Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Brom starts a shop


Well, I could start a shop! Because Mara bought So Much Food! She says she can't get it in Norway, so she bought extra of Everything!! And she didn't even get everything she wanted. 

She got chocolate sprinkles and beans and breakfast cake and Chinese noodles and tea towels and apple sauce and more beans and sweets and glasses and spreadable mice (she is NOT getting her hands on Mouse, that's for sure) and spinach and French crackers and white chocolate and loooooots more. 

You may be able to see (if you biggify) some fabric in the front: the white one is a pretty net curtain for the living room and the one with the birdies on is going to be curtains for the kitchen. She also bought a shirt and a pair of three-quarter trousers and a lovely cardigan. 

Then there are the drinks: chocolate milk, raspberry and peach drinks. In the back you can see the two books she made, they look amazing! Everybody was really impressed. There are some balls of yarn in the photo as well, that Gera had to get for her. 

She got tompouce flavoured popcorn, that sounds quite exciting. There is sugar (they don't sell this type in Norway), beschuit (a Dutch breakfast food that we tried to make in June, but failed on), Dutch pea soup and I think I have still forgotten things. 

I do wonder how she will get everything in the car though. Because we me and Mouse don't want to get squashed in somewhere! But Mara says we will be fine, although the load of the car could cause it to go a bit slower...

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Brom's Photo on Sunday 2017-27

Yes, the chair collapsed under Gera! And the next day Mara's chair did the same thing!! On the plus side though: we were able to sit outside until quite late in the evening!!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Brom and Mouse go on a long trip


Well, that was a looooooong trip. First Mara packed the car. Then we drove to Stavanger where we would take the big overnight ferry to Denmark. We were early, but there were already some other people waiting in the queue. Since we had to wait, Mara got out her knitting (yes, really) and continued with another friend. Finally we were able to check in and then we had to wait some more.

Mara said the ferry had to come from Bergen (further North in Norway), but it finally arrived and we were able to drive on. Then Mara collected her little overnight bag, us and her handbag (with knitting) and we went upstairs to find our cabin. It was a beautiful cabin and it even had a television. Me and Mouse divided up the beds, but Mara didn't think it was such a good idea and in the end she slept at one side of the bed and me and Mouse slept on the other side. 

Mara said no, even though they were proper beds!
We say slept, because where we did sleep like hibernating bears, Mara did not. She says that boats and sleeping are not good. She always gets seasick and even though the sea was not rough at all, she didn't get sick and she didn't hear any of the other passengers due to a great pair of earplugs, she felt every single up and down in her stomach! Up and down and up and down...

Well, okay then...
In the middle of the night she woke us both up, because she couldn't sleep at all and decided she would work on the new friend! But, in the end she did manage to get some more sleep. Finally the lady in the roof told us we were close to Denmark and that it was time to get up and get some breakfast. And when breakfast was over, we went back to the car and waited for the ferry to arrive, so we could disembark and drive home. 

The view from our cabin at the front
Denmark is very different from Norway. It is almost flat! But it was just as wet as Norway: a lot of rain and rain and more rain. But, the music was going, the gps was set (only 850 km to go) and the car was going great. After half an hour though, the rain stopped and the sun came out. It got warmer and warmer and Mara had to turn the airconditioning on. Then we had to stop: Cookie the Car needed a drink and Mara needed the opposite. On we went...

I got a stamp in my passport!
It says that we were on the MS Stavangerfjord!
We got to Germany (still flat, still sunny and warm) and passed Hamburg without too much trouble. We drove on to Bremen, where we got stuck in a traffic jam. We lost some good time there. But, we passed Bremen eventually and made our way South again. Another traffic jam, this one even worse! But, we passed that one eventually as well. We saw the first sign for a Dutch place, but it wasn't the way we were going, so we ignored it and drove on. And on. And on.

Let's go!
And then all of a sudden, we drove in the Netherlands. We were getting close! We were ready by that time, because we had been in the car since early that morning. One more stop (thirsty Cookie, opposite driver) and then the last stretch. We entered Mara's hometown, then the suburb, then the street and then we saw the house! In the end our car journey had lasted from 7.45am to 6.30pm. Without any long stops, but even though Mara was very tired, she was not doing badly at all. The nice food and the big bowl glass of wine probably helped get her getting right on top of things again!

Finally we were home!

Thursday, 24 August 2017

The last bits and pieces

Well, not sure whether they are the last bits and pieces, but I think I have everything. I have the book my uncle loaned me, I have my walking shoes, my pills and my knitting. I did not forget the mice, nor my sister's picture. I even remembered to pack enough socks and underwear and yes, I brought some laundry as well, since I didn't have enough for a load here. 

I still have to go to the post office today (somebody ordered 2 mice last night, yippee) and swing by at work, since there is a package waiting there. I have to remember the perishables, but they will be last minute and then just before the actual drive starts, I have to fill the car up with petrol, so we don't get stranded on the first bit!

Brom (and Mouse) are looking forward to a great trip, although I think they are mainly looking forward to having a bed EACH tonight! I ordered a cabin on the night ferry, but all they had left was a four-person one with a sea view. Which means that we have a bed left over! 

Anyhoo, I don't know when we will be posting again, but be assured: we will have a great time!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


Of course, when taking a road trip, you need to take enough sustenance to cover the whole of the trip. And not all of it should be made of sugar either. When my sister and I went on a road trip last year, the person not driving was responsible for providing the person driving with the food. Be they mandarins, apples, drinks or whathaveyou. This time however, it will be just Brom and me (and Mouse) and I am the only with opposable thumbs! 

That means no mandarins, no sandwiches that have to be made and no apples (I am not too fond of them). Instead there are winegums, liquorice-type sweets and sweet chocolate brioches. Plus (yes, yes) cherry tomatoes and grapes. All easy to grab and easy to stuff. The drinks will be in easy to open bottles. Then again, I might stop underway somewhere and get a nice bite. Or not. 

The salad and the yoghurt are for my dinner on the ferry. I felt that the 40 euros asked for dinner in their buffet restaurant was highly over the top! Instead I will have a small warm dinner at home and then the salad as a supper-type meal. Both those together didn't even come to 10 euros!

One more night...

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Have you ever heard of Arne and Carlos? You haven't? Well, let me tell you that they are two Swedish guys who love knitting and write books with lots of great patterns, for lots of different things like dolls or tøfler. And that is Norwegian for slippers. 

Before I started with Mice for Mama, I had bought the doll book (I tried, too fiddly) and the slipper book. Mainly inspired by the sister of a colleague (who I actually never met, but the colleague spoke highly of her and her experiences in 'toving' or felting), I thought I might give the slippers a go. I even bought some wool to give it a try. I never got around to do it though. 

Until I started Mice for Mama that is. After weeks and weeks of working on other things (ie the books) and knitting mice (did you know you can even place an order for favourite colours?), I thought that I might try and diversify and knit something else as well. But fit for Mice for Mama!

Before they were washed and with the heads unfilled
So, one afternoon I got out the book (remember it's in Norwegian), the wool and then started hunting for my sock needles. I found lots of them, but not in the size in wanted. Of course! But, in the end I managed to locate the right quintet and off I went. The first thing I noticed was how hard it actually was on my hands. I am a loose knitter and that caused me to use the smallest size possible for the wool's thickness, so as not to make something that doesn't work. 

After a while though, I got the hang of it and tried to follow the instructions. Which were simple and easy and totally understandable. Before I knew it, I had the heel done (the trickiest part) and then the rest of the slipper. It looked good as well, albeit a bit big (it's the smallest size slipper). I then went on to make the second slipper, which was even easier, since I now knew what to do. 

But I wasn't done there yet! Because the slippers have to be fit for Mice for Mama and that means that mice have to be included. So, off I went to find my thin felting wool and some knitting needles. Which proved tricky, since I have every size under the sun, expect the one I needed. In the end I found one that was nearly there (only a quarter off) and they turned out to be perfect. 

The slippers weren't ready then. They needed to be washed and so do the mousies' heads. They are washed at a higher temperature than should be used for wool (40 instead of 30 degrees) and that means shrinkage! Which is exactly what is supposed to happen. After they had dried out, I stuffed the heads and sewed them to the slippers. But, to me it doesn't look good. Well, not good enough anyway. I will have to come up with another solution!

Monday, 21 August 2017

A clerical error

We have six-week long rotas at work. After the six weeks are over, we start anew. You always know what you have to do, which is brilliant. Recently we got a new rota and even though I had one copy in my money bag, I did not have one at home. Which meant that I was sure I had to work today, but I didn't know at what time exactly. I knew it was early, but how early? So, last night I checked online.

Well, that wasn't right: it said I didn't have to work, I was on holiday! Which wasn't the worst of it though: it said that next week I would have to work!! Well, that couldn't be right, I can't be working next week, I am going to the zoo next week. Where was my vacation application? See, there it was: free from the 25th of August, nothing to do with the 21st. Hold on, the person who okayed my application had put down week 34. Which starts today, the 21st. 

After a nice lie-in (I am on holiday now they say), I made my way to the office: get this mess sorted, because next week I will NOT be working! Well, the result of that is: I will not be working next week. Nor will I be working this week, since I now have two weeks off. I am two days short really, but we are sure that can be sorted at a later time, either by some overwork here or there, or by having some days go without pay. 

Either way though: it's a holi-holi-day!!! Bliss...

Saturday, 19 August 2017

On second glance

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the new pills I had received from my GP did not live up to expectations. At least the ones I had to take when I had an attack going. Was it the wrong type of headache, did I take the pills too late? Either way, they did not work. 

This morning I felt another attack coming on. A different type. The type that is totally debilitating. Which makes me loose my lunch. And breakfast and dinner. The one that sees me in a darkened room, preferably with ear plugs feeling extremely sorry for myself. Of course I could wait until it had become a full-blown attack, or I could take a pill before. I chose the latter.

The question of course is: does it work? Well, seeing as how I am still mobile, still in a light room, still without earplugs, still knitting/computering away: YES! The pressure on my nose and just behind my eyes is still there, but it doesn't cause me grief. My breakfast stayed down (taken after the pill) and I feel okay. Of course driving is out of the question, seeing as how there is a big red triangle on the box, but no pain. 

I get this type of headache about three to four times a year and I do know some of the warning signs: heavy hands/arms and a light headache one to two days before, easily treated. But unless I am at home relaxing, I don't always feel/notice those warning signs. I noticed the heavy arm last night, but didn't think much of it. But remembering back to my childhood: that was one of the things that always happened and this type of headache was the only one I ever got back then. 

Anyhoo, the pill worked and I am happy. Now I can continue cleaning the apartment!

Friday, 18 August 2017

It's ready!

And by it I mean the car. It hasn't got a name. I do refer to it as my cake tin or cookie jar, because of its smallness. Other than that it's just 'it'. And it's ready!

This morning I got out the vacuum cleaner and the extension cord, because for the first time since I have owned it, it got cleaned! First I hoovered up all the little stones sand what? in the boot. Apparently I had spilled some cat litter at some point and it had taken up the moisture in the car and then decided to stick to the floor. I got it out though...

Then it was the turn for the backseats and front seats (why is backseat one word and front seat two?). Taking out the mats and getting rid of several years of pebbles, sand, dirt and other assorted ickies. When I was finally finished with the vacuuming (is that even a word?), I decided to get even more radical. 

I got out the bucket and filled it with soap and water! Oh yes, the outside was up next! I sponged and soaped and the water got blacker and blacker. But the car looks shiny and fresh again. It won't for long, knowing the weather here in Norway, but I feel pretty chuffed over a morning's work. 

The car is ready. Now me...

Thursday, 17 August 2017


She tricked me!
Well, the first few things of the list are ticked. The pussycat went for a check-up (she did NOT agree) and was found to be fine. The car went for a check-up the next day and was found to be fine. Several fluids had been changed, the brakes were checked, the oil filter was changed and the windscreen wiper was changed (it had been bugging me for the time I've had it, but never so much to get it changed before). All in all it took about an hour and now my car should be fine on my journey.

Yesterday I also got a text message from my landlord: it was paper and plastic collection today! Of course I didn't read it until I was due to go to bed, so I then had to find the big bags in which to stuff all the plastic I had saved up so far. But, I did get there and was finally able to go to... no, I wasn't able to go to bed, because I had taken the sheets off to be washed and hadn't remade it with clean sheets yet. I finally managed to get to bed in the end though. And it was still before midnight.

Brom's passport has to come along. As well as my own of course.
The 'emergency' box for the trip is filling up nicely. Most importantly of course are the wine gums and the toilet roll (!), but I also have a small stash of plasters, anti-septic wipes, a box of tissues, some heat pads (in case of a stiff shoulder/neck), two small trash bags and other necessaries. 

In the mean time school has started again and Norway is back to normal life. However, today is a split shift (in which I cleared the car of a lot of junk) and tomorrow I am off. So, not too bad a start. Next week will see me work for the first three days and then I am off on Thursday. I booked the ferry for that evening, so it gives me some time to get everything sorted that needs to be sorted. 

During our Scotland trip
I am really starting to look forward to the trip itself, seeing my family and friends and of course seeing how the books turned out. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


What do you mean, I am not coming?
Usually when I go on holiday I pack my suitcase about a day before, sometimes (depending on the flight) even the day itself. But when I travel next week, I will not be travelling by plane. I will drive! And that needs a different preparation. For starters, I have to get the car serviced. Which will be a welcome surprise to it, since it hasn't happened so far! Then again, I have only had the car for two and a half years and more importantly: I don't do that much driving. Anyway, tomorrow the car will get a full service. Oil and water and checking of brakes and all that. 

The next thing to do is get puss serviced. Well, not really serviced, but she does need her shots, so later this afternoon (much against her will I am sure) she will be packed up and we see the vet. She has been going outside a lot lately (what with my extra free days and my sick days) and seems to be in good health, but yet again: a check-up is always clever.

It looks a bit different, but not much
The house needs to be serviced. Well, I say serviced, it would really be a good clear/clean. My desk still looks like a bomb exploded, even though the books are finished, several things need to be sorted and/or packed/packed away. I need to make sure that everything that needs to come along to the Netherlands, comes along. Like the photo (yep, the one that started my wall of memory), the mouse and the bamse mums for my sister (if anybody else wants: let me know now or forever hold your peace. Hold on, that was a different speech. I get confused sometimes). 

Some of these have been sold, so will not be coming along
Other than that I will be taken along the unsold mice (excluding the reserved ones of course), my medication(s), all the wires, cables and other contrapthingies I might need for the road and/or my stay. I have bought some winegums to keep me going whilst driving and according to my mother it's always wise to have a toilet roll with you, so that's coming as well. Plus my music of course. So far I have about two weeks' worth of sing-alongs, scream-alongs, dream-away-tos and some push-the-pedal-to-the-metals. Everything from Glenn Miller to Sesame Street and from Beethoven to Queen. 

I am telling you right now: I am NOT going to the vet!
Of course I still have just over a week before I leave and I am bound to have to do most of it on the day itself. However, everything I can do now is a plus. Fortunately there are only 4 more working days left. One this week and then three next week. I can't wait...

Monday, 14 August 2017

Brom buys a mouse


Mara has been so busy lately, it is just incredible. Although last week she was done with the busy and started on the not feeling well (yet again). So, she stayed home for a few days, mainly concerning herself with knitting. And you know what she knits right? Yes, Mice for Mama

This is Mara's Mama's Mama with some of her mousies
She gave them (amongst others) to the Red Cross to be given to sick people on holiday
Now, the title may be a bit misleading, because she doesn't actually knit the mice for her Mama (she has several already, stuffed in a bookcase). She knits the mice to sell and then half of the proceeds go to a charity that is dear to Mara's Mama's heart: the Stomach, Liver and Bowel Foundation in the Netherlands. And that reminds me: Mara's Mama was checked up a few weeks ago and they found:

NOTHING! Well, they found her stomach and her toes and her heart and her nose and all that, but they did not find any cancer. She had a really good doctor and a lot of POTP and POTL and POTF&F. So, she is now officially cleared, so yippee! 

Anyway, Mara has been knitting mousies lately as well and they will go up on her other blog: Mice for Mama and when she started on the latest one, I knew it was going to be a good one. No, a great one! Because... it's in the colours of the Dutch flag! And before you say, well, Great Britain and Australia and the United States and a lot of other countries have the same colours, I know. But they don't have orange! So, I have decided to get myself a mouse. To join us on our travels! Which are going to be soon as well...

I only borrowed his cape...
If you want your own mousey companion, why not click on the following link: Mice for Mama and see whether there is a mouse you would like to give a good home to. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-26

One person amongst you will recognise this particular mouse (it's S 018), but before this squeeky was actually finished. I did finish it though and now it (hopefully) lives the good life in Canada! 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Really done!

Yes, this time it's true. I am really done! I now knew what to do and even though there were still a few hiccups, I managed to get it done in about 3 hours. Could be a bit less. I've got 4 books each (father's and mother's sides) on the way and then 5 magazines from my father's side. I can't wait to see them, but I will have to, since I had them sent to my parents' instead of here. The chances of them not arriving in time for my journey to the land below the water are too big!

In other news: I will sleep well tonight...

Monday, 7 August 2017


Halfway through Sunday afternoon I was done with the second book. I then located the book I had printed last year (after our road trip through Eastern Europe) and then went on to the Blurb page. 

Oh yes, the files were the wrong size. How did I do that again? Half an hour later I had finally found out and had resized. Oh no, I hadn't. Try again. And again. Oh, bother, the front and back page should be in a different file. Start again. 

Finally, after about an hour of this, I had gotten to the next stage. Which proved to be an even bigger hurdle, since I really don't know what it's about! Something about enclosed font. I think. But my book was completely written in Candara. Nothing to do with Arial. Make sure everything is in Candara. Try again. Nope! 

In the end, with a head fit to bursting (FIGURATIVELY), I gave up and sent a 'help me in your simplest words' message to Blurb. An hour or so later I got the answer I needed and continued. But of course then the whole lay-out looked terrible. Instead of nice round photos, there were black borders.

More editing was needed and eventually (at 8pm), I gave up. Hopefully I will get it done today, because the books need to be ordered. 

Getting a book published is hard!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-25

I tried, I really did. But every time she was in the smallest of the four and I would get my camera, she would jump out! So, no photo of Miss Oswin in a box. Just of boxes...

Friday, 4 August 2017


Views like this were few and far between this summer
Yesterday was another day with the H and once again I tried the new pill. Again, no luck though. But I did notice that my shoulders felt awful and so did my neck. Whenever I shrugged it really hurt. So, once I got home I got hold of the heat pads, stuck one on my left shoulder and the other one across my neck and by 7pm, the H was gone! 

Today I woke up to a clear head. Don't worry though: as a bonus for being a good girl, it was absolutely tipping down outside! When I got in the car to drive to work, they even said on the radio that a main road had been closed due to flooding! As well as fallen down trees, flooded basements and other nasties! Fortunately half way through the day the rain cleared somewhat, but more is expected. As if our summer here in Norway hasn't been bad enough so far... Then again, it all makes for cheap electricity apparently. Not that that is much of a concern for me, since it's included in my rent!

Other than that, not much happened.  Three weeks to my holiday...

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The first signs

As you know several weeks ago I went to see my gp about my headaches and got a load of medication and a headache diary to fill out. One pill I have to take every day and so far I only forgot once and I didn't take it once because I finished too late (and then started too early the next day). The first week or so I still had some residual aches and shoots from the cold, but after that it was going great. 

Then, two days ago, I had a slight achy thingy. But it left after an hour or so and I was fine. Then yesterday, I had a bit more of an achy head. Still, it was doable. This morning? I woke up with a headache. Only one way to go: take a pill. Well, take four pills really. Two of the ordinary painkillers, a new painkiller (Diclofenac if you're interested) and a stomach pill, thanks to the new pill not being good for my stomach. Four hours later, the process was repeated. 

So, did it work? Did it heck!! Not a chance! It's like they are giving me peppermints. It was a workable headache though, so no need to call in sick, but still. If you're given stronger medication, I would expect at least some sort of relief and there was none! WhatSoEver!

Of course I might have taken the wrong type pill, because it was the wrong type headache. Then again, if I wait until I've got a full-blown headache, the chances of it working are even less! Mind you, this was only the first time and it said to keep a diary, so that's what I do. Keeping a diary of when and how and how much and how long and all that... 

Then again, my last attack is over three weeks ago and I certainly know where that one came from: the cold! So, perhaps all is not lost just yet.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


As you know I work as a busdriver. But the last four days I spent sitting behind my computer doing a lot of searching, typing (ten fingers fortunately), constructing stories, checking, rereading, removing letters and words, rearranging etc etc. 

Apart from having something to show for it at the end (and the end is getting closer now), it is hard work. I cannot understand people who actually do it for a living: sitting behind a computer screen day in day out. I think I would go batty!

I did go out today though. Finally. I had only been out once or twice to see whether a package that was due last week had arrived (it hasn't), but today I needed to get to the shop. No bread, milk long overdue, no dinner left, no fruit. And how lovely it was to feel the sun on my head and the wind in my hair. 

Then I got back home and got stuck straight back in. And this afternoon was the afternoon of incredulity. When I checked my father's ancestors for pre-marriage pregnancies, I found two. Out of thirty or thereabouts. When I checked my mother's ancestors, I found a few more. Well, I found over twenty. Out of thirty or thereabouts! My jaw just kept dropping and dropping, until I was nearly in the basement. 

Ah well, tomorrow it's back to work. I am not completely finished with my mother's book yet, but it is looking good so far (57 pages) and I will be able to do some work in the evenings. Next week is my deadline (I always have an absolute deadline) and then it's back to normal life. 

I will give my eyes some rest now though, and watch some television and read a bit. An early night and back on the bus!