27 February 2006

Modern times. Part two: Enlightenment

I was going to work as a Manpower temp. So I got a crash course of Word Perfect. Remember it? (All I could find was a screen shot of an Apple version, I think mine looked the same.)

I rather enjoyed it. Then was put to work as a dishwasherette (for want of a better word), so I didn't use it. And forgot most of it. My friend M still had her computer - I still borrowed time on it for the sake of Paint...

Then I went to England again, for my MA. Time to change . . .

Modern times. Part one: The Dark Ages

My father was given a text machine. The screen was dark green, the writing light green. We were delighted... It couldn't do anything a typewriter couldn't, except saving. We wrote pages just for the fun of saving.

My friend M's family bought a computer. With DOS and some ancient Windows type. She taught me to use Paint. So I painted. And nearby fainted everytime the machine brought Dos back on...

I went to study in England. They had a computer room. I didn't go there - why should I, having brought a typewriter from Norway! (This was 1989, this must be said.) Still, the class was given an introductory course to computers. There were three of us for each machine. Huge, square, black-screened machines.
I learnt how to turn it on and off. So did the other two on my machine. That was about all we had time for.

I went home at the end of the year, still carrying my typewriter . . .

25 February 2006


We're home! Which means here (Merujo, this does remind me of a house you once posted as your dream house, am I close?).

The view from the cabin wasn't precisely as I laid out in the previous post. This is what it actually looked like: I know. Even better!! (Yes, that's the actual view from the actual cabin while we were actually there...)

After our first night we found these tracks on our terrace - we figured they were the tracks of a hare - but we never saw who made them... Still, the kids were thrilled!

We had a great week off, we really did. The weather was mostly excellent, the kids were mostly not killing eachother (the few attempts were interrupted), the not-having-to-go-by-the-watch was priceless... We all played outside for several hours every day. Which meant the kids weren't half as tired at nights as we were, as they're used to outdoor life whereas we really don't do that many off-to-the-forest-excursions during a normal working day...

Here's going up - long, long line... (One kid already on top of the hill!)

And here's Mathias going down. Get ye away from his path!

When we weren't outside we were playing good, old-fashioned board games. (As it turned out, they weren't bored games!) The kids even chose playing for children's tv, which is rare! This game in particular won them over - even though Jakob and Filip are extremely competitive and would be equally devastated (i.e. furious) whenever they lost - but they'd still play another round...

17 February 2006

Winter break!

The world around me looks like this:

And for once, holidays seems well timed! We are leaving Saturday, and will be gone for a week. It's the first time we'll go off for our winter break. (I haven't had a winter break since school anyway, but even back then, we never went off anywhere...)
We'll be renting one of the cabins in this photo (sic!) and as you can see, there'll be tobogganing from morning till late night :) We'll even let the kids borrow the sleds if they've finished washing up... Noooo... The cabin's got a dishwasher, as well as two WC's (essential when you've got 5 kids!), a sauna, and basically everything you need for a perfectly relaxing holiday!

Oh, and we've even got a spare bed, so just give us a ring if you want to join in, right!??!

And for such a holiday, one needs to be prepared. Last time I bought skis (we're talking cross country - like every good Norwegian) I was in 8th or 9th grade. It's been a while...
So today I went out and bought a ski set - just look!

Let's just give that boot a closer look...
Yes, it's really loud, not exactly me... But it came with the set, it's actually horribly expensive (if you buy it separately, that is), it's water proof and it'll keep me warm.

And it'll be buried in snow most of the time anyway...

So, my dear bloglings, I'll be seeing you around next weekend or so, ok? The cabin doesn't come with a computer, which I think my family's rather happy about (and me just slightly nervous about)...

The kids have taken turn staying home from school / kindergarten this week, but we're hoping they'll wear it all off by tomorrow night, so we can set off fresh and well Saturday morning! Hope you all have a fantastic week and I'll see what photo opportunities this place will bring!

16 February 2006

Chloe - you're it!

This time you were spot on, Chloe - my visitor no. 4,000!

You'll have to share this glorious honour with Merujo, as you were logged in at the exact same time last night, but I'm sure it will not take away that exhilerating feeling being someone's visitor no. 4,000 will give you . . .

And for both of you - the only flowers I could find this time of year - ice roses!

14 February 2006


My feelings about this day is best wrapped up by this quote from a colleague:

"I will tell my wife I love her any given day, but NOT because it's expected from me!"

Unfortunately, my hubby's rather taken with the idea of Valentine's day. (Which is quite new in Norway. Not that he misses out on a chance of telling me about his feelings other days either...) And with all the attention that goes with it I guess I just might mellow in time!

Meanwhile, this little fellow turns 16 today! A little friend (or not so little anymore!) who was also enjoying Crete and the Harley back in '94...

Now you judge for yourselves, who is cuter - Ulrik, or St. Valentine?

13 February 2006

That's it, I've officially joined!

What, you may ask? Well, I'll give you some alternatives:

a) the Foreign Legion
b) the Salvation Army
c) the Monty Python's flying circus
d) none of the above

Talk amongst yourselves for a minute now...

Yes, most of you got this right! I have, in fact, joined the Bluddy List of Great Novels. So from now on, you'll not only have Rarity's well-founded thoughts and philosophical meanderings around the bookshelves, you'll also have my odd post there, probably hailing a book you didn't know you wanted to read. Knowing you all I've even left a link on my blogroll so that you may find it without further ado also in the future...

So, what are you waiting for? Get yourselves over there immediately!

Oh, about c). Just wishful thinking, I'm afraid. Possibly spurred on by the fact that Mr. John Cleese Himself will be visiting Norway in May!

10 February 2006

Roots = Routes?

The first time I ever went to Greece I was 13 years old. I went there with my dad, who'd been longing to go ever since he studied Classical Greek at university.

This was a long time ago, and Hersonisos, Crete, was a simple fishing village with the odd tourist added. We were adding to that!

As soon as I set foot on Crete - literally - I felt so exhileratingly happy! As if I'd been homesick all my life and finally had made my way back to my roots. You can see from this photo comment how I felt about it all...

Needless to say, it wasn't mine - or our - last trip. The other photo is from the following summer, taken on the boat going to Chora Sfakion from Agia Roumeli, where we ended up having walked down the Samaria Gorge. Again. (Daddy's girl, me...?)

I've only experienced the same homecoming feeling one other place. Not at home. But the first - and so far only - time I went to Dublin, the exact same feeling set in when I stepped out of the plane. The fog, the rain, the customs manager waving me past as an EU citizen although I insisted I wasn't (I came on a plane from England) - it meant nothing, I was home.

Go rabh maith agat and ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ!

My kids sometimes ask where they were before I met their dad. I have settled for "in God's heart". But perhaps, more accurately, they were hopping between Greece and Ireland too?

05 February 2006

Before going to a concert... Read this!

I wrote this after a de lillos gig in April 1991, but some of it's useful advice, I think... (Freshly translated into English tonight.)

We're at the doors a couple of hours before they open. First one's in. We tie our jackets around our waists to avoid any queues at the wardrobe. Then we make our way towards the stage. By common sense and natural selection (after all, this is not our first concert!) we're all 5'7" (170 cms). Which means our lower ribs will be pressed against the fence in front of the stage. This might sound painful (and indeed is, I broke a rib in one of these concerts), but is actually both smart and necessary for two reasons: If we were any taller, the fence would be pressed into our stomachs and leave no space to draw air. My good friend C, 5'10", knows what I'm talking about. She once had to be carried out by the Red Cross and revived with a few hundred litres of water during a concert... And were we any shorter, it would have been even more painful, as we're all girls (women? In our early twenties...) and there were at least two protruding elements making the fence less desirable for us than for our male co-concertees...

From experience we hooked one leg on each side of a bar in the fence so we stayed put as the crowd started to move. Two of our male friends, above the magical height, opted for going with the flow, which meant moving wildly back and forth. Afterwards they told us they'd actually only heard the first song... . We have had just enough to eat and drink. Meaning we wouldn't have to leave our posts to stand in endless lines at the rest room or at the bar. We were ready!


Later on, I scream without sound; "I'm so thirsty!" to my friend nearest by. The singing, shouting and increasingly smoke-filled air has left us with no voices. Her increasingly blue face implies that she shares my feelings, though. Two seconds later the lead singer swallows the last drop of something from a bottle. She and I stare at eachother, then at the stage floor. There's a rich selection of brown and white bottles there. Now, neither Farris nor beer is my favourite drink, but I was so thirsty! And it looked so good! I saw my friend repeat the moves in pure apathy as the singer opened a new bottle. He took a sip. We gasped. Then he moved towards the microphone stay. Past it. Straight at us. Then he gives us the bottle! We gasp again.
He starts playing, and we share the best beer ever. Moses in his desert was never more satisfied with a sudden well of water than we were that night...

Fairly accurate :)

You're a Stuffed Animal!
Everybody loves you, though most of them are truly ashamed to admit it. You love children most of all, though you're not really all that expressive of your emotions. You're not terribly active, and end up spending altogether too much time in bed, although most people secretly suspect that you really love to take trips and travel around. A kid at heart, you'd be a lot better off if no one ever grew up. You are most annoying when stuffed into the back of a car.

Take the Animal Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

01 February 2006

Culture week!

Another night out! Seriously, it's been a year since last time, now 3 times in one week.

Last night my hubby and I went to the Jamie Cullum concert. It was excellent! Fantastic musicality, and he's so much fun, so talented, so energetic - the whole 1,200 man/woman crowd were extatic. (Yes, he's also cute...) I loved it!

A friend of mine was right at the front row - her hair even more tousled than Jamie's even before the concert started - she's a huge fan!

Until I learn how to post a snippet, I'll just have to lead you on to my very low quality pirate recording of a Jamie song from last night! (I'm sorry, apparently it doesn't work on Macs and I have no idea how to change that...)

If you get the chance, go and see him! Oh, and listen, of course... (Try the "Jamie FM song player" on his website!)