Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Downtime


I'm not very good at downtime but today we spent the entire afternoon at home doing pretty much nothing (after being out all morning...).  We didn't even do "indoor activities", nothing educational or artistic or culinary or structured or constructive in any way.  We just was.  And I always forget how much I love that.*  At the moment Matilda and Owen are at their happiest playing together and they can play together for hours.  They love each other so much.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it while it lasts!


And look who's a happy bunny to be able to start getting in on the act :)



*Although I did manage to sneak in baking up some caramel shortbread and some flapjacks for our trip up to the mountains tomorrow.  What's a trip to the mountains if not an excuse to do some big fat baking.  

Friday, 9 May 2014

Grand designs

Owen's handiwork to the left; Matilda's to the right.

Yesterday, as I flung open my bedroom window to a new morning, I noticed that the window ledge had recently been somewhat refurbished.  I called the minibeasts upstairs, one by one, to ask if they knew where our ledge paintings had come from.

Matilda looked at me askance.  One of those looks that children give you that says: I have understood life whereas you understand precisely nothing, and said:
"I wanted to decorate the house."

Owen merrily informed me:
"That is where some dinosaures dessined some écrabouillages [drew some scribblings]."

Later on that same day, as I was strapping Matilda into the car I noticed that she had also decided to jolly up her car seat belt!


Now I tried to be stern about both incidents.  You can't just draw willy nilly about the place, can you?  Especially if it's not your place (don't want to find them leaving little souvenirs in other people's homes!).  But really I think her drawings (and Owen's scribblings) are sweet and they brighten up my day so we've agreed that if ever they feel the urge to "decorate" they will come and check with me first.  Chances are I'll tell them to go right ahead.    

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Oshigh


For my birthday this year I asked, as always, for money towards time away with my fella and this year my fella organized a mystery weekend.  It wasn't until we arrived at the airport that I found out we were heading for Oslo!  He's a very clever fella - it was glorious.  I love Scandinavia: the cold, the freshness, the space, the general all-round loveliness of the people.  Oslo was no exception.  In fact the Norwegians are so lovely they even build little steps to help the ducks get out of the ponds.


It's also cripplingly expensive, but that just meant we had a great excuse to do what I love doing best.  Walking.  We walked everywhere, unhindered by traffic (because in Oslo there is no traffic), and everywhere there was:

Sculpture

From an exhibition of sculpture designed by children.


Greenery and flowers

Some flowers squeezed in down the middle of the road.

There were tulips absolutely everywhere!

Believe it or not, this photo was taken in the heart of the city.

Architecture

The stunning Opera House

Museums
Crazy people eating ice-cream (it's too cold crazy people)
Cafes with blankets to enjoy the sun but keep out the cold



Teeny tiny dogs (why Oslo why???)
SPACE

I'm a long-time lover of Munch so I was very excited about getting to visit the Munch museum though actually I think what I enjoyed most was seeing the Norwegian Impressionists in the National Gallery.  At the risk of sounding like a spoilt European, you can (sort of, ssshhhhh, sacrilege) tire of seeing endless Monet et al.  So discovering the Impressionists of the north and their more cristalline beauty was a breath of fresh air.  But my favourite discovery was the Neoromantic painter, Harald Sohlberg.

Winter night in Rondane

And my absolute favourite place was Vigeland Park, full of - can you guess? - sculpture and greenery.  Sculpture by Gustav Vigeland.  Beautiful, simple, accessible sculpture.  I was entranced, I felt he captured human emotions so perfectly and was able to communicate them with understanding and clarity.  I took a lot of photos.  I will share merely a select few.









This one reminds me of Matilda.

Yet again I was reminded of how important it is to simply be a couple every once in a while.  I realized how little time I spend day to day fully concentrated on the two of us and finding the time to do that allowed me to fall in love with my Fanf all over again.  And that's nice, isn't it.