Wednesday, 31 December 2014

One more time with feeling!

Why is it that things only seem to appear clearly to me once I have had a couple of goes at them? What I mean is, this time around, the unsettled feeling is finally gone. The slight lost-ness with the change in work environments has also abated to a large extent. In small and not so small ways, I now feel that I belong.

This has been a spectacular year when it comes to travelling! Especially since I only stepped outside the country twice in the twelve months! Once for a short work trip, and ten months later, for this end of year break. The rest of the time, it's been one trip or visit after the other, not to mention the miles of cycling, hiking, swimming and lately even running!

I guess the winter left something to be desired, yet I managed to hone my snowboarding skills a bit. But once the snow disappeared, albeit rather prematurely, it was time for yet another summer of lots of cycling. And proper road trips!

As far as highlights go, the memories of late summer come to me in a haze of lazy evenings spent swimming in lakes around Asker. And occasionally in the fjord. But there are the two trips that really stand out! The weekend in Tromsø, when we managed to catch an unbelievable display of the northern lights, and the long week in Lofoten. There's nothing I can say in a brief line or two that can do justice to the brilliance of that trip :). I guess I've spent enough time on that anyway.

The last few months had been rather quiet on the travelling and a bit too heavy on the work stress :). But I guess these holidays were timed to perfection. Another big red American muscle car and hundreds of miles of interstates with my cousin :).

I have to say, the Camaro, newer and consequently somewhat fancier, does handle better than the Mustang we got a couple of years ago. Which is good, since the weather we had driving down to Asheville all the way from Boston was less than ideal. At times, it was downright apocalyptic! With thunderous downpours, fog and a generally constantly overcast sky overhead. But we managed the fourteen and a half hours with relative ease.

The last week has been one of lazy late mornings, afternoon strolls, the occasional run, and a lot of entertaining home cooked food :). I guess the culmination of it all will be the New Year's Eve party tonight.

And after that it's a long succession of travel back home to Asker. However, the end of my vacation is still several days away, and to not enjoy these remaining days would be criminal :). So I'll stop here, and jump back into the rather frantic preparations for dinner.

But before that, for what happens to be tenth time on this blog (!!), one last shout to this rather brilliant year, and a quick wish for the next :). Happy New Year!

Currently: busy!! :)
Listening to: Becky G - Shower (it's jumpy and happy and juvenile, deal with it!)

Monday, 22 December 2014

Winter wonderland

Yet another month. This time the weather has shown signs of such promise as to defy belief! Or maybe it's just that there have been so many days of dark and damp that any amount of sunshine can seem like a miracle. :) I guess it doesn't help that there aren't that many hours of daylight to start with.

When the chance did arrive, we managed to make some use of it :). There's this thing about snow. That and sunshine, the crisp cold kind that leaves most of the white while brightening things up no end. The world transforms into something quite magical.

The first few times it snowed, the temperature kept getting warm again and melting everything into mush. Eventually, the slopes opened up, and I found myself a few days with time and nothing to do! (There are good things to be said of semi-enforced vacation days. :D) So that was time to bring out the board and boots and head off to the slopes!

A proper three day weekend of snow at Hemsedal! I was happy to see I haven't lost any of the skills I'd picked up last time around. :) I actually managed three days on the slopes without any of my somewhat customary spectacular falls!! Which is not to say the experience was entirely painless, but it was mostly the nice tired aching rather than bumps and bruises from making much too abrupt contact with some hard packed snow. :D

I suppose keeping up with the running has helped with that a little. I continue to surprise myself by running at near or sub zero temperatures. I even got those spikes!! They do wonders for the snow grip! On the flip side, wearing them means rather gingerly tiptoeing over bits that don't have ice or snow, which is a bit annoying.

But now it is finally time for the proper holiday to start! Heading off to the States for what will be in fact my first holiday abroad this year!!! And the first trip outside Norway since all the way back in February! Almost a year without international travel has been quite the change from what used to be my usual travel habits. :)

While I have to say I'd definitely hit frequent flying fatigue and relished the break no end, the amount of time I had to spend thinking about packing was a bit of a shock! Eventually though, old habits kicked in and I'm all good to go! Now it's just a hop over the Atlantic, and yet another hot rod road trip awaits!

Currently: can't wait!
Listening to: Charli XCX - Boom clap