Friday 30 March 2018

Of cubic meters and books

When I moved from the Netherlands to Norway, I had about 15 cubic meters of stuff to take with me. Which translates to about 530 cubic feet. In other words: a lot! Mind you, I took a few hefty pieces of furniture with me (some of which have since found their way to the eternal furniture showroom in the sky). And books. And DVD's. Knick-knacks, thingummies, whatyamacallits and other assorted stuff. 

Now is the time to re-pack. And after finishing the DVD's (why does it have to be capitalised??), today's turn was for the books. When moving here, I used cardboard boxes. They tend to bulge. Split. Break. But, I had found a solution: plastic crates. 

I used those plastic crates to keep my yarns in, but they were the perfect size for books, because they wouldn't become too heavy! In they went. Children's books, favourite authors, a bit of literature. Also my M*A*S*H cookbook, my knit the Dutch royal family and maps. So many maps. But even after filling thirty of those crates, I still hadn't come across my London A-Z!

Up to the attic I went once more and there it was: hidden under some empty boxes. The box containing not only my London A-Z, but also maps of Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland and several other places. 

Thirty of those small crates equal about 1 cubic meter (about 35 cubic feet), so number 31 made me start the next one. Of course I also have the larger crates and there it is about 16 crates to the cubic meter. So far, I have one cubic meter there as well, and about one more to fill before starting on my cardboard boxes. And then there is the stuff that can't be boxed, like furniture and such. 

Is there anything sadder than empty book cases?
Now I need to get myself a reliable mover. Anyone got any ideas??

PS: You may have missed my previous post about my new digs, due to a slight hiccup with posting, making it a draft again and then posting again. Why not scroll down and check it out? 

Tuesday 27 March 2018

The digs

One of the bedrooms with walk-in closet
After the interview had ended on Saturday, me and my sister drove back home. We both agreed pretty quickly that this was my chance and I think before we had even left the parking lot, my mind was already made up: accept!

However, just having a job is great, but apart from short stays, there was no way me and Miss Oswin were going to be living with my sister. Not with her stuff and my stuff together! We would be swamped. A place to live was needed. 

Small, but with everything that's needed!
Fortunately my sister has already lived in Northern Ireland for 12 years and knows people. And one person she knows has a fiance and he is creating two apartments. So, on Saturday evening, my sister contacted her to ask whether we could come and see. Nine o'clock the following morning we were quite welcome to see the finished product and the non-finished product. 

No dishwasher unfortunately, the only downside
When we got there, we found that it was a really quiet back road where the only thing we heard were some twittering birds. The first apartment we were shown was the finished one. Two large bedrooms, a functional bathroom and a kitchen/living room. And downstairs a massive garage! 

The living room. Not really with a view
The other apartment wasn't quite that far yet. In fact it wasn't far at all yet and would take about three months to finish he said. But, if I wanted it, he would put in some extra effort to get it finished sooner. 

Well, we shook hands and now I have a place to live. And don't worry, in the mean time, me and my sister will live together so I won't be homeless. My stuff however, will be stored in the garage that will be mine!

And this is where we will live when it's finished!
One less worry in my adventure!

Monday 26 March 2018


The just missed ferry on Friday morning
Or should that be Woohoo? Or Hoorah? Or Yippee? 

Well, let's start with the sorry. I am sorry I haven't been around for a while. I am also very sorry to have lied to you all. Because in my recent Pickwick post I stated that I hadn't heard anything yet. Which was not entirely true. Well, not true at all really. 

Because I had heard something. In fact, I had heard something before I went to see my sister a few weeks ago. I was invited to a test (math and customer services) that would take about two hours. Unfortunately due to the short notice, I couldn't make it, but I would be in the country a week later.... Alas, no go. 

Then just before I was to travel to my sister, she sent me a link to another bus company needing people. So, I sent off my cv and told them I would be in Northern Ireland at such and such a date. Nothing. My sister however is occasionally a bit more bold than I am and actually drove me up to the company during my holiday. I talked to somebody, he gave me an application form, we went back home, I filled it out, made copies of everything I thought might be important and sent it off. 

Brom was a good luck charm!
A week later there was contact. When was I next going to be in Northern Ireland? Well, eeehhh.... Quick decision later and I told him that I could be coming on the 23rd of March, for an interview on Saturday. I booked my flight, got the time off (only 2 hours fortunately) and rented a car. I told my sister to make sure the bed was made and last Friday I made my way to Northern Ireland. 

On Saturday I had an interview with one of the managers and at the end he said that there would be a job for me if I wanted it. Think it over, he said, and call us on Monday. 

I called today and sent an email. I accept. 

Yes, I am nervous. The same type of nervousness as when I got the job in Norway: am I doing the right thing or should I just remain doing what I know. But I know that my move to Norway was good in the end and I am hoping this new move will be good as well. I will certainly do everything in my power to make it so!

So, if in the immediate future you will only see me come by every once in a while, you know why: packing, packing and packing. Quitting this, finishing that, vet, gp, dentist, bank, social services etc etc. 

Sunday 18 March 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-09

The sky looked like this all week!
The weather the past week has been really fine. I would have called it glorious had the temperatures been a bit better. As it was: just below/above freezing all week! But, the skies were blue, not much wind, no rain...

One of the great tits in the area
Spring is on its way and the birds seem to be ready at least...

Wednesday 14 March 2018


The tea is there. Somewhere!
When I was in the Netherlands last year, I took home a certain amount of food and drink. And one of those drinks is Pickwick Tea (it's a Dutch brand). Recently I have been drinking quite a bit of that tea and every time I get a bag, it comes with a new question.

Like what my favourite colour is. Or whether I am a morning or an evening person. And what was my biggest adventure.

That last question got me thinking. What was my biggest adventure? And I think eventually it was moving to Norway. Over five years ago now I moved from the safety of the Netherlands, where I knew the language, the job, the area, where to get what, what to buy etc to the unknown Norway. 

My first visitor in Norway (ie my sister). 
Those first weeks I lived on adrenalin and by the first six months I had lost weight. Mind you, it came back once I figured out what the nice foods were. And now I am planning another adventure. So far, I have not heard anything yet, but I do think I make a good chance. Hopefully they feel the same. 

Tea. I think I might get myself another cup.

Tuesday 13 March 2018

Toot toot!

Happy belated 16th Madi!
It was Madi's birthday last Sunday and she asked everybody to tell her about their best road trip or how they learned to drive. Granted it's a few days late, but here is my story. Well, stories really...

Once upon a time, in a land far far away (England), there lived a princess (ehm, me) who wanted to learn how to drive. So, she phoned around and found a teacher who could teach her how to drive. This teacher was a soft-spoken young man (very!) and half the time the princess couldn't hear a word he said. And then one day this teacher told her that he had to stop teaching her! He was only a learner-teacher and had failed his teacher exams three times. 

My very first car: a Fiat Panda
Another teacher was found who was not as soft-spoken and he taught her a few things. Then the princess went up for her exam and failed. Completely as the second teacher had thought since the first teacher hadn't taught her enough. The second time she went up for her exam though: she failed again. But the third time she was lucky! She was finally allowed to drive a car.

A few years later this princess had moved to another far far way land (the Netherlands) and decided she wanted to learn how to drive a bus. She phoned around and found the only school that would actually teach her. Her teacher was not a young soft-spoken man. It was an old man who saw bikes and cars everywhere and stopped her so often, it was not very nice. One day her old teacher had another engagement and she got another teacher: a youngish man who put his feet up on the dashboard and told her to drive. She asked to keep him and that was fine they said.

For the bus it took a lot more than just passing a driving test. There was the technical exam (passed because the princess was a woman taking her bus test, all the princes who knew a lot more about lorries failed), the administrative exam (passed) and the rules/regulations/road test (passed). And then there was the regular driving test. Which she failed.

My coach during one of my first trips
Fortunately the princess passed the second time around, because it was really really expensive! On January 7th 1999 she had her new driver's license and she started driving a bus professionally from March 1st that same year.

Sunday 11 March 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-08

When I was in Northern Ireland recently, I saw blooming crocuses and even some daffodils. In Norway the snow drops are just coming up. And it is snowing again.

These poor daffodils are doing their very best, but they came up about two weeks ago and since then have had to deal with snow, frost, more snow and more frost.

Friday 9 March 2018

Handbags and gladrags

Part of my uniform collection.
The bright blue shirts at the back only to be worn during summer.
I am not what you would call the most up to date woman when it concerns clothes and such. Mainly because I wear a uniform in my day to day life and have no real need for a ton of clothes. After I get home from a shift, I tend to change out of my uniform and into easy clothes like nice thick pyjama bottoms and a lovely warm shirt. I will hang out on the couch and do not much. 

Having said that, I am continually amazed at the amount of clothes I actually do have! As in the 'proper clothes to go out in public' clothes. Occasionally I will go through said clothes to sort them, both for size and 'do I still wear it?' When I recently was at my sister's, she threw out a certain amount of clothes that were either too small or too big and I took a few items home. Without trying them on first though. The dress that I took home looked lovely and was the right size. Well, apart from a certain area out front that is...

Might not be the best uniform to wear in Norway...
The dress ended up on the charity pile. Soon followed by a pair of trousers that I have had for years, but have hardly ever worn. I opened boxes and closets and tried and sorted. One bag of clothes to go to Sally. 

One thing I didn't find in my rummage around was handbags though. Mainly because I don't own that many. At last count I have one. Bought just before my recent holiday. Yes, I do have small bags that some might think of as handbags, but they are not really. The reason I got the proper handbag was because of the shop I got it in. It is one of those shops where you go in, just to have a little looksie. And you come out laden with stuff you (don't) need/want. 

Nice and big, albeit a big floppy.
For some reason I had gravitated towards the handbags and though there were some that were quite smart, they were not my style. Then I saw this one. There was a black one or a coffee (ie brown, what's wrong with saying it's brown?) one. Which, when you're always wearing dull colour clothes, was not what I wanted. Until I saw this one, a lovely deep burgundy colour (okay, it's dark red) and I was sold. I was even more sold when I saw its price: nearly 200 kroner cheaper than either of the others! 

Now if only those pink boots had come in my size...

Monday 5 March 2018

Brom has to grumble a bit


A week! It's been a week!! And I can tell you things happened and photos were taken and I wanted to write about it! But no.... first Mara and Gera were too busy doing whatever it was and then we left and then she had to work again and then it was the weekend and now it's Monday again!

Good, grumble over and I can FINALLY tell you what we did LAST Monday. The day before last Monday (Mara says that is Sunday, she had better be quiet now and let ME write this story, otherwise more grumbling is needed), was also the last day of the Olympics. 

Can you find the robin?
So, Mara and Gera watched the closing ceremony and after that went for a walk. They wanted to do a longer walk, but unfortunately they were late and the car park would only be open for another hour: not enough for a longer walk. 

The weather was absolutely beautiful. It was cold, but the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Mara kept both me and Mouse safe (I say safe, we were a bit lopsided) in her pockets and we went on a short walk. 

Mouse said this was much better.
Then the next day, after some errands, AGAIN, we made our way EARLIER to the large nature reserve for a walk. This time the weather wasn't as nice though: clouds all over the place and it was even colder than the day before. Gera carried Mouse and Mara carried me and off we went. Because it was Monday it was a lot quieter as well and we only saw a handful of people. We did see robins though, but Mara's camera did not want to cooperate when one of them posed for us. 

A wrong step and you would be ankle deep in mud!
The nature reserve is a peat lands and in the past a lot of turf has been taken away. They are now slowly turning it back into peat lands, which means that some areas were very soggy. We decided to skip that part, because Mara's shoes weren't watertight. 

We are doing the same!!
In the end we walked for about two hours and saw bright red mushrooms, a lot of gorse and beautiful views. Both Mara and Gera were tired then, me and Mouse could have gone on for another two hours. Easily. But instead we made our way to the supermarket to get our last meal together and the bread Mara wanted to take home. 

Aren't they pretty?
The next morning, Gera took us all to the train station. This time we were going to take a fast train to Belfast. Despite all the weather warnings and even the snow falling in London, all the flights were on time and we got home a little before 9 pm. It had been a really good week!

Sunday 4 March 2018