Marginalia

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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....

Monday 4 February 2019

Evening meeting with the online pupils.

Getting a few things done at home at daytime before I drove to work. This time in a brand new Renault station wagon. Bjørn drove my car to the garage today so that they would fix the damage that was done when he was in the chain-collision some time back. They lend us this Renault while we wait for my car to be fixed. Though it is 3 years newer than my car, and would cost almost twice as much, I am happy to say that my own car is much to prefer.

Though I am not to fond of winter, I will admit that it can be beautiful.

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Wednesday 23 January 2019

Doc

Had a doc's appointment today. The ear infection still will not go away, and it is painful and bothersome. A new doc this time since my own was not available. He sent a requisition to a new specialist. I got an SMS later in the afternoon from the specialist, saying he had time to see me on March 27th. I will not be able to wait that long, so I will need to find another way. After the doc's appointment, I went for my walk in Ørje.

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Sunday 20 January 2019

A 7km walk

Getting lots of things done today, included a wonderful 7 km walk in a beautiful winter landscape.

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Monday 14 January 2019

Being madly effective.

Getting lots of things done. Lost another kilo. And walking 6km. It is still winter.

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Monday 7 January 2019

Starting 2019's second week.

The first one went fairly well. I lost a kilo, which was good, and I have walked every day. Today the walk needed to be in the morning since I had to go into work in the evening. It was foggy and uninviting outside. I walked 3.7 km.

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The evening work was a get-together for our online pupils. It is useful to get to see them now and them.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

2019th's first the second!

Once again I was up early. We wanted to do something together, but were not full of energy, so we settled for driving to Ski to see if there was something interesting at the New Year's sale. We did not find much of interest, but I did find some woollen slippers to wear on the rather cold floor here at the vicarage. We also had lunch there, which was nice.

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Living up to my resolution of getting out for a walk every day. I walked 3 km. today.

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Saturday 31 March 2018

Tampere, here we come!

Got up early and drove to Tampere where my Finnish friend Taija is from, and where she stays when she is in Finland. We met her at her twin sister's place and spent the rest of the day with them, talking and being guided around Nokia and Tampere.

First she took us to a place I have heard a lot about through our 20 years or so of penpalling - their summer cottage and the surrounding area. Right now of course, it looked very wintery. We walked down to the water where they used to swim. And walked on it.

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Then we went to Taija's mother for coffee, cake and a taste of some strange brown thing that the Finns eat when it is Easter. Strangely enough it tasted good.

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Then we drove to the local church which had the same architect as the Helsinki Cathedral.

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Then we dropped Taijas' twin off, while Taija guided us to Tampere. We walked to a tower with a view, and on the way we passed a Russian Orthodox church. So many of them in Finland!

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View from the tower - picture by Taija.

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Me and Bjørn, picture by Taija.

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Downtown Tampere

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The remains of a Syrian home, brought to Tampere as an art installation.

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The Nokia tyre factory

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It was nice to meet Taija again, and it was the first time that I have visited her in Finland, which was very cool.

We had to drop Taija off at her twin's and get going. We drove all the way back to Turku, since our ferry from Turku to Stockholm was leaving early in the morning. The drive back was long, but effective, and it was nice to have a last night at the same hotel in Turku that we first came to.

Friday 30 March 2018

Last day in Helsinki

We had seen the things on our to-do list, and today we just strolled around in Helsinki.

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We walked to the railway station. According to tourist info, it was designed by the same person who designed a building in Boston (I think it was), and that the towers look the same. What do I know....

It was small on the inside, and quite a busy place, so we moved on.

And who did we see, but an old friend from Turku; Aleksander Kivi.

Yes, we are in Helsinki.

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Walking around....

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The Helsinki museum of modern art

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And right outside it, Mannerheim, the man who helped Finland gain its independence.

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Then we started walking northwards, to an area of Helsinki where we had not been before. We came to a big park area that must be great in summer, but that was nice even now, and where lots of people were walking around with and without dogs.

Passing Finlandia Hall

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And passing a lake now covered in snow and ice.

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Helsinki, like all other cities, also has parks, birds, and old women with bread crumbles.

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We had not eaten so far today, and now we needed food. We found a cafeteria where we had a coffee and a cake while we searched for a place to eat. We ended up going to an Indian restaurant. A small place with good food and a very friendly waiter who spoke in a voice so low that he was close to impossible to hear. Our entertainment while there, was to watch luxury car owners being fined for wrongly parking on the other side of the road. Having eaten, we walked back to the hotel, hoping to fall asleep a bit earlier than usual.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Our first day in Turku

The ferry docked at around 8am, Finnish time. Check-in at the hotel was at 3pm. We decided to make the most out of those hours, and do some sightseeing. Turku is the oldest town in Finland, and it it was the capital city before Helsinki. We started a with a bit of history since the oldest building in the town was also the first we came to, lying down by where the ferries dock: The Turku castle, or the Turun Linna as the Finns would say. The first Finnish word we learned was thus "Linna", which means "Castle".

This early in the morning, and outside of the tourist season, the castle was not open. But we walked around in, and could go into the court yard there.

From the Castle, we drove to the Turku Cathedral. A nice building from the outside. We did not go inide because there was a mass going on that we did not want to crash....

Outside the church was a statue of Mikael Agricola who was the first Lutheran bishop in Turku, and an important figure in Finnish history.

With our backs to the Cathedral, we faced something else I had wanted to see while in Turku; The Old Great Square. This was our first meeting with Finnish neo-classisim, but it would not be the last. This architectural epoque is something I will forever connect with Finland from now on.

In Norway we learn quite a bit of Swedish and Danish history, but we know close to nothing about Finland. I will admit that I come to Finland knowing nothing about its history, art, literature, architecture, music and so on. But it is already early morning on our first day here, and so far I have already learned quite abit, since we have taken the time to stop and read about both the castle, the Cathedral, Mikael Agricola, the Old Great Square, and Finnish architecture. This trip will be quite educational! And by this square, was a statue of Per Brahe. Another unknown name to us, but reading up on him gave us another useful glimpse into Finnish history.

It was nearing 10am, which meant that one of the museums we were interested in opened, and we found our way to the Sibelius museum. I said we did not know anything about Finnish music, but the one person we have all heard about in Norway is Sibelius. I knew the name, and I knew he had composed "Finlandia", which I knew was important, but I did not really know why. Anyway, we went to the museum and spent a couple of hours there. They had an exhibition of musical instruments, and then they had a room dedicated to Sibelius. As you walked around the room, you followed his story from he was born till he died. You learn about him, his music and Finnish history. And you get to listen to his music in headphones. I learned so much from this, and I also realised he made some wonderful music and that I should listen to more of it. Before we left, Bjørn bought a CD with all his symphonies, and I look forward to getting to know his music better.

We had not had breakfast, so by now it felt right to have brunch. While searching for a place to eat, we came across an odd fellow and a strange cow:

We found a nice little ravintola (restaurant - a word I learned from my Finnish friend Tajia before we left Norway) by the canal: Ravintola Pinella. They had buffet starters, buffet desserts and a la carte dinners. A funny concept, and a very nice and friendly restaurant with good food for a reasonable price.

After Brunch we walked back to the car, and found our hotel, the Radisson Marina. Not as expensive as this kind of hotel would be in Norway, and they had a very friendly atmosphere and very nice people working there. It was good to find our room and relax for a little bit.

Later in the evening, we went for a 4 km stroll along the canal.

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We walked up to and through the Turku sport stadium, and a park that must look very charming in spring and summer with duck ponds and everything.

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And we saw three statues by Wäinö Aaltonen, and thus learned a lot about this famous Finnish sculptor.

Not to mention that his sculpture of Alexander Kivi made us read and learn about this Finnish author, and that his sculpture of Paavo Nurmi, made us learn more about this Finnish runner who was called "The flying Finn".

Another sculptor, Andrei Kovaltshuk, had made this:

And to quote "visitturku.fi": A statue from Russian artist Andrei Kovaltshuk depicts the meeting in 1812 of Russian Emperor Alexander I and Swedish Crown Prince Karl XIV Johan. Alexander I and Karl Johan were negotiating about how Sweden and Russia should respond to the threat of Napoleon. It was also notable for being the point at which Sweden gave up its interest in recapturing Finland from Russia.

Last, but by no means least, we stumbled upon a cave with a manmade spiderweb. We had no idea what this was about. So we asked the nice woman in the reception at our hotel. She looked a bit embarassed, and said "It's like art". So now we know.

It's like art:

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We did some grocery shopping before we went back to the hotel, so that we could have an evening snack and something to drink in our room. And this was when we tried the Finnish Karhu beer for the first time. We are embracing everything Finnish!

Friday 23 March 2018

HOLIDAYS!

Got up early and finished packing. Drove to the man who treats my plantar, and had a session there. Then drove to Ørje to meet Bjørn, and to park my car. I have no desire to see the mad neighbour, so I asked Anne if I could park my car at her place, and I could. I drove there, met Bjørn and we were invited in to Anne for a coffee. So nice talking to her, and we stayed for three quarters. And then... off for our Easter holiday!

Today we drove Ørje - Sigtuna. Sigtuna is a favourite destination of mine, Founded in 980, it is the oldest town in Sweden. Quoting the Wikipedia article: "Sigtuna has a picturesque medieval town centre with restaurants, cafes and small shops. The old church ruins, runic stones and Stora gatan, the old main street, are popular attractions for tourists especially in the summertime. The small streets with the low built wooden houses lead up to several handicrafts shops and the old tiny town hall, Sigtuna Rådhus. There are restaurants and a hotel (Stadshotellet) in the town centre." We have been there two times before. We had not needed to stop here, and certainly not to sleep over, but that is what we did. The other times we have been there, have been day trips, so it was nice to have a hotel and to stay the night. We slept at the five star Sigtuna Statdhotel. We have walked by it so many times before, thinking it would be nice to check in there one day.

Sleeping section of the room:

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And a glimpse from the bathroom:

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Our room was old fashioned and wonderful. We had dinner at the hotel, and dinner was beyond words. This is what I had for a starter:

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After dinner, we took a walk in their main street.

Some Easter decorations in a window!

Back to the hotel for a well deserved late evening of relaxation and eventually - deep sleep.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Pi day, and an end of what has been

After I moved into my brother's basement again, I have had a lot of time to do my own things. Reading, French, Go, walking. In general, I have had many days of doing nothing else than gathering strength and doing the things I like. And - being alone. It has been very good for me. But from tomorrow on, I will not really have any more of my quiet basement days. I will soon go back to my 140% work days, and it is also on time for me to be more social. That might be a good thing, because today I felt a little lonely and lost for the first time since I moved in here. Strangely enough, Pi day also brought the news of the death of Stephen Hawking.

I had a walk with Jazz again, and in the evening I sat up in my brother's living room, since he and Anja were both out, and someone should be there in case the kids woke up.

One very nice and good thing about today's walk was that there was a bit of sun. It did not give much warmth, but it was quite thrilling to see it again.

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Monday 12 March 2018

Indoors good.

Went for a short walk today. Short because there was so much ice outside that it was impossible to walk fast enough to stay warm. So today was about staying warm, doing my usual stuff and talking with my family.

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Sunday 11 March 2018

A quiet Sunday

A day that was mostly spent int he basement. The usual activities: Reading, learning French, playing Go, taking care of my online pupils.... And despairing about the heavy snowfall.

In the early evening, I went for a walk with jazz. A short and cold walk, and I came home like a snowman. This winter...!

Saturday 10 March 2018

Finally visiting my mum

It has been so very long since I visited my mum. I was reminded of that when Per started by wishing me a happy New year. Almost three months since I was last there, I really should not let that much time pass. Anyway, it was good to see them both in good health and in a good mood. I was there for about 7 hours, and I will try not to let as much as three months pass between each time I go there. Just like everyone else, mum was quite fed up with all the cold and the snow. It is a heavu job for older people to spend hours shovelling snow before they can get out of the house and to the garage. It is a good thing that Per is still in good shape, and that he quite enjoys taking care of it.

Friday 9 March 2018

A slight change of plans

Had planned on going to Hurum to visit mum today. But shortly after I got out of bed this morning, I received a text message from Espen, where he asked if I could walk Jazz this afternoon, so that he and Anja could go buy furniture. I would not want to go to Hurum in the late afternoon, so I postpone till tomorrow so that I can go there in the morning. I started the day by going to another round of shock wave therapy, and then a long walk.

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Thursday 8 March 2018

Walk and work

Anja and Espen both had to leave very early today, so I walked the boys to school. I came back here just to take Jazz with me and go for a forest walk. Then a few hours here before it was off to work. Had a fun evening in the classroom. We had more snow today. It is just insane. I have liked this winter more than I usually like winters. But it has been five months. It would be good to see the end of it now.

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Sunday 25 February 2018

A picture postcard

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

First pit stop for photography.

Driving on

Second pit stop, and the gangster leaves the car.

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

Driving on...

And stopping for pictures again!

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

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

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

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

Saturday 24 February 2018

Visit here, visit there...

Today was all about being social. Bjørn has never had much contact with his family, but was reacquainted with some of them a few years ago when he went to two funerals in a short time. He met three female cousins that he has wanted to stay in touch with since then. They all came to his birthday party when he turned 50, but that is two years ago and we have not seen them since. Two of them live in Elverum, and today we had arranged to see them both. We slept a little longer today, had a slow start and a long breakfast. This hotel has a prize winning breakfast buffet, and it is well worth spending some time on. After breakfast we bought a few things and then finally were on our way to the first cousin: Elin. We were there at around noon. It was very nice to get to know her better. Her son, daughter-in-law and grandchild also dropped by for a visit, and it was nice to say hello to them as well. Lots of coffee and a bit of cake - a lot of talking - and suddenly it was on time to leave to be in time for dinner at the next cousin's place. Half an hour later we arrived at Mette and her husband Jan's place. Another very nice visit. Dinner, dessert, cake and lots of talking that only ended we realised it was 9.30 pm and time to go back to the hotel.

Friday 23 February 2018

To Elverum

Woke up often during the night, so the morning was a little rough. Did a little bit of housework, did some grocery shopping to fill up the fridge for Anja and Espen so they have food when they return from their week skiing in the mountains. Packed my bags - and waited for Bjørn. When he came, we drove to Elverum where we have booked a hotel for the weekend. It is the same hotel as where I stayed with Astri this summer. From the hotel we phoned my father-in-law and asked him if he was ready for a visit. Stayed there for some hours. There is a lot more snow here than at home. I have been thinking that we have a crazy amount of snow this year, but it is nothing compared to what they have here. And I got a snap-chat picture from Anja that showed what 1.5 meters of snow look like, because at Gålå where they are, they have more snow than in Elverum. I have to say that I really like winter this year. It is a proper winter, like we had when I was young. Lots of snow, stable cold temperatures, so the snow stays for weeks and weeks, and all that happens is that more snow is added to it. And it is not too cold, we are at between minus 2 and minus 5, so it is possible to be outside. The only bad part about it is that it takes a lot of shovelling. My mother recently shovelled snow until she almost fainted, and she got sick. It is heavy work just to make sure you have a way out of the garage for your car, that you are able to walk from garage to your house and so on. My father in-law has quite a few meters to clear from his door to the garage, and it has been very heavy work for him. He is not at all amused.

In the evening Bjørn and I went to our favourite restaurant in Elverum, an Italian place. And then back to the hotel room. Been a nice day.

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