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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.









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



The drive was great, and Rondane has magnificent nature.


And of course sheep strolling about everywhere,


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:



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.




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.

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.
















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


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.


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)


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


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.











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.





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.

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.


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


... 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.

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.

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!

Monday 17 April 2017

Our eager squirrel friend

Photo by Bjørn!

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.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Not slacking

Had an extra class today since I had yes to a substitute lesson. Had never had that class before, and it was very good to meet them. They were very nice to me :)

Came home, and after a short break, we went out to the forest. Crossed the Swedish border on what we had expected to be a relatively easy walk. But the path took us up two steep hills, the path went over wet moorlands and for a while a stream WAS the path. We only walked ten km, but it was a strenuous one today, and my body feels molested. Thank god for painkillers.

Though the walk was a tough one, it was also amazingly varied and at times very beautiful.

Came across a "huggorm", our only poisonous snake. This one was very young.


The road less travelled


Walking up one of the hills...


The moorlands


Replacing a bridge


Walking on


Amazing, magical forest



And suddenly, a beautiful water appeared....


Back at the border


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.



Nice and sunny


Probably from a deer


A friendly toad....


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


Not to mention a chance to stretch my toes!


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.

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:





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


2. And of course the hvitveis


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


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.


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.

Sunday 16 February 2014


Yay! After a 7 kilometer walk today, I am at 12845th place in my Endomondo challenge!!

I had not thought I would manage to walk much today. I woke up at 4.45 because of very bad stomach cramps and it was difficult to sleep much more after that. The pain was fairly intense and soon my back was hurting too. Oh the charms of womanhood.... I stayed in bed for much, much longer than planned and breakfast was late. I am determined to walk at least 4 km each day, so I knew I had to go out, but it was not tempting. Bjørn wanted to come with me, which helped. And once we were out, we somehow just kept walking. On our way back home, Bjørn wanted to show me two animal dens he had seen while he had been out exploring one day. He took me on a path that took us from walking to hiking. Goodness what a tough place to walk.... but he did show me two dens. I think they must either belong to a fox or to a badger.




It felt quite good to come home, but I was quite happy to have done 7 km on a day when my body really did not want to walk at all. Thanks, Bjørn :) It was also rewarding to see that I now am number 12845. 12000 should be doable then.

Now I need coffee. And then I will continue on today's ambitious list, but I will not be too hard on myself today if I don't get a lot of it done. My body hurts like hell and I am a little off balance.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Living in the wild

Today on my evening walk, I saw 5 deer darting over the road. Two seconds after the last deer was safely over, a car came driving at about 80 km an hour. Two seconds earlier and he would have had a serious accident. It is just such a wonder that there are not even more serious accidents on Norwegian roads.

Another very cool sighting, and a first for me.... The last time I went walking in the forest right by our house, I saw wolf-tracks! There were supposed to be wolves in Eidskog as well, but I never saw any signs of them. I had walked about 15 minutes into the woods where I saw blood on the ground from something that had been very recently killed. And then I looked around to see if there were any tell tale signs of what could have happened... and leading away from the place with blood was a wolf's footprints. That was quite a thrill. The blood and the prints were so fresh, that I think it must have been there right before us, perhaps it even had run away when it heard or smelled us. Maya ran alongside the tracks for a while, and it was interesting to see how different the wolf's footprints were from hers. They were bigger of course, but more intriguing is the fact that while a dog's tracks will be going a bit "here and there", even when following a track, the wolf's follow a much straighter line when they walk. I would love to see one of them in the forest one day, but chances are I will not, of course.

Another cute little creature is the bird "furukorsnebb". There are 5-6 of them around our house that are fairly tame, and I can come quite close to them. Sweet, fluffy balls of red with a very special beak.

Friday 26 April 2013

Forest life

During yesterday's one hour evening drive, we saw two swans, two cranes, two grouse, two badgers and four deer. Now in the early morning hours I looked out of the window, only to see a beautiful sparrowhawk sitting right outside it. He was enjoying what seemed to be a very freshly killed sparrow. The wildlife is what I will miss the most when we move away from here.

I did take a picture of the hawk, but it was not a good one, unfortunately. It was very close, but that was also the problem, since it scares easily. It soon decided it would rather sit in a nearby tree. I could still see it, but my zoom was not good enough to get a proper picture taken. When I become rich, a good zoom lense will be my first buy. So for this time, I've found a picture of the bird HERE instead. And in my search for that picture, I came across the most amazing photo blog I have yet seen on the net. Suddenly half an hour had passed, just looking at different entries in this blog. Highly recommended for both photo- and animal-lovers! There was a beautiful sparrowhawk there as well, but I lost track of where it was, browsing through all the magnificent pictures there.

Healthwise I am over the worst and am now having a slow walk on the path to recovery. Yesterday I graded a couple of essays, I went for a few short walks, I did a little housework, a little gardening and I did some French. I am not talking about hours of work, just a little of this and a little of that. But I was able to do it without being exhausted. It is very good that I no longer need to sleep around the clock and equally good that I can get a few things done without feeling completely drained. I will not allow myself to become that burned out ever again, it has been a scary experience. It has been a useful reminder that health is important, and that if I should end up in a situation where all I am able to do is to laze around all day, doing nothing - I will soon enter the realms of madness.

Oh, I just changed my mind. I will post my pic of the hawk. It is a lousy one, but I am not a professional photographer after all and the bird was not exactly tame!



And here is an equally unprofessional picture of the crane:


And along the way we saw this little cutie:


Sunday 21 April 2013

Taking life easy....

I am not quite sure what happened to Friday.

On Saturday though, I went to Oslo to meet up with Astri. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant in Oslo (Mona Lisa). We both went for a strange, but tasty pasta dish, a chocolate cake desert, lots of coffee and some drinks. Astri paid, which made this a celebration of me getting a job. And it means we will have to team up again soon to celebrate her birthday. The waiter behaved more than a little quirky, and we would soon discover why. On my way to the bathroom, I tried my best to step out of his way, but he ran straight into me and made me fall halfway over a table there. The man was close to blind. He might be quirky, but it was pretty impressive of him to manage as well as he did - it cannot be easy to wait tables when you can't see. After dinner we went for a walk. The Aker Brygge area has expanded further and it looks better every time I go there. Architecture-wise, Oslo is becoming cooler by the month. Though it was great to chat with Astri again, I became tired, and I went home earlier that I usually do when we are out. Slept on the bus and had no more energy left in me when I came home.

Sunday was mostly about sleeping and reading. I was bored and we went out for a drive. We drove for less than an hour, but had ELEVEN deer sightings along the way (the eleventh might have been one we had already seen, but there were at least ten deer on that short trip!)

Here is one of them:


Today is Monday. I have felt tired and out of it. I wanted to do SOMETHING fun though. I suggested to Bjørn that we make something for dinner that we had not had before and that was a little more elaborate than what we usually do. He thought it sounded like a good idea, and I started searching through cookbooks. We landed on "Spicey Honduran casserole". Beef, finely chopped carrot, mushroom and cellery in a sauce made from water with bouillon, red wine, a bit of wheat flour and tomato purée. And then the charm - the spices: A fair share of black pepper, white pepper, chili, salt, oregano, basil, thyme, powdered garlic and powdered onion. Beef and vegetables stirred for a while before the rest is added... and then left to simmer for 50 minutes. Though recipe said to serve it with noodles, we chose spaghetti. Oh my what an amazing result! It smelled wonderful and tasted delicious. We decided it was a dinner worth of wine, so the wine that had not been used in the casserole, accompanied it in glasses. I must say we make excellent cooks! The result was so good and the process of making it was fun, so since we are now both at home anyway, we will try to do more of this. And as for being home - I still am. Without a sickleave right now, but I will drop by my doc's office tomorrow and then by work to have it handed in. I think the plan is that I will stay at home for 14 more days, and then start working a little. I will probably not be back to working full time again this school year.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Another Wednesday...

Got up and went to the gym with Bjørn. Grocery shopping, home and off to the hair dresser for me. "My" hairdresser is back - now mum to a son. It was nice to catch up on what had happened since my last hairdo. And as for the hair, I came out looking like a militant feminist. Hubby claimed it made me look like women in actions movies of the 80s (Grace Jones??)

We had what was left of yesterday's Tikka, and played three rounds of Besserwisser. I won two (she wrote, looking smart, carefully not mentioning that yesterday we played four, of which I won none).

In the evening I was a little bored and I wanted to photograph something. The easiest thing to come by here is wildlife, so I asked Bjørn if he would like to drive me around while I took pics of animals along the way. We drove around for a few hours and as always, I loved being a passenger. Today's wildlife was limited to one kind of animal - deer. In return, they were everywhere.





Tuesday 16 April 2013

Today's squirrels...

We are keeping half a forest fed....



Saturday 13 April 2013

The return of Mrs. Deer

Bjørn and I were sitting upstairs when Maya very loudly told us that there was something that just was not right. We rushed downstairs and saw the deer right outside again. Maya made it clear that it was hers to play with. I wanted more pictures, so Bjørn held Maya firmly down and tried to convince her to howl a little less loudly, while I found my camera.






Friday 12 April 2013

Oh the pain, oh the agony....

I was upstairs when Bjørn's voice reached me from the kitchen. He told me there was a deer right outside the kitchen window, eating the food we had put out for birds and squirrels. I found my camera and snuck down. It was standing right outside the window and I got some photos taken. When I checked them out on the laptop, one of them was really good - the best deer picture I have ever taken. And then, by what can only be called human error, it was lost. I got so terribly annoyed with myself, but I only have myself to blame. The only photo I had left, was taken after the deer had heard us and was heading for the trees. Sigh.

It looks like a pregnant female:


Wednesday 19 December 2012

Mrs. and Mr. Do-Good

Bjørn and I are doing our part to keep the neighbourhood birds and squirrels alive during winter!






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