A Noble Gentleman

26 Aug 2008 – In Memory of John K HALD/3

29 Aug: The past couple of days have been very emotional, both physically and mentally. Was sick and could not go to work for my last 2 days. Then the news of the passing of Linn & May’s grandfather followed by news of a cousin’s 3rd-stage cancer.

26 Aug: The world has lost a noble gentleman, my children’s Norwegian grandfather John Kløve HALD. My first meeting with him was Christmas 1968. I was 18 and was dating John/4, who wanted so much to be in Norway instead of Eire. He somehow managed to hitch a ride for us on a Norwegian cargo/coal ship from Dublin/Eire to Brevik/Norway. From there we took the train to Bodø and from Bodø we were hoping to catch the bus to Tromsø (about 3days & 3nights journey total from Dublin to Tromsø). John sr felt sorry for us and arranged plane tickets from Bodø to Tromsø and Tromsø back to Dublin.

My first meeting and first Christmas with the Halds has left life-lasting impressions and one of the best memories. It was good that May moved back here to spend some time with her grandparents and Linn & family were recently here to celebrate John sr’s 85th and his last birthday. He will be greatly missed and if only there were more people like him, then heaven is a place on earth.

My condolences to my children and their Norwegian family. Indeed I have been fortunate to have had the privilege knowing John Kløve HALD/3.

Eftasåsen Nursery School

24 Aug 2008 – Eftasåsen barnehagen

Such a small world, one of the kids in my group is the son of Linn‘s playmate from when we were living at Piggsoppgrenda, Kolsås in the early 1980s. Working with kids all day and not having enough time to myself is not what I want to do for more than a month! Just when I am getting to know the people, it will be the end to this job on Friday. 

20 Aug: lost of 154 lifes’ in Madrid due a an explosion of Spanair after takeoff. Is it a sign? I will be heading to Spain in Oct! The past week, Mother Nature has been causing havoc to Florida (Fay) and Southern China (Nui). Hope that all my friends in those areas stayed safely indoors.

Today is the closing of the 29th Olympics Games and Beijing has showed the world that China is part of the international scene. It is going to be interesting as to how the world’s most populated country (1.4 billion) will deal with the challenges and issues with the rest of the world. Will the sleeping dragon awakes to coexist with modesty and wisdom or puff it’s fire with fury??

Coexistence… what a farmer does with the turkey until Thanksgiving – Mike Connolly

Henrik Johan Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen (1826-1906)

Ibsen was a realistic drama playwright and often referred to as the ‘father of modern drama’. He is held to be, alongside Knut Hamsun (Nobel Literature Price winner), the greatest of Norwegian authors and one of the most important playwrights of all time, celebrated as a national symbol by Norwegians. Read most of his plays in the late 1960s in English and re-reading some of them now in Norwegian.

Ibsen plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when Victorian values were the norm. His works examined the realities that lay behind many facades, possessing a revelatory nature that was disquieting to many contemporaries. Quote from A Doll’s House Act 3… when you’ve sold yourself once for the sake of others, you don’t do it a second time.

1st picture from left: Nationaltheatret also known as The Henrik Ibsen Theatre opened in 1899. The main building, designed by architect Henrik Bull, is situated in the centre of Oslo. 2nd: Theatrecafeen across the road from Nationaltheatret was the cafe where Ibsen frequented. 3rd: Vår Frelsers Gravlund, a serene cemetery where Ibsen and other well known Norwegian artist, writers and war resistance are buried. This cemetery is just down the road from Gamle Aker kirke’s cemetery… a very spirited area!

If all the world’s a stage, I want to operate the trap door – Paul Beatty


11 Aug 2008

3 Aug: Jeff & John W‘s flight was rescheduled due to the Lufthansa airlines strike. My wish to have my whole family together for a few hours was fulfilled. Thanks to the Hustads’ hospitality, we had some quality time for afternoon tea and a swim. 

8 Aug: a flawless opening of the 29th Olympics in Beijing and the best fireworks’ show I have seen on TV.

9 Aug: Happy 43rd Bday to Singapore. Marianne Hustad’s wedding happened on the same day.  It has been a long time since I was at a party until 0300hrs starting at Søkedalen church 1400hrs followed by reception, dinner, speeches and dance at Voksenåsen Hotel with a breath-taking view of Oslo. To top the weekend, a Sunday’s luncheon at the Hustads’ beautiful villa in Tåsen with Guri Stenseth, my god-daughter who will be getting married Aug 2009. Norway will have to fit into my travels then!

Marianne, May & Guri were born in Tromsø (1978/79), the land of the midnight sun. The Hustads & Stenseths were our neighours then; we have kept in contact and remained friends throughout. May gave a touching speech about knowing Marianne her whole life… all my best wishes to the newly-wed, Marianne & Torfinn.

Ubi amor, ibi dolor (Where there is love, there is pain) – Latin quote

Total Solar Eclipse

2 Aug 2008 – Oslo

Fri 1 Aug 2008 1135hrs: a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses half the Earth. The path of the Moon’s umbra shadow begins in Canada and extends across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia and China. Norway has not experienced a full solar eclipse since 1954. The full eclipse could only be seen on the island Kvitøya, north east of Svalbard/Spitsbergen. Down here in Oslo, the eclipse was about 50%, not visible to the naked eye, but can be viewed thru’ special eclipse glasses.

Does this planetary movement ignites my mood swings or is it age? Does Munch’s paintings and Ibsen’s plays contribuite to this frame of mind?? Am a big fan of both, whose works seem to be in search of a technique and words capable of conveying profound and overwhelming emotions of anxiety, alienation, existence and mortality. Living in Norway used to and still does have this effect on me.

May will be returning tomorrow and I am so looking forward to seeing and hearing her experiences from China, Mongolia, the Trans-Siberia and Moscow. Will be working full-time this month and hopefully there will be moments when I can update this blog during weekends. 

Mor, gir meg solen (mother give me the sun) – Ibsen’s play Ghost