quite there yet, but I needed a rest
First we took a bus into town. Then another bus to where we would start our ascent. I had to stop and rest several times, we took photos, we commented on the nice or not so nice buns that came running past us, we enjoyed the view and the company. There weren't many people on the trail and we couldn't hear anything but our own breathing (my wheezing in particular), the wind and the occasional bird in the distance.

Going down before the last bit up
Sun, trees and lakes, snow-capped mountains in the far distance, mud and rocks, losing the trail and finding it again, realising the tower was further than we thought, ducks and basically a good hike. We went up, we went down, we went up again. 

Pepperfly took a shadowselfie while I trudged up!
When we finally reached the car park, we still had to walk up to the top to have the best view yet. By that time Pepperfly was still in as good a shape as she had been before we started (grrr), I was however feeling the climb. My lower legs were protesting against all this going up and even my head was starting to protest. I did persevere however. 

I made it up my second walk to Steinsfjellet!
What goes up however, must come down. And we were very up. And the busstop was very down. So, after a few minutes rest, we started moving again. A proper road that just went down and down. A little bit up again and then down the rest of the way. Right to the busstop. Where we had to wait half an hour for the bus, since it was ten minutes late! 

We had decided to treat ourselves with a nice meal: fries and burgers! Oh, and how good they tasted! Until I realised we needed to catch a bus. Because if we didn't catch that bus, we would have to wait for nearly two hours! Alas, we didn't have enough time to have our MacD meal and catch our bus. So, we ate in peace and then went outside to ponder our predicament. I was tired, my knee hurt, my lower legs were burning and I so wanted to take my shoes off!

In the end? We walked! Yes, you read it correctly: we walked. Not all the way home, that would have been ridiculous (that would have been about 6 miles and we had already done 7)! But we decided that we would try to walk to the other busstation and catch the bus. We had after all 30 minutes! Fortunately the road was down hill and we managed to catch another bus that would take us to the busstation where we could take our bus. Home!!!