Saturday, 7 December 2013


Hello, is anyone still there?

Firstly, apologies for being absent for so long.  Almost the whole year.  I am alive and well but my energy and enthusiasm for writing my blog disappeared.  I have continued to read your blogs with interest and getting lots of inspiration from them. Thank you for helping me along with a few projects!

Not a very remarkable year has passed and there's not much to tell, but I thought you might be interested in seeing some pics from the cruise I went on in October to Norway.  What a beautiful country with breath-taking scenery.  It was cold, but really not as cold as you'd think (especially wearing thermals).

This is the kind of view we had most days from the ship.
Cold, clean, fresh air.

When we crossed the Arctic Circle we were offered an Arctic baptism.  This is me about to be baptised by King Neptune.  He is about to pour a ladle-full of ice cubes down my back.  It was a shock, even though it was expected.  When I got back down to my cabin to change into dry clothes about twenty ice cubes scattered across the floor.

A Sami man in traditional costume and with a real live reindeer!

Imagine having to survive an Arctic winter when this is your home.

The northern-most post box in Europe

Tromsk cathedral
Built in the 1960's, a surprisingly beautiful building to come out of a decade not known for its inspiring architecture.
We were fortunate to be visiting while the choir was rehearsing.  I have a video but couldn't get blogger to upload it.

This is Mikael.  He spent the evening telling us about making natural medicines from the plants that grow locally.  He also taught us how to Yoik, which is the ancient Norwegian way of singing and, no, I don't have a recording of our efforts.
This kind of singing has only been allowed again since the 1950's after having been banned for hundreds of years by the Christian church because of its connections with the ancient, pagan ways.  The church will still not allow it to be used on its premises, but we were free to spend a pleasant hour or so stretching our vocal chords.

Here's something you might not have known - the reindeer that pull Santa's sleigh are FEMALE.
Yes, the male reindeer have their antlers in the summer.  Females grow them in for the winter.  So Donna and Blitzen (and Rudolph.  I guess the lyrics to THAT song should be changed) are GIRLIES.

This was a very special, magical and spiritual trip for me.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to visit.
Another post soon.  I want to show you my crafting efforts.
Hope all your Christmas preparations are going well.