Delightful life

Starting work is a strange matter. A strange matter indeed.

I glanced around me, as I often do when thinking of what to say next, and I now noticed the bowl sitting on the kitchen counter. The bowl holds what is tomorrow’s breakfast (a delicious wheat and barley bread) for some of us and it needed my immediate attention. Breakfast is, when the hours I’ve set aside for sleep are subtracted, only a few hours away. Bread needs kneading.

There, the bread is now sitting quietly on it’s tray. The bubbling yeast has been been reset and it is now trying to fight its way up and out again. The oven is ticking and clicking and making other small noises to quickly increase the temperature. Rufus Wainwright accompanies the noises with a soft, slightly melancholic voice asking me to raise my fists and stay. I’m not going anywhere, but my fingers are needed at the keyboard, and I only sporadically softly clench my fist when I reach for my glass of Bulmers pear. The house is quiet. The kitchen is a mess. I sit and cherish every moment. Breathe in. Breathe out. Life is good.

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Now, back to work. As I said, it is a strange matter. You see, Norwegian teachers are on strike these days. I’m still working, my union is small and work slowly, slowly but efficiently I hope. But my working days are strongly affected by the many teachers who are not working. I won’t venture too much into the politcal aspects of the strike, but I have to point out that this is not a strike concerning the teachers’ working hours or pay, but core changes affecting the entire schooling system that are initiated by not the teachers, nor the politicians, but a third party that should be responsiple only for the economic situation of the various communes and smaller parts of Norway. The strike’s been on since June. Many things aren’t right. It’s strange. A strange matter indeed. And so are my first days and weeks at work.

Still, life is good. The transition has been smooth, from stay-at-home-life to working-life. I suddenly have a whole new load of fantastic people in my life; intelligent, reflected, and enthusiastic people who inspire and comfort me in my new life. The transition has been easy. Now autumn is coming, that transition is harder on me. 17 degrees are not what they were a month ago. But I’m prepared. Boots have been located. Windowsill has lettuce peeping out from dark soil and will bring green goodness for many months to come. Life is good. Do your best to enjoy it as much as I am.

And, by the way, Rufus, Wainwright, is coming here in a few weeks time. What an out-of-the-blue-surprise. Never in a million years had I imagined that he would suddenly turn up here and sing only a few metres away from me. Because now he is. I have tickets. I am looking forward to it with that childish, bubbling enthusiasm that many claim will never survive into adulthood. Yay!

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The land at the end of our toes…

I’m sitting at the kitchen table, the room is dimly lit by one ceiling lamp and two small candles. Make that one candle by the way, one just went out. A small coffee plant is showing small vibrations in the leaves caused by my movements as I’m writing. My son is whispering in the dark just above me in his bedroom, the sound of his whispers are sometimes drowned by the howling wind outside. Tall evergreen in my neighbours garden are dancing to a beat that I cannot hear, while a large uncut shrub of some unknown, maybe even undecided, kind is bending over our fence, stretching it’s long thin arms through my recently repotted herbs. My nasturtiums seems to have surrendered to its aggressive attack already, while little rosemary gallantly stretches upwards and forwards as if to dance herself away. It doesn’t look much like summer. I’m contemplating a cup of tea, but it’s already quite late. This morning I was out picking tomatoes in the front garden, it feels like the wind has stretched my conception of time, and that the tomatoes I ate, fresh from the plant, were picked many days ago.

We have had a long summer this year. It started already in April. I cannot remember ever having a summer like this, even the long sunny summers of my childhood had rainy days where we picked berries in the garden in our wellies, jumping into summer-warm rivers with raindrops dancing in the water around us. This year the only rain I’ve had was in Italy. Or so it seems. Maybe it’s just me getting older, my memory becoming selective and picky about what it decided to store for the future. I am definitely getting older. I have a full time job now, for the first time, starting next week. Until now I’ve done a bit of this, a bit of that, not ready to define myself and ‘what I want to be when I grow up’. But now I have, sort of. I cannot guarantee that it’s permanent. It will be for quite a few years, but for the rest of my life? No, ‘the rest of my life’ is a definition and thought that scares me more than the howling wind outside ever has.

The land at the end of my toes an early morning a few weeks ago, on my way to buy breakfast. A small country road in Italy a kilometre or so from the shore of lake Garda.

The land at the end of my toes an early morning a few weeks ago, on my way to buy breakfast. A small country road in Italy a kilometre or so from the shore of lake Garda.

I’ve spent the last days and weeks with my family. Both extended family and our little family. It’ been tough coming home after having been gone for almost five weeks. But both the kids and I have enjoyed getting into the routines at home. Routines that will dramatically change the coming week. There’s so much happening this autumn. Every autumn has alway brought something new into my life. I’m very excited this year, very excited. I’m trying to prepare for it, all trying to get ready, without really knowing what I should and could do. But I’m calm and mentally prepared for it all. Very ready to meet many new and wonderful people, broaden my horizon and adapt my way of thinking. I love the influences of new friendships and social groups. It will be a good year.

I will take you with me, sporadically as I always do, and I will change along the way. Adapt, improve, and change as the land at the end of my toes goes on and on, and on and on.

Home is on the horizon

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The setting sun as we leave Denmark. On the ferry going home

August is here again, and so am I. The past five weeks I’ve spent only a few nights at home. I was planning to write an ‘I’m home’-post, but I’ve left again. I’m close to home though, and it’s good, it’s good to be (close to) home again.

We started with a few days with bestemor and bestefar, my husband’s parents in the south of Norway. Then early one morning we took the ferry to Denmark, over to Hirtshals and the same day drove to Hamburg. In Hamburg we took the train to Munich, the Autozug, before we drove via Austria to Italy.

We had four stays in Italy: first we spent two nights at Ai Casoni, an ‘agroturismo’ near Treviso; second, we spent a week in Cavallino, just north of Venice; third was a hotel in Tuscany along with mormor and morfar (my parents), two of my brothers and their girlfriends; fourth and last was a short week by the Lago sea. We had one more stop in the very south of Germany, before taking the train back to Hamburg and then the ferry from Denmark.

The journey has been amazing; memorable, fun, and exhausting. The children have been wonderful and they have seen and learned much. We spent just about four weeks abroad and we have and still are visiting family before and after our roadtrip. Pictures and more bragging to come. This summer has been absolutely wonderful!