Sunday, August 19, 2012

Adjø Oslo!

Here's a little (probably not so) secret: sometimes blogging gets tiring! I find the most tiresome and time-consuming part is sorting through photos, especially at the moment when I've been taking hundreds. This is an incentive to blog every day, as it leaves you with less to go through (plus the longer you put off blogging, the more sketchy and vague your posts will be), but it gets a bit much sometimes. I somehow ended up with 385 photos from the last couple of days alone, ai-yi-yi! Well, I should roll up my sleeves and get on to it, because this is our last evening in Norway before heading back to the barren internet-less wasteland of northern England (hasn't been invented yet up there).

We've had a great trip. I've got to give a big shout-out to Mum and Dad for picking Norway (Dad), planning (some of) the trip, and financing it!! We've had wonderful weather almost the entire time and seen and done some amazing things. However, all good things must come to an end, so it's up early tomorrow (Wednesday) to get back to the airport, then I have a couple more days in the UK before flying back to France on Saturday.

Yesterday (Monday), we had the long drive back down to Oslo. It was a fun little roadtrip, but I think we were all glad to get rid of the rental car, after sitting in it for more than 1000 km over three days.

A couple more shots of the scenery from the return journey

Today was quite relaxed, with the main activity a trip to the Museum of Decorative Arts. First, though, we called in at a nearby cemetery. I love cemeteries in general, and while this wasn't as full of interesting graves as, for example, Eastern European cemeteries or Père Lachaise, it did have Munch and Ibsen (and some other "famous" Norwegians).

Ibsen's grave

Munch's grave

I don't know who this is really, but tonight Matthew, he's going to be Joseph Stalin
I did a terrible job of taking note of what period or designer things were from in the Decorative Arts museum, so here are just some contextless pictures of things I liked/thought were interesting.

My absolute favourites were the tapestries, such as this early 17th century Norwegian tapestry

The close-ups are priceless. EVERYONE in this tapestry is permanently surprised

Well, Jesus is a Bit Sad

And as for the faces on this late 17th C tapestry...

This is obviously made by the same dude as the last one. I think this Where-The-Wild-Things-Are-looking guy is meant to be one of the Magi

This is amazing - a tapestry from between 1040 and 1190. Look at how bright the colours are! It was my official Favourite Thing in the museum

I think this was 17th C too, depicting King Herod feasting. I love their outfits! The text you can see above the feasters is nonsense. Often illiterate tapestry-makers just copied scraps of text (which was often mirror-image to begin with), and, over the years, it ended up as gibberish
A much-later tapestry featuring Nordic maidens about to be licked by polar bears - ???

A dress owned by Norway's Queen Maud. I know they wore corsets back then (early 20th C), but damn, that's a tiny waist! How did she manage it?

Oh, I see, clearly she was one of the undead

I would have sworn this was by El Lissitzky, but funnily enough it turned out the black plate with red dots in the background was by him

A 19th-C throwback to traditional Viking motifs

How sweet is this little Japanese plate?

Talking of sweet, awwwww
I fell in love with the work of the Norwegian Nora Gulbrandsen. This cabinet is full of her work

Gulbrandsen (I think!)

Definitely by Nora Gulbrandsen, because this one came up on Google Images
Okay, that was a lot of photos, sorry! Here's just a couple more from our last evening in Oslo

Me and Dad at the restaurant. The French people sitting behind us chain-smoked through the whole meal, holding their ciggies over their shoulders so all the smoke went away from them and straight towards us. I really wonder if smokers just don't realise how horrible that is, even outside, or they just don't care

Me and Mum at the apartment. She's cheating by wearing shoes while I'm barefoot

Me at the restaurant, looking like I'm about to get a Christmas present


  1. I'm not really a museum person, but reading your posts about artwork, I'm starting to wonder if I just need to develop the right sense of humour!

    1. I do try to look for the silly and bizarre things you can often find in museums. I like the proper fancy stuff too, but I must admit it gets tiring reading long descriptions or looking at Important Bones. I think I often start off with the best intentions of paying attention to everything, then tail off dramatically at the end!

  2. Oh my goodness!!! Gwan's mom!!!! The famous Gwan's mom!!! Thank you so much for posting a photo. I have been curious this entire time what she looks like!! She's so sweet. : )

    Also, I've said it before but I friggin' love that dress! It's so different! You rock it well.

    1. Ha ha internet famous! There will be a couple more in my next post too. Never be afraid to repeat a compliment ;) Thanks again!

    2. I'd like to see your mom, Ella - she's much more famous than me! GM x

  3. Me, sweet? Hahahahahahahaha! GM x

    1. Sweet little old pensioner (don't kill me!) x

  4. Grrrrr - you are only daring to say that because we have only just parted and who knows when I will be able to get my hands round your throat, you cheeky so-and-so!!!

    1. Only kidding, but yes, hopefully you'll have forgotten to strangle me by next time x

  5. Gwans mum looks more like her sister!......what is her secret....get some Gwan,(and sell it!) although usually looking young is in the genes so you can look forward to a wrinkle free old age and thank your mum.

    I understand what you mean about blogging being tiring so just to encourage you, just know I love following you adventures. Sometimes though I don't have time to reply. The tick box thingy is useful. I lke that.

    I also like the tapestries, they are not usually my kind of thing but these are fun.

    Have a nice few days in the BEAUTIFUL north west of England! hmmph! LOL!

    Love Denise

    1. Ha ha, I meant barren wasteland only in terms of internet access, sorry! My granddad doesn't have it, so it's a bit harder to get online when I'm there. By the way, we drove past Bolton the other day - fancy football stadium!

      I hope so with the wrinkles, Mum does look great! Not just saying that to get back in her good books after my comment above. I think she would say avoiding the sun and not smoking.

      And thanks so much for the kind words and for commenting. It definitely is motivating to know that people enjoy reading.

    2. Thanks Denise! I love you, but maybe Gwan won't like to be thought to look like my sister, ha ha! Gwan's Mum x

  6. It's your Mum and Dad! Thanks for including photos of them. Even though I've seen a couple of older pics of your parents in previous posts, it was a treat to see what they look like in Norway. Very happy, indeed. It's wonderful that you were able to spend so much time together. I just hope that I have the opportunity to meet them some day.

    I love the long dress that you're wearing in the photo with your mum. Tres chic!

    1. They were sorry to miss out this time!

      Thanks! It seems it's quite the hit in the blogosphere, good buy :) I may have to wear it if I go out this weekend!

    2. Thanks MK - I was all set to visit Paris and didn't want to go to Norway, but maybe will make it to Paris another time. I did end up very glad we went to Norway, though and I had a really wonderful week. GM x


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