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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 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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Tuesday 25 June 2019

A perfect 50th birthday

The recipe for a perfect 50th birthday:

Waking up early to a nice morning and a good breakfast prepared by Bjørn.

Doing gardening in the nicest of gardens

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Helping Bjørn tend to the bees

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Having flowers delivered from Hjørdis

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Opening presents from Astri

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Going for a walk...

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... while Bjørn drove to Askim to buy us sushi

Getting two wonderful presents from Bjørn. A new phone and money to travel. I am really thrilled about both!

A quiet evening with Bjørn and a glass of wine.

Never have I enjoyed a birthday this much!

Thursday 20 June 2019

One of those days

Second last day today, and not much to do at work. Lots of end-of-term parties going on in the classrooms, and a lot of good food from their home countries.

Bjørn was feeling down today, and since there was nothing I could do to make it better, I went for a long drive out to the woods. I saw a moose, a deer, a hare and a falcon on the way.

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Was home right before midnight.

Today's birthday month gift - "Flaxlodd" - no idea what it is called in any other language.

Sunday 16 June 2019

Sundays for the win!

Sundays are brilliant. I was up at 6.30, and started the day with breakfast and the exercise program from my physiotherapist. I have been not been doing it this last week because life has been a little too busy. Then it was on to 50 minutes of much needed housework before I sat down to go through the assignments from my online pupils. Then Bjørn woke up, and we had a chat about today and who does what, and about trips to celebrate this year's 25th wedding anniversary. The rest of the day has been about housework, gardening and online pupils. For Bjørn it has been about gardening and the bee hive. We got so much done today!

The hive

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Today's birthday-month-gift from Bjørn were two very nice blue glasses. That called for a "cheers", and we had Madeira.

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Sunday 9 June 2019

Painting beehives

The bees came in a hive that needs to be given back. So today we have been preparing our own hive for them. I have painted, Bjørn has built frames.

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Today's birthday month present was something I did not know existed. A thingy to measure car wheels air pressure when you are far from petrol stations. Cool.

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Sunday 19 May 2019

To Hvaler with visitors

Fortunately I had one day where I could also join everyone on a trip, so we all went to Hvaler. It was a good day, if we try to forget the restaurant we went to. When you are hungry after a long day, what you do not need is a place where the employees are unhappy and fighting with each other. Especially not when the fight is because half of the staff is not doing their job, and you have to wait for a couple of hours for food... But, that aside, it was a good day.

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Friday 17 May 2019

Independence day and visitors

Bjørn was up at around 6am to hoist the flag...

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before he drove to the airport to pick up Zoltan, his girlfriend Szuszi and daughter Leila. He took them to Oslo so they could see how the national day is celebrated in our capital. I was home, trying to tidy and clean a little before they came here. Nice to see Zoltan and Leila again, and of course to meet Szuszi for the first time. In the evening we went for a walk down to Tjuvholmen

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Sunday 12 May 2019

Spring at the vicarage

It is interesting to see all the flowers and plants that are popping up everywhere.

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Tuesday 16 April 2019

To the island of Sjælland for a dose of modern art

We wanted to go to the famous Lousiana museum of modern art on Sjælland, but we realised that we should do that on another holiday when we live closer and can spend a couple of days there. So today brought us to another museum of modern art on Sjælland: Arken.

The museum

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Outside the entrance

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A bird's cage outside of the museum

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Some of what we saw in the Damien Hirst part of the museum

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There will of course always be some things you like more than others. My favourite piece at this museum was a huge tapestry, that I did not photograph. Another favourite was this one - Andrea Golders "The road to happiness".

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Strolling around at Arken

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A significant part of the museum was dedicated to a Patricia Piccinini exhibition. The museum writes quite a bit about the thought behind this exhibition, and I am quoting what I personally thought stood out as the purpose of her art:

"Piccinini’s fascinating aesthetic makes use of hyperrealistic means, and by bringing hyperrealism into an imaginative dream universe she shakes our expectations of the well-known. Her aesthetics are made of contrasts: the playful and loving meet the odd and alienating. Piccinini challenges cultural norms of body and beauty: Why do we see certain features as beautiful and familiar – and others as unknown, dangerous or confusing? Unlike Hollywood’s dystopian version of science fiction, where strange aliens, monsters or robots pose a dangerous threat to humankind, Piccinini celebrates everything that is ‘different’. Here we find poetry and beauty in the connected, the strange and the diverse. She invites us to meet her creatures with curiousness and openness. Perhaps we can see ourselves in them and their relations?"

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A few other pieces from the Arken collection:

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We needed a break and a cup of coffee. We had not eaten for about eight hours, but the food was hysterically expensive there, so we settled for some of the famous Danish pastry...

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After the museum, it was back to the hotel, dinner and then some well deserved sleep.

Sunday 14 April 2019

Odense and Langeland

First today, the beautiful town of Odense. We strolled around in the historical part of town, and explored Hans Christian Andersen's Odense.

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We had not eaten since breakfast, but were in hurry to get to Church on time (!!!), so we settled for an Easter treat....

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It is Sunday, it is Easter, and we are in the town where Thomas Kingo once was bishop. Between our hotel and downtown Odense, we had walked past Thomas Kingo's Church (not the one on the pictures, that must have been where he was bishop), and we had seen online that they had an Easter passion concert that included Bach, Brahms and a choir. We went there, and listened to some amazing music and some truly wonderful voices.

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There was more left of the day, and we wondered what to do. Bjørn went online, found a map, and said there was an island in the south connected to the Fyn mainland by a bridge, and that we could go there. He started driving while I googled to see what we should do and see on Langeland. And there was one thing that stood out: Langeland had wild horses! Now that is something neither of us thought we could find in Scandinavia, and of course that was what we wanted to see. So I guided us towards the nature reserve where they should be found.

On the way to Langeland, we drove past so many places with crazy names. Some of them crazy because they had funny meanings in Norwegian, like "Tullebølle" (Silly bully)

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Others because they meant the same crazy thing in Danish as in Norwegian. The most dubious one being "Ball of semen"

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Once we had parked, the first thing we noticed was the birdlife. Birds everywhere, and large flocks of them flying over our heads. After some minutes of searching, we found the entrance point to the reserve. As everything else in Denmark, it was flat. A huge field of grass, and at the far end, the sea. I had read that there was a hill you should walk up to have an overview and look for the horses. In a flat landscape, even the smallest of hills stand out, so it was easy to see where we should go. We walked up the hill, and from there we could indeed see the wild horses of Langeland. And then a huge flock of birds came and landed in the nearby trees. They were quite big to be sitting on branches, and I think it looked really cool. We walked down the hill towards the sea, and walked about for a bit. It is so cool how we sometimes find pearls like this - just by completely randomly going somewhere.

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We said goodbye to birds and horses, and planned on going back to the hotel. But google talked about a "Dovns klint", and signs pointed in that direction. Out of curiosity, we drove on. We came to a parking place with a path leading down to the sea. At first we said we were tired and that we did not want to do more walking just to see more sea. But then we thought that after all we are here now, and we should do as much as possible while we have the chance. We were glad we did. We walked down to a charming place where lots of people were fishing. A path to the right let us see a light house in the distance. And then walking down to the people fishing, we discovered w could continue along the shore on a path around the cliff. While walking there, the sun set, and it was all really beautiful.

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It was midnight before we were back at the hotel. We had not eaten much, so we grabbed some food from the local petrol station and had a snack before going to bed.

Saturday 13 April 2019

Driving to Denmark

We started from home in the early morning hours. I drove for the first three hours, by which time my arm was no longer able to hold the wheel, and Bjørn took over. We drove straight to our hotel in Fyn, with only a couple of stops for fuel and food along the way.

Driving over the Öresund bridge. Known from the TV-series, The Bridge, brought us from Sweden to Denmark.

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We found our room:

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unpacked a little and did a google search to find a place to eat. We found an Italian restaurant that looked very promising, booked a table, and walked the 30 minutes it took to get there.

It had been a long day, and we decided to go for luxury and the Angus beef. That was one of the best meals we have ever had. We planned on walking back also, but it had started raining, so we went for a taxi instead.

At the restaurant

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Monday 1 April 2019

Work

Working from home at day, and going into work in the evening to have the monthly get-together with our online pupils.

Me at work:

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Monday 25 March 2019

Spring has sprung

Was working from my home office, and needed a walk.

Had a stroll in the garden, and was thrilled to see the first flowers bloom in the garden. I have of course never seen this garden in spring before, so every little plant and flower that pop up, will be a nice surprise. And it is especially good to see the first ones now after a long winter.

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Then I left the garden, and found our first wild springflower as well, the "hestehov". In Norway we can not really be sure that we have seen the last of winter until mid May, but it is so good to see that spring has taken up the fight with winter.

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Sunday 10 March 2019

Ups and downs

I felt a little down this morning and shared my frustration with Bjørn. So he joined me for a walk. Brought my camera, and had a good time.

Hedge. Snow. Sky.

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Rødenes Church

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Winter still.

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Home

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The beach.

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Bet the trees long for spring.

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When we came home, our neighbour-to-be was there with her dog, Buddy.

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He came running through the snow as fast as his Corgi legs could carry him.

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Quite a little charmer!

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Fed the birds, photographed some of them. We have hordes.

After the walk we had lunch and did some things at home. Life was better by the time I went to bed....

Friday 1 March 2019

Birthday and birds

I tried to make up for Bjørn having to be alone yesterday, by having the birthday celebration today. I got up early and drove down to Ørje to buy some breakfast treats, and then I made us a nice breakfast. I got an SMS that meant I did not have to go into work today, so I stayed at home. My original plan was to go into work quite early, and catch up on all the work I have fallen behind with while I have been ill. But the temptation of just staying at home was too big, so I will have to do that on Monday instead. I already have net pupils on Monday evening, so that means I will both day and evening work five days next week, but that seems to be a prize I am willing to pay.

So, today was about Bjørn. Already 5 minutes after midnight, I told him what his birthday present would be, and I know it is something he has been wanting for a while. Then the breakfast. Then we watched some of his favourite TV-shows together before he went off to Askim to reconnect with an old friend.

While he was gone, I did some housework, and went for a walk. Nice and sunny today.

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I also photographed some of the birds at our bird feeding place. There are more birds at the feeding place here than any other place we have lived. And today I even saw the relatively rare Stillits. That was cool.

We have a big delegation of Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Pilfink in Norwegian).

And another big delegation of European Green Finch (Grønnfink)

And quite a few Eurasian Blue Tits (Blåmeis)

And the rare European Goldfinch that I have never seen in real life before (Stillits)

When Bjørn came back, I made us a dinner worthy of a birthday, and we spent the rest of the day in the sofa. We had an early night, since he is arranging a seminar with the autism organisation this weekend, and we need to get up early tomorrow.

Saturday 23 February 2019

Celebrating Kjetil's 50th birthday.

Irene and Amalie came also, and it was nice to see them both. I was still sick, and had some breaks where I went to bed and slept for a little while. Bjørn did all the cooking. I only set the table and let him do all the work.

We had a really nice evening. I can not remember the last time I laughed so much.

After breakfast - Ingrid played and sang. She is good at both.

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I tried to take some pictures of Ingrid's dog, Leo:

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Partying the night away!

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Wednesday 20 February 2019

Darned cough

Fell asleep haf an hour past midnight. Woke up again at 2.30am because breathing passages were blocked. A moment of panic, and then a lot of coughing. I gave up on sleep, and stood up. Eventually fell asleep in a chair, and has been waking up with regular intervals for a bit of coughing.

Had breakfast with Bjørn at 8am before her went to work. After work, he and Kjetil will go to Hedmark to pick up their cars which have been there for a while. Meanwhile I am staying home, trying to get more things done, and coughing constantly. I have been quite effective, but I am so tired of all this coughing.

Went for a walk before it got dark today.

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Tuesday 19 February 2019

Winter holidays

It is good that this week is holidays. I am so far from being well, and have spent most of the night coughing. Bjørn is off to work again, today it will be from 11.30am till 7pm, so he has full days. This means we can not do anything together this winter holiday, but that is just as well. It is so much cooler that he has a job to go to, and with the way I am feeling now, I need all the rest I can get, to be ready for work again.

Like yesterday, I have been moving slowly, but I do get things done. I made dinner for Bjørn, so he got a meal when he came back home. In the evening I went for a walk again. Last week was such a setback, and my lungs hardly have any breathing capacity at all. Walking after dark with a headlight can be quite cool.

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There was a beautiful full moon, and quite a few stars in the sky. I like living where there is not so much light from people, it really makes for some outstanding night skies. This evening, Arctutus shone particularly bright. It is fitting that it does outside this house where there lives a bear.

Back inside, my cough gathered strength. My stomach muscles are so sore from all this coughing.

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