Monday, 27 February 2006

Norwegian Winter Report (London, 27th February 2006 by Stein

his is being written in London as Diana and I are on the way back to Venezuela and our faithful White Admiral – reportedly in good shape and un-broken into in Astillero de Higuerote! I realize that most people that enter our web-site do so for the more exotic stories and pictures, so this report is going to be fairly brief. But family, friends and work back in Europe is also an important part of our lives…
After Galapagos, on our return to Norway in November, we as usual had a few days here in UK. Where we, of course, saw Elisabeth & Hugh, but also drove up north to Lincoln where Diana’s aunt Joyce and uncle Donald are now living. They have spent most of their adult lives in Durban, South Africa, but since retirement have for many reasons been unsure of whether to make UK or South Africa their eventual home. Now it looks like Lincoln is the definitive location. Back in 1981/82, when we were towards the end of our circumnavigation with Red Admiral, we stopped to work in Durban and there had regular contact with Joyce and Donald. On this recent occasion we visited Lincoln Cathedral with them. The magnificent building dates back to 1092! And we also chanced to meet Diana’s Cousin Gordon visiting from South Africa – it was about 40 years since the two last chatted eye to eye!
Our house in Vigeveien now has lodgers living in the ground floor. It means we can come and go whenever we like at the same time as somebody is keeping an eye on the house. And give us a hand with clearing the snow! For this winter we have had plenty of that white stuff from the heavens…
Our work situation was the same as during the summer, Diana doing an Eye locum in private practice, I at the Cardiology Dpt. of SSK; the local hospital. We both have enjoyed this very much; working is still an important dimension. In my case echocardiography continues to be a big fascination and a skill I am gradually acquiring.
My mother, Eli turned 90 in early December. You may remember that she visited us on White Admiral in Venezuela a few months ago, so she’s not doing badly for her age! She did not want any big celebration, but in Kristiansand we nevertheless went to Bakgården restaurant for an excellent meal with all the trimmings. Around the same time we also visited Susanne & Frode and said hello to our old cat, Opus, at his new home in Tromøya, Arendal. No cat could ask for a better retirement…

We travelled to Smestad, Oslo twice to see Camilla & Martin and our two, lovely wee grand-children, Hedda & Johan. Also they visited us for Christmas and we had a long week-end together in Haglebu, Eggedal a couple of weeks ago. Haglebu is where our good friends Dagmar & Christian Platou have their mountain cottage and where we also had a similar Hoff/Platou family reunion last year. So wee Fritjof is also one year older and wiser much to the delight of his grand-parents (Dagmar & Christian) and of course his parents Hans-Christian and Symira. Including the latter two we were a total of seven medical doctors present. Thank goodness Martin with economics, Elisabeth with photography and Hugh with motor sports provided some alternative talking topics!
The weather and skiing conditions could not have been better, and provided us with great conditions both for walking and skiing. Apart from two long day trips I also had two memorable cross-country skiing trips in the full moonlight, one alone and one with Dagmar & Christian. That latter trip was a wonderful mixture of a physical experience, of a long-standing, precious friendship and of winter’s cold and tranquil beauty. - It is indeed not necessary to go far from one’s own door-steps to find moments of real magic.

27 Feb 2006 by Stein & Diana

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