Sunday, 18 March 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-09

The sky looked like this all week!
The weather the past week has been really fine. I would have called it glorious had the temperatures been a bit better. As it was: just below/above freezing all week! But, the skies were blue, not much wind, no rain...

One of the great tits in the area
Spring is on its way and the birds seem to be ready at least...

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


The tea is there. Somewhere!
When I was in the Netherlands last year, I took home a certain amount of food and drink. And one of those drinks is Pickwick Tea (it's a Dutch brand). Recently I have been drinking quite a bit of that tea and every time I get a bag, it comes with a new question.

Like what my favourite colour is. Or whether I am a morning or an evening person. And what was my biggest adventure.

That last question got me thinking. What was my biggest adventure? And I think eventually it was moving to Norway. Over five years ago now I moved from the safety of the Netherlands, where I knew the language, the job, the area, where to get what, what to buy etc to the unknown Norway. 

My first visitor in Norway (ie my sister). 
Those first weeks I lived on adrenalin and by the first six months I had lost weight. Mind you, it came back once I figured out what the nice foods were. And now I am planning another adventure. So far, I have not heard anything yet, but I do think I make a good chance. Hopefully they feel the same. 

Tea. I think I might get myself another cup.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Toot toot!

Happy belated 16th Madi!
It was Madi's birthday last Sunday and she asked everybody to tell her about their best road trip or how they learned to drive. Granted it's a few days late, but here is my story. Well, stories really...

Once upon a time, in a land far far away (England), there lived a princess (ehm, me) who wanted to learn how to drive. So, she phoned around and found a teacher who could teach her how to drive. This teacher was a soft-spoken young man (very!) and half the time the princess couldn't hear a word he said. And then one day this teacher told her that he had to stop teaching her! He was only a learner-teacher and had failed his teacher exams three times. 

My very first car: a Fiat Panda
Another teacher was found who was not as soft-spoken and he taught her a few things. Then the princess went up for her exam and failed. Completely as the second teacher had thought since the first teacher hadn't taught her enough. The second time she went up for her exam though: she failed again. But the third time she was lucky! She was finally allowed to drive a car.

A few years later this princess had moved to another far far way land (the Netherlands) and decided she wanted to learn how to drive a bus. She phoned around and found the only school that would actually teach her. Her teacher was not a young soft-spoken man. It was an old man who saw bikes and cars everywhere and stopped her so often, it was not very nice. One day her old teacher had another engagement and she got another teacher: a youngish man who put his feet up on the dashboard and told her to drive. She asked to keep him and that was fine they said.

For the bus it took a lot more than just passing a driving test. There was the technical exam (passed because the princess was a woman taking her bus test, all the princes who knew a lot more about lorries failed), the administrative exam (passed) and the rules/regulations/road test (passed). And then there was the regular driving test. Which she failed.

My coach during one of my first trips
Fortunately the princess passed the second time around, because it was really really expensive! On January 7th 1999 she had her new driver's license and she started driving a bus professionally from March 1st that same year.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-08

When I was in Northern Ireland recently, I saw blooming crocuses and even some daffodils. In Norway the snow drops are just coming up. And it is snowing again.

These poor daffodils are doing their very best, but they came up about two weeks ago and since then have had to deal with snow, frost, more snow and more frost.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Handbags and gladrags

Part of my uniform collection.
The bright blue shirts at the back only to be worn during summer.
I am not what you would call the most up to date woman when it concerns clothes and such. Mainly because I wear a uniform in my day to day life and have no real need for a ton of clothes. After I get home from a shift, I tend to change out of my uniform and into easy clothes like nice thick pyjama bottoms and a lovely warm shirt. I will hang out on the couch and do not much. 

Having said that, I am continually amazed at the amount of clothes I actually do have! As in the 'proper clothes to go out in public' clothes. Occasionally I will go through said clothes to sort them, both for size and 'do I still wear it?' When I recently was at my sister's, she threw out a certain amount of clothes that were either too small or too big and I took a few items home. Without trying them on first though. The dress that I took home looked lovely and was the right size. Well, apart from a certain area out front that is...

Might not be the best uniform to wear in Norway...
The dress ended up on the charity pile. Soon followed by a pair of trousers that I have had for years, but have hardly ever worn. I opened boxes and closets and tried and sorted. One bag of clothes to go to Sally. 

One thing I didn't find in my rummage around was handbags though. Mainly because I don't own that many. At last count I have one. Bought just before my recent holiday. Yes, I do have small bags that some might think of as handbags, but they are not really. The reason I got the proper handbag was because of the shop I got it in. It is one of those shops where you go in, just to have a little looksie. And you come out laden with stuff you (don't) need/want. 

Nice and big, albeit a big floppy.
For some reason I had gravitated towards the handbags and though there were some that were quite smart, they were not my style. Then I saw this one. There was a black one or a coffee (ie brown, what's wrong with saying it's brown?) one. Which, when you're always wearing dull colour clothes, was not what I wanted. Until I saw this one, a lovely deep burgundy colour (okay, it's dark red) and I was sold. I was even more sold when I saw its price: nearly 200 kroner cheaper than either of the others! 

Now if only those pink boots had come in my size...

Monday, 5 March 2018

Brom has to grumble a bit


A week! It's been a week!! And I can tell you things happened and photos were taken and I wanted to write about it! But no.... first Mara and Gera were too busy doing whatever it was and then we left and then she had to work again and then it was the weekend and now it's Monday again!

Good, grumble over and I can FINALLY tell you what we did LAST Monday. The day before last Monday (Mara says that is Sunday, she had better be quiet now and let ME write this story, otherwise more grumbling is needed), was also the last day of the Olympics. 

Can you find the robin?
So, Mara and Gera watched the closing ceremony and after that went for a walk. They wanted to do a longer walk, but unfortunately they were late and the car park would only be open for another hour: not enough for a longer walk. 

The weather was absolutely beautiful. It was cold, but the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Mara kept both me and Mouse safe (I say safe, we were a bit lopsided) in her pockets and we went on a short walk. 

Mouse said this was much better.
Then the next day, after some errands, AGAIN, we made our way EARLIER to the large nature reserve for a walk. This time the weather wasn't as nice though: clouds all over the place and it was even colder than the day before. Gera carried Mouse and Mara carried me and off we went. Because it was Monday it was a lot quieter as well and we only saw a handful of people. We did see robins though, but Mara's camera did not want to cooperate when one of them posed for us. 

A wrong step and you would be ankle deep in mud!
The nature reserve is a peat lands and in the past a lot of turf has been taken away. They are now slowly turning it back into peat lands, which means that some areas were very soggy. We decided to skip that part, because Mara's shoes weren't watertight. 

We are doing the same!!
In the end we walked for about two hours and saw bright red mushrooms, a lot of gorse and beautiful views. Both Mara and Gera were tired then, me and Mouse could have gone on for another two hours. Easily. But instead we made our way to the supermarket to get our last meal together and the bread Mara wanted to take home. 

Aren't they pretty?
The next morning, Gera took us all to the train station. This time we were going to take a fast train to Belfast. Despite all the weather warnings and even the snow falling in London, all the flights were on time and we got home a little before 9 pm. It had been a really good week!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Monday, 26 February 2018

Brom goes to Mourne


The first thing we did on Saturday was some errands, but after that we took the car to go for a lovely drive around the Mourne Mountains. We saw Ireland, the sea, sheep and mountains. Plus a lot more. So, I will show you some photos of where we were.

Mara tried to take a photo of one of the mountains in the Mourne Mountains while we were driving, but there was always something in front of it, like a hedge or a house or a gorse bush...

Fortunately one of her next shots was perfect. This was taken on one of the loops off the main route.

Once we had gotten back on to the main route (the Mourne Coastal Route), we had a little stop for some necessary stuff and then for a little walk and some photos. Right by the sea. The photo at the top and this one were both taken there. 

Imagine having to scramble up there with your smuggle-wares...
It was called the Bloody Bridge stop and there were several things happening there. It was a smugglers' area, there was someone escaping with a basket of eggs and there was (a bit higher up in the mountains) the Bloody Bridge. We only saw it in the far distance, but Mara's camera isn't that good and the weather was okay, but not very clear either. 

After that stop we decided to head for home. But only a short way in, we saw a sign which we decided to follow. We got to a Dolmen, which is like a megalithic grave, constructed of three or four upright stones and a large capstone on top. Then stones and earth would be piled all around to make it secure. 

The Dolmen we saw was a lovely example. It wasn't big and we didn't find out how many people had been buried there, but it was a lovely, albeit cold and windy place to be buried.
That's Gera at the entrance, crouched down for the photo.
Then we really were going to go home, but we saw yet another sign. So, off route we went again! This time it was something old again: the Finnis Souterrain. Basically it was like a man-made cave, but not to live in. It was probably used to store special things in, or in times of war to hide in. 

That's us in the entrance, see how low Mara sits? Her head was touching the ceiling!
It was really really low! Mara had to crouch to get in and could not get upright once in. She had to bend at the waist or crouch and crawl. It was kind of spooky, but we did get some way in, before we returned.

How come you get to drive and we have to walk???
But then it really was time to head home again, where we got in time to make dinner. Another good day!

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Brom's Photo on Sunday 2018-06

A day out on Saturday. We will tell all about it tomorrow!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Brom is busy

Can you find us???

Well, it may have been a busy day for them on Wednesday, but Mouse and me were all rested up and we told them to get moving! We didn't go anywhere, apart from upstairs. 

Now, remember back to last summer when Gera was staying with us in Norway? They took a whole day clearing and tidying books and dvd's and other stuff. Gera decided that while Mara and me were here in Northern Ireland, we could do the same thing. 

We could hardly get to the books!
As you can see in the photos it was really full in her spare room. There were lots of books everywhere, lots of lego and lots of other stuff. So, first we started by clearing the room a bit to give us some space to work in. And then we got started on the books. Gera had decided that some of her books were never going to be read again or were not very good to begin with and she could easily part with them. 

At the end of that we had one completely cleared book case! Next was a large box with clothes. Some she wanted to keep, some went to Mara, but most was put aside like the books. By then we were a bit on the tired side and we decided to call it a day. 

This was all sorted out and looks really tidy now.
On Friday however, after a short trip to the shops, we continued. This time we worked on the other side of the room. This was thrown, that was put aside. This was put away and that was gathered together with the rest of the same. The little cabinet was filled and all of a sudden had a working door that could close again.

The one empty book case was put to good use. Gera loves making lego things and needed some more room to show them off. Perfect! Even her little Tardis (Doctor Who) got a good place. Today one more thing needs to be done: get rid of the things she doesn't want anymore. 

The end result. We are much easier to spot as well.
I think we did a really good job!