#uksnow #TheBigFreeze Still Time To Dress Sensibly!

Norwegians and the Brits love to talk about the weather. When I call home to my grandparents in Norway, the conversation is not complete without a weather update. On the other hand, when it comes to clothing we are very different in Norway and the UK. Something quite visible now during the #uksnow Big Freeze!


British School children in shorts today. Me, minus 3 degrees Celsius.


Are you freezing? Continue to read! I will give practical advice on sustainable and warm wool outfits.

I have the last couple of days seen kids in Bristol walking around in only shorts!! My conclusion is that this is all about the British virtue of ‘resilience’. A word that doesn’t even exist in Norwegian other than in a dictonary called «foreign words».

This blogpost arouse from what I see as an urgent need that occurred yesterday, a pretty cold Monday morning. It is around minus 1-3 degrees in Brizzzle (minus 5-7 today!) and on my way out I meet a constant stream of School children: In shorts and skirts and many with NO LEGGINGS OR TIGHTS!! Parents, what are you doing? Well, the first thought that sprang to mind was ‘RESILIENCE’. The very beloved British word and trait that I have realised can be seen in how they cope with cold weather. Remember they live in awfully cold, often old, houses and are on the bottom of European countries for energy efficient houses and windows. I have never been freezing more than after I moved to the Cotswolds in a newly refurbished cottage with «original» sash windows and an open letterbox straight through the door!

WARNING! This post is not about being a natural knitter like generations of women before me. I love to knit two things, the very easy #Nostebarn baby blanket and after a bit of practice, I managed the scarf (green one in a pic further down). Stephen West’s ‘Best Knits’ was never gonna be my thing… A present for my lovely Sis #westknits #garnsurr #picklesoslo !!!


Anyhow, this post will from now on be practical advice on how to dress, children and adults. For 15 more languages please visit:



You can do it differently over here on this island. You can continue with that well known, stiff upper lip. Or you can try out dressing like they do in colder climates, but do it in a “light” version. Which means that when we would pick three layers in Scandinavia because it is below minus 10. You can get away with two. The most important layer is the INNERMOST LAYER, after the underwear, that has to be minimum 80-100% WOOL touching your skin!! This is big sin no 1 in the UK.




Simply a small wool undershirt #pierrerobertsportwool and wool tights will do. If they have PE, like today, I swap the tight to long johns and she can take off her socks easily. I find that with this warm innermost layer, a hat or a buff and gloves, covered with a school jacket and school shoes she will be fine. The shoes and feet are probably the most vulnerable part and I would change to wool socks if the weather gets colder (3-5 minus and below). But I also know that they stay inside a lot of the time at school if it is cold, so I don’t have to worry too much about this. They would need to change from shoes to boots if they were to be outside in the colder weather. Below zero I find normal wellies incredible cold and if they are tight you will get cold very quickly. An extra sole might help a bit for isolation.

There is a wealth of long johns out there for all sizes and ages! These can be worn with skirts or under trousers and counts as one layer. With this and a wind/water proof outer layer you will last in temperatures down towards minus 10 degrees. Some are more compact, but still soft. The ones that are prettier, but looser with more air passing through the fabric also are a little less warm, might need another isolating layer on top if you are talking minus 10-ish. Here are some examples, 100% WOOL. #januswool #nameitkids #joha #polarnopyret #norheim #devoldull



#vossatassar Bamboo material in clothes has become an alternative for those sensitive to 80-100% WOOL.

SOCKS! Long, short, @homemade . All great for different causes. The homemade ones are usually the less warm ones because they are not 100% WOOL and the knit allows more air to pass through. They need another pair of socks under which is not ideal. The other ones you should have as the innermost layer, towards the skin. That’s when the warming qualities of WOOL are most effective.  I used the long, knee height ones one cold morning at the allotment. A good alternative to long johns when it is just below zero.


There are a variety of good socks to choose from. Don’t be tempted to go for the knitted acrylic or polyester ones you find in a highstreet shop for a REALLY cold day. They only work if it’s around zero, is my experience. If it gets any colder then you need 80-100% WOOL! Socks are of specific importance – if your feet and head are warm, and maybe fingers – then you can last quite a bit, can’t you? Some socks are a mixture of wool and more soft elastics, but they should be at least 80% wool. One layer is enough unless you are out in temperatures below minus 15. Even colder I would normally only have one layer of wool socks and nothing else on my feet, but choose the thicker typer and the more wool content, the better. #ulvangsokker #karitraa #norheim #troll

I have compiled photos with mostly 100% wool clothes that will suit any weather dropping towards minus 5 and below. When the acrylic and syntetic materials just don’t do the job. And note: When I say “wool”, I mean wool, not a 0% lookalike wooly jumper! Check the label in you clothes next time before buying!

I have also recently bought a really cozy and warm (and expensive!) 100% wool fleece home-trousers. #cosclothing I find that 100% wool fleece is really warm and the selection in the UK seems quite good. Otherwise see selection at #Nøstebarn #Bergans


#benetton #cosclothing #nøstebarn #nostebarn #janusullpårull #janusull

These are ALL 100% WOOL QUALITY and soft and comfortable, usually as layer number two. If you choose these more thicker clothes as the innermost layer it will feel less comfortable and might start to itch, except the soft #COSclothing fleece trousers on the pic in the middle, but they are super expensive.


The inner layer is the most important.  This should preferably be 100% wool. With another wind proof layer you will be alright in temperatures down towards minus 10!! Wool materials on your skin creates warmth, it is what we call “breathing” and therefore don’t get wet unless excessive sweating or directly being soaked. And even so, if this inner layer is thin and wet – it does not loose it’s warming qualities like a lot of other materials!

Example of inner layers, there are lots of products that are soft and don’t scratch at all (!) Otherwise you can try bamboo which is also good for those with extensive allergies or similar. But try some of the high quality 100% wool made especially for children first, if you struggle with the thought of wool towards your skin. Honestly, they are supersoft!! Nøstebarn is from my perspective one of the best, but has other challenges like specific washing procedures.

If it is not freezing or you just can’t stand the thought of a wool inner layer, then go for the “stiff upper lip” and put on other warm 100% wool clothes as additional layers. The Ulvang jumper has become a great, big hit in Norway! It is warm, hardly needs washing, easy to wash when needed (twice a year?) and looks smart. Price is also reasonable when it lasts for years and you are saved through most cold spells.


The dark green #ulvanggenser 100% wool jumper on the left is versatile and incredible good value; hardly needs washing at all! The bright green fleece in the pic is also 100% WOOL #Outerlayer jumpers

Another example of outer layer, windproof and preferably water resistent trousers. It doesn’t have to be mega thick, neither do you need a down jacket as long as you have the 100% WOOL innermost layer plus additional layers depending on temperatures. And remember to close all your jackets and cover all gaps, typically between long johns and socks (socks outside long johns). I hear quite a few people complaining about freezing without having done up their jackets properly! In Norway you realise this very quickly because you freeze and you die. Here it might seem like another winter experience, but believe me, it doesn’t have to be like that #resilience #StiffUpperLip


Generally, I find hats are one of the stronger sides of how British people dress in cold weather. I haven’t seen “BUFFs” so much here yet. #buff has become a very popular item in Norway as it serves both as a hat and scarf. There is always a fancy hat around, they use them even around zero where many in Scandinavia for example would opt out on wearing a hat. I found the elk hat in the picture in a charity shop for 2 pounds so doesn’t have to be expensive.

927ca0fc-6015-4e2d-ac34-83eb616bc6f0.jpegIt had two layers, fleece inside, and that makes it a bit resistant to wind which I think is a plus. This one is not wool. As it doesn’t get to minus 10 and below much in Bristol, I find that the hats and gloves Brits here usually choose makes sense. But when it is colder I would recommend more wool (surprise!) and also proper mittens and not gloves. Gloves are good for sports and milder weather. In cold weather, especially children get freezing fingers if they only wear gloves. My Mamma knits the Kongsberg Mittens (name of a town in Norway) and they are fabulous. Wind and cold stays out! Contact me if you want a pair and I will see what I can do!



But look what my Mother-In-Law picked up in a charity shop! A #daleofnorwaysweater #DaleOfNorway Traditional and a fantastic cardigan for indoor use or as a second layer on a cold day. Keep an eye out for these things turning up -and check the label for 100% WOOL


I have also included in the photo some @homemade garments that I completely rely on both here in #England and in #Norway. 100% WOOL scarfs/shawls, can be wrapped around my head, neck or both if needed. Wrist-warmers, an alternative to gloves with open fingers. 100% WOOL scarf from #gap Buffs, they are mostly synthetic material, but #norheim has these in WOOL quality. For these type of items I would try #Intersport


The military in Norway is recruiting women and I understand many of them are turning to wool underwear . I have seen 100% wool underwear advertised and in sport shops in Norway now. Myself I used wool pads inside my bra when breast feeding, but other than that my underwear (bra and knickers) aren’t wool. But my next layer and what I call inner layer of thin jumper and tights/leggings are always 100% wool if out in minus 5 and below or in cold weather despite milder – just keep nice and cozy.


Because of the focus on saving our seas and plastic waste, I hope the focus can come back to the superb qualities of 100% wool clothing. And there are a lot of SOFT WOOLS out there on the market. Some prefer 100% Merino wool, others (like the white scarf below in pic) is 100% Alpaca. #Nøstebarn has organic non-treated wool which is incredibly warm and soft, but some don’t like it because of very specific washing instructions and higher chances of holes. they also have a combination of wool and silk that I used loads on my little ones when we lived in Oslo. They have a shop in Oslo amongst other places and they are online (and probably helpful if you email them). I will be recommending some brands and shops that you can probably find online, or hopefully a local shop. But please try wool alternatives first! You won’t regret it – YOU WILL STAY WARM – and you will save lots of money because it lasts!

Childrenswear with 100% wool can be bought in UK shops such as #NameIt and #polarnopyretuk. Other brands to look for are #Joha #Janus They last very well even if washing frequently. This is generally a challenge with 100% wool clothes that they loose some of they warming qualities if washed in the washing machine too frequently. I try to wash as little as possible, airing the clothes is an alternative if needed. Also, placing lavender between the clothes in your cupboard or in a small textile bag or similar will prevent moth holes in the clothes. I have never experienced big problems with this, but using the correct washing powder or substance is crucial (it has to say “for wool” on the package). If you don’t then holes in the fabric occur sooner. Wool programme is also crucial as it will shrink in warmer washing temperature. Some time this is used as a method like in the Kongsberg Mitten to make the looser knitted fabric into wool fleece/felt. Like the grey cusion in the chair below. Perfect on the Seat in a cold car. This is a small piece of wool, easy to make that can be brought outside and you can sit in the forest or on a stone without freezing your buttocks off!


Have a some nice, happy and cozy couple of Siberian days! #koselig #hygge #peiskos


#highgrove blankets #woolblankets #FemaleTeacherRoofJumping #funinthesnow


Lukka gardiner og vindu vandreland #windowwanderland




“Lys i alle glas” het en kampanje i bygda der jeg vokste opp. Meningen var å gjenopplive øde og nedlagte småbruk. Et tiltak mot utflytting. «Glas» er vindu på dialekt. Da jeg så tittelen «Alle utlendinger har lukka gardiner», ble jeg umiddelbart nysgjerrig og dette med lukka gardiner, trakk meg mot boka skrevet av Maria Navarro Skaranger.

Boka fra 2015 er utgitt på Forlaget Oktober. Og dermed ikke helt fersk fra bokpressa, men interessant nok til å lese et par år seinere. Dette skulle vise seg å være ei bok om oss og dem og hvilket mangfold som møter oss i det vi liker å kalle « det flerkulturelle Norge». Handlingen utspiller seg i et ungdomsmiljø på Romsås i Oslo. Et sted der «alle egentlig er fra et annet sted».

»Han tror ikke jeg vet at han ber hver dag. At han har den grønne bibelen og at selv om han kasta bæsjepose på presten i Chile han fremdeles er katolikk.»  Fra Alle utlendinger har lukka gardiner, s21

Å lese boka gav resonans i en rekke hendelser og situasjoner som jeg kunne kjenne igjen fra mitt eget liv her i England, i min «utlendighet». Kanskje litt overraskende siden jeg har bikka førti og dette primært handler om ungdomskultur.

En chilensk pappa som får det største gliset når et av barna ber han lage chilensk mat. Slik er det, for meg også. Gleden over norsk mat og norske tradisjoner tok en uventet vending da jeg bosatte meg et annet sted enn i Norge. Jeg har også et elskhat forhold til den nye kulturen, skikkene og landet. Følelsen og uttrykket av desperasjon iblant fordi man bare ikke klarer å kommunisere på samme nivå som ‘hjemme’. Det synes jeg også å se i teksten. Konteksten, og betydningen av det, har for meg fått en helt ny betydning gjennom å bo og forflytte seg mellom to land, selv Norge og England- som mange oppfatter som nokså like.

»Jeg slår nummeret til dyresentralen (…) det kommer en dame på tråden med ordentlig sossestemme, og jeg forteller om fuglen. Dama sier det er ikke noe jeg kan gjøre. (…) det beste er hvis du faktisk kan få slutt på lidelsen, finne en stein og ende livet til måken. Du må drepe den, dama sier med schtøggeste sossestemmen, og jeg blir sint og kaller telefondama morraknuller (…)

Jeg faktisk blir nødt til å leke Afghanistan med måken og steine som om har den snitcha på ekteskapet.» Fra Alle utlendinger har lukka gardiner, s50

Mer direkte i tilknytning til at «utlendinger har lukka gardiner», var erfaringene jeg gjorde meg da vi først flyttet til England for snart seks år siden. Vi bodde først i et hus med vinduer rett ut mot bilveien og en strekning på fotturen og stien ‘the Cotswold way’. Det var idyllisk og nokså lite trafikk både av biler, mennesker og dyr. En gang i året hadde vi riktignok ‘Beaufort Hunt’ rasende fordi med ridende adelsmenn og kvinner på hester og et stort pakk med hunder, minst 50! Første gang jeg så dem ut av ‘cottage’ vinduet, var jeg sjeleglad jeg ikke var ute på veien og trillet barnevogn akkurat da de kom rasende og ruvende forbi på sine høye hester. Men det var også sjarm. Sjarm fra en svunnen tid. Men faktisk en levende jakttradisjon for de med familiebånd, rang og fritid til det, eller pengene til å betale for opplevelsen.

De gangene det gikk noen utenfor vinduene inn til stua vår, merket jeg meg etterhvert at det sjelden var noen som så inn. Heller ikke de vi kjente eller leide huset av så etter oss “der inne”. Engelskmenn har en type sjenanse for å gjøre andre forlegne, det minner meg om det kjente «loosing face» – en varsomhet vanlig i for eksempel Japan, man er sensitiv overfor andres grad av forlegenhet på en annen måte enn i Norge. Forlegenhet oppleves mye raskere enn vi i Norge ville tatt hensyn til eller vanligvis føler ubehagelig. De unngår derfor ubehaget å kikke inn i vinduet (eller nøkkelhullet), så langt det er mulig. De stirrer ALDRI når de sitter på t-banen, slike koder.



Derfor var det svært sjelden jeg så noen som helst snikkikke inn i stua vår, slik jeg selv ofte var fristet til, og til og med gjorde, om muligheten kunne by seg. Da jeg i friåret etter videregående flyttet til London, tok det lang tid før jeg, landsbyjenta, var blyg nok til ikke å stirre på medpassasjerer på undergrunnen. Samtidig, til tross for denne helt naturlige sjenansen og blikket som vendte bort fra ethvert åpent vindu uten gardiner – og som kunne avsløre private hemmeligheter, gjøre at naboen «mistet/tapte ansikt»- til tross for dette, hadde de fleste tynne gardiner lukket 24/7 i vinduer med innsyn. Dette har for meg blitt utviklet til en forståelse av noe som er veldig unorsk, og jeg har kommet til unordisk. Men hvorfor skal vi Skandinaver absolutt ha et vindu åpent mot verden? Er det den mørke årstida? Få folk, og derfor lite behov for sjenanse? Nysgjerrige fordi vi sjelden ser folk? Eller er vi mer åpenhjertige og gjestfrie enn andre?

Helst benytter man seg av de tynne, hvite nettinggardinene hvor lyset slipper igjennom. I byen er det vanligste viktorianske rekkehus med «bay window» ut mot gaten, gjentrukket med gardiner, eller lukka gardiner for å si det med Skavanger. Noen ganger kun for å hindre innsyn og forlegne forbispaserende. Andre ganger både for å hindre innsyn og å holde kulda ut. Det er mange gamle hus her i landet! De som holder kulda ute har gjerne tykke, store, tunge og lange gardiner for isolasjon som dekker generøst rundt vinduskarmen. Noen av de riktig gamle vinduene her i Bristol har fremdeles dører hengende foran vinduene som kan lukkes fra innsiden. Da handler det nok like mye om å holde kulda ute som å holde nysgjerrige naboer på en armlengdes avstand.

Det er i dette klimaet av nettinggardiner og bekymringer for at du er direkte årsak til at medmennesker opplever å ‘tape ansikt’ at festivaler som «Window Wanderland» eller «vindu vandreland» på norsk – blir spennende! En langhelg i februar dedikert til å dekorere vinduene mot veien slik at de lyser opp mørke gater.

ECAAB70B-8121-4982-9D08-67AB6AF32C11Festivalen startet her #wwbishopston , men har spredt seg både til andre steder innenlands og til utlandet. Du registerer vinduet ditt på ei kartrute og folk kan på denne ruta skue vinduskunst som folk har laget spesielt for anledningen. Det er fascinerende – og har etter min mening høy kreativ verdi. Folk i Bristol er kreative, og de lever ut denne kreativiteten uten hemninger. Både de svært ulike og fantasifulle utstillingsvinduene, men også opplevelsen av selve vandringen rundt i bygatene på kveldstid og i mørket, appellerer til en nordboer som meg selv. Særlig nå som de blå på gradestokken kryper nedover. Du kjenner kulda i kinna og i nesedraget. Det er deilig og friskt! Og her er familier, barn og voksne ute i gatene disse seine kveldene i februar.

Første vinteren jeg bodde i byen knipset jeg mine første bilder uten å vite hva det hele dreide seg om. Bilder måtte jeg også ta i år. Se et utvalg under og på Instagram eller følg sidene til WindowWonderland og #wwbishopston . Dette er kanskje en måte å åpne opp litt mot kikkerkulturen som er så ‘naturlig’ regulert av høflige britiske gester? Og det lyser definitivt opp i “alle glas” og mørke bygater.

Dette forklarer altså hvordan jeg ikke kunne motstå da jeg kom over boka til Maria Navarro Skaranger «Alle utlendinger har lukka gardiner». Jeg tok det helt bokstavelig. Jeg ble umiddelbart nysgjerrig på tittelen og at den hadde en gjenkjennelsesverdi. Det minnet om min egen kjennskap til utlandet – her jeg bor – og kontrasten da jeg første sommeren etter å ha flyttet reiste på ferie i den svenske skjærgården og ble slått av de åpne stuene. Åpne vinduer, åpne gardiner, hager uten hekker. Åpenheten mot landskapet og mot havet. Selv der det gikk en vei rett nedenfor hytta var det ingen hekk eller gardiner som stengte naboene ute eller privatlivet inne.

Maria Navarro Skaranger deler derimot opplevelser av en “annerledeskultur” i Norge. Nærmere bestemt på østkanten i Oslo. Språklig er boka interessant og litt krevende å lese, men man venner seg til kebabspråket. Kjennetegnet av grammatiske krumspring, preposisjoner i hytt og vær, og et mangfoldig inntak av ord og uttrykksmåter fra et vidt spekter av språk, kulturell og geografisk tilhøringhet. Det samlende er at det hele skjer i Norge, i Oslo. Oslo er en multikulturell by på linje med andre storbyer. Det er mange utenfor Norge som blir overrasket over dette, og for oss som har bodd i Oslo, men på andre kanten av byen, er også miljøet nokså ukjent. Miljøet og situasjonene som beskrives er humoristiske og føles autentiske. De er også innsiktsfulle. Å lese denne lille boka åpner opp. Den åpner opp en verden hvor klasseskiller og etniske skillelinjer i en liten by har betydning. Noe vi ikke er så opptatt av i Norge, egentlig. Spesielt vil jeg trekke fram bokas evne til å starte i oss og dem, og allikevel kommunisere et «vi» i mangfoldet av stemmer, språk, kulturer og religion. Ikke et idyllisk «oss», men et realistisk (glimrende beskrevet gjennom øyensynlig klasseskiller som også bunner i etnisitet på nasjonaldagen) og et pluralistisk «oss» som til tross for ulike røtter lever godt sammen i ungdomsmiljøet. Scenen på side 29 der den kulturelle dybden i Allahs hellige tilstedeværelse viser seg, er til ettertanke. En elev krøller sammen et ark hvor det er skrevet Allah og vil kaste det i søpla. En medelev insisterer på at det må brennes. Når det står Allah på det, skal det brennes. Det nødvendige kulturrelativistiske perspektivet for å forstå situasjonen som utspiller seg, men som derimot heller ikke unnskylder noenting. Boka er en beskrivelse av virkeligheten som hever kunnskapsnivået og kan heve det politiske refleksjonsnivået:

»Lampedusa er eksempel på at jeg stemmer Frp, og jeg bare: hva faen, og han bare: alle utlendinger må ut av Norge, og jeg bare: hvorfor det, dessuten du er utlending sjæl, og han bare: fordi folk har det bedre i landet der kommer de egentlig fra, og jeg bare: hva hvis det er krig der, og han bare: da de må vente, og må integrere seg best mulig i Norge som meg.» Fra Alle utlendinger har lukka gardiner, s53

Vårt lille land. Jeg blir varm om hjertet.

Til slutt en varmende billedserie fra VinduVandreland her i Bristol, kanskje en tradisjon å importere til Norge:












Downhill Art Walk On A Stormzy Day. Street Art In Bristol’s West End?

Update: Wow! This Bristol Banksy changed from my photo on Friday 23rd Feb to reports of tagging on Saturday 24th Feb 2018.

A35F38AC-1878-4A65-9B35-FB6CCAFF063EStormzy had just won best male solo artist at the Brit awards 2018 and I have been humming ‘Blinded by Your Grace’ since I first heard it. It was a happy day, not Sunny, but happy. Some says Bristol is a divided city, and maybe the street art scene is a part of it? Walking around in this posh part of the city, makes you think about a city with wealthy roots and proper, fine art, and Clifton suspension bridge. And this time I had to walk far to find anything at all, anything slightly street artistic that is.

28F46D02-4553-4062-A2F0-111D0258F3D8.jpegFirst, the Water Tower 💦  A Bristol landmark, especially for the locals. (Straight ahead in the distance in this photo.) A good starting point for exploring Bristol as a local, a tourist or simply an “arty farty” person. Surrounded by the city’s big green space, The Downs – this is an excellent start for any walk, a picnic, a snack and a coffee (‘Cafe Retreat’ to the left of the tower). My walk goes down Whiteladies road -Queen’s Road- Park Street where I hunt primarily for street art. Continuing my journey from Gloucester rd. The guaranteed reward is that there is a Banksy or two on this route as well.

I head off down town. (For those of you preferring to walk downhill, this walk is definitely a downhill walk all the way, taking you from The Downs to The Harbourside and inner gem of Bristol city if you want.) But 1st, a toilet pit stop in the Water Tower cafe🤭


Cross the roads when you see Intersport, a shop loved by us Norwegians (important fact!), and you are on the right track, Whiteladies road. Basically follow this road all the way down the hill. And down, and down. You can go all the way down to the waterfront.


The first slightly street arty I could find was inside this pub… I was getting impatient. Then Better Food came up!

After that, only the Angry tags, not the beauty of it! Yet.


I had to take a pic of this, and it is the name of a Bristol band, Google says. The print looks arty to me!


Drip Fed Empire, an experimental duo fusing electronic music and heavy metal. Interesting Bristol based Performing Arts!

Further down a similar style and writing on the wall appears:


I pass Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in Queen’s rd, where Banksy’s ‘Paint Pot Angel’ is supposed to be, but I cannot find it. The street art..? I ask inside the museum and yes, it is just inside the building:



Banksy, 2009: From ‘Bansky versus Bristol Museum’

FE3585B0-6ECB-487B-BFF0-1FCB0EA51578Park Street is coming alive in front of this monumental building as you come back out of the museum. I recommend a glance to the left as a new street-vibe comes alive.


From here we cross over by the lights and dive into the descending Park Street. And pictures arise from the skyline, finally!




And after a couple of tea pots! I head down to the Naked Man and ‘Well Hung Lover’.


Street artist Banksy has put his mark on this side of Bristol as well! Rumours have suggested he went to Bristol Cathedral School by College Green, the green space behind you as you see the Naked Man Hanging From Window. Actually the road below looks pretty interesting:


I am on top of the bridge, I don’t plan to go under the bridge and from here there are lots of great routes around the city and down to the Harbourside of Bristol (not even five minutes away). A Fish & Chips restaurant is just around the corner #catch22bristol. For me, the harbourside walk will have to wait as I am heading back up the hill for a cake and a coffee at #pinkmans #parkstreet      I didn’t regret it! Donut heaven.


Lastly, I want to mention that on this route you’ll find the RWA – Royal West of England Academy of Art – with lots of interesting exhibitions in their gallery – right now “Women with Vision” is on. A celebration of the British women’s suffrage and build up to International Women’s Day!  I plan to visit, just not on a street art, Stormzy kinda day 🙂 Next time it’s RWA I shall pay a visit and “A celebration of women in British art- past, present and future.”


Counterproductive Schools For Girls? And Other Differences #RoyalVisitNorway


After five years in England and today Celebrating the #RoyalVisitNorway from my computer desk in Bristol, I have tried to sum up what I have experienced so far as major differences between the two countries, Norway and Great Britain:

1. The Posh Accent Exclusion Method- it’s all in the accent!

The really posh has a specific accent that makes others shed away. That’s how they keep the good expensive schools to themselves for example. It is a self referring, self excluding mechanism kicking in as you choose school for your little ones. Being brought up in a Norwegian and much more egalitarian society, I have refused these norms and am sending my kids to private school even if I live in a house worth just over £450000 (which probably isn’t much for most middle class and upper class families at many of these schools). In Norway we have dialects. Some are seen as less academic and more hillbilly, but ‘Janteloven’ stops us from thinking you are any better than others, or deserve better schooling… But if the better schools are out there, and they are private; Then you go for it!

2. The Gender Code!

It’s 5 degrees Celsius and girls walking to school in really short school Uniform skirts and bare legs! Liberating! At the same time girl schools are absolutely alive in the UK, three within a 10 minutes drive from where I live (two private, one non-feepaying) and with a strong message of girl power! “Girls Can” campaigns are also fully active – something we used to have in Norway in the 80s according to political commentator Marie Simonsen. But are they stuck in the past?

3. Working for Free, especially women

Lots of Mums looking after kids first 2-3 years as Kindergarten/Nurseries are not subsidzed in the same way as in Norway and a full time space for one child per month costs more like £1000/10000Nkr. Compared to the £250 per child in Norway, for everyone! Volunteer organisations with people working free take on loads of the responsibilities and work that in Norway would be viewed as what you pay tax towards, and from this perspective should be organised and the responsibility of The State/Public Services. Food bank collections in grocery shops daily and people living on the streets.

4. Class, Class, Class

We have all heard about the British Class Society, but as I moved here- I seriously didn’t realise to what extent. I brought a cake tin (with a cake in it!) to the Community farm where I was helping out, and they commented on it: Very Posh! It was from John Lewis. The differences between classes are so big that they culturally and socially vary in taste, accents etc etc and just don’t interact too well. Everyone feels better off in their own little bubble. Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees told in a trailer for a forthcoming film about his way into politics, how his Mother as born into a working class area of Bristol, working as a hairdresser and marrying his Jamaican Father – had a background that really didn’t mean he would end up as Mayor of Bristol!! I don’t think anything should stop a child of a hairdresser in Norway – neither financially nor culturally.

5. A Country’s self-image


«What should I read to my child at home?» I asked my child’s teacher. My girl was four. «Just read ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and things like that,» she replied. Hmm.. had I heard of ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ before? No. Had my Norwegian primary school teacher friend heard of it? No.

Similarly, both Norway and Great Britain think of ourselves as naturally the centre of the world. Norwegians as the outdoorsy, Sunday walkers and skiers. The British as Great(er). You come to the airport. You wait for your passport to be checked and whilst queuing you can read on the screen that you are welcome to: Great Britain. I even think «great» was written in capital letters last time I entered.

As one of my first English friends stated in our teenage years, wanting to go into the music industry: “If you make it in Norway, you’re big in Norway. Do you make it here, you will be big in the World!” In Norway on the other hand, we all believe we can do what Jens Stoltenberg has done, learning to read and write late, leading the Labour party and then go on to lead NATO! (A friend just pointed out that his parents were not a hairdresser and a ‘lagermedarbeider’, alright then, but look to FrP now in government. Surely there are plenty of hairdressser mums and dads there.)

My kids’ teachers still don’t realise that in Norway historic periods are not sectioned after the British Empire’s Kings and Queens. But alright, most Norwegians would know about the Victorians and what that implies, but Edwardian, Georgian…what is it? History at Primary School was entirely focused upon British Monarchs. Also the «don’t mention the war»- jokes are more common than anything negative or slightly comical about the Empire – which they are partly proud of here, I think🤔


An Art Walk Down Gloucester Road


Gloucester Road in Bristol has a lot to offer. It is known for it’s myriad of independent shops, coffee shops, buzz and street art. Of course the icing on the cake on this particular walk is Banksy’s ‘Mild mild west’ by Stokes Croft – Hamilton House. But they are there, so many great artists! Happy for any name droppping in the comments btw. Especially the graffiti animals caught my attention this time: Dogs, ants, fish and other sea creatures, hares and rabbits, a crocodile, a lion king and tigers.  I have had a great day and spent around 2-3 hours gazing at the sun and strolling along. Not that the sunlight goes exceptionally well with taking photos on my phone, but hey! It works. I started thinking I would include every singel graffiti I found on my route from (N)EVIL RD to STOKES CROFT, but photo space and loading permitted, I had to change my perspective and make a selection based on mainly the photo quality on my mobile device. It would be cool with an album including them ALL. For now, this is what I have and some more on Instagram:







I couldn’t decide which one was the better artwork by Shaun Sepr. A shame with that car! Well, this is where I started my walk, by Boston Tea Party in Bishopston or maybe someone would call it Horfield. Sunshine, hope and chill in the air. Just like I like it. Even the local prison looks gorgeous in the sun ☀️



Then the journey starts…  I will let the photos speak for themselves. I am not knowledgeable about street art or any art, really. As a Norwegian I know my Munch – and similar to Munch; these pictures speak! They are briefly in chronological order as I walked. Enjoy the walk!





The old police station letters had something arty about them!


Side street photo shoots.



Owl! Ugle!


This ant is fabulous! #zase #zasedesign


1/3 of Norwegian cod is exported to Great Britain! Yum! Nam!






Is this the same artist as the ant one above?? Similar style. #zase #zasedesign


The shops are definitely adopting the graffiti style!



And a Primary School graffiti! Go Dolphin Primary School.

Here you can choose to take a small turn down towards Montpelier Health Centre and find an early Banksy and Inky piece “Take the money and run!” 🏃🏻‍♀️ 🏃‍♂️


Back to the main road on this trail and where Gloucester Rd continues into Cheltenham road…

Then suddenly rabbits and hares were popular animals.


The Community spirit and campaigning kicking in as I get close to Stokes Croft and Hamilton House. Latter is campaigning not to be closed down #SaveHamiltonHouse


A female artist #misshazard had started on this piece in golden just as I walked past. I will keep an eye on that Golden Circle.







Breakdancing Jesus #CosmoSarson


Mild mild west #banksy





925F9A6A-D5C3-4325-8E02-C5538EF09403This is where my journey stopped. Iconic.

Street Art Or Graffiti, Is It Vandalism Or Therapy?

Banksy is compulsory for anyone living in or visiting Bristol. For my own sake, his art hit me right in my belly (maybe a Norwegian expression, but you get what I mean). In other words; Whacked me in the gut! Walking around Bristol activates a real explosion of artistic feeling and emotion. It all bubbles up and comes to the surface – as art. And of course it’s political, and Banksy has it all in my opinion.

I didn’t really know Banksy before I came to Bristol. Of course I recognised his work, but it was mind blowing and impressive to walk around the streets and see it everywhere! From searching a bit on the net I figured that he (I think it’s a man) had visited Bergen and even left a street art behind. But Bergen kommune (council) had got it removed. What a shame, twenty or so years later and millions and billions of fans, fame and fortune.

This one is by graffiti artist #Inkie! Also known as one of Banksy’s early collaborators.

A30E07E9-067C-4715-8662-416E067D8DEDI have decided, I’m gonna search for Banky’s last work and learn about the graffiti scene of Bristol… and my starting point was just here in St Michael’s Hill, an area (Cotham) rumours say he might have grown up even. So, is street art and graffiti just annoyingly vandalism or is it maybe therapy for the fallen. This is quoted from two graffiti paintings either side of the street where I was standing just now. (None of which are supposed to be Banksy art by the way, the street art scene in Bristol is huge.) I seem to think it is a reaction to something and that it should be taken seriously. It is serious! Even here in Bristol with lots of street art, graffiti or whatever you choose to call it, it stands out from the let’s call it «exterior of the city». It screams! It’s in your face. And it is painful, beautiful and strongly speaking to you – that’s what makes it a bit painful as well, more to come….

I went into this pub just below the ‘vandalism’ graffiti and the lady in the bar could tell me that she did’t know who had done it and..: »Sorry, it’s not a Banksy, I’m afraid». And now, in May 2018, couple of months after I wrote this piece: I’m pretty sure the artist is Nick Walker.

Bloggstart med en luftetur


IMG_6666What’s There to Miss? Happy Birthday Grandma Ragnhild!

Trær dør, regelrett råtner på rot, det blir beboerne som må starte “crowdfunding” til nye trær, selvfølgelig.

Det er 17. januar. Jeg har ‘Happy friendversary’ med min ektemann gjennom 17 år. Enda viktigere, det er min bestemors 85 års dag, og jeg har bestemt meg for å knalle av startskuddet for denne bloggen!

Snakk om å knalle; en kommentar med tittelen “Norge ut av bruk” i Nationen ved Hans Bårdsgård gjorde at jeg startet dagen med et smil om munnen: “Venstres Abid Raja hyller urbanbonden Tugushan Alp i Molde. Nede i et bomberom dyrker Alp frem salat med 90 prosent vann og null komma poff kalorier, og tilsvarende liten betydning for selvforsyning og matberedskap. Men det blir festlige bilder på TV, da.

Det minner om mitt eget forhold til bondeyrket og selvforsyningen. Sannsynligvis komisk for ekte bønder, men svært meningsfullt for meg og familien. Det kribler når vi kan plukke selvlagd og selvdyrket på en såkalte “allotment”, en jordflekk med et skur som jeg leier av kommunen for 200 Nkr per år. Her dyrker jeg litt ymse, men følger i fotspor til en engelsk tradisjon som berget mange gjennom verdenskrigene og som går svært langt tilbake i tid. Og ja, det står i nokså stor kontrast til kolonihagene med hytter man må betale hundretusenvis av kroner for å kjøpe i Oslo. Det meste er mer “posh” i Norge.

blogg170118IMG_1700Den engelske urbanbonden i 2018

Jeg er takknemlig for at facebookveggen min oppdaterer meg på kommentarer fra Nationen med poff! Bygda jeg kommer fra har utviklet seg til å bli nærmest fullstendig Senterpartilandskap.  Og jeg vil ikke flytte “heimatt”. Ikke med det første i allefall. Det skal allikevel sies at jeg er blant kategorien innvandrere i England som absolutt skuer verden her borte fra mitt lille vindu som observatør, først. Det er utfordrende å knekke koden og få engelske venner, og jeg faller garantert i kategorien som burde reise “tilbake der du kommer fra”. Jeg prøver å være balansert, men Gudbedre hvordan et samfunn blir når konservative strømninger fullstendig dominerer hvordan folk tenker. Penger er grunnleggende verdiskapning, uansett hvem som snakker. Det blir det dårlig politikk av, mener jeg.

I morgentimene spaserte jeg nedover veien fra huset vårt og møtte en hyggelig nabo, ble stående for lenge og prate, og kom for seint til “fitness and tone” -timen. Jeg tok meg heller en luftetur hvor jeg kom over et typisk eksempel på denne politikken jeg opplever som vanskelig. Kommunen har lite penger, en gjenkjennelig sannhet der effektivitet og drift reduseres til penger som rike land mener de har så lite av (?), forstå det den som vil. Derfor, mens alleens trær dør, regelrett råtner på rot, blir det beboerne som må starte “crowdfunding” til nye trær, selvfølgelig. Kanskje ikke så galt. Da betaler man det man ønsker og ingen forteller deg at det skal betales skatt for å holde parker, grøntarealer og trær i byen levende.

Jo, jeg vil faktisk heller betale skatt for en hel del mer enn det man skulle tro! Jeg vil betale skatt for helsevesen, sykehus, sykehjem, barnehager, skoler, parker, bibliotek og trær i bylandskapet! Jeg vil betale skatt for billig urbangartneri, og jeg vil betale skatt for at noen henter søpla. Lista er lang.

Som lærerbarn er jeg en del av “enlightenment”-bevegelsen. Folkeopplysning og kunnskap kan demme opp for endel. Jeg har ofte sterke og polariserte meninger, som jeg skal forsøke å balansere med kunnskaper og fakta. Samtidig har livserfaringer gjort meg mer åpen for innspill som ikke er like politisk korrekte som folkehelsas råd til enhver tid. Jeg håper det smaker!

blogg170118IMG_2047Crowdfunding for lokale trær i Bristol.


Ola var fra Sandefjord

Tekst: Per Kvist, 1929


Ola var fra Sandefjord
han var lettmatros om bord.
Skuta kom til England
og i land gikk han.
Meget snart traff Ola der
en som han fikk mektig kjær.
Kunne Ola engelsk nei,
men han klarte seg.


For en ting kunne han si: «My little Sweetheart»
og hun sa: «Yes, very well» og «I love you.»
Han sa: «Jeg vil du skal bli my little Sweetheart»
og snart så kunne hun si: «Jeg elsker du.»
Det gikk på engelsk og norsk, engelsk og norsk,
og den lille Miss fikk på norsk et ærlig kiss.
For en ting kunne han si: «My little Sweetheart»
og hun sa: «Yes, very well» og «I love you.»

Ola kom på fest og dill
kvelden den ble ganske vill
og en kvinnelig polis
som i England gi’s
ville arrestere ham.
Ola synes det var skam
og han slapp og følge med
vet de, hvordan det?
Men da Ola så kom hjem
hadde kjær’sten hans vært slem
med en engelsk orlogsmann
hadde hun slått an.
«Ola, uff, du er så dorsk
jeg er luta lei av norsk!
I love English gå din vei!»
men han klarte seg

engelsk i norsk