Monday 29 February 2016

Notes to self...

February 1st, 2016
Note to self: when cutting a thread off your nearly finished sock, do be careful where you put the scissors. So you won't end up with a hole in your clothes. Mind you, the socks were okay!

September 7th, 2015
Note to self: when working with glue: don't run your fingers through your hair! (It is actually the only place the glue will stick, all the other things I wanted to stick together, keep coming apart!!)

March 24th, 2014
Note to self: when there is a plank in the middle of mud, use it. Otherwise you might end up ankle deep in mud!

July 31st, 2014
Two notes to self: 1. when buying a clock, make sure it doesn't tick too loud! 2. When going for a walk and there has been rain all day, make sure you bring an umbrella.

July 27th, 2014
Note to self: don't do cartwheels at age 43

November 12, 2008
Note to self: check under the bed before closing the bedroom door, just in case one of the monsters has decided to hide under it!

Sunday 28 February 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-09

Out on an adventure.

Saturday 27 February 2016

Once upon a time...


Mara said I could write a fairy tail story even though we are not travelling and are at home. Isn't that fantastic?? So, here goes...

Once upon a time in a far away land beyond the hills of gold and the seas of silver, there lived a pussycat princess called Oswina. She was so beautiful that everybody had to stop and stare at her, whenever she was around (I had to say that, Miss Oswin said that otherwise she would never miaow to me ever again).

She loved playing outside in the gardens of the large castle she called home. There were trees to climb and sheep to watch and of course mice to chase. 

One day Oswina met three little bunny rabbits: Tippy, Pippy and Foon. Even though they looked cute, they were really very naughty little bunnies. 

They had thought up something really bad this time. They were going to put wine in all the water bowls. Oswina didn't like the smell of wine and didn't drink it, but Big Mick was so thirsty, he drank it all! 

Oswina did like to chase mice, but this was no fun! So, she called the police and very soon they came to investigate. The policeman was very strict with the bunnies and they promised never to do it again. 

And they all lived happily ever after!

Friday 26 February 2016

Oma's Mickey Mouse

My maternal grandparents
My grandmother was of a generation where empty hands meant idle hands. I never saw her without a needle or two in her hand. She was always doing embroidery, crocheting doilies and bed spreads and knitting mice. And most of what she created ended up in local bazaars making money for charities, especially the Red Cross. 

My sister's mouse
She would always boast about how many mice she had knitted. I think by the time she died, it was over 1000. Big and small and all of them made with leftover wool. Yarn she got from everywhere. Which meant that no two mice were ever the same. She gave them away as well. I got a small and a big one, as did my siblings and even friends got one. But, I grew up and thought it was a bit daft and old-fashioned so mine ended up in the bin most likely. 

After she had gone however I was sorry I had gotten rid of them and wanted to make my own. After all, I could knit! But, I needed a pattern and my grandmother made them from memory, having made so many of them. Her pattern had long since been lost. 

My version
Help was at hand though: my sister still had a small one. And a big one she claimed was mine, which is now sitting in my bedroom. The only thing to do was count. But that was virtually impossible. The mouse was old, it was quite deteriorated and even after 'fixing' it, it still was no good. Back to square one it was. 

But then there was my old school friend. She had at one point owned a Mickey as well and sort of knew what I was looking for. And where I had never succeeded, she did! I got the link, I printed it out and off I went. And it started looking more and more like the one my grandmother had made. 

The two of them together, mine is on the left
The end result is good. There are still some adjustments to be made (shorter arms, longer and thinner legs, slightly different feet, stumpier head), others have already been implemented. I am definitely pleased with the result!

A mouse on the box. Was it fate?
I am most pleased with the tail though. My grandmother used a French Knitting bobbin for all of her tails and I was allowed to borrow it from my uncle after she had passed away. I have just never given it back (could you please not tell my parents?).

Thursday 25 February 2016

Wednesday 24 February 2016


Remember that lovely pea soup I made a few weeks ago? The one that ended up in the bin (well, compost heap really)? Well, my friend Pepperfly said she could help me out and send me some dried split peas. With which I could then make proper pea soup. 

On February 1st, she went to the post office with a package containing said peas. That very night, the package was sorted into the Norway pile and then went on its way. The next day, before 11am, the package was sent to Norway. A week later (!), the package was received in Norway and customs checked it out. Six hours after that, they cleared it and sent it on its way. The next day, February 10th, the package was in a depot. And then.... nothing!

I didn't know until last Monday when she had sent the package, but when I got to see all the movements, I realised it took a long time to get from the depot to me! Had it been lost in transit? Had it been stolen and the peas been used in Norwegian pea soup? Had it decided to wander off on its own and hitchhike across the country? Or, which was a bit more likely, did the notice that the package had arrived blow away in the wind? After all, it is quite windy here at times and the mailbox does clang a bit. One little gust and woosh.... gone with the wind so to say.

In the end I decided to pay my local post office thingy a little visit. I explained, they looked and ten seconds later I held a heavy box! After three weeks my peas had finally arrived. On arriving home however, I realised it didn't just contain peas. Oh no, it held speculaas mixture as well (yum) and it held more sock wool! Because (according to Pepperfly) you can NEVER have too much wool! And there was a darling little key chain as well. 

Anyway, this weekend will be pea soup. Come rain or high water, come fever or cough, I will have me some pea soup!!! Thank you Pepperfly!

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Miss Oswin goes knitting?


Ever since November Mara has been knitting. Every. Single. Night. First it was the purple cardigan for her sister. Then it was the poncho for her sister. Then it was a heart for her sister. Then it was socks for her dad. Another pair of socks for her dad. A pair of socks for a colleague. Another pair of socks and another and another...

You would think that it would be enough by now, but no, she just keeps on knitting! The thing is though, I don't want to be too far away from that knitting. You never know when there is a thread hanging loose that I need to point out, or a needle that needs adjusting. For some reason though she doesn't want me pointing out the loose threads or adjusting the needles. 

But I do like it when she is knitting. Because she will sit still. Which she normally doesn't. She is always moving about and that is very difficult for the mbc in the wwu. You can't get a proper zzz in or she is shifting position again. When she is knitting however, she sits still. And when she is knitting socks or some other small thing, there is enough room for me on her lap. 

Although first I have to show I am there of course. Mara has warned me that one day she will knit my tail into a sock, but I am too clever, I just turn around at the last moment. But I will lie down eventually and keep an eye on the threads that way. Because I am not only the mbc in the wwu, but the most clever one at that... 

Monday 22 February 2016


It wasn't all bad. Last week a friend gave me this woolly reflecting hat
Isn't it amazing how some months are easy to fill with nonsense of all shapes and sizes, while other months you just can't be bothered to even turn on the computer? Where January saw a total of 24 posts, February has been decidedly... ehm... bad. Eight posts so far and yesterday's post was a trawl through photos of yesteryear instead of a great new one!

It must be the February Blues. After all, February is a month that is neither here nor there. The excitement of December is long gone. January's memories of December are fading fast. March and April and the beginning of spring are still in the distant future and let's not even talk holiday plans (September in my case).

Only 6 more days until March. No, wait, 7 more days! Oh well, that's just life isn't it?

Sunday 21 February 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-08

Not much inspiration today, so you here's a photo from a while ago. Twenty-five years in fact, when I worked for Club Med. We were in flower-theme mode when this photo was taken.

Wednesday 17 February 2016


I don't know whether I ever mentioned it, but I make our company photo book with photos of most of my colleagues. However, the last time it was updated, was more than a year ago! And since then a lot of new people started and a fair few people left. Meaning I had to update it.

I started on the weekend and got to the letter L (I am doing it alphabetically now), before being thoroughly fed up with it. I continued yesterday. But I needed to print the lot as well, so I found the wires to connect to the computer and hey presto: pages came out! Brilliant.

I then wanted to play a game online and then perhaps even write a post. Ehm, no. Nothing. I was not connected to the internet. I checked the modem, which was fine. At which point I was at a loss, since I am quite dig-illiterate and haven't got a clue about most things to do with my computer. So, I turned the whole thing off.

Today I decided that come what may, I was going to fix it! I turned off the modem and turned it back on again. No connection. I got into the connection part of the computer and was about to make a new connection when I read something about cable....

While connecting the printer yesterday, the cable to the modem came out just a millimeter or so. Enough though to cut the connection. I pushed it back in and... Here I am again!


Sunday 14 February 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-07

I couldn't resist having a slice. Yummmm
It's Mothering Sunday over here in Norway. The day where mothers get breakfast in bed, home-made gifts from their children and they have to spend all of Monday cleaning the bed and the kitchen.

It is of course also Valentine's Day! The day where lovers and would be lovers give flowers/presents/cards or just forget the whole thing. 

Because of the occasion(s) I baked a carrot cake. Well, I say that, but I baked one last week as well for no reason at all. I did bake this one in a heart shaped form and covered it with pink icing though. 

For all you mothers, for all you lovers and for all the rest of you: have a great Sunday!

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Of teeth and money

It was time for my annual teeth inspection. Otherwise known as a visit to the dentist. Which went great. Until she came closer with that needle. And closer and closer. And then it didn't hurt. I did squeak however, but since I had told them I would, they were not that surprised. The teeth themselves were fine. It was just that one (of two) fillings was a bit loose and needed to be replaced. Which was what she did. I got out with a new filling, but a bit less money!

My next visit was to the bank. I had heard so many conflicting stories as to what was possible regarding buying a home for myself, I decided to get it straight from the horse's mouth. She was of course nowhere near horse-like, although I didn't hear her laugh...

Something like this would be nice!
Anyway, horse play aside, buying a home. It turns out that some of the things I had heard were true. I needed to have 15% own capital to be able to buy. The other 85% were then put up by the bank. We then proceeded to find out how much the house could be. After some adding and subtracting, taking the square root out of the carrot bowl (whatever happened to the circular root?) and a lot more calculating, she figured that I could buy a home for around 900.000 kroner. Provided I had the 15%. 

Which... I don't. I have 4%. Meaning I am only a teensy tiny bit short. There are a few options I could pursue though. Getting somebody else to co-sign. Putting up their house as collateral. Which for me is a no-go. If I can't do it, I am not getting somebody else to do it for me. Another option is to find a community that will actually loan me the 15%, a so-called top-loan. The community in which I live at the moment is not very top-loan friendly. There are however communities around here that are. A third option is to keep renting and to keep saving.

I will let you know what happens in due time.

Sunday 7 February 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-06

Stripey socks. Not too bad for a first attempt! I will make another pair of stripey ones soon, but they will be white and red as opposed to red and white...

Thursday 4 February 2016

Tuesday 2 February 2016

I wonder...

Trevi Fountain, Rome
What ever happened to acid raid? When I was growing up in the 1980's, they were talking about it non-stop. Buildings and statues deteriorating so fast they could turn to dust before you finished saying acid rain. And then.... nothing! Not a single mention for years now! Did it go away? Did it get a different name? What??

Why can't Norwegians be bothered to put a grocery divider between their groceries and mine? Why do I always have to do it? And why are most grocery dividers too large for the belt, so the dividers have to be at an angle so as not to get stuck? 

On our way to Germany
Why does asphalt (or black top apparently) go lighter with age? I have always learnt that when something gets dirty, it goes darker. I would think roads are pretty dirty, so why do they go from black to grey to almost white? 

Why is it so difficult to make one size book? Perhaps two or three sizes, but when I look in my book cases there are so many different sizes, it's annoying. It ruins the look and because some are too large they won't fit properly. While others are so small you might loose them!

Learning how to knit socks. 
Why is it that to like knitting is being perceived as you being old? I have had knitting as a hobby since I was in my early twenties but for some reason people think you must be old if you knit! What's all that about? Have they not heard it's hip to knit? Or in? Fat? Raw? Sick? Or whatever they call it now! Mind you, I just smile and nod and tell them I am "old" and ask them if they want socks! To be paid for of course!

Why is the sky blue? 
Why is it colder up a mountain when you are clearly closer to the sun? 
What on earth is "stofhagel"? I heard it on the Belgian news and literally translated it means dust hail. They have some funny words...
Why does cucumber taste good, but when you blitz it for a smoothie it tastes like the worst thing ever. It's the same thing!!!

I bet Mathilda never wondered about any of it!
Just a few things I wonder about. 

Monday 1 February 2016

...and that's the answer 4

Now for those of you who read my blog regularly, you might have noticed a little oversight in the past few weeks. On my 'ask me anything' post I had received seven comments, six of those were questions. I answered them in chronological order as they came in. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6. Number 4, the question by Anvilcloud was missing. 

He was sneaky. He didn't just ask me one thing. He managed in his one comment to ask me two/three things. Related, yet seperate questions. Questions that needed some serious thinking about before I could give an answer. Because they didn't deal with the weather or my dinner, but with something completely different. Something deeper. So, without further ado, here is his first question: On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you with your decision to move to Norway? 

I knew before coming that life in Norway would be different from the Netherlands, even if the lifestyles of those two countries are very similar. Or so I was told. Some things are definitely better. The area in which I drive every day has so many beautiful spots and views that I am always amazed by it. Of course I lucked out on finding the amazing place where I live in this beautiful spot. Quiet, peaceful, beautiful. Something I would not get back in the Netherlands. A 9,5 for that. 

Some things are not so good. Although they could be different if I were to choose so. The job, even though the views and the routes are lovely, can be really boring. In my heart I am a coach driver. Driving a group around for a week, showing them lovely sights. Not that stopping every. single. stop. to let somebody get off or get on! I could of course get back to touring. It would mean less pay and getting back to working all hours of the day. I do not want to go back to that, however much I love that job.  A 6 for the job.

Some things are more or less the same. Yes, everything might cost more over here, but I earn more as well. I don't starve, I don't have to count my pennies (or øres) and when I want to buy something I can. The health service is comparable and so is the red tape. Love it or loathe it, it's what it is. A 7,5. Which means that the average would be 7.6. Average!

Anvilcloud's second question can be seen as one or two. I took it as two. Here it is: Do you envisage staying forever or someday returning to The Netherlands? 

The answer to the first part would be no. Not because I don't like it here (I do), but financially. I have built up some pension in the Netherlands and some here in Norway. Once I retire those two pensions will be put together. However, the Dutch pension will not be adjusted to Norwegian living costs, meaning I would have less to live on. And with the higher living costs here, that would mean I could probably not afford it, meaning I would have to move to a place where I could afford to live. 

The answer to the second part would be no as well. If I were to move anywhere, it would be to Scotland or Northern Ireland. Closer to my sister. Get a place and be disgraceful together! That is however far in the future and you never know what life throws at you!

I hope I was able to answer everybody's questions in a satisfactory manner. And if you have any more...