Andreas & Jan


30 Sep 2008 – Polish communication with humour

Thanks to the Hustads help from 2 Polish workers arrived to paint the ceilings, terrace floor, garage wall, re-cement the cracks on the walkway and a few van load-fulls of trash from the attic were driven away. The communication in Norwegian between a Pole & a Singaporean took NKR 6,000 (app US$1,000) away from my savings but has been worth the money!

A joke for the last day of Sep 🙂

A Polish man moved to Canada and married a Canadian girl. Although his English was far from perfect, they got along very well until one day he rushed into a lawyer’s office and asked him if he could arrange a ‘very quick’ divorce for him.  The lawyer said that the speed for getting a divorce would depend on the circumstances, and asked him the following questions:

LAWYER: ‘Have you any grounds?’

POLE: ‘JA, JA, acre and half and nice little home.’

LAWYER: ‘No, I mean what is the foundation of this case?’

POLE: ‘It made of concrete.’

LAWYER: ‘Does either of you have a real grudge?’

POLE: ‘No, we have carport, and not need one.’

LAWYER: ‘I mean, What are your relations like?’

POLE: ‘All my relations still in Poland.’

LAWYER: ‘Is there any infidelity in your marriage?’

POLE: ‘Ja, we have hi- fidelity stereo set and good DVD player.’

LAWYER: ‘Does your wife beat you up?’

POLE: ‘No, I always up before her.’

LAWYER: ‘Is your wife a nagger?’

POLE: ‘No, she white.’

LAWYER: ‘WHY do you want this divorce?’

POLE: ‘She going to kill me.’

LAWYER: ‘What makes you think that?’

POLE: ‘I got proof.’

LAWYER: ‘What kind of proof?’

POLE: ‘She going to poison me.  She buy a bottle at drugstore and put on shelf in bathroom.  I can read and it say, POLISH REMOVER’.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place – George Bernard Shaw



25 Sep 2008 – Kolsås

In 1980/81, Kolsås center (with the former NATO’s HQ behind, now a military base of some sort) had only a grocery, bank and post office (app 10mins walk from the house). Today there are at least 10 other shops and even a hairdresser who gave me a free cut using me for their students’ training. There is a Vinmonopolet, state-owned and the only place one can buy wines and spirits. The subway used to run to Kolsås from Oslo but at present there are changes with the public transportation system and only the buses run from Oslo (app 45mins)

Linn (then a first grader) was the first group of kids who attended the new Hammerbakken elementary school in the Løkenhavna neighbourhood. The school is still located as idealistically as it used to be. The path from the house to the school is pretty during summers, except that it is now more trotted on. In the winters, Linn would slide down to school and that took her less than 1 min! May‘s nursery school was less than 5mins walk from home.

Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school – Albert Einstein

Piggsoppgrenda 6

22 Sep 2008 – Piggsoppgrenda 6

After leasing a house for over 23 years to different tenants, there is much to repair and repaint.  Just got the plumber to handle the major leakages and to change the hot water tank. Trying to do the rest myself and I am certainly feeling all the aches! Painted the whole house in 1985 before I left Norway but I do not recall these pains!

The main bedroom, TV room, fireplace and kitchen/dining are completed. There are still the living room, 2 more bedrooms and 2 bathrooms to go and not forgetting the ceilings. Will probably pay someone to do the ceilings as I know my limits after painting 1 bedroom ceiling!

Sopp=mushroom in Norwegian and piggsopp is a kind of mushroom. There must have been mushrooms in my neighbourhood as most of the roads are named after different kind of sopp. The view out of my window is serene with Bryn church and churchyard where 2 of my friends are buried. It is heading towards cold weather here and I am getting worn out!

Pictures from left: Piggsoppgrenda, entrance, kitchen with all the paint brushes etc, fireplace & terrace

The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain – Lord Byron

Gustav Vigeland

Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943)

Gustav was born on a farm called Vigeland in Mandal, a small coastal town in the south of Norway, to a family of craftsmen and countrymen. As a youth, he was sent to Oslo where he learned to read and carve wood at a local school. However, the sudden death of his father compelled him to move back to Mandal to help his family. He returned to Oslo in 1888, this time determined to become a professional sculptor.

In 1921 the City of Oslo decided to demolish the house where Vigeland lived and build a library. After a long dispute, Vigeland was granted a new building from the city, where he could work and live: in exchange, he promised to donate to the city all his subsequent works, including sculptures, drawings, engravings and models.

In the following twenty years Vigeland was devoted to the project of an open exhibition of his works, which later turned into what is universally known as Vigeland Park (80 acres with 212 sculptures) in Oslo.

The most heathen thing I have seen in Europe – Evelyn Waugh

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (1863–1944)

A Norwegian and an important forerunner of expressionistic art. His best-known composition The Scream is one of my favourites, understanding that feeling… especially now that I am painting the house. One version of it was stolen in 1994, another in 2004. Both have since been recovered, but one version sustained damage during the theft which was too extensive to repair completely.

Linn & May’s great-grandmother Emma Hald remembered seeing Munch’s works exhibited on the snowy sidewalks in the winter. Wish she could have picked up one then! Some say that his paintings reflect the artist’s sexual anxieties, though it could also be argued that they are a better representation of his turbulent relationship with love itself.

Munch would later write, I inherited two of mankind’s most frightful enemies—the heritage of consumption and insanity—illness and madness and death were the black angels that stood at my cradle. In 1908, his anxiety, compounded by excessive drinking, had become acute. Subject to hallucinations and feelings of persecution, he entered the clinic of Dr Jacobson. But then another famous artist Salvador Dali also suffered from hallucinations.

Pictures from left: Paintings by of Munch, self-portrait, The Scream, Madonna, The Sick Child and woodcut of The Kiss. Today one can visit the Munch museet/Munch Museum to view his works which was all bequeathed unconditionally to the City of Oslo.

But can they (great works) get rid of the worm that lies gnawing at the roots of my heart – Munch

Edvard Hagerup Grieg

Edvard Hagerup Grieg (1843-1907)

Norway’s best known composer and pianist in the Romantic period was a workaholic, humble and highly imaginative. Grieg studied music so enthusiastically and compulsively that he ruined his health and suffered a server attack of pleurisy – a lifelong breathing problem.

Though Grieg used to travel widely, he was always homesick as he was very patriotic of his homeland. He married his cousin Nina Hagerup. He was awarded a grant in 1874 and returned to his hometown Bergen; 9 years later he moved to their new home, Troldhaugen outside Bergen. Best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor and his incidental music to Henrik Ibsens play Peer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King).

I am really missing my piano and to be able to listen to my music collection! Pictures from left: Nina & Grieg, Troldhaugen, the hut where he worked with his compositions and Troldsalen/concert hall.

Suddenly a mist fell from my eyes and I knew the way I had to take – Grieg

Happy 30th Bday, May

5 Sep 2008 – Kolsås

Linn flew here for the funeral on Wed and her plane was delayed. The cab driver raced from the airport to the church where she walked in when the music started. Today she took off back to the USA together with May. What a thoughtful sister who came up with a round-trip ticket as a 30th Bday present. Safe journeys to my 2 wonderful daughters.

Back in the house at Kolsås trying to paint and fix the damages done after 23 years of leasing to different tenants. Only problem is that my energy level is at it’s lowest ever; the flu is still lingering… but that too shall pass and life goes on! Thank you to my neighbours and friends, Mette and Sturla Olsen who has helped me thru’ many difficult times before I moved away from Norway and now again for all their help in every way. Views from the house are as beautiful and serene as I remembered.

4 Sep: May‘s 30th Bday passed by with sentimental moments digging thru’ their childhood memories up in the attic where most of their things were stored. A pleasant dinner at home in May‘s flat for the evening where I also spent the night. When will we be able to celebrate another Bday together?

Everything I know I learned after I was 30 – Georges Clemenceau