Wednesday 30 March 2016

Brom investigates


Yesterday Mara and I took the car and drove for a long time. And then she showed me a tower and I thought it must be Pisa in Italy (I know things you know), but Mara said no, we weren't in Italy, we were still in the Netherlands. In fact we were in the town where she grew up and they too have a leaning tower!

But we weren't there to see the leaning tower (or Oldehove as it's called), we were there to do some serious investigating. Because we were going to the archives. There were so many books and papers and all sorts of other things. Mara had been clever and had made a short list of the things she wanted to see and one by one they appeared. 

The legacy of a female ancestor to find out what kind of shop she had (didn't find the answer). The contract between a conscript and his replacement, plus when the replacement left and the conscript had to go into Napoleon's army himself (found only the first part). The contract between another conscript and his replacement (found it all) and the birth certificate of Mara's grandfather. 

After all that searching I was getting a bit fed up. It's hard enough writing in English and Dutch, but when you have to read scribbles, part of them in French, it gets quite difficult in the end. Besides, Mara had promised a cow!

When we got outside however, it was raining, so instead of the cow, we went to some shops. And then we rang to a cousin of Mara's and we had a lovely evening with her family. It might not have been as relaxing, but it certainly was a great day!

Monday 28 March 2016

Brom is still relaxing


Well, even though I have been relaxing (which I must admit is great), Mara has not done it to the same degree. Because Mara has a goal. Not only did she come to see her parents and to have a holiday. She also wanted to see all the old photos again and possibly get some other information. Plus there was a mouse to finish (done) and a pair of socks to knit (in the process).

Mara's greatgrandfather Hendrik
(the father of the father of her mother)
This time however, she was going to ask her Mum and Dad to help out with the photos. Perhaps they knew somebody on one of those old photos. Unfortunately her dad didn't have that many photos. Most of the older and childhood photos that were there got destroyed in a fire in the sixties and the family had to beg the photos back from family and friends that might have been sent a photo. Her mum had some more photos and when they went through them, they found old aunties and uncles and a photo with her mum's grandparents on! Isn't that fantastic?

But her mum had another surprise up her sleeve: paperwork. Mara already has all her old schoolreports and a vaccinationbooklet, but this time her life was made nearly complete: her baptismal records, including the service and hymns that were sung. 

Mara at 2 years old
And then today she talked to her mum's eldest sister, who has lots of old photos as well. So, we will be going on another trip this week to visit this aunt and see what we can find out over there. It is so exciting!

Saturday 26 March 2016

Friday 25 March 2016

Brom relaxes


Well, after the surprise of the trip, I am relaxing like crazy. Mara and her mama went shopping first of all, but I wasn't allowed to come because it looked like rain. Mara came back with lots of things. Eight shops and she bought something in nearly every one! 

She bought ribbons for me, one with the Dutch flag and one with the Frysian flag. She bought hairgrips and a row counter (because she forgot to bring hers). She bought something called V.I.Poo which is something to make the smell disappear after you have done a ehm... poo. She bought some very nessecary orange finger nail polish. She even bought some buckles she needs to make me a proper lederhosen! Oh and some 'home made' ribbon. It's a good thing she packed an extra suitcase!

And the eggs? They are for her friend back home who looks after Miss Oswin. Provided of course Mara can resist the temptation and eat them herself!

In the afternoon we went to visit a friend of Mara's. She phoned first and they were very surprised when Mara said that she would be over in about 30 minutes! But it was good fun. Slobbery kisses for the children (she is allowed you know, she is an aunty) and big bear hugs for her friends. There was cake and spaghetti (not at the same time) and Mara even had to ask for some more food. Now, this friend is usually stuffing Mara with every food under the sun, but this time she had decided not to do it. So, she was very happy when Mara asked. 

We went home after dinner and went to bed quite early. Two short nights does that to people you know. I don't know what we are going to do today yet. Probably more relaxing. I like relaxing...

Thursday 24 March 2016

Brom gets a surprise


A surprise? Well, I'll say! A big surprise. Very very very big! Because yesterday morning, Mara packed a bag and then took me and off we went. She didn't want to say where we were going, but I knew it was going to be big, because the next thing I saw was the local airport! We were going on a plane again. And when we landed, we were in Oslo. 

In Oslo we had to wait a while. And another while and then another while and then we had to wait a while longer (8 hours in fact), before we could get on our next plane. And then the plane took off and we went to...


But from Amsterdam we took a train and then we got on a taxi and then we were home. And home is where Mara's mama and papa live. Only Mara's mama knew we were coming though and it was a big surprise to her papa to see us there. Mara even shouted SURPRISE! 

A week's holiday. Isn't it a great surprise??

PS. Mara took photos, really she did, but the little rope thingy for the iPod doesn't fit and the other thingy doesn't fit into the computer either. So, you will have to wait to see the photos. She says she is sorry!

Monday 21 March 2016

Miss Oswin is not happy!


Did you see that photo from yesterday? That grrrr... thing? Well, let me tell you about it. 

It is awful! That's it! Awful!! Oh yes, it may look nice, but it's trying to get into my house. MY HOUSE!!! It sometimes sits and waits until Mara opens the door for me and then I can't go out. And only the other day Mara wanted me to come in and when she rattled the treat jar, that thing came running! It even got a treat!! Mara said it got a treat so I could come down, but I am not so sure. 

I think Mara is secretly training it to come and live with us, even though she says she isn't. I just hope it goes away and leaves us in peace. That way I can go out in MY garden again and enjoy MY roof. 

Note from the editor: the cat has been hanging around in our garden for the past few weeks now. It is friendly enough and will let me pet it, so it is used to people. It has some big mats in its fur though, so I doubt it actually lives somewhere. It may just travel between homes. Even though it lets me pet it, it has a limit and when that limit is reached it will bite. Fortunately both times it was in either my jacket sleeve or my glove. It does however scare Miss Oswin. She doesn't like going out when it is around and she is afraid to come in when it is too close to the front door. I do not want to feed it and I certainly do not want to take it in, despite Miss Oswin's fears. 

Sunday 20 March 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-11

Meet the bane of Miss Oswin's life. In fact, she will tell you all about it on Monday!

Wednesday 16 March 2016


Lately my attention has shifted from socks to mice. After all, you can never have too many sock wool, but there is a limit to how many socks you can wear at any one time! Of course it doesn't mean I will give up the socks, but for now my attention as I said has shifted. 

It all started with my sister. When she arrived last year to look after me after my operation (which happened two days after she had gone home), she had brought with her the mouse. Grandmother's mouse. It was in dire need of some tlc and even more in need of some severe repair. And then she said: can you make a new one for me? Of cour....

Fast forward a year and thanks to an old school friend I got a pattern. Adjusting and changing it I made a mouse that looked remarkable like the one my grandmother had made. I was as surprised as anything! And then I made another one. And another one. And there will be even more to come. Because the amount of yarn I have in storage ever since living in England a lifetime ago, will finally be used. 

The eventual plan will be to sell the mice. And fifty percent of the price will go directly to the Norwegian Red Cross. In honour of my grandmother (Dutch Red Cross) and my sister (Northern Irish Red Cross). But that is eventual. First I have to make lots more. Possibly even some with a squeak (thank you Sarge for the idea). So, if I am missing in action: I am making new friends!!!

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Cats vs Humans 05


Me and the baby son of a colleague

Monday 14 March 2016


I made some siblings!
I missed Photo on Sunday! I was doing so well this year and then yesterday, I just went... prft. I didn't want to find a photo, I didn't want to do a post. Nothing to do with what happened earlier in the week, I just didn't feel like it. But, a new week is dawning and new chances and all that.

I got my rota for the Easter holiday in. Work Monday and Tuesday, reserve on Wednesday, off on Thursday, work Friday, off Saturday and Sunday and reserve on Monday. Not too bad. Not sure what I am going to do with all that free time though. Perhaps some more mice? Or socks? Or perhaps something else entirely? I still have to make the lederhosen for Brom and I want to make him something Dutch as well. Any suggestions?

Other than that I am doing fine. Spring is slowly making its way to my part of Norway. Lots of snowdrops in the garden and green shoots in several places. The temperatures are still quite low though. Just above freezing during the night and not much higher during the day. At least there is no wind though, although today that wouldn't have been too bad: I can't see anything because of the fog!

I watched a bit of the biathlon world championships over the past two weeks. The most special thing for me was the bronze medal for the Canadian male relay team. I was cheering them all the way to the finish! A massive surprise, since they beat the usually very good French and the Russians. 

Right now however, I will make myself some lunch, get back to work and do some more driving. 

PS: there will be more on the siblings a little later on this week. Just to let you know!

Wednesday 9 March 2016


This is a deer I 'shot' last year quite close to home. 
It was a good morning. I woke up early, lingered in bed until the alarm went off, took a shower, made my lunch and with time to spare got in the car to drive to work. Three and a half kilometers further and the morning wasn't so good anymore. Out of the grey wet dusky morning two deer had appeared wanting to cross the road. The one I was driving on. 

I never saw them. Until a flash and a bang. The first minute and a half was spent trying not to cry and getting my adrenaline levels down again. Then I phoned the police and very shakily told them I had hit a deer (I only hit one). Several questions later and I was out of the car trying to locate the deer. I found it, only 25 meters behind the car, laying in the bushes beside the road. 

Anybody knowing anything about wildlife knows that wild animals don't stay right beside the road. Ever. Unless they are hurt. Since I had hit the deer, it was obviously hurt. It did get up in the end, but didn't move far. By then the police had put me through to the wildlife department. 

The man wanted to know where I was and after telling him as much as I could and marking the spot with a reflecting vest, he told me I could leave, I didn't need to stay. I got to work with ten seconds to spare before being late. 

The thing that was hardest for me was the near-exact copy of the French accident. Of course then I was doing 100 km/h (60 miles/h) with a bus and now I was doing half that with a small car. But the flash and the bang were horrid. 

I did debate with myself whether I should work, but I did do so in the end and it all went fine. It was only when I drove home tonight via the same road that my heart was beating in my throat again. 

The fate of the deer? Most likely it was killed and will end up on somebody's plate at some point in the near future. 

Tuesday 8 March 2016

You have really won!

As you have read yesterday, I had some problems with Martian ladies, surveys and clairvoyants on my computer.  I am not sure when or where the trouble started, but it was very annoying. I had tried everything I could think of: an adblocker (the same one Yamini suggested), running my virusthingy again and, as I said yesterday, shouting. Nothing worked. 

Thanks however to the superior knowledge of Yamini, I think I have really won this time. I beat the ads! Yamini suggested I might have a little woodworm, mindworm, wee worm problem. Turned out, it wasn't one wee worm. There were over 250 wee worms! Two hundred and fifty! All just crawling around on my computer. 

After installing Yamini's suggestion though, they got dug up and disposed of with a heavy dose of worm extinguisher. No more wee worms crawling around and I can surf as I please again. 

What a joy! Thank you so much Yamini!

Monday 7 March 2016

You have won!

Well, that's what I keep seeing on my computer. Along with all the ads for Russian and Thai and Chinese and Martian women that keep popping up unwanted. My own fault really. I went to a certain site to order something and ever since all those ads keep coming in. Not on Facebook, not on Blogger, but on most other sites, which is highly annoying. 

I tried getting rid of this malware by cleaning up my computer. Putting in an adblocker. Shouting. None of them work. It's very frustrating and I really don't know what to do now. I am (as I have mentioned before) quite dig-illiterate and know just about enough to keep it going and running somewhat smoothly. 

If anybody has an idea of how to get rid of these pesky ads: PLEASE! I need all the help I can get...

Sunday 6 March 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-10

Photo on Sunday or Cake on Saturday? Either way, they looked good enough to eat! From left to right: the apple pie (yes, a bit burnt at the side), the chocolate cake with raspberry dusting and the carrot cake with orange frosting.

Saturday 5 March 2016


Last June's version
Lately I have been baking carrot cakes. Lovely and nice and very tasty. But a friend of mine said that even though my carrot cake is really good, my apple pie is even better. A lot better. Could I not bake one? Please please pretty please???

What's a girl to do? Risk loosing a friend or start baking the apple pie. So, what did I do at 5.30 this ay em? I baked a carrot cake! Just because!! And when that was in the oven, I started on the apple pie. And once I have gotten the paper plates and plastic forks, I am going to bake a chocolate cake as well. 

So, if you are in the area today (or tomorrow, there might be some leftovers), come on by and get a piece.

Oh, and the scookies? Those are my scones. Ie, scones that don't rise. Ever. And don't look like scones. More like cookies. Or scookies. But they taste of scones. Sort of. Mind you, you could play shuffleboard with them as well. With the scookies. That are scones but look like cookies. 

Friday 4 March 2016

Cats vs Humans 04


My sister and me