Marginalia

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

The Luminaries by Eleanor Cotton

A very good read, and well deserving of its Man Booker award. It seemed the perfect story for a TV-series, and I figured someone else must have seen that too, and started googling. And what do you know, by the end of this year, BBC comes with a 6-episode mini-series based on the book.

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The other thing of significance that I did today was book tickets for the trip to Oxford from September 26th till October the 2nd. We are so thrilled to finally go there again!!!

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Phew

Up at 6.15. Breakfast and exercises. Housework and gardening until 7.45pm, by which time I felt dead. Have chatted with Mette over the fence which is always nice.

Monday 15 July 2019

Visiting my mum

After breakfast, I drove to Hurum to visit my mother, and I spent most of the day there. I am happy to see she is still fit and in good shape. As is her boyfriend. I had a very nice day! In the house and garden, there was, as always, lots of flowers, and lots of... everything else.

Sunday 14 July 2019

Planning an anniversary trip

Today we planned a trip to Oxford. We have been going back and forth on this for ages. Now we finally decided. We are going. I am thrilled! When we met 29 years ago, we had six months together before I went to Oxford to stay there for half a year. Bjørn came over for Easter holidays, and we spent a nice week together. It seems a fitting choice to go for our wedding anniversary celebration.

Saturday 13 July 2019

A day for reading and relaxation

Bjørn left early today. He is going to Eidsvoll to hear his niece play with her band at a festival. I am tired, and stayed at home. Though it might be one of this year's warmest days, the most of the day has been spent in the sofa with my current read. And I have caught up with some blogging. I have felt a little bad for not being busy outside, but I can't be at my busiest and best every day. The door bell rang today. A woman and her daughter told me they had been planting flowers at the graveyard next door, when they had seen a flock of sheep grazing among the graves. They asked me if I knew who owned the sheep. I did, and pointed them to my neighbour Hilde. She told me when I talked to her a few days ago about the time her sheep had gone through the fence and gone down to the graveyard. And that it had not been very popular. As soon as she was told, she went to gather them and bring them back.

Friday 12 July 2019

Another one of those days

Today I have been tired and out of it. I have been inside most of the time. I went to do grocery shopping and pick up the new phone I got from Bjørn. It is excellent. I also drove to Askim to use my gift certificate, but I was so tired and uninspired, I soon went back home. When home, I fell asleep for some hours. Watched a few episodes of "Designated Survivor" (pretty average series) and then fell asleep again.

Thursday 11 July 2019

Downtown Lillehammer, and driving home

Another nice breakfast. We checked out, put out luggage in the car and went to explore the centre of Lillehammer. We walked down the main street, and looked around in some stores. I was in a tourist shop to find something for mum's collection, and started chatting with the woman behind the counter. She told me about a park that she said we should go to, and that they had a cafeteria with good lunches. We went there, and she was right. A beautiful garden, and some really tasty lunches. It was good to have a nibble before we walked back to the car and started the drive back home. Lots of roadwork and a stop for ice cream later, I could drop Amalie and Astri off at the railway station. It had been such a great trip, and we will try to find something to do next summer also.

I had an hour more to drive before I was back home. It was good to come home and do nothing also :)

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Maihaugen with Astri and Amalie

Got up early, had a long, chatty and nice hotel breakfast. Then off to the main attraction: Maihaugen.. I have not been there since I was a little girl. Amalie had never been there.

We walked around at the outdoor museum for 6 hours. A perfect day!

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By the time we had walked back to our hotel, we had been on our feet for 7 hours, apart from a couple of breaks for coffee and lunch. We had an hour of rest in our rooms, and then we walked to the nearest restaurant - which was just a across the street. We got a great table at a quiet place, and had excellent food. And desert was served along with a fancy thingy since the girls had told the waiter I turned 50. This really is the birthday that keeps on giving. We sat eating and talking for almost three hours, and then it was back to the hotel. And again, I phoned Bjørn and then fell into coma.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

Driving to Lillehammer

After breakfast I drove to Lillestrøm. Amalie and Astri had arrived one minute before me, and we soon found each other and started our drive to Lillehammer. Last year the three of us (and Amalie's friend Ida) spent three days at the cottage in Holmsbu. This year it will be Lillehammer. The drive up was nice. We had plenty of time, which was good since we had roadwork most of the way. We stopped at Espa for the infamous Espa buns, and had a long, chatty stay there. We came to our hotel in the early evening, found our rooms, and then went out for a walk in the town. We found an Italian restaurant, and had a wonderful meal. Were back at the hotel at around 9.30pm. Phoned my Bjørn and fell asleep two minutes after that call. Slept like a log.

Monday 8 July 2019

Painting

Started painting the fence at 11am. 6 hours later, Bjørn came out and asked me it I wanted food. Had been at it with no breaks for those 6 hours. Continued for 15 minutes more, so I could finish the part of the fence I was painting. By the time I had finished, packed away the painting stuff and had a shower, Bjørn had made dinner. Had not had as much as a zip of water since 11am, so it was welcome. For the rest of the evening I was freezing, sleeping and packing for a trip to Lillehammer with Astri and Amalie.

Sunday 7 July 2019

Meeting Amalie, Benjamin and Svitlana in Oslo

Bjørn drove us to Lillestrøm, and from there he got on a train to his brother in Eidsvoll, while I got on a train to Oslo. One of my pupils this ear, Ukrainian Svitlana needs to practise her spoken Norwegian, and I have asked Amalie if she perhaps could meet her now and then for some Norwegian conversation. I joined in for the first meeting today. We went out for lunch, and sat talking for three hours. I wanted to continue painting the fence when I came back home. It was sunny when I left home. It was sunny in Oslo. It was sunny when I drove home. But ten minutes before I was home, it started raining cats and dogs.

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One pitstop on the way home. I was thirsty, and I have a new addiction:

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It might rain and be grey, but this is also the month when it is a lush green everywhere. The view from the porch after I came home:

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I unpacked the present I got from Svitlana (I can get so used to turning 50!!), and it was Italian wine. Have not had this one before, but Italian reds are a favourite.

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So now it will be blogging and reading and a bit of housework until Bjørn comes home.

Saturday 6 July 2019

Rainy day woman

Needing to paint a very long fence on a summer where it is chilly and you get a couple of rain showers every single day is no easy task. Today I have painted for ten minutes. Only first stroke, but what is painted, looks good.

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Have also weeded and finished planting in a flowerbed, moved my tomatoes to a sunnier spot, checked the bee-friendly flower-sprouts and done a bit more tidying. Have also had a long chat with the sweetest of neighbours, Mette.

And have strolled around in the garden, just enjoying living here, and looking at all the amazing flowers that are popping up everywhere.

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Friday 5 July 2019

Enjoying summer

A slow start of the day. Was out of bed at around 9am. Read for a couple of hours. Love that I can take time to read so much in one sitting. Mowed the lawn until a wire on the lawnmower was cut off. Meawhile Bjørn and neighbour Mette was out on a quest to find somewhere that could repair her and our tractor lawnmowers. Since I had to let the grass keep growing, I went on to paint the fence. When Bjørn and Mette came back, we had her over for strawberries and a chat. After she left, I have been watering plants, planting lavender in a flowerbed and done a bit of weeding. Bjørn's bees have been very busy today, and Bjørn had a look inside the hive to see if all was well. Spotted a new flower in the garden today. Exiting times!

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Thursday 4 July 2019

The green winter

There is a standing joke in Norway that we do not have summers, we have a white winter and a green winter. And while last summer was the warmest in Norway ever, this one is a lot more like the summers we are used to. It snows in Northern Norway, and here we have 12 degrees celsius and cold rain.

I started the day by going to my physiotherapist. He tortures me, but I have no doubt it is good for me. I had planned to go to Askim and buy a few things, but it was so cold, I decided to settle for grocery shopping. Have done very little for the rest of this day. Have binged "Designated survivor" which is good, but not brilliant. Phoned mum and got some practical stuff done.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Hard working woman

Mowed the lawn for four hours. Painted fence. Planted flowers, Been at it all day. Tired.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

25th anniversary

Today we have been married for 25 years. Which means we have been a couple and lived together for 29 years. We want to travel somewhere to celebrate, but that will be for later. We still wanted to do something special for today. There is a small farm for sale up in the Rondane mountains, and we have wondered why it is so cheap and why noone have bought it when it has been on the market since February. So just for the fun of it, we decided to go look at it. Bjørn phoned the real estate agent as soon as we were out of bed. He was on holidays, but told us where to go to get the keys for the place. But before we set off, I had to photograph the hares that were jumping about outside.

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We had not driven long before Bjørn had to stop the car so I could photograph the cranes....

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The drive was great, and Rondane has magnificent nature.

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And of course sheep strolling about everywhere,

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We drove to some magnificent nature, and found the small farm we wanted to look at. When you stand outiside the farmhouse, this is what you look at:

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It was such a beautiful spot. The reason why it is sold so cheap soon became clear though. The barn, the house and three storage houses outside was all filled to the brim with garbage. It was as if the place had been used as a garbage dump for the last few years. It was absolutely horrendous, and no doubt some sort of personal tragedy was behind it. The barn was in relatively good shape and seemed fairly new, but the house had been neglected for many years, and had some serious and expensive issues, like moist and fungus going on.

In some ways it could still be tempting to buy it, because it would be easy to increase its value simply by cleaning up the place and do some repairs. But a lot of the garbage is car-parts, and it would mean so much heavy carrying that it would take years just to have everything thrown away. It is easy to understand why it is sold so cheap, but if we would ever consider buying it, we would not consider giving a bid at the current price, since we would need to have lots of money for help and repairs. We are certain we will have time to think and reflect and look at other houses before we consider this one. It has been on the market for a long time, and it will continue to be so for quite a while, I think,

We also dropped by another small farm for sale just to have a look outside, and that was all we needed. It was not the place for us.

The drive had taken about five hours, and we had spent almost three hours looking at those places, so now it was time to drive back home.

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We needed food, and found an Italian place along the way. Slow service, less than average food, and overpriced. But it is our 25th wedding anniversary, so we took it in stride :)

I took many more photos, for example from the chocolate barn we stopped at. Not only did they have amazing home made chocolate, but they had a pot-belly pig, goats and rabbits that were photographed. But I used my phone camera, and my phone decided to delete the pics when it reinstalled itself out of the blue.

We were home at 2am, after what had been a lovely 25th anniversary.

Monday 1 July 2019

Me at 50, after a trip to the hairdresser.

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Sunday 30 June 2019

Lovely life

Bjørn went to visit his brother. He drove up there on Saturday, and they came back here at around midnight with some furniture and stuff that Kjetil needs to store here. Then they both drove back up to Eidsvoll. And while he has been there, I have been busy as hell with house, garden and everything else. Life is good!

Friday 28 June 2019

Getting things done

Bjørn and I have had two days of getting lots of things done. Lawn, fence, garden, house, chatting with Mette..... Perfection :)

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Amalie's graduation

We have no tradition for graduation ceremonies in Norway, and it was not even a thing when I went to University. But the department of physics and chemistry arrange a ceremony for their graduates, and we were thrilled to be invited. It was a very nice event, and Amalie was the only one of the graduates who chose not to just describe the project of her thesis, but to give a personal speech where she also thanked for the support from her closest. That was touching. And her closest is no longer just me and Bjørn, but also her new boyfriend. This was the first time we met him, and he comes across as a very good guy.

After the graduation ceremony, the four of us went out for dinner at an Indian restaurant to celebrate both Amalie and me. This really has been the never-ending birthday.

From Amalie and her boyfriend, I got flowers, a bottle of my favourite wine and a gift certificate to the theatre. Overwhelming.

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