Wednesday 30 July 2014


It took a bit of counting, but we figured last night that we had seen each other five times over the last week. Five times to spend a few hours together. The first of course being the day I picked them up from the airport. It was a hot day and they got their first taste of a Norwegian summer. I left them to their own devices after dinner that evening. 

The second time was on Wednesday. I had opted for a day of nothingness (not counting the laundry) and lounging about in my swim suit. They arrived at some point in the afternoon. She made her way to my spare bedroom to catch up on some much needed rest, he stayed in the garden with me, enjoying the weather and the quietness and the goodness from where I live. A few hours later they left. 

The next time was on Thursday when they took a bus I was driving. One of the longer tours, so we could chat quite a bit. Friday was a free day for all of us. On Saturday however, a few more hours were spent in my back garden. This time by all three of us. Sunday was spent in peace and quiet on both sides of the water. 

Monday saw me back at work with a vengeance and no chance to see each other. But, last night we would have dinner together. So, after work I made my way over to their hotel and shortly after that we made our way to the restaurant. Two hours later we made our way home again. 

This morning Pepperfly and Mr Pepperfly left for home. After a relaxing and surprisingly warm holiday in Norway. Next time we will meet in the Netherlands again. The only downside to that meeting? I am not allowed to take a hammer with me...

Sunday 27 July 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-22

When in doubt, post a photo of Oswin! She was being taunted so much yesterday by a couple of birds chattering away in one of the trees, that in the end, she decided to investigate a little closer. So, I ran for the camera and by the time I got back she hadn't moved from her spot in the tree fortunately. She never got close to the birds though... 

The best photo of the day was however not taken by yours truly, but by Pepperfly who came over for a drop of tea half way through the afternoon. You can see it below!

Saturday 26 July 2014

And it continues

On Wednesday
The summer that is. The summer that has no precedent in Norway. At least not in the last 130 years. Did I ever tell you I liked the cold? And that was one of the reasons for moving North? Well, my bedroom is a balmy 20-22 degrees at night. Outside the temperatures go up to about 25-28 degrees. In other words: it is warm. It is summer. 

I spent last Wednesday in my garden. Sitting on my new garden furniture, reading books, wearing a bathing suit, getting sunburnt. The last was not wanted, but it happened nonetheless. Today we had been hoping to do something like going up a mountain while sitting on a trailer pulled by a tractor. Unfortunately we should have booked in advance. So, no luck. Instead I cycled to the supermarket for my bread and then decided to mow the lawn. 

Of course mowing the lawn means getting attacked by every flying creepy out there. Plus with the temperatures being what they are: getting thoroughly drenched. It's a good thing I am wearing so little. And then, when I was trying to cool down a bit (inside), I heard something ticking. And I realised it was raining. Well, no point in wasting good water: I went outside and stood there with my head turned to the clouds getting a small smattering of drops on me. Enough to cool me down somewhat before it stopped again. Short but very very sweet.

I will continue with the lawn today, despite the flying creepies and at some point Pepperfly and Mr Pepperfly will arrive again. And we will relax in the garden. The best way to spend a summer in Norway.

Tuesday 22 July 2014


Whoever said that Norway was a cold and dark place to live, should be coming over for a visit right now. Because it's fantastic weather. At least where I live. If you were to go up to Longyearbyen (capital of Spitsbergen) it would be just above freezing. However, that is not where I live, I live a lot further south and here it is beautiful. Sun all day long, warm all day long. Heck, warm all night long as well. 

It certainly makes work a challenge at times. Keeping the bus cool and with that the driver can be a challenge. Making sure we are not overheating in the staff room. Trying to get enough fluids in us without having to run to the nearest toilet, yet still be hydrated. It's a fine line!

Fortunately, after a work weekend, I now have a couple of days off. A couple of days in which to do some work. Like the laundry. I was fast running out of dry stuff to wear. The grass will probably need cutting again, it always does. And then of course I will be picking up Pepperfly and Mr Pepperfly today. They will not be staying with me, but I hope to be able to see them on occasion. And this week, those occasions should be able to happen, since I only have to work two more days this week!

Anyway, summer in Norway. So far? Loving it!!

Sunday 20 July 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-21

When in doubt, post one of the 'looker' in the family and you're sorted! So, since you haven't seen any recent photos of her (ahem), here is a photo of Oswin from last week. 

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Saturday 19 July 2014

Ambling along

May 2014
 Yes, life goes ambling along. Nothing much happening in the way of work or spare time. Yes, I was off on Thursday and went shopping: cat litter sand and a revolving cat food dish. That way, when I will be away for about three days, every day will bring fresh food instead of Oswin gobbling everything up first day and then not having anything for the remainder (she's like that). Speaking of her: she really has put on some weight since she first arrived. For those of you familiar with Linette: she was that size and feel. She has now changed to halfway Mathilda and Wuppie. 

July 2014
The rest of Thursday was spent doing not much at all. No cleaning or tidying, which means that over the next few days I will have to do so. Which normally wouldn't be a problem, but this weekend is the full working weekend, meaning I work until evening every day! So basically, I shouldn't be typing this now, I should be doing the dishes, or the floor, or the whatever. Mind you, I did do the garden again yesterday. I did it last Saturday, but what with work and friends coming over... Better do it when I have the time!

A photo from last year. The weather is too nice right now to be wearing all that gear!
Not only did I cut the grass, I also cut some branches of trees, especially the trees that don't bother me personally one little bit, but can be quite annoying to the bin men, since they hinder the bins. Besides that, the 60 sign was almost covered which is of course dangerous to road safety. Mind you, anybody doing 60 on this road is more dangerous to road safety than the covered sign, but I am a good law-abiding person and such...

It's not this bad. I think...
As I said, I will be working the weekend. Today will start off with hour upon hour upon hour of the same route. The same boring route as there aren't that many passengers on it. The only saving grace is probably the fact that the views are fantastic, so I will be enjoying those. Although even they start to fade after turn 5! I will be bringing my book though, since there will be plenty of opportunities to read. Actually the reading gets me in trouble occasionally. Not trouble really, it is just that the books are so enjoyable and I forget about the time! And then I am late. Fortunately most of the routes have some extra time in there somewhere and I am usually able to catch up again. 

Monday 14 July 2014

Too comfy

I had a busdriver as a passenger this morning. A coach driver actually. Which made me think about my former life of driving all over the place and working every hour and then some. Coupled with that, Anvilcloud left this comment on my Photo on Sunday from yesterday: "Are you getting too comfortable? Aren't you itching to move yet? :)"

So, how does my life as a public transport busdriver stack up against my life as a coach driver? Especially since the newness has worn off and the humdrum of everyday life has started. Including buying garden furniture and getting a cat. 

Well, the truth of the matter is: I do miss my old life. I do miss the travelling. But most of all, I miss the easy interaction with colleagues. Not having to search for words, but just being able to say all I want to say. Which is easier when it's Dutch or English even. Don't get me wrong: I do have a fairly good interaction with my current colleagues. I have started making jokes that are actually laughed at and don't have to search for words all the time. 

The job itself is of course a lot more boring that my old job ever was. Especially if I do the same lap day in day out, because it's the summer holiday. It can be quite stressful when you are delayed and the passengers can be quite annoying as well. Then again, midnight drives with drunk passengers wasn't really what I wanted either. Nor were the festival, concert or football game goers! 

And then I look at the surroundings when I am driving, especially out of town. And the mountains, the fjords, the water, the sun and the clouds/rain make me appreciate the job a whole lot more. I go home and sit in my living room or on my new furniture in the garden and love it. The view, the quietness, the fact that Oswin can run around in the fields and the only thing that she needs to be afraid of is the horror cat from next door or the curious sheep. Because there is hardly any traffic! 

Am I getting too comfortable? I don't think so. I would need a dishwasher to come even close. And the itch to move? Well, that is another story altogether!

Sunday 13 July 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-20

I wanted some garden furniture. I had two chairs, but they are really large beach chairs and when there are two people visiting... someone has to sit in the grass or on another fold-out chair. So, new garden furniture. On Friday afternoon I made my way to a garden center and the first thing I saw when walking in, was a furniture set containing a table, two chairs and a little bench. And they were on sale!

Of course you can't just pick the first thing that you see, so I continued my way in, saw plenty of other sets which I liked and were comfy, but were just too expensive in my eyes and in the end came back to the first set. On the little card it said it would be flat pack as well, which was good, since I only have a very small car. 

I bought the set, brought my car round the back and then found out that only the table was flat-pack and the rest... well... wasn't! It would never fit was the general consensus. But I, being of a stubborn variety, disagreed. And with a bit of pushing and shoving I got the two chairs into the back seat and the table and cushions in the tiny boot. I drove home, got everything out and drove back again. This time to get the bench. We tried it upside down on the back seat, but it wouldn't go further than about two inches. We tried it right side up, but still: no luck. In the end, I asked for some rope and tried to get it in the boot. Well, it made it all the way to the front seats, which meant most of it was in the car. A bit of careful driving and I would be in the clear!

So, now I have enough seats for visitors. Unless twenty of them show up and it will still be the grass for some!!

Thursday 10 July 2014

The things I have to tell you

24 degrees on the coldest side of the house!
It's an exciting title isn't it? Full of anticipation and such. However, you shouldn't forget the disclaimer that is so often quoted with financial products: results of the past are not a guarantee for the future. In other words, my fun and travel rich past with lots of stories and photos may not be present in the here and now and the future. 

The top photo shows you in any case that Norway can do summer. In fact, the whole month of June was quite a nice month. At least waterworks nice. About 10% of the average rainfall for June fell. Which was not good for watersupplies and such. I have my own well in the garden and have not run out of water. This month promises to be as good as the last. Yes, we finally did get some water. Enough to make the weeds start growing again! But then it was back to the sunshine. This time accompanied by higher temperatures. In fact, yesterday was the first very warm day over here. But not a good day. It was clammy, muggy, icky and yuck. Today was much better, although even warmer. However not as clammy. 

She was panting
Oswin has been a very good girl in coming back when I want her to, so has been allowed out on a regular basis now. Although she doesn't stand the heat that well. She was panting in the shadow today. Yesterday saw something else that she wasn't too fond of. Remember that cat I had in my garden a few months back. A cat that actually prompted me to get Oswin? Well, that cat seems to think that Oswin is invading her territory and not happy about it. In the end I had to take Oswin in, because she was hiding under the deck and feeling very sorry for herself, since the other cat would not leave the garden. Today however, no sign!

The first apples
Work is its usual self. On occasion very dull and boring, other times very entertaining and fun. Like any other job then probably. It certainly is a lot quieter, since it's the holidays. I have been doing the same shift three days in a row now and tomorrow I will do the same shift again. At least I know the routes now! 

I just had to...
My birthday gift has given me a lot of pleasure already, even though it is down time in telly-land. This doesn't mean however, that I am forever going to bed at midnight. Actually most nights this week I have been in bed by 9pm! Partly because of a visiting H, partly because of my leg, partly because of the early mornings. I even missed the semi finals in football. Not that I would have watched it, but that is beside the point. Actually, I had promised that if the Netherlands would make it to the final, I would get dressed up in orange gear as much as I could and see the whole game. Now I don't have to, because they lost the semi final! Aaah....

Anyway, the things I had to tell you were a bit of a mix. I will try to post a bit more regular again, but don't hold your breath. If this lovely weather is staying (and it seems to be for the time being apparently), I might just enjoy myself in the sun!

Sunday 6 July 2014

Photo on Sunday 2014-19

You may remember I bought some fruit bushes earlier this year. Of course I already have two cherry trees, two plum trees and an apple tree in my garden, but I also like blackberries, raspberries and redcurrants. So, that's what I bought. 

My first harvest of the raspberries will not fill a jampot. It will most likely not even fill an egg cup, but from small beginnings and such...

Friday 4 July 2014

Hello Doctor

One dish
Ever since I moved to Norway, I have been amazed by several things and one thing in particular. Norwegians are fond of British television and will broadcast quite a few British programs. But, it is impossible to get the regular 'terrestrial' channels on tv here. No 'Strictly', no 'Russell Howard', no 'Mrs Brown's Boys'. And no Doctor Who!

Of course it had to be rectified. But once I got a place of my own (albeit rented) and got a satellite dish, I didn't even have Swedish or Danish tv, let alone British. And it would cost me a lot of money to get the channels I wanted. Money I didn't have. Or would rather use on something else. 

But, with my 43rd birthday just gone, the price of the whole thing not as much as I was originally told and me wanting to watch the new Doctor when he makes his entrance on August 23rd, there was only one thing for it: get a new satellite dish!

Two dishes
And I did. The dish itself was installed two days ago and today the installer came by to program the lot. I then had to sift through about a gazillion channels, many of which were the same, to get to a list containing 89 channels. I can now watch the Doctor, Wimbledon (yes Mum, you can come next year and watch your favourite), as well as a whole load of German channels. Oh, and one Dutch channel: the best of channel I think.

I think my bucket number 10 is filled. I got my dish so I can watch the BBC! Happy happy happy!!!

Wednesday 2 July 2014

And the nominees are...

Remember my winning hat from last year? If not, why not refresh your memory and read about it here. Well, I have been thinking about my outfit for this year's Tide Games. We have been given sort of an order as to what we should be wearing (not telling you yet, another secret to be kept from you), but how to go about that. Go orange or native, go natural or completely whacky. Of course you cannot help me, since I am not telling you the theme, but that doesn't matter. 

Mind you, I might not even need the fancy day-time outfit. I will however need a real fancy evening outfit. A new dress of course, I can't be seen in the same dress two years in a row. Perhaps some proper make-up tips this time as well. Because as you may have guessed by the title....

Now, the Tide Games celebrate the staff of Tide, nationwide. Drivers, planners and the like. It chooses its best team, the best planner and then of course all those prices for football, ticket machine throwing and the like. And there is an open class. The open class celebrates the individual driver that has done and is still doing something to enhance the enjoyment in work within the company/department. And I have been nominated in that open class. Since I apparently do enhance the enjoyment in work within the department! 

This is the photo used for me! I think I will have to change it though!
I actually make the photo album with all the photos of all the drivers. At times it is a struggle to keep up: new drivers, drivers leaving, drivers changing teams, but it is good fun and when it hasn't been on the table for a while (while I am updating it), people are forever asking me where it is! And this photo album is the main reason for me being nominated! 

Now I am wondering: should I write a speech? Just in case??

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Once again

It happens once a year. To everybody. Unless you are born on February 29th of course, because then it only happens every four years. I am talking about birthdays of course and yesterday was mine. A day that will forever stick in my memory as 'a not quite there' birthday. 

Yes, I did get congratulated. A lot. Although the first one to do so, congratulated me on the Dutch win in the Football World Championship in Brazil! But, once he had realised it was my birthday, I got a hug as well. Facebook of course was doing its part in getting the well wishers to well wish me. They did in droves. My mother phoned and I was even able to talk to my dad for a few minutes. A colleague had called and I got several text messages. (Both my brother and sister phoned after I had gone to bed)

But, once I got home, the excitement of turning a year older, soon changed to something akin to indifference. No birthday cards were waiting for me (I got one today though, thank you Pepperfly) and I hadn't even bought a gift for myself. 

Don't feel too sorry for me though. Since I might not have bought a gift for me before my birthday, but I got the wheels in motion for the biggest gift I could think of. And today I found out it wasn't even going to cost me an arm and a leg either! Little over half of what I had been expecting. 

Year 43 is well and truly underway and I hope that by next week my birthday gift will be here. I hope Oswin will like it as much as I do. And if not? Tough!