Sunday, May 31

Tullarbo - for the 32nd time

To all friends world wide, Cheers, and welcome to the summer 2009 at Tullarbo. No internet free zone this year. Modern secured wi-fi communication established. Blog posting as usual.

Saturday, May 30

Thank you for the visit

Henrik and Helene has returned to Wales.
A week with the grandchildren has come to an end. We are exhausted, but would never have been without the two kids running around in the apartment. Laughing and playing, crying and shouting, reading for hours in the bathroom, and taking everything out of every possible drawer. Playing the piano to the despair of Hedda and Stian, (our neighbors downstairs), and through their English language make people wondering hoe so "small" children could speek a foreign language with such excellence.
Henrik at the cottage has the special smart face the make you wandering what he has done without our knowledge.
He is also trying out the bicycle without reaching down to the pedals.
At Sognsvann Helene is feeding the ducks, but keep the distance to the water.
"Mormor" and the two Cymric growing children.
Thank you for the visit and please return as soon as possible to Norway and us.

Thursday, May 28

Every family has ........... Life is Fragile

Every family has one.
Every family has a story.
Every family has its secret, and there is one in every family.
These phrases can be used in many situations and also be used related to my family, and his name was Fredrik.

In October 28, 2005 (3,5 years ago) I published a blogpost (in Norwegian) about Fredrik and his success of getting out of the hell of being drug addicted, starting his 4 year study to become a teacher, and that he in 2005 received a price as "Årets Læringshelt" (Hero of adult learning).
Next Thursday, Fredrik´s funeral will take place.

Fredrik was very open about his problems and challenges. He was often used as a good example of how to make changes in a life situation even when background and age made many things more difficult.
He presented papers in various seminars and congresses, and from one paper at Riga, Latvia, I quote:
First his introduction:
7 years ago I was a drug addict. It started out when I was 20 years old in 1988. I don’t want to bother you with my sad story. But when I look back now, I can see that one of the most important reasons to why things went so wrong for me was that I really didn’t know what to do with my life. I had no clue at all. I was 20 years old, already an adult, and the only thing I enjoyed was sleeping in the daytime and doing things that was not legal in the night time. I mingled with the wrong kind of persons, and soon I was in deep trouble. In 2001, I woke up one day in a strange bed and found myself committed to a hospital in Fredrikstad by force. I was almost dead. They locked the door, and I felt like they had thrown away the key. But it saved my life. I stayed in the hospital for several years and we started planning my way back 2to a normal life. The only problem was that I wasn’t sure what a normal life was. I knew only one thing for sure. Some years ago, when I was lying in bed very sick from not getting my drugs, I had 2 wishes. The first wish was to become something. To have a plan for my life, a schedule every day, to do something I enjoyed every day. Not having to get money all the time, just to survive. The second thing was; to have a girlfriend, a family.

So, I was recovering well, and I met with the Norwegian employment office (NEO). It was a big meeting. It was 5 or 6 of them and me. They actually told me that if I continued doing well in recovery, I could do what ever I wanted to do. I could become whatever I wanted to become. They would support me all the way. All my struggles through the last years paid off, I was so happy. So I went on with my recovery, and after a while I was offered an opportunity to attend a school.
I went down to NEO again to talk to the women in charge, my new "case handler". Guess what she said. She said; “NO! We can’t help you.
We can put you in a course for a couple of weeks, a work training course and then you have to get yourself a job as everyone else. There will be no special treatment for you”.
Fredrik did not give in. He really wanted a new life and at last one public NEO officer said:
I personally would really like to help you achieve your goals, but I have to check it up with my boss. But I will do everything in my power to help you, as long as you do everything in your power to graduate as a teacher. This will be a two way thing. She went to talk to her bosses, and a few weeks later she phoned me. Go to school, she said. We support you for 4 years… It was one of the greatest things that had
happened to me. Not just the money, but there were actually people that believed in me. I think that maybe this was as important as the money.
In this paper: Equal opportunities for all. The value of adult learning in promoting equality. The threshold to learning, Riga 2007, he ended his speech like this:
Most of the people that are gathered here today is working with something that has to do with adult learning, or having an interests in this field. All of you, in your own way, can make sure that the threshold to learning gets a little bit lower. You just have to have faith in people, believe in them, stand behind them and help them. Help them overcome their fears and their problems. Help them to help themselves!

- Always give people a second chance
- Support the ones, that want to become adult learners, all the way through their education with all possible means
- Don’t always transfer bad experience to your next case. People are different.Everybody needs a chance.
- If you want to help someone, make sure their surroundings of their education are prepared. Help them prepare for learning. They may need more than just a seat in a classroom.
- Don’t give up on them if they fail one time. People do fail you know. Many people needs a second chance before they understand the seriousness of the situation.
- But make sure that they follow the rules. Show them that you care and that you have faith in them!
Many people had faith in Fredrik. He got a lot of respect and positive feedback. He changed physically and the way he behaved in family gatherings. He succeeded in his struggle to graduate. He got a job as a teacher.

He was happy - too happy!
He wanted to "celebrate his victory", but his body did not tolerate the drug. He died from an overdose a week ago.
We will remember Fredrik for what he was, what he achieved and what he told us in the end.
Life is fragile.

Wednesday, May 27

A civil engineer to be?

During my career in DNV and raising two girls in that period, I always hoped that at least one of them would choose to study naval architecture, mathematics or physics.
One decided to go for Drama and English language and literature before graduating as a Master of Arts in Digital Media and presently working with her PhD.
The other ended up, so far, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

This morning I saw a new dawn in the family academic possibilities; Henrik´s interest in building towers with Lego bricks.Concentration and focus.
With a little help from your friends (and family) maybe you will fulfill my dreams.

Monday, May 25


Apple tree blooming and the wind warm and lovely.
Summer is coming closer

Sunday, May 24

Family Gathering

Children, Mothers and Grandparents gathering in Oslo.
Henrik´s first time in Norway and three years since last visit by Trine and Helene. Maja is still more interested in sleeping, Tor-Marius is the photographer and David is working in Wales.

Thursday, May 21

Maja visiting Tullarbo for inspection

Last autumn we started a small renovation of our summer residence. Today we are close to finishing this work (no activity during winter cold), and the result was inspected by Maja and parents today.The princess herself was not too eager to applaud her grandparent´s effort. She is at the moment more concerned with breast-milk harvesting and sleeping.The next three photos show the result of our interior work at Tullarbo.
The TV corner and living"room":
And the dining room now connected to the kitchen in an open space: The cottage as seen here is only 22 sqm, and could be put in our bedroom at home. Of corse are all paintings made by myself.

Wednesday, May 20

R for Relaxing at Rawa Island, South China Sea

Wednesday, the possibility is 92.000.000 nok (>10 mill euros) in the Viking Lotto game this evening, so if I become the single winner I promise you to go to Rawa Island in Malaysia once more to Relax and plan for how to spend my Ridiculous huge fortune.

I could have used R for Repair with Reference to yesterday Recovery post, or R for Rejected to upload photos due to lack of Picasa Storage, but Rawa is her to stay.

I have to purchase more space for uploading photos, so this reference to a previous post is all today

More references to R are found HERE

Tuesday, May 19

Apartment renovation nearly finished

Sometimes my world is very narrow. Hopefully next week will be more interesting when family from Wales are coming on a visit. However here is my tuesday contribution.
As described in my blog on May 5th we have had an accident connected to spreading of building dust all over our apartment. A cleansing process has now been going on in our rooms for three weeks. The final activity (presently going on) is to restore our paintings by a professional conservator.
Visit other My world Tuesday and get inspired.

Sunday, May 17

May 17. photos

Breakfast at home with Norwegian Salmon, Chrimps, Eggs, Herring, Chees, Strawberry etc. and of course Beer, Champagne and coffee/ tea. Maja needs to be breast-fed, but that is only for some months or years. After that she will enjoy coming to us for other reasons.
Grandma and Maja at the balcony
And Maja taking a nap after feeding and photo session.
The master himself relaxing at Fridtof (Pub close to the City Hall). Problems with the "bunad" this year due to expansion of abdomen, but there are many tailors and fitnes centra with competence to get rid of the problem till next May 17.

Hurra for Syttende Mai and Congrats to Alexander

The Constitution of Norway was signed and dated May 17th 1814. It was considered one of the most radically democratic constitutions in the world at the time. May 17 is now the National Day of Norway. Some of us are wearing traditional outfits or our local national costume, called bunad on a day like this.To all Norwegian home and abroad: Congratulation with the day.

and: to Alexander Rybak, winer of Eurovision Song Contest 2009.

Saturday, May 16

From City strolling to City biking

Our Saturday Urban City life is normally included to strolling Oslo with short breaks at boutiques, cafes, pubs and/or restaurants. The anticipated time when walking from our home to the city hall is 17 minutes.
This time is now shortened dramatically by using the Clear Channel City Bikes. At almost 100 stands all over the city we have free access to and can use for three hours before returning the bikes to any stand. Subscription period is one year to a cost of 10 Euros (80 nok).
On our tour (not Giro) from stand 54 and down town, we pass the Royal Guard marching from Akershus Castle and up towards the Royal Palace for daily watch changing. Tomorrow the 17th of May Children Parade will take place through the same route.
A short break for shopping is possible, but do not leave the bikes unguarded. You are responsible for the bike until correctly returned to and locked at an operational city bike stand.
After biking the city, the beers at Hannibals Hybel, Aker Brygge´s oldest Pub (23 years), are well earned either you sit in the shadow or prefer the Chardonnay in the warm sunshine.
Enjoy your biking, and here is the map of Oslo city bike stands. (The same service is available at Drammen and Trondheim)

Thursday, May 14

Mid-life crises - Norwegian style ?

Sometimes I wonder if everything are as it should be:But then I realize that it happens to others as well ... A friend of mine, same age, told me this:

After having been married in 44 years, I took one day a critical eye on my wife and told her this: "Honey, 44 years ago we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, we slept on the couch in the living room, and watched a 10-inch black and white TV. But I went to bed everyday with a hot woman of 25 years.
Now I have a home to 4 million, a car to 750,000, a huge double bed, and a 50-inch flat TV,
but I need every night go to bed with a tired women at 65! As far as I can see you have not followed up here! "

My wife is a quite sensible women. She said only:
"Go out and just find yourself a hot chic woman of 25 years, and I will ensure that you get back: A cheap apartment, a cheap car, a sofa bed and a cheap black-and-white TV!"

Mature girls are fantastic.
They make sure you solve your mid-life-crises in seconds!

Wednesday, May 13

Gates to Palma de Mallorca

My contribution to the meme "the Doors" this week is from my stay in Palma de Mallorca the last week in April.
First one of the gates to the old town, the castle and the cathedral La Seu . The cathedral is overlooking the Parc de la Mar and the Mediterranean Sea, protected by the old town walls. This gate is one of the beautiful openings in the wall.
The gate seen from the seaside above and towards the sea below.
The second is Porta Vella de Moll, the old gateway to the city from the sea is located between La Llotja (Palma de Majorca guildhall build in 1426, and one of the most beautiful civil buildings on the whole of the island) also called Palma's masterpiece of Gothic civic architecture, and on the other side Consulat de Mar, the former maritime court which houses the Baleares government.

Tuesday, May 12

Maja the newest family member

Maja one day old and MRT (not Mass Rapid Transit in Singapore) but the three generations Maja, Rikke and Tullen. No further comments needed in this post.

Our third grandchild born

Rikke, our youngest daughter, gave birth to a baby girl yesterday afternoon. According to the father, Tor-Marius, everything is fine with mother and child. The little new most beautiful wonder of the world was blue eyed, dark haired, 3300 gr and 52 cm when she arrived at 4.22 pm. I will bring you photos as soon as obtained.
Update 1:Update 2:
Her name is Maja.

Update 3: With dad.
All our gratulations go to the parents and the new citizen of Norway.

Sunday, May 10

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

Today´s flag (visiting country no 131) is Malawi. I must admit that I did not know anything about Malawi before getting this visitor. However, googling around I found that the Welsh-born reporter for the New York Herald, Henry Morton Stanley, went to Africa in search of missionary and explorer David Livingstone.

I often used the term "find Livingstone" during my period as a manager. Too often employees wanted detailed procedures to reach targets, asking me what to do. Instead of commanding them to do this and that, continuously asking me for directions, I gave them the freedom to make the path when walking as long as they did know that "Livingstone" was the goal.

Dr Livingstone was the first European to see Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya), to which he gave the English name in honour of his monarch,Queen Victoria. Malawi is a landlocked country (like Mongolia in northeast Asia) in southeastern Africa, bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique to the south, southwest and southeast, and was formerly known as Nyasaland.
Malawi is among the world's developing economies and densely populated in the Southern and Central Regions of the country. The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population.
The economy of Malawi has in the past been dependent on substantial economic aid from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and individual nations.
The Malawian flag is made up of three equal horizontal stripes of black, red and green with a red rising sun superimposed in the center of the black stripe. The black stripe represents the African people, the red represents the blood of martyrs for African freedom, green represents Malawi's ever-green nature and the rising sun represents the dawn of freedom and hope for Africa.

Welcome my digital new friend from Malawi.

Saturday, May 9

J as in Jamon (Cured Ham in Spanish)

Petunia is hosting the Norwegian version of Mrs Nesbit´s ABC Wednesday. Petunia calls it "ABC i Ord og Bilder" (ABC in Words and Photos) and the meme is a weekend activity within the specific letter.
This weekend the letter is J as in Jamon (Spanish), Jambon (French) (or Ham in English).
Some of you may have seen this photos as part of my postings from Palma de Mallorca two weeks ago, but a good thing cannot be told too seldom. The Spanish Jamon Serrano is delicious for lunch or part of a Tapas Recipe. In Italy Prosciutto di Parma has the same value, but Pata negra is even better.
Have a nice weekend with your camera and creativity.