2011.12.18 - Birthday

Turning 40

When December turns middle-aged it is time for me to age as well. This year I caught up with December and turned middle-aged myself. Gone with the farm childhood, the student teenage years, the adventurous twenties and the Paula thirties .... in with the rest of my life !

The birthday child and his baby!

He may look 60 but he feels 30 !

If the start of the rest of my life is anything to judge from, I am in for a good time !

Tuesday was in my calendar as the Fred Olsen Marine Services Julebord. In other words the Christmas dinner with my company. We met for appetizers in one of the upstairs rooms in the Bristol Hotel before sitting down for an elaborate dinner of smoked salmon, reindeer steaks, chocolate mousse and lollipops of some sort. It was really good but five bites into the dessert it was like we had eaten a few of the hotel bricks instead. We literally went from content to over-full in two bites !

The company has a nice tradition of inviting pensioners to the dinner, which I thought was a nice gesture and a fine way to carry on the traditions of the old company. Speaking of traditions, we were given our Christmas presents on Thursday - 20 kilos of oranges ! While this may have been a good idea 40 years ago, in this time and age it is more of an annoyance than a blessing. Carrying home 20 kilos of oranges is a two-day task. And seeing that we will leave Oslo in 3 days time, eating 20 kilos of oranges before that time is an even bigger task!

Anyway - back to Wednesday. For months we had been planning and cancelling a date with my colleague Tommy and his Brazilian wife Isis. Wednesday we managed to actually plan and carry out the date! Tommy and Isis are also coming to Korea, so they were of course interested in getting a few tips and pointers. We went to Yayas - one of their favourite Thai restaurants. The food at Yayas was good and we were quite familiar with the service (all waiters appeared to be Swedish). What we were not prepared for was the sudden storm which swept over the restaurant (the lights were turned off and lightening, rain and winds were rockin' us).

Paula launching her new career as a Tuk-tuk driver at Yaya's - tommy was her first (non-paying) customer.

Thursday was the B-day and as one of my colleagues shared the same B-day as me, a party was created ! Pietro is the self-proclaimed project chef and offered to make traditional Italian food for us. We quickly accepted the offer. So after work we met up at Ken's apartment together with approximately 15 other colleagues. Paula and I had to leave early, as we had tickets for the X-mas concert at the Oslo Concert Hall.

Me and Ms. Lee at the party

Irving was in a good mood from early on while Pietro was preparing the food

Pietro explaining the dishes

I got a present !!!!!! My colleagues gave me a new headlight for my bike trips in Korea. Here ken, Trygve and irving

I think Håvard looks a little jealous!

There were also presents for Pietro. He got a Norwegian cookbook. I think the bachelor guys want him to cook Norwegian food for them in Korea !

P & P normally stands for Peder and Paula, but this night it was Peder and Pietro. Paula felt left out .... :-(

The concert was nice. Christmas hymns, philharmonic music and ... novellas! This was a bit of a surprise to us and the only part of the concert we didn't really understand or like. We had come for the music - not to hear Christmas short-stories.

After the concert we returned to the party, where the atmosphere had elevated considerably. I guess that it got even livelier after we left at 23:30, because several of my colleagues turned up late or not at all next day!

This weekend we went down to Drammen to see our friends Magda and Jarek. As soon as the train left Oslo we started to see snow. In the centre we have not really had much snow this year - only icy streets, as the little snow which has fallen has not been removed. I have nearly gone down many times !

By the time we reached Drammen - 30 minutes from Oslo - there was about 20cm of snow on the ground. Jarek picked us up at the station and brought us to their house up in the hills. Then we got the kids dressed for the cold and went on a little excursion to their back-yard lake. That is - the girls walked quietly and the boys fought valiantly. It was good to be in a snow fight again ! Back home again we sat down for dinner and ended the lovely evening off with a few games of table football. Poland won that game !

Winter had arrived at Drammen - Magda and Jarek's house

Ant their view of the forest behind

Dressed for a snow fight

Two against one ....

The girls were less agressive


I tried to convince the kids (Casper and Sarah) that the cookie police would come for them if they ate all the cookies, but they were not that easily fooled!

The girls battling it out on the field

Guess who just scored a goal ????

Sarah proudly showing us her room in the morning

I love Casper's hoodie sweater - he looks like Kenny from South Park.

After a good sleepover we returned to Oslo in winter sunshine. We had plans to go to the Maritime Museum but changed our minds when we felt how cold it was. instead we went to the Nobel Peace Centre to see the Sheroes exhibition - the exhibition of the three Nobel Prize laureates.

Our favourite passtime - the ice rink in front of the National Theatre

Paula eating churros from the Christmas market

The ferry terminal and Aker Brygge in the evening sun (actually like the 3 o-clock sun)

Paula on Aker Brygge