The first day the sun showed himself after his two month polar night retreat, he did just that. We had a simultaneous sunrise and sunset. No sooner had we seen him than he had gone again.
Now after two days, we have already a significant “day” lasting about one hour, with proper sunshine. The weather has even given us optimal conditions. Everything is moreover lighter now. It is now reasonably light again at nine o’ clock in the morning, even though the sun doesn’t rise until 11 o’clock. It does not become dark again until three o’clock, and it is not fully dark until half past four.
I’m very glad and relieved when Arctic Organist laments the inclement weather. Not only is it true, but apart from enriching your experience as my blog reader (Jon really does take some lovely shots: I can only recommend you visit his page), quoting him gives ones own excuse credibility!
The fact is that we have had many a day you would not have thanked me for taking a picture. Not only are we in the Polar Night – and we actually are now even if our neck of the woods were completely flat – most of the last two weeks have been miserable and overcast. We have had everything from snow, sleet, rain, hail, gale force winds, cloud and everything nature can throw at you pretty much. When you consider that if it is cloudy, it is actually dark at midday now, that vastly reduces your photography options.
Otherwise, I am going to try starting on the logo. As many of you know, I was forced to remove the logo just over a month ago when Wiki Commons likewise was forced to remove one of the elements that make it up. It had been lying there “in the public domain”. Unfortunately someone disputed that, and for copyright reasons Wiki Commons removed its viking raven and I took down my blog logo.
I wish to assure you that I have not abandoned the logo. I am sticking with it. I do have a photograph, in the public domain, of the raven in question. I must now draw this by hand, and superimpose that drawing on the symbol’s other two elements. When that is done I should theoretically have a derivative work belonging to me alone. The problem has been getting the time to do this. I promise I shall try harder to find some!
After all, tomorrow is my December “day off”. And Jon Blamire is right about those temperatures – it’s a bit too nippy outside for anything else….
For the photo lovers, here is a bonus picture. As already mentioned, Daily Photo returns for registered users on the 4th November. If you are logged in, you can see a colour picture of our nature every day through the Polar Night.
This picture was taken from the ferry yesterday. It is fitting that I should post a picture of what is known as the “National Peak”. 22 years ago to this very day, I arrived from England to start my new life in this country. That was also a Friday, and I spent my first night at the residency of the priest on Hitra.
Two weeks ago I literally went through Hell. A lot of people got quite worried. Being a conscientious user of Facebook, I had updated my status so everybody knew that I was going through Hell.
It isn’t the first time. That was when I first came to Norway in 1991. I had just got off the plane, and no sooner had I left the airport than I was in Hell. The vicar where I was then working (on Hitra) told me that a tourist had once asked someone at the airport the directions to the nearest hotel. Apparently they told him to go to Hell!
As you will hopefully have now gathered, Hell is just outside one of Norway’s airports. There is indeed a hotel there, one of the largest in the Rica Hotel Chain. So if you like, you can not only go to hell, but you can stay at Hell Hotel as well.
Hell has a very interesting train station too. There is a cargo terminal there. The Norwegian word for “cargo” is “gods”, and the word for terminal is “expedition”, so if you go to the train station in Hell you will find Gods Expedition….
However, perhaps this is all a little too much for those worried by my status updates two weeks ago. I am pleased to say that there is also a church in Hell. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise though….
If you get married there, your marriage will be made in Hell! Most people are like me, and just go through Hell every time we take the plane.
At least we know that whatever modern theology might say, Hell really does exist. What is more they speak Norwegian there.
This gallery contains 7 photos.
I see Jon Blamire is reporting the onset of the autumn in his Arctic Organist blog. Not to be outdone, Yorkshire Viking Norway follows up with this gallery of images from Lødingen!
Temperatures are certainly beginning to fall now although, as Jon also reports, they are still higher than normal. Today the weather has been very wet and windy. During a brief respite from the precipitation, I took myself to Nygård mountain where Lødingen’s main TV and radio transmitter is situated. This gives a wonderful vantage point for photographs of our town.
The really observant among you will have seen this picture – and some strange Norwegian – a few hours ago. Yorkshire Viking Norway is twinned with a Norwegian only blog, and I posted something meant for there here instead.
Since something actually appeared, albeit briefly, in this blog I shall explain what my post was about. I was writing about a Norwegian expression that has been lifted from the Swedish. There are differing opinions about the rights and wrongs of using this in Norwegian. Nevertheless people do use it, regardless of whether it is “right” by the rules of Norwegian grammar, and the expression has (I argued) a different meaning to that conveyed by the “correct” native expression supposedly for the same thing. Therefore for those reasons my opinion was that it were justified.
There is little point trying to write the expression in English. It is idiomatic rather than something I can translate word for word. Nevertheless, it functions very much as the adjective “present” in the title of this post. The implication is that the status quo may soon be about to change. That indeed is the case for the Municipality of Lødingen.
For demographic reasons it has long been accepted that our municipality – and many others – will have to be amalgamated. There is simply not the population anymore to justify their existence. However, now we have elected a government that has made doing this a priority. Consequently, the days of the Municipality of Lødingen are probably numbered.
Today I was out with my camera, and I decided to start documenting what is most likely to disappear within the next five to ten years. The picture shows the municipal boundary as you drive towards where I live. This will, of course, be taken down if the municipality is abolished and merged with its neighbours.
I shall of course continue to do everything I can as an interested photographer to document the changes that are likely to occur.
Being something of a pedant, I had to grin a little when Jon Blamire reported Summer temperatures on his balcony. When I was a boy, meteorology was my hobby – indeed I got teased as “the professor” because of it. I am therefore very strict about my weather data, and if the thermometer is in the sunlight then that invalidates the result for my part.
Nevertheless, the weather really has become so hot. So hot, indeed, that I must now take my new KIA car to the garage as soon as possible. Today the unusually high temperatures seem to have triggered a fault. The motor began to “kick”, and once I had stopped the car to look at the owner’s manual I read that the air conditioning in extreme conditions can overheat the motor – with the exact symptoms I was experiencing. After allowing my vehicle to cool down, I experienced no further motor problems, but the air conditioning has now completely ceased to function!
That is a nuisance because it really “ain’t half hot”! Indeed whatever my colleague writes about this current heatwave, for once I must confirm the veracity of it. I have never known it so hot in Norway. The meteorologists tell us that May was the warmest on record. I concur.
While the fault on my car was forcing me to take a little driving break, I did have my camera with me. So I decided to put the time to good use snapping some pictures from the location I otherwise should have driven right past.
In most places, the temperature was a little under 30º, averaging between 27º and 28º – but as low as 26º on the coast. Yet there were “hot spots”, and when the temperature showed 30º (well, that only happened once), I just had to stop the car and photograph the reading!
All of these problems made me almost quite forget why I had driven to Sortland in the first place. A week ago, I had bought some fresh fish, and liked it so much that I had decided to buy some more. It is a type of fish that I had never eaten before called Arctic char. A member of the salmon family, it is really delicious.
First thing Monday morning I shall have to ring the garage for repairs to my car. I’m just glad it’s under guarantee!
or Beat that Arctic Organist!
More details to follow!
My last post in this blog was about something that happened on St. George’s, the national day of England. Here in Norway, we have ours right now – on the 17th May.
Naturally the destruction of my school made this year a little special. Nevertheless, I remember comparing the two national days when I first came here over two decades ago. At that time my father was still alive. He too was very impressed, and in those days Norwegians were – if this be possible – even more “over the top” on the 17th May; there were more flag poles with flags than there were street lights in the cities, and absolutely everybody held a flag of some size in their hands.
My father told me that, although the Norwegians might rightly claim how unique their day is now, that the day actually reminded him of Empire Day. Apparently there were children’s parades in England too at one time. A long shot from today, where some councils forbid the flying of the St. George flag!
However, here in Norway, the day is as special as ever. I myself make it an occasion to be thankful for my citizenship, and to remember those who for whatever reason have not been allowed to remain in this country. I am extremely fortunate to have landed where I did in life. The 17th May is, for me, an important day on which to remember this.
Norway has not one, but three national anthems. There is the one most people think of Ja vi elsker dette landet (Yes we love this country), which also is the usual one…. but there is also the royal anthem, which is identical to the British one. Lastly, there is the national hymn, Gud signe vårt dyre fedreland. That in my opinion, really is something… and is based on the biblical psalm 127 “Except the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain“.
Jon Blamire has often written some very interesting, and thought provoking reflections about what his experiences here in Norway mean for him – often from a biblical perspective. I value reading them. However, on a day like the 17th May, perhaps I shall stop and pause to reflect that the builders of this country (alas, times have changed, and the church no longer has the sort of influence it did back then) founded their new country firmly on their Christian Faith. Although the national hymn is used much less now, for me it has one of the profoundest texts of all.
The hymn is, as said, based on Psalm 127. One verse in particular is almost directly lifted from it.
Vil Gud ikkje vera Bygningsmann, (If God will not be the builder)
Me faafengt paa Huset byggja. (we build the house in vain)
Vil Gud ikkje verja By og Land, (If God will not guard [our] cities and land)
Kann Vaktmann oss ikkje tryggja. (the guard cannot protect us)
So vakta oss, Gud, so me kann bu (So guard us, God, that we may live)
I Heimen med Fred og Hyggja! (at home in peace and comfort!)
Happy Constitution Day!
more photos later today, but today’s daily is taken from Rinbø, between Lødingen and Vestbygd.