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Moon over Ørsdalen ( complete picture here; alternative picture)

3 February - winter at last? - It's February. We're supposed to have been under feet of snow for weeks on end. In the event, the ski slope hasn't even tried to open, the rose bushes are budding and people are laying next year's lawns. "It'll all end in tears", we've said — but the winter weather has kept away. Today, at last, a little snow has fallen — (photo, left - click for 2 pictures) but the forecast is for warmer, wetter weather returning in a couple of days.

Norah, 5 February
I have just finished reading your january report. If the Viking replica ship does think of raiding Wales do let me know - they would surely come here & I would have a grand stand view. You can tell them how to recognise my house because - believe it or not - the scaffolding is back! I had a similar incident to you when two huge slates came down in a storm.This time I also had a barricade in front of the house, so it felt like living in a fort. In fact, if you care to look at the Welsh Highland Railway site which shows the new station, there is my place, plus scaffolding. My first opportunity for world fame ruined - Davies Law again.
Tim, 5 February
I'll certainly suggest it as a new raiding destination: tea and bara brith available, as well as a custom-made fish-drying frame ready in place. I'll be in the first raiding party.

10 February - a test - T&T did a test today. We drove the hour and a half to Stavanger, spent exactly four minutes completing the test and then drove home again, aided by a bag of warm cinnamon buns from Ikea. Ultimately I suppose you can blame the four-minute test on Brexit. As of this year, Norway is rescinding a law that prohibited dual citizenship, meaning that we can apply for Norwegian passorts in addition to our UK ones. After living here for 30-odd years we feel it's a reasonable thing to do, and will make travel within the EU so much easier (even though Norway is not in the EU either, it is in Schengen and EFTA). But first we had to pass a test to demonstrate that we know enough about Norway. I downloaded the curriculum. What we needed to know filled 35 tightly-packed A4 pages of text (some 15000 words in all) and included useful knowledge such as the following (all genuine items from the list):

By the time we got home an email had arrived telling us that we had both passed and are knowledgeable enough to hold Norwegian passorts.

13 February - a funeral with a difference - Today’s NRK news reports on a funeral from Måløy, part-way between here and Åndalsnes. When the family got to the churchyard they found that no-one had dug a hole. After some discussion they decided to have the wake first and then the funeral afterwards. The family had ordered a large cake from the cake shop, but when they arrived at the wake, they found that the shop had forgotten to make it. When reminded about the ommission, the shop rushed round with a similar large cake that was a cancelled order. Unfortunately, the text on the replacement cake read "Happy 50th birthday". Having scraped the text off the cake and eaten it, the family returned to the churchyard to carry on with the funeral. Unfortunately, in the meantime the undertaker had driven the hearse away, complete with coffin, and no-one knew where they had gone. It took four and a half hours to find them. Coffin re-located, someone managed to find the missing gravedigger and persuaded them to come out in the evening to dig the grave. The funeral finally took place after 8 in the evening — long after dark. At least no-one can claim it wasn't a memorable event.

14 February - walk in the hills - In order to walk off a rather generous bun from a café, we explored a new (to us) track up into the hills. Grey skies meant that we only went a couple of miles before turning back, but it's a good candidate for a longer excursion another time.

Looking for a new car? - Then we suggest this one, currently on sale in Norway. Engine purrs beautifully. Advert here, if you want to put in an offer.

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