Category Archives: all things Norsk
Here are some of the shots that didn’t make the magazine:
Now wasn’t my choice much nicer?
As many of you may already know, I wrote my life story. I was also given the opportunity to publish and so after some long hard consideration, I did.
Last April family and friends traveled with me to the Netherlands to celebrate the launch of Fly Away Home!
From there I was swept into the whirlwind of cyberspace… Tweeting, blogging and trying to promote a book. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into but worked around the clock doing whatever necessary.
To promote the book here in Norway I contacted a Woman’s magazine (called Hjemmet) and asked if they’d be interested in taking photos of my house. They were and did! I blogged all about it, which you can read, here and here and here.
It’s been ten months since the photo shoot and the article was published this week!
At first glance, I was excited… Then I started seeing flaws…
They took forty-two pictures. Eighteen of them made it into the magazine but were not the photos I would have chosen!
The glossy pages make my walls look canary-yellow, instead of the pale yellow they really are.
They left out the best pictures showing the incredible view we have of the water.
Worst of all, I told the photographer no bedroom pictures. One was taken anyway -I was assured it would not appear. It did!
Looking back I have to wonder, why did I publish my story and open my house to the world? A lot of theories come to mind but I truly don’t have one definitive answer.
It’s been quite a year and I’ve experienced many different emotions along the way… Surprise, glory, good fortune, stress, insignificance, embarrassment and maybe even a little regret. But as the Norwegians say… Gjort er gjort, whats done is done.
For those of you who don’t live in Norway, here are the pictures:
Here in Norway, Easter is called Påske and after a long dark winter Norwegians are more than ready to celebrate. They do so by filling backpacks with goodies (mostly chocolate and oranges) and go ‘tur’.
Going tur means getting out. Skiing, hiking and boating are at the top of the list. And this year we’ve been blessed with beautiful weather. It’s a bit nippy here on the southwest coast of Norway, but the sky is clear and SUNNY!
Here are pictures from this year’s Påske tur…
Songdalstrand, which was once a busy fishing village is now a quaint little tourist attraction, adorned with well-preserved wooden houses. The narrow road leads out to the open coast.
Rosslandsguden, here we had to trudge through some snow to get up to the Sacrificial Stone and Giant Rossland God’s Head, which dates back to the Iron Age (500 B.C. – 550 A.D.). The God’s Head is actually a replica, the original is in the Dalane Folkemuseum.
Helleren, is an overhanging rock formation 60 meters long and 10 meters deep. Archaeologists have traced settlements from the early Stone Age here. The two houses standing today date back to the early 1800s and were abandoned in 1920.
Gloppedalsura, is the site of a tremendous landslide, caused by the melting of glacial ice and is one of the largest in Europe. Blocks as large as houses fell from these steep cliffs.
We also passed by a frozen lake where we saw cars racing on the ice! We did not join in on the fun… I’m not even sure it’s legal.
I hope where ever you are in the world – you’re having a fun but safe, Easter also!
After getting the baby settled down into his first night in our new home, I sat at the kitchen table with a cup of hot tea and looked out over the fjord. The evening sun shone down on the water causing its reflection to dance on the wall behind me. From where I was sitting I had a clear view of Strandveien, the small farm my grandparents owned, where my father was born and where they struggled through loss and poverty. The same farm sold years ago, to fund my family’s new life in America.
At that moment Harry came up behind me, laid a hand on my shoulder, leaned down and whispered in my ear, “Do you think you’ll be happy here?”
I didn’t have to think, I already was.
Fly Away Home
If you are a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish, you may not want to read this post.
Last week the weather was cold but beautiful, with clear skies and plenty of sunshine. The weekend arrived and we were hit with another snow storm, but we didn’t let this interfere with our dinner plans.
Yesterday we took the boat out, set some nets and then returned this morning to collect our catch. There were fifteen Cod fish in the net. My father calls Cod, Norwegian turkey.
I don’t like seeing them jump around, gulping air. So when my husband wasn’t looking, I quickly threw the smallest ones back into the sea.
In less than two hours the fish were filleted and ready to cook. When fish is fresh, it curls and splits as it fries on the pan. It smells like the ocean and tastes like a dream.
Later, when my son asked how many fish we caught, I heard my husband answer “I could have sworn there were fifteen but I filleted only ten, I guess the other five jumped ship…”
Here, on the southwest coast of Norway, the cold days of winter are relatively short. The sun struggles from about the end of October until the middle of January to make any kind of significant appearance. There are some hours of daylight as it lingers on the horizon, but it’s never able to reach its full potential. It will however, make up for its shortcomings by working overtime during the summer months. That doesn’t necessarily mean the weather will be nice. As always we still have the cold Northern wind and lots of rain clouds to deal with.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe a beach girl such as myself ended up here (it must have been love).
I was suppose to be in school yesterday, studying Norwegian (one can never be too fluent) but for some reason my class was cancelled, or rather postponed. It was a beautiful but cold day, the temperature was -4 degrees Celsius, that’s about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I decided to join some friends who were going over to the mainland for a walk along the old railway track. The trail takes you from the little town of Egersund to an even smaller place called Hellvik. There are a lot of twists and turns through the mountains and along the shore.
In some places we could see the island where we live, across the ‘fjord’.
We also walked through an old train tunnel, where giant icicles hung like daggers above our heads.
There was a sign posted outside which read, Enter at your own risk.
You can hardly take fifty steps in Norway without walking uphill, which can be absolutely exhausting, but at least you don’t have to worry about freezing. We walked for quite some time before taking a break between the rocks, in the sun. I could barely feel the sun on my face, but it was there, trying, and that’s good enough for me. It seems brighter days now lie ahead.
Robert Louis Stevenson (from A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1885)
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head,
Blinks but an hour or two, and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.
Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise,
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.
Close by the jolly fire I sit,
To warm my frozen bones a bit,
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore,
The colder countries round the door.
When I go out, my nurse doth wrap,
Me in my comforter and a cap,
The cold wind burns my face, and blows,
Its frosty pepper up my nose.
Black are my steps on silver sod,
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad,
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.