Van Gogh Interactive Exhibition

18 Aug 2019 – Hadeland Glassverk (1762)

Thu: visit here/HG in 2008 with Kari and then 2012 with Mette&Sturla – 7yrs ago since the last visit. Have always enjoyed this place and today was there for another reason than just to see&shop for glass.

Situated in Jevnaker, Oppland 40km N of OSL, at the southern tip of lake Randsfjorden. Usually here to shop for their sales items, but today was for the exhibition, and even that did not stop me from buying a few small sale gift items! Shrimp-salad NOK170 S$26 for lunch, May had a smoked-salmon open-face sandwich and #6 had hotdogs.

The last few days for the Van Gogh exhibition showing 3000 inspirational images using the state-of-the-art Sensory4 technology – for the very first time in the Nordic countries! Quite stunning effects.

Nice view of the lake from the playground&restaurant. Charming white building with the bell-tower which serves as a bakery today. HG is the oldest industrial company in Norway that can claim continuous operation since its foundation A/S Hadeland Glassverk is currently a co within the CG Holding Co, which includes business activities within industry, commodity trading, property and investment. 2012 KingHarald marked HG 250th anniversary,

Pleasant country-drive passing by JevnakerChurch, and again like many churches here, it has with the best views of the Randsfjorden lake&the town centre. Previously the site of a stone church, possibly built by King OlavKyrre, towards the end of the 11th century. Tkx to May for driving, had a good snooze on Riksvei4 back to OSL.

I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream ― Vincent Van Gogh

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all. Lunched with Kris – NishiSushi@Majorstua where #6 managed to impress the server by using chopsticks when he had his favourite 6salmon-sushi pieces. Kris had the TartarTrio – spicy tuna; salmon with sesame seeds&mango; scallops with lime&cilantro and salmon sashimi for me, total: NOR411 S$63.

Tkx to Kris for this lovely piece of weave made by her. Toy shopping&banking and appreciations to Kris for her help@DnB. Seems like I need a Norwegian mobile number to make certain changes.

Sat: nearly 3weeks and few food pix. The children’s father once told me that many ‘Norwegians eat to live, while we live to eat and my father told me that When in Rome, do as the Romans do, so enjoying&savouring the fresh-bakes&seafood here to the fullest. Made a plate of roast beef salad at home for a fraction of the price compared to this small bowl of chicken ramen NOR139 S$22 eaten outside; bouquet of sunflowers NOK 205 S$32. Food culture here is completely different from SIN, and we do not often eat out here.

I am on a seafood diet, I see food and I eat it –


Sun: after relentless rains yesterday and a nice night O-sitting, the sky cleared with a glorious sunrise today. Sunset pix with Holemnkollen SkiJump in the background was taken on a beautiful evening when it was not raining. Getting things sorted out to travel with just a bag-pack (ie no checked-in luggage) heading north next week. OSL-TOS-OSL NOK1,328-S$205.

Reminder note: when I can remember, will share the cost of living when in Norway as I have been often asked about how much things cost here. Thus prices quoted are NOT complains or comparisons, but to answer&share.


14 Aug 2019 – OSL Under Construction

Mon: breakfast (NOK144 S$23) across the road from Vinstra train station in the local bakery Ødegaarden Bakeri&Konditori – could not resist 2nd piece of napoleonskaker. Norway has the best bread&napoleonskaker for my taste. Their fresh seafood is a must. TINE Norvegia cheese, whole milk, butter, fresh cream and the local blueberries&strawberries are foods I live on during my stay here.

Why did I not notice this yesterday? Saw the bakery from a distance and knowing that it would be closed on a Sun, had my own sandwich and walked in the opposite direction.

Vinstra train station like the hostel are unattended. If you are not prepared for this kind of life, make sure that you have all your info+whatever you need in your hands or in your mobile fully charged with WiFi connection or you will be lost.

Tkx for this time round and so long Vinstra. 3+hrs direct train 1152hrs from Vinstra-OSL, stopping@Ringebu (pix downloaded), Hunderfossen, Lillehammer, (pix of the cafe on the train as I was having a hot-dog+soda NOK76 S$12), Hamar,

OsloLufthavn/Airport, Lillestrom, getting into OsloS@1503hrs sharp to the maddening crowds connecting on the T-Ban to Majorstuen and bus from there. Due to constructions, the direct tram from OsloS to where I wanted to go was not so direct! Quite a contrast with scenery from the boat ride to Filtvet but trains&boats, etc, like Japan are very punctual (unless under constructions!) in this country too.

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever – Robert L Stevenson

Sad to learn about the news of the mosque attack at al-Noor Islamic Centre in Skui (24k south of OSL) on their Hari Raya Qurban.

Tue: morning walk from Holbergs plass to Fredricks gate passing by the HistoricalMuseum  which is under  renovation. Fascinating to see that not only the buildings, but also the tram-line under renovation are covered with not just plain boring covers, but prints of the finished results.

Peacock-Fountain by the Nationaltheatret, across towards the CityHall passing by ChatNoir which has a performance titled 12 Gode Råd=12 good advices – hahaha the irony of that title next to an Irish Pub!? Nobels fredssenter= Nobel-PeaceCenter is also under covers!

With all these constructions+

the new completed Fisketorget=fish-market (which is actually a restaurant) and the new National Museum (grey brick building in the background still under construction), it is good to see the old sailing vessel on the water.

Its been a while since I have been inside AkerBrygge Shopping and good to be there when nothing is opened yet, thus no one around.

The outdoors side lanes are quite interesting.


Wed: appreciations to Ingrid for an interesting rehearsal performance to Shakespeare’s Romeo&Juliet – first time@ Riksteateret i Nydalen. Sunflower bouquet NOK206 S$32.

Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it ― William Shakespeare

Peer Gynt på Gålå

11 Aug 2019 – Bucket List 

Wed&Thu: getting errands&shopping (NOK1,380 S$212)  done while May&family packed to head for the mountains. First piece of one of my favourite cakes here in Norway, napoleonskaker@Bakeriet Nærbakst/Majorstua. NOK94 S$15

Fri: TGIF – Majulah Singapura! Great to catch up with Mette for lunch before rushing into town to catch the train to Slepender NOK30 S$5. Appreciations to Leng&Tore for hosting&including me in their yummy ND pot-luck gathering in their lovely home. First time I am meeting so many of my fellow SIN in OSL. This must be my first ND celebrated in Norway with fellow-SIN.

Sat: up bright and early to catch the first T-ban-OsloS. What a confusion for me to assume (how may times do I tell myself to not assume, but check!!!) that the bus would be leaving from the bus-terminal, but turned out that for some reason or other, the bus was leaving between the train-station and ThonHotelOpera@Trelastgata. Just as well I was early out and made it in good time for the bus. Not sure why I had to take the bus to Lillehammer and then change to the train to Vinstra (not going to assume here!) – was just happy to get transportation. RT tickets to&from OSL NOK606 S$95

Appreciations to Guri for meeting me at the station in Vinstra – Peer Gynt’s Country. Good to have names of places on my pix, so as to not forget when&where wandering off beaten paths might lead me.

Headed straight up to Gålå to where they have rented a cabin for the duration of the Peer Gynt performances. Welcome back to the charms of country-roads where the animals have the right-of-way.

For Guri, 10mins run will take them to the scene, for me 30mins to walk. While the men&the kids were indoors swimming (weather overcast with rains), Guri&friend were out cross-country running to get ready for their marathon in the Feroe isalnds/Sep, I took the time walking to explore. Cakes bought there NOK245 S$38, gifts&souvenirs NOK170 S$27.

This is an outdoor performance and this year, the novelty of an infinity pool will be interesting to the scenes. Above 3pix downloaded as I will not have the opportunity to take aerial views and in blue sky for this time round.

Today is Even’s 5th Bday and here celebrating with his parents, siblings Peder, Eline+2friends&their parents. Had to take some pix with the little Big star with his proud parents&proud grand-godparent! if that even exist! The last time I met up with the whole Stenseth family was in 2015, 4yrs ago when Even was 1.

Full-house for Ibsen’s Peer Gynt på Gålå 2019 last performance (NOK800 S$125) for Peder. Difficult to take pix during the performance due to the lighting and the weather. Was also told not to take pix during the performance, but managed to do so under the covers of a rain-cape borrowed from Guri. Doubt that anyone noticed it as I was taking the pix from the inside of quite a fully covered cape.

Amazing set-ups scenes, props, etc. The infinity pool gave the special effects, especially at the ship-wreck scene – with the rains&cloudy sky, the feeling was quite surreal. Sure would like to play on that baby-grand being slowly pulled across the waters. The only 2pieces of Greg’s Peer Gynt Suite used here were Solveig’s Song&The Death of Åse. 

Tkx to Guri for the summary program where you can see what it is like in clear weathers. This is one of the items to do/see on my bucket list, but unlike others, this one is a special bonus – with Peder in this performance. By the time I got back to my accommodations, it was way pass midnight, happy to have had this experience at this stage of life’s journey.

Sun: decided to take an extra day here in VInstra. No complains with the place here NOK2,190 S$340 for 2nights, surrounded by mountains, clean, no frills and 5mins walk to the train station.

Nice walk around the area by the river about noon and the weathers were just perfect. Discovered the church up the slopes and decided to walk up there, remembering that churches in this country usually have the best sights.

Sure enough and worth the walk uphill to Sødorp kirke (1760), a beautiful old structure in serene surroundings overlooking the town on the other side of the river.

Headed back slowly across the river admiring this lovely house with a gazebo by the river. Strange to see how calm the river is on one side of the bridge, while it seems the opposite on the other side – enjoyed thoroughly this 2hrs refreshing walk.

To live is to war with trolls in heart and woul. 
To write is to sit in judgment on oneself – Henrik Johan Ibsen, Peer Gynt 

Filtvet 2019

7 Aug 2019 – Idyllic Boat-Ride On OSL-Fjord

Mon: 0945hrs-Aker Brygge time to get inline to board the boat (NOK50 S$8 OW-senior) sailing for Filtvet. Am sure glad that this boat is a tiny one sailing only in the protected water of OSLfjord, unlike the humongous cruise-ship docked nearby which will head out to the sea!

1000hrs in grey skies heading away from the familiar landmarks – Rådhuset, Tjuvholmen, EquinorOSL.

1015-Nesoddtangen, 1018- Flaskebekk, 1020-Sjøstrand (no pax by-passing without stop), I would be very fit if I had to walk up&downs those white stairs to&from the brown house!

Cute little water-front cabins hugging the coastline. 1025-Ildjernet, not an attractive jetty of call, but a happy dog greeted whoever got off here where there are some lovely houses away from the jetty.

Towards&away from Steilene@1033, no pax. Had my home-made sandwich on this stretch.

1035 passing Ommen, no pax; 1038-Fjellstrand where a bunch of young ppl got off; 1048-Søndre Langåra and the rains started after, thus having to retreat inside down to the cabin. So far pix have been taken in the outdoors from the moving boat, thus not sharp, but better than none.

1055-Lågøya, 1058-Fagerstrand, 1103-Aspond.

1110-Håøya; 1120-Oscarsborg, where the fortress here is best known for sinking the German heavy cruiser Blücher on 9Apr1940 and in 2014, Oscarsborg Fortress was given protected status – will have to check this out another time in blue sky! Ariel pix downloaded.

1127-Drøbak, the Norse form of the name was Drjúgbakki. Drjúgr-hard/long, bakki=(up)hill. This is related to the very steep roads winding down into the center of Drøbak. One can easily tell the pop of the place by looking at the amounts of tires on the jetty! Will not be taking the boat back, perhaps will visit here&Oscarsborgh someday when time&weather permit.

1140-Filtvet where ho Kari waits! to take me to their lovely home by the fjord. She is my first Norwegian girlfriend and we go back to half a century ago when she married Bjørn and joined him in Dublin/Ireland where he was a med-student there then. My first-born Linn is born one day before her first-born, Thomas, both born in Dublin.

Nice to see her sis, Elin&friend who were in the neighbourhood. Good that they could join us to share our seafood platter of røkt&gravlaks+røkt makrell.

The afternoon went by quickly catching up with news about her 3children&7grandchildren. The clock here was hand-made by her father who I have met many moons ago. Both her parents have passed on. Delicious pork loin dinner with rice.

The last time here was 9yrs ago, oh where has the time gone??

Tue: 0530hrs woke to this breath-taking sunrise from the opening of OSL fjord where all boats must pass by to enter into OSL.

Giljotin=Figurehead of the house is a mermaid name Señoraapparently, fully clothed females were no good, but a topless woman would calm rough seas

So far have visited with all the places Kari has lived in, except their cabin in Ryperfjord in Northern Norway and their new flat in Jessheim. Will try and make a trip to Jessheim in Oct on my way back to SIN.

Heading back to OSL on the road (1+hr drive if without stops) with a slight sight-seeing detour.

Villa Malla – popular eatery with the lighthouse (1877) located next to it. Nice clean sandy beach, but looks like fall is heading this way together with the abundance of jellyfish.

Beautiful&idyllic as it is, with an ice-cream bar and the water-sports, can you imagine the crowds here during the summer holidays?

Not only that Time&Tide wait for no man, Kari realized that she parked in front of someone’s driveway and time to hit the road back to the maddening crowds&traffic.

Sushi lunch (NOK300 S$47) across from UllevaalStadion and sharing a yummy piece or raspberry cake@BakerHanson/UllevaalS – not quite a selfie, but a reflection on the mirror reflecting the blessed&grateful warm feelings to have friends like Kari. Safe journeys to us and so long until we meet again. Takk for meg denne gang.

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart – Elizabeth Foley

The Birds & The Bees

4 Aug 2019 – In A Secret Garden

Thu: 15mins stroll to UllevaalStadion passing by Sogn hagekoloni (one of the idyllic places in the neighbourhood), to discover that there is some construction going on the pedestrian path.

To my disappointment the post-office there is no longer and on top of that they did not have my favourite shrimp salad@BakerHansen. Oh well, changes are inevitable and such is life. Appreciations to Ingrid for her time to meet up. Sad morning but hopefully the bees are happy. Life goes on no matter of conditions!

Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other.

Enjoying a lazy afternoon with the birds chirping, listening&watching the innocence of kids playing – looks like the neighbour has set up a tent in the garden so that the kid can escape from the parents, lol. Anybody who has survived childhood has enough information about life to last the rest of their days – hahaha!

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all, tkx to Johnny who reminded me that yesterday was not Fri (jet-lag do strange things to the mind). Accompanied May to her dr’s appointment to see if I want to use the same dr as Eivind, my regular dr has now retired. The design of the new police station looks interesting but really dislike graffiti, glad that SIN is strick about it. This postcard mailed from Penang a month ago sure took it’s time finding its way here.

Sat: an edible garden is a practical one, do need patience to grow, maintain etc it, but looks like things here are well taken care of. Cherries are more or less done and most of them have been juiced; apples, blueberries, Brussels-sprouts, tomatoes are not quite ready, but the rest are ongoing and just to pick as needed. Made myself useful by shortened the curtains and began to search for tickets, OSL-Vinstra-OSL (NOK606-S$94), OSL-TOS-OSL (NOK1,328-S$205), OSL-DUB (NOK588-S$92/OW), have not even started with the US part of the journey yet!

Sun: thought I was dreaming when I heard the loud thunder around 0200hrs, but not a dream or nightmare, it was for real and felt like the lightning was just outside the window – am sure glad I was not sleeping in a tent! Rather terrifying considering that someone I knew was struck dead by lightning a week ago. The storm came and left quickly wakening to clearer&cooler airs.

Kolibri Kolonial, one of the few places open on a Sun in this country, but be prepared to pay the price! NOK750-S$115 for 11items which tasted good, especially the coffee ice-cream and none were delicatessen or luxury foods – more expensive than my OW air-ticket from here to Dublin!!

Goodbye July 2019

1 Aug 2019 – Hello August

Mon: appreciations to family&friends for this time round in SIN. Enjoy, take care and be safe for the 54th NDP & the rest of the Bicentennial Celebrations (1800s B/Wpix of SIN River downloaded). See y’all end of the year.

Am lost for words where&when closing up and packing are concerned. That usually means long flying hours and away from the comforts of my space for an extended period! Now-Sep: Norway&Ireland, Sep-Oct: USA, Nov/Dec: SIN. Plx do let me know if we will be crossing paths anywhere and would love to catch up. Once you are over the hill, you pick up speed. Had a VW-bug in the US from 1985-1999 (a gold one in CA and a red one in FL). Linn took over the red one when I left.

Was early at the airport to have a walk around Jewel. Did not get a chance to take a pix of Pink during the opening due to crowds. Yes, there is this Norwegian fast-food (the only one I know of in SIN), did not get to taste, it was past 23hrs and most places were closed. The best airport in the world and the only place in the world I have seen a sign like this in this clean toilet! It is not a selfie, so not out of line!!

Tue: 7+hrs from SIN-DXB, slight delayed waiting for connecting passengers but caught up with schedule in mid-air. Emirates: SIN-DXB-OSL-DXB-SIN S$806

2+hrs layover@DXB with outside temps of 38°C/100.4°F. 6+hrs from DXB-OSL; both full&uneventful arriving on-time flights. 1+hr in-line@OSL immigration again – when you are spoilt with the world’s best airport, it is wise not to compare!

When I can remember, will share the cost of living when in Norway as I have been often asked about how much things cost here. Thus it is not a complain or comparison, but to answer&share about the cost of living here.

RT Xtrain to&from OsloS NOK196 S$30. Refreshing to arr into 12°C when it has been so hot hot hot in SIN. Feeling like a zombie but worth the while – now safe&sound in 7Heaven with #6 and his artistic talent with Jenga&Lego. But these are words from the MOST subjective grandma who kisses the grounds where #1-6 walk on and finding them the most adorable, clever, talented, etc ppl on earth, hahaha.

Wed: a lovely stroll to try out his new remote-controlled boat@the fountain.

Beautiful&serene surroundings with full blooms of all kinds of berries, flowers&fruits. Hope that it is because of the fauna&flora that are causing my runny-nose and not otherwise. The whole fam here are not feeling too well.

Goodbye July2019.

Grandchildren bring you into a sweeter, slower present. They show you the future at a time when a lot of your friends are thinking about the past. And they take you back to childhood–theirs, the Parent’s, your own: a three-time admittance to wonderland – Adair Lara

2 Aug – Happy Bday Claire
4 Aug– Happy Bday Candice
9 Aug – Happy Bday ChengEn
9 Aug – Happy 54th SIN National Day
10 Aug – Happy Bday JenWee&Alvin


28 Jul 2019 – Golden Mile Complex & The Projector

Wed: tkx to Tina for her book Once Upon A Singapore…Traders and appreciations to her interest for father’s old documents&pix. Hopefully there might some interest to have them preserved so that whoever is interested will have a chance to view them. Time will tell when I get back end of the year. Glad that I can introduce her Glory, one of my favourite locations here in my hood for Popiah&NasiPadang, selfie pix-credits to Tina.

Bringing Tina’s book+these others with me to Norway&USA to share with the grandchildren, hoping that these might spark an interest from them about other cultures. Also the pack of origami paper with various flags to fold orizuru, the only problem is that the Norwegian flag is missing, must ask Aileen if she can help with printing some of that.

Golden Mile Complex for my Thai food when in this area – feels like a little Thailand there and as for durians, my preference are still for the Malaysian ones.

This is one of the few places that I can get Thai PeaEggPlant/TPEP for Thai GreenCurry which is how I like it. Will get the ready-made curry to-go, and when I get home, the TPEG get thoroughly washed and blanched before adding to the ready-made curry to let them soak overnight.

Tolkien@Projectorthis movie explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels Fox Searchlight Pictures. Enjoyed Tolkien’s Hobbit during my teenage years, must re-read it again. Nice surprised to bump into KarenH&friends. Been some years (2013?) ago since I first met her@cousin Karen’s.

Thu: this poster says it all for today’s mood! So will counter-act with this other one!! If unable to blame on anyone will then blame it to the thoughts of packing and the closing of my 4-walls for this time round!!! Those who know me also know how I dread packing…

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all – HKG family&friends, be safe. Was a year ago@Kabuke, wanted to see what a year can do – still satisfied with the beef-bowl, but was out of what KK wanted as we had a late lunch. Dessert&coffee@PS Cafe just up the hill where my favourite of the PS Cafe is located – last time here was 4yrs ago with AudreyM, the buah cherry/Aratiles/Sarisa&Rambutan trees are no longer. 3above pix downloaded.

Dropped by to CC to say so long for this time round, but left with a splitting headache. The heat takes much out of me nowadays – a nap helped.

Sat: again a diversion with the buses making N Bridge Rd a bus-chain. Like the tunnel@the underpass along the river towards another trip to ACM (Seniors/FOC) for a closer look to details after only a run-thru’ trip to take pix over a week ago,

but more to catch up with niece Daisy, tkx for lunch and an early Christmas gift.

What a coincidence – small world, bumped into Henrietta&Francis who are escaping the protests in HKG. Had a great evening in company of Tina, Victor&Ernest trying to start a LAM TinYue, thus hoping to save father’s old docs&pix, appreciations for their interest. Looking forward to meeting up again in Nov.

Strangely enough, this was what I wrote in my journal when I first returned here to work 20yrs ago – the happy ending is how most ppl would like the story to end, but it is only the beginning of the end! Returning back to my roots after living away for nearly half a century to break the spell – the spell with the illusions of love.

Once you have learned to love, you will have learned to live…


Sun: forgot about the Merdeka Generation Roadshow@Marine Terrace today, but enjoyed a good lunch there@block59 for less than S$10 with Clement. It’ll be awhile before a meal like this again! S$100-PAssion Silver Card top-up was done a few days ago, and that should last me for the rest of the year when I get back.

Appreciations to AudreyW for passing on a tiny bottle of OliveOil made with olives from Sicily to Jamie&Giovanni@The Terminal Cafe Lounge. Tasted this in Mar when in HI and liked it. Since Giovanni is from Sicily, wanted his verdict of it.


Another yummy seafood Sun-dinner@Les&Ivy, tkx to Albert for getting all these fresh local shellfish from his sources – big clams&cockles/seehum, flower-crabs, Barracuda-fishhead.

Received very sad news from Norway tonight and will be heading there tomorrow as planned…