Sunday, August 23, 2009

last days of summer

Historically, in my little part of Norway, it always seems that summer ends on August 24th.

As tomorrow is the day, we'll see what happens. I hope I'm wrong.

However, this weekend was heavenly.

Yesterday we went for a long walk around the lake. It's a lake not far from where we live, and we can walk there, and then around. Takes about 2 1/2 hours total trip. It's a microcosm of European rural culture. There's cows with cowbells (I am ALWAYS in favor of more cowbell), old farms, ancient burial areas, craggy hills and cliffs, deep dark forests and the blue blue water reflecting (when I'm lucky) the blue blue sky. Off in the distance you can see the spire of the church, this one replacing the ancient 11th century one which burnt in the mid 1800's but is still surrounded by Iron Age burial mounds. There's little areas with beaches and naked Norwegian babies running around. (Where there's water and sun, there's naked Norwegian babies.) There's a waterfall and an angry old goat whose balls drag on the ground and who will attack you if you even look at him wrong, though you would too, if your balls dragged on the ground, and people running, walking, biking, strolling, swimming and horseback riding. There's a pleasant little old farm house where you can stop for boller og café eller té. I love that lake and that whole area.

So we went around there, unusual for me to drag Rich's lazy ass out on a weekend, and then came back and I did a bit of grocery shopping and we had a nice dinner of grilled marinated scallops with chorizo and cilantro rice for dinner. I had an early night, was in bed by 10:30.

Today, glory be, ANOTHER gorgeous day. This time we went out to an island nearby, where there is a Sunday flea market, and we bought odd useless things. Me: an old coffee can from an Oslo coffee brewery, all red and gold and black, with a great graphic design, that says "DRINK GOOD COFFEE" (but in Norwegian, of course) and a totally goofy little three legged late 60's early 70's table with a glass top and black and white monochromatic design. I didn't need a tiny little table, never planned on owning a tiny little table, but a tiny little table is now mine. (See below for pics, Norwegians think I am nuts when I take pictures of a tiny table and a tin can in the middle of a field on an island). Rich: a little clay oil lamp, jury is out whether it is authentic ancient or not, but he has some that ARE and a couple that AREN'T and this one could be either. It was cheap, and it's cool, so that's all that matters. He collects antiquities. He has a good eye, he really does.

The flea market was right at the edge of a nature area with walks and beaches and stuff, so I carried my little table with me and we had a stroll. Yes, I am a crazy table and tin can lady. Ah but the day was so perfect, and I had no place to leave said table, so it got to accompany me on the stroll. It was perfect to rest my purse on while I rested in the grass and Rich looked for fossils. I don't know about you, but I abso-freaking-lutely ADORE flea markets on a sunny days, (any day really) so to find a decent one in Norway and on such a glorious day...well, this might be my version of heaven. I also scored an authentic Norwegian Navy sailor's shirt. I've always wanted one.

Came home, hung out on the deck with the latest Vanity Fair in the sun, (it seems I reach a certain level of tan and then cease to get any darker, or to burn. Not one burn this summer and a nice golden tan!) and then Rich grilled the pork loin I had marinated overnight in sugar, fish sauce, lime, sesame oil, garlic and chilies. It made a great pork salad, layered over fresh greens with cashews and nuoc cham sauce. And, need you ask, some rosé.

Now Rich has gone to see Inglorious Basterds, and I am going to have a nice bath and a session with Mad Men (the tv show, not some lucky guys I find) and will count today a perfect end to an all too short, all too rainy summer.

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