Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Now I think I get why my father liked piloting a plane so very much.  Nina, my Tønsberg friend, and I dream of taking lessons:)

The Perfect Guy VI

Ola customizing my scarf

Copy of the Oseberg Ship

In the center of Tønsberg, a copy of the Oseberg ship is made

Unfortunately the picture can not convey the smell of tar or the sound of axes

Spring in Tønsberg

Leo, Stein's kind dog - a bit difficult to take pictures with him wanting to run all the time, but ...

Part of the fjord in Tønsberg. We have spring now!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Friday, 16 March 2012

Like Silk Blowing in the Wind

I have been taking stock of my life lately. I'm told that's what people do when they are dying, but I thought it a point to do it while I'm in fairly good health and there might still be time to change a few things.

Winning the global lottery of where being born makes me lucky. Norway is rich country, we have water, we have food, there are jobs still. We are all together quite well off. It feels somewhat strange to demand things of life when so many people have so very little. I also got into medical school, where there seem to be plenty of alpha animals intent on trying to save the world (by hopping on a plane). I'm not sure I'm one of them. If I get to finish, I want to work with drug addicts and illegal immigrants. That is, if I find the energy to finish. Now there is no energy.

There are many things to sort out. My mother is ill again, it is the fifth time we have serious illness in the family since I started med school, I have to say that 18 hours of work every week, med school and all that illness has just taken all the energy there is. There are financial issues as well, in Norway you get eight years of student loan, and you do not get a new round of government funded student loan even if you have paid back the previous one in full. I have three and a half years left (thankfully I worked when writing my Cand.philol. thesis), and there might even not be that, as I have taken breaks due to the illness in the family. There is the option of a house loan, but that takes some time getting used to. Anyhow, I can't work like I have, if I want to finish my studies.

Yesterday, I cleaned out old drawers in my mother's flat. It is strange, I got to know so much I didn't want to know. She has been ill for a long time and before her my father was ill for years and years. I threw out two grocery bags of old medication (pharmacies take care of old medication here, thankfully) -- among so many other things. I found four very beautiful knitted jackets, partly finished and a pair of unfinished mittens.

So I'm considering what I want out of life. Right now I just want to quit school and start working in a flower shop for a couple of years -  live, exercise, play with Ola the guinea pig and see my family and friends. Unfortunately this is not a good solution. I'm tired. Some people seem so consistent. I feel like silk blowing in the wind - somewhat delicate, no real direction.

There are also the diet questions I try to sort out. I worry about the world, about animal welfare. I do not like those silly low carb diets! It is difficult to eat meat when you guinea pig has just slept on your stomach.

I have to buy this year's nasturtium seeds now. Simple to grow, that's a start.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Remedy II

Ryuichi Yamashiro (b. 1920)
Hayashi-Mori, 1955
(Forest – Grove)
One of the most famous Japanese posters, designed for a campaign to protect forests (Forest Protection Movement). The forest symbolized on the poster is made up of just two Chinese characters: "hayashi", more secular and "mori", which has more religious connotations. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Quietude V

I'm diving into

the land of lost socks again ....... oh dear.


An Everlasting Problem in Music It Seems

From this source (link)

Gidon Kremer’s rebellion – a leading maestro voices his support

The conductor Fabio Luisi, music director at Zurich Opera and principal guest at the Met, has issued a personal endorsement of Gidon Kremer’s attack on the machinations of the classical music industry and its manufacture of fake stars.
I present Fabio’s letter without commentary. His views on the British classical industry in particular will be widely supported. Here’s Fabio:

Dear Norman,
It is all about balancing business, audience reception and art – an old issue, if we think of “Wunderkinder” in the past. But now it is not so much about “Wunderkinder”, more about the managers’ (and audience’s) loss of capacity of discerning between talent, appearance and real musical maturity.
Take singers, for example. Could Jessye Norman have become Jessye Norman without her time spent in Düsseldorf as member of the Ensemble, allowing her to deepen the repertoire and to learn new roles away from the “big” (and dangerous) stages, and even making a pause for learning, refusing to sing opera for five years?
Or conductors: Karajan without having been in Aachen, Kleiber in Stuttgart, Thielemann as coach in Berlin and Bayreuth (and then in Nürnberg as conductor), emerging on the “big” podiums of important orchestras and opera houses relatively late.
We are now experiencing an attitude of  ”the younger, the better”, insinuating the following message: if they conduct (or sing, or play) with such orchestras, in such opera houses, in TV, on DVD, they must really be geniuses. They are presented as such and the media swallow these PR-strategies, slavishly repeating pre-cooked sentences.
This means profit for PR-agencies, for artist management companies (sorry to say this, Norman – British companies have a lot of responsibility in this) and eventually for promoters and presenters as well.
I don’t blame institutions for being a part (the paying one, actually) in this circus: I probably would act alike, since my priority would be to sell tickets and to have artists in my season whom the public recognise. I blame those who sell as “art” something which is mainly “business”, and those who are not willing to tell (or maybe to see? even worse!) that “the emperor has no clothes”.
We see many young, gifted musicians who reach the most important music places in the world, pushed by managers and sought after by presenters who must constantly offer “fresh meat” to the audience: the next Netrebko, the next Pavarotti, the next Bernstein, the next Rubinstein, the next Oistrakh. They are “the nextes” and they don’t have time to be themselves, to develop to be themselves – many of them will disappear soon (we already have seen how many have disappeared after a couple of CDs, after concerts in Salzburg, Verbier, after productions in Milano, New York or London) although they might have talent and skills for a serious career.
This is the reason I appreciate this wonderful Gidon Kremer letter, because it is fresh, ironical, true and it comes from a real artist which constantly worked on himself trying to improve himself, refusing to be pushed by whomever.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Remedies to Share?

These are my remedies. Do you have remedies to share? I love some new ideas.

  • Ola the Guinea Pig - a one kilo therapeutic fur ball and role model - as an outstanding vegetarian with the instincts of a wild animal, but still trusting - and the kindest little guinea pig ever born. I'm a true Ola-chauvinist 

  • A good cup of tea - works as a sedative, caffeine or not, probably due to so many delightful cream teas in my youth with my London friends

  • Stay-at-home days

  • Sleep

  • Water - run through a Brita/Anna mug, to overcompensate for the tea

  • Barley tea - when tired of water (lucky me, having the luxury of being able to tire of clean water!)

  • Tomato juice - very red, tasty and also bringer of fond memories (and I'm not talking about Bloody Marys here:)

  • Oranges

  • Other people - they are usually interesting and fun (and I do like my family)

  • Perfume, bath salt and essential oils - a nice, flowery scent adds a certain oomph?!?

  • The hope of being self contained at some point (but not a nasty know-it-all)

  • Books 

  • That wicked, little, non vegetarian spoon of cod liver oil I take every day

  • Vegetables&walking

Recovery III

Part of Oslo University Hospital

Hospital art, name of artist not found

Sunday, 11 March 2012

March 11TH - Japan

From Ichiroya's (link) weekly newsletter today:

Hello from Japan! This is ¡¥

It is March 11th, exactly one year ago, a big earthquake hit Tohoku(northern east area of Japan)and the tsunami caused by the earthquake wiped away ordinary people's lives. In cluding 3155 missing lives, approx 20 thousands people lost their lives, we cannot imagine how many people are there who lost their beloved family members and friends.

Today, there have been prayers and memorial concerts and gatherings all over Japan. I was in a big book store in Osaka, in the afternoon, and there was an announcement for silent prayer at the time when the tsunami hit Tohoku.
All TV channels had special commemorative programs, and showed the devastating video over and over.

Wherever I went, my feelings could not be lifted but sunk down. We offered prayers at our church today, and are having a charity concert next Saturday. There are positive message all over but the tsunami was too overwhelming. If I were one of the people who lost their houses and families in an instant, I probably could not be positive only in one year, I cannot even imagine wheather I could get over it and live on my own. 
There are so many charity concerts and events, but on the other hands, there are also many writers, artists, and singers who became not to write, or play music. One popular woman writer was saying in an interview the other day, she feels very responsible to express in appropriate words about this disaster but she is still seeking for the words.
I had hard time finding a topic about newsletter this time, and I cannot help introducing the action by American Marine who saved people of small island called Kesennuma Oshima(it is different from Oshima of Oshima tsumugi).

Kesennuma Oshima is a very small island in Miyagi prefecture with only 3000 people. When the tsunami happened, it hit this small island from all direction over and over. Since the damaged area was so vast in northern area, this small island was left and isolated. Gareki(rubble- which is now the most serious problem after the disaster) blocked rescue mission boats from landing. Some rescue members of Japanese self-defense force were there but they were working to find survivors and could not handel all the work for other residents. They even lacked drinking water, so were drinking from school swimming pool by claryfing water for themselves.
To that isolated island, more than three hundred US Marines landed for help. They built showers, cleaned rubbles-called on each house, and asked what they could do. One man and his wife who owned a very small restaurant lost everything and things from the restaurants were all under mud with bad odor. One Marine offered to clean the debris- and the man and his wife saw the stacking bowls and dishes collected by this young Marine from the mud and rubble. They thought everything has ended and they lost their restaurant, but they have reopened their restaurant again, using these dishes and bowls- they said, when they saw the dishes dug out by the young Marine, they thought they should start again.
Also the Marine members saw a small boy cleaning up rubbles alone to make a path, they started to do the work with him.
This is what this boy wrote in his essay:

My house has gone.
My father's fish store has gone. I know he kept the store for a long time.
My mother said not to cry, and encouraged me but,
I could not stop crying.
I cried and cried and I used all my tears.
Now my tears stopped.

His parents were worried about this little son, and let him as he wanted to do.
I do not think the Marine members read the essay but saw this boy working alone to make a path-the Marine member who was taking photos said, he just could not help coming to the boy to help him and work with him.
The action on this island by US Marine was one of the action of Operation Tomodachi.

Actually, the damaged area was so big, and what happened to this particular small island was not known so broadly, but this boy and the residents of the island were helped by tomodachi(friends). All the residents saw the Marine members off when they left the island, and then invited them again after 9 months for the token of their thankfulness-they were so happy to see them again and promised, to show the island again with the complete rebirth.
Wiki page only have Japanese but you can see the photos of children of the island and the rebble at the shore:
To real fukko(rebirth), it will be a long way. We may never be able to express in appropriate words what this Shinsai(disaster by tsunami and earthquake)gave us, and what words to tell to the victims. 
However, the offered hands truly helped so many people who got hurt. This will never be forgotten. Whole Japan will never forget the offered hands from all over the world.¡¡We heard we received help from 163 countries and area.

Thank you, domo arigatou gozaimasu


Seasonal Treats in Stavanger? But not on Saturdays

"Berliner bollene (stir fried cakes/buns with jam inside) are here, but not on Saturdays - yum yum" Not sure I want any?...?

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Perfect Guy III

There are mad cat ladies and I'm becoming one of the mad guinea pig ladies:)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Twirl II

I'm sorry for not posting more articles and recipes, I have a couple in my archives. Energy is a bit low. Mostly due to illness in my family, not one person, but two. Both very much loved, but quite old now. Ola and I are twirling though and listening to Bach. Ola skips like a little rabbit sometimes and right now he is having some broccoli. (Isn't there a producer on the James Bond films who claimed to be called Broccoli? I'm almost envious: Linnea Broccoli, how is that for having flair?) Well, Ola is in very good shape, never had a guinea pig had less sweets, just the occasional wicked orange wedge.

We'll keep twirling. And we'll be fine - eventually.



Quietude IV

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