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!

Friday, 14 October 2011

A Fresh Start, A New Beginning...Hei Norge!

So here I am, sitting at the computer in Elverum, Norway.  The weather has been absolutely amazing, despite being a little chilly, ever since I arrived yesterday afternoon.  Clear blue skies and bright sunshine, average temperatures of 8 degrees celsius, a lot cooler to that of the temperature back home in England - 17 degrees celsius.

I love the fact that I am finally here to stay however I feel quite homesick.  Yesterday was the worst.  I actually felt like I shouldn't be here, like something wasn't quite right, I missed my family like hell.  I felt like i'd left something hugely important behind, which I have - the most caring, dependable, loving family I could ever wish for, how could I leave that all behind?  I just kept reminding myself of something my Grandma said to me on the phone before I took off from London Heathrow... 'You're starting your life now, it's a new chapter in your life, live it to the full.'  That is what's keeping me going so far.

My boyfriend has been an absolute god send trying to help me feel right here, I know he's trying his absolute best and I love him even more so for it.  I'll be fine soon i'm sure, I just need to settle in, find my place in the community, in Norway.

On a happier note!  Even on my first day here I have accomplished a few targets on my 'What to do when I move to Norway!' list!  For one I have had my name put on my boyfriend's postbox, or as I should probably say now..our postbox!  I met the Landlord who came to sort it out for us, he seemed a very polite man, I was quite chuffed that he was able to speak English!  Or should I say, he had the guts to speak English to me!  What I have found in my other visits to Norway is that many people are actually too embarrassed to talk to me and just smile, or at times ignore me!  So I felt very welcomed speaking to our Landlord!

I have also managed to obtain a library card!  My love for reading can continue!  I feel so chuffed that I have this card now as it feels like my very first connection to Norway itself!  However as I am not a Norwegian Citizen I can only have a local library card and not one that can be used all round the country, which is completely understandable!  A local card is all I shall need for now.  I have an 'easy read' on loan at the moment, as well as a Thomas The Tank Engine book - don't laugh!  I find that by reading children's books in Norwegian, I pick the language up quite quickly!

Thomas and I (my boyfriend) have new additions to our little household!  I would like to introduce....Skye and Freya!



Our new 2-3 month old pet Gerbils!  I apologise for the blurry photos, have you ever tried taking photos of the most hyperactive/curious gerbils?!  They seem to be settling in very well!  After exploring their new surrounding for about an hour or so they soon enough starting getting back to old habits....DIG!  My boyfriend kindly bought them as a present for the 2 of us starting our lives together, I think its also partly to help me settle in a bit, give me some company when he's back at work,  I love these little girls to bits already!

Tomorrow we are heading to Sweden to do some shopping, i'm so excited!  I have always wanted to visit Sweden!  I shall let you know how our little trip goes, but for now....God natt!

Thursday, 13 October 2011


So here is my last entry from England, i'm so nervous!   Most of all i'm quite sad today, i'm such a family person, i'm especially close to my Mum, I don't know what I would do without her, yet here I am leaving her behind!  I know everything will be ok once i'm in Norway, I just really really wish I could bring my Mum with me, I love her to bits.

Today is going to be a very hectic day so I don't know if i'll have the chance to write another entry, but here is farewell to England, you will always be my home.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Car anyone?

...Still no interest in my car, its starting to get me a bit down now, I was hoping to have sold it by now, its been for sale for 2 weeks and no word.  I've even reduced the price by £1000 because i'm that desperate to sell it before I go away on Thursday!

In other news I have finally told the tax people that I will no longer be living in the UK, now I just have to send out my student loan form, after that i'm all finished with the important stuff - thank god!  All I have to do now is make sure my mail will reach my Norwegian address by getting my name put on our post box, you wouldn't believe how difficult that actually is!

I'm actually quite scared now, I was excited and a bit nervous last week, but this week it has totally hit me, i'm moving abroad.  I'm never coming back. I'm going somewhere that I need to learn a whole new language before I can do anything.  WHAT AM I THINKING?!?!?!  I'm so scared.  I know i'll absolutely love it when i'm out there, its just really daunting on me now that this is ACTUALLY happening. Poo.

I've finished reading The Night Circus the other day so I shall try and get a book review written shortly, in between spending my last time in the UK with my family.

...It's only 13 degrees here at the moment, its 9 in Norway.  Im so cold now let alone being in Norway...i'm doomed.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

And breathe...

Today has been one of the most stressful days i've had in a long while.  This is mostly due to the extreme temperatures that has hit the UK this weekend.  It was around 27 degrees celsius in Bristol today, it was way hotter than that in the kitchen that I was working in all day.  Add that to a continuous queue of fussy customers and that sums up to a stressful day!  I looked like a drowned rat I was so hot!  And what's even worse?  I have to go through it all over again tomorrow.  The BBC are even reporting that today was a record breaker in the fact that it was the hottest day ever recorded in October.  Can you believe its October already?!  We should be in jumpers by now!  Not summer clothes!

In other news...1 week later and I still haven't had a single phone call or email from anyone about my car, therefore I have reduced the price slightly, hoping it will grab someone's attention...keeping my fingers crossed!  I only have 12 more days to sell it.