Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seeds that bloom in the rain

There's such a terrific rain in Grünerløkka today. The sort that makes strangers smile at each other as they huddle under newspapers and parapets, waiting for the tumbling grey to relent so they can brave the puddles and go to work. On days like these, I wish I could spirit my beloved Dromedar across the mountains and years.

Nedre Bakklandet - HDR - BW
I would open the narrow, white door of the café, and the bell would ring, and my favourite table with a view of the cathedral would be free. Because who ventures out in such weather? Only me, and the silent blonde girl with her tattered paperbacks, and the barista, who grins and starts my cardamom latte without even asking.

Smiling back, I shrug out of my rain gear: my grandmother's thick, white oilskin jacket, my "southwester" hat, already steaming in the warmth of the tiny room. And there's cookie jazz playing, and the blueberry muffins are fresh from the oven, and heavy drops are pelting the cobblestones outside.

As I sit there, trying to glimpse the green of the cathedral spire through the mists, an idea blooms in my head. What if a story began, right there, across the street, in the red, crooked house I've always pictured in that empty lot. What if it starts with a girl, staring out into the rain, unaware that she is already dreadfully late. I smile a little to myself. And then my latte is ready.

Photos: Lin and johnsarelli

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fairy tales do come true

Remember the insane publisher party I told you about when my friend and agency sister Laini went to London? Well, here's what happened when she went to Book Expo America, the biggest book fair on the continent. That continent. You know. Just read it.
Magnus says: WOW. Magnus is right.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Looks like very old magic

Veien hjem
My friend Heidi often says that all of Norway looks like Narnia. I understand, but I don't agree. As a child, I never fell in love with Narnia as much as I did with The Lord of the Rings. There was always a sense that I was being tricked, that Lewis didn't truly believe in his world the way Tolkien did. Narnia just didn't feel real enough. It didn't feel true.
En hestehale
Of course, Norway does not look like Middle-Earth, either. It doesn't whisper of elves and dwarves and a peaceful time under the stars. But Norway has its very own flavor of magic. A green, old, wild sort of magic that gathers under mossy pines between towering mountains.
The road
Or a gray, cold sort of magic that washes over rocks and shores along the coast, swirled up by seabirds.
Bad omen
Or a knowing, watchful magic that lingers under bridges and barns and old stone walls.
Låve komplett med fuglekasser og traktor
I secretly hope that some day, someone will say: Oh, all of Norway looks like Sylver. To which I would reply: On the contrary. All of Sylver looks like Norway.
All photos, as usual, by Lin.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A trip to the cabin


One of the many good things about family vacations is that Lin and her camera are there to capture them. This Easter, we went to our new cabin on Tustna, an island in the Atlantic Ocean not far from Kristiansund. It's so pretty there. Just look:

Sett fra fjell

Here's the view from the mountain that rises behind the cabin, Knubben. It's quite a climb, but I think it only took Lin and Eiv about two and a half hours to get up there. I didn't go, preferring to laze about on the sundeck...

Etter frokost

Which feels a lot like this, only this is a photo from last summer. I read 'Breaking Dawn'.

Ved foten av fjellet

The weather was mostly unusually fair, but we had one day of misty rain, where mountains and ocean were lost in layers of veil. We just stayed inside the cabin and ate chocolate and played yatzee.

Ut av nattskogen

This is the tiny copse that we have to pass through to get to the cabin. It's so dense, I've named it the Night Forest.

Varm grå

And here's the little bay just along the shoreline, where there are farms and houses and a small, sheltered harbour. While we were there, the landspace warmed from weary grey to fresh green.

Årets krokus

A gaggle of giggling crocus. They can be rather silly, you know.


One day, our friends Cam and JohnE picked us up for a trip on the glassy ocean in their very nice boat. Magnus came, too, but I do believe he prefers puddles to all that water.

Gårsdagens glitter

Because there truly is a lot of water, and air and light. So, does anyone want to come? It's even nicer in the summer.

Manglende klovdyr

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ketchup days and butter days

nearly empty sauce bottles
Usually in the morning, my Pan makes himself a cheese sandwich before running off to work. Usually, it's Norvegia cheese and butter and nice bread. But sometimes, if it's been a particularly bumpy night, if Magnus has been up or sick or fussy, if there's a deadline at work, if he's late already, if the stack of bills is tall, he substitutes the butter for ketchup. Cheese, bread and ketchup.

So if I come into the kitchen and the red bottle sits on the counter, I know. Uh oh. It's a ketchup day.

Lately, there's been a lot of those, not only for Pan, but for Magnus and me, too. Viruses galore. Asthma. Hospitals. Eye problems. Messy house, messy work, messy nights and ketchup days.

All right, spring. Bring on the butter.


Photos: Minimalist101, Line