A Travellerspoint blog



Family Ties

Relax. I'm okay. No misfortune has befallen me. Just been a little lax on the bloggy blogs. Not due to a crippling case of writes block, well maybe, or a debilitating RSI, just old fashioned been doing stuff and talking. But don't worry. Here I am. With a final instalment of Norwegian flavour. But thankyou for your concern. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that people are deriving a small amount of entertainment from my ponderous ponderings, perhaps.

Allright. So today's adventures were a little late in their commencement, due to my decision to act like a bear readying himself for Winter. Yes, I may have started hibernating, because as is a popular saying these days, Winter is coming. Well, could appear to be here. A late start it was for me. A foggy morning was the greeting when I finally roused myself from slumber. Fantastic view. A little on the chilly side though, but that's how the world works.

The mission for today, head into town, disembark the train at Carl Berners Plass and walk down through Sofienberg, through Grünerløkka and down to the Modern Art Gallery to see some overpriced Damien Hirst works. The actual reality of what occurred was, a little off the mark. Disembarked, having scored a tourist map yesterday, felt confident that I knew whereabouts I was heading. Oslo is strangely smaller than maps would have you believe, all of a sudden found myself cruising through Tøyen and bang smack in the middle of Grønland. With my helpful inclusion of suburb names, you could conceivably play along at home, once again. So, reversed direction and headed back through some familiar streets to yesterdays haunts.

The photographic pickings were slim today. Had picked the veritable branches clean. Did, however, manage to find a few more hidden large murals and some little plastic robot monsters that I first noticed yesterday. Also discovered, that these were placed, inconspicuously throughout Oslo by none other than the 1UP crew from Berlin. Side note, one of said crew were interviewed, identity concealed as is the norm and said he thought he has spray painted 1UP around Berlin upwards of 1000 times. Which would be once a day for 3 years, on average. Possible. Considering that crew probably has 15 odd members, you can imagine that various members would have plastered Germany and the greater Europe surrounds around 1 million times. Or so they say!

That earlier post was written on my last day in Oslo, prior to heading to Kristiansand. Now I'm back in the capital for my final few days. Actually, considering the current time this is been composed, it is my final day, before flying out to Cambridge tomorrow (Wednesday my time). Sitting in The Nighthawk Diner, styled after its namesake. I almost feel like I'm sitting in the picture. To complete the mise en scene they just need to throw on some Tom Waites. Which isn't really connected to that time, but for reference sake, just indulge me. Actually considering that the parody work, Boulevard of Broken Dreams is probably more well known, perhaps my parody memory allows for Toma Waites to fit comfortably in this scene. And, once again, I've lost myself down a rabbit hole.

Some thoughts, then. Really like this area of Oslo, Grünerløkka. Pretty trendy, fine coffee and burglers, nice surrounds. Commuting around Oslo? Well that has been no hassle, despite Hasle been one of the stops on the train line. Have seen so much Canada Goose gear been worn by the cool cats of Oslo, that I can only surmise that the geese population in Canada is in terminal decline. The collective noun for geese is a gaggle, when they are in flight it's called a skein. Methinks a new collective noun for Canada Goose clothed comrades is required. So lets go with; a conspiracy? Today I saw a conspiracy of Canada Goose clothed commuters. Kinda flows. As Bruce Lee said, be like water so lets flow with that. Sorry didn't really make any sense, but hey, you should know me by now and my easily distracted mind.

Havn't seen a scurry squirrels.

Kristiansand was pretty cool. Considering its been something like 25yrs since I was last there, the only really distinct memory I had, which looked similar to it, was the big tree in the front yard. Other parts of the house looked the same, but that was the clearest memory. I was treated to multiple deliscious pesce meals. Damm fine. Never really realised how awesome salmon is for breakfast. Considering breakfast at an actual 'breakfast' time is a slightly foreign concept to me, mostly out of lazziness on my part, may have to alter my life choices going forward. Emma, any salmon rivers in Wellington?!

Food awesome. Have been treated very well over here. Been exposed to some traditional Christmas time treats. Eaten some animals tongue, reindeer, moose and found out when I got home that the piece de resistance will be served tonight. I am crazy excited. Whale. Weather also in Kristiansand was fantastic as well. Somehow the weather gods are still favouring me with some pretty sweet skies. Despite been rather chilly, essentially a total absence of wind and clear sunlight made it more than bearable. Delightful in fact. When Shani and I did a big walk around the forest out behind the Hospital, man you could almost see Denmark. Just in case any one was forgetting what I looked like, this is Shani and I on the highest point above the town. I know, totally need to shave. But in a bit of a dilemma, do I get rid of the travellers beard and start exposing my lower portion of my face to the elements, or, cultivate the follicles, with an ever increasing appearance of having been populated by Birch, and harvest the yeast that may be colonizing said media and start brewing some beer? Hardly Sophie's choice.


The lakes up in the mountains were crystal clear. Like looking in a black mirror. Reflections were perfect, and as no wind was present, just caught every detail. Pretty magical. Also looking at the way lakes freeze over and the fractal ferns that form are spectacular. When there is wind present and its freezes quickly, a frosted, cracked glass look results. Very cool. Could spend hours hanging out and marvelling at different structures, but would most likely freeze my nose off.

Great times catching up with Ingebjørg, Kristina and Knut. Also, has been a very chilled time hanging out again with Shani and Bengt. Will make a serious effort to attend next years Prog Power festival with them, it was ace. Considering the rambunctious niece will still be inhabiting fair Albion, then that would sync up niecely (sic!). We truly do live in a small world these days. Populated by some small minded people, but, that's life.

This feels like it may be a short entry, considering all that has been happening, should probably have been able to flesh it out more. But its been mostly been eating deliscious food and talking with the family. Bit of a time out from the idle musings. Maybe the inclusion of some photos will stimulate some more thoughts and not lead to disappointment about the long wait for the entry and its lack of funny fun times.

Oh, it is a dismal day today, incessant drizzle and cold, so will head back to S and B's. Throw the photos in and post this entry. Then pack. Getting excited to commence my first international au pair placement. Hope I can be of some use, domestically, may need to brush up on my cooking skills. It has been awhile since I made a passable pasta in Stuttgart. We watched a little movie about NWA as well, man, that was awhile ago, killer times!

Better throw in a photo of the little robot monster. What else. A few nice sized murals. And how about another scenery shot from round Kristiansand. Don't be fooled by the weather. It was cold and unseasonably brilliant.


A final passing note. Super excited to order a stack of wax when I get home, can imagine some Nordic sounds from a few bands I have been exposed too, throw in some other Prog pickups and Enter Shikari, will be a sonic symphony of scintillating sounds, creating a cacophony of composition around mi casa.

That's me done I think. Say hi to everyone. Maybe give a loved one a hug. Throw an extra treat to your pets. We're not here for long, so be kind!

Posted by kidd1200 07:44 Archived in Norway Comments (1)


Northern Exposure

Arrived in Oslo, as the sun was saying goodbye to this side of the world and sliding down the horizons edge. For a second I had forgot I was travelling from Berlin. Iceland already seems so far away, geographically and in terms of adventures since. So too do those Doves I ate in Beijing. They well and truly have been, hopefully, reformed in the infinite matter re- alignment that occurs post existence, and may they not be destined to enter my gut again. Which vaguely leads me onto the first Oslo adventure. A local Prog. outfit was playing at John Dee in the city. So, after a deliscious (may one day check and remember the correct spelling of this blasted word, or continue to lead a one person grammatical resistance army against propa word combinatorial antics) we scooted into town, to said venue, to hear aforementioned band, that I didn't actually specifically mention. I was pretty impressed and remain so, having listened to their soundcloud channel a lot over the last few days. Will add this to the growing Vinyl purchases for when I arrive in sunny Melbourne. Although, it will most likely have to be an online purchase, because I don't quite think there is a reputable musical store that stocks such deliscious sonic treats from such a distant destination as my current locale. Sometimes I think I should just write normal sentences, instead of these overly superfluous, relative conjuctioning pronoun laden, esoteric, interrogatives.

Excuse the digression. The vague link that I was circling around describing occurred as I was blissfully rocking back and forth, awash with electromagnetic wave forms from the harmonic symphony that was been created onstage. The singer, singing in English but doing the audience interludes in Norwegian, uttered perhaps one of my favourite words. Sublimation. Actually 'mental sublimation'. Nice. I love sublimation because it is one of the phase transitions that everyone knows about, but never remembers the name. Its a physical change from a solid to a gas, without a liquid interphase, of a single element. Cool stuff. Also, it got me thinking the other night about my favourite acid. Solid trichloroacetic acid is ace. Because it has a slight sweetness to it and is kinda like sugar. It also burns yours skin and discolours your gloves when you hold it, or spill it on yourself like I sometimes deliberately do because it tickles your skin as it eats away your epidermis like a psychotic mosquito bite. Love it.

Good first night. The weekend was tops as well. We went on a number of walks, got shown around, so now I am armed with a mental map of how and where to go during the week on day adventures. We had some unseansonably delightful weather as well. Cut to Monday, as I'm writing this. It snowed this morning as I was cocooned under my warm blanky. Was quite cold outside, and wet and slushy as it was still a bit rainy. But I went out for a short walk around the apartment complex area. Have yet to gain my snow feet. Slipping and sliding around like a new born giraffe. All legs at the moment. But hopefully I will get a little more confident and will soon be munching on those low hanging leaves. Have been a little bit lazy, because, funnily enough, it's nicer to be warm than cold and wet. But will kick around Oslo and have a list of some good little areas to hunt for visual treasures. Here is a pretty representative photo from the Saturday we went walking down alongside the Akerselva. Actually I may have lightened the shadows a tiny bit to improve the building detail


Received some pretty rad news about next May, so am stoked about next year. Totally unrelated to anything, just thought I would throw that in there.

Okay, so today I have been boosting around Oslo. Thanks to some tips from my hosts, and a pertinent blog post that I managed to locate, describing all things urban related, have hit upon some delightful street candy. This time I may actually be a little light on the wordy words, let the words on the street speak for themselves. Will lay down some street truths though. Underpasses remain a great place for out of the way expressions of societal distaste. Long may they remain a cities underbelly. Both, in terms of not been to intrusive on the delicate sensibilities of residents and also, remain, hopefully, away from the constabulary, who surely have better crimes to persecute than, at times, wilful childish behaviour.

Wow, so I'm kicking back in a burger joint, with free internet and I kidd you not, another Belle and Sebastian track has just come on the stereo system. Give me a moment to bliss out again Mrs. Fryer, as I did in Cardiff, under strangely similar circumstance. Man, sometimes I feel like I'm in a recurring waking dream. Could actually be the pinnacle of existence. Relieving energy states. Reminds me of my thesis I articulated to myself in India nigh on 10yrs ago. Will be back, better eat my sweet as burglar!! Chock full of jalapenos (hah, actually spelt that with an aitch on my first attempt). Damm fine.

Here is my Indian digression. Having secured a tent from a local mountain chi shop owner on the peaks above the Dalai Lamas residence in exile, Dharamsala, and too be clear a little of the Hindu hash, I spent a night up on the glorious foothills of the Himalayas, by foothills these were 4000 odd feet high. More like kneehills. Shortly after setting up my digs, a local goatherd, child wrapped onto her like a conjoined twin, made her way down the hill and stopped in front of me. We shared some of my biscuits. She sang a haunting melody and about 15 minutes later, her herd slowly picked their way down the craggy mountain scape. One of those moments where I resisted taking a photo, as this was to be my memory alone and I felt that would besmirch the scene in my minds eye.

My contention, after that night, spent reading Desolation Angels, by Kerouac, formed in part due to my proximity to the inception point of Buddhism, was that reincarnation is, for me, not a literal rebirth of the same soul, but rather a recurrence of distinct 'energy moments'. Probably helps if you smoke the hashish at this point. This slight diversion down memory lane was all in the hope of articulation of my elation at this small moment I'm experiencing. Having quickly scanned through some of todays photos, something just caught my eye that I hadn't noticed at the time. This photo, below, has an odd little recurrence and could possibly capture an overarching theme from this journey. It brings together a few things. Damm, music is killer here. Had Tangled Up In Blue, now Easy Like Sunday Morning, almost a hashtag silent tear moment Emma! This photo, on closer inspection, has a poster on the wall of the scene, for Delicatessen. So, links essentially all the conversations Emma and I had over those months, all the pork meals and porcine adventures that ensued. The guy in Eraserhead, I had similar hair at one stage in my life. Anyway, I got a bit excited about that.


Onto some more photos. Have seen heaps of Alice's work here. You may remember her from Berlin. She is an Italian lady and most of her works feature her friends daughter. Good stuff, they are quite clean over here which is nice. The Berlin crew 1UP also has popped up here a bit as well. Sweet action. I also believe this last piece is from an artist that I saw in Cardiff.

Enjoy the treats for your consumption. Might shuffle off, not this mortal coil, but rather back to Shani and Bengt's. Another sweet day.


Hi mum! You must be getting thrilled as its not long to your adventures. Oh, and some more sweet news, not due back at work till January 4th. Time for a possible pit stop across the Te Tai-o-Rehua if I get a little carried away with flight related detours. Okay, you twisted my arm, I will save the 7 piece Alice series, but here is some more of her work. Another random one and lets finish on some positivity in wake of the horrible news from this week, not just from the baguette capital, it was truly a depressing week for the advancement of humanity.


Posted by kidd1200 10:29 Archived in Norway Comments (2)

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