Saturday, 27 September 2008


Festiness has begun! Yesterday I saw Ballast (a relentlessly depressing American movie about dysfunctional relationships and crime and poverty and so on. Incidentally, the programme seems to be full of relentlessly depressing movies, and also heavily concerned with suicide bombers. I think it's going to be an arduous week), and then Das Herz ist ein Dunkler Wald, which was also kind of relentlessly depressing but in a much more charming a wacky way. It was nice, too, to see a foreign (ie. non-english-language) movie for a change.

After the second movie, we were all hustled out a side door and into some crappy alley (nb. much less crappy than the State Theatre's alley) because there was a red carpet thing going on out the front of the theatre. Apparently Sylvester Stallone was there (because the fest is having some sort of Sylvester Stallone flashback retrospective) and they didn't want us rabble getting in his way. Flattering.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Sunlight? Overrated!

Good news!

I was having some sort of crisis of personality, where I was doubting whether I really wanted to watch that many movies, and whether I would be able to cope with going to Lausanne every morning and Zurich every afternoon, missing half my french lessons and not getting enough sleep, but ... happily I have now read the Zurich Film Festival programme in english (instead of struggling through the stupid german version that I found at the airport), and am REALLY EXCITED about lots of films, and I don't care at all that it will involve sitting on a train for something like 4 hours a day! Yay for me!

And in other funny festy news, there's a movie on at this fest (Beaufort) that I saw at the Sydney Film Fest last year. That's slow.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Happy Leaving Day, Olivia (and Fosty)!

I hope the flight is nice. I'll miss you both.

Monday, 22 September 2008


Well, as I said, Norway was super, and as I also said, it's a bit of a far-distant blur now. The story, therefore, will be heavily assisted by photos.

We spent a day in Oslo. Oslo is a city basically without charm, and I say this as Norway's biggest fan. We visited what may be the premier tourist attraction in Oslo, Frogner park, and found that the premier tourist attraction in the premier tourist attraction, the enormous statue of naked bodies all intertwined into a big phallic totem pole, was entirely hidden behind scaffolding for its once-in-a-blue-moon cleaning. So that was some fairly bad timing.
The good thing about this holiday, though, was that both of us have been there before, and so it really didn't matter.

So. That was Oslo, along with overpriced accommodation, surprisingly cheap (but still overpriced) curry, and lots of wandering around and failing to find this really lovely statue of some long-dead Norwegian king (I saw the statue last time I was there, and although I remember it well, I'm really not sure where it is).

Then we sat on trains and more trains and boats for a really, really long time. Which was far less arduous than it could have been.

And then we arrived in Stamsund,and spent a week and a half loafing about and doing pleasantly non-arduous things. We looked at a lot of sheep

Apparently the Lofoten islands are known for the delicious lamb they produce. I ate some, and I'm pleased to say it was delicious (although at those prices it really should have been. Everything in Norway is constantly shockingly expensive. Which we were expecting, but somehow that didn't lessen the shock. It was strange to arrive in Sweden after a few weeks in Norway and to think "wow, everything is so cheap!". I don't think Sweden is known for being a bargain basement holiday destination).

We sat around a lot.
That's obviously a cat loafing. When we were loafing, we were loafing properly, not taking photos of ourselves. And we weren't cats.

We said hello again to everyone's favourite Norwegian ice cream pirate.
Yes, he is very icy. He doesn't normally look so creepy.

I went fishing. And successfully caught 3 (or was it 4? I don't know) wee saithe,
not my fish
which were later contributed to the world's most delicious fish soup. The idea of fish soup has always seemed a bit horrible to me (much like fish curry. There's nothing I like less than fish curry) but this was really, really delicious. And made by a genuine Swedish chef, which probably helps.

We rented a car and drove around a lot. We saw a lot of white sandy beaches

and a lot of enormous rocky mountains

and a lot of charmingly colourful houses. If I was going to live there, I'd paint my house blue.
I wouldn't go for white window sills, though. I'd seriously consider dark blue
Obviously there's also the possibility that you could paint your house whatever colour you like wherever you live, but a) I don't have a house, and b) Reto tells me that in some places here there are rules about what colour you're allowed to paint your house. For example, apparently where R's dad lives, there is some sort of rule to protect the historical charm of the area and R's dad is basically obliged to paint his house white*.

We saw a bunch of fish-drying racks (minus fish).

And of course there were also all the northern lights. Which didn't actually look anything like they do in the photos, but were still ridiculously awesome.

In reality they were a lot less green. Plus, I think the photos were taken over something like 20 or 30 seconds, so that's a lot of accumulated light and movement in one photo.

I remembered how much I love Norwegian food, too. The butter there is unbearably delicious. And the bread, far more so than in Switzerland. And it's nice to eat jarlsberg cheese for a change. And I love all the fish and the blueberries. And we had whale a few times, which I feel like I should feel guilty about but I don't at all. Actually, I don't really feel like I should feel guilty about it, but I feel like everyone else expects me to. And I ate heaps of the yummy danishes that the Norweegies seem to be so fond of, and I finally got around to eating a hot dog there (apparently Norwegians eat more hot dogs than anyone else. And, even better, you're not obliged to eat them in one of those disgusting hot dog buns. I had mine in a lompe, or whatever they're called, a flat potato bread thing, and it was DELICIOUS. And I don't even like hot dogs!).

And that was about it. Then we sat on some more buses and trains and planes and thing for a really, really long time again,
Swedish trains: not as good as Norwegian ones

and then we came home and my head exploded.

It was super. I love Norway.

* Also note that I am paraphrasing from a vague conversation Reto and I had, and I'm not sure how much I was listening at the time because I was too busy being OUTRAGED at the idiotic amount of control Switzerland sometimes likes to have over people's lives.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


Remeber all my holiday zenness where I was all relaxed and happy and optimistic about everything? No? Me neither!

I've been back for slightly over a day and in that time I've already been thoroughly traumatised at having to wake up at the crack of my alarm clock, I've managed to go to twice as many french lessons as I was expecting (apparently our tiny and relatively happy class has been melded with another one that's more advanced than us, so to catch up to them we're doing an extra 3 hours of classes in the afternoon!), I've been told that I'm doing some sort of DELF/DALF (or whatever it's called. Some sort of internationally-recognised french exam) thing in November, which is probably a good thing but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it, I've realised I actually have forgotten everything I ever knew, and I have discovered that I have no clean clothes.

Remember how happy I was last week? Sigh.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Well, we're back. And exhausted (thankyou to 6 hours on a bus, 22 hours on trains, 2 hours on a plane and 7 hours of being woken up a lot on an uncomfortable couch in an airport in Stockholm since Monday morning). Fortunately we had an excellent time and the weather was super (so much warmer then icy Fribourg, which half killed me when I finally got off the train this morning) and it was the best holiday I've had in ages, which made all the endless travelling worth it.

Happy birthday cat, meanwhile, to my mother-in-law (whose birthday was last week some time) and my tiny new nephew Dominic, who was born last week. Honestly, you leave the country for 5 minutes or so and all sorts of things happen.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


I'm orf on my honeymoon. Back in a few weeks.