Friday, June 11, 2010

news and happenings in the world of Kate part 1

So, I haven't posted on here for about a million years. Life gets in the way of blogging. Life and facenerd. I think I spend so much of my time on telling people what I've been doing there that I forget about the good old blog.

In recent news, I have turned 30, found out that my PhD thesis sat in Canberra in an office for 4 months instead of being sent to my examiners, moved apartment and started to appreciate the Swedish summer with all the light that it brings.

For my 30th birthday the boy and I travelled to Oslo to celebrate. Much the same as we did the year before. We stayed in a lovely hotel, walking distance from the center of town. I was suffering from terrible hayfever that I believed was actually a head cold, so much of the trip was spent sleeping. I find hayfever absolutely exhausting for some reason. Pollen is evil and should be banned.

But the good thing about all the pollen I guess, is that it means that the flowers are blossoming and spring/summer is here. It's outrageously beautiful and transformative in a way that Australian spring cannot compete with. The total difference from winter is apparent as within two weeks the entire outside world transforms from brown and grey to GREEN! Flowers start appearing everywhere and the Swedes start emerging from hibernation. More about that in a bit.
So we visited our favourite frognerparken on my birthday, went to see the Munch museum where one of my favourite paintings was one of Nietzche. I tried posting linkage and/or the image and failed miserably, so if you are interested, google image search works pretty well.

My family called on my birthday and I got to chat with them for a little while.
We went out for dinner both the night before and the night of my birthday. The first night was at a Bahranian restaurant for a friend of the boy's birthday. Once it got past midnight I got a piece of birthday cake with a rocket sparkler in it and an Arabic version of Happy Birthday played over the loudspeakers. The food was pretty tasty, but as with everything in Norway, expensive.

The next night we decided to do something relatively cheap and go out for some Thai food. We looked up the closest restaurant to our hotel and decided to walk there. We ended up getting lost, but found the strangest Thai restaurant ever. It was in the basement of a building and was decked out as though you were in a beach bar in Thailand. There were UV lights everywhere and the tables were made out of bamboo. Halfway through our dinner there was a 'thunderstorm' with flashing lights and a soundtrack of tropical rain. It was hilarious. This combined with our Swedish waiter, complete with Swedish moustache as sported by the guy in the front of this photo. This stype of moustache is all the rage here in the Swedens and is found on many of the young hipsters. The boy has dubbed it the Swedish moustache and keeps on threatening to grow one. The waiter also had the large 80s glasses that are also quite popular, see here. So in any case, it was a lovely evening and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After my birthday, the 'cold' that I had meant that I spent most of Sunday asleep. But it was nice to get a rest and know that I had nothing I 'had' to do.

The next day was Norway's national day and we made our way into town to watch the parade and check out the royal family waving from the balcony. I will post some photos soon to show all the cuteness of the kiddies dressed up and all the national costumes. We then decided to have lunch with a friend of the boy's and played Rock Band on the Xbox. I had a thoroughly good time playing 'drums' and listening to the Norwegian, which is like Swedish only different. The Swedes always say that the Norwegians always sound happy when they speak. I'm not 100% sure I agree, but I became aware of how much Swedish I understood when I was in Norway and suddenly couldn't follow the conversation as easily.

Anyway, it was a pretty good trip and I enjoyed myself. It's now getting kinda late and I have to be up at some undogly hour to go to Stockholm, so I'm off to finish my washing and pack for tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter versions of those trees

So as promised, here are the photos of some of those trees from yesterday as they are seen now. They are sans leaves and occasionally with snow in the branches. I also tried to get a photo of what the snow looks like when it's been sitting there for a while. It looks like leaves or feathers sticking up. Very pretty. But I don't think that my photo really did it justice, will have to play around with the conditions.

So heres the tree outside the lunch place


And here's the tree outside my window

tree from window

And here's my attempt to capture the snow from this morning


Perhaps this afternoon will be a discussion of mores stuff from Xmas and hopefully some more photos.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

obvious season changes

It's a cold winter here this year. The temperature hasn't been over 0 for a very long time. I'm not sure I can remember when it was last above zero. Maybe sometime before the new year. In any case, now that we are heading towards spring, I have started to notice the days starting the lengthen. 3 weeks ago it would have been fully dark now, 4.45pm. But looking out of my office window (praise be to the spaghetti monster that we've moved out of the basement) I can see a vague little remnant of red on the horizon. This would have been unheard of back before NYE. It was dark at 3.30pm.

The other thing I've noticed is the changing of trees and plants. I have some photos of trees around my work this autumn. I'm going to take some photos tomorrow when there is some sun to show you the snow that is currently blanketing everything.

So here are the autumn photos. Let's see if I can be organised enough to get up the winter ones soon.

Here is a tree that is across the road from our flat. This photo was taken from our kitchen window.

tree across the road from our flat

And here is a tree at work.

autumn colours

And the last one, outside my favourite lunch place.

autumn colours

I think they are so pretty. It was sad when all the leaves went away.