Monday, October 30, 2006

White Autumn

A sudden meeting with King Winter

It’s so beautiful in the mountains late fall (autumn) with all the bright yellow and red and orange colors and crystal clear blue sky. It’s allways like that. At least, it’s the dream picture we have created in our minds.

The descission to go was taken several weeks ago. Because

1. Need catsitter
2. Reserve the cabin

The Cabin belongs to employers of a local newspaper, that’s why the need for reservation.

I’m working outside the city of Oslo while Anna does work in the City. On Fridays she normally end her teaching at 1.30 pm. So I was there on time. In time to reach out of town before the roads blocks up.

Our weekend started with green grass and autumn leaves...

We made it; at least we drove out of town without too much bumping. Up the hills and down the hills northwest of Oslo to a place called Sundvolden where we were supposed to wait for Anne-Lise and Nils.


They live in Fredrikstad about 100 km (70 miles) south of Oslo and we should meet at 2:30 pm. As usual, we were on time. They were nearly an hour late. Trafic? Nope. They too are dependent on catsitters. And forget to leave the entrencekey. He-he – a short detour of 2x30 minutes. Did they call us? No. They have a cellphone, but not yet seen the big idea having stored phonenumbers on the phone. So they still bring along their phone-book. I’ll have to teach them one of these days.

Luckely we were praised by Sunny weather while waiting and trees in beautiful colors. But, we were at a gaz-station so the surroundings could have been more charming.

Next stop 2 hours later. Coffee for the ones that must have this brown liquid. Roadside it was white. Yes: White. Snow. Down in the vally! At least, we had winter tyres, which handles all but ice and too much snow.
Another hour, and it was time to turn off from the main road and climb up the narrow mountain road. (8 km just right up on a snowcovered road.) Up and up and up. Not to heaven, but high enough this time of year. The last few yards the cars were not able to pass the snow but we did on our own legs.


Well inside, the fireplace was lit, food and beverages intsalled and served, beds made ready, wine opened (B-i-B very popular when combined with mountain cabin) and the card-deck on table and me with paper and pen. After two nights playing, none had won. Hm.

Nils, Anne-Lise and Me

Saturday we went for a walk. Not too early in the morning. I would rather call it early in the afternoon. None of us had brought skis, consequently we used our natural way of move from one point to another: On shoveled mountainroads. We went to the end of the road. Too much snow to try to walk outside the road. That meant less than 2 hours walking.

View from the Kitchen

Saturday’s menue was simple but sooooo good: Får i kål – Lamb in cabbage. Read RennyBA’s article on that.

Saturday evening: Wine and playing Cards.
Sunday: Morning: Sauna. Brunch. Looking at photos. Outside snow and fog. Stay inside conditions. Not much of a colourful fall. Too late this year.

On our way down the mountain, we simply had to stop here. See the tree?

We stopped here (Krøderen) on our route back home. Had to rest for some minutes.

The Cats were picked up on Monday. Too tired on Sunday Evening.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Joiner apprentice

Young men around 5 years old, can be rather busy and noisy from time to time. Not all what they do are welcomed by parents and other affected persons. My grandson is no exeption. Not at all.

Why do I tell this? Because our Summerhouse is tiny and the terrain steep, very steep some places which in turn leads to high attention and hair-rising experiences – when Sebastian is around. He is ”hunting high and low” and is quick like a busy bee.

He and his father announced their arrivel for the weekend in Mid May. Too cold to go canoeing and too wet in the Forests to enjoy walking. They had to stay on the platform and inside the houses. What to do?

Then the solution strucked me, why not tell him about his grand-grandpa who in fact did build these houses. And give him the opportunity to act like a joiner. In the car I jumped, found a toyshop and asked for a childrens joiner’s tools. Complete. I did find it. And Sebastian startet his new career as a Joiner apprentice. Enjoy the pictures.

What is this? Is it for me?

The toughest man on Tellus

A joiner has to do what a joiner has to do!

Seb goes melonas:-)

Monday, October 23, 2006



Last Thursday I drove in the early evening to pick up ”Stompa”. Stompa is in fact born in our closet, when we lived downtown Oslo. He was kept very strictly by his mother and hidden away most of the time. At age 4 month, he was given away to the mother of my children – i.e. my x-wife.
The last couple of years, Stompa has been on Vacation in our Summerhouse, when we have been travelling abroad. He like to be there with our two cats – they’re more or less Manx (tailless) all the three of them.
Well I picked him up and placed him in his cage beside me in the car. And started driving. He did not like to drive, something he expressed loudly. In the beginning. But after some minutes driving he calmed down.

Back home, I carried him into the kitchen and opened the cage just in front of the dish for food. And he ran away. Completely dissapearing. Where the heck was the cat hiding? No sound. Invisible. Food did not tempt him at all. Just silence. Our two cats did not care. He was somewhere in the appartement, for sure.

We went to bed without no sign of him. Just fallen asleep, I wake up to this awful ”catsinging”. At least, he was alive inspecting his new territory.

Next afternoon, entering from work, we found him. Behind my office desk. Again we tried to comfort him with a dish filled with pollock. No movement. No reaction. No sound. Completly anorexia.

Don't disturb; I try to consentrate

At 10 pm, he suddenly went into the living room. Walked straight up to me. And asked for coziness. What a sudden change. And then he layed down, Rolling and streching and playing with his two fellow she-cats. And then he went into the ”office” again, jumped up in the sofa convinced he was given a new home. His private home.

My new home

Dinner for 3

On Sunday I returned him. This time so relaxed in the car, you could barely believe it was the same ”Stompa” I picked up only a couple of Days ago.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Leaving summer

Moving from Summer- to Winterhome

Allthough we had known the date since early May. It allways comes as a surprise when the date is there. I’m referring to the day when we move back from the SummerHome to our Winterhome. This year the date was October 15.

To move is a simple task. It takes time to fill all the bags with clothes and personal belongings and food etc. The challenge is our Cats. They know exactly what’s going on. Will they hide or will they go into their respective cages by free will?

Saturday arrived dark and foggy. Flowers prepared for their return. Clothes to be packed and me to drive alone to Oslo. It’s only a 30 minutes drive, so this part of moving is easy. What’s take time is all the carrying down into the car, and then from the car into the appartement.

When back in the summerhouse again, I did cut last years Christmas Tree into peaces in order to make fire. The tree could have been dryer, as it was hard to make it flame, but when it lit, then it warmed us all.

Sunday morning was very foggy and dark. The cats stayed inside. Rosa loves to rest on a pillow in front of the fireplace. Felicia prefer a place with a view, i.e. As close to the ceiling as possible.

In the early afternoon, both cats needed to have a tour into the nature. Would they come back when we called at them? We usually serve them Pollock (Warm but not cooked)in the afternoon and when hungry or not occupied hunting, they arrive in a hurry only mentioning ”Pollock”. So they did this time as well. Puh.

Rosa was very easy to bring into her cage. But Felicia she did hide. What a hard job to catch her and put her into her cage. Took several minutes.

Then we had to go up and down the steep path between our car and the summerhouses. With small and large bags filled with summerclothes and working clothes. Food and beverages. Flowers, Tomato and pepperplants. Yes we bring them back into our winterhome. Last of the Summer, so to say.

Start the car. Easy. Cats ”crying”. No more hunting until next april. Brutal, it is. But they both love to stay warm and dry. But they do not like to drive in tunnels. We have 6 to pass on our way. From ¼ mile long to 4 ½ mile (under the sea).

When installed, more or less, in our winterhome, the cats were purring all the time. And I stayed in the Tube for a long time.

Pictures from 4 seasons below.

Winter - Where is the barbecue?

Spring - Anna preparing barbecue

Summer - Flowers at the Platform

Entrance to the Oslofjord tunnel - 7,2 km long beneath the fjord

Going bananas

Friday 13th

We did visit my mother, as she was 87 on Thursday. Thursdays we both work until late, so we found it better to visit her Friday, when we can leave earlier. My mother is in good shape, except for her hips. So she uses a ”rollator”.

We brought her a bottle of Red Wine, with screwcork, as it’s easier for her than traditional corks. And a box with grapes, tomatoes, ppepper and mint chockolade. And we talked.

She told a strange story – it’s about the human nature. Listen, she lives at a home for elderly (and sick). Once a week, they’re served porridge and 1 banana. Lately they’ve only got a half banana. And my Mother asked why it’s so. We do not have sufficient supply, she was told by by one of the employees.

My mother only minutes later discovered him with a whole banana crosswise in his mouth.

Stealing from old people. Last sort, if asking me. Friday 13th.

Friday, October 13, 2006


This weekend we will move from our Summerhouse to our Winterhome. We will not close it yet, but we will bring the cats into safety (they use to follow the mice when they seeks towards the fiord this time of year. And between our Summerhouse and the water, is a road carved into the steep rocks. If a cat meets a car down there, you'll only guess the result).

I'll write about our move and a short comment on this years stay. In the meantime I'll post something else. Enjoy.

Gloomy or something

Communication: easy or?

I’m not good in english, she said, butt me say something tu yu?


You sit her luking at piipel. I zee.

You said what?

Why luuking my. A am not hat y uthink?

What do you mean?

Me not meen. Yu dirty man. Will ave fun wit me? Ohya. Not for wat yu tink?

What are you after?

Yu saed it. After. After is monny?

For What?

Dont trick me.

I do not have any intention of..

Ow ow you ave more than dat dont be shie wit tenstion

I do think I have do leave now

Wow, we live togetter then.

It’s easy to be a foreigner. Or what?

I left.

(Don’t even mention ”War and Peace”, Toljstoi)

Have a beautyful weekend with friens and family.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A dangerous work

Picking Mushroms

Sunday October 8 we wake up with a clear, blue and Sunny Sky. It was in great contrast to the former grey and rainy days. So we descided to bring our baskets and knifes into the Forest. A Forest created for Mushroms and Moose and Deers.

The first weekend in the hunting season. We must be mad! Taking risk not only by picking mushroms, but also could we be taken for large animals and been shot at. Then it's wise to keep to the old rule: Wear something RED. We did, but Sylvi that did not know we would take the tour into the Forest, was dressed more discrete. The other thing we were warned about is the Fact the Forest Authorities here, have set out animal (predator) traps. Scary? No, the Forest Bottom is very naked from other vegetation, in other word: Easy to step and see and find and pick mushroms.

The Forest was absolutely plentyful of Mushroms, only the fact we only are 100% sure about 3 types, kept us from a very short tour. The 3 sorts we are sure about is:

Chanterelle, Trumpet Chanterelle
and Hedgehog

At the end of the day, we've stayed 90 minutes in the Forest and 90 minutes rincing the mushroms at our platform (or veranda). To be in October, it was warm with temperature close to 20 C ( 70 F). Even the Virginia creepers, covering our peartree, looked heathed.

To day I brought 6 portions of mushroms to our freezer in our Winterhome.

PS. Today the Compose Modul refused to upload photos, but click on the links instead.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Music: My top 7

Oslofjord, Norway, Wednesday October 4 - 2006:

Mostly Cloudy, some showers, some climbs of blue sky. A glimps of the whales (Nise) in the inner Oslofiord.

Anna and I did lit the ”tea-lights” in our combind Flower- and Barbecue installation down under the hanging cliff, which sometimes courses anxious and despair. But it have not moved more than 1 cm for 60 years, so we live in hope it will be there for 1000's.

Thats why number one this evening goes to
What A Wonderful World ( L Armstrong)

Then I come to think about when looking out to the sea from our Summerhouse: It’s boats out there. If suddenly the Fog comes in (almost every evening and morning in the Autumn), how will you find back to your safe Harbour? (without GPS).

And number two goes to:

Orinico Flow by Enya

Why is that? I heard it first time in Saint in WESTERN France. And so what?. Cognac district, I must remark.
In a ”Super Marche”. Uppwards a moving stairway with Anna and my two youngest kids. Enya and Cognac do not fit. But it’s more or less ancient Celtic ground in this district. Or?

Here was the first place to ring the churchbells, saving fishermen an other sailors, from the threath of the Ocean. Not to remind people it’s time to attend a christian service. So we were told.

Number three

The one and only: The Girl from Ipanema.

I allways come back to that melody and lyric. Whether I listen to the original, the Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto version or Gail Costa or whom else in Brazil.

Number 4

Can only be one: When seasons changes it must be the ultimate:

4 Seasons, by Vivaldi

Number 5

When the evenings are no longer light, as we do have during summer here at 60 degrees north:

Dance with me to the end of love. Madeleine Peyroux

Number 6:

Come to think about it. I do have more Family in US than in the Nordics. Besides that, two out of my 4 children do actually work in the US.

Then number 6 goes to The Boss: Born in the U S A

This Night Thinking about family

Number 7

No Challenge at all. I’m going to bed. Listen to:



Have a good and diversified music experience.

The Factory

An Apple Factory

Most people here with apples in their Gardens nowadays , do nothing with the Fruit. It’s a shame leaving the apples to rotten on the ground. Anna is a through apple lover, thus she conserves them in many ways: Chutney, marmelade, juice, jelly, deepfrozen after a quick cooking and of course makes dry apple rings. Unfortuneally, our Winterhome do not have a proper place to store them fresh for very long, that’s why she turns to the oldfashioned way of
keeping the Apples until next season. If you have lot's of apples, buy wine in screwcork bottles. See below.

Have you ever tried to bake Apples? Delicious with real Vanilla Icecream and/or with Cinnamon. You can of course also serve them ”flambé”, use Calvados or what you may have or prefer. You can also cook the apples, but do not leave them in the boiling water for too long. More or less you can treat apples like potatoes (pommes de terre!).

Monday, October 02, 2006

Napa 1

ZD Wines

What a dream for me and my wife to be invited to a wineyard in Napa Valley in California. Private Guide. Manager herself.

After all, it’s a long distance between Norway and Napa. And the wineyards there, wow, we had many years ago seen a soap TV from, I’ve forgotten the name, but the only thing I do remeber is that one of the main actresses once were married to a certain Ronald.

We left from just outside Sacramento, Rande, Anna and me, in what we thought was in due time. After all, it was not that many miles to drive. But, TRAFFIC, in the Bay Area and the areas inside do give you some surprises. Not unexpected for Bay-Area citizen, but not mentally wanted, we arrived too late. (A cellphone is from time time a handy gadget when you need to give messages).

Well, as a result we started at the end: Luncheon with the CEO of ZD Wines, Julie. We had a very agreeable lunch, I must admit, sitting outdoor in an a lovely green park. So nice to sit outdoor with relaxing, intellectual, refecting and really nice people. And Julie is also an artist. Look at her glasspainting.

However, we were to late to the special given ”sightseeing” at the ZD Winery. But Anna and I said to Rande, which he too insisted, we shall go there. And we did. What a guide we had. Barbie Jamieson. She is also president of PAWA.

ZD Wines is a small wineyard. Their land is limited, so they compete with high quality wines. We were there at the very last day of bottling last years wine harvest. Before the wines are bottled the floating grapes are so lucky they live in barrels made from oak, mostly from France and some from Portugal, and may be from US (if quality OK).

Thanks to Barbie, my Scottish American Wine-Guide. That was a guidence I’ll never forget.

Napa 2


As far as I know, MUMM is a famous brand for French Champagne. And I’ve been to France more or less every year since 1964 (Exept between 1994-2002 – when we did vist Latin America several times).

So, I was surprised that the neighbouring wineyard to ZD Wines is MUMM Napa.

MUMM in Napa Valley? Why are they here? Do they sell their French Champagne?. Curious as I am, I handed the situation over to my cousin Rande who seemed to be very well informed about the area:

”Oh, Mumm, we have time to taste there as well, he said just hitting the road outside ZD, or shall we go for a longer ride. At 3 pm I said: OK. Let’s stop here. I want to taste what this French Champagnemakers can do in Napa.

Anna, Rande and me did taste the sparkeling Mumm from Napa. IT is made from Napa Grapes and produced ”methode champanoise”.

What it tasted? That’s something out of discussion. Your taste and mine may differ. Sweet, semi-dry or dry. Though it’s alcohol. So take care. If you do not know to handle the ”bubbles”.

PS. Our Waitress at Mumm, after knowing we were from Norway, claimed she knew some Norwegian jokes. But they were told by Swedes. We got a free glass of Mumm Napa when explaining.

I can live with tollerance. Special when it means a glass of free "Champagne".

Also this one: Somebody has used my name as their brand!

B4P. (blog for peace)

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