Wednesday 30 April 2014

In other news...

Apparently helmets cause headaches. Don't need a helmet to do that!!
*The cold doesn't seem to get any better. I have had a stuffed nose all day.
*I finally had my summer tires fixed to the car. When I offered to pay, he told me to have a nice weekend. I made my way out of there quickly. Thank you tire change man.
*After eight months my Norwegian driver's license is finally ordered. I knew the Dutch DMV was slow, but this was just ridiculous! Good thing I didn't need to drive internationally, because I wouldn't have been allowed.
*The weather here is gorgeous. Cold, but gorgeous. Very windy, but gorgeous. Did I tell you the weather is gorgeous??
*Tomorrow is another day of Sunday driving: Labour Day! An official day off, yet I have to work.
*And on Friday it will be another trip to my GP. Great!

Tuesday 29 April 2014


We went on the purple (bog) walk
Well, the short holiday is over. It took a bit of work to get everything home (my sister needed to loan me another suitcase), but I managed in the end. I waited for ages at Dublin Airport. I scored a Danish flag at Copenhagen Airport and I forgot to buy duty-free at Oslo Airport. But when I got home, all that was forgotten. Because I was home again!

The path over the bog, with Pepperfly and my sister
On Sunday I didn't do much. I just enjoyed the sunshine and my new books/dvd's. And I waited. Waited to hear about whether or not we would go on strike. When I went to bed, there was still no answer. 

Norway is a country with a strong unionised workforce. And every few years, those unions demand across the board pay rises, better training, and whatever else is necessary to do a job properly and have a decent life. If the employers don't at least meet somewhere, the unions call for strikes. Last weekend was the mediation bit of the negotiations of our line of work: busdrivers, the initial talks having ended without any result.

Early Monday morning I still didn't know whether the strike was on or off, so I made my way to work to... well... work. And after about an hour and a half of driving I got a text saying: there is a deal on the table, so no strike! The deal consists of extra money per hour, paid training and probably some other things as well. We still have to vote over it, but I think it's an okay thing.

In other news: I have a cold; I can finally order my Norwegian driver's license (I could two weeks ago, but what with Easter and then my holiday...); the grass in the garden is growing too fast and on Sunday I might get a new...

All photos today were taken on Friday, first we went on a walk and then on a drive. During that drive we saw beautiful things, however, my sister (who was driving) and the hedges didn't make it easy for me to take any photos. Well, apart from the one just above. I thought it was hilarious (Oma means grandma, I am easily pleased). Another thing that aparently was hilarious, was my ranting about said hedges and the fact that my sister wouldn't stop the car at all to let us poor passengers take a single photo!

Sunday 27 April 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-12

Okay, the skirt and overshirt (for lack of a better word) are on. We are nearing the end. The next thing to go on is the apron, which is lace-trimmed. It is fastened to the peplum using poppers. Which means that I have to be careful how I put everything on, otherwise everything will be off center!

On top there is also a beautiful piece of cotton and lace: the shawl. Can in emergencies be used to hold up a broken arm or as a nappy (diaper). 

The shawl is held together by a brooch. I wanted a different sort of brooch, but that will be for next year I guess. This year I will use a Norwegian 'bunad' brooch. 

Friday 25 April 2014


Model of Dublin (probably current day Temple Bar)
I left on Tuesday. Got in a taxi to the airport, from where I took a plane to Oslo. I waited a few hours and then took a plane to Dublin. From Dublin Airport I took a bus into town. Unfortunately I hadn't remembered to write down the trainstation I needed and wound up at the wrong one. So, I took the bus back to the one I needed. 

No trainstation in sight! I wandered about for five minutes before I asked. 'Well, it's just over the road!' I walked and walked and finally yes, there it was. I was about three meters in front of it. But I had made it. The train to the North went once every hour and a half/two hours or so. And of course I had just missed the other one by my travels through town. So, lunch it was!

The wishing tree at Navan Centre
After lunch I made my way to the platform. Had to show my ticket twice, for some weird reason. Then we drove for about an hour and a half towards the North. Had to show my ticket once more to the ticket controller. When I got off the train, I had to show my ticket again to get out of the station! Hm. But, at the station my sister was waiting with her car to drive me to her home. 

Later she drove to Belfast Airport to pick up my friend Pepperfly. We were ready to go and have a lovely holiday. Well, you read about our first day at the pottery. We didn't spend the whole day there, only the morning and in the afternoon we went for a little walk. Day two was going to be spent in Belfast. We would do some shopping and we would see the sights. Because even though I have been in Northern Ireland before, I have yet to see Belfast!

Part of a mural close the restaurant we ate in.
So, after a lazy breakfast we made our way to Belfast. Parked the car, walked into town and hit the shops. First off was a souvenir shop, where I bought a lovely Irish flag (and a British one as well, they were so cheap). After that it was bookshops. A book about the Muppets and some books I have wanted for quite some time now. I wasn't feeling happy though. 

I had woken up with a slight headache and during the day that headache had become worse and worse. But I still wanted to see Belfast! So, we decided to go back to the car to get rid of the shopping, then go back into town for some lunch and then do the sightseeing. In the end, we skipped the sightseeing and went back home. I slept in the car, I slept on the couch. 

And guess what? I have yet to see Belfast!!

This is my haul so far. Most bought, some gotten (like the Belleek and the small orange topped tin with 'stroopwafels'). Good thing I brought my big suitcase. Although missing in the photo is the knitting work my sister wants me to do (a very big bag) and the little bag containing the last of the items for my May 17th outfit. 

Wednesday 23 April 2014

The theme for today

This is honestly how it was served. We were wondering whether they used pliers
to place the onions just so...
We weren't allowed to make anything phallic. Breast shaped would be better. And don't get your fingers down too far or the arse will get a hole. That is what the Irishman told us. He showed it to us as well. 

Pray with the left, atheist with the right. 
But my world, seeing is completely different from doing. I managed to avoid the phallic. I managed to get the breast shape (A cup probably). The fingers didn't get in too deep either. But I also had to keep it centered. Smooth. Not wobbly. 

Me and the teacher hard at work to make something halfdecent!
I managed seven in the end. Bigger and smaller. Some with tulips, others without. One with a hole in its arse, to be plugged by the teacher at some later point. 

Pepperfly was enjoying it a great deal and was really good as well!
I was covered in the white stuff. It was on my face, my hands, my arms. My shoes were covered and even though I had been wearing an apron, my jeans weren't clean anymore. The others didn't look much different, although they had a bit more success than I had had. 

The pots in front are mine. All seven of them. 
After all that hard work, it was time for lunch (see top photo). Delicious. It is good fun to be on holiday in Northern Ireland with my sister and Pepperfly. The pots will be dried for about three to four weeks, after which they will be glazed and fired. My sister will then pick them up and take them to the Netherlands in August. Hopefully!!

Monday 21 April 2014


Now, anyone who has read my blog for some time has noticed I don't reply on my blog itself. Basically because I always found it a hassle. I had come up with a perfect solution though: I would reply via email. Which worked perfectly.

Until of course people started commenting with a no-reply email address. Which left answering questions impossible. I had seen a feature on my other blogs though: reply to the comment itself on the blog. I liked that feature, but couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do that!

Fortunately there is a little thing called google and within seconds I had my answer. So, as of today I can answer your comment directly on my blog. Don't know how much I will be using it, since some answers might need a bit more in depth answer than I am willing to share publicly. 

In other news: spring clean today and then off to see a bit of the world tomorrow! Because it is HOLIDAY!!

Sunday 20 April 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-11

The skirt. The velcro at both sides is used to hold the peplum in place
So, you have seen all that is underneath. The bloomers, the underskirt and the undershirts. Now for what's on top! First of all there is the proper skirt. It is huge! It is heavy. It comes nearly down to the ground. And I think it's beautiful!

Then there is the top of course. A sort of jacket that isn't a jacket, yet it isn't a shirt either. A few weeks ago I showed you how the top is closed and I can tell you: it is very fiddly (think bra times 10) and it takes some time! Fortunately it's fastened at the front, because if it would have been at the back, I would be in trouble!

And then there is the peplum (a short overskirt), that is fastened to the skirt and basically makes my bum look even bigger!!

Thursday 17 April 2014

Easter lily

This was taken a few weeks ago, after a lovely walk. I was sitting on the rock beside the house and enjoying the sun while wondering how long it would take for the Easter lilies to open up! 

This view is from my kitchen window and no, the weather today is not sunny. It is in fact rather drab and miserable. But the perfectly named flowers are blooming in time for Easter!

Wednesday 16 April 2014


It is early on a Sunday morning. Around seven o'clock I think. My mother has gotten up already and is downstairs in the kitchen making coffee. She takes out the forty or so eggs she has bought the day before and starts putting them into two big pans. To be boiled. My father is also downstairs. Setting the table for breakfast. Highly unusual since we never eat breakfast at the table on a normal Sunday. 

The eggs are ready. Most of them hard-boiled, some a little less (for my mother). The table is set. The grands and us children are dressed and downstairs. My father starts with a prayer and breakfast starts. A piece of bread with some jam. One egg, no two eggs. Then another two. And another two. I can probably manage about five eggs as do my siblings. My father and grandfather however eat eggs like they are going out of fashion. And before we know it, there is only about four eggs left. But it's time to leave. For church.

Because despite this little pagan influence into our daily lives, church was important. And being late for church was out of the question. So, we walked and cycled or drove to church (depending on the weather and the amount of people), where we would join all the others in hearing about Christ being nailed to the cross as a penance for all of our sins. We would hear about Thomas and Mary Magdalene, about the stone and the linen cloth left behind. 

After church we would go back home. And depending on the weather, the rest of the day would be spent in quietness. Perhaps a walk if the weather was nice, some television if there was anything good on, a game, a book. And that is how I spent Easter in my youth.

Second Blooming
This memory was prompted by Spin Cycle. Thank you Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie and Gretchen at Second Blooming.


Lady Lindy
When I was twelve I was invited by my friend Miranda to come to her house after school. I said hello to her mother and then sat down on the left side of the couch. It could have been the right side, my memory isn't that clear. Now, I didn't sit completely in the corner, so there was enough room for the little family dog they had. He was only young and loved attention. He sat down next to me. In the corner.

I wasn't used to dogs. We never had one when I grew up and nobody in the extended family had one either. Nor did any of my other friends. And when the dog sat down next to me, I was quite alarmed. So, I moved an inch or two. The dog didn't think that was a good idea. He wanted to be physically connected to me and moved an inch or two as well. 

I think I was at Miranda's house for about an hour that day and by the end of that hour, I sat in the opposite corner, nearly being pushed off by the dog. Who only wanted to be cuddled!

Lady Linette
Needless to say I wasn't a dogperson. I am not as afraid of dogs anymore though and actually spent several nights in the same room as Lady Lindy. Plus when a dog comes up to me, I will stop and let him/her smell me and on occasion I will even pet a dog. 

I am however a catperson. And as soon as I moved into a place of my own, I got myself two. When I moved I got another one. Number four was irresistible, although he wasn't with me for long. And finally I got Linette. 

Linette is still living at my friend Pepperfly's. Although she will soon change her domicile for the eternal garden in the sky. She has only 2 proper teeth left, one working lung and is continually loosing weight. It is sad, but I know that she is at the perfect place. Mr Pepperfly is even prepared to take time off in case she gets worse. Now, that is my kind of catperson!

Second Blooming
This was belatedly prompted by Spin Cycle. Thank you Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie and Gretchen at Second Blooming.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

My weekend continued

The alpine ski slope (again)
The last time I touched a ski had probably been April 1992. I had been skiing all winter, starting as a novice and finally becoming quite okay. I mean, not black slope okay, but most of the other colours okay. However, that was 1992: a lifetime ago! And I knew I wasn't really feeling comfortable with going skiing again. Not at my age and especially, not with my physical condition. Besides, I am a bit of a scaredy cat and the thought that I might fall down while coming down the baby slope...

There was however another type of skiing. A type of skiing that is hugely popular here in Norway. A type of skiing I watch on television, since it is part of my favourite sport (biathlon). It is of course cross country skiing. Hardly any slopes involved, nor great speeds. It would be perfect I thought and it was actually put on my bucket list for 2015. 

But this weekend away saw me forward that bucket a bit. Since my colleague Mr Bear had taken three pairs of skis and four pairs of shoes with him, he was going to teach me! So, after the first drinks were in, we had snooped around the lodge, Ms Dietrich, Mr Bear and I made it back to the bus to get the skis on. There was however only one pair of shoes that fit both me and Ms Dietrich. In the end she declined, I got them and I was soon posing for photos holding the skis!

However, holding them in my hand, does not make me a skier! I had to put them on. Which required a bit of target practice with the shoes, since the toe of the shoe has a slot that has to fit in a slot on the ski. I did manage it though and off we went zooming down the moun  ta  i    n! Of course, I wasn't zooming, nor did we go down any mountain. Instead we stayed in the trail and just made our way forwards. And I must say, I got the hang of it. Even sliding a bit on occasion.

After about twenty minutes and three stops, we turned around and made our way back. There was a slight incline/decline visible then and I could feel it as well. Mr Bear then made the decision to take the skis up to the lodge. Which meant going downhill a bit. Holding all four poles at once we skied down. It was great! Until I fell. 

A selfie when we half-way!
Now, I am not a small skinny girl. By any stretch of the imagination. And when I fall over on my back (like I did, with skis attached), I have to roll onto my stomach and then get onto my knees and stand up. However, with skis attached, the rolling over, getting on the knees and standing up bit, is impossible. I was in absolute fits of laughter! In the end however, Mr Bear just heaved me up. Well, it took him a couple of tries because of my laughing so hard, but he managed it. On we went. Until the next fall. He heaved me up again. But by the third fall, I had had enough: the skis were coming off! No need to cause a hernia in somebody else!

Mr Bear holding my skis as well, I kept the poles.
We were away for about an hour and a half and I had great fun. And cross country skiing is definitely something I will be doing again!

Monday 14 April 2014

My weekend

Originally I had to work on Saturday, but then the Welfare Committee at work organised a small trip to their lodge in the mountains for people who had never been there before. And it sounded just like something I would like. Plus, it would be a free trip to boot! So, with the help of the traffic controller, I changed my shift and would be able to come. 

The above zero temperatures plus the rain caused some great waterfalls!
The start of the day was by no means promising: it was absolutely chucking it down! It was pouring, raining cats and dogs and basically it was kind of wet. The worst thing? It would even be raining up in the mountains, so the five pairs of skis that were taken along, would probably go back down without being used.

We stopped for some food, got more drink in and then proceeded our way down to the ferry. Because in this country, if you want to go somewhere, chances are, there is a ferry involved at some point! We had to wait awhile, but the ferry ride itself was short and after that it was only twenty more minutes to the lodge. As we were driving up the mountain, the rain slowly changed to sleet and then to wet snow and then to proper snow. The joy!

Fortunately I had put on my sturdy new boots, since we couldn't park next to the lodge. We had to go a little downhill and then a little uphill. Through snow, sludge and mud! And me with my suitcase!! But, one of my colleagues wanted to save me for the ski tour later on and carried my suitcase for me. So kind.

The lower bunk on the left was mine.
We made it to the lodge and it was very nice. Three bedrooms for seven people, so plenty of space (one had double bunkbeds) for us all to sleep. A living room/kitchen/dining area, a bathroom with two toilets and a shower and even a shed and a terrace. Those two toilets however were something else. One was a bark one. Do your business and throw in some bark after it. Quite smelly. The other one was a bit more complicated. Put small paper bag in bowl, do your business, close lid, push button and then the whole thing would be incinerated! Not as smelly, but not much.

During the evening we just enjoyed ourselves. We had a lovely Thai inspired dinner, we had some drinks and by eleven everybody was in bed. I slept okay, considering the two gents who both had a bit of snore going on. Thank goodness for earplugs. But I was the first one up again. So, I pottered about, put the heating back on, did the dishes and then one by one everybody (6) made an appearance. After which I started breakfast: bacon, sausages, eggs and beans. 

We had our lunch half way through the afternoon and it was left over time plus salad. And then we had to clean the whole place again. Take the rubbish with us, the left over food, and of course our own stuff. I have however very nice colleagues and one of them had taken my suitcase over earlier. It was a bit later than we wanted when we finally made our way down the mountain again and into lovely dry weather. It was a great weekend in a great location with lovely people. Well worth changing my shift for!!

The alpine ski slope as seen from the lodge.
Of course now you are wondering about all this snow though, aren't you? And did we do any skiing? Well, come back tomorrow and I will tell all!

Sunday 13 April 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-10

So, what layer is next? Well, the shirt of course, in my case a Norwegian linen/cotton shirt that is part of the 'bunad' that is worn by most Norwegian women on May 17th. It has been bought now, but it might end up being unused. The collar is too high and will peak out. I could try to fix that, but I might end up just wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt over the woollen shirt from last week. Perhaps I could persuade my mother to ehm...

Then of course the underskirt, which at this point in time is only a large swathe of fabric. I am not sure whether I will be able to make it in time, whether I will be able to make it to my wishes and whether it will not be too bulky if it will get made. I will keep you posted (of course)...

Saturday 12 April 2014

Literary mess

It has been nearly two years since I last went to see my sister. She had recently moved into her new home and even though it was very nicely decorated and such, I slept in a room that... ehm... wasn't. Basically because I slept in the study on an airbed. And the study was full of mess pushed aside and bookcases filled with books. Which were just put in any which way and drove me crazy!!

So, I asked permission and then set about on sorting through that awful craziness. I took out all the books and then put them back in alphabetically. It took me about two afternoons, but by the end, I was able to sleep soundly again (I have this thing about mess in bookcases, it is sacrilege!). 

Then last year my sister was here. And as she came down the first day, she mentioned to me that she was a bit disappointed in me. Because my books were not properly arranged, but just stuffed in some closet. She was of course right. 

I needed bookcases. And then I would put them up on the landing, since I don't like books in the living room for some reason. I bought some bookcases and I took one of them upstairs, to be assembled there. Well, it stayed upstairs, but was never assembled there. The clearance in the living room is about 20-25 centimeters (8-10 inches), upstairs the clearing is about -10 centimeters (-4 inches). In other words: the bookcase was too tall!

In the end I lugged it downstairs again and yesterday I finally managed to put it up. I went back upstairs to get the first few books, down and then up and down and up again and so I continued. Until the bookcase was almost full! I am glad my books are out again. It feels more civilised somehow. Even if they are in the living room.

Friday 11 April 2014

It's all fixed

The boards and insulation taken away
About two and a half weeks ago the insurance man was here to see what had to be done about the ceiling in the basement. After he had left, I forgot all about it, until he phoned me two days later saying he would be over on Friday. After which I completely forgot all about it again. 

That Friday night however, I kept on hearing some annoying noise. At first I thought it came from outside, but as I was getting ready to go to bed, it suddenly occurred to me that the man would come to fix! I went downstairs and lo and behold: part of the ceiling had been removed (the mouldy part), there was a big fan blowing at the insulation and there was a large machine sucking up the moisture.

The moisture sucker machine
Since I don't have that much to do in the basement, I forgot about it again, only being reminded every time by the noise coming through the floorboards. Until I didn't hear it one night. I can't honestly say when it was I didn't hear a noise, it might have been last Monday or Tuesday. And I finally made it downstairs today to see. And guess what: I have a new ceiling! The machines are gone, the floor was swept and the off cuts were lying on the firewood! 

All new ceiling on the left!!
I locked the basement door and went back upstairs. Happy!