Friday, 22 July 2011


I've been to Norway twice, and have friends there - family friends, who go back a long long way. I was sixteen when I first went there and was permanently tongue-tied, partly with teenage shyness but also because the beauty of the place is so inexpressible.

After I met Tony I wanted to share Norway with him, and when we were married we decided we'd ave a holiday in Norway before we had children because we wouldn't be able to afford it afterwards. We squandered the savings accordingly. Here are some of the things we learned -

- friends of friends will invite you over at a moment's notice and provide a smorgasbord and cake fit for the Queen

- you don't know anything about fresh fish until you go there

- the air is so clean and fresh it's exhausting

- the fjords look even better from a boat

- every moment on the fjord is more spectacular than the last

- Norwegians know how to have fun

- they are fond of their monarchy as well as being completely relaxed about it

- people living on the outskirts of Oslo left their cars unlocked

- visitors with UK numberplates didn't get parking tickets

- there may be some ugly buildings somewhere, but we didn't see any

- Norwegian people are not only lovely, they are also very 'sorted' and generally seem to have the balance of life right

- it is a place of peace

- I want to go back. Nothing will ever be quite like that first magical, fairyland cruise through the fjords when I was sixteen, but I still want more.

But Norway is not fairyland, and Oslo is in mourning tonight. Oslo, Norway, thank you for your welcoming spirit and the values of justice and freedom that you uphold. Thank you for your stories, and most of all for your people. Prayers for the grieving people of Norway are offered tonight.


Grace said...

Dear Mrs. McAllister,
I saw the Fingal post a bit late =) so I decided to post what I wanted to say here so you would see it.
I might be able to give Catkin trumpet lessons if she wants. :D

I was wondering something kind of silly. I saw Captian America today and I heard a rumor that they let other contries change the name. So if it did show in Yorkshire was it called Captian England?

margaret mcallister said...

Hi, Grace! I thought I'd left a reply to your comment, but it hasn't posted - I must have forgotten to click something! Fingal says you're welcome to give Catkin trumpet lessons, but can you teach her to play it quietly? VERY quietly?

How long have you been playing the trumpet?

It's just launched here and it's Captain America. It seems to be missing the point if you call it anything else!