Pao : send healing thoughts!

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Pao is having a heart op right now to try and fix some of his health issues. I haven’t spoken of them before much on this blog as they have been very hard to live with and hard to think about and I didn’t want people to be sad. The good news is that is he is being operated on by one of the best surgeons in the UK in one of the best hospitals for cardiac care in the UK. Healing thoughts and prayers appreciated. Love you, folks xxx

Update: He is through his op and now begins a long period of recovery. I’m taking him from hospital today to some local accommodation and tomorrow morning we travel home. The op went as planned so let’s hope it fixes things.

Gratulerer med dagen! – 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution

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I went up to London on Saturday with my Norwegian friend Tanya to celebrate with her and 8-10,000 Norwegians the 200th anniversary of nationhood. It was a beautiful day – really lovely and many of those present wore the traditional bunad.

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Men and women wear bunads. Each of them is different according to the region of Norway you are from.

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We arrived early and enjoyed some Norwegian entertainment.

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The folk dancing was by a group called Tinndølan. It was very slow moving but quite soothing.

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I really enjoyed hearing the hardingerfele (hardinger fiddle). If you’ve ever seen the second Lord of the Rings film, you would have heard a hardanger fiddle.

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This piece involved a boy kicking a hat off a stick. In the background, someone was playing the munnharpe which I’d never heard before. It was a very beautiful sound.

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Of course, there was much more dancing.

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And I loved looking at the bunads.

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Of course, being a celebration, there was cake – Norwegian birthday cake is called Bløtkake. I didn’t manage to eat a piece but I am told it is much like Victoria sponge with lots of cream and fruit on it.

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I did, however, get to eat some traditional Norwegian food – hot dogs wrapped in lompe (pancakes) and Norwegian waffles.

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At 1.15pm, they all sang the Norwegian National Anthem and then they got together for the parade around Southwark Park.

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We had a great time on the parade with everyone else. We stopped, took some photos, joined the parade again 🙂 It was great! Great atmosphere and people were very happy.

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It is traditional to wear red, white and blue ribbons on Norwegian National Day so Tamyra and Sirius couldn’t have missed out on the fun!

Gratulerer med dagen! 🙂

Last Weekly Stills

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A little late this week – my broadband is misbehaving…

1. Low tide at Margate Harbour Arm.

2. Fox mural

3. Friendly local.

4. Flowers given to me by a friend which brightened my day.

5. Beautiful t-shirt bag given to me as a gift by a kind friend.

6. Area 51 aka an attempt to stop Sirius from scratching the couch.

7. Inspired by Chris and a trip to TK Maxx, I found one of these American cardboard scratchers which Sirius seems to like. Note: he has scratched it and isn’t just using it as furniture.

8. Irises in the Cathedral garden.

9. Wisteria

10. Easter tomb at Canterbury Cathedral – they create this every year and I saw it before the stone was rolled away and afterwards this year.

Bluebells in Earley Wood

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It is bluebell season here in Kent and there is nothing so heady as the scent of a wood-full of tiny blue flowers bobbing in the wind.

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I try and make a point of trying to stop in the midst of all my busy-ness to smell the lovely bluebells each year. The season is fleeting — just a couple of short weeks so it is essential to get in there and look and smell before they fade.

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At the same time, we have the beauty of natural primroses to enjoy, too. Unlike their colourful bedding plant cousins, they have a creamy innocence.

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I may not get another chance to see them this year so I’ll just have to remember this visit til next.