Friday, 9 August 2013

country life

the weather has been amazing in may, pretty decent in june, and only crappy during our holiday trips in july (go figure...), and our new home is situated in a place where you just have to go out when it's sunny. biggest challenge is to decide whether to go walking, running, paddling, boating, camping, fishing, picking berries, sit on the beach, have yet another bbq..... obviously, that kinda limits time spent indoors, and even more time spent in front of a computer writing blog posts. to make up for that, here come lots of photos from some of our many many short trips :)

since may was so incredibly warm and sunny, we've had a record of five bbqs within a week! first one on vengsoya...




another one on musvaer, a group of small islands with a farm and one family living there.







we actually went there several times for goose hunting and one of the times had a look in their barn too.







with a visiting friend, we had to have another bbq on a beach south of our village, paddling out in amazingly calm weather:





now i gotta catch a plane back from a summer school i was teaching at, and then go off hiking for a week again, so... to be continued... with more photos!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

sad spring

mid-may, a lot has happened since the last post. A lot of good and exciting things including trips an travelling, but the last couple of weeks have been rough.
TBF came back from fieldwork in early march and a couple of weeks later, bali and yukon joined us in our new home. finally everybody together in one place, felt like our little family came home.

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bit over two weeks ago, we had an accident with bali which resulted in a torn achilles tendon. the vet's verdict: she would never be able to run again. never mind pull a sledge or work in a team. after a surgery, she wouldn't be allowed to do anything at all for half a year to a year. and after that, she's maybe (!) be able to come along on walks or ski trips and "run" alongside. she's been the most eager and fastest dog in our team, happiest when running and running fast, never tired even after days of heavy pulling in deep snow, jumping in her harness in anticipation and telling of the rest of the team for being too slow or not working hard enough. howling when left behind and watching the others go out. we had to make the difficult decision and put her to sleep. much too young, in her best form, fit and healthy. life is not fair.
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she is missed by all of us. watching yukon sleeping in the corner that was hers is heartbreaking. we lost a friend and a member of our little family.
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(The one in front who's sitting up, ready to start any second: that's bali...)

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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

road adventures

last saturday, i moved out of the city and to the countryside. work, unfortunately, did not move which means that i joined the ranks of the commuters. if you read the last post, you have seen what my new place looks like in the sunshine. however, since saturday, it has been storming and raining (water, slush, or very wet snow, depending on altitude) with record levels of precipitation. views were mostly grey, grey, and very very wet. timing could not have been better.

and so, on my first three days of commuting, i have
- driven in some of the worst road conditions i have had to drive in so far,
- found out where on the road over the pass the big big big puddles form,
- seen reindeer pretty much every day, preferably when driving back at night in the dark,
- found out what it feels like to almost completely lose control on ice,
- been immensely grateful for having the car i have (a big, sturdy van with 4-wheel-drive),
- enjoy the views very briefly today in the morning.

and topping things off today, day 3 of commuting, i saw an elk.

luckily just on the side of the road, and i was super slow because of 1-4 on the list above. they are amazing creatures, but... i wish they would stay away from the road i'm driving on. i do not wish to contribute to the already high numbers of elk-related road accidents.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

home sweet new home

our new home in a village that could feature in a picture book of most beautiful places in norway:


and the view from the living room:


and as soon as TBF is back, it's time to go furniture shopping :) took me only 33 years to get to the point that i have enough space and money to buy things like a proper dining table... and as soon as all the boxes are unpacked, we'll be happy to welcome visitors!

Friday, 8 February 2013

grand canyon - getting on the river

Since we were going to paddle the Colorado River on a private permit with folks in our group that are as experienced on white water as you could only wish for, we went without a guide and just rented all equipment (rafts, kayaks, kitchen, food, loo...) from an outfitter. (If you happen to look for one, Canyon REO are great!) After the short excursion to the south rim, it was time to get the obligatory briefing on the river and river and national part rules, and to sort out the gear! And to buy beer...

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The briefing was kinda funny - imagine a bunch of guys, more than half of them outdoor professionals with extensive expedition experience, being told how to cook in the wild, how to go to the loo, how to camp...... But due to the particular rules in the national park and the efforts to protect the nature, prevent erosion and mice&snake infestation, and minimise the impact of all the tourists travelling through, everything was slightly different from your average trip in the british or norwegian outdoors... The amount of hand sanitizer we were provided with (and used during the trip!) and the elaborate kitchen set up were proof for that.

But soon it was time to head off to the river! The outfitters drove us and all the gear to Lee's ferry, the put-in. We got our first glimpse of the river from Navajo Bridge, and the colours were amazing.

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At Lee's ferry, they helped rigging the rafts, stowing all gear and food (and there was loads of that...), the rangers checked the buoyancy aids, and then we were off! Covering about 200 m down the river to the first camp.....

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Before we really were allowed to set off, we had to have another briefing, this time by the park rangers.   There was one other private group getting the briefing at the same time and starting their trip on the same day as us. We were going to meet each other and leapfrog down the river all the way to the get out but otherwise, the only other groups we met on the river were commercials that just zipped past, doing the same stretch of river in a much shorter time.

After the briefing was over, we let the other group get away first, and then, finally pushed off to spend the next fifteen days on the river.

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Thursday, 7 February 2013

< 3.5 weeks

last weekend i allowed myself to start counting in weeks and days instead of months. now it's less than 3.5 weeks till TBF is back, yay!!! so, how's the project "staying sane" going?

the two best things i have done all autumn and winter which gave me a huge boost when everything just seemed to be a depressing slog were going away over christmas and running that half marathon. i can't remember the last time i managed to completely block out work on such a short trip (just over a week), normally it takes a couple of weeks to clear my mind of all the crap that's running in circles in there. but this week did it for me. before i left, i was frustrated as hell because of stuff going on at work and my inability to just not worry. when i came back, i had calmed down, made a resolution to FORCE myself to ignore those worries nagging all the time and push back the angst around not knowing if i will be able to stay here or have to move again, and at least found the traces of my old optimistic self again.

and then came the race - wow! the wave of adrenaline, endorphins, and euphoria that came with the training, the race itself, and the awesome finish carried me over the next few weeks! if i had known that i'd react like this to such a race, i'd have started earlier!!! can't wait till the next one... that said, running is on a break at the moment, because finally a cold caught me out. wondered already how i got away for so long without one this winter... exercise will be restarted hopefully soon. might be on skis though because there's finally snow!!!

in other news, i'm back in the music business and started playing in an orchestra again - another time sucker but sooooo worth it! it's been an awfully high number of years since i played at uni in england, and as soon as i had joined here, i got confirmed why i didn't try before: rehearsals and concerts just don't fit in a schedule with conferences and fieldwork! but hey, i'll make it work... somehow...

i'm also packing up my flat and moving out to a small village about half an hour drive away from town. TBF and i will finally stop this long-distance crap! and and and... i'm getting already all excited: for the first time, i'll have a flat with decent space, and money on my account to actually go furniture shopping!!! my one solitary bookshelf that has been with me since i moved out from my parents will be happy to get company, it's totally overloaded. the place we're moving to is in my opinion the nicest village in the whole area, so dear readers, if you want to see why, come and visit!

and lastly, finally also contributing to wellbeing instead of only dragging down: work is going well, the postdoc paper mill is finally getting some speed and there are already four items on the publication list for 2013. can't complain, really...

i'm looking forward to this year.