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April means gulls

Most folks think of migratory birds returning from their winter in Africa or some place as the sign of spring. For me it’s the screeching gulls. Gulls and April arrive at the same time. The moment April’s lawns are no longer covered in snow, the gulls return from whatever open water they’ve been hanging out […]

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The frigid north?

Snow in Fyllingsdalen as seen from my living room A lot of people think I live in the frigid north. I don’t, actually. Where I live, an umbrella is far more useful than a fur coat. Norway is more like Washington state than upstate Alaska. The sister cities of Bergen and Seattle both tend to […]

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On the fjord

Wordless Wednesday MS Bruvik On Saturday, I took a tour with the MS Bruvik, the same boat that once ferried me to summer camp when I was about 10 years old. Back then it was just a boat ride. Now it was a historical adventure in several ways. I live close to the city center […]

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Lush

In school we learned that what makes a rain forest a huge and dense forest is, well, the rain. Alaska actually advertises its soggy and mossy pine forests as northern rain forests. I’ve wondered why Norway doesn’t do the same. In the summer, this wet country is as lush as a tropical rain forest. Anywhere […]

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Junior Gull update

Junior Gull has been spotted again, in good health and twice as big since last we saw the little one. An adolescent magpie was hanging out on the balcony outside my office window, and an adult gull was quite upset at the corvid’s presence. A behavior the gull would have only if it had babies. […]

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Documented

I’m now a Norwegian! I am no longer a documented alien or immigrant. I am a documented Norwegian citizen now. Check this out: The document with my mug shot is my Norwegian passport. My country of birth is a variable and in black type. In red type above it, it says I am a Norwegian citizen. […]

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Missing: Junior Gull

“Somebody needs to go check.” “Janitor?” “He’s on vacation. I’ll do it.” I learned that one of my co-workers gets into take-charge mode when it’s about someone’s life; in this case, a gull chick. I took a picture of Junior just the other day from my side of the building. This afternoon, one of the […]

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Egg cups are un-American

My own egg cups The thing about growing up with a Norwegian grandfather is that you assume everybody has a cheese slicer and egg cups. Turns out that one of the things American immigrants left behind in Europe were egg cups. I was reading an article on Lifehacker about how Americans eat soft-boiled eggs, seeing […]

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Trolldom in the rain

Ole Bull, violinist and considered Norway’s first “rock star”, had quite the flare for the dramatic and the mysterious. This last was why he was drawn to the island of Lysøen, where he built his last home. Portrait of a more mature Ole Bull next to flag gift from USA How famous was Ole Bull […]

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View from Landås and at airport

I mentioned a new sign (piece of art, actually) that will greet travelers when they exit our new airport terminal that’s opening in August: Art at Bergen Airport I also promised the view from Landås. I deliver thusly: Different angle: Bergen as seen from Landås And a bonus because you’re here: A child having fun […]

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Down memory lanes

Lygra As Eddie and I carefully set our feet down between sheep droppings, we caught a whiff of fresh manure. Instantly, I was transported back to my childhood in Norway, spent in the country with a potato field in front of the house, a couple of steers grazing in a pasture next to the carport, […]

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Magnet

I’m one of those people who covers her refrigerator in magnets, as seen on part of my fridge door: Typical me: An empty to-do list because I forget I have it Some are functional, meaning they actually hold something in place, like temperatures and times for a couple of favorite dishes. Quite a few are […]

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The ferns of fall

When I was a child, I hated autumn. I saw no colors, only leaden skies, naked ground and continuous rain. And the ugliest thing ever was to see the green fern leaves turning brown. Ferns are often called snake grass (“ormegras”) here in Norway, and are seen as similar to seaweed: A creepy plant that […]

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TA-DA! My new bathroom!

12 days of my home turned into a construction site, finding bits of concrete in my bed every night, and concrete dust everywhere (I still have to clean all that up). And a bold floor that is not typical for a Norwegian bathroom. But it is done! Tomorrow morning will be the first weekday morning […]

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So, how’s your September?

My shoulder scan This post contains astrology. And bathrooms. And frozen shoulders. Not necessarily in that order. I have discovered I don’t take my own advice, which makes me perfectly normal. I always tell people to get their pains and troublesome body parts checked out sooner, rather than later, but I delayed seeing a doctor […]

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A bit of post D-Day zen

A Normandy beach today Water show in Hamburg’s “Blumen und Garten” park

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D-Day, June 6 1944

“On the 6th of June 1944, on the beaches of Normandy, over 10,000 young soldiers paid for our freedom.” From a bronze plaque showing the invasion It’s 72 years since D-day, the landing of allied troops on the shores of Normandy, France, in a no-holds-barred attack on the occupying Germans. I visited the pock-marked, bomb-scarred […]

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I feel good!

You can go find your copy of James Brown belting out “I feel good” if you want. My version is more low-key and without the groovy dance moves, but I do feel good. I like to thank ho’oponopono for that. So I’m going to talk about it again. I broke my own heart this past December. I […]

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Metal

Corroding metal siding

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Liberal after forty

Youngstorget, Oslo When I first moved to Norway in 1969, politics here were so left-leaning that they were approaching extremism. Yesterday, in local elections, the Norwegian Labor party (Arbeiderpartiet) once again became Norway’s most powerful party, and had its biggest win in Bergen since 1967. A fact that makes me happy now, but which was my bane […]