I have decided to answer a comment thatI received to my last posting as a new post rather than as a further comment, because it tells the story of my last few hours in Norway.
I had a lie-in this morning and actually woke just as it was getting light. The colours in the sky were amazing, there was even a touch of ceruleum blue, maybe just about enough to make a sailor a pair of trousers,and there was a hint of sunshine, but for a few minutes.
A few hours of daylight at last for painting
I cleaned up and packed and then had a whole hour at the kitchen table, painting the view over the lake to the distant hills, with the branches of the silver birches in the foreground now black, and dark purplely/blue patches showing through the melting snow on the hills.
I actually painted the view six times so that I could give each of the "team" at the Centre a very small thank-you for their tremendous support over the past few weeks. I feel like I have been there for months, so I knew it was going to be a difficult "Aufwiedersehen".
Until we meet again
I went up to the centre to join the team for Christmas lunch and lots of laughs before Angel Lill took me to the train. While she was holding my arm, escorting me over the black ice I had to think of my mum who in the last few weeks of her life always hooked her hand into my brother-in-law's arm. I am not quite as old as my mum, but I found walking on the ice very difficult. I think that if you don't grow up with ice and snow you do not really get used to walking on it. My whole body tenses up, which is a real danger and an invitation for broken bones.
So this brings the story to the point when I said my goodbyes at the Centre and, as the comment on the last posting indicates, it wasn't easy. In fact, it would have been easier for me to turn right around and walk back in and actually miss the flight!
This made it even more special to find that comment on my blog as I got back into my cold flat! Thank you "Wenche the waffle-maker"!
Yes, it was very difficult to leave, luckily I had the most amazing train journey to Oslo to fill me with even more wonder and inspire more painting. The lake looked gorgeous, the sky was amazing, the birch and the spruce trees dark and imposing and the train was like something out of the Hamar train museum. It had old green checked-cloth seats and real wooden coat hangers to hang the long winter coats on. The journey was such a last-minute treat that it helped to stem the tears, with Angel Lill driving alongside over the bridge for the first few minutes, I don't think she could see me still standing waving like mad at the window!
Sir Alf and a dictionaryIt is very nice, Wenche, that you noticed that I had not had time on Wednesday morning to search the Internet to fill in the notes section on the carolling posting. I doubt whether I would have found such a comprehensive biography of Sir Alf. I hadn't realised that it was he who wrote Mrs Pepperpot.
I had actually been searching for something about him at the airport bookshop but had no luck. I did however find a copy of the very good English-Norwegian dictionary that you have in your office. I bought it. Whatever could that mean?
I expect that it probably means that the next time I sit around a table with you all I would like to understand all the jokes and not just think I understand them. I want to be able to talk to the children about dinosaurs and not only teach them how to draw them, I would like to go to a Norwegian carolling concert and not just the English one, and I would like more than anythng to go to a Norwegian theatre!
I wish you (the waffle-making mum) and the saxophinist, the boat-builder, the two NICE angels, Girl Friday, the voice of Stinky Stig and the rest of the team, a wonderful, relaxing holiday and a successful new year. I wish all of us another fun time around the lunchtime table, very, very soon!
Aufwiedersehen - until we next meet