Tuesday, 24 January 2017

So, why did I? Part 2

I did tell you yesterday that despite having the perfect job, I moved. Yet, I didn't tell you why, now did I? 

Why would a 40-something woman with a good and steady job, friends and family, a home and of course a bunch of felines decide to move away? And over the years I have given so many different answers to that question. All of them sort of hinting at the why, but never really landing on it. Basically because I had never landed on it. Yet. 

Something different. Challenging. I never saw myself living my whole life in the Netherlands. I didn't want to be sorry I never tried. Those were some of the answers I gave. They never told the whole story and quite often it was more a case of defending myself and my decision than anything else. 

Well, to all of those who have asked over the years: here is the answer I have come to in the end (it's only taken more than 10 years from first plan to having lived in Norway for over four years).

I wanted an adventure!

Monday, 23 January 2017

So, why did I? Part 1

When moving to a different country, you will invariably get the question: why. Why did you move to wherever you moved to? And the answer to that is different for everyone. Looking through my own ancestry and finding people who moved away, even there the answers are many. 

I found a (most likely) religion based move. One that was forced, banished, definitely because of religion. However, most of the others were economy based. Bad economic situations in the Netherlands, and (perhaps) better situations elsewhere made people move. The late 19th and early to mid 20th century saw millions of people leave their home and family in search of a better and/or safer life for them and their children. And on the whole they did okay. 

On a wibbly-wobbly bridge in Canada's Badlands
My sister and I are the only two in our family who made the move abroad. My sister (as Brom can tell you) made a lovely life for herself in Northern Ireland. And I am not doing too bad in Norway. Our reasons however, differ. She was unable to find the job she wanted back home and found it elsewhere. I had the perfect job back home and yet... I moved anyway.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-3

On the quay-side in Haugesund. A statue of Marilyn Monroe. Not really dressed for Norwegian weather though...

Friday, 20 January 2017

Miss Oswin has a tale to tell


Inspired by Ernie from Frankie 'n' Ernie? Hello, I can make up my own stories thank you very much. And it isn't my fault that two-legger of mine got down on the floor (oh yes she did) and started taking photos of my tail. 

I tried to get away from her, but she tricked me: she put down some sweets and she knows I love sweets. And then when the sweets were finished she tried some more, but I was on to her. I just stayed very close and that way she couldn't take any decent photo. 

I think...

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Poppy, cornflower, buttercup and daisy

I wouldn't call myself particularly busy. I mean, of course I work, but once I'm done with that, I'm done. I don't take my work home, although I do sometimes go home on work (ie I take the bus home) and there are not many other things I do. Besides knitting, a bit of crocheting, playing candy crush, blogging and doing genealogy. 

So you would think that after a 'busy' day of all that (minus the work, the H), I would be able to go to bed and sleep. You would think that. I would think that. Alas...

I went to bed at 9.15pm. Early by my standards, but then I had to get up at 3.30am. My landlord was willing to drive me to work, so I had to be on time.* I saw the clock go to 9.45pm. I saw 10pm. I saw 11pm. I saw 11.30pm. And all the while my mind was racing. 

"What was she doing in London at that time and how did she die?" "I need to write this and that to her, and such and such. Hopefully I will get a response." "I wonder how I go about finding out about how somebody died on top of just when and where." And more questions and letters of the same ilk. I even had this blog post written in my head because I couldn't sleep!

I realised I needed my sleep and I have a trick for that: think about flowers. Red, blue, yellow and white. Yes, the ones in the title. I would repeat them in my head in Dutch or in English for a few minutes, before my mind wandered off again. It was a long evening!

I fell asleep eventually, but woke up at the first (of three) alarm. Wide awake. And immediately trying to find answers and such for my ancestry...

*My landlord actually works at the same place I do and starts early early every day. Occasionally I start at the same time and I can catch a ride, provided I get up in time.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


When we go on those hiking/walking trips, we both take photos. Even if we have been there before, we will take new photos of the same thing again. It means as well, that our trips usually take a bit longer because of all that photo taking. 

One plus of the both of us taking photos is that I get some photos of myself. I haven't got a nice and fancy phone with which I can take photos (shock, horror, but yes, it's true), so if I want to take a selfie it has to be done with a big cumbersome camera.

The first two photos were taken during the drizzle-trip. We came to a bridge and the water was just running down. I had a good rain suit on and stood underneath while my friend took several photos. The second one was taken a little later during that trip. For some reason I have my eyes closed. 

The third photo shows me at the beginning of the no-drizzle-trip. Well wrapped up, but the hat came off within ten minutes, as did the gloves. The coat was opened and the scarf was loosened as well. And the last photo shows me walking from the photographer (Unni). It looks emptier than it was, because there were a lot of people about.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The other side

The great grandmother who I think is dead.
But then again, she might still be alive and a miracle to scientists!
The main reason I work on my father's side of my genealogy so much is the ease. The ease of finding stuff. Everything is gathered in one archive. Plus quite a few of my (far-away) relatives have been really good in putting notices in the main paper for that area regarding birth, marriage and death. Which makes it quite a doddle to find stuff. Don't get me wrong, there is still frustration over people not found, information not available, but still...

My mother's side of the family is altogether more complex. She comes from a small village close to a river. That river is also the boundary between two different provinces. Each with their own archives. Not only that, where the archive for my paternal family has digitalised most information, the maternal side tells you to go to the archives themselves. Which is rather annoying when living in another country. 

And don't get me started on newspapers. I did find a report about one relative in a paper a few years ago, but when I tried to look it up the other day: couldn't find it! Fortunately I found I had it saved to my computer, so all is not lost. But most of my maternal relatives either weren't that willing to put notices in papers or I just can't find them. For some reason. 

Another thing that I can't find is the date of death of my great grandmother. She was born in 1885, so I do have this presumption that there is a possibility that she might have perhaps passed away, but I just can't find it! Anywhere! I will get there in the end, don't worry, but it is frustrating. 

A great-aunt. I believe her husband died in a lightning strike which actually made the paper.
One thing I did find out though was about her siblings. Her parents were busy making a family, but circumstances did not help. Out of a total of 12 children, only four lived past the age of 2 and made it into adulthood. Also, names were being reused. A child died, the name was used for the next one. And as 'luck' would have it, each time a girl died, another girl was born. The same went for the boys. Until the mother passed away at the age of 37. 

Mind you, it's not all bad news on the maternal side. A few years ago I already discovered that we have royal ancestry. But younger sons didn't always marry as favourably as the elder ones and in the end we were labourers. Making an honest living though, which is the most important. Plus, I think I have already gone back to about the fifteenth century for most of the rest of the family. Now it's just a case of finding the specific people and their stories. 

As always, I will keep you posted!

Monday, 16 January 2017

No drizzle

After last week's drizzled hike of nearly 14 kilometers, we decided to take it just a bit easier this week. It was a place I had been before with that very same friend and I remembered it well: it was long and it was very steep and tiring. 

Snow covered mountain tops in the distance
In fact, it was a whole 2 (TWO) kilometers, which is basically nothing and it wasn't that steep either! Mind you, when we were there, I was off sick with some demons running around in my head, I was severely out of shape and going up the stairs was steep for me. 

This time we weren't on our own like last time. There were lots of people and children and dogs taking the path up to the lighthouse. Plus, another friend had joined us with two of her children, so we were a little group as well. 

Fortunately this week there was no drizzle in sight. In fact, it was a gorgeous day. Blue skies, albeit with some non-bothersome greyish clouds and hardly any wind. There was a light dusting of snow, there were pigs and before we knew it, we were at the lighthouse! 

Nature playing with water and ice
We had a bit of a snack and then we made the two kilometer trek back to the cars. A beautiful day. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-2

It snowed late Friday night/early Saturday morning, leaving a light white dusting. 

Miss Oswin didn't mind too much I think, checking out one of the bushes along the drive.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

And another goodbye!

Out with the old...
Yes, not only did I buy a new cardigan yesterday (70% off), I also bought a new coat. For the first time in forever I bought a new winter coat! Up to now I always wore the jackets/coats I was given as part of my uniform. And during the past four years I wore the very first one I got as a bus driver in Midnet Tours. That was in 1999! 

... and in with the new!
The coat is still looking good, but it's not up to par for Norwegian conditions. Plus I wanted a new coat. One that looks just a bit funkier than the one I use now. Finding one in the sales was brilliant. Shame it didn't come in a brighter colour like pink or orange or yellow, but it came with a great discount (40%). And I can always brighten it up with my pink scarf and my orange hat.