Friday, 16 December 2011

A Wish Come True!

It's as if someone heard my call out for a Christmas miracle yesterday!  It's snowing!  Of course I shall be going out very soon so that I can make the most of it.  Whether the snow will stay until Christmas day however is yet to be seen....  But this is very good news!  Exactly what the weather should be and exactly why I came to Norway!  Oh and to live with my boyfriend of course...  Let it snow!!

(By the way...for readers back home...this is just 1 hours worth of snow, and it's still snowing quite heavy now!)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Today is a sad day...

...The snow is melting.  What happened to our winter wonderland?  I came to Norway almost certain that I would have a white Christmas.  Now this might not happen at all!  We need a Christmas miracle.  That is all.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Busy Busy Bee!

Huge apologies for the silence over the last few weeks, I've been so busy!  I went back to England and had an amazing time, I met with the family, shopping in Bristol, then I graduated!  I can't believe it actually happened and that I've actually finished University.  It still hasn't sunk in and I don't think it ever will!  I had to wear the silly gown, which looked ridiculously huge on me, because of my super skinny shoulders the gown wouldn't stay up so I kept having to hoist it back up, annoying!!  I was so nervous when it was my turn to walk up on stage and shake the Chancellor's hand too, so scared I was going to fall over or that I was going to lose my hat, extremely nerve wracking!  In fact, I was so nervous that I barely remember the actual ceremony!  It was still a lovely day though and I was so glad that my family and Thomas were there with me.

Since being back in Norway I've turned 22!  It was my birthday last Saturday and I had such a wonderful day.  Thomas was due to work (or so I thought) then an hour later I have a knock on my door, who else is it but Thomas stood there with flowers, I was so shocked!  That was a lovely surprise!  I spent present opening time on Skype with my family and then used my time to make my own birthday cake, cakes in Norway are super super expensive and they don't sell them in their supermarkets, crazy!!  In the evening Thomas had booked a table at my favourite restaurant, where they surprised me again with ice cream with a sparkler in it, amazing!  So thanks again to Thomas for giving me such a wonderful 22nd birthday.

The next day we put up our Christmas decorations, our tree looks amazing!  (even if I do say so myself...)

I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year, despite the fact of not being with my family, that will be extremely odd and I really am missing the fact i'll be able to celebrate with them this year, however this will be the first proper Christmas that Thomas and I spend together and it is my first Christmas in Norway, i'm really looking forward to see the Norwegian Christmas traditions!  Thomas and I have finished buying Christmas presents for everyone, we just have to get wrapping now, bring on Christmas!  (I'm super super excited!!)

We have finally had our first proper snowfall too, the first snowfall was around 3 inches, followed by another 3/4 inches a couple of days later, it really does look like a winter wonderland outside now.  This was also the first time that I have EVER had snow on my birthday, despite being born in December, i've never had snow on my birthday until now!  I love going out nearly every day now just so that I can walk in the snow, i'm like a little child!  I even made my very first snow angel when we had our first fall, even Thomas was saying that i'm like a little child, I just love snow!  He's determined that i'll be fed up of it in 6 months time.  We shall see, but for now....Let it snow!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011

A November Stroll

My boyfriend and I went on a 2 hour walk this morning, I've been looking forward to it all week!  We decided to go through the museum grounds then circle back to our apartment, it was a lovely walk, it was lovely for the two of us to spend some quality time together too.  The scenery was amazing.

Elverum is really starting to look all wintery now, we've definitely entered a winter wonderland.  It was nice to just nice to be able to breath without any worries, just the two of us.

When the sun started to come out, Elverum really started to look magical as the sun shined on all of the frost covering every surface possible.

You may have noticed that the background to my blog has been changed to the theme of London!  This is because on Saturday, my boyfriend and I shall be heading back to England for my graduation, we shall be staying there for the week, I'm so excited!  Very nervous about my actual graduation though, and i'm starting to panic with all of the stress of packing and having to be at certain places at certain times, stress!  I'm sure I shall be fine though and everything shall go well.  So if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because i'm in England!  Speak soon!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

I take that back...

So...what I said yesterday about Elverum escaping the Winter Wonderland?  Mother Nature must have heard me, we woke up to a white Elverum this morning (Covered in frost, not snow...might I add...) This was the view from our window all day.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

An Unknown Journey

On the weekend, Thomas and I took a trip to Osen to visit his Grandparents.  This time however, we used my Sat Nav that I have brought over with me from England.  We've not had the chance to try it in Norway before so we thought it best to use it then seeing as, if we do get taken away from our usual route, we'll most likely still know where we are!

It was a chilly but sunny day, like many of the days we are having currently.  We plugged in the Sat Nav and the route took us nearly up to Trysil, then round Osensjøen (Osen Lake) The opposite side to where we usually come from.  We decided to still go for this route as neither of us had never travelled the opposite side of the lake before.

As soon as we had left Elverum (which has seen no signs of Winter as of yet), the trees all of a sudden started turning white, and there was a light frost on the ground, the type of things we should be seeing at this time of year!  The journey was so beautiful.  However, as we reached Osensjøen, the sun had obviously been out for quite a while, as the frost suddenly disappeared.

Then suddenly...we were thrown right back into the beginning of winter, and not only that...but we were also expected by my Sat Nav, to travel on what seemed a dirt track for the last 30 minutes of our journey!  Both Thomas and I were dreading what our car may look like after this trip, stones were flying up from everywhere, even though we had slowed right down!

The track went on and on...

For what seemed like forever!

Then finally, we reached Osen, goodbye dirt track, hello the frozen side of Osensjøen!

The scenery was absolutely beautiful.  I was slightly jealous however, of how Osen looked like some type of winter wonderland, when Elverum wasn't even showing any signs of starting winter anytime soon.  Everything looked beautiful!

We had a lovely day with his Grandparents, we both arrived home that evening, safe, well, and well fed!  A trip to Osen is always worthwhile!  We shall not however, be taking the advice of my Sat Nav ever again if it tells us to drive round Osensjøen the eastern side! 

I was due to go out for a mini trip in Elverum today to show you some more pictures, however something came up so i'm hoping to go out tomorrow, if not, definitely Thursday!  Keep your eyes peeled.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Rememberance Day

Tomorrow is the 11th November.  This means that it is the day that we all remember those who were killed during the First World War, this is due to Germany signing the treaty in Berlin to mark the end of the war on the 11th November 1918, at 11am.  So now we all take a minutes silence at 11am, on the 11th of November.  Today however, we also use this date to remember those who were killed in the Second World War, and all those that followed.

This has been the tradition in the United Kingdom for many years, and will be for years to come.  I feel so guilty that I haven't been able to wear a poppy this year, so my tribute is to change the background of my blog to Poppy's instead.  I will also be watching the ceremony online tomorrow morning, live from the Cenotaph in London.

Thank you, R.I.P.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Nothing beats a delicious Roast Dinner.

I've missed roast dinners for so long, they're one of my favourite meals!  So today I decided to cook one, which meant I cooked Roast Potatoes from scratch for the very first time as they don't sell them in Norway!  I must say, they were delicious, I can't believe how well they turned out for my first try, they're easy peasy!  I also attempted to cook some honey roasted carrots but they didn't turn out so well, I think I used too much honey, better luck next time!  I could eat a whole tray of those Roast Potatoes...

We had Roast Chicken by the way... its just missing the Yorkshire Pudding!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Hurray for Winter Tyres!

Today, Thomas and I managed to have our winter tyres fitted correctly!  We found out that they couldn't be fitted correctly before because you have to actually change the bolts too.  So with the help of Thomas's Dad, we are now prepared for the winter - bring it on!

Funnily enough though....we have a bit of strange weather happening at the moment.  It is now November...there is no snow....what's going on Norway?!  The snow normally starts to arrive within the last couple of weeks of October, this is so strange!  Its probably because i'm here or something, the English girl has jinxed Norway.  I have jinxed it with my pure excitement to experience winter in Norway in its full form.  I feel like a little girl again, waiting, hoping, wishing for the snow to arrive!  Yes i'm 22 in a month.

Today was also the first time that I have made something called Kjøttkaker!  Literally translated as Meatcakes.  They are delicious!  Thomas's Grandma kindly gave me the meat I needed to make the meatcakes and gave me a few instructions on how to make them, easy peasy!  The only mistake I made was to use flour to 'mold' them together, apparently you can simply use water.  So because I used flour there are a few brown marks on the cakes, but apart from that, they tasted just as they should, delicious!  I am so impressed with myself that I served a Norwegian meal!  I even served the meal with Flat bread and Ripsgele (a type of jelly you serve with hot food, especially delicious on potatoes)  The meal even had approval from Thomas!

This is Norwegian Flat Bread, typically used as a side with hot meals, it is thin and crispy in texture, quite plain in taste, but very delicious with hot meals.

I'm not quite sure that Thomas and I have much planned for the next few days, hopefully we can have a relaxing weekend!  I shall keep you posted.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Belated Happy Halloween!

Apologies that I haven't written for a few days, i've been quite busy!  What with visiting Thomas's family on the weekend and then preparing for Halloween all of yesterday, i've been little busy bee! 

Yesterday I had planned to make some muffins and a cake with a punch so that Thomas and I could have a mini Halloween party to ourselves.  I made a fruit cake with chocolate icing, with a spider web decoration iced on top.  This was my first time at decorating so the spider web didn't look too great, it was more of a square!

Next I had planned to make some chocolate muffins with a buttercream icing on top with a green spider web decoration.  However, I was left with way too much batter after I had filled all of my muffin cases, so I decided to use the left over batter to make another cake.  So that left me with 2 cakes and 12 muffins!  Just for 2 people!  It was getting rather late by the time I was able to ice the muffins, disaster struck.  The butter cream icing wouldn't set!  Which meant that the muffins now looked awful, tasted amazing, but looked awful! It also meant that the spider web decoration wouldn't really stick to the butter cream.  So I decided to use my green decoration icing to decorate the spare chocolate cake instead.  I was too tired by this point to put a spider web on the green cake, even though a simple white web would have looked really good on top.

It had reached midnight by the time I had finished baking and making the Spiced Autumn Punch.  Despite being tired and worn out from all of the hard work I had created myself, everything tasted delicious!  There's definitely one thing that me and Thomas can be sure of for a while....we're stocked up on cake!!

Friday, 28 October 2011


So today is my cleaning day, and what am I doing? Everything but!  The chance I have to actually be able to do something productive for once and I jut don't feel like doing it, complete 'CBA' mood.  How typical!  I have at least cleaned the gerbils cage, at least that's the most important thing done, they're too adorable to neglect!

We've had to Caretaker visit today to fix our oven door (yippee!) and hopefully, fix our shower, although we won't find out if that's worked until either tonight or tomorrow morning when one of us actually uses the shower (We have to let the silicone dry first before we can use it...).  I've even been out today looking to see if anywhere sells Halloween cards, I wasn't expecting anyone to sell them but I thought i'd check just in case.  I was planning on sending one to my parents as a quick hello, so if you're reading this Mum, Dad and Thomas....Happy Halloween for Monday!!

Do you know what I have also just realised?  Every front door to a home that I have seen so far in Norway opens outwards.  How come i've never noticed this before?  Its so odd!  Even the door to my own apartment opens outwards, I've always found it rather annoying but I've never actually stopped and thought, wait a does everybody else's door!  Its so weird and annoying, they're so much more convenient when they open inwards like they do in England.

I received a lovely parcel today from my Mum!  My up to date disc of programs that i'm missing in England, yippee more things to keep me busy! (i'm not being sarcastic, despite my procrastination today, I really do want things to do, anything!), a net bag to keep my smalls in whilst their in the washing machine! (There's nothing worse than a bra clasp snagging your favourite towel/tights/socks in the wash), and a pretty candle holder:

How lovely!  It now has pride of place among my other candle holders on my book shelf.

Well I suppose I better actually start my weekly apartment might not hear too much from me in the upcoming days as Thomas and I are heading to Osen to visit his family for the weekend, should be nice, despite the fact its meant to be only 2 degrees Celsius on Saturday, oh poo.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Well that's put a spanner in the works...

I had my 'interview' with the Norwegian Lesson people yesterday, I was so so nervous even though I had no need to be!  Once I had arrived, all the 'interview' was, was a simple meeting with the secretary to discuss my personal details, make sure they had my number and address etc...all she had to tell me was that a Teacher would contact me sometime before Christmas to have the actual interview with me, where they would decide what level I am at for Norwegian Lessons.  She also informed me that I will not be able to start Norwegian Lessons until after Christmas.  I know I should be glad about this, because this means I will have all the time in the world to really make this Christmas how I want it, celebration wise and decoration wise within our apartment.  However I am so bored already, let alone having to wait 2 more months until I can actually go out and do something productive!  My boyfriend says I should embrace the free time that I have, however I'm just so bored, i'm done with embracing free time!  I guess this means I can have more time to practice Norwegian at my own pace though, plus we'll be able to save more money to go towards my lessons, I must think of the positives!

I guess i'm just disappointed because yesterday was the day that I was originally told that I would be assessed for my 'Norwegian Level'.  It just seems such a long winded process.  Another funny point is that the secretary stated that they normally prefer it if their students have a Norwegian ID number already, however to obtain this ID number you need to have a job, however to get a job you need to be able to speak Norwegian....yup, you guessed it, to learn Norwegian you need to have lessons!  Its just an ongoing circle!  This whole system just seems a little ridiculous, I mean I completely understand the whole point of needing an ID number, however it seems that somewhere along the line, someone didn't think of the process quite thoroughly enough.

Today I need to write a letter to Student Finance, they've sent my form back to me and 'rejected' my overseas move form because I need a letter to prove that I will be relying on 3rd party finances, brilliant, more forms.  Ah well, at least I have something to keep me busy today!  No more complaining Kirsty Harper!!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air

Yesterday I didn't feel too good, I think all of the strong smells from the cleaning products that I had used the day before and the washing smells from the clothes I was washing became too much.  I felt as if I had a really heavy cold.

In the afternoon I decided to take a walk outside to try and clear my head for a while.  The time was about 3:15pm.  The funny thing was as if there was a mass evacuation occurring in Elverum that I hadn't heard about!  On a Saturday, the majority of the shops/offices etc...all shut around 2/3pm.  So while I was out on my walk, everyone was getting in their cars and driving out of Elverum.  The road's were actually quite busy which is a rare occurrence in Elverum, compared to that of 'busy' in England.  Everyone was driving out of Elverum, it was quite funny to watch actually!  It was like all that anyone was thinking was 'I'm done here, I've gotten what I came for, good riddance!  Bye bye!'.

It was a rather gloomy day, however the air still felt much fresher than that in the UK.  I was out for just over an hour and my head felt so much better.  I walked by the river (my favourite spot), up to the train station, so that I could see how they were getting on with building the new Bus terminal.

I then headed back up past our apartment, and up towards the water tower so that I could have a nice view looking down at Elverum.  The water tower is actually on the same site as the Old Fort which dates back to 1665!

Also, on the same site, there are several memorial statues to remember those who died in the wars.  Its such a lovely place to have such memorials, what with having (in my opinion), the best view in Elverum.

The view from the top of the hill doesn't look anywhere near as beautiful in pictures as it does in real life.  Every time I go up there I am amazed by how beautiful the view is, yet I take a picture and it just looks average!  Beautiful, but average.

I even managed to spot our apartment in the distance! (Its the brown building in the centre of the picture for those of you who don't know!)

Today I am having a relaxing day, lazy Sunday!  Thomas has just gone to work so I have the next 8 hours to do what I like.  I'm planning on putting the Gerbils in their playball for the first time today, should be entertaining!  I'll do something productive tomorrow, I promise.

Friday, 21 October 2011

And breathe...

Yesterday was the first day in a while that I actually had nothing on my to-do list.  I was actually able to relax or do something fun!  I decided to make some flapjack seeing as I have finally found somewhere that sells golden syrup (Or 'Dark syrup' if you were to literally translate from Norwegian), the flapjacks came out delicious and golden, i'm sure they won't last very long in this apartment!!

The best part about having a boyfriend that works in a restaurant is that I get to be spoilt...what with I hear you say?  Banana Split!  It was so delicious, Thomas made it yesterday as our desert with our evening meal, it tasted as good as it looked!

I did however spoil Thomas in the morning as I cooked an English breakfast, this consisted of sausages, bacon, baked beans, an egg and some fried bread.  It was absolutely delicious even if I say so myself!  I think Thomas would agree too!

Today is Friday, therefore it is cleaning day.  I have cleaned the apartment from top to bottom, I feel so exhausted now!  The apartment does look amazing now though, its definitely worth the hard work.

The days are definitely getting cooler here, there's a chill in the air!  However I haven't had to start wearing my hat, scarf and gloves just yet.  It is about 4 degrees celsius in the daytime, dropping down to around -2 degrees celsius in the night time.  I'm quite impressed that i'm not feeling the cold at all just yet, especially seeing as when I left England it was still around 17 degrees celsius.

Well that's all for now, I best start cooking my tea, I'm starving after all of that work!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


I have finally found a shop in Norway that sells Golden Syrup..yippee!!!!  I can't begin to describe how happy that makes me feel!  I can finally make flapjack, yippee!!!

Excitedness and Thomas drove to Osen today to visit his Grandparents, we thought we'd take the chance as he had the day off.  I drove there and Thomas drove back.  It was very strange to be driving in a foreign country again, however I soon got used to it again after a few minutes.  We ate something called 'Meatcakes' with potato and vegetables and some Flat Bread.  I was stuffed!  We then had Jelly and Vanilla
Sauce for dessert, I actually felt like I was about to pop!

Since we have arrived back home, I have been seeing to the Gerbils, today was the first day I attempted to pick them up.  It took me a while to be able to catch them, however I finally managed it!  They didn't nibble or bite me at all, they just sat in my hand!  This is probably because they have had time to get used to the smell of my hand over the past few days.  I'll now make an effort to pick them up at least once a day so that they're fully used to being picked up.  They felt so small and fragile in my hand!

Random Norwegian discovery of the week...The cheese slicer.  Even though I used this on my visit in the summer, I still can't grasp it.  In England I'm so used to just slicing the side of the cheese with a knife.  To then be presented with a cheese slicer is a weird thing.  I still cannot slice the cheese correctly, the cheese just looks as if it has had a massive chunk carved out of it!  I definitely feel foreign when using this...

Tomorrow Thomas has another day off work so we shall probably have a lazy day!  Hopefully i'll be able to bake some flapjack too now that I have Golden Syrup.  Bye for now!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Let the job search begin!

Today was the day I was able to visit the Foreign Department within the local Police Station.  Once we had arrived, 7 people were already in front of us, even though we had arrived when the office had opened!  We ended up waiting an hour to be seen because the office only had 1 person to see everyone, how ridiculous!  The place only opens 2 days a week, 4 hours a day, and when it is actually open, there's only 1 person to see people!  What annoyed me the most, is when we were finally seen, the person never even spoke to me, as soon as they realised that my boyfriend could speak Norwegian, they spoke to him constantly, as if they completely disregarded me, even though the whole point was to talk about me and what I have to do...Surely the person working in the foreign department should be able to speak English?!

Anyway, we managed to get myself registered on the 'Norwegian System'.  So I am now officially registered to be looking for work.  I have 6 months to find a job, if I fail to do so then all I have to do is leave the country for 24hours then I gain another 6 months to find a job.  Hopefully it will only take me 6 months in the first place!  Now all I have to do is get my Norwegian lessons started then I can actually start looking for a job seriously.  At the moment I can't really take any jobs as I can barely speak any Norwegian at all, only a few basics.  Fingers crossed my Norwegian Lesson meeting next week goes well and they have a place for me to start learning asap!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Just A Little Detour...

Today's original plan was to visit the Police Station to let them know that i'm now residing within Norway, and also to contact the Norwegian Lesson centre to organise an appointment to then be able to start my lessons.  First thing this morning, around 8am, me and Thomas woke up and Thomas rang the Lesson centre for me, they simply said that they were fully booked until next Tuesday, which is fine, so I have an appointment for 10am next Tuesday, eek!  Next we went to the Police Station, only to find out that the 'Foreign Department' is only open 2 days a week, 4 hours a day - how ridiculous!  They're only open every Tuesday and Thursday!  So we're now having to go again tomorrow to get everything sorted, I can't believe they're only open Tuesday and Thursday, and even then, only from 10am - 2pm...what's up with that?!  I know opening times in Norway are slightly different to things in England but i'm so used to 'governmental' places being open every weekday from 9am - 5pm.  This is ridiculous!  Oh well, there's nothing that can be done about it so we shall just have to visit tomorrow instead.

So today has pretty much been a 'top up food' shopping and ironing day.  Thomas has now gone to work and I am sat alone in the apartment (with the Gerbils though of course...).  It feels very strange to be in a foreign country without anyone to keep me company or help me along, so strange...  I was going to go for a walk this afternoon and incorporate the shopping, however because me and Thomas did the shopping I feel no need to go out now.  The weather is horrible rain this afternoon anyway so I don't quite fancy venturing outside in that.  Instead I shall keep myself amused with the Gerbils and reading a book.  Wish me better luck tomorrow!

Sunday, 16 October 2011


Yesterday was my first trip to Sweden!  Many Norwegians hop across the border to buy their shopping in Sweden as it tends to be much cheaper, especially when it comes to food and drink.  This is very much like how the English hop across to France to buy their food and drink (However I've never done this as i'm from the opposite side of England!)

The day started off as quite a misty day, it felt very wintery - I loved it!  The temperature was around 2 degrees Celsius when we started our journey around 9:30am.  The roads were practically empty, completely different to how England would be at this time!  We drove through many areas where we had to be alert for any Moose - another completely different experience to being in England!  Instead of having Deer signs, there are Moose signs!

I would also like to point out how huge the Norwegian public bins are, you think they look huge from the outside....when in fact, when you open them up, they go all the way underground!  They look as if they are about 2 or 3 metres deep underground!

Back to our Swedish we neared the border, the weather started to clear up and the temperature rose, it looked like a different world because the weather had changed so dramatically.

Another thing we took note of as we neared the Swedish border was of how many cars we saw.  We had hardly seen a single soul on our journey, right up until we were about 30 minutes away from the border, it was as if all of these cars had appeared from no where!  All of the Norwegians seemed to be on a pilgrimage to Sweden for cheaper goods!  It was quite funny actually.

We finally reached Sweden after 2 hours of driving, and as we had thought, practically all of the cars in front and behind us turned into the shopping center just across the border, Charlottenbergs Shoppingcenter.

The shopping centre was huge, bigger than what I've seen in Scandinavia so far anyway.  It could be compared to an average sized shopping centre in England, for example, 1 floor in the Bristol Galleries - plus a supermarket included within it, the size of a large Asda/Tesco, e.g....the Asda at Longwell Green, Bristol (For those of you who know!).  The place was packed with people, just like back in England.  We stocked up on food and drink - including meat, juice and beer!  We also bought some treats for our new pet Gerbils.

I am so glad that I have finally been to Sweden, that's another tick box checked in my 'list of things to do!'.  I can't wait to go back already, everything was so cheap!  Though it wasn't nearly as cheap as things back in England of course.

Tomorrow I will be going to the local police station to 'register' myself.  I shall also be getting in contact with the people who give Norwegian lessons, scary!  Everything's starting to begin!  Wish me luck!