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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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Saturday 20 April 2019

Spring has finally sprung

At the vicarage

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A walk

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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 29 April 2018

The Nordre Øyern locks

Today we wanted to get out and do something, and Bjørn suggested Nordre Øyern nature reserve where we have been many times and loved it. He then discovered that there is a museum and a wetland-centre at another part of the Nordre Øyern delta. I realised that was down by the Fetsund locks, a place I had wanted to go to for some time. So we decided to start there and do the nature reserve afterwards. However, it turned out there was enough to see and photograph down by the locks. It was 5pm before we left there, and then it was on time to head back. It was such a good day. The Nordre Øyern delta has Norway's richest variation in fish and birds.

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Parking the car and starting the walk...

And saw this duck right away. They are everywhere - I still think they make for a good photo.

Its wife was out swimming

Many strange things out on the water...

And some not so strange

An unstable detour that was a bit scary for someone who is afraid of water, but we had not driven all this way to not explore everything we saw. And it provided some good photo opportunities.

A few birds along the way that gave me the chance to test the zoom function on this camera.

The detour took a detour to a tiny little island where beavers lived. And where the river mirrored the sky.

Detour ended, we continued walking along the banks...

Eventually the path came to an end, and we turned. On the way back, we rested for a bit on a bench

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... while a bird was doing its thing above us.

Walking on, we encountered a charmer of a squirrel.

And then a bird who only was above water for a few seconds at the time before it dived under again. It took me forever to get a picture, and it is not in focus.

A one hour drive to Ås. We had an evening meal together and watched an episode of "Suits" before Bjørn drove back home.

Days like these make life worth living.

Friday 21 April 2017

A perfect day

I took today off work. I have worked a lot lately, and most of it I have taken out as pay, but I also have a few hours that I can take as time off. Today I had to go to Sarpsborg to fetch a thing I can use for self-treatment at the state treatment central. Bjørn was my designated driver, and though I lead him astray at first, we eventually found the place we needed. Having had the thingy handed over, we were back in the car. It was noon, and since I had a day off, we wanted to do something with it. After a bit of pondering, we decided to go to Halden. It was Bjørn's idea, and it was a brilliant one. Halden is my favourite town in this county. I would not mind moving somewhere close to Halden.... Off we drove. We strolled around in Halden, and took some pictures. These are taken by Bjørn.

When weather went from sunny spring to hail-ridden winter, we found a place to have coffee - a very atmosphereic place with very good coffee: Bryggerihuset.

When we drove home from Halden, we chose the scenic route, which made for a very nice trip. And we stopped in Ski to go to the mall there. Bjørn who is now very active in Halden's Red Cross, and who will soon spend and outdoor training weekend with them, needed some equipment and some boots. I needed some clothes. So we did a bit of shopping, and we both found what we hoped to find.

On our way home we saw what we usually see: Wildlife. But this time Bjør had his zoom ready!

Home late, after what feels like a holiday!

Saturday 15 April 2017

In our garden

Photos by Bjørn who has a zoom lense I envy him :)

Other than enjoying the hundreds of birds and the mad squirrels, we have been spring cleaning today.

Friday 14 April 2017

Mum turned 75!

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Having Astri over

Astri came for a visit today. We met in Ørje, and went to the infamous Bakergården for lunch. Then we did a bit of grocery shopping before we went home. Said hi to Bjørn who was on his way out to another Red Cross course, put the groceries away , and then drove to a forest path. Walked for nine km, and then drove back home where we chatted the evening away. Astri left at 9.30 pm, and half an hour later Bjørn came home from his course.

Astri brought Brando with her, and it was nice to be around a dog again. I miss that.

Brando enjoyed the great outdoors.

And back home he enjoyed a big of destruction.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Norway's National Day

As usual, we escaped from the madness by going for a walk. Today's walk went into the Trømborg hills, and we walked 23 km. It was for exercise and not for cosiness or fun.

I learned something about myself on this walk. When we have walked for 16 km, and we are a little lost and have to make several attempts at finding the right path - I can get just a tad sulky. I'm fine once we're back on track though.

I brought my camera, and there were some nice views along the way, but I did not want to slow us down by taking pics all the time. The few I took was when we had to make shorts stops for other reasons. The walk was very varied and we went by a few very nice places, but I will have to photograph all of that the next time!

Lots of moorlands, and as always, there are some good souls who have worked to make it possible to cross them.

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A popular tree!

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The view from where we had our first rest.

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The view from where we had our second rest

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Sunday 8 May 2016

The happy wanderer

We slept in today. But when we got up, there was no hesitation. Bjørn packed the rucksack and off we went. We went to Trollbergtjern, parked the car and followed the dirt road we found some days ago. When we came back to the car, it had been a 14.7 km. walk. It was such a beautiful place to walk. I brought my camera, but we were so busy walking that I did not bother to photograph the amazing scenery. But I did take pics of some details along the way with my cell phone.

Blåveis!

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Nice and sunny

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Probably from a deer

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A friendly toad....

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8 km into the walk, we had a break, a banana and a protein bar. Yummy.

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Not to mention a chance to stretch my toes!

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On the walk Bjørn also saw a deer crossing the road, we saw three different kinds of butterflies and lots of different birds.

We have always been fond of nature, but lately we have both grown even fonder of it. We both want to get to where we can spend a couple of days in the woods - and from there to where we can be in the woods for several days. It's a place for balance and happiness :) It is good for everything but my plantar fasciit. We have now been home for four hours, and my heel muscles have had time to contract. I am pretty much unable to walk now. Oh well. It was worth it.

Sunday 1 May 2016

MAY!!!!!

It is May!!!!

This day was a special one. First and foremost of course, it is Amalie's birthday. Happy 26 to the best daughter anyone could possibly ask for.

This time it was also another kind of anniversary. Exactly one month ago, Bjørn and I started a new health regime. From April 1st till May 1st, I have lost 5.5 kilos. He has lost a staggering 10.5. It has not been that hard, and we're both confident it will go just as well for both of us in May!

And what better way to start the month then, than with a ten kilometer walk? And a fairly demanding one at that, and I was tender everywhere when we came home. I still went out to wash the veranda for an hour... But after that, I collapsed in the bath tub, and had the rest of the day in the chair. An absolutely perfect day.

Some pictures from the walk:

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That last picture is of frogs-soon-to-be :)

Sunday 10 April 2016

Hiking

Walked 12.6 kilometres in rugged terrain today. Went up on three different hill-tops during the walk: Haugelandsfjjell, Skimtefjell and Lysefjell. We walked to Skimtefjell last Sunday also, but this time we took a longer round (to include Haugelandsfjell). It is such a GREAT place to walk. Varied (and at times demanding), beautiful nature... and on Skimtefjell the cabin where you can buy coffee and have a rest. Perfection!!!

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Home to a warm bath and an excellent vegetable soup.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Fredrikstad

Some weeks back, I spent a night awake at a hospital in Fredrikstad. When the night was over, I did some sightseeing. Pics were taken from my phone. Not good ones, but I still want to remember the day, so they go here.

Staying awake for a whole night was tough. This was me in the early morning hours....

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Outside the hospital window, the sun was rising

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I was called in for my EEG, and after that I had an hour in the cafeteria where I downed a BIG cup of coffee. I was ready to explore!

I knew there had to be a way from the hospital and over to the Old Town. I managed to find a bridge, and I crossed it.

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Then I ran into the mother in the boy's visiting home (!!!), and she pointed me in the right direction. She told me I should walk along the harbour, because today Christian Radich had come to Fredrikstad. It is a famous ship in Norway, so I started my walk into the Old Town down by the harbour. And there it was.

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And from there on, I walked on, exploring the Old Town and walking on the fortified walls that surrounds it. As expected, lots of wooden houses.

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A museum. On whaling. I walk on.

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A lot of history here

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The oldest house in the Old Town

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Be careful you who want to cross the lake.

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By now I have shred the extreme tiredness from the sleepless night, and am feeling rather happy to be strolling around alone in the sun at such a nice place

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From walking along the walls, I head back towards more wooden houses...

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Information available everywhere

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I wanted to go through here, but a whole crazy school class had had the same idea....

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So I had a look at the church instead

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Though a trip back in time might seem nice, one does well to remember that the good old days were not always good.

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Information on this house told me that Hans Nielsen Hauge once had worked here. Well, well.

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And by now, my phone had rung. Bjørn had been with the boy for his first school day, but now they had come to Fredrikstad to pick me up. I met up with them, we went out to eat and then we went home.

It was not at all bad to find my bed and have some well deserved sleep. But all in all it had been a great day.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

A night at hospital

On Tuesday Easter holidays were finally over. I think I heard that Norway is one of two countries that has such a long holiday at Easter time. Anyway, no work for me today. I slept very long and then I drove to good old Skotterud for an appointment with Joseph. Always so good to see him and to be so well taken care of. I had some skin changes than have been scratching, and he looked at it and had liquid nitrogen on them. Then he went through all my most recent test results. Most of them are good and some of those that needed to change are slowly changing for the better. The third test for hemochromatosis though, shows rapidly rising ferretin levels and indicates that Joseph has right in this diagnosis. I will need to keep testing on a very regular basis, because as soon as the ferretin reaches a certain level, I will need to test if it is a genetic mutation that causes it, and to start treatment. Strange thing, but at least I have earned the right to the title "Iron Woman". Joseph also always tests my kidney function since I have but one kidney. The one I have seems to be working excellently. The chatting is always a nice part of seeing Joseph, and time flew a little too fast, which it probably should not have done since there were other patients waiting, and by the time I left, they had waited way too long.

Back home where I made sure to sleep for a couple more hours. Then a shower before Bjørn drove me to the hospital in Fredrikstad where I should have the joy of spending a night awake. Not because I could not sleep, but because I should not sleep. And I was under strict orders not to drink coffee!!! I sat at a place they called "livingroom". Probably because it had a a sofa and a TV. But it was a sofa and a TV at the end of a hospital corridor where patients slept in the corridors because there were no more available rooms, so it did not exactly feel like home.... Not being allowed to sleep went OK for a while. There was a guy there whose father had had a stroke and who spent the night in a chair to be able to help his dad if needed. He was good company till about noon, when he fell asleep. And then there I was. I had brought a book (Now reading "Oliver Twist"), papers from pupils and some French. But I soon became far too sleepy to be able to have much help from any of those. I ended up just watching TV. Oh good Lord how much braindead TV-crap there is at night. That seems to be when they send all the US garbage television stuff. Dr. Phil, Paradise hotel, some reality show with tattoo artists, and as always in such shows, they need to leave when they do not get enough votes. I got to see grown up tattoo artists act like brats on speed..... One more experience with night-time TV, and I think I would jump off a cliff.

At 7:30 I felt like a zombie and was good and ready for the EEG that had to be done while my brain was sleepy and tired. And very sleepy and tired it was. After half an hour of blinking, breathing heavily and all the usual stuff they ask you to do, I was allowed to sleep. I had about 45 minutes of wonderful sleep before the EEG was done and I had to leave. I then sat for an hour in the hospital cafeteria while I downed a huge cup of coffee and had breakfast. Feeling slightly more human, I wanted to do some sightseeing before Bjørn came to pick me up. I had wisely decided not to drive myself, deciding that after a night without sleep, I would be a very unsafe driver. But this day was also the boy's first day at a new school, so Bjørn had to go with him. That meant I had some hours to kill, and since I have never seen the Old Town in Fredrikstad, this seemed like good occation. It was a sunny day, I had alone time and the old town showed itself from its best side. And on top of everything, the beautiful Christian Radich had arrived at the harbour. I had some wonderful hours and took plenty of pictures that might eventually end up here if I have the time to work on them. Anyway, here, here, here and here are some links to info and pictures on the Old Town of Fredrikstad.

Bjørn and boy came, we found a place to eat in the Old Town and then Bjørn drove me home. I fell asleep in the car, and for the rest of the day I was in a haze and I regretted that I had said I would be back to work the next day. I could have needed one more day to restore balance.

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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Monday 28 April 2014

The eternal fight between good and evil

In Norway in April the fight is represented by spring and winter. For weeks, often months, the fight is on. The devilish winter refuses to give in and let spring take over. For a week or two it gets nice and warm, the sun shines and all is well. Then all of a sudden you have ice cold temperatures and snow.

Therefore, I cling on to every possible sign that spring has a stronghold. This last couple of weeks, there have been some victories for spring.

Clear signs of spring winning:

1. The hestehov has been around for a while and another yellow optimist, the Løvetann, blooms

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2. And of course the hvitveis

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3, And Maya stays longer in the water....

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4. Last, but certainly not least, the snakes feel warm enough to creep out from whereever they have been sleeping. I saw this one yesterday. It is a stålorm, so strictly speaking it is not a snake, but a type of lizzard. Been some years since I saw one.

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The weather forecast says that from tomorrow on it will get colder again, and that mid-Norway will get a lot of snow. Damn you, winter. Damn you.

Monday 31 March 2014

Enjoying the outdoors

Pictures from recent walks.

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Friday 3 May 2013

A day of hiking

We have spent nine and a half hours hiking in the woods today. It has been fantastic! I first had to go to the doc's office to give blood for some blood tests that Joseph had set up an appointment for. That being done, it was home to pack the last things we needed for our hike - and off we went!

The trip on a map

It was chilly, but I knew I would be warmer from walking, so I started the walk with layer upon layer of clothes. That way I could adjust to temperature changes by taking some layers off when it got too warm. That proved to be smart, since temperatures, wind and walking speed kept changing.

Even though we have always enjoyed walking in the forest, neither of us are outdoor people in the sense that we have done much more than go for a walk and then come back home for dinner. We have been wondering if we would be able to change that, and today was our first attempt. The goal was to walk up Hetfjellet (a hill), have dinner there and walk back. We tought that it would take us about 5-6 hours from we left home till we were back. Two hours to walk each way, an hour for dinner and up to an hour for shorter coffee breaks and for taking pictures along the way. But the terrain was a lot more rugged than we thought; at times you had to be careful about where to set down your foot, and that slowed us considerably. I most certainly am nowhere near being as fit as I was some years back, and Bjørn had to adapt to my pace and to my needs for the occasional break to gather strength. And since the forest is not full of arrows pointing you in the right direction (mind you, that also is the charm of it), we made a couple of short detours. Fortunately Bjørn had very wisely brought his compass. Without it, we might still be out in the woods since it was a clouded day with no sun to guide us. So, not 5-6, but 9 1/2 hours hiking in the woods. But they were 9 1/2 amazingly nice hours.

The good thing is that from our house and till we are in the forest, it only takes about ten minutes. The walk started with a lot of uphill walking, and I soon had to remove and pack away one layer of clothes. We had not walked for more than 40 minutes or so before we came to Kroksjøen lake and a bench. I needed a rest. I also needed an energy bar and an energy drink (I said I am in bad shape!). It soon became too cold to sit still however, so on we walked. When we had walked about half the length of the lake, we came across a shelter that was not there the last time. These kind of shelters (we call them "gapahuk" in Norwegian) are built here and there in the forest, and they make for great places to rest and have shelter from the cold or the rain. They are very different, some are huge and have fairly sophisticated arrangements for sitting and cooking, others just give you three walls and a roof.

This was one a simpler one, but it had some practical equipment:

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Right outside it, there was also the possibility to bbq food in a safe concrete construction.

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While we looked at the gapahuk, Maya did silly things

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We had of course brought stuff for her to eat also, so she got a snack here.

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Anyway, we had no need for food or shelter, so we continued to walk along the lake. We left Kroksjøen and started on the more rugged and difficult-to-walk part of the trip. We knew we needed to go straight south and Bjørn's frequent looks at the compass kept us going in the right direction. We walked by the water "Svarttjern" which offered the worst walking conditions of the day. We had to walk slowly and be careful about where we put our feet down. It felt very good to find a path again and to be able to walk without fearing a broken ankle. After a little while, we took a wrong turn and found ourselves off-track. Without the compass, I dare say we would have been a little lost there. But map and compass told us the direction and soon we were back on a path. We continued walking to Kroktjenn which is a beautiful small lake where there is a bench. We had been out for 4 hours, walking for most of them and I was so tired. After we had been sitting for a while, I was also very cold. We had about a 30-40 minutes walk to reach the hilltop. The hilltop would be an even colder place. And I just did not feel up for it. It speaks to Bjørn's sympathy and willingness to make sure I was OK, that he agreed on giving up on our goal of reaching the hilltop. He really wished to continue and no doubt would have done so if he had been alone. But it was the right choice for me, I felt so dead, and it made such a psychological difference to know that the next steps I took would bring me closer to home and not further away from it. It was too cold to eat where we were, so we decided to have our dinner when we were back at the shelter we had seen earlier. But before we turned around, we rested a bit.

Bjørn peeled oranges for us to eat

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Maya got a chewing bone

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Then started the walk home. We mindlessly followed Maya (who was good at finding the right way most of the time) and did another small detour, but we were soon back on track. On the way back, Bjørn suggested avoiding the part with the roughest terrain, and staked out another course for us. MUCH better! Though I was really tired, the forest really is beautiful, and it was both a funny and a very nice walk. And of course I never got any comments about being too much of a sissy to have walked up the hilltop....

A curiosity we came across: A bench and right by it a sign. It told the story of an incident between the year 1808 and 1814, during the war between the Norwegians and the Swedes when a group of Norwegians had came across a group of Swedes at this place and the Swedes had stolen all the butter and the fish from the Norwegians. The sign is written in the dialect of this area and it tells the story in a funny way. Very amusing.

The bench had its own charm, and Bjørn suggested I took some pics.

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We walked for almost two hours I think, before suddenly, in the middle of absolute nowhere, there was another bench. At that point we were both tired and legs and backs were aching a bit, so we decided to sit down for a rest and a cup of coffee.

The path from which we came:

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Fine feather found

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Maya no longer running like crazy

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Me, enjoying a well deserved break. And coffee! Coffee rules!

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Tired and hungry, we walked on. It was still great to be out in the woods though. And it was good that we had chosen a route that was easier to walk! We were, however, quite happy when we saw the shelter. We made a fire and had a barbeque dinner. As Ray Mears always says: "Light a fire. It is good for morale!" It really was. And it gave enough heat to keep us warm. We had brought potaotes, corn on the cob, onion, mushrooms and hot dogs. It was delicious. Maya got hot dogs, a bone and a bit of cheese. Tired and fed, she found a quiet spot and lied down to sleep.

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Food eaten, water drunk and morale restored, we were ready to walk home. I will admit the first few steps after dinner was a bit of an ordeal, though. Right before we came home, darkness started to fall and we felt five, six raindrops. Shoes were muddy, jeans muddy and wet. After nine and a half hours, it felt like the right time to come back. We opened the door for Maya, she stepped over the treshold - and that was as far as she was willing to move. She lied down right there. Bjørn and I got out of our muddy outfits and hit the shower. When we were done, Maya was still in the same spot. As she was three hours later when we went to bed.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Tuesday thaw!

We had rain, and some of the snow is gone! Temperatures are rising also... My boss phoned me today. She just wanted to check up on me. She said that all that was left of this year was the exam stress, and that summer was close... and that all my classes had been delegated... so if I wanted to make my health first priority, I could stay at home until the holidays without feeling bad about it. I will think about it for a couple of days. I do want a long and healthy future, but not going back to work...?

I have, at least for a short little while, reached 15 kyu again after I have been able to spend a little more time over the Go-board lately. It is a beautiful game.

I finished Ibsen's "Little Eyolf" today. One can never go wrong with Ibsen :) My new read is Paul Sayer's "Howling at the moon". Paul Sayer is responsible for having given me one of the best reads ever with his debut novel "The comfort of madness". An American penfriend of mine sent it to me many years back, telling me it was one of the best novel's she had ever read and that since it was so hard to come by, she sent me her copy! It was a stunning novel. At 134 pages, it made such an impact, and I have reread it twice. Some years ago, I found another book by Sayer - his second one. Though winning prestigious prizes for his first novel, he never reached that height again, and when I read up on him yesterday, Wikipedia could tell me he ended up working as a cleaner.

Other than that, the day has been uneventful. Apart from Bjørn's excellent Chicken Tikka Masala dinner, served with nan-bread. Yummy!

Sunday 7 April 2013

Enjoying a bit of sun....

With enough clothes and a nice, warm blanket, it was possible to spend an hour outside in the sun today. I even did it BEFORE I got a text message from my doc, telling me to get a bit of sun. GOD it feels good with some light and warmth again.

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I also finished the Kepler novel today. That was 544 pages in two days. Oh, I have sooo missed reading for pleasure! After sleping long, then going out in the sun, then reading more inside... I fell asleep.

Now it is time to go look for another novel.....

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