30 November 2005


Just watched this film, so I thought it fair to tell you this much about me:

Which John Cusack Are You?
- Stuck in the past? Was that why I studied Ancient Greek, Latin, Graeco-Roman Civilisation, Middle English et al? I'd never have guessed...
- and the record collection (CD's and LP's!) is sorted alphabetically & chronologically, of course! As are the books...

28 November 2005

The single most boring pastime of our day and age

Every night, Sunday through Thursday, we have to make packed lunches for our kids. Lunches AND breakfasts, that is...


First you slice up an entire loaf of bread (ok, 4 slices are for me, but still).

Then you set up the lunch boxes, the spread, and take a deep breath...

There! Only takes about 11 minutes altogether, but ooooh, it is so boring... (Which is why my hubby does this most nights - he's a true saint...)

For the linguists among you - the sheets of paper are called (literally:) "inbetweenlayingpaper", it matches the slices in size, and for some reason I've never found it anywhere but in Scandinavia...

All set... 16 slices ready for destruction by tiny jaws for breakfast and lunch tomorrow!

But I dare you to find a more boring chore than this... Anyone - Chloe, Rarity?

My knight in shining armour (II)

There are more of them out there!

Sam was kind enough to reach out and help this damsel in distress... I had a translation to do, and even though I have a degree in translation and used to do this all the time, Sam's paedagogical hints on subtle differences made my day :)

And certainly will make my boss' tomorrow...

26 November 2005

I'm so grateful this is where I grew up!

(These aren't postcards, some have been taken by my mum, some by me. And incidentally, our house is not in any of the pictures!)

Just thought I'd mention that you can see the view from Svolvaer harbour live on webcam here http://www.lofotposten.no/webkamera/. The top photo, that is - the other one's from further west (not my area..)

Play house

When I was young, free and single, I sometimes used to babysit for my friends. Or their kids, rather.

For one family in particular, I used to love coming to babysit their kids. Whether it be their firstborn, in their tiny student flat - or later, babysitting all three lovely girls in their terraced house, not far from where we're currently living. (These kids now babysit mine. A win-win situation! Here they are, admiring our firstborn, New Year's Eve almost 8 years ago...)

When the kids were tucked away in bed (and I'd finished reading an entire book and singing all the lullabies I knew), I'd play house... I'd pretend it was my house, my kids, and - more often than not - my mess. I didn't really bother about the mess I left around my own place, but these nights I'd tidy as if my life depended on it. Fold clothes, clear away all toys, put all books back in their shelves, do the dishes, vacuum the floor... Needless to say, my friends didn't mind having me over!

The thing is, though, I'm still at it. Playing house, that is. Because if I tidy & clean around here (mainly after being urged by my sweet hubby, who's a much better housewife than I am - without becoming a housewoman, I hasten to add!) - I mean really bring the house to shine - I feel like I've done a great part in a play, or performed well in some avantgarde theatre.

I feel I may not be taking housekeeping seriously! To think I should be doing this, voluntarily, without even considering doing such unhousely things as blogging first, on a daily basis, worries me. A little. If I think about it... I play "let's wear blinders/blinkers* and not see the mess" rather better than "let's do the chores first and then, if time permits, do other, not quite so necessary business, like blogging", I'm afraid...

*British and American. As they say, two (more!) nations divided by a common language...

23 November 2005

My knight in shining armour

I was 25. I went to a concert with my favourite band de Lillos. It was an 'all ages' show - but the bar was open on the balcony, which meant 18 years age limit upstairs. That's where I was with my friends.

Just before the concert I'd won a competition at a local radio station, and I went downstairs to collect the prize. One André, devilishly handsome radio dj, met me there and handed over my specially designed - and signed - LP... I turned to go back upstairs.

"ID?" the bouncer said. "ID?! I'm 25!!!" [Possibly I should have been flattered, but I was irate - the band was about to enter the stage and I needed to be where I could see them!] "Yeah, right..." "Really, I am! Look, my jacket with my ID is upstairs with my friends, just let me go up and..." "That's what they all say! Sorry, you've gotta stay here!"

Out of the mists of the crowd stepped André. He wasn't just gorgeous, he was also 6'4''. He put his arm around me. Looked down on the bouncer and said "she's with me." No more questions asked, André and I walked with ease up the stairs...

Of course, he let go of me up there and I haven't seen him since.
Of course, I was fully entitled to go upstairs anyway, I was over 18 and did have my ID up there.
Of course, I dreamt about my knight in shining armour for weeks, even though some sisters thought it was a condescending approach.

Oh no. Not condescending. I felt like a wee princess at his arms :) First time and last!

20 November 2005

A grand day out

Yesterday the quads were supposed to have been to a birthday party. Meanwhile Jakob and my hubby were going to town for a while, thus escaping the "kiddy party" and even possibly locate a long-wanted Pokemon character...

Well, Friday night we heard the birthday girl was ill, and the birthday postponed one week. There was disappointment. Not least on Jakob's side, who thought this would cancel his trip too.

Like the good parents we are (erh, try to be), we decided we'd take the whole bunch to town. Bus and boat trip exotic as it is, and yeah, why not - go to the cinema! The quads (now 5) had never even been there before!

So we booked tickets to see Lady and the Tramp. (A couple of our kids shutter at Chip'n'Dale stories, which rules out quite a lot of films... Besides, there weren't that many films on at two o'clock.) (Jakob hadn't been too pleased with the selection of film - and clearly stated so both before, during and after... But he'd been to the cinema several times before and wasn't given a say.)

Bus ride went ok. Boat ride too, although the packed lunch they were supposed to eat while we were there was only halfway eaten..

In town we rushed into the Pokemon place. Too much choice is not necessarily a good thing. For the next 10 minutes there was bickering beyond belief. Finally they all managed to select one. Onwards to the cinema. Lots of commotion, lots of kids, lots of excitement! No, noone needed to go to the bathroom. Well into our seats, commercial begins, after 20 minutes of this they begin asking whether this was it?

And 20 minutes into the film - was it going to finish soon? Then, 2 minutes later, "bathroom!"...

Finally, the film finished. "The happy family" moved on to McD (I know, but it's simple, close to the boat, and inexpensive for a family of 7! Wait, here I could have used the word "cheap"..) A million others were there. The kids were also frantic, because staying here to eat would mean miss out on the children's programme (every night at 6 PM on the state channel). We decided to shop and eat on the boat. (Some never learn..)

While I was queing up at McD, my hubby took the kids to the playground. And when I finally emerged, he was running around after them around the quay area - everywhere but in the playground. We pushed our way to the largest table on the boat, started eating. Or, my hubby and I started eating, Jakob and Anna too, after the initial "oh, look at this other boat" etc. The others, while eating meatballs, meatloaf, homemade burgers, whatever similar stuff there is - would NOT have this. Only a bite. Or two. By force. Accompanied by grimacing.

Add to the entire day LOUD VOICES. REALLY LOUD VOICES x 5. (Ok, sometimes x 7...)

Oh - and did I forget to mention that on our way home, just after getting off the bus, Thomas lost his precious (pun intended!) Raichu Pokemon...? And did a thorough job at it as well. After having clung to it throughout the whole day, he finally dropped it. Right down in a, whateverit'scalledlet'ssee; "manhole cover?"! The kind with a grid. Needless to say, his grief was as deep as the manhole.

- The next time a birthday is cancelled, we'll just place them all in front of the VCR/DVD machine..

Forbidden to fall!

I'll be a good girl and go to bed before it's too early (in the morning)...

But I'll leave you with this -

I went to see a friend in Rome last spring, and although we did all the touristy things, I didn't take a lot of photos. Going through the Sixtine chapel, this one by the exit was the one I just had to preserve... Michaelangelo must be turning in his grave.

17 November 2005

It's a start :)

The brown was kind of getting to me, I was beginning to feel claustrophobic... So by the help of the huge big book on HTML that
Rarity was kind enough to give me for my birthday, I've changed it to a way too bright blue! At least you can't say it's not different..

This is already my favourite book!

15 November 2005


This is my great, great grandfather's English-Norwegian dictionary. It was printed in 1853, he died in 1901, and from the look of it, he was using it on a daily basis! He's been making notes on almost every page, adding expressions and translations - in neat, tiny hand writing - by quill, of course :)

Inspired by this, I checked a little more on his background. I already knew he was the "father" of Norwegian modern criminal law, and Norway's first Attorney-General. It turned out he was also chairman of the Nobel committee until he died, thus nominating the peace prize to Henry Dunant.

I really must go out and get another degree...

14 November 2005

Fun(!) exercise

This will work wonders for your abs;

1) Shop at your nearest grocery store (NOT by car)
2) Take the trolley home with you (this is worth pledging your Union card for, students)
3) Empty the goods into your dwelling
(2 and 3 may provide exercise in itself!)
4) Take the trolley back - like this:

Jump up and land, belly down, on the handlebars. This may hurt even people of my stature, so you'll need to press your abs against the handlebars, and hold on to the rails as far to the front of the trolley as you can. Then you kick off and roll! The whole way to the shop. If it's all downhill, like it is for me, it's like rollerskating only less controllable and possibly less stylish...

This, by the way, will also give any spectator fab abs - they'll be laughing all the way home...

Now, depending on what groceries you bought and / or who devours them, this will easily outshine any old spinning or aerobics class! Yes, I have tried. (The trolley thing, that is...)

11 November 2005

Psycho revisited

"I won't take a bite of your cheek. But if I do, I will swallow. Thus speaketh the lord."

This is not an exerpt of a new Hannibal movie. And it's not the first sentence marking a new religion (although some people might find it intriguing...), as far as I know..

What it is, is a phrase spoken by a client "of ours" (i.e. one of the lawyers I work with), when visited in prison this morning. To make things really cozy, they were locked in a security visiting room, two storeys under ground level. "My" lawyer is a tough cookie, but after about 45 minutes of this she thought it best to leave. He'd come to the point he wasn't quite sure whether he was God or Jesus...

This is another reason I'm glad I'm only an office clerk!

On the bright side, though, he started the whole seance by taking his shirt off and "revealing" to her why he wanted her to bring a bra, C cup. The joys of bipolarity...

- I may have forgotten to mention that the visiting room, albeit in a high security prison, is a locked-up room with only a table and two chairs. Nothing to separate Hannibal from his prey, as it was... Still want to have a go at it, Sam?

10 November 2005

No surprises

Whereas certain blogs have 200,000 hits and are still going strong, I've been waiting for hit no. 1,000... (There may have been the odd hit before I had Statcounter installed, but that was probably just me...)

And yesterday, just before I left work, I could see no. 1,000 had just visited! Hurray!

So who was it? *drumroll* no kidding... Rarity, the recent winner of a one-of-a-kind T shirt as visitor no. 200,000, was - of course - my visitor no. 1,000! (And it's not even counting for you to see, so it's not as if she could have planned this...)

I'm digressing... Congratulations! You're the winner of -- erh, fame & glory & pround mention here... And please, while you're at it, would you hand in a lottery ticket in my

08 November 2005

Kids games

I found this "test" over here and it seems my Inner Child has been inspired by my children...

Your Inner Child Is Surprised

You see many things through the eyes of a child. Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.
You cherish all of the details in life.
Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.

I think it's true, too. I never tire of learning :)

06 November 2005


I really did spend time on a Harley :) This, as you can see, was taken in the seclusion of some valley (Θέρισσο, just outside Χανιά...) where I was free to grin madly!

(Yes, I did scan these from an album page, hence the other wheel in the upper corner...)

Here you can also see the proud owner of the awesome bike. I asked, and he didn't mind being published, so I lost the blindfold...

Nice view, huh?

November Nitwit

Now it's official... D'you remember I was going on about how my faxscannerxeroxprinter stopped functioning after some serious vacuum cleaning? Well, I finally got hold of our computer wiz. He asked if I'd checked all the chords. Naturally, I said, first thing I did! Only, possibly I left out checking every part of the machine. And possibly, I didn't notice that there was indeed a slot for a power chord... Not only possibly, but quite certainly, our computer wiz performed a magical exposure of Looking Dignified on a Harley, as he didn't blurt out laughing, merely apologized for having been out of reach for a few days...

Ouch. The truth hurts (- no offence, Lisa!). I'm November Nitwit, that's all there is to it!

Only consolation is, maybe one of you'll be December Doofus??

Quote of the day (6):

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast."

Oscar Wilde

04 November 2005

Looking dignified on a Harley

Door bell at work, this afternoon: "I'm the Polish interpreter" "Ok" I said, and let him in. A few minutes later I was looking at a, to me, very un-Polish & un-Norwegian looking, black bloke. Now, even though we're pretending to be modern and international over here, most natives are still blond. This fellow, though, spoke Polish fluently and Norwegian with a slight accent.

The lawyer who'd requested his help was totally flabbergasted, and said: "do you really speak Polish?" To which his new friend replied "do you really speak Norwegian?" Our Norwegian-Pakistani lawyer grinned. Need I say there was general good humour all around...

Meanwhile, during all of this, I didn't bat an eyelid. I've been trained to look dignified on a Harley.

Many years ago I spent four months in Crete (Greece!). Apart from every other blessing living in paradise, I also made some new friends. One was an Englishman who had settled in Chania, working as an English teacher. I can tell you largely about his many wonderful qualities later... But he was also the owner of a Harley Davidson.

I have no idea why, I'd never even met anyone with a Harley before, but I just love them. Not perhaps the extreme type where you lie backwards, and the front wheel enters one town while the pillion rider's still in the last... But his was a Low Rider Convertible, and it was - Perfect. The back seat was like a comfy chair :) (I would of course post pictures of me on this bike, if only our scanner would fix itself... His bike was exactly like this one, though.)

We spent days travelling around Western Crete, visiting remote villages and secluded beaches. There is no end to where you can travel on a Harley! We got lost and were invited in for wine and biscuits (Greek philoxenia is not just a myth). We were running out of village. Frequently.

And most of the time I was grinning like a madman, enjoying myself beyond sanity! Even in the remotest mountain village, people would nod appreciatively, and even old black-clad widows would put their knitwork aside and come out to study the "Xhhxarley Dayvitson"... I was beaming with pride!

Then The Englishman told me my grinning wasn't quite in style with the Harley... I agreed. So I practiced looking dignified on a Harley. I would get on or off the bike with a suave, world-tired look, as if this was an everyday experience and frankly, quite boring. (Then I'd run around a corner and GRIN for an hour until I could wear a straight face again...) We enjoyed ourselves immensely, managing to scream with laughter on the inside while still looking bored...

This lesson has proved valuable many times later in life. Like this afternoon at work! (See? There was a point to all this.)

"Looking dignified with a quad pram" went like a breeze... The pram looked like a small fleet, and attracted a great deal of attention. But we were unimpressed... The crowd would be talking - rather loudly - about how the babies could possibly all be the same age etc, and we'd always pretend not to hear them. (My hubby turned out to be a natural dignified-looker!)

"Looking dignified with a prominent client" - piece of cake! Bring on the celebrity drunk-driving clients, I'd lead them to their lawyers without even letting off that I recognised them. And bring their coffee without spilling any - not even mentioning autographs :)

There's just a little Grace Kelly in us all...