Monday, November 30

First visitor from Al Jamahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah al Uthma

Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent, and my Christmas gift white Amaryllis can be symbol for the Christian Church and the pure beginning of the Western liturgical year that commences on Advent Sunday.
I am not a member of any church, so I also use this day to present the Flag of Libya.My first visitor from Libya (the 17th largest country in the world) found my blog on November 21st.

The flag of Libya (Arabic: علم ليبيا‎) (adopted on November 11, 1977) consists of a simple green field with no other characteristics. It is the only national flag in the world with just one color and no design, insignia, or other details.
The flag of the independent kingdom was red, black, and green with a crescent and star in the center, but after the revolution of 1969, the flag became three simple stripes of red, white, and black. In 1971, Libya joined the Federation of Arab Republics with Egypt and Syria, which used a similar flag with a hawk emblem in the center and the name of the country beneath it.
When Libya left the Federation in 1977, the new plain green flag was adopted. Green reflects the people's devotion to Islam, and is also the national colour of Libya.
By the fifth century BC the greatest of the Phoenician colonies, Carthage, had extended its hegemony across much of North Africa, where a distinctive civilization, known as Punic, came into being. Punic settlements on the Libyan coast included Oea (Tripoli), Libdah (Leptis Magna) and Sabratha. All these were in an area that later was called, Tripolis, or "Three Cities".
Libya's current-day capital Tripoli takes its name from this.

According to the map of Herodotus from about 450 BC, Libya was a major area of the Mediterranean southern Seashores (North Africa) including Carthago. We have all learned in our history lessons how Marcus Porcius Cato Maior (Cato the Elder) always ended his speeches in the Roman Senat: "Carthago delenda est or the fuller Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" (Carthage must be destroyed).
The ruins of Carthage (presently in Tunisia) is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

If you want to learn more facts about Libya, go HERE

Sunday, November 29

Svartkulp reflections

At an altitude of 202 m close to lake "Sognsvann" you may find one of Oslo´s naturist places. During summertime you do not need any cloths when sunbathing or swimming. Yesterday when exercising, the surface of lake "Svartkulp" was not disturbed by any bodies or waves. The black water lived to the full extension to the lake´s name: Black Pool.The waterfall on the lake´s western dam side deliver the water surplus to lake "Sognsvann".

Saturday, November 28

Recharged viril friends and Statoil Art Award 2009

When downsizing active employment you can find room for regular gathering with friends. So has four of my old friends done for a while, and this photo is taken at VAD in Sykkylven this week.
The paintings on the wall are by Eldar Tandstad.
These viril grown up men seem to have survived their age with pride. Maybe the figure below can explain where men get their strength from, and why women feel drained of energy now and ......
At least, one possible explanation ...
However, yesterday night we went down town to have a look at the Christmas Market at the City Hall Square. Lots of lights, but nothing to hunger for.
The Christmas market visit was as every year, only a break on our way from fru Burum´s Friday drink to the Statoil Art Award 2009.
The four nominated artists: Ida Ekblad, Marius Eng, Anawana Haloba and Lars Laumann and their chosen works, were presented by Statoil´s senior vise president HR Jens. R. Jensen, an old colleague.
The award winner will be announced on Wednesday, December 9th. I know my favorite.

Friday, November 27

Friday and Christmas parties

It is Friday, late November/early December, and the traditional "Christmas Parties" where people from work gather around to feast and drink alcoholic beverages, are on the schedule all over the country.
The freelance drawer, illustrator and cartoonist, Ola Klåpbakken has his own description of what is going on in these parties, and I have myself some good and some not so impressing experiences from participating.

Take care!

Thursday, November 26

Circling Nøklevann

From the north-western lake "Sognsvann" to the eastern lake "Nøklevann". Moving variations when prioritizing health and weight reductions.

The forested and hilly areas surrounding the Norwegian capital Oslo (Marka) is loaded with possibilities to exercice at good forest trails, and experience the beauty in nature. The training walk today was circling lake Nøklevann 8.4 km.
Nøklevann, located in Østmarka is marked by its location on top of basement rock (more than 1 billion years old) containing easy-to-see folds that make up valleys and hills in the north-south direction. For this reason the terrain has a lot of hills, no matter where one goes. The latest ice age has left its ostensible marks in the terrain. Along the upper marine border (about 210 meters) the ice has left large amounts of gravel and sand.
The water suplies to lake "Nøklevann" are quite visible along the trail, and due to heavy rainfall lately, the waterfalls are cascading down the hillsides.
A dam was built at the Rustad Sawmill, and when it was completed in 1903, the water level increased by five meters. In 1923 the dam was enlarged, and the water level rose by two more meters.
The "Circling Nøklevann"-trail is all over covered with lights for use during the dark periode of the year, and is an appreciated"service" for the citizens of Oslo. There are a total of 106 kilometer lighted ski trail in the Oslo area.
The lights in Oslo's forests is lit at the same time as the street lights in town, and goes out at 23.00.

If you still love skiing, it is only to wait for the snow out there. (Temp. +8 C today)

Wednesday, November 25

Shopping with Maja

Sparkling Christmas and some food at a Cafe is enough for Maja and myself when her mother and grandmother is recharging their Black Belts in Shopping in the streets of Oslo.

Tuesday, November 24

Christmas is coming closer

In Paris at Champs Elysees the Christmas Trees became illuminated on Sunday. If you do not go to Paris for shopping this year, (the Euro is at 8.37 nok today), or prefer London (Pound 9,28 nok), see a video from the spectacular Paris show HERE

In the aftermath of the global financial crises outsourcing of activities in many businesses have been more focused than ever. I received this comic strip from friends in Spain yesterday.

Saturday, November 21

Saturday reflections

Pre Christmas photo from Nature in the north, Oslo, Norway.
Pre Christmas photo from Culture in the South, Marbella, Spain.

You are free to reflect upon the difference and together with others, if visiting Newtown Daily Photo and more than 60 others.

Steps, Distance, Calories and a Bench

Apple® announced November 4th that developers have created over 100,000 apps for the revolutionary App Store, the largest applications store in the world.
One of these are the "StepCounter" downloaded to my iPhone and very uesful.
Yesterday I registered almost 15000 steps and walked a distance of more than 10 km. My calorie burning during the moving activity ended close to 1000 kcal, so the blood sugar may hopefully be reduced if the activity continues. And so is the plan.
On my daily walking I pass a lot of benches, but this one at the northern end of lake "Sognsvann", is passed every day without stopping. I have neves seen anyone sitting there either, so maybe it is not a bench but a sculpture.
Have a nice weekend all over the world, with or without physical activities to improve health conditions.

Friday, November 20

Two years and Confectioners

Sometimes a photo tells more than text can express.
The grandchildren of Asbjørn and Anne Katharina - Herman and Jacob - need no more presentation.
Happy birthday kids.

Thursday, November 19

Usage of Benches

The Ice cream and outdoor soft drink season is over. The kiosk is closed and no visitors (not even kindergarten children) are gathering around the benches at lake "Sognsvann". It is only a question of time until the benches are removed for indoor maintenance till next spring is coming.

However, at some places in the tranquility of nature we really hope that the material of the benches are solid enough for the snow and cold winter. A peaceful place and a break for breast-feeding small hungry babies can be useful also in times to come.

Tuesday, November 17

November once more

Every year in November one of our windows plants find the opportunity to show its beauty with loads of flowers. November Cactus (Zygo Cactus) we call it, and sometimes the flowers last all the way to Christmas. With five weeks to go, it may be too long, but if not other flowers will decorate the apartment at that time.

Monday, November 16

Touring Maja before Pacemaker control

On the way at the National Hospital (Rikshospitalet) for my annual pacemaker control (everything in order and the battery have energy for 6 more years) , I joined a tour with my granddaughter Maja around lake "Sognsvann" this morning.
The forest is open and easy to pass although we used good strolling paths for the pushchair.
Many brooklets feed the lake with water, and because the heavy rain during the weekend, the small streams are active and beautiful this time of the year.
The surface of the lake gives lot of possibilities for mirroring nature as presented in photos in many of my weekend reflection posts prior to the walk today.

Sunday, November 15

Domino toppling in Berlin and Leeuwarden

Last Monday (9th November) we could watch Domino Bricks toppling symbolizing the Fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. Today we could at CCTV.COM watch a spectacular video from the new Domino World Record on the The eleventh edition of Domino Day.A team of 90 builders from 14 European countries worked for two months to set the stage in a hall in the northern Netherlands town of Leeuwarden.
The task called for total concentration and more than a little discomfort, as team members placed the dominoes in position. With each millimeter counting, they used rulers and tweezers to ensure each piece was in its exact spot.
The first domino fell just after 9pm local time, triggering a one-and-a-half-hour-long chain reaction. During the display dominoes climbed stairs, unveiled paintings and set off a variety of surprise events.
The world record for toppling dominoes has been broken, with 4,491,863 dominoes biting the dust.

Saturday, November 14

Birthday with reflections

Birthdays are only figures. In my twenties I believed that turning 30 would be the most fundamental change of my life. Later, many birthdays have passed without any more significant experience that going to bed in the evening and wake up a year older the next morning.
So will also happen Saturday morning. The figure ? is my secret privilege.
It is, however, a symbolic way of marking this year birthday in the sign of Scorpio as a Pig connected to the element of Fire in Chinese Astrology by presenting the last of my weekend reflection photos in Sepia.

James at Newtown Area Photo has started a meme called Weekend Reflections. Post a reflection during the week-end, log on at his site - and you're on.

Friday, November 13

Bench at Sognsvann

RuneE has every (?) Friday presented his photos of Benches. I have never searched for this "meme" although sometimes added a bench to my blog.

Yesterday when exercising around lake "Sognsvann", this lonely bench suddenly became a natural motive, so next time you are visiting the National Hospixtal in Oslo, Rune, take a walk up there and feel the tranquility when joining the nature around you.

Thursday, November 12

Lilies from Brit

When my sister Brit visited us last weekend she gave us a bucket of Lilies. From the flower shop to the living room takes almost no time, but for these flowers they needed four days in our home to show their real beauty.
I have searched the web to find out more about the Lilies and ended up with the name Lilium auratum var rubrovittatum or Japanese gold volume lily.

Nevertheless the flowers are beautiful on the fireplace shelf. Thanks Brit.

Wednesday, November 11

Quality in ABC Wednesday

First I will nominate RuneE to the winning award for this ABC Wednesday. An excellent choice, expressing the Quality in the philosophy behind Denise´s ABC Wednesday meme.
I have no creativity today compared to Rune´s QWERTY , so I only post a photo from my Piano Corner expressing the Quality of Color Matching between my Tulips and my Painting.
For more, you can log on via the MckLinky enabled site

Tuesday, November 10

The Berlin Wall 1966, 1989 and 2009

(photo Scanpix)
Yesterday Europe and the many places around the world celebrated the Fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. A symbolic Wall of Domino Bricks fell down bringing memories back to the period prior to the opening November 9th 1989.
I had my first visit to Berlin in 1966 together with friends from my college. The photo above is taken at the same position as the first one in front of the Brandenburger Gate on the western side of the Wall of Shame.
At Checkpoint Charlie we could watch the guards with guns and dogs controlling the border and most of the daily life of people in East Berlin.
We had also the opportunity to enter East Berlin and walk down Unter den Linden all the way to Alexander Platz and back over the bridges.
A young editor of this blog can be seen to the left in front of Berlin Cathedral at the Museum Island.

Yesterday night I also watched a movie from 2006 Das Leben der Anderen, and I highly recommend the movie to all my readers.

Hopefully the Wall of Shame on Palestinian land soon will meet it´s same destiny as the one in Berlin.

Monday, November 9

An ordinary Autumn morning

After a heavy party weekend it felt necessary and extremely great to walk around lake "Sognsvann" just outside Oslo Center this morning. The clean air and easy walking-track makes the day perfect.

From the speedy walk it is a short distance to our summer cottage where the leaves have left the apple trees. Raking is therefore a mandatory exercise in Autumn days.
From now on, the snow can come when nature wants. The lawn is ready for the white carpet.