Thursday 31 December 2015

Looking back on 2015

I usually do a month by month break-down of the year that has just passed, but I have the funny feeling it might just become a gloomy, dark and depressed kind of post this year. Because this was not my year. What with body troubles, head troubles and house troubles. It got me down.

The thing that got me through this year was the support and friendship of my family, friends and cyberfriends: human, animal or stuffed. The love shown through telephone calls, post cards, emails, visits and on occasion just an arm around my shoulder or an invitation to go walking did the world of good to me. All your thoughts and prayers were very much appreciated.

I had set out some goals at the beginning of the year. I think I met about three or four of those goals. I don´t mind it´s not more than that. The main ones have been met (the pain and meeting up with friends and family) and although it would have been nice to go sky-diving, if the choice would be between that and meeting up with family or friends, I would choose the latter every time!

2015 was not my year. But I will do my best to make 2016 the best year ever. And with your help and support and friendship, I think I might be able to pull it off!! So, let´s say goodbye to 2015 and HELLO to 2016.

The photo was taken by a friend who took me on a walk to a beautiful spot back in the summer, just to take my mind of things. 

Monday 28 December 2015

What's for dinner?

Even though there was only the three of us spending Christmas together, I had to make dinner for myself only, since Brom doesn't really partake and Miss Oswin has her own food. Which is strictly cat food! But even if I was cooking for myself, I still wanted to have a nice Christmas dinner. 

On Christmas Eve I made a dish that is quite popular here in Norway. And instead of having to buy a huge rack of pork ribs (there is more fat than ribs), I was actually able to bag a portion, which meant I didn't have to eat the same thing for ten days straight. I can tell you: it gets pretty boring. It was accompanied by roast potatoes, sprouts and home-made apple and plum compote. Yum.

On Christmas Day I prepared duck. Accompanied by (again) roast potatoes and red cabbage. And for afters: fudge! Good food. On Boxing Day I prepared grouse. I think I must have done something wrong though, because it tasted foul and most of the grouse ended up in the bin. I just couldn't eat it, I shiver even thinking about it! 

Now, I didn't eat all that food. I had a few leftovers from all the meals. Fortunately I had a plan. All the meat I had left over would go into the bottom of a large oven dish. Unfortunately, due to the icky grouse, I didn't have that much, but rummaging through the freezer paid off and I found some sausages. Once they were defrosted and cooked I sliced them up and put half of them with the rest of the meat. Which by the way was covered in my red wine sauce. 

Then I found the jar of compote and spread the meat liberally with it. There was an old red cabbage still lingering in the kitchen which I sliced up and cooked and then covered the compote with. And last but not least I boiled potatoes, mashed them and put that on top. 

I couldn't resist!
By this time I had had my dinner already: pumpkin soup (from the freezer) with the remainder of the sausages. While everything had been cooking and boiling and such, I had prepared a desert. The first proper one of the holidays. I had made fudge using rummy raisins last week, but had not used all the raisins. Well, they are gone now. I put them in the bottom of my pudding thingy, made a thick custard and left it to set properly. After a few hours it was set enough and I could get it on a plate. 

Today's dinner: leftover red cabbage dish (or hunter's dish) and custard pudding. Yum!

Sunday 27 December 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-41

It's the last Sunday of 2015 and somebody is very anxious to get to the first Sunday of 2016! 

Yes, we have snow which after the past week with rain, rain, rain and more rain is a welcome sight. As I walked in the garden this morning taking photos, I saw bird tracks and some bigger tracks. 

At first I though it might have been a dog, but the dog owners around her are very responsible with leads and such. At the end of the garden I lost the tracks, until I found them again on the other side of the fence. It must have been a deer!

And of course Miss Oswin's tracks...

Saturday 26 December 2015

Miss Oswin and Brom enjoyed Christmas


Hi there, here I am after a great Christmas! I didn't do much, I just ate and drank a bit, watched television and relaxed. Mara said that was a good way to spend Christmas. 

Now a while back Mara went Christmas shopping for Princess Leah who lives in another country and then last week we got a present back from Princess Santa Cla Leah and her Mum. It was big and it smelled so good! Which meant that the box was opened already before Christmas, but I was only allowed to take out the really good smelling gift, which was a Santa! 

I could play with it and sleep on it. But all the other gifts had to stay in!

We didn't have many gifts under our Christmas tree this year (which Mara set up on Little Christmas Eve), only one for Mara and one for me (the big one). Well, there was one other one for Mara, but she said it smelled so good, she had to open it right away!! Miaow, isn't she a silly puss?

Well, I loved my gifts. There were balls and mice with feathers, but Mara put those away for now. There was the prettiest bowl ever that I got. Princess Leah sure does understand about the mbf in the wwu needing more than just a plastic bowl to eat from! There was a lovely little blanket just for me and there were some sweeties for me. 

And then there was the hat. Which I must admit was a bit of wrong choice, until Mara suggested that perhaps Brom was included in the gifts? Well, the hat fit him perfectly and he was extremely happy with it! His very own Santa hat!!

Thank you Princess Leah and Princess Leah's Mum for finding such beautiful gifts for us. We had a great Christmas here in Norway and we hope that wherever you are, you had an equally good one!

Love from Miss Oswin and Brom. Oh, and from Mara she says!

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Oh... Fu..dge!

A few days ago you may have read the short mention of my sister and I making fudge. I decided to try it at home as well. I had the condensed milk, butter and sugar, so I was set. Well, I might have been set, not so however the fudge. The pan might have been a bit too small, because at the point the mixture had to start looking like bubbling lava, my mixture didn't only look like bubbling lava, it looked like an exploding vulcano! The stove was covered with sticky, albeit yummy, goo. Fail!

I had found a different recipe and after reading up on condensed or evaporated milk (basically the same, but condensed has added sugar), I read the label on my condensed milk and found out it was unsweetened, so basically evaporated milk. Happy with that, I made the second batch. I had some white chocolate, which we used at my sister's, but I also had some whiskey. Whiskey it was and boy did it taste good! Pass!

Today I wanted to make another batch and after stocking up on evaporated milk and sugar, I went ahead. For some reason I used more sugar than the recipe called for. Now, that would have been okay if I had then not poured the whole mixture over too much white chocolate. Instead of having to beat it for ten minutes to make it go firm enough to pour into its setting tray, it became one block of crumble. It tasted okay, but it still ended up in the bin. Fail!

After an hour and a half's rest (it's tiring stirring for nearly 45 minutes straight), I decided I wanted to have one last go of today. In went the evaporated milk, the sugar and the butter (1). After about twenty minutes with some gentle stirring everything was dissolved (2). Time to put the heat up. Lava bubbling nicely (3) and me starting to stir a bit more vigourously, all the while taking its temperature. Once it got up to the minimum required temperature (4) I stirred for a few more minutes before taking it off the fire and pouring it in another pan. There I added some raisins and then a few more. After a further 10 minutes of beating the fudge into submission I felt it was enough and poured it into its tin to cool (5). So far, so good: Pass!

PS: do you think I ought to have mentioned the fact that the raisins were soaked in rum? 

Monday 21 December 2015

Beep and dig

A while ago as I was looking out the window, I saw a strange man climbing over the fence to the field across the road. He had a spade with him and as I was starting to look around for a body he might be wanting to bury (too much?), I saw he had a metal detector as well. And then I saw what was written on the back of his jacket and had to laugh. And then find my camera!

I wonder what he found...

Friday 18 December 2015

Back home

It's supposed to be an owl.
It was early yesterday. Alarm clock early. Realising my holiday was over early. But it had to be done. I had to go home again. My sister took me to the bus, which was more or less on time. The bus was a proper coach with leather seats and 'extra legroom'. Remember the last flight I had when I traveled to my sister? Knees wedged between my body and the seat in front of me. If that is what they call extra legroom I didn't want to know anything about their normal legroom. 

Anyway, we got to Dublin Airport a bit late, but since I was very early... Because I had upgraded my flight, I was able to use the posh lounge. Nice! And on the flight Brom got to sit next to me again, I got food and drink without having to pay for it (I had already done so of course) and was the first off the plane. Which was late arriving due to fog and icy rain and low visibility in Oslo. Which also meant my next flight would be late. A good thing, because it gave me some extra time. My suitcase had been labeled 'priority' so arrived in the last batch, but it arrived so all was fine. 

The ceiling in the Grand Opera House in Belfast
The flight home I hadn't upgraded and it was packed. When we finally got on it, because it got delayed several times. After arriving my suitcase (still with the priority thingy on) came out second and I could make my way to the taxi rank and go home. 

Where it was dark. And it remained dark even after turning on the light. Apparently one of the fuses had blown so the first thing I had to do was locate a new fuse and get everything working again. Miss Oswin then decided she would come out to greet me, although that might have had more to do with me giving her some sweets. Either way, I am happy to be home again. Brom is happy to be home again and Miss Oswin is happy we are home again. Happy all round!

Oh, during our short break my sister and I decided we would not travel to Canada next year (cost mainly). Instead we will travel through middle Europe for two weeks. We have a slight itinerary already, but more will decided in the months to come. Let me just say that Brom is going to need some Lederhosen!!

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Brom is relaxing


Well, if you were thinking this would be one of those holidays were something new was done every single day... you were mistaken. Because those two just read and watch television and go shopping. The shopping part yesterday was due to the fact that Mara would have a near empty suitcase if she didn't get more stuff, because she has a carry-on suitcase that is full. If everything goes from the little to the big suitcase the big suitcase would be too heavy and otherwise it would be quite empty. What a reason to go shopping!!!

Oh, part of the shopping yesterday was to get the rest of the ingredients for the fudge they were going to make. And Mara says it tastes very good and will definitely be making it back home as well. 

Apart from the shopping, Mara has also done some knitting. I would have thought she would have had enough of knitting for at least the rest of the month, but since she got here, she made a snowman (see top photo) for under her sister's tree. Which she also helped put up and decorate. 

But Mara says the main reason she went on this short holiday is because she wanted to spend time with her sister. And doing nothing with her sister is better than doing lots of other stuff on her own. She says. 

She is not the real Miss Oswin, but she is nice and cuddly
But, this is our last day here, tomorrow we will be heading home again. And this time we will take a bus to the airport, but a different airport from the one where we landed. I just hope she has all the good information, because I would like us to get home and see Miss Oswin again.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Brom and the seven dwarfs


Yesterday we went to Belfast, but we didn't go to see a lot of old buildings and churches and statues and stuff, we went shopping. And bear, can those two girls shop! Now, they are not clothes shoppers, but they love their books and they love dvd's, so a lot of time was spent in both the book stores and the dvd-shop. 

Not only did we go there, we also went to the Christmas market. It wasn't as big as the ones in Germany Mara said, but it looked pretty big to me! There were so many lights in Belfast as well. A lot of Christmas trees with twinkly lights and a lot of other twinkly lights. It was quite magical. 

After dinner, Mara and her sister and me went to the best place of the day: The Grand Opera House in Belfast. Because we were going to see Snow White. We got really good seats (thanks to her sister who booked the tickets), not too far away and not too close and we could see everything that happened on stage. 

There was Snow White and seven dwarves (one who fell asleep the whole time), there was May the cook (May McFettridge, a Northern Irish legend), Muddles (who was very funny) and of course a very handsome prince (Chico) and an evil witch, who we booed every time she came out on stage.

It was very funny and we all had a great time! Mara didn't take any photos from the show itself, but those were taken before the show! I just hope I will be able to go next year as well. To Cinderella!

Monday 14 December 2015

Brom in the sky


Oh wow, we did so much flying! First we flew from Haugesund to Oslo. But the plane was late, so we had to go really really fast to the next plane which go from Oslo to London. Mara was very confused by then, because she only had a boarding pass up to London, but we were going further. But, she figured it out: she had to get her luggage and then go and check in again. The last flight went from London to Belfast in Northern Ireland.

The O2 arena by the River Thames in London (aka the white blob)
The first two flights were absolutely lovely. I had my own seat because there was nobody sitting next to me and Mara showed me the sights of London. She knew so much! But the last flight wasn't as nice. There was somebody sitting on both sides of us, so I had to stay in the bag. And Mara said she had very little room for her legs. But when we arrived all was good again, because we were met by Mara's sister Gera, where we will be staying for a week. 

The London Eye (aka the red blob)
Now, all this was last Friday and on Saturday I was left alone because of the bad weather, while Mara and Gera went out to post my calendars and Mara's calendars and get wool and stuff. On Sunday we all stayed in for a lazy day, which I loved. And today? Well, you will have to come back to read about what happened today!

Sunday 13 December 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-40

You were all wondering about that cardigan weren't you? Well, it was finished over two weeks ago (yes, I fibbed), because I wanted to make a Christmas present for my sister as well. So, here are the two photos of her new outfits. The top one being the cardigan and the bottom one being of a sort of figure hugging poncho type thingymebob with the original 'Marius' pattern. Both modeled by my sister of course!

Thursday 10 December 2015

Brom is ready


It was a bit worrying when Mara had to finish her sister's cardigan, because she had promised me a little sweater as well. Fortunately the cardigan is done and she had enough time to make me not only a little sweater, but a little hat as well. 

Now I am ready for my trip!

Monday 7 December 2015

Sorry Miss Oswin

At 3pm yesterday afternoon I let Miss Oswin out of the house. She hadn't been out for several days due to the bad weather, but despite some wind, it was dry(ish) and not too cold. Usually she stays out for about an hour or so before coming in again.

As I was knitting late afternoon yesterday I was wondering where Miss Oswin was. I called out, but it is quite normal for her to spend most of the day on her cushion in the hallway, so wasn't too bothered when she didn't come when I called.

As I was knitting some more yesterday evening, I wondered again where she could be. Normally she would have come in to try and sit on my lap or get some food. However, she never showed. 

As I was putting something away in the hall at 11.30pm I saw the keys in the door. I never went ou... oh, Miss Oswin was still outside!!

I opened the door, called out for her and there she was. Very indignant (I could hear it in the way she miaowed) and not happy in the least. Fortunately it had been quite dry and not too cold for the whole period she had been out and she usually hides under the roof, but she was hungry and fed up. 

Sorry Miss Oswin!

Sunday 6 December 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-39

Well, I finished the knitting part. Pfew! Of course, as you can see in the photo, it still needs to be put together. I have a funny feeling though about the sleeves being too long, but I will find out when I start sewing it all. Then, when it has been put together, the buttons need to go on and then it will need shaping. I can already see some of it starting to pull out of shape, so I need to use wet cloths and pins and all. So, it might be a bit of touch and go before my trip. You will have to wait and come back next week to see the finished result though. 

Miss Oswin congratulates


Another of those peace offerings today: I get to write another post. Even though there is already a post today and the chance of anybody reading my beautifully crafted words are minimal! Hmpfh

Plus, does he really need it? All the attention? After all, he already has a calendar!! Oh, Mara says I have to write nice or she will take over.

So, what´s the big deal? It is Brom´s birthday! It´s not royal like mine, but it is quite good anyway, because he shares his birthday with Saint Nicolas or Sinterklaas. And yesterday in the Netherlands and Belgium a lot of children got presents from Saint Nicolas. Mara thinks that 42 years ago, Saint Nicolas brought Brom into Mara´s life when she was only 2. That is quite exciting.

Happy 42nd birthday Brom, you silly orange teddy! I hope you like your birthday hat!

Saturday 5 December 2015

Miss Oswin picks the winners


Not a single photo of Gorgeous Me in either of the two calendars, yet I have to be gracious and pick winners? But then Brom said he was very sorry and Mara gave me some extra treats and I have to admit I couldn´t resist. Besides, Mara throwing paper in the air was fun to see as well. Brom just kept watch over me to see I didn´t cheat. Not necessary of course, because I know how to play fair.

Mara had written the names of all the people who entered Brom´s give-away on pieces of paper. She then folded them up, threw them in the air and the ones I sniffed or touched were the winners. And then she took those names out of the list for Mara´s give-away (Brom said that would be fair), wrote the remaining two names on pieces of paper, folded those and threw those four papers in the air. I sniffed one and touched another and we had four winners! Two for Brom´s calendar and two for Mara´s calendar. 

Do you want to know who won? Really? You don´t want it to be a surprise at all? Well, here goes then...

The two winners who will get a calendar made by Brom are (drumroll please)... Auntie Yam and Ginny Marie. 

And the two winners who will both get a calendar filled with Mara´s photos (did I ever say I was not in either of those two calendars?) are... Debby @ Just Breathe and Miss Madi and her Mom.  

I am sorry to those of you who didn´t win. Then again, I am not in either of the calendars, so you don´t miss much... Oh, Mara and Brom say I have to say congratulations. Congratulations to the winners!!! And the calendars will be coming your way soon.

Friday 4 December 2015



Hi there people! Did you enter our give-aways yet? You didn´t have the time? Or you forgot all about it? Well, here I am to tell you that this is your last chance to enter, since both give-aways close tomorrow at noon (Central European Time). 

So get your fingers in gear and head on over to Mara´s give-away with photos from her travels in 2015. There is even a photo of herself in it, which is a first.

Now, in case you would rather look at me and my adventures, head on over to my give-away with photos from my travels in 2015. And remember, I was in the Netherlands, Scotland and a few days away in Norway where I was dressed up as a Viking!

So get going folks. You can´t win unless you enter!!

Thursday 3 December 2015


I am knitting like a crazy lady to get it all finished in time. So, this will have to do as today´s post!!

Tuesday 1 December 2015


The following is shamelessly stolen from Yamini, who wrote it with such insight that I didn´t feel there was anything I could write that would even remotely be on the same par. She wrote it before last Sunday (first in Advent).

"This coming Sunday is the first in Advent, the period of recognition of the birth of Jesus Christ. The announcement of the imminent arrival of the Messiah to the Eastern Magi and the Shepherds (and by default, all followers of Christ through to the modern age) generated HOPE. This is signified in the first candle of the Advent crown many households will light this weekend."

"Hope is not merely wishful thinking. To say that one hopes for something, but with only a hankering in the heart rather than an anchored ideal, is to be wishing. Hope is strong. It is affirmative. It lifts the inner being of those who have found something to which they can attach some degree of trust and anticipation for an improvement upon whatever circumstance prevails currently. In times of great sorrow, those with hope in their hearts will suffer less. Those with hope will have a solid goal or ideal to which they can turn their eyes, hearts and minds in the times when they are not preoccupied with acting in life. Indeed, hope will inform their actions, for such actions will surely be for the furtherance of the hopeful one and will contain the hope in their completion."

"Hope heals. Hope is a prayer. Hope encourages. Hope motivates. Hope ensures one foot is put in front of another and urges us to keep on keeping on. If the goal is our anchor, hope is the chain which ties us to it. Hope presides where faith fails. When all is let loose in the world, hope remains."

"Take time this week to contemplate..."

Thank you to Ginny Marie over at Lemon Drop Pie for her prompt for the Spin Cycle.