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Thursday 27 December 2018

My day of doing nothing.

One day a year it must be allowed to do nothing. Today was my day of laziness. And with a year of 140% work, neighbour hell, moving out and moving in, Bjørn's recent surgery and my own health issues, I made plans quite early that this should be a day of not feeling guilty about doing absolutely nothing. And I followed through! No alarm clock, which was heaven. Woke up, read a little, slept a little more.... We got out of bed at 1.30 pm. Then to the sofa for more reading and more sleeping. Eventually a dinner followed by reading, TV and sleeping. And then going to bed. OMG what a treat!!!!!

But I did take a photo out of the window to test my new wide angle lens!

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Saturday 24 March 2018

The museum of photography in Stockholm.

We drove from Sigtuna to Stockholm to take the ferry from Stockholm to Turku, Finland. We had time to kill while waiting for the ferry, and down by the docks there happened to be a museum of photography. We went in without any expectations, and came out having learned more about the three brilliant photographers that had exhibitions there. Truly remarkable.

Ellen Von Unwerth with the exhibition "30 years of photographing women". So many amazing photographies. Here are three of them.

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Zanele Muholi with the exhibition "Be greeted, dark lionesse". Very thought provoking. Here one of them.

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Christian Tagliavini with the exhibition "The extraordinary world of Christian Tagliavini" which was just utterly intriguing. Here three of them.

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Then to the car, onto the ferry and finding our cabin. We slept while the ferry safely brought us across the sea to Turku, Finland.

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Sunday 25 February 2018

A picture postcard

Our last day in Elverum for this time. We had a long breakfast, and then set out to explore the world a little. Starting in Elverum, we went for a long drive in a truly amazing winter landscape.

First pit stop for photography.

Driving on

Second pit stop, and the gangster leaves the car.

Third stop is a resting place for drivers with a WC cabin and some very inviting benches.... And of course - trees.

Driving on...

And stopping for pictures again!

A little later, and a short stop by a snow-covered lake where we saw a hare's prints in the snow.

We had driven North-Northwest for a while, had crossed a lake and was heading South-Southwest towards Elverum again when I wanted to take a last set of pictures. I saw a place that looked nice, so we took off on a side road. It turned out we had found a place with cross county trails for skiing, but also a road for walking, Bjørn parked the car and stayed in it while I went for half an hour's walk in a breathtakingly beautiful landscape. When I came back to the car I was so cold that it was just insane, I had no feeling in my skin. But it had been worth it, both for the photo opportunities and for the intense joy of walking inside such beauty.

It was good to be back in the car and have the heating on, and feel how I slowly thawed...

We drove back to Elverum, and spent some hours with the in-laws again. Driving back home, it only took about five minutes before we hit the traffic jam of those going home from their winter holidays. The stretch from Bjørn's father house and down to the first light crossng usually takes ten minutes. Now it took fourty five. Bjørn decided to take us home via the small and icy roads on the West side of Glomma. A very wise choice. We had to drive slowly and carefully, but there was no jam. However, the two hours we should have spent gettting back to Ås, became five. That is Norway for you...

Monday 1 January 2018

2018. New year, new month, new week, new me.

2017 was much the same as 2016 in that I did not move forward much, nor did the two most negative sides of my life situation change: Bjørn is still unemployed, and we still live next to an aggressive, violent and seriously disturbed person. But some things were still a bit more positive. I got a second job, and though it makes me a bit tired to work 140%, it also brings in enough money for us to take immediate economic worries away. Also, Bjørn got a seasonal job, and worked on and off from May till November which also contributed to a better situation. And if nothing else turns up, it seems he can get some work there this year also. And though the situation with the neighbour has escalated to the point of wearing me down so that I was on a sick-leave for the two last weeks of December, the house is now on the market. It will be a difficult one to sell for obvious reasons, but hopefully someone a little tougher than us, will find it possible to live here. It is a wonderful house, a wonderful garden and it is close to a beautiful lake. It has a lot of things going for it. The year ended with us reporting the crazy one to the police again, giving picture evidence of him physically attacking us. So at least we can always hope. There are a few other things happening also, and hopefully by this time next year, this awful situation will be resolved.

Healthwise, 2017 was a bad year. The combination of working so much and of never being able to relax at home, took its toll on on me. Insomnia became a problem, and I am now on sleeping pills. I gained weight, struggled with a knee injury and with the plantar, and at the end of the year I had 4 months were I really did not move at all. I have never been in as bad a shape as what I am right now. But as Bjørn said: With this as a starting point, everything will be an improvement, and it can only go one way.

Socially, 2017 was better than 2016. So many of my colleagues in Askim have now become friends. We were also a little better at spending time with the friends we have. And I am determined to be even better at taking care of and expanding my social network in 2018.

My resolutions for 2018 are many, and I am determined to see them through:

1. Health: Lose 20 kilos, gain muscle mass and improve my general fitness level. Also stop ignoring the plantar and the knee injury, and start treating them and doing what is needed to make it better. 2. Be better at photography. Learn more, photograph more. 3. Be more of an outdoor person. Buy a tent, and use it. 4. Continue to be more social. 5. Travel and explore more. I love this, it makes such a difference in my life. I need to make it more of a priority. 6. Improve at French. 7. Improve at Go. 8. Keep up my blog, it helps me stay focused. 9. More culture. Cinema, theatre, ballet, opera, concerts... It makes life worth living. 10. Work on changing the negative sides of my life situation: Support hubby in trying to find a job, finds ways to get away from the neighbour. 11. Keep house and garden neat and clean. 12. Continue to do my job well. 13. Read a lot more. 14. Stay ahead on all things administrative, from paying bills to making needed phone-calls. 15. Becoming better at making myself more of a priority. Saying no when I need to say no, and don't let people or situations wear me down. Self-assertiveness is not my strong side - I will never be, but at least I can be a tad more of it than now.

Working hard and determined on all this, should make me feel a lot better about life both short- and long term.

I am not quite used to the drowsiness my sleeping pills brings yet, and today I have also been unwell. Still, I have this feeling that this year is my last chance to turn things around. So I was determined for it to start well. I have made ready the application to have a talk with the district's psychic health ward so that I can talk to them about the neighbour (resolution 14), I have spent more than two hours on my online pupils (12). I have sent a mail to a new physiotherpaist, asking for an appointment for treatment of the plantar. If he is a good one, I will ask him for help with my knee also (1, 14 and 15). I have spent half an hour in the pulsator (1 and 15), I have downloaded a user's manual for my newest camera, and started reading it (2). Me and Bjørn have looked at tents, coming closer to deciding which one we want (1 and 3). Me and Bjørn have planned where we want to spend winter holidays (5). I have learned one new expression in French, and have started to read up on the verb system (6). I have looked at 8 Go- problems in a theory book, and have discussed them with Bjørn, and then discussed their answers (7). I am blogging right now (8). I have talked with Espen on the phone (4 and 10). I have tidied a bit, washed an endless amount of clothes and cleaned a bathroom (11). I have read 50 pages of "I am Pilgrim" (13). I have paid bills and written a mail to our real estate agent (14). I have also done a little exercise and have been careful with my diet (1). Baby-steps, but it is a start.

Oh, and I have chatted with Zoltan for a couple of minutes. There are some people I have not seen in a long time: Joseph, Olaf, Susanne, Thomas and Hilde, Manuela, Tajia, Markus, Zoltan... I do hope I am able to meet some of them again in 2018.

One more good thing that happened at the end of 2017 is that I got reacquainted with Cassie. She is from the US, so we are only in touch via the web, but I do enjoy being in touch with her.

Most of my life I have been able to beat the odds, to reach goals and to fulfil ambitions. I have a lot of strength and determination in me when I set my mind to it. I have let myself forget that, and have just been rolling with the bad times. It is on high time to change that and try to be the best version of myself. Day 1 has been a good start.

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Thursday 27 July 2017

Wildlife, Hvaler

Been here for six wonderful days. and it has been pure perfection. Every second of this stay has been good, and has contributed to balance, relaxation and joy. So many special moments, and many of them because of the exceptional wildlife here.

Today we met a male deer, and we have seen many more birds that we do not have where we live. Like the Common Eider. These are Bjørn's photos; his camera is brilliant when you need to zoom fast.

Had an SMS from Anne today. She told me that the two friends of her that we met when we visited her, had continued to think about us, and deeply sympathised with what we have gone through this last year. So if we need it, they are offering us a temporary home till we are able to buy a house. People can be so good.

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Rødshue, Hvaler

The beautiful nature at Rødshue, We had not been to that part of Hvaler earlier. A sculpture Park. A stone cross to mark 1000 years of Christendome in Norway. Another perfect day.

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Back at the cottage, we had dinner and laid plans for the few days that are left of the holidays. I had to ask Anja for something related to those plans. The chat with her took an unexpected turn, and suddenly I had made other, scarier plans as well. Goodness.

Sunday 23 July 2017

Sun, sea birds and social life

Woke up to beautiful sunny weather. Have been out on the veranda the whole day. Our friend Erik is a bus driver, and his route goes out to this place, so he had his break here today. Short visit, but so nice to talk to him.Irene was already here when he came, she spent the whole day here. So good to have entire day out in the sun, and with good people!

And the birdies were right there. This place gives the best photo opportunities!

Sunday 1 January 2017

You are much welcome, 2017!

Though one should think there was enough competition, I can safely say that 2016 has been my worst year to date. Not because so many good, well known people died, though I took it quite personal when 2016 snapped away Leonard Cohen. Not because of Trump, Le Pen, Listhaug or the constant source of sadness; Syria, though that has most certainly contributed to a feeling of impending doom. No, this time I'll be self-centred and say that it has been hard to get through this year because of what has happened in my own life. Health, money, the neighbour situation, Bjørn being unemployed for eleven of the year's twelve months, having several people close to me struggle in different ways, going through a period of worries about my work place, and having to give up on a lot of things so that I instead could work around the clock to keep things running. It has been strenuous, and there have been too few good moments. And that is all the commenting that 2016 deserves. Because there is something about a new year that inevitably comes along with the feeling of a new start. And I will work so hard to make 2017 a better year.

And no better way to start than right away! For some reason I did not sleep tonight. Not for a second. Bjørn only slept for a couple of hours also. But still we were able to follow through with our plan and get out of bed at 06:30am. At 07:30am, we were out of the house, and at 07.45, we had parked by a dirt road leading into the woods. It was so dark that without our headlights, we saw absolutely nothing.

A little less than four kilometres later, we were at our destination. I had hoped for an amazing sunset, but alas. But I found this motive rather charming

Still a little while to sunset, and the world was all dark blue!

Spotlighting stuff in the dark - always fun!

A ten minute break, and a sunny orange!

On the way home, we had daylight!

We were back home at around 10am. I fed the birds and made tea, Bjørn vacuumed. I studied French, watched a Gimp-tutorial, and did a bit of housework. I then went out to throw out some water, and as soon as I was out the door, the neighbour was there. God, that man is one sick, mentally disturbed, crazy, evil monster. I do not feel that 2017 is doing its job as a better year as long as it lets him go about his insane business.

Having properly given me a neighbour startle at the first day of the year, 2017 regretted and tried to make amends. I had a wonderful long bath using scrubs and soaps I got from Bjørn for Christmas. And while I was at it, we had a visit from a woman who used to be the multi-handicaped fosterchild's taxi driver. She came to wish us a happy new year and give us a muffin each, simply because she thinks we are good people. She would come back for a coffee on a day when I was not in the bath tub.

Thursday 29 December 2016

Photography

I am not good at it, but I really do enjoy it. Some photos from this year that I never got around to post at the time when I took them:

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Saturday 9 July 2016

Hvaler

Convinced she would like it, we wanted to show Amalie Hvaler. Since the rain was on a break, this was the day to do it. We had a wonderful day! And I got to to a bit of photographing again, a hobby that really only keeps growing on me. And with the Hvaler nature and my family as motives, it is bound to be good! Today I focused most on the people, and I am happy with the results.

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Friday 8 July 2016

Grotta

Up early because the plan was for me to drive and walk to "Grotta", while Bjørn and Amalie would bicycle. The rain was pouring down, so we lazed around inside for a while instead. In the late afternoon, the weather looked up, and off we went. I brought the new camera I got from Bjørn for my birthday and took some pictures along the way. I arrived at the destination 15 minutes before Amalie and Bjørn, and was happy to see their cheerful faces when they came swooshing towards me. I had brought cold stuff to drink and some bananas. We showed Amalie around at this magical little spot mid-forest, and then they biked back home while I walked and then drove.

I love the new camera. It is so good to have a lighter camera when walking, one that I can carry with me and that I can operate faster than the bigger, heavier one.

Todays pictures show that I need to use it a little more before I get it right, but I think it also shows that I will get there! I am also starting to really enjoy the post-production phase - where you can turn pictures into something a bit more artsy. The purpose of photography need not always be to copy reality. And especially when pictures do not turn out well, it is tempting to make them into something else :)

Saturday 18 June 2016

Reaching a goal

We still have a long way to go, but now Bjørn and I have both reached a weight goal. We had agreed that when we did, we'd go out for dinner. So after a bit of waiting for a person who did not come, and after a bit of back and forth, we landed on a Chinese restaurant in Sarpsborg which we like. Excellent service, and better food than any other Chinese place I have been to. We stopped by a couple of nice places for a bit of photographing on the way back. The Vamma power station being one of them.

A perfect way to start the holidays!

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Saturday 13 February 2016

The Preuss photo museum and a haircut

One of the things we both wanted to do was to go to the Photo museum in Horten. Exhibition contains cameras, photographies and different kinds of artifacts linked to the history of photography. It was cool!

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After the museum, we went to downtown Horten. I saw a hairdresser's sign saying there was drop-in today. My hair was way too long, so I went in. The hairdresser was a Middle Eastern guy who had only me as his customer, so a hair cut it was. Bjørn walked around while I was there, and I had a nice and funny chat with the man doing my hair. He asked me if I did not want to look a bit sportier, and it was hard to say no to that. I laughed a lot, and I almost fell asleep during the long and good head massage I got. When I paid, he gave me a reduction in price because of "my nice smile". Goodness, we need more of these people in Norway....

Friday 5 February 2016

Back to nature!

Came home as early as I could, so that we could get back to the new-found spot of wonders. Nature, walk, photography; good for the soul.

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Thursday 4 February 2016

A feast for the senses

For over a year my life was quite different, and a lot of what I like to do was put aside. The two most important things were probably Go-playing and long walks. Especially long walks with my camera. Today after work there was still a bit of light left, and I suggested a walk. Along with me I brought my favourite possession - my Canon. It had been such a long time since I did any photography, I had to get used to my camera again. We decided to just stop at random by one of the many paths leading into the woods. We drove for a bit, found a good place to park and followed a path. It took us down to a water that we later found out is called Langevann. We only had short walk, but it was amazing. I loved to use my camera again, even though none of my pics turned out the way I wanted them. But today's coolest thing was not what we saw, but what we heard. The stunningly wondrous and very loud sound of the ice cracking up on the lake. We were there at the exact right time for this fascinating concert of ice. When we came, we had light, while we were there, we also had sunset and beautiful colours. It was an evening to remember.

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Friday 8 August 2014

Oslo

Short trip to Oslo today. We went to "FotoVideo" which was the store we were in when the Breivik bomb went off. Each time I have gone there since, I have had a flashback of seeing all those big windows being blown into the store. Today we were there to look at a thingy Bjørn wanted and to look for a telezoom for my camera since Bjørn wants to buy me one. I looked at some and tried them on my camera to feel the weight. I want one that is a quality lense, but without being so heavy that it will be a bother to carry around. I know a lot about what I want by now. I have done a bit of research and I got some helpful input from brilliant photographer Clive. Today I thought I found what I wanted, and for a few seconds I was even about to just take it. But they cost a lot and I want to be a hundred percent sure that I buy the lense that is right for me. I had enough self-discipline not to buy it. And shortly after I got some input from another salesman in the store that confused me further. I will need to contemplate this buy for quite a while. I spend so much time taking photos, and a good telezoom is what I wish for the most. But I would hate to buy an expensive one and then find out three months later that it was not quite what I was looking for and that there is another that would have been better for me. I will spend more time getting an overview. And probably send some more mails to Clive and to a couple of other friends of mine who use Canon a lot....

Sunday 20 July 2014

Today's charming encounter

And a picture of it that I am quite happy with, to be honest. It is so incredibly hard to take good photos of butterflies, because they only sit still for a second or two. I came across it while walking Maya today. And while Maya was under strict orders to sit still, I was able to take this picture before it fluttered on. Maya was SO good and understood the seriousness of the situation. She hardly even breathed. It is a nymphalidae, but I will need expert help to determine which one.

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Saturday 14 June 2014

The common swift

Yet another wonderful discovery here at Bergly. With summer came a flock of swifts. They are amazing air acrobats, they are beautiful in the air and they seem to want to entertain us. When we sit out on the terrace, they give some really cool performances. They come stooping down, fly right over our heads , fly towards the hedge and seem intent to crash into it before they make a sudden upward turn, fly over it and turn. They are such agile, elegant flyers, I love watching them. In my next life, I intend to be rich enough to buy a quality zoom lense so that I can capture such moments in a good way. Photographing them without it is not easy, but I have tried. I have also tried to experiment a little with the posproduction to do justice to their elegance. At some point I might get it right, but while we're waiting for that, here are my experiments:

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Sunday 6 October 2013

The light of a misty Sunday morning

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Sunday 16 June 2013

Photography expeditions this week....

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