Saturday, October 31

Almost unbelievably but must be seen

It is not a Bench of the week post!

If you are up to see something really spectacular, click on the link below and take a look at this video from You Tube:

Kseniya Simonova's Amazing Sand Drawing

Your stay at the beach will never be the same.

Autumn by a Norwegian lake

Just for fun I had to copy the Title RuneE posted this morning. Not the same lake, but one of the many silent water mirrors we can find in our beautiful Norwegian nature these days.The ice has begun to cover the water surface.
The sky is completely without clouds and the low sun makes colors different from earlier.
The photos from our tour around Lake Sogn close to the geographical center of Oslo. See previous posts to get more of this lovely recreation area.

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, October 30

Ladies here, there and everywhere

In the corner of my eye when sitting here writing this post I see my Indonesian Queen inspiring me with her graceful attitude and colorful clothing.
The Norwegian painter Kai Fjell is probably the one who most has expressed women in his artworks. The natural feminine power that cares for creation and prolonging life has been as I see it, a central force in his production.
Another artist is Olav Mosebekk who always has expressed women in his drawings and graphic works. In his last productive years he dared to call him self a painter, and went longer than before in showing the beauty of women i.e. in his book O.M. - og bakom synger Eros

I am nothing compared to these two Norwegian artists, but am very intrigued by the female body, and try often to express the beauty of women in different ways and colors. My last paintings is shown here:
More of my nude art can be found in My Gallery

Thursday, October 29

Thursday Walk - Sognsvann around twice

Sometimes we move our daily exercise from the urban cobblestone streets down town to the gravel tracks around the beautiful lake "Sognsvann" where people from all part of Oslo find possibilities for recreation and exercise. Walking and jogging, in addition to bathing during summertimes, are preferred activities.
The bathing jetty is empty today and the hoarfrost shows that only dogs have left their footprints.
A glimpse of light comes through the forrest but no shortcuts are preferred because a real training session is our target.
My heading photo is also from the tour of today.

Wednesday, October 28

O is for Ocher at Oscar Street in Oslo in October

The color is Ocher.
The street is "Oscarsgate"
behind the Royal Castle in Oslo.

The Letter on this October Wednesday ABC = O
Other O expressions is found HERE

Tuesday, October 27

Swine flu and Seasonal flu jab received

Seasonal flu immunisation, or the Flu jab, is the injection of a vaccine against flu. It gives good protection from flu that lasts for one year. The flu vaccines currently available give 70-80% protection against infection, with flu virus strains closely matching those in the vaccine.
The seasonal flu vaccine will not protect you from Swine flu. Some people will be at high risk from both types of flu. They will need both jabs.

I have taken the Seasonal flu jab for some years and got my annual doses earlier today.
I also got my Swine flu vaccination as one of the priority groups.

The vaccination programme has now begun in many countries, and in Norway the Administration has opened a dedicated website describing important information about the Swine Flu challenges.

Monday, October 26

Kjell Holm is dead

I am sitting here writing a blog-post about the spectacular exhibition of works by the Norvegian artists Terje Fagermo and Edward Munch that will take place in the London gallery Robert Sandelson, late this week.(invited vernissage on October 31.)

Then a sad message could be read in the local newspaper: Sunmørsposten.
"Kjell Holm died last Sunday during a holiday at Malta at the age of 90."

Kjell Holm moved to Switzerland in the 1960s, where he later has been settled. He has also lived in the United States, but has always maintained good contact with his native city.
It was through the "Foundation Kjell Holm" that he shared his wealth and capital with his old fellow citizens of Ålesund. Of the many gifts Kjell Holm has given Ålesund city over the years, are the stained glass windows in Volsdalen church - given by Kjell Holm personally - maybe the most eye-catching.
I did not know Kjell Holm personally, but had the opportunity to meet him, talk and listen to him three years ago when he opened his Sandbu Mansion for us in August, 2006.
Some of Terje Fagermo´s first paintings are on walls at Sandbu and I know the importance Kjell Holm has had in Terje´s development as an artist.
Sandbu received the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage in 2002 and the beauty of this "farm" will be a once in the lifetime experience for all of us visiting. (Kjell Holm third from left)
On behalf of us all, Thanks.

Sunday dinner with Maja

Almost six months and sitting at the Sunday dinner table.

Maja visiting us and tasted both mashed potatoes and Vanilla sauce. Her parents did not recommend tasting the Pork Rib and Norwegian sauerkraut, but the fingernail taste of Raspberry Sorbet gave us hope for a great cottage season next year.

We also opened the Rakfisk season with Gammel Opland on Saturday without Maja.
The Christmas celebrations are coming closer

Sunday, October 25

Waiting for 150, Tanzania

When my wife and daughter in April 1995 reached the peak 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) of South East Asia´s highest mountain Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, Borneo, they was quite clear for the next challenge: Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest peak in Africa at 5,892 metres (19,331 ft).They have not started to plan for a tour to reach that high so far, but Rikke did at least see the mountain on a safari in Kenya in the beginning of 2005. Some of her photos from the experience is shown at the end of this post.

Tanzania is the latest flag registered on my visitor list, and shortly after my blog about Madagascar.
Tanzania is a country in central East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.
The economy of Tanzania is mostly based on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of the GDP, provides 85% (approximately) of exports, and employs approximately 80% of the workforce.
The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.
I addition to Kilimanjaro the north and west are represented by the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish)

The flag of Tanzania was adopted in 1964. It derives from the flags of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The flag is divided diagonally by a yellow-edged black band from the lower hoist-side corner. The upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is blue.

* The green colour in the flag represents the natural vegetation present in the country.
* The Golden colour represents rich mineral deposits of the country.
* The Black colour represents the native swahili people of the country
* The blue colour represents the numerous lakes and rivers and the Indian ocean.

Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Rikkes photos are from Kenya.
The next new visitor flag will be my number 150 showing how fast the internet and blogging communities are developing. Compared to my one and a half years old flag-map post, my todays world-map shows an impressing distribution of contacts.

Friday, October 23

Safety first

When staying in Mallorca we had the possibility to swim in the hotel pool. Not too big, and a bit too cold water, but when the sun had baked your body a short cooling down activity (not only chilled drinks) could be of benefit.Around this relatively small (10x15m) pool we observed at least three Life Buoys, and remembered the almost 30000 rescue buoys the Insurance company TrygVesta has given to the Norwegian society and placed around our coast.
But what is the story of life buoys and where do they originally come from.

A relief from approximately 865 BC in the British Museum shows Assyrian warriors who used air-filled animal skin to swim across a river. Ring-shaped life buoys feels right from a sketch by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1500s.
In the 1860's the Italian navy used cork rings as rescue remedy, and in 1868 it was taken out a patent for an inflatable rescue buoy with ring shape.
In Norway, it was the law of 7 May 1857 about the rescue equipment, that required one -1 - rescue buoy on ships, two on the larger merchant ships in foreign trade.

In 1950 Baard Isdahl (PR manager at TrygVesta) had the idea that TrygVesta should take on the responsibility for good access to life buoys around the Norwegian coast. TrygVesta could help to prevent drowning and improve safety, and improve marketing of the company´s name in the same process. The first TrygVesta-buoy was deployed in 1952.
No TrygVesta brand on the rescue buoys at our hotel in Mallorca so far, but the ring and rope was there for those in need for help.

Wednesday, October 21

Airport Control

When staying at a hotel close to the Palma d M Airport you almost feel that you are located at the control tower. During the summer months the airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe, and the 3rd busiest in Spain. In 2008 22,832,865 passengers used the airport through almost 200 000 operations.
From our balcony we had a close look to the planes arriving and departing, but when the carriers arrived from the sea we did not hear the noise too much.
From the walk (or cycling) path along the coastline to Palma (ab. 8 km) we had a spectacular view of the planes coming in for landing only a few meters above our heads.
Star Alliance (with Spanair) will still have trafic there although SAS is closing their direct flights from Norway at the end of this month. Pity!
Planning for the "photo of the day" located direct under the estimated landing direction, but
only to miss the moment of vertical shot. I had to turn around for the tail of the carrier seconds before drop down.
Sunset with plane could possible be a title of a painting made by Miro in addition to his usually Woman with bird in the night. He made many of that type of paintings, and the one below (seen upside down compared to the one above) is from Juan Miro Foundation in Barcelona.

Monday, October 19

Madagascar and Mallorca

Republic of Madagascar (older name Malagasy Republic, French: République Malgache), is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The main island, also called Madagascar, is the fourth-largest island in the world, and is home to 5% of the world's plant and animal species. Two thirds of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.As part of East Gondwana, the territory of Madagascar split from Africa approximately 160 million years ago; the island of Madagascar was created when it separated from the Indian subcontinent 80 to 100 million years ago. Most archaeologists estimate that the human settlement of Madagascar happened between 200 and 500 A.D., when seafarers from southeast Asia (probably from Borneo or the southern Celebes) arrived in outrigger sailing canoes. Bantu settlers probably crossed the Mozambique Channel to Madagascar at about the same time or shortly afterwards.

The flag of Madagascar was adopted on October 14, 1958.The colors of the flag represent Madagascar's history, yearning for independence, and traditional classes. Red and white were the colors of the Merina kingdom, which succumbed to France in 1896.They were used in the flag of the last Merina monarch, Queen Ranavalona III. They may indicate the ethnic origins of the Malagasy people in Southeast Asia, and are shared by the flag of Indonesia. Green was the color of the Hova, the prominent class of peasant commoners, that played an important role in anti-French agitation and the independence movement.

Someone living in Madagascar visited my blog on Thursday Oct.15th.. At the same time I visited another island - Mallorca - the 145th largest island in the world. Strolling around in Palma´s streets you will never miss Plaza de Cort.Years ago this beautiful tree was brought to Palma from an estate in Pollença and planted in the central Palma square, Plaza de Cort, as a symbol of peace and our deep-rooted attachment to the earth.

If we look at it carefully, we can see intriguing shapes like the «Ear of Mallorca» or the face of a giant. For me I got immediately memories back to Tolkien and his Lords of the Ring when Pippin and Merry was saved by the old Ents in the forest Fangorn.
Ents are probably the most ubiquitous of all creatures in fantasy and folklore, perhaps second only to dragons; for the word can refer to a variety of large, roughly humanoid creatures, such as giants, trolls, orcs, or even the monster Grendel from the poem Beowulf.
Let your fantasy carry you away and see what you can discover in this old tree.
"Olivera de Cort" is a listed tree, protected under Act 6/1991 which regulates the protection of unique trees.

Protected is also Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve , a nature reserve located close to the western coast of Madagascar, and inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. Since that time the southern end of the protected area has been changed into a national park covering 666 square kilometres (257 sq mi). The northern end of this protected area complex remains a strict nature reserve (Réserve Naturelle Intégrale) covering 853 square kilometres (329 sq mi).

You see, there is always a possibility to be motivated to write a blogpost.

Sunday, October 18

Mallorca for the 2nd time in 2009

For the second time this year we spent a few wonderful days at the beautiful island of Mallorca, Spain.
This time we added some hours to shopping and strolling the narrow streets in the city Palma by relaxing at the pool.
I am not too fond of strong sunbeams due to side effects of my TX medications, but feel that the shadow is perfect. Too early for a drink, or just a nap in the afternoon.
When the sky is bright and sun starts setting, the 4.5 km beach: Playa de Palma is the place to bring our cameras.
Youngsters are fishing or just spending some free minutes close to nature before everything turns into darkness.On the way to a dinner restaurant, and there are possibilities within every ten metres, with light clothing although we are in the middle of October.
When the darkness is complete at eight thirty pm the stars at the sky and the lights are bright along the bay from Can Pastilla towards el Arenal.
Hasta Luego.

Thursday, October 15

From Sun and Sea to Sun and Snow

Some days ago I posted some photos from the warm Mediterranean Sea. Today you have to make your focus on winterly Sunnmøre Fjords and Alps.
and the beautiful mountain plateau Hardangervidda between Bergen and Oslo.
Within soon you will again see my urban photos from Oslo.

Tuesday, October 13

Having a nice time

Yesterday I got my first visitor from Myanmar, or Burma as many western people and media still want to call the country. We used Myanmar when I worked in Asia Pacific 15 years ago, and remember how difficult many Caucasians had to stop using Peking and Bombay as names for Beijing and Mumbai.

Maybe the ignorance of a country´s official name has to do with the opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi and the belief that with her in position the name Burma will reoccur.
The name "Burma" is derived from the Burmese word "Bamar" (ဗမာ), which in turn is the colloquial form of Myanmar (မြန်မာ) (or Mranma in old Burmese), both of which historically referred to the majority Burmans (or the Bamar). Depending on the register used, the pronunciation would be “Bama” or Myanmah. The name “Burma” has been in use in English since the time of British colonial rule. The BBC recommends /mjænˈmɑ/ or /mjænˈmɑr/ .

In 1989, the military government officially changed the English translations of many colonial-era names, including the name of the country, to "Myanmar"
In addition to the Flag of Myanmar I post you greetings from the lovely Palma de Mallorca, where I am for a few days having Sobrassada, Pata Negra de Bellota and other local and international dishes in temperatures much warmer than in Oslo.