So, I’m going to Norway!
Initially, I’d planned to be there through early-mid February so I could celebrate my dear friend Mia’s birthday. Alas, if I’d gone, I would have been marking essays on her sofa instead of celebrating her special day as I should. In light of that, my visit has been delayed, but I will be there!
Probably not in this idyllic, mountain-vista-esque cottage, however. A little closer to sea level in Oslo – though if Mia decides she wants to go exploring in the mountains, my tricky knee and I will give it a go! Look at that view!
It’s been a long time since I visited/lived in the area, and I’ve had to dig through some winter clothes I forgot I had (and some I wish I’d lost), hoping I wouldn’t need to do to much clothes shopping before I leave. Alas, aside from a couple of bone-coloured trousers – a colour that REALLY doesn’t work for me – I was desperately lacking in trousers appropriate for ‘all eventualities’. All my cargoes are cotton, or something. One hour out in the wet or snow and I’d be wearing them like a frozen second skin. Brrrr!
New pants had to be acquired. I’m not used to paying real money for new clothes! 99% of what I own came from op-shops or tip-shops! For the amount of money I spent on just three pairs of pants, I probably could have bought three wardrobes worth of clothes from the Salvos, AND THREE WARDROBES! But they’ll last me a decade, so worthy investment.
I’ve also invested in some thermal tops and borrowed some thermal underwear from my mother, who seems to think they’re necessary in Tasmania – hahahahaha! (Okay, I shouldn’t laugh, it does get chilly in places!)
I recently bought a pack from eBay, but since decided I won’t use it – anyone wanna buy a 40L pack? – because I unearthed a 60L (or maybe 75L?) pack from the back of my wardrobe. A Christmas gift from Mia when I lived in Sweden. It’s only right I use this omg-awesome pack to visit Mia!
I am a Haglöfs fangirl, it’s true. Also accompanying me is my snugly Haglöfs coat, and Haglöfs base layers that have actually survived the decade (and a half?!) since I bought them. I’m not sure how much wear I’ll get out of them, given the time of year in Oslo can be anywhere from -30 to 12 degrees. Butter better to bring them and not need them, than need them and leave them in my knickers drawer back home.
There is talk about visiting Mia’s place in Sweden as well, very near to my old stomping grounds around Norrköping! No idea if we’ll be in the area for long – if we go! – or if there’ll be an opportunity to catch up with local friends, but I’ve put my buddies on alert to look out for me, just in case. :) I’d be really interested to see if much has changed, maybe walk through the park I used to take Kulan through all those years ago. Baccus might still serve that delicious cognac flambéed pepper steak… Mmmm….
I’ll also be darting across Europe – seriously, one day I’ll get to see Europe from the ground! – to visit Joe in Oxford. Really looking forward to catching up with him too! It’s been even longer since I saw him in the flesh, and I’ve never seen Oxford!
However, amidst all this excitement and happiness there is also crushing news. Sometime in the very early hours of morning the other day, Mia messaged me to say her beautiful dog, a Malamute like Spirit, had died. Having so recently dealt with the loss of Spirit, I feel so much for what Mia is going through, and I wish I was there already to help in whatever way I can. I’d never met Qanniq, but I was really looking forward to cuddling him and walking with him and feeling glad to be around him since Spirit’s gone. He looks very much like the male version of her wolf-grey, with the same gentle face. Despite this awful loss, Mia is still happy for me to visit. <3
Unfortunately, there is still a good chance I’ll be working while I’m travelling, so if we do go trekking into the mountains, there’d better be wifi! Work is good, because money is good, and hey, I can send my sweating-in-Australia students pictures of me in the snow, with raspberries. :p
Special thanks (and a slab of beer) to my brother who’ll be taking care of my house and cats while I’m gone. You rock!
Expect pictures. LOTS of pictures.