November 20, 2009
November 14, 2009
August 01, 2009
The apartment building that I live in was built in 1924, which means that it is 85 years old this year. It has a fairly large closed-in back yard, at least by inner city standards, and this is one of the real perks of living here.
When the building was new, 4 silver birches and 4 rowan trees were planted in the back yard. Over the last few years they have gotten old and frail, and we have had to cut down 6 of them, the last one this summer. This has left the back yard a bit sad and barren, and we have been looking for suitable trees to replace them with. We wanted a mix of larger and smaller ‘hard working’ trees, trees that would be interresting to look at throughout the seasons, that could cope with the Norwegian climate, that would not give too much shade or cause too many problems for hay fever sufferers… the list got longer and longer as we tried to decide. Last year we planted two beautiful ash trees, but were later told by the city that there is an ash ‘plague’ spreading in this area, so no new ash trees should be planted. This meant that we had to remove them again this year, which was sad for us and even sadder for the trees. But, a few weekends ago we got 16 itsy-bitsy apple trees and a Katsura tree (‘japansk hjertetre’ in Norwegian) planted in, and there is more good stuff to come next summer! Hopefully these first ones will survive the winter, prosper and grow fast!
The Katsura tree is a new one to me, and I’ve been checking the internet to find out more about it. The picture below is taken from Wikipedia. Oviously ours is a mere twig still, compared to this mature one.
And this is what the Kew Gardens site said:
And this is what the Kew Gardens site said:
"Its flowers are small and subtle despite being closely related to the more obviously flamboyant magnolia and tulip tree. As if to make up for this oversight the leaves of the tree are, if rather small, spectacular throughout the season. Starting out pink in the spring, the heart-shaped leaves turn to bright green in summer before various shades of yellow, orange and red take over for the autumn, often with several colours overlapping. Interestingly the autumn foliage can smell of burnt brown sugar, or candy floss, which adds to its appeal."
This tree sounds great! Can’t wait for the smell of burnt brown sugar to fill the air!
July 15, 2009
June 02, 2009
My mate Rune is opening his latest exibhition of video art this Sunday, at Sound of Mu.
The blurb reads: Rune Helgesen is showing video of a tap running a subway some hard-drives an oven fan two football matches a laundrette an aquarium a scool a living room two lamps a battery charger a radio an almost broken washing machine an alarm clock a computer screen a heating pump a halogen lamp a forest and a few clouds a stereo playing jaz someone shopping at a mall an autumn day a football match on tv some rain a highway a brass band practicing for 17th of may and a few other things.
Summs it up perfectly.
May 01, 2009
April 11, 2009
One of my favorite things when going somewhere is trying out the local grub, and so far Barcelona has provided some great food! Today I walked to El Poblenou, where I ended up in a very rustic and ‘authentic’-looking restaurant. Not another tourist in sight. Since my Spanish is shamefully poor (read: can order up to seven beers), I was positively surprised to find also an English version of the menu. Albeit with some funky translations. I opted not to go for the ‘Mussels in special sailor sauce’. Instead I went for the ‘Ear to the Catalan style’, figuring this might be a carefully selected local speciality....maybe even a medley of specialties! What I got was a boiled pig’s ear on a plate. Felt a bit let down, especially since this was a seafood restaurant. And this must then have been the only meat-dish on the menu. But, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, and washing it down with a bucket of wine certainly helped. So, lessons learned: Always have a snoop around the local market before chancing it on a menu. And learning the local lingo is always, always a good idea.
At the local market, later in the day....
April 02, 2009
March 10, 2009
For some reason I have come across exhibitions by Finnish photographers in a lot of places around the world in the last couple of years. I have liked them all a lot, and have come to realize that there is a ‘Helsinki School’ within photography which links a lot of them together. The photographs have all been too expensive for me to buy and own, but I found this web page that lets me look at some of them and dream on... Check out the Portfolio for each individual artist.
This one is called 'Wind I' by Riitta Päiväläinen
February 28, 2009
February 19, 2009
Today I am off to Litteraturhuset, where the Norwegian author Johan Harstad is interviewing the Icelandic author Hallgrimur Helgason who amongst other things wrote ‘101 Reykjavik’. Two writers with an often quirky and darkly funny take on the world's underdogs. Helgason has lately also been quite involved in the peoples uprising to throw the Icelandic government after the financial collapse on Iceland. So this could be both fun and interesting.
Litteraturhuset - House of Literature – is a house dedicated to literature and related activities. It was opened in 2007, and has rapidly become a popular institution. It contains amongst other things a popular café, restaurant and bar, a bookshop and six different stages. They host frequent presentations, debates, workshops etc. One floor is dedicated to children and adolescents, another to writers and authors. It also contains an author’s apartment, which is offered rent-free to foreign authors. A lot of what goes on here is in Norwegian, but certainly not all of it. It is a great place to just hang out, especially in summer when the cafè extends to the patio outside, but also to get your head recharged with new knowledge or inspiration without it costing the earth. Check it out here.
January 20, 2009
I generally do not like subscruibing to too many things, but this week I did sign up for something: A subscription to get organic food delivered to my door every week. It is organized by a small Oslo-based company called Kolonihagen. Unfortunately they do not have an English web page.
This is what I got in my first box: 1 bread, 12 potatoes, 6 eggs, 8 carrots, 1 salad, 1 broccoli, 5 red onions, 1 yellow pepper, 5 tomatoes, 5 apples, 3 oranges, 6 bananas, 2 btls of some sort of fizzy drink :-D