What an incredible year this has been!

Round about this time last year I moved to the farm, whilst Christian held the fort in Oslo. Officially the move wasn’t done before July 15, but I needed to be there to keep an eye on the work that had to be done; carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc. There was a lot that needed doing and things were happening fast. It was impossible to follow up by phone. We were lucky, spring came early and we could start work much faster than we had expected.

For some time now I have felt the need to recap the events of this past year, to get them down in writing so that we can remember how eventful it has been.

Skimming through the photographs from this past year there are so many I want to share with you. I’ve chosen to present them in a gallery – a faster way for you to look through them. I could have posted many more, but for fear of being boring I have tried to be selective.

Apart from moving to Bjørnerud, the main events have been:
April – selling my parents place in the mountains,  breaking my wrist and deciding to buy alpacas.
May – starting work on the conservatory and finally moving into the new sunny kitchen. The local Lions Club fencing in the fields for the alpacas.
June – the death of my mother, the birth of our first cria (baby alpaca) and the total renewal of 300 meters of road. A messy business due to the clay ground.
July – the final move to the farm which my fantastic husband did practically on his own. I was handicapped by my arm.
August – The handover of our house in Oslo to the new owners and the arrival of our alpacas. More pictures «of the garden we left behind» can be seen here.
September/October – We had a gorgeous autumn with the red and gold leaves hanging on to the trees for ages and ages. There were also quite a bit of wild mushrooms. I spent some time canning different jams and marmalades in our lovely new kitchen and learning how to bake sour dough bread. I’ve also learnt to make Norwegian flat bread!
At work we celebrated 50 years of UWC’s existence with a grand event at the Oslo City Hall and a photo exhibition in front of the City Hall. The exhibition was the result of a world wide photo competition amongst UWC alumni and staff. The event had been planned for two years and involved many who worked hard for a fantastic result.
November – The cold came early and we have had a long, cold winter with temperatures down to -25ºC for several weeks. But the sun was generally out and there hasn’t really been that much snow, at least not in our area.
December – Christmas was spent at the cottage with our grown up kids. We had a week of peaceful days, but it snowed and snowed and it was difficult to get outside. Even the boys struggled to get through 50cm of loose powdery snow on cross country skis. New Year’s Eve was celebrated quietly at the farm with friends.
January through to March – We have gradually adjusted to our new lives and not for a single day have we regretted making the move and changing our life style. The winter has been much colder than we had expected, but it is a dry cold which doesn’t penetrate like a damp one does.

This past year has also brought a lot of knowledge;
– about alpacas
– about running a farm
– about forestry
– about photography
and much, much more.

Although it has been a demanding year I wouldn’t for the world have been without this time. I am truly grateful for all the support we have been given by old and new friends. We can never thank you enough!

There is so much more  I could have written about – but it would have made this post too long. Hopefully you will have found something that interests you and perhaps you will take the time to flip through the gallery to see some of what we have experienced this past year. We are now looking forward to a another year, with new challenges, new friends and new knowledge! Hopefully the challenges will not come at such a fast rate as the previous year…

The nicest things about the farm is the peace that surrounds it, the beautiful views from every window and spot on the property and the energy that it gives us.

This place truly feels like home.

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Other posts about what we found here on the farm:

Snooping around on the hayloft
Helter skelter in the “stabbur”
The untouched cellar

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Waiting for spring

The Easter holidays have started here in Norway – and it is a strange one at that. The weather has been incredibly warm this past month and the snow has melted faster than usual. We have had temperatures up towards and above 20ºC, which is the warmest ever recorded. Easter holidays here normally mean that very many people head towards the mountains, either to cottages or skiing from hut to hut. It also means lots of snow, great tans, oranges, chocolate and good food. Tired, sweaty people who have gone for long ski treks, sitting in front of fireplaces, enjoying the physical tiredness and looking forward to a sauna and a shower, before falling into bed to sleep well before another ski trek the next day.

Unless you have the possibility to head deep into the higher mountains, this is not how Easter will be for most of us this year. Around our cottage there is hardly any snow and the only way to get around is on foot. Yesterday the temperature had dropped and ice had formed during the night, creating beautiful ice patterns and crunchy sounds underfoot. In Oslo spring is well underway, with crocuses and other spring flowers springing forth. Up here however, the greys and browns still dominate, but green patches are gradually pushing through.

We had a lovely walk yesterday in spite of the freezing wind. The wind chill factor was high and it was lovely creeping down into a sheltered warm spot and to smell the earth gradually warming up. Perhaps this little slideshow can show you the treasures we found ….

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Catching my breath whilst sharing some photos from Røros

Time has flown since my last post … it worries me a little. I would have liked to have posted at least twice by now, but work and life has been pretty hectic since the start of the year. So much so that inspiration has been lacking.

However, in November I promised you some more pictures from Røros, so now is perhaps the time to post them, when my brain is pretty “toast”!

We spent some time wandering around the town, and around every corner there was something to surprise, delight or amuse. Like this entry to a potters workshop.

A self portrait?

Or, how about this charming back yard?

And just around the corner this wagon which probably had been full of lovely plants when it wasn’t full of snow.

We also popped in on a local bazar, had coffee and Norwegian waffles and enjoyed the happy and to us, slightly quaint atmosphere.

People were definitely having a good time and old friends were sharing gossip.

Further on we came upon this sad teddy – he certainly didn’t look very happy. All he wanted was to settle into a little child’s warm and caring arms.

Now isn’t this a beauty, although it’s nearly covered in snow?

I’ll leave you with this for now, but will be back soon. I promise!