torsdag, desember 28, 2006

The Day Flies Off Without Me

The planes bound for all points everywhere
etch lines on my office window. From the top floor
London recedes in all directions, and beyond:
the world with its teeming hearts.

I am still, you move, I am a point of reference on a map;
I am at zero meridian as you consume the longitudes.
The pact we made to read our farewells exactly
at two in the afternoon with you in the air
holds me like a heavy winter coat.

Your unopened letter is in my pocket, beating.

John Stammers

I had to read this poem twice, the second time slowly - and when reading it the second time it became really beautiful. Read more about the poet here.

mandag, desember 25, 2006

God jul!

Yesterday ("julaften") was the big day in Norway, and it was a splendid day for us. Girlfriend made an excellent juleribbe, we drank "juleøl" (Christmas beer) and a little bit of akvavit. We celebrated with my parents, and they were very pleased with not having to cook themselves. Even my father, who is 83 and don't have much of an apetite these days, really dug in. It was good to see.

Today is kind of a boring day - in a good way. Some people go to church, some visit their family. We stayed with my family yesterday, and girlfrend's family live too far away to go on a short visit. And we're not going to church. So this year, today is dedicated to relaxation. Girlfriend announced she was going to sleep as long as she wanted to. Currently she's succeeding. Me, even if I decide to sleep REALLY long, I'm usually awake around 11 am. So I've been listening to the radio, and reading the papers that I haven't had time to read earlier. Lovely:-) It happens too rarely, but it is SO great with a day with absolutely no plans. Except eating more marzipan and Christmas cookies and drinking tea. And maybe a whisky.

God jul alle sammen! Hope you're having a great day!

fredag, desember 22, 2006


Yesterday I tried lutefisk, and I lived to tell the tale! Actually, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be. According to the experts (those who have eaten lutefisk more than twice), the lutefisk I ate yesterday was really good. Still, it's weird to eat fish that has the consistency of jelly.

Eating lutefisk around Christmas is a common tradition in Norway. I'll probably eat it again - next Christmas. Once a year is definately enough.

From Wikipedia:

Interview with Jeffrey Steingarten, author of The Man Who Ate Everything (translated quote from a 1999 article in Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet:)

"Lutefisk is not food, it is a weapon of mass destruction. It is currently the only exception for the man who ate everything. Otherwise, I am fairly liberal, I gladly eat worms and insects, but I draw the line on lutefisk."
"What is special with lutefisk?"
"Lutefisk is the Norwegians' attempt at conquering the world. When they discovered that Viking raids didn't give world supremacy, they invented a meal so terrifying, so cruel, that they could scare people to become one's subordinates. And if I'm not terribly wrong, you will be able to do it as well."
"But some people say that they like lutefisk. Do you think they tell the truth?"
"I do not know. Of all food, lutefisk is the only one that I don't take any stand on. I simply cannot decide whether it is nice or disgusting, if the taste is interesting or commonplace. The only thing I know, is that I like bacon, mustard and lefse. Lutefisk is an example of food that almost doesn't taste anything, but is so full of emotions that the taste buds get knocked out."

torsdag, desember 14, 2006

I don't like Campari

... but perhaps I should give it another try. Thank you After Ellen.

onsdag, desember 13, 2006

One doesn’t have to share every dream

HB: I had this dream last night.

Girlfriend: Yeah?

HB: I was kissing a woman. Not you.

Girlfriend: Really.

HB: And I sort of knew that I shouldn’t do it, you were skirting the edges of my mind.

Girlfriend: I’ll bet.

HB: But then she leaned towards me, and I simply couldn’t resist. I put my hand on the back of her head, and pulled her towards me, and then we kissed for quite some time. It was wonderful. Really, really good.

Girlfriend: Huh.

HB: Afterwards I knew that this could never happen again, because I’m together with you. So you see? Even in my dreams I’m TOTALLY devoted to you!

Girlfriend: Right. Totally.

HB: *cough* Yeah, well, anyway... Good night, darling. Uh... sweet dreams.

torsdag, november 23, 2006

Ten Ways to Avoid Lending Your Wheelbarrow to Anybody


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
I didn't lay down my life in World War II
so that you could borrow my wheelbarrow.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
Unfortunately Lord Goodman is using it.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
It is too mighty a conveyance to be wielded
by any mortal save myself.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
My wheelbarrow is reserved for religious ceremonies.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
I would sooner be broken on its wheel
and buried in its barrow.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
I am dying of schizophrenia
and all you can talk about is wheelbarrows.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
Do you think I'm made of wheelbarrows?


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
It is full of blood.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
Only if I can fuck your wife in it.


May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
What is a wheelbarrow?

-- Adrian Mitchell

Photo:Paul of Vermont

lørdag, november 18, 2006

Today, around quarter past three

Unusually warm today, around 10 C. We drove down to the fjord, a place five minutes away from us where it's very popular to go swimming in the summer. But not in November.

I must remember to always bring my proper camera. These photos are taken with my crappy mobile phone camera. Still, you get the idea. It was lovely - beautiful colours, and almost no people.

And the water was VERY cold. I tried to keep my hands in it long enough for my girlfriend to take the picture. Didn't succeed.

torsdag, november 16, 2006

Mark Morford: Gay Marriage Is Still Evil?

Because the funny thing is, despite all the frantic state bans, no one can really say why

Which reminds me, I still have yet to hear it.

Despite all the right-wing puling, all the Bible-humping and the anti-gay marriage campaigning in all those states that just banned it and how everyone in the nation has apparently been deeply contemplating what hot gay sex must really be like because, oh my God, it sure has been in the news a lot lately (thanks, Pastor Ted!), I still, as of this writing, to this very day, I still have yet to hear a single coherent and comprehensive explanation from the nation's homophobes as to what, exactly, is so wrong about gay love.

Oh, make no mistake, I've heard the theories. I have plenty of hissing, puerile, "fag"-laden hate mail. I've heard the half-baked notions regarding "debauched" morality, the necessity of procreation, the pseudoscientific studies claiming kids are in danger of being "recruited," the quivery references to bitterly homophobic interpretations of biblical passages that somehow "prove" that gay love is immoral, unethical, dangerous. It's all just a bit cute, in a grossly ignorant sort of way.

And yet, one by one, each and every one of these silly ideas has been rather effortlessly disproved, blown to spiritual or intellectual smithereens, discredited to death and/or laughed into oblivion much the way a true scientist shoots wine through his nose at the mention of creationism.

And so still I wait for a real answer.

Read the rest HERE. Great stuff!

torsdag, november 09, 2006

Celia Celia

When I am sad and weary
When I feel all hope has gone
When I walk along High Holborn
I think of you with nothing on

Adrian Mitchell

onsdag, november 01, 2006


Reflections on Ice-Breaking

Is Dandy
But liquor
Is quicker.

-- Ogden Nash

Both girlfriend and I didn't start liking whisky until a couple of years ago. It happened in Amsterdam, our friends dragged us along to a whisky bar, where they had an amazing amount of different brands. I asked the bartender if he could recommend something for someone who don't really like whisky. He suggested something Irish, and we tried it. We tried two or three brands, but my girlfriend fell in love with something called Green Spot. We've tried to find it again ever since, but no luck. And that's not strange, because the distillery only make like 3000 bottles each year.

When we were leaving London, we found a shop at Stanstead airport called "World of Whisky" or something like that. Now, bear this in mind, before walking into this shop around 11 am this had happened earlier in the day:

- we had to get up really early
- the hotel breakfast was crap
- to get to the train station during London rush hour is NO FUN
- because of all the security stuff the queue was very long and slow
- then there was another queue to get some proper food
- at this point my girlfriend was close to exploding, because hungry girlfriend = very angry girlfriend = nervous and annoyed HB

We finally got some food, and ate in a silence that got less and less icy, fortunately. Then we walked into "World of Whisky". I asked the man standing behind the counter:

HB: Do you have Green Spot? It's an Irish whisky.

And while I asked I immediately noticed that the guy started smiling, as if remembering something pleasant. Then he said:

I have it at home (*pleased grin*), but unfortunately I don't have it in the shop. Because as you might know, they only make...

HB: ...3000 bottles each year, yes. (*Sigh*)

Girlfriend: Do you have something else you would recommend?

He suggested Redbreast, and explained that it was made in the same way as Green Spot, and had a lot of the same qualities. He gave us a little taste, and we immediately decided to buy it - because it was delicious.

And then comes the bit that made my day. After we had bought it he showed us a magazine where Redbreast had won first prize in an Irish whisky competition of some sort. It had won over whisky brands that were a lot more expensive. It put both me and my girlfriend in a really good mood, because it was so obvious that he wasn't pushing us into buying. He was just genuinely interested in whisky, and wanted to share his enthusiasm with us. It was brilliant! And so was the whisky. Unfortunately it's gone now, but Redbreast is a bit easier to get hold of than Green Spot.

Syd, regarding Macallan: it's a great whisky. I remember it as cleaner and purer than Balvenie Doublewood, which is more like an explosion of taste. So I guess it depends on what you prefer:-) I'm definately checking out Dalmore. You're the second or third person to recommend it, actually. We ought to have a whisky tasting party again. A whisky tasting party in November, with temperatures below zero and lots of snow is probably even better than a whisky tasting party in July. Whisky is so good when you're feeling cold!

onsdag, oktober 25, 2006


It's typical - when I finally get some time off to relax, I usually come down with a heavy cold or something. So, the day after I finshed correcting 84 essays, I woke up with a really sore throat, that later on (now) became a cold. Fortunately, there are remedies:-) This photo was taken at a small whisky-tasting party we had in July. My favourite is the The Balvenie Doublewood. It's excellent for curing a cold, or so I keep telling myself, he he.

onsdag, oktober 11, 2006


The last few weeks I've actually been working a bit:-) Last week was busy, and the next few weeks there's also a lot to do:

* I have to prepare extra classes
* I have corrected/added my comments to around 40 student essays, and there's 40 more to do.

So, most likely no blogging in the next couple of weeks. Just so you know.

fredag, september 29, 2006

London - and hey! Look at the date!

Blackfriar Bridge. We're walking along the Thames, on our way to Tate Modern (Girlfriend's photo).

The hustle and bustle of the main street through Notting Hill. But then, just a few steps away:

The peace and quiet of Notting Hill.

Kensington Gardens. We're sitting on a bench eating a sandwich. Behind us, the noise of the traffic. In front of us, as you can see; shimmering quietness.

The local wildlife. (Girlfriend's photo.)

The London Eye (Girlfriend's photo).

Tower Bridge (Girlfriend's photo).

The Cutty Sark-ship on (in?) Greenwich.

onsdag, september 27, 2006

Where Lesbians Come From

It is true that lesbians do not have families;
we have pretend family relationships.
We do not have mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters;
our sons and daughters do not count at all,
having no families within which to rear them.
And our lovers - there's nothing in that
but something mocking truth;
for you know it's true
that lesbians do not have families, like you...

We emerge, instead, complete from some dark shell,
beds and beds of us (like oysters,
what else would I mean?)
sea-born on stormy nights
with the wind in a certain quarter.
We rise and wiggle, all slippery and secret,
curling and stretching and glad to be alive,
untangling our hair from the wind and salt and seaweed.
We steal clothes from washing lines,
and once it's daylight, almost pass for human.

Glowing into warmth in the sun or a hard north wind
we lick the salt from our lips,
for now. And smile.
We live for a while, in the light,
despite your brutal laws
and your wish that we were not here;
we return to our beds by moonlight
to nurture and foster the sweet salt shells
that give birth to our lesbian futures.
And there we plot, in our dark sea beds,
the seduction of your daughters.

-- Jan Sellers

This poem was sent to me from The Wondering Minstrels. I'll include the comment:

A marvellous poem. The mocking tone is done just right - funny enough to make you laugh at the absurdity of it, indignant enough to make you realise that it's not perhaps quite that absurd. The truth pushed just far enough to make it satire. The poem works because underlying its ridiculous narration is a deep sense of alienation, of feeling unwanted and other in a world where choosing to live out your sexual preferences makes you sub-human. Plus there's the deeply erotic oyster / salt imagery, of course.

I know practically nothing about Jan Sellers. The Virago New Poets (Virago Press, 1993, edited by Melanie Silgardo and Janet Book) from which this poem is taken scribes her as a "part-time adult education worker, full-time lesbian and intermittent performance poet".

I know a little bit more about the poet. Or rather, I'm guessing it's the same person:-)

onsdag, september 13, 2006

Guess where we are going tomorrow?

Remember I lost a bet?

Will be back next week:-)

mandag, september 11, 2006

Photos from the North - part 3

The in-laws has a lovely, lovely dog. Sweet-tempered and playful. Their only worry is that she is too thin. They went to the vet and got advice on what food to give her. She gained a little more weight, but she's still quite slim. I suspect it is because most of the time she's behaving like this:

And like this.

It is very hard to get her to look straight into the camera...

But we finally managed! I have to admit, in the photo I'm looking a lot more outdoorsy than I actually am:-) Hmm - is "outdoorsy" a real word?

søndag, september 10, 2006


We've come so far, thought the astronaut
as he swam around the capsule in his third week
and by accident kicked a god in the eye
--so far
that there's no difference anymore between up and down,
north and south, heavy and light.
And how, then, can we know righteousness.

So far.
And weightless, in a sealed room
we chase the sunrises at high speed
and sicken with longing for a green stalk
or the heft of something in our hands. Lifting a stone.

One night he saw that the Earth was like an open eye
that looked at him as gravely as the eye of a child
awakened in the middle of the night.

Rolf Jacobsen

This poem is beautiful. I really like the image of the Earth as the eye of a child. At the same time, the poem makes me feel a bit uneasy. Like this poem, also by R. Jacobsen.

lørdag, september 09, 2006

Photos from the North - part 2

The in-laws live very close to the mountains.

This photo is taken from the in-laws garden. You see that smoke? That's the dust made by huge boulders, that have just come tumbling down the mountain side. When it's snow, I know it's called an "avalanche" in English. But what's the word when it's rocks? In Norwegian: "ras". Anyway, it was awesome! It sounded like distant thunder. I wasn't scared, because I could see that the rocks wouldn't land near us. And also because my father-in-law merely glanced up at the mountain and said "that's just a small one". Then he went back to working in the garden. I was a bit more excited, and took like 20 photos, hee hee:-)

This photo is taken at around 1 AM. In July, the sun doesn't set. Still the sunshine or light during the night is different from daylight. It's softer, not so bright. I really like it. The first time I experienced the midnight sun, I was 13. My father and I travelled around Finnmark (the northernmost county in Norway), visiting relatives. I remember waking up at 3 AM one night, because of laughter and noise outside my bedroom window. When I peaked out I saw a local family, parents and three small kids, on their way to the beach for a picnic! I thought it was wonderful, it seemed very holiday-ish and fun.

fredag, september 08, 2006

Hang on

One day, as I was lazing in the sunshine, huge and oddly Syd-shaped clouds appeared on the horizon. A few minutes later the rain was POURING down. As I hurriedly put sun lotion, crime paperback and sunglasses into my bag, I suddenly remembered something: "Hang on - didn't I have a blog?"

This is the view from our veranda, late in August. The sun has just set.

mandag, august 14, 2006


I love you
because the earth turns round the sun
because the North wind blows north
because the Pope is Catholic
and most Rabbis Jewish
because winters flow into springs
and the air clears after a storm
because only my love for you
despite the charms of gravity
keeps me from falling off this Earth
into another dimension
I love you
because it is the natural order of things

I love you
like the habit I picked up in college
of sleeping through lectures
or saying I'm sorry
when I get stopped for speeding
because I drink a glass of water
in the morning
and chain-smoke cigarettes
all through the day
because I take my coffee Black
and my milk with chocolate
because you keep my feet warm
though my life a mess
I love you
because I don't want it
any other way.

I am helpless
in my love for you
It makes me so happy
to hear you call my name
I am amazed you can resist
locking me in an echo chamber
where your voice reverberates
through the four walls
sending me into spasmatic ecstasy
I love you
because it's been so good
for so long
that if I didn't love you
I'd have to be born again
and that is not a theological statement
I am pitiful in my love for you

The Dells tell me Love
is so simple
the thought though of you
sends indescribably delicious multitudinous
thrills throughout and through-in my body
I love you
because no two snowflakes are alike
and it is possible
if you stand tippy-toe
to walk between the raindrops
I love you
because I am afraid of the dark
and can't sleep in the light
because I rub my eyes
when I wake up in the morning
and find you there
because you with all your magic powers were
determined that
I should love you
because there was nothing for you but that
I would love you

I love you
because you made me
want to love you
more than I love my privacy
my freedom my commitments
and responsibilities
I love you 'cause I changed my life
to love you
because you saw me one friday
afternoon and decided that I would
love you
I love you I love you I love you

-- Nikki Giovanni

This poem is so deliciously over the top! Depending on my mood, I think it's either really annoying or really wonderful.

mandag, august 07, 2006

North of Norway -the ferry trips

Yes, it's raining in Trondheim again... 14 degrees and rain. It's nice, actually. It was getting a bit dry and dusty. Syd asked in a comment earlier what's considered to be warm in my part of the world. That depends on the time of year, of course. But for summer, june - august: everything warmer than 16 C is lovely. The last few weeks we have had many days with temperatures between 20 - 25 C, and that is wonderful! While this type of weather is shitty.

So, to the photos: From Trondheim we flew to Tromsø, and then we had to take a bus and two ferries to get to the place where my girlfriend's parents live. The weather was changing all the time while we travelled: sometimes rain, sometimes sunny. Here are some photos from the ferry trips. As you can see it sometimes looks like the mountains are holding up the sky! Or it looks like the clouds are eating the mountains:-) The mountains are different further north, they are sharper, more ragged maybe? The mountains we saw between Trondheim and Oslo are more rounded.

The camera isn't straight - just like me:-)

The clouds are swallowing the mountains

Not very crowded around here

The second ferry trip

Almost there. After the ferry it was just 20 minutes by car to our destination. I'll probably post some more photos one of these days... ;-)

onsdag, august 02, 2006

Warm in Norway

I've been meaning to update for a long time now, but the thing is: the weather has been way too warm and nice to sit inside in front of a computer. It's wonderful today too! Since this happens so rarely in Trondheim, everyone who isn't working spend as much time outside as possible, and those who ARE working go outside during lunchbreak and work short days (if they can). I'm on my way out, I'm going to take a walk in the sunshine. When the next cold or rainy day comes along (it should happen soon), I will make a proper photo blog post about our trip to the north of Norway. In the meantime, here's a sneak peak from a ferry trip:

fredag, juli 21, 2006

Photos from the places we stayed

One of the places we stayed. They had kids, six and two years old, and we played with them while the parents made dinner for us. I was painfully reminded of how much energy kids have.

This is where I had collapsed in heap after jumping around on this thing, while the six-year-old is still going strong.

I promised you



I? :-)

And sunsets:

Next up: photos from the north of Norway.

tirsdag, juli 18, 2006

Home again

So holidays are over for now. After we went to Oslo/Tønsberg we were home just a couple of days, and then we took a plane to Tromsø, the north of Norway. So I have LOADS of photos from both the south of Norway and the North. Or the places we went to anyway, there's quite a bit more to see:-)

Starting with the drive from Trondheim down to Oslo/Tønsberg. I have to say, this part of Norway is a little more boring than I remembered before the drive. Or MAYBE the landscape got boring because I was bored, sitting for 8 hours in a hot car without air condition:-) Anyway, along the route that we chose (the shortest one), there's lots of forest, and lots of farm land. Like this:

Sorry about the Monet-like quality of this photo. I learned that it's hard taking photos from a car driving 90 km/h. Though I suspected that already before this trip.

Still a bit of snow here and there, as you can see.

And more farmland...

The next post will feature photos that are NOT taken from a passenger seat. Stay tuned! There will be sunsets. And kittens!

onsdag, juli 05, 2006

Some advice to all of us

Off on holiday again. This time just a short stop in Oslo, before we spend the weekend in Tønsberg, visiting friends and girlfriend's relatives. We're driving this time, since we're visiting so many people. It takes about 7-8 hours to drive from Trondheim to Oslo. I'm bringing my digital camera, so hopefully you'll get to see some photos from our road trip soon! Norway this time of year can be very beautiful. Not that I am biased... ;-)

Some Advice from a Mother to Her Married Son
(Judith Viorst)

The answer to do you love me isn't, I married you, didn't I?
Or, Can't we discuss this after the ballgame is through?
It isn't, Well that all depends on what you mean by 'love'.
Or even, Come to bed and I'll prove that I do.
The answer isn't, How can I talk about love when
the bacon is burned and the house is an absolute mess and
the children are screaming their heads off and
I'm going to miss my bus?
The answer is yes.
The answer is yes.
The answer is yes.

mandag, juli 03, 2006

Hvar, Croatia

We're back from our week in Hvar, a small island not that far from Split. My holiday journal is half-filled with my daily blabberings of the week's events, and now I'm going to share EVERYTHING that happened with you. Only kidding! :-) Instead I'm going to quote Maureen Lipman: "if a holiday isn't disastrous then there's nothing to write about." It wasn't disastrous, it was wonderful! We had sun and warm weather the whole week, we went swimming every day and we drank great local beer. Here are some photos.

Town of Hvar

The path from the town towards our hotel
The view from the old (16th century) fortification above Hvar
Favourite place to swim and sun bathe