Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Innfjord & Berill

At the head of Innfjorden is the small village of Innfjord, from where a road leads up the valley, about 7km, to the farm settlement of Berill.
There's nothing special about the valley, or Berill, apart from the stunning mountain scenery.
Here's the view east over the farm.
And north, although the camera didn't handle the light too well.
There is a road which goes a further 6km up the to a Setter, but I think the old car has had enough of that kind of roads lately, so we headed back down.
This lovely little lake, which is just a wide part of the river, mad me wish I had a fishing rod with me.
Another scene of the mountains further down the east side of the valley.
 And a view down to the houses of Innfjord and the fjord itself.
The water was perfectly calm as this shot from the waters edge shows.
These las 2 shots are panoramas which I stitched from multiple images, looking east over Innfjorden.
They're just slightly different angles, but I couldn't decide which was best, so here's both.
They really deserve to be clicked on to see the view properly.

Onywye, yun's aa fir enoo.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday run to Åndalsnes

A beautiful day, perfect clear skies, and not a breath of wind. So perfect for a little run out in the car.
We would have started earlier in the day, but we were a bit late up last night, and needed a morning nap.
The wife woke from a little 2 hour nap in her resting chair at about noon, and immediately asked, "Why didn't you wake me up earlier?".
Simple answer, "I was sleeping in the couch for the same 2 hours".
Anyhow, the Romsdalsmartna'n (annual market) was on at Åndalsnes, so after adding some motion lotion to the old car, we set of. It's only about 65km, but it took over an hour because the scenery was so stunning today.
The air temperature was just over 10C, but even that varied greatly on the trip. From a low of 6.3C between Måndalen and Søvik, where there was frost on the grass, to 16.3C in the middle of the 6.6km long tunnel between Innfjord and Åndalsnes.
Interestingly there was no road to Åndalsnes from this area until the war, when the Germans used prisoners of war to build the first tunnel.

The market wasn't as interesting as the Tresfjord one a few weeks ago, but I did get a couple of bargains. A heavy winter jacket for only 450 kroner, and a couple of good work shirts for just 250 kroner.
There was nothing at the market worth taking a picture of, although if I could have got the wife into some of the fairground rides there, I might have had some hilarious shots. ;)

Before we left Åndalsnes I got this lovely snap of the Solli, a beautiful craft, and behind her the view into Isfjorden.
 A nice mountain snap, with Romsdalshorn on the right, Vengetindane on the left.
Looking back out the fjord this scene caught my attention. Not because of the mountains, but because most of the posts sticking up from the water have a Scarf (Cormorant) sitting on them. One was even showing off and drying his wings, but I snapped too late.
Back through the tunnel to Innfjord and something in the water there caught my attention. I've never actually seen porpoises in any of the fjords here, so this was a first for me. This pic shows a couple (distantly), but there were at least a dozen cruising around and enjoying the nice day as much as we were.
From Innfjorden we took a detour up the valley to Berill, but I'll add the pics from that in another post. I need to sort them a bit first. But here's a beautiful view looking east across Innfjorden.
And a nice shot of some berries on a Rowan tree which happened to be beside me when I took that shot.
We took another little detour on the way back, into Søvik, to get this shot looking back towards Åndalsnes.
While there we met these lovely guys, but God knows the one in the middle is a real poser, ain't he?
yun's aa fir enoo.

Vestnes architecture....

Architecture in Vestnes is best represented by the mountains.
This morning was the first clear weather we've had for ages. The mountains were standing out particularly well, clean washed by all the rain, and it seemed as though you could see every stone and crevice.
This one is called Remmemstinden.
And in this picture, the high peak of Ystetind, blanketed in a little morning blanket of cloud, sits proudly above the smaller peak of Litletind, to the left.
But, as usual, looking in towards Tresfjord, the clouds were slightly thicker, and the peak of Laupern was just managing to show itself.
These mountains to me are beautiful. Perhaps the best examples of nature's architecture.
So now here's the alternative, designed my humans.
And it's getting worse, Vestnes is quickly becoming the home of serious architectural nightmares.
And, there's worse to come. The new Rema 1000 shop which is being built next door to us has managed to destroy all my faith in planning authorities ever getting anything right.
I'll post a picture of that building soon, if it doesn't break my camera.

Anyway. must calm down, so here's a nice serene sun reflection which I caught today.

I hope everybody has a nice peaceful weekend.

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mama Tried - A musical interlude.

I've been kinda having a Merle Haggard musical experience this week. His music keeps popping up on my mp3 along with Willie Nelson. So enjoy this early video of Merle, before he became a real country music outlaw.

Lord knows my mother tried, as did most of our mothers. Did any of them get it right, or did any of them fail?

We'll never really be able to answer that question, but at least we can say that "Mama Tried".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Star Burst pics, and a photo of frames.

I've not had time to post anything this last week as I've been enjoying some overtime. Working extra hours is the best way I know of to keep fit, especially in my job, and even with all the aches and pains of old age, there is nothing that beats the satisfaction of coming home absolutely shattered from a hard days work.
However, as I always carry a camera, I sometimes get some interesting shots.
Here's a few little bits of metal being shipped out on the barge today, winch frames for anchor handling vessels.
You can see from the background that it's been a miserable gray day, yet again. Oddly enough, in less than a year the new bridge across Tresfjorden might appear in the corner of this view, but that's another story.

At work I'm always trying to capture odd pictures from the welding, etc., and today I think I managed a few beauties. The star burst effect is achieved with no fancy lenses, just good luck and a steady hand.

Anyway, should be off for the weekend and we're thinking about taking a run over to Åndalsnes on Sunday to their big annual market day. So maybe have something interesting to post from there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Winter is almost upon us.

Yesterday morning we saw the first new snow on one of the mountains we can see from the house.
Just a little sprinkle of white, a little bit like icing sugar on a cake, but it's a sign that winter is on it's way. Hopefully it's traveling slowly, or to use a Shetland word for going slow, 'Drittlin'.
Which reminds me of a story my mother told me about a small boy in school who was asked by a religious visitor to the school to describe how the prodigal son came home. The small boy answered in Shetland dialect, naturally, "He cam drittlin hame"

Speaking of my mother, today is her 81st birthday. Just spoke to her, briefly, since she has a house full of visitors. She's still as fit as a fiddle and as bright as any star, although maybe a bit deaf in the ear she always holds the phone to. LOL

And, lastly, perhaps any of my British readers can tell me if there is anything newsworthy happening in the UK just now. Reason I ask is that BBC News 24, which is my News channel of choice, seems to have forgotten that there is a world beyond the current UK visit of Pope Benedict.
Looking on the bright side of the Pope's UK visit. Although I have no thoughts either way on the Catholic faith, or any other faith other than my own beliefs, my thoughts on international politics have come to the following conclusion.
The Pope gets more TV time for his UK 4 day visit, than all other state leaders get for the whole year. Given the reported reputation of the Catholic Church, that doesn't, on the face of it, say a helluva lot for the other state visitors. Or are the others just too nice and clean to be worthy of news headlines? And that doesn't say a helluva lot for news reporting..

yun's aa fir enoo

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wallpaper with lines......

Wallpaper with lines (tile effect in this instance) should absolutely not be allowed in houses where there is bu**er all straight...

'She who has great ideas' thought that 'he who does what he's told' should put some heavy vinyl wallpaper on the wall behind the kitchen work surfaces. This sounds simple enough, but in a kitchen which is decades old, before the days of fancy lazer levels, it's hard to find a straight line to start from.
This of course isn't really a problem, as everybody who has stuck up a bit of wallpaper will know, you simply start with a vertical line. HUH!!!!
In hindsight I now realise that the worktops and wall cabinets were installed without the aid of either a horizontal or vertical line.
So perhaps I should have stuck with my gut instinct and said no to the idea of tile effect paper. But the job is done.  'She who normally tells me how to do things' managed to avoid instructions, and she's extremely happy with the results. Perhaps the reason she kept her mouth shut during the job has something to do with my overly liberal use of swear words every time I come in contact with wall paper.

Anyway, the bottom line of this little story is that I've found yet another connection between Shetland and West Norway......
Builders in neither of the two places can build anything that can be decorated with wallpaper with straight lines. LOL!!!!

PS. It's also the most expensive wallpaper I've ever hung, at nearly 600 Kroner for a roll.

PPS. The instructions came in English and Norwegian, but both were different since the paper was made in Holland, and it looked like they had used Google Translator when they printed the label.

Yun's aa fir enoo

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beer Butt Chicken

Just occasionally I hit upon a good idea, and this was certainly one of those.
While searching for a chicken casserole recipe a few weeks ago I came upon this amazing recipe.
Which involves cooking a chicken with a half full beer can stuffed up it's rear end.

I thought it was so funny that I emailed it to my sister,  and thought nothing more about it.
But, she's slightly more adventurous  in the kitchen that me, well let's face it she's even managed to blow up her kitchen, but I won't bother you with that story.
Anyway, she had taken the recipe as a challenge, and the next I knew I had this picture in my email inbox.
She reckons it was good, and both she and hubby are still alive, so maybe I'll have to try it. I reckon that Newcastle Brown Ale will be best for the job.

Now, remember readers,that the recipe clearly states a half full can of beer, not a full one. The particular detail here being that a half full can has to have been opened. An unopened can could result in a blown up kitchen, and a very minced chicken.

Happy cooking.
Yun's aa fir enoo.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Although the weather has taken a turn for the worse, the view across the fjord this afternoon was still nice because of the reflection in the flat calm water of the marina.
Another reflection which I see every time I walk out the door is the mirrored windows of the shop on the other side of the road. It took me a while to figure out what had changed the other day, until I realised that they had changed the sign from 50 to 55 years. (note photographers reflection)

Sivertsen's shop is a rarity for several reasons. I suppose any shop lasting for 55 years as a family run business is pretty good, but the main thing which sets them apart from similar shops is the product knowledge which the staff have. Anyway congratulations to them, and long may they continue. They sell everything from soft fluffy cushions to badass power tools, door locks to kitchen knives, shower heads to home brew beer kits, etc.. etc.. An Aladdin's cave.

They also sell candles, and in Norway candles are very important. Maybe it's something to do with the harshness of the winter, but having a candle burning outdoors is a fairly common thing. This is of course helped by the fact that there is seldom enough wind to blow out a candle.
However, rain, pissing down in the quantity it has been tonight, meant that we had to shelter our 'aforedadoor candle' in a little lamp enclosure, which leads to the last picture in this reflective post.
yun's aa fir enoo.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Nope, I've not gone any more religious than I normally am, if I am,,,, well that's another subject/post....

But, Leonard Cohen wrote Hallelujah, and the first I heard of the song was when I found this video of Norwegian superstar Kurt Nilsen, and friends, singing it.
Afraid the video can't be embedded, but click on this link:

However, Willie Nelson doesn't block embedding of his music on websites, which generally indicates that "old age and treachery will always overcome youth and bullshit" So here's a Willie version of the song.  In some ways it's a pity that the picture used to front the video is a tad controversial, but that's just a reflection of Willie's attitude. He's always been an outlaw.
An outlaw that loves to visit Norway, and who can blame him.

Yun's aa fir enoo

Thursday, September 9, 2010


After 10 days of perfect weather, without a cloud in the sky and never a breath of wind, there's signs of a change tonight. Clouds have started to drift in.
Perhaps a bit of cloud cover will help to keep the temperature down. Today our thermometer hit 25.5C, and even Molde airport, at the other side of the fjord, managed a record temperature of 22C.

Tomorrow is forecast to be the last day of this Indian Summer, with rain setting in by Saturday. Which made me think of this video I shot at Langesund in June.

Yun's aa fir enoo

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Random things

Maybe my brain has been cooked too much by this late summer heat, or maybe, as usual, I'm just rambling through the thought processes of my aged brain cell. So this post will likely have to be categorised as abstract.

I'm working 12 hour days again, although according to a doctor I shouldn't be.  I've got a damaged tendon in my arm which is giving me hell in the mornings, but the harder I work the better it gets, so sod the doctors, ;)

We've had a beautiful week of weather, getting into the 20s C most days, and today hit 24.7C at our side of the fjord. Not maybe the best temperature to be working with hot metal, but it's always good practice for where I'll likely end up in the afterlife. ;)

With hardly a cloud seen for the last week, the mornings have been particularly fine. This shot was taken at about 6.30 this morning. I know there's a name in the Shetland dialect for this phenomenon, but I can't remember it just now. And note the airplane contrail in the bottom left hand corner.

This fine weather has proved perfect for our Gladiolas (or should that be Gladioli) which are just beautiful at the moment. Here's a few examples.
Now, just to prove how random this post is. From flowers to a car, and no there's no connection, but a 1962 Opel Record, in immaculate condition, was too good not to be included. There can't be many of these cars left which still have the original paint, like this one.

Now, on to something completely different. Baskets.
Here's an example of a fascinating craft (to give an idea of scale, the middle one is about 80cm high). My father makes these, and has done for over 50 years, from nothing more than straw and string. They've been bought by folk from all over the world, and his craft has been documented in several publications. I'll get around to doing a proper post about the baskets sometime soon, when I get my scanner fixed.
Lately he was asked to produce something slightly different. Place mats.
And here's one of them being made.
And before anybody reading this thinks about wanting to order his products, you'll have to join a fairly long queue. He just does it as a hobby, but it's a hobby which means that at 86 years old, he's a damned sight fitter and healthier than me. :) :)

Now, to end this random post I have 2 more images which just had to be included.
The first is something the wife bought me, and to say the least I can't quite figure out what was going through her mind when she bought it. I had asked her to look for a protective cover for my new mp3 player when she was in town, and this is what she bought. Shown with the mp3 which fits into it nicely.
Maybe she thought that, in winter, I could use it to protect something else. LOL!!!!
And, no prizes for guessing what that 'something else' might be.

But, for the last picture in this weird post. Would anybody like to guess where this picture is from?
I'll make it multiple choice:
A: Norway
B: Shetland
C: England
D: Sweden

Since we've taken pictures in all 4 of those in the last few months, it could be any of the 4. But maybe I didn't take the photo. ;)

Anyway, if you're still reading I salute your staying power. Hope I haven't bored you too much.

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lowry & Lowrie.

I've never been a great fan of paintings, as an art form, but since I was a small kid I was captivated by the paintings of L. S. Lowry, from Stretford, in Lancashire. His paintings were simple yet thought prevoking.
Lowry only painted what he saw, the way he saw it, and his talent was recognised worldwide, and I'd be frightened by the price tag which his works now command.
In 1978 Michael Coleman and Kevin Parrot, under the musical duet name of "Brian & Michael" (confusing), had a #1, one hit wonder with a song about L.S.Lowry:

So, what got me thinking about Lowry? Good question. Simple answer.

I have this song, by Alec Couper, on my mp3, called "Lowrie Sells his oo" (oo being the Shetland word for wool).
It's good fun. Enjoy

Alec Couper is a great example of the humour which can be found in Shetland. If you search for his name on YouTube, there are a few more songs which, although the dialect may confuse some folk, are accompanied by cartoon images, like the one above, which help the interpretation.

Yun's aa fir enoo

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sunrise Gold

This week has seen some of the most beautiful weather in West Norway this year.
It's hard to look at a scene like this without thinking that nature is the greatest artist that ever painted a picture.

Landslide (this post is just to get the taste of the last post out of my mouth)

Since some of my Shetland readers have recently had bother with landslides near Laxo, I thought I'd post this little gem from Troms. A real landslide.
Picture credit is: http://www.vg.no/
Check their website for more pictures.

A couple of houses. A couple of cars, and a truck (all of which were parked at the time). Not to mention a problem for the highways department in repairing the road.
Apparently, from the VG website,  a fishing boat rescued somebody from one of the houses that was washed into the sea.

Landslides like this are fairly common in Norway. Clay can be very unstable after heavy rain, and events like these are normally attributed to a phenomenon referred to as 'Quick Clay'.
Check this blog for details of one at Namsos last year.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Newton's Law Of Motion - Auld Rasmie Style.

Newton's Law of Motion states that, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well I think I've proved this to be true tonight.
It started with a rather annoying house fly, and my desire to kill the little pest. I lined up my arsenal of weapons especially designed for the purpose. A rolled up Vestnes Avisa (the local weekly newspaper), a heavy elastic band (which is actually one of these heavy rubber charity wrist bands), and just in case those failed I also had a slipper close to hand.
My strategy was simple. Don't go hunting for the little sod, after all it had been bugging me for hours so all I had to do was sit there and wait for the pest to come to me.
This strategy was perhaps my downfall. There I was sitting on the couch, bored with my reading material (the afore mentioned Vestnes Avisa), nothing on TV worth watching, no Peerie Trowie to talk to since she's on late shift, and no damned fly coming within striking distance.
So I let my concentration wander towards a glass of red wine. In other words I had a glass of wine and my mind started to wander. It was good so I poured a second glass, then to break the boredom I decided that a great way of killing time would be to have a shave.
I now realise that it is possible that the buzzing of my razor attracted the fly. But either way the little sod had appeared and decided to sit on the rim of my wine glass.
Of course I know what you're thinking. No, you're wrong, I didn't knock over the wine glass.
When I saw the fly I set down my shaving mirror and grabbed my heavy elastic band, ready to strike when the fly moved to a safer position, which it soon did. The fly moved to sit on the shaving mirror, Easy target...
And, no, you're wrong again I didn't break the mirror. Well only temporarily. The mirror is one of the plastic jobs which is mounted on a swivel with a standard view on one side and a magnified view on the other side.

The fly was poised in a perfect position near the top of the mirror so I took aim with my elastic band.
Hit the fly dead centre, I thought. The mirror span around like a kids toy, jumped off it's swivel, and landed several feet away. At this point I was very relieved that the wife wasn't in, she would have crapped herself at the sight of a mirror spinning like a tossed coin towards the front of her china cabinet.

So, having retrieved and reassembled the mirror, and retrieved my elasticated weapon, I settled back in the couch in the certain knowledge that the score was Auld Rasmie 1 - Fly 0

Wrong...... I had forgotten about Newton's Law. The reaction to my action had still to come.

Sitting there all smug and delighted with the success of my anti-fly campaign, I picked up my glass of wine and took a big swig.

Do you have any idea what a half dead house fly feels like when it's floating in red wine, which you are swilling around you mouth to savour the flavour? And, what it feels like, during this wine swilling process, when said fly gets stuck under your dentures?
Well God forbid you ever find out, but I think I'll stick with white wine in future. I'll see the fly easier.

Yun's aa fir enoo.... (Going to wash my mouth out with some anti-fly somethingorother)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Diverse musical taste? - Or just plain weird?

Maybe some folks have picked up on the fact that I'm a Willie Nelson fan. But that's just my main interest in music, and I think that me and Peerie Trowie have between us accumulated just about every CD, DVD, cassette, VHS, etc.. featuring Willie. (well maybe only 90%, but we're working on it.)
And in fact Peerie Trowie has about the best Johnny Cash collection I've ever seen. She only got interested in Wille Nelson because he was the funny little red headed guy who appeared with Johnny on the Highwaymen.

Considering what I've been listening to tonight, I thought that it might be worth posting something about my musical taste, or lack of taste, just to get others thinking.

You see, tonight I suffered from a serious drop into a vacuum. Peerie Trowie is stuck on a month of late shifts at her work. I'm going to seriously miss her company, but it gives me a chance to try out new things, and enjoy some old things which she hates.
First on this 'outlaw schedule' was a feed of lamb cutlets, she hates them, but it's food for the Gods as far as I'm concerned. But, being the dutiful husband, I made her a Shepherd's Pie to eat when she gets home, and that gives me so many brownie points that I can get away with almost anything for the next month. ;)

Second on my list of things that she hates was a dredge through my favourite music.
I started with a little bit of Eddie Barclay, followed by some of Bobby Tulloch's songs, then I had a listen to some Strauss (Johann the elder), namely the Blue Danube, which I absolutely love. But hopefully I didn't annoy the neighbours too much with the eventual selection for my listening pleasure tonight. Meat Loaf .

Meat Loaf (born. Marvin Lee Aday) turns 63 on the 27th of this month, and he's still performing worldwide.
I know that most folk don't have as diverse, or weird, a taste in music as I have. But Meat Loaf really has to be given some serious credit for the sheer brilliance of the way he structures and presents his music. He really should have been an opera singer, but then rock music would have lost so much.
Here's an example of this great artist's work, and one of my all time favourites, from somebody other than Willie Nelson..

Be a devil, turn the volume way up high, lean back and just enjoy it. It's a brilliant video

Yun's aa fir enoo.