For ages we have been looking for a TV cabinet, with DVD storage, which would best fit the space available. Nothing existed, so the simple answer was to make one, and that accounts for my absence these last couple of days.
I feel kinda proud of the result so I took a snap before we loaded the shelves with DVDs, ornaments, hellery, etc..
It's amazing what can be achieved with a little bit of wood, a few screws, and far too much bad language.
To shake off the some of the inches gained on the waistline yesterday I went for a walk up the side of the voe at midday. Not much sun thanks to the mountains, but plenty of ice and snow. There's even a group of Herons in this pic.
The path had a fair depth of snow on it and all the trees were well coated with either snow or frost.
Away from the stream of tide which flows in and out of the voe. the water was well and truly frozen.
At some points the trees were weighted down so far that walking under them was a bit difficult.
Some of the larger trees looked nice from below.
On the way back I noticed that the sports field has been cleared of snow. Maybe they're going to spray it with water to form an ice rink.
The Beach Volleyball area hadn't been cleared. I think that may have something to do with bikinis not being much use at -15C
I'll end with a couple more pictures of the ever growing ice crystals. Some are up to 2.5cm long now and starting to look like little trees.
Now must go and eat Christmas Dinner number two...
It think it would be hard to have found a more beautiful dawn than the one which greeted me when I went out this morning.
Everything was covered with a freshly formed layer of ice crystals, called 'rimfrost' here. When the sun came up I got this snap. The crystals are mostly about 1cm long, but unlike normal frost it doesn't stick to anything, not even the car which I had thought would need a lot of scraping, but just need a brush off.
After a visit to the churchyard to lay a wreath and light a candle at the grave of my wife's father, we visited her mother, then home to set about some serious eating....
But first we lit a few candles outside the door.
I think we've got about 10 candles lit outside, and 14 indoors.. Well we've got to do our bit to combat this global cooling. ;)
Now for the food,, Pinnekjøt, smoked sausage, mashed swede, and tatties. The normal accompaniment to this meal is a glass of Aquavit, but I hate that stuff, so I had a glass of single malt whisky, and a glass of Guinness.
We ate too much, as usual. Then we opened our presents. Some lovely gifts, useful, practical, funny, weird, etc.. Maybe a special mention for the beautiful gifts that my daughters gave to their step trowie,, I thought she was going to cry...
But there's one of the funny little gifts from my kids which stands out a country mile for shear frustrating horror,, this one.
I think the only good thing is that I have very little hair to pull out. The person who came up with the idea of Sudoku on a Rubix cube must be truly evil. It's going to take me months,,, unless I search google for a cheat ;)
Now if you read one of my posts last night you'll remember this little Julenisse, who I arrested for trespassing on my mouse docking station.
Well he's still languishing in the lockup, (the bottom of the clock).
Until he learns to behave and stay away from my computer he's going to stay there. But I have promised Santa that I'll let his little helper loose in time to help with the Auld Yöl (Old Christmas, as per Juilian calendar) deliveries on 6th January.
Now must go and sample some Christmas Spirit. Maybe have a nice walk in the morning for some winter pictures, before we settle down to a 5.5Kg Turkey... I know,, but it's the smallest one I could find, and we do like Turkey sandwiches..
Yun's aa fir enoo,
an Göd Yöl ta dee an dine.
Christmas is fast approaching, less than 24 hours until we start our celebrations here in Norway.
On Julaften (Christmas Eve) the festivities start with a Church Service and the ringing of the Church bells for the start of Christmas at 5pm.
Almost every grave in the Churchyard has a candle lit, in remembrance of those departed... I find that part really moving.
Then the first really big feed of the festive season begins... Pinnekjøt (salted lamb) with all the trimmings.. I'll post about that tomorrow night, if I don't have too much Christmas 'spirit'. ;)
After a big feed, presents are opened. And I can't wait to see how well I've done at disguising my presents to my dear peerie wife. I love disguising presents, so sometimes a big box may contain something small, or a small box something,,, nope, haven't figured how to get something big in a small box yet. Need help from Doctor Who with that one. LOL.
I said in an earlier post that the only Christmas tree we would be having this year was an outdoor one, to avoid a shower of Pine needles on the floor. But, we've changed our minds. We have a Christmas tree indoors after all. And it's an environmentally friendly one...
It's not big, but it's growing in a pot. So when Christmas is over we'll look after it and slowly introduce it to the great outdoors where it can continue to grow.
Another big theme of Christmas in this house are these darned little Santa ornaments which appear everywhere. Julenisser, to give them their local name, are taking over everything. This one had slipped on his butt and landed on my keyboard.
But this one was chancing his luck on the charging pad of my mouse. When challenged, he instantly held his hand up so I took him into custody.
If he behaves overnight I'll let him go in the morning.
Well actually this was the little Troll which was wrapped up under the Christmas tree with a message, 2 years ago, that I should look in the shed, where Peerie Trowie had stashed a complete ski kit for me.
When you're getting well into your 50s, learning to ski is just about the same as learning to speak Norwegian. But I'm working on it, and with our current weather conditions I hope to soon join the league of folk who have broken a leg when on the pissed,,, piss,,,piste,, well something like that... ;)
There was actually a post I made about skiing last March. The next post on the subject will hopefully depict me as being slightly more capable of maintaining a vertical position.
For some reason these little white flakes keep descending on us..
But, I'm still managing to keep the satellite dish clear. That's priority number 1, since I'd be lost without a good laugh at the latest from BBC News 24, about whatever politician had screwed up this time...
Weather forecast says no more snow for a few days so maybe I can set aside my shovel for a while.
Speaking of BBC News. One of our best sources of entertainment lately has been watching the chaos in Britain, caused by the snow. They could learn a lot from Norway. I think the only flights which have failed to take off or land, have been those which were to or from Britain.
And as for driving, no problem. Snow tyres are a legal requirement, grit/salt isn't used,,,, perfect.
Having said that. Driving home from Moa last night I was completely pissed off by the number of drivers on the road who had illegal lights on their vehicles. Some were badly adjusted, some were missing, some idiots didn't know what dipped beam means, some thought that fog lights were clever, and then there were the Audi drivers but the Audi lights should never have been allowed on this planet.... Rant over...
In the last month I've bought 3 products from local shops which were past their 'best before date', but the packet of Salami I bought from the Coop shop here in Vestnes on Saturday has got to take the prize for the worst stock control balls-up that any retailer has ever made. Note carefully the date, remembering that we are currently living in the year of our Lord 2010, then make a mental note to avoid shopping, if possible, at any Coop store. Assuming you live in Norway.
Not much can be done about it apart from getting a replacement and hearing lame excuses. For once the UK system actually looks good for dealing with the likes of this. Any UK shop would have been dragged through the courts by trading standards, and fined heavily.
Well, maybe a little something can be done,,,,, now how do I add tags to this to help Googlebots find the Gilde and Coop brand names????
Exits post cackling in an evil manner, since I've just remembered how to add the tags....
Anyway, on a lighter note.
Heading for Ålesund tomorrow. Wife has to see the doctor about a few of her recurring aches and pains. Which brings me to my most recurring pain..... She says we shall combine it with a ''''''SHOPPING''''' trip..
In keeping with my idea to post a few country Christmas carols, I just had to include this one.
Not because it's a carol, but it's about Christmas, Willie Nelson wrote it, and it's as cute as cute can be.
The lyrics just jump out and make you think of a street seller sitting at a little stall with all you need to wrap a gift for your sweetheart.
I mentioned Nisser in an earlier post, they're the little folk here in Norway. Julenisse is basically the equivelant of Santa Claus.
Well over the years the wife has gathered quite a collection of Julenisser, and at this time of year they suddenly appear from their hiding holes to litter any available surface with their presence. They get everywhere. I even found one hiding inside the clock last year. But I'm always polite and courteous to them, after all I don't want to risk one of them getting naughty and ending up in my computer. ;)
Here's a few who were just standing around looking for somewhere to hide.
And in this little display there are nearly 40 of the little,,, dears,,, hiding somewhere.
I never know where I'll find one next. But as long as they stay out of my computer, and my underwear drawer, I don't mind them...
Of course this post will have to be spell checked by the wife in case I've made my usual blunder..
Nisse is correct, but Nise is a boob because that is the Norwegian name for a Porpoise. (Neesik in Shetland dialect, so now I know the source of another Shetland word).
Or maybe more accurately, how not to clear ice from a path.
I've found one tool that is definitely not suitable for the job,,,,
The wife's only real comment on my little misadventure was, "Maybe that has killed that hair". A reference to a singularly stubborn hair which was growing on the point of my nose. This statement jogged my memory regarding a little verse I wrote about it last year, so I've posted it on my poetry blog, under the title Da Nose Hair.
Apart from that, nothing much happening here. Still cold, but with beautiful clear skies and as usual no wind.
Here's a nice cold picture of the Vestnes marina at midday today. Thanks to the mountains the sun was only shining on Molde in the distance.
The arctic conditions continued to bite today. We've had about 25cm of snow since last night. So our outdoor Christmas tree is well and truly decorated now.
The Cypress tree in the garden is feeling the weight of the snow a bit. Normally about 15 feet high and 8 feet wide, but it's expanded in width a little bit today. I guess the same will happen to my waistline over Xmas..
The snow made life a little difficult at work today.
We were shipping out some sections and frames but we suffered from a problem normally associated with British Rail, ice on the tracks. In this case the tracks for the overhead crane. 2 inch of ice had built up which meant the crane wasn't going to go outside until some ice removal was done. I'm a bit scared of heights now in my old age, so thankfully some of the younger or less scared men went aloft. I just took pictures ;)
Eventually after much ice chipping, and much bad language (in several languages), the crane tracks were cleared and normal service was resumed.
Anyhow, we break up tomorrow for 2 week holiday. And with the temperatures being forecast for next week I'll be glad to be home.
For some reason I'm a bit like the weather. Quickly changing, and most likely depressing for anybody looking for something bright in their life.
Well, it's snowing here again. A cold front came through tonight and instantly selected my underwear for tomorrow. Dress style here is dictated by the weather conditions.
So, before I disappear in a snow drift I thought I'd post a warning of what may happen if you partake of too many alcohol based drinks over the holiday season.
Nothing in this poem ever happened to me, I think, it's just pure fiction from watching other folk having too much fun whilst under the influence.
Since the last little poem didn't scare anybody I thought I'd record the sequel, which I wrote in 2009.
Since Santa completely failed in 2009, eg. the Shetland Islands Council still haven't been replaced, and there is still no new dreultin tree,,,, I didn't bother to write him a wish list this year.
Bah Humbug ;) ;)
But I have another Christmas project up my sleeve, or under my oxter, or at least in the planning stage... So maybe a new festive poem/song might yet appear this year.
Well in the Shetland dialect it would be called a 'Sna Licht', but I don't think one has ever been made in Shetland, or not that I know about.
In Norway it's called a 'Snølykt'.
And in English I guess it would be a 'Snow Light', or 'Snow Candle'.
No matter which language, a candle with snowballs built round it looks quite nice...
This was a simple and quick construction which the wife threw together, but apparently some of these little snow sculptures can be quite artistic..
Maybe a strange subject for a blog entry, but Christmas Cards just aren't a done thing in Norway.
The UK and US have shops which specialise in cards for all occasions and at this time of year those shops are brimming over with so many different cards that it's quite a job to pick the right one.
I know I've spent hours searching through the cards in various shops, just hoping to find the one with the right text. I always thought that the text in a card was more important that the picture on it, and when all else failed I always liked to add a personal little message or verse.
But in Norway Christmas cards, or any other cards, just don't really exist. And certainly not any decent ones.
The retailers will catch on eventually, but in the meantime I've become quite adept at producing my own cards for all occasions.
The cards I produce always carry a "trademark" image on the back, but apart from that the content varies with my mood, from nice, to ridiculous, to hilarious, or even downright stupid. But all the cards are personalised to the people who are receiving them.
This brings me to the point of this little ramble through my brain cell.
Having learned how to produce cards for a few pennies, I would never go back to spending mega bucks to buy a fancy card with words which don't say exactly what I want.
So if you're using a computer you have the capability to do the same thing. Make your own cards and give your friends and family a laugh with the content. It saves a little money in these hard times, but the personal touch is what makes it really worthwhile.
With a little dusting of fresh snow overnight it was a nice fresh air this morning. When the sun eventually peeped over the mountains it beautifully lit up the ice droplets on 'the bush' (the one I'd like to napalm).
The sunrise through the bush looked quite nice also, so maybe 'the bush' can have a reprieve for now..
The sun was only up for a short while before slipping back behind the mountains.
The wispy clouds hanging around the peaks made a beautiful sunset.
Well, OK, the name is actually Robbie, but for some reason which I can't remember, but has something to do with some verses I have written in the Shetland dialect, I ended up with the nickname of Auld Rasmie, and it kinda stuck.
Anyway, I'm a Shetlander through and through but now living in the beautiful West Coast of Norway.
And enjoying it.