Marginalia

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Wednesday 30 May 2018

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Being ill means there is time to read. Today I read one novel from cover to cover, namely "Nutshell" by Ian McEwan. I am already a great McEwan fan, and met the novel with high expectations. I was not disappointed. A Hamlet paraphrase, a very odd crime novel, and an unborn foetus as the main character. The part I liked a little less was that there were a lot of comments on society that sometimes seemed a little forced. And the part I liked best was the language that as always was sophisticated, innovative and eloquent. It was a very good read.

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Sorgenfri by Jo Nesbø

Another book Per lent me that I have kept for way too long. And a crime novel as well. I enjoyed this one.

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Fasandreperne by Jussi Adler Olsen

A book lent to me by my colleague Per ages ago. Must be almost a year, so on high time to read it. It is my second Adler-Olsen crime novel. I am not as enthusiastic about it as Per. It is a little too predictable. But I do like the main character and his side-kick. They are interesting and funny characters, and a little out of the ordinary.

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Tuesday 29 May 2018

Not going to work.

Neither in Askim nor in Kolbotn. Not at all well. Started to feel a little better by the end of the day, and decided to go into work tomorrow. But then work contacted me and said they did not want me to make everyone else sick now in the middle of exams. They had arranged for someone else to take my classes and told me to stay home and sleep. That felt like such a relief. I love my workplace!

Monday 28 May 2018

Sick

Not keeping food. Had to pause my shower today when I almost fainted. Sat down on the sofa and had not been there long before I threw up. That set the standard for the rest of the day.

Sunday 27 May 2018

Out of order

Got out of bed, sat in a sofa freezing, struggling to stay awake. After 11 hours of that, I went back to bed at 6pm.

Saturday 26 May 2018

Two tired souls

Met Bjørn today. We went to the movies, saw "Han Solo" (terrible), went out to eat, went to the movies, saw "Deadpool 2" (Funny).

Then Bjørn drove home, and I drove to Ås. At least that is what we thought. Until lamps started blinking red in my car. I stopped the car, phoned Bjørn and he came back. Out of coolant, Bjørn had, so we refilled and I got the can with me. Which was good since the red lights started blinking again before I was at Ås.

Friday 25 May 2018

Oh yes.

13 hours at work today. I can live with not being there for a couple of days now.

Thursday 24 May 2018

And again

13 hours, then to Ås, then a couple more hours.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

What do you know...

Another 14 hours of work.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Back to work

And 14 hours of it.

Monday 21 May 2018

A slow day

Walked out in the woods and sat there for a couple of hours.

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Sunday 20 May 2018

The Bohuslän coast

Today we drove west to what is said to be a wonderful part of Sweden, the Bohuslän coast. It was difficult to find roads that brought us down to the coastline, so we have seen a lot of the green Swedish country side!

But then we, a little by accident, drove down to a very charming place called Grundsund.

It was a little chilly and we had not eaten much, so we were happy to find a little restaurant hidden away on the docks, "Smultron and Tong.

It was open for one more hour, and it had the nicest staff you could imagine. The waitress was so friendly, and after a while the chef came out and joined us also, and he sat by our table for a while and told us which route we should take back home to Norway. We felt very welcome. And the food left nothing to be desired. My prawn sandwich:

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My dessert

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And Bjørn's

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A couple of hours here, looking at all the coastal charm, was more than enough to make up for a long drive. Well at east for me. It is poor Bjørn that does all the driving.

We drove on, and saw a lot of nice places along the way. But we did not stop to take many photos, it was late, and we were also ready to head home. But here are a couple...

We drove back to Ås, Bjørn got a short break and then he drove back home.

I am glad we did this trip. We had a good time, we saw and experienced a lot, and we really are at our best as a couple when we travel together.

Saturday 19 May 2018

Trollhättan and Vännersborg

We wanted a lazier day today. Bjørn wanted to walk the last of the canal islands, "Spiköen". I had not really understood there was one left to walk... It was a brilliant idea. A very small, narrow little thing that is made into a park, and a bird sanctuary. It was lovely. I was not in the mood to take pictures today, but I had to photograph a few of the birds. It was really adorable, there were hundreds of birds. Some were guarding their eggs, others were guarding their little ones.

A bird that Wikipedia says carries the magnificent name of Great crested grebe in English. In Norwegian it is "Toppdykker".

Canadian goose

And of course a sea gull

Then we drove to the town nearest Trollhättan; Vännersborg. We strolled around a little while, and then had cake and coffee at a bakery. The best coffee I have had in a while. Drove back, had a short rest at the hotel and then went to a pub where we spent the rest of the evening. Very enjoyable.

Friday 18 May 2018

A day in Trollhättan

Thursday 17 May 2018

A day with everything

We started the day by going up to Trollhättans cliff where you have a good view.

I was freezing, and decided that It was a little too chilly to do the planned canal walk in Trollhättan. So we decided to go somewhere by car. I looked at the map and picked a direction, and we headed towards Jönköping at the south end of Sweden's lake Vättern. We had not driven long before we stumbled upon something fantastic. I had no idea that Sweden's most fantastic rune stone was on our route, and was absolutely thrilled to find out. So of course we had to find it. I was not disappointed. What a wonderful piece of art, and what an amazing archaeological artefact! We spent such a long time there. Very special runes, a text that it is difficult to interpret, and some amazing pictures carved into the stone. I loved it.

We drove on and came to our destination; Jönköping. We drove into the city and looked around - it looked like a nice place. However, right before we came there, we had gotten the idea that we might just as well drive around Vättern. Some years ago we had driven around Vänern which is a very big lake, 25th place in the world, I think. Vättern is smaller, but also quite big. So, we just looked at Jönköping from the car and continued north along the East side of the lake. And I am so happy we did. The area around Vättern is one of the most charming, idyllic and interesting places I have seen. Around every corner there were signs pointing us on to stuff that was worth seeing. We soon decided that this time we would just need to drive around the lake and get an overview, but that we would need to come back and spend several days driving around the lake again, stopping everywhere.

One of the few stops we did this time was in Röttle. No signs even, but I saw a road that would take us down to the lake, and it just seemed nice to have a stop there.

Such a nice walk, the scenery was amazing. We went back to the car, drove on, and the next thing we knew, we witnessed a car accident. We had reached the small village "Gränna" and drove through a narrow street with shops and houses on both sides. There were also some cars parked along the road. The person in the car in front of us was driving with the same speed as us (about 40 km an hour), and there was nothing special to note. Then all of a sudden he turns his car sharply to the right and crashes right into one of the parked cars. He completely smashes the rear end of the parked car, and even though he did not drive fast, the sound was really loud and awful. His own car flipped over and lands with the driver's door down. It was a very strange thing to witness. Bjørn rushes out of the car to hear if the driver is OK, and he seems to be. The Swedes standing around the car all want to flip the car back, not really caring if the guy inside has broken anything. Bjørn tells them to let the car be until the ambulance comes, but the rest of them thinks it a better idea to give the driver yet another impact. The ambulance had been called of course, and thankfully it gets there before they manage to hurt the guy even more.

We continued our drive north. There were about a hundred places we could have stopped to take pictures, but we had to move forward also. But we did stop by the ruins of an old monastery. The Alvastra monastery was built in 1143 by French monks from the Cistercian order. It was quite a sight even today. It was such a special spot that we stayed here for quite a while.

By now it was getting a bit late and we had many hours to drive before we were back to the hotel, so we had no more stops. But it was so nice to watch from the car window, and I look forward to when we go back and can explore more. We drove north, rounded the lake and drove south till we were at Karlsborg. There we left the lake for this time and headed West back to Trollhättan. We were back past midnight and it had been a really great day. Could not have wanted a better way to spend the 17th of May.

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Off to Trollhättan.

Norway's national day tomorrow, where the whole country goes bananas. We are all supposed to love it. Neither me nor Bjørn do, and we usually make plans to be as far away from the madness as possible. Often we go for walks in nature, where we never meet anyone. This time we leave the country, and head to Trollhättan in Sweden. I have Thursday to Tuesday off work, and we will have a little mini-holiday. I left work at 3pm, went to Ås and packed. Bjørn came around 7.30 pm, and off we went. At around 8.30 we were at the hotel. The hotel's net pages say they have parking space. But when we came here, they told us there were no available spots. I asked where we could park then, and the woman in the reception told us to drive around until we found something. I went up to the room while Bjørn said he would take care of the parking. One hour later he phoned me, saying it was impossible to find a spot, but there was a parking garage close by. However, he had not brought his wallet, so he asked me to bring my credit card, so we could drive to the parking garage, park and pay. When we had parked there, it turned out one could only pay by phone. It would have been easy if I had been a Swede, but for foreigners it was quite an ordeal. I had to download an app, and go through a long and tedious process that ended up with me having to generate a code from my bank in order to be allowed to pay. I had brought with me the device to do so, but it was in the hotel room. I gambled on being able to do so in time, and rushed back to the hotel room where I generated the code and finally paid.

Bjørn came a little later and he had talked to the woman in the reception, telling her how difficult it was to find a place to park, and that we now only hoped we were able to fix the payment in the garage. The receptionist answered: "Oh, this hotel has a deal with that garage, I could have arranged the parking there for you. It was silly of me not to tell you!" Hard to disagree with her on that.

As for the hotel room, it does not give value for the money we spent, so a little disappointed.

We found a kiosk, bought a few things to drink, and called it a night.

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Double shifts

Work and more work. A former pupil who is good at staying in touch dropped by today and sat in with my morning class. Always nice to see him and I welcome the hugging :)

A really warm day today, so I was quite shattered by the end of the day. But the teaching was fun as always.

Monday 14 May 2018

Being spoilt

A warm and sunny day today, and I had planned on spending the whole day walking in the woods, bringing a good book so that I could sit in the sun, reading. I was looking forward to that. I woke up feeling horrible, head ache, stomach pains, freezing and not wanting to do anything but wrap myself in a blanket and stay in. When Bjørn phoned and I told him, he offered to go shopping for me and fuel my car - the things I had to do today. Very kind since he had to drive for an hour just to come to where I live. I told him that would be amazing, and a few hours later he was there.

Very grateful for that act of kindness.

Sunday 13 May 2018

Bjørn dropped by.

Bjørn has spent the weekend in Oslo, filming a political convention. He phoned on the way back, asking me if I wanted him to drop by on his way home. So we met up, and went to have a meal together.

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