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Friday 25 October 2019

Home office day

... and those can be good! Bjørn was off to an appointment and then he went to Oslo. I have been working with my online pupils, doing housework and of course - walking dear Aro. We worked on tricks and obedience, and he is so very good! What an amazing dog to work with. And what a good friend he has become! I love him to pieces!

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Friday 27 September 2019

Anniversary trip, day 2

No alarm clock set today. We will do things differently than what we normally do abroad. Normally we would be up really early, have breakfast at the hotel and then hurry out to see and experience as much as humanly possible. This time we will go for relaxation and more laid back days. Both because we want this to be pure luxury, but also because my joints are working against me, and if I do too much, there will be a lot of pain. I will try to be as good to myself as I can, while still feeling we made as much as we could out of these days. We slept long, had a nice long breakfast in our room, and then eventually we ventured out.

Here is our hotel seen from the outside:

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The entire top block there is our hotel room. Yay!

There are so many things I would want to do while here, but there will not be enough time to do all of it, nor would I have the health to do so. So - we have made priorities, and will just move down the list and see how far we get. The number one priority for me is to find my old school and the house I stayed in when I lived in Oxford. So that is what we set out to do. We walked the scenic route into the city centre. Here it is still more late summer than early autumn, and I had to peek in to the beautiful entrance to Christchurch meadows and take a couple of pictures....

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But before we passed the city centre to stroll northwards, Bjørn needed to stop looking like a hobo. We stopped by a hairdresser.

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The hairdresser did well!

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Then we headed northwards towards St. Giles Street where I went to school for six months. I was wondering if I would remember anything from the city after 28 long years, but as I walked on, the architecture was oh so familiar.

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What I had not remembered though, was that Tolkien and C. S. Lewis' favourite pub, The Eagle and Child, was so close to my old school. I knew it was nearby, but I had not remembered that it was practically next door. Visiting that pub again, was also on the list, and since it was raining, we decided to do it right away. When we went there 28 years ago, it was a lot more quiet, and we got the same table as Tolien and Lewis used to sit by. But now it was crowded, and it was obvious that it had become a tourist destination. But we found a table, had a beer and the local lunch "Toad in the hole".

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The last picture was taken to be sent to Amalie. While we were at the Eagle and Child, she sent us a message to tell us she had got the Ph.D position she had applied for! So this is the proud and happy parents pic!

When we went back out, it still rained, but not quite as much. It was not at all difficult to find my old school, I recognised it right away. It was no longer a school, but "The Oxford internet institute", whatever that is.

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Sweet nostalgia! And there was more to come. Like when we passed one of my favourite pubs from back then, The Royal Oak.

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And when we walked the road I walked up and down to school every day, and I recognised the buildings along the way.

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And then we were there, after a walk that was longer than I remembered, and that had been awfully wet and cold. Staverton Road!

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Silly me had thought I would recognise the house I lived in, so I had not checked which housenumber I lived in before I left. And they looked so much the same, that I simply was not able to find out which one. But it might have been this one:

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A very nice trip down memory lane it had been. I am so happy we managed to do this, and my number one goal of this trip was now checked off. We were in Staverton Road, we were cold, wet and tired, and started the walking towards the city centre again. On the way, it started pouring down, and when we reached The Royal Oak again, it was so good to use my old favourite pub to get a break from the rain, some hot chocolate, and some drinks :)

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Right next to us, the "Us Democrats abroad" had a political meeting. That was quite exotic for us!

We went in to the city centre, walked around for a little bit, found the Covered Market which we also want to check of our list, but now it was too late and it was closed. We continued to stroll around in the city centre, and found a new shopping mall! The only thing I had seen that was not there the last time I was in Oxford. At the top floor of the shopping mall, there was a luxury cinema. They were showing the "Downton Abbey" film, after some back and forth, we decided to buy tickets for tomorrow!

It was getting late, we were tired and headed back to the hotel. We bought some groceries on the way there. We walked a different route back, and it took us over the river.

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Back at the hotel we had some more of all the food they had left us, and we watched Brexit debates on TV before we went to bed. It had been a perfect day!!!!

Saturday 31 August 2019

Alone and effective

I did not set an alarm today, but woke up at 6. was out of bed at 6.30, and soon after, me and Aro were on our way down to Tjuvholmen.

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Came home, remembered to drink some water, and started doing housework. While I was at it, Bjørn got up, got dressed and got in the car. He is going to visit his father today. I stay at home to take care of everything I need to get done.

Friday 9 August 2019

All about Aro

How great to have a furry walking companion again. And Aro is an amazing doggie.

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Wednesday 7 August 2019

A 9 km walk to the grotto

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Tuesday 6 August 2019

Late summer

Exploring....

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Home from walk, enjoying the garden.

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In from the garden, enjoying the sofa.

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Friday 2 August 2019

Amalie and Benjamin

Amalie and Benjamin came for a visit today. A very nice way to spend the 2nd!

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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