Trenger du seks elefanter?

Do you need six elephants?

Perhaps this is a common phrase in Norway. However, personally I think unless I join the circus or a zoo then its usefulness in normal conversation is probably quite limited.  It seems learning Norwegian includes a lot of fun phrases that you might not otherwise use.  I just need to find a way to get these into normal conversation…4

Mannen har åtte kopper kaffe – the man has 8 cups of coffee 

Amerikaneren har ni sykler – the American has nine bicycles 

Edderkoppen liker mauren – the spider likes the ant

Hva drikker kua – what is the cow drinking 

Kyllingen elsker egget – the chicken loves the egg 

So a week in to the new adventure and I have learnt lots not least the fact that June here is not warm.  I left the UK basking in sunshine to be plunged into somewhere between 4-7 degrees with a mixture of snow, hail, rain and even a smidgen of sunshine at times.  My first day I was told I will develop a goldfish memory when it comes to the weather.  I would be inclined to agree.

It seems they don’t have spring here.  Winter goes into ‘Green’ Winter then Summer (hopefully longer than 30 seconds – but not guaranteed) then Autumn and then Winter again.  To put it into perspective during our ‘Summer’ party last week ON THE 7th JUNE it HAILED and was about 4 degrees.

I have also confirmed that a blow up bed does not make a suitable sofa/dining table replacement.  It is uncomfortable and not helped by the fact it has a puncture which I have had to repair.  Who gets a puncture in their blow up bed in their own home??

The reason for said blow up bed situation is largely because of Ikea.  Ikea, the company whose tagline is ‘Wonderful Everyday’, needs to understand that for people to think they are wonderful on any day they have to actually deliver within the previously agreed timeframe.  I ordered furniture to arrive the day after I arrived here and it ended up being delayed by over 3 weeks.  The prospect of 3 weeks, living and sleeping on a blow up bed clearly was not going to happen so that was cancelled.

Whilst I now do thankfully have a bed I continue to be on my blow up bed for sofa dwelling purposes. Not sure how the romans did this lounging on the floor thing.  even with blankets and cushions its mightily uncomfortable.  The sofa may or may not arrive at the weekend because my receipt says it will be delivered in August and when I queried this I was told it was a ‘typo’.  Welcome to the Arctic.

But I thought this is ok because last week I ordered some smaller bits of furniture which included a dining table…finally a table to eat at!!  However, it turns out it is actually possible to just buy an extendable flap for a table from the DINING TABLE section on a Norwegian furniture website – HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!  The picture on the website is very clearly A TABLE and the instructions show the WHOLE TABLE.  I still haven’t found the table that this actually goes with.  So a new table will be purchased at some point when I can pluck up the courage to return the table flap and buy an actual table.

Its a funny place here with a number of oddities (for me at least) particularly considering the need to remortgage anytime you want to go for a few drinks, but its an amazing place and I really do love it here.  Work is good, they have their own beer, have a great social network, the people are awesome and I (for now) have my own office. Very limited complaints despite the very British whinge about the weather…

With a view like this….it can’t help but make me smile even when the sky has cried so much.  In fact even when its raining this place cannot at any point be described as ugly.

But please send sun…I know we all deserve it up here

Jeg elsker Norge (I really do)

xxx

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Adventure Awaits

Norway?? I thought you said Norfolk!

This was the exact response from my neighbour when I told her I was moving. I mean they are very similar after all, right? One is a rather flat but pretty county in England and the other is a mountainous Scandinavian country with the odd polar bear or 500. To my knowledge there are no polar bears in Norfolk.

Norway, the land of fjords, snow, northern lights, whales, the Arctic and polar bears – I mean no offense to Norfolk but Norway does sound pretty cool.

The north of Norway is stunningly beautiful, I would say come rain or shine but given its rained for 75% of the time I have been here so far I have to say it definitely looks better when its dry and not blowing a gale with horizontal rain. Its June yet it feels like November.  Friday felt like a relatively warm Spring day…it may have even reached 18 degrees. I am pretty sure its been about 6 for the rest of the time.

This may sound like I am wingeing, I mean it is pretty annoying that its raining and I got soaked walking to probably the only supermarket that is open on a Sunday but I am excited about a new adventure and a new job which starts tomorrow 😊

I never imagined I would move to Norway, it wasn’t in the plan but I realised long ago that plans are more like potential guidelines that may or may not happen.  Plans suggest some form of rigidity and order which in reality is very difficult to follow because this crazy thing called ‘life’ gets in the way and has the habit of throwing the occasional spanner in the works which tends to mess things up a bit.  IMG-20180531-WA0002

Sometimes opportunities come up and its one of those situations where you have to take the chance or potentially lose out. I didn’t want to miss out on this chance so giving it a go was an exciting but also mildly terrifying option. I didn’t want to leave my home, my family, my friends, my partner and move >2000 miles away but after much discussion, consideration and overwhelming support it was clear it was the best option and that actually all those things would still be here and I would be coming back regularly and more to the point when I do move back to the UK, probably in a couple of years, I’ll probably also find not that much has changed.

This is pretty much as close outside of my comfort zone as I have been for some time. I like being comfy, I like being in control. The problem is that if you don’t sometimes push yourself out of that zone of fluffy duvets and cosy pj days (I am certainly not suggesting getting rid of those all together because that would be foolish) then you never know what you are truly capable of.

You don’t know sometimes if the decisions you make are right all you can do is go with your heart and give something a try. It doesn’t have to be forever but the experience of trying something new and somewhere new is something I am relishing the chance to do.

Many of us spend so long procrastinating on what we should or shouldn’t do or worse what we feel we can do that we often don’t meet our potential. I am not saying I am now meeting my potential, but pros for moving certainly outweighed the reasons for staying in many ways and whilst throwing up new challenges in others like understanding why a single pepper can cost over £1, why tax is so high here or why there are only direct flights to the UK between October and March – its also one of the happiest places to live on the planet.

The people are friendly, they all apologise for their ‘poor English’ which is almost as good as my actual English and considerably better than my still extremely novice, perhaps even baby level of Norwegian, everywhere you go to eat and drink is warm and welcoming – they even sell cakes in bars. That’s a win in my book.

Arriving in June also has other challenges like battling with the fact there is 24hours of daylight from mid May until mid July. Something that I can assure you is very difficult to get used to and even worse when the blinds in your apartment don’t quite block out enough light. This rather surreal situation is however pretty coIMG_20180603_000703_668ol…even if you do forget what time of day it is quite easily and it doesn’t ever feel like its time to go to bed when its still so light outside. Yet on the flipside 24 hours of darkness is probably worse…roll on November!

Its definitely a new adventure, a new opportunity and more importantly provides lots of new things to see and do that I am sure I probably wouldn’t have considered before had this new job not come up. The hiking, running, skiing and cycling options are also pretty immense with some rather impressive mountains closeb.  Let us not forget the majesty of the northern lights, the elusive natural wonder that I have seen only once out of the times I have been here yet will have the opportunity to see frequently in the winter months. I can’t see how I could get bored with that.

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As my new adventure begins giving me more free time to catch up on some of the things I have wanted to do over the last year or so, including this blog, I count myself lucky for the opportunity. These types of things should never be taken for granted. They don’t come up very often, whatever they may be, and they may seem scary and hard but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth trying.

Don’t ever forget that there is no such word as ‘can’t’

Xxx