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Escape.

July 30, 2011

This past week has been so strange.  After the bombing in Oslo and the massacre at Utøya, the entire country went into mourning. I’ve been feeling a mixture of numbness, shock,sadness and gratitude that no one I know was hurt. Things are slowly returning to normal now, though. I took part in the memorial in Levanger this Monday, which was sad, nice, moving and heartbreaking.

I had to get away from all the headlines and news everywhere, it was driving me crazy, and I was exhausted from being close to tears for three days straight. I got on the train and spent the week with my aunt, her kids and my grandparents. It was great getting a few days with my grandmother and granddad before they drove north to their own home. I don’t get to meet them very often since they live quite far away, so every moment I get with them is precious.  Before they left, we had a nice little lunch outside in the sun.

Caramell-cake, bread,cheese, rolls and crackers. A perfect lunch. I love having relatives who don’t live on a student budget!

My 16 year-old cousin bought himself a cheap, old, wooden rowing boat a while back, and almost every day since he’s been outside, cleaning it, oiling it and preparing it for the launch. Said launch happened on thursday afternoon. It was quite uneventful really. The boat didn’t sink and it was too hot outside. While tying up the boat I discovered a hidden little gem of a place though: The docks! It’s just a tiny wooden platform, but still..It can’t be seen from the road, it’s by the water, and big enough to bring a blanket for a day outside with a good book and some tanning…even if I hate tanning.

Pretty, or what?

Rowing away in the boat!

This picture reminded me of Hamlet, for some reason. Well, Ophelia, I guess.

Pretty waterlilies.

I could barely resist picking a handful of these yummy looking wild rasberries..But then I saw all the cobwebs and stuff on them. I found a strawberry on my way home though. It more than made up for it.

Mitt Lille Land

July 24, 2011
tags: ,

This song speaks volumes right now.

“No one can bomb us into silence”

July 23, 2011

I am writing this with tears in my eyes, and I’m unable to sleep. Today, at 15.20, Oslo, Norway, was hit by a bomb, and a following shooting at a Labour Party youth camp. 17 people have been confirmed dead so far, most of them young teens, and the death toll is expected to increase as the rescue goes on. A 32-year-old Norwegian man has been arrested,suspected of being behind both attacks.

I was at the grocery store when I heard the news. I rushed home to turn on the tv, grabbed my phone and called everyone I know who lives in Oslo, to make sure they were okay. Thankfully, they all were.

It was such a surreal feeling, seeing the videos, news and photos. It looked more like a war-scene than anything else. None of it resembled the Oslo I know.

Then came the news of the shooting at Utøya, and everything just got so much worse. A man dressed as a cop had walked up to a summer camp, pretending he was there to give the kids information about the bombing. A massacre then started.  Kids ran into the water, trying to swim over the shore some 500 meters away. Some of them were shot and killed. Others hid behind rocks, bushes and boulders, hoping to avoid notice. The brother of an acquaintance was there, and he had to hide in a boat, being shot at while trying to escape. He got away unhurt, thankfully. The rescue is still in progress, and people are still missing.

I’m still in shock I think. Things like this just does not happen here in tiny, safe, little Norway. My uncle lives not far from the bomb-site. One of my best friends work in the same area some times. Everything just hit so close to home.

I don’t really know what to think, or feel. I never thought this would actually happen here, though a part of me always suspected it was just a matter of time. Right now, everything is still so confusing. They have, thankfully, caught the man responsible and he’s being interrogated.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg gave a beautiful speech, encouraging us to meet terror with openness and humanity, and I’ll close this blog post with some of his words. Them I’m going to bed, hoping the world will make more sense tomorrow.

“Today,we have been hit by two savage and cowardly attacks. Tonight, we all stand together, taking care of each other.”

“You will not destroy our democracy or our commitment to bringing about a better world.
We are a small nation, but we are a proud nation.
No one is going to bomb us into silence.
No one is going to shoot us into silence.
No one is ever going to frighten us away from being Norway. “

(Photos from http://www.dagbladet.no/2011/07/23/nyheter/innenriks/terror_i_oslo/17421146/ )

 

UPDATE: Oh, God…84 teens have been confirmed dead in the shooting at Utøya. 91 dead in total with the bombing..And that’s not even the final numbers…I have no words.

It all ends here…The Harry Potter adventure.

July 12, 2011

It all began close to 14 years ago, in 1997. I was twelve, and my father had recently gotten back from the U.S. after a trip there through his job. Back with him he brough a book – Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, by a then unknown, new author named J.K. Rowling.  He bought it on a whim, read it on his way home and liked it. Knowing what a book lover I was, he recommended it to me. I was sceptical at first, but gave it a shot.

After a page I was hooked. I loved the characters, the descriptions, the story, the humor and the style the book was written in. I particularly loved Hermione, who was very similar to me: bookish, serious about her schoolwork, with brown, bushy hair and big front teeth..and a bit of a know-it-all, even if I was nowhere near as brilliant as her. I remember hoping I would somehow be able to play her in a movie adaptions one day. I devoured the 300 or so pages in a few days, and hungered for more.  The Chamber of Secrets and Prizoner of Azkaban followed, and each return to Hogwarts was as magical and thrilling as the previous.

When The Goblet of Fire was released, I could not put it down. I started reading at 10 PM, and did not close the book until the early morning hours, when I had finished the last chapter. Goblet remains my favorite Harry Potter book to this day. The wait for the next book was excruciating. What would Harry do now that Voldemort was back?  Would Fudge come to his senses and realize that Dumbledore was telling the truth? How would the rest of the wizarding world react? Waiting for The Half Blood Prince was almost as bad. Would poor Sirius somehow come back from the dead? Who was the Prince? I remember hoping that it was Hagrid, for some reason. And I remember the shock and sadness of experiencing Dumbledores death for the first time. The book just left me with more questions. Where are the Horcruxes? Was Snape really evil? Would Rowling really go as far as to kill Harry, Ron, or Hermione in the end?

When Deathly Hallows finally came out, a friend and I curled up in a sofa each, and just read for a day and a half. I was in tears by the end of the first few chapters. Hedwig dead??? No! Mad Eye too??? I was devastated. Little did I know the sadness would just continue. When I closed the book after reading the last words I felt almost numb. I didn’t want it to be over. By then, I had been a Potter fan for 10 years, almost half my life, and I had grown up with the stories. The fact that it was the last book, and that I had actually finished it felt so surreal. But, as I constantly reminded my self: I still had the movies to look forward to.

I still remember the thrill of seeing the first official photos of  Dan, Emma and Rupert. They looked exactly the way I had pictured them, and I couldn’t be happier. Seeing Hogwarts brought to life on-screen was amazing, and each of the seven, soon to be eight, following movies have been just as magical. I haven’t always agreed with the changes made, or how a character has been portrayed, but the movies have always left me with the same feeling as when I’ve read the books. That, to me at least, makes them great adaptations.

Throughout the years, the magical world Rowling created has given me so much. Hours and hours of wonderful, thrilling reading, great friends who share my love of everything Potter, and a love of great literature. And it has opened so many to the joys of reading! I know that when I have my own children, and they are old enough, I will most certainly introduce them to these amazing books.

Tonight,at 00.01 AM,  the last Harry Potter movie opens here in Norway. I will, naturally, be at the midnight premiere here in my little town. It truly feels like the end of an era, and I have no doubt I will leave the theatre just as numb and in denial as when I finished the last book, with tears streaming down my cheeks. Tonight, I raise my glass to J.K. Rowling, and to Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived.

Spring cleaning

March 17, 2011

Reading Badgers story of her brothers soapy adventure, I was inspired to tell a little story of my own.

When I was little, I used to love the smell of our apartment during spring cleaning. My mom would throw open all the windows and somehow the smell of freshly cut grass and soap plus the draft from the windows transformed the appartment. I was 8 at the time, and one morning a friend and I decided clean the house as a surprise for my mom.

I got up early, as I usually did on my days off from school, got a bucket and a mop, ready to clean some floors. Now all that was missing was the soap. I got our Zalo and pored about half the bottle into the bucket.

Now what you need to know about Zalo is that you usually don’t need much of it, and it’s not intended for cleaning floors. The commercial says that one drop is enough to clean your dishes, and they’re actually right. So when my friend and I started filling the bucket with hot water it foamed like crazy. We were pretty unexperienced house-cleaners so we thought nothing of it. The next twenty minutes passed in a blur of water, foam and bubbles. The soap left the floor so slippery that we used it to pretend-ice skate. We had a blast, and didn’t worry much about all the foam all over our linolium floor.

When my mom came downstairs we happily yelled “suprise!”, our gigantic smiles barely visible through the foam that covered us from head to toe. My mom, kind as she was, acted suprised and grateful for our help, but we could spot a slight twitching in the corners of her mouth. Getting up to a house filled with water and foam was not was she had in mind that day.

The floors still foamed whenever we cleaned them when we moved out of the apartment four years later.

(Photo found at: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2008/sony-filming-foam-in-miami/)

How I motivate myself to go to the gym.

March 14, 2011

My love for Plinky keeps growing. This post was very much inspired by two of their prompts: “What does your fitness routine consist of?” and “Share your preferred form of exercise.” They got me thinking…What is it that keeps me motivated to drag my ass down to the gym? In september I joined said gym for the first time in my life. I, like many new members, was very motivated the first month or so. I was there 4 times a week, spinning, dancing, yoga-ing and loving it…But then real life hit me, and all of a sudden it had been a month or so since my last visit. It was tough starting up again, and I’ve had breaks, but I’m still active there to a certain degree. I try to work out at least two days a week, and I’m comfortable with that. Now back to the topic at hand: what can I, and you, do to keep motivated?

1. Get a work-out buddy.

This was really crucial to me in the beginning at least. One of my neighbors had joined and convinced me to try a yoga lesson during a trial-period the gym had. When I joined, she was the one who dragged me over there, sending me texts. Knowing that I had planned to meet someone else made it easier to get out the door and on to the bike, because I didn’t want to bail on our agreement. And the fact that I had a friend with me made working out a lot easier.

2. Make yourself comfortable.

Very important to me at least! Find clothes that you feel comfortable in. It doesn’t have to be expensive fitness-clothes. My first month there I used a pair of cotton leggings and a sweater. It wasn’t too tight and didn’t feel restrictive, which has always been a problem for me when trying on gym clothes for school. Everything felt to small, even if it was  2 or 3 sizes too big in reality.

Wear make-up if you feel like it. If a bit of foundation and mascara is what you need to keep motivated, then why not? I have a tendency to get very red-faced when I get warm, and I’ve always felt very self-conscious about it. It was one of the reasons I disliked P.E. classes so much in school. So now I always put on some foundation before I work out. Yes, my face still does get red, but not as drastically so, and I feel much more comfortable.

3. Ignore the others.

One of my main concerns before I walked through the doors of the gym was that I would feel uncoordinated, fat and silly compared to everyone else there. Luckily that didn’t happen. There were all kinds of people there, from the young supermodel-lookalike to the beginner grandfather. In group workouts I just decided that I would ignore what everyone except the instructor was doing, and just do my best. So what if someone pedals faster than me during spinning, is more flexible in yoga or is a better zumba-dancer? I’m still doing the same workout and I’m still there, which is a big step for me and a lot of others, I’m sure.

4.Write/don’t write down your progress.

This is something I was very torn about. In the end I decided not to write down how much I work out and my measurements, simply because I would get so disappointed in myself if I didn’t see any progress, or had a week where I skipped a spinning class or two. It would just be really demotivational for me to see that in writing. Also I think I could easily become too focused on working out more each week, and loose the casualness I need to keep working out.  It’s the same reason I don’t keep a food journal. It would be far too easy to for it to get out of control for me. Others might need to keep track of their progress in writing, and I can understand that. Everyone is different, and what works for me might not work for others.

*blinks* Wow…I actually wrote a post on fitness…and a relatively long one at that…I’m seriously baffled right now.Who would have though…?  Not me, that’s for sure.

( Picture found at http://karinekwall.blogspot.com/)

Quote of the Day

March 14, 2011

It’s been ages since the last time I posted one of these! It must have been at least two and a half years, I think.  But today I stumbled upon  a quotation I really liked and I figured I’d share it with you guys.

“Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.” – Erica Yong

(Photo found on:http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/4500000/Lets-write-something-writing-4545938-1024-768.jpg)

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