Monday, 18 March 2013

Treasures in the Attic!

So we found this box upstairs in my grandmothers attic, opened it up and it took us a while to figure out what it was.
 Torture device left over from the 2nd World War?

Turns out it was a SPA/Massage kit, complete with different endings for different parts of the body
 and with a manual to go with it.
Oh, the fun!
My cousin Rebecca qualified as the Massage therapist and was looking for a victim to test this wunderbar kit on. Oh, we also found an old-fashioned hair drier in the closet.






In the end it was my youngest cousin, Catharina (who as you can see was thrilled with the idea), we put through the tests of both the hair dryer and the massage kit on the grounds that we were older than her and she had to do what we asked.
Which is fair enough don't you think?


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Grandmother


My grandmother is the only living grandparent I have left.
I treasure her dearly and try to go and visit her as often as I can. She is well over 90 years of age but still 100% with it. Clear as a blue sky day. 



 My mum, auntie, uncle, cousins all decided to come on this particular Sunday and suddenly there was  quite a crowd in her little apartment. I love going through old albums as it's like a trip down memory lane. 


My grandmother has got some really, really old valuable photo's of the family way back then. Here is my great-great grandparents, and some of their sisters and brothers. They all look so stern and frightening but my gran assured me that was only for the pictures, (This was when you were not allowed to smile and be happy in photo's. God knows why as in reality they were all a bunch of hard working farmers and joksters). The women never took their skirts off and even went skiing in them.
My grandmother on her Christening day. (Do you think they told her not to smile in this photo?)


 A bit later in time with her brother to the left and then much later when she re-married,(oh yeah, my
grandmother had two husbands) she also unfortunately became a widow twice. Her first husband was 15 years older than her while her last husband was 12 something years younger than her. I'm guessing she was quite a saucy little minx my gran ;-)
 An old newspaper clip from 1939 with the farm drawn in. My grandmother ran farms her whole life. She was only 14 years old when she took over a summer farm, all by herself, with no electricity and a herd of cows. Apparently her butter, milk and sour-cream was so great she had people coming from all parts of Norway to buy it off her. She also got on so well with the animals that when she sang the evening song they would all come back from wherever to the farm and settle in for the night. 
This is how I remember my grandmother most fondly. I spent many summers up here on the farm with her. I loved every aspect of it and I can remember most the sunny days...... Although I am sure we had plenty of rainy days as well..... Funny that isn't it?
















It is always sad saying good-bye because I never know how much longer she'll be with us but the times we spend with her are filled with so much love and laughter. Having spent most of her years on her feet running around after the cows, looking after her animals, enjoying her long walks in nature, she is now confined to her little roller-walker as she cannot walk on her own anymore. I think this saddens her more than anything else. She is now living in an apartment block which is filled with her old girlfriends and sisters and they all still meet up doing all sorts of things: Singing classes, they'll sit and knit together, watch the biathlon on telly, meeting up for tea and coffee and it is such a joy to see and they are all still in their skirts, I do not think I have ever seen my grandmother in a pair of pants as she never got used to them.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Home



There is something about coming home to your familiar childhood house that get the memories flowing.
A big bonus is coming home and the sun is actually out, so you can smell the crisp air and feel the sun on your exposed, (frozen), cheeks. 
 I always love coming back here. 




 The minute I walk through the front door it is like an inner transformation is taking place and I am back to being 18 years old, with the house rules to follow.
"Dinner is at 16.00, -don't be late".
"What are you doing today and when will you be back?"
"You're getting too thin, are you eating?"
Little reminders of what my life used to be like, with loving parents genuinely worried about me.
Not to mention the lovely dinners and desserts my mum makes.

The house is filled with a eclectic mix of knick-knacks from around the world and there are always angels around as my mum loves them.
The coffee grinder on the wall is an absolute favourite of mine. 



The familiar things that I grew up with, the plant that must be as old as I am, happily growing in the kitchen window.

Porcelain tiles in frames on the kitchen wall



"Mother and child" statue on the fireplace, right next to the laughing buddha and a lovely wedding photo of mum and dad, check out the sideburns!
The orchids seems to love it here, it's funny because down in the tropics I can never get them to grow. Here where they are totally out of their element, (it is cold), they seem to blossom.



A hidden place for cognac and wines are inside the barrel that functions as a little chair. The stairway to downstairs are still so slippery you have to hang on to the railing.


The kitchen area where we spend most of our time together, eating long breakfasts that can easily go on for two hours and with apples that always wrinkle up because there is always more tempting things to eat in the house. (I'm thinking if this was down on our island these apples would be long gone).
 Mum's taken up painting and in my eyes she makes the most wonderful paintings.


Looking out through the crochet curtains on the top floor.
Being in Norway the trolls are never far away...

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bergen

I've had the utmost pleasure of being home in Bergen for the last week or so.
It is very rare the times I get to fly to Bergen from London it such splendid clear blue skies and just had to snap a few pictures from the aeroplane window.

With fabulous view to the fjords and the snow covered mountains.

I always make sure to sit by the window whenever I can. Probably the first person to check in on-line and I still get butterflies every time I return home. Now, flying from London you have quite a few airlines to choose from which makes it better for the traveller, as the prices are competitive. This time I flew British Airways and it was smooth flying the whole way. Also easier to fly out from Heathrow than from Gatwick. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Pippi

She was my absolute idol growing up.
Probably because of her genuine positive outlook on life.
Plus she was super strong.



Coming out of hibernation

It feels like I've spent most of February under a grey, thick, cold, foggy blanket here in London.
The days have been as grey as I can remember with the raw cold that goes straight into your bones.
When it is like that my body/brain craves the sugary comfort food so it has been a lot of soups, and too many sugary treats. Plus my body hasn't been in physical activity since Japan and is in dire need of a MOT.
It is funny that how the weather dictates what I want to eat. 
Coming back to England from Indonesia I had spent 3 months away from wheat, dairy, sugar, eggs, meat, etc. and I was in the best shape I've ever been in.

After this winter I am back where I started.
My body feels sluggish and slow after all the crap I have put it through. 
So, slowly trying to cleanse it from the last months over eating. 
I am just going to finish the packet of bikkies before I start...