Easter in Norway

I’m a little behind on my blogging, or rather, I have things I would like to blog about that I haven’t yet got around to. But who cares if easter was over a few weeks ago? In Norway we say that yule (christmas) lasts until easter, which I think would mean that easter should last until yule again.

Easter is ‘påske’ in Norwegian. The funny letter is pronounced like the vowel in ‘bought’ or at least if you pronounce the word like the Queen of England does. Or it’s at least a very similar sound. Whatever sound you manage to produce you’ll anyway be fine, as we have such dialectal variation in this country that it would fit into one or another. The word derives from Hebrew and has obviously followed the introduction of Christianity. Before the introduction of easter, or ‘påske’, the spring equinox was celebrated, so easter has proper roots in our culture. It’s still standing strong, despite the decreasing popularity of the church.

Cabin sunset. Delightful chatter. Today påske is ideally spent in a cabin, somewhere in the mountains, where you can ski wearing less clothes than you need while skiing in the winter. You should come home with rosy cheeks, white circles around your eyes and a white line across your temple (yes, from the sunglasses). You should eat oranges, marzipan, kvikk lunsj (a chocolate-covered biscuit), lamb, and eggs, but not combined.

I spent the beginning of easter by myself in my in-laws’ house while they borrowed my family and spent some quality time at their cabin, in the woods, with no snow, but with some sunshine. I had exams due, but worked efficiently for some days in order to push school work out of my mind completely for some days and spend some lazy days in the cabin with my loved ones.

I have no idealised pictures of us out skiing with our oranges and kvikk lunsj in tow. I did get a few freckles though, but not enough to brag about here. But just to show you how perfect it all was anyhow, I’ve added the one and only photo I took during those days in the cabin. A quiet sunset by a small lake in the woods about an hour from the coast. Easter was good this year!

Embrace the cold season

IMG_2507I’m wearing layer upon layer. Wool underneath. My hands are cold and so is my nose. I’m sneezing, often. I embrace my scarves, or they embrace me, on a daily basis, and hours every day. Winter is coming.

I’ve gone back to uni for another year while staying at home with Daughter for another year and for six weeks I’m working in a lower secondary school. I think refreshing has to be the right word to describe it. My mind is turned on again. I get to be myself outside the house without having my supernatural mother-power turned on constantly. I also have a very decent-length walk to get to work (although I often use the car) and I get to walk in silence and solitude with the brisk, cold air twirling around me harmfully caressing my bare cheeks.

The season is changing and the weather is protesting violently. The sunrise is bright pink and orange and the sky has just changed to a bleak blue before heavy grey clouds cover it up and drench themselves of bucketloads of water. The sun sets before, surprisingly early, and earlier every day and gives way to howling winds and thundering clouds.

The colours, the changes and the heavy dose of new impressions made by the young hopeful are making me feel poetic. I feel like I should find somewhere to sitsurrounded by the cold air and amid the magic colour combinations and pour all these feelings into words.  But it’s been done before, and I don’t really have the time. But I breathe it all in: fill my head with the bright pink and soothing green, the surrendering orange and daunting red; fill my lungs with the cold; and push the darkness out of the corners of our house with candles burning with mellow yellow flames.

Summer’s still here

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School’s started, evenings are getting darker, temperature hasn’t changed much, but there’s change in the air. Summer flowers are looking increasingly miserable, plums are just about ripe and Norwegian strawberries are a thing of the past. But summer’s still here. It’s clinging on with a mighty grip, with warm beaming sunshine, clear blue skies and green grass that long for bare feet to hustle through.

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I took our kids out walking today. Just a wee stroll around the neighbourhood. We were going mental at home. Poor Son has not spent time with kids his own age for quite some time and seem to need some time to play with someone at his own level. We were nagging and quarrelling when I had enough. I needed to change where this was going. I took the kids out and walked to the beach.

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It’s amazing what fresh air does to a weary brain. It is wonderful what the fresh breeze does to your mind. And it is simply amazing what humming bumblebees and white flowers do to your mood. For and hour or so it was all bliss. Sunshine. Sea. Summer heat. Laughing children. I savour that moment.

We returned to “keep your voice down inside”, “leave your sister alone”, “stop jumping up and down while eating dinner”. I’ll scrap those memories. Today we went to the beach!

Soul lotion

I’ve heard some call it lotion for the soul. It is soothing. It is refreshing. So I can see why.

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Today my lotion was scented with the smell of sun-heated fields and a breeze surfing through huge, ancient oak trees. It also contained corn and potato fields, summer flowers and an eight-month-old littlegirl with a smile that put the sun to shame.

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All if this is just off my doorstep these days. What is the best lotion for your soul?

 

 

Foggy fjord

The last few weeks it seems like the entire country has been bathed in sunshine. Spring is here and the temperature is slowly rising. Some days, however, the sun comes as a surprise on the landscape that has for so long been lingering in the cold, and as protection the sea rolls in with a heavy veil of fog. The fog covers the long fjords and rises up around the cold water, creating an air of mystery and tranquility. 

I took these photos on my way to visit my parents. The ferry across the fjord was the perfect time to get out of the car and capture the white surroundings.

Flowers in my hair

“I picked this flower for you, mommy”, my son said and lifted up his wee hand holding a single white flower. The first flower of the year. Spring is here now and in a couple of weeks my wee boy is a year older. Life is good and every day is a new adventure.
I have accepted a ‘one photo a day’-challenge for April. Today the task was to photograph my reflection. Mission accomplished after a few hours outside geocaching with my in-laws. The flower is the one given to me by my little prince.

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Out hiking and getting warm

Geocaching, which I talked about here, gave me a good excuse to discover new and exciting places last time we visited my in-laws. But it became a lot more fun as soon as I had convinced them all that this was a fun hobby. One of days we took out, there were six of us: Husband, Son, Uncle T3 (there are three uncle Ts, this is the youngest), Granny, Grandpa and me. And Rambo the dog (a small papillon who lives up to his name only when encountering small birds).

We had two posts we wanted to find. We drove for a few minuted and then found a small, gravel road to take us up into the forrest. The first post was found quickly, we practically ran up. The road led us to its vicinity, and the post was located only a few metres off the road. The second however, was not connected to any of the paths we could find. It was getting cold, we had two arguing about which way to go (arguing for exact opposite directions). We knew in which direction the post was, but we were faced with two paths, non going in the direction of the post.

So we stopped. Made a fire. And watched the sun set in-between the trees. And if we hadn’t already reached perfection: we now have to set out for the second post some other time, which means another splendid day out in the wild.