Friday, 31 August 2012

Jag älskar Sverige!

Yes, as the name suggests, I love Sweden!! In my previous post I mentioned my trip to Gothenburg and I thought I'd elaborate a little more on it now!

I was asked by a work colleague if I would like to accompany her and her family to Sweden for a wedding, and I'd look after the children in the evening while the adults were at the party. So I was gone from Friday to Sunday! We set off driving on Friday afternoon and reached Gothenburg at about 7-8 in the evening.

Its a really nice, relaxed city. It was warm and sunny when I was there so it just seemed that everybody was happy and friendly and like I said, relaxed. People weren't rushing around talking on their mobile phones, they were laying on the grass, enjoying the sun and the moment :) And it didn't seem like there were that many people at all actually. It wasn't packed full of people and there weren't huge crowds. It was just right :)

Since I was looking after the kids I didn't really have any time to myself to explore the city properly so I don't have that much to say about the whole trip other than that it was really nice and I'd love to go back with Lars Erik and get to experience it a bit more thoroughly. I'm glad I finally got to go to Sweden in a more 'formal' way, instead of just going over the border to shop :P (though I did that too on the way back from Gothenburg!)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Just quickly..

I actually have to leave for work soon but I thought I'd squeeze in a tiny blog post since I haven't been writing so much lately. Late yesterday evening I got back from a weekend trip to Gothenburg in Sweden (more on that later) where I was looking after the kids of a colleague from work. The children were a girl, 9 and a boy, 7. On our long car journey (yes, we drove) we talked a lot and I learned that the girl (who is 9 remember) had already had sex education at school... I thought 9 was a bit young to be learning about all of that stuff, and it wasn't an edited, basic, child-version of sex education, it was everything in detail.. I asked the parents if they had got a letter home from the school beforehand to ask for their permission to include their child in that class (this is standard practice in Ireland, or it was when I was in school) and they said no, and that they thought it was a bit early too but 'oh well'... I have to admit (maybe because I was brought up Catholic) that this shocked me quite a bit.
This is quite a difficult topic to discuss since kids are growing up faster and faster these days and maybe in some cases there is a need already at 9 to talk about sex.. But in most cases the girls are still playing with dolls and teddy bears and haven't even thought about that kind of stuff yet. I hope so at least..

Have a nice Monday everybody :)

Saturday, 28 July 2012


There's something that's been on my mind for a few weeks now... babies.. 

I don't know what happened to me exactly, but I do remember it was on a Sunday evening when I was sitting at home. I suddenly got an urge to start having children.

I haven't really been one of those girls that's always wanted children. In fact, when I was younger I didn't really play with dolls and when I was a teenager I said I wouldn't have kids ever. When I got into my late teens however, my feelings started to change. I started to think 'Oh yeah, maybe some day...'. Now I'm 22, soon 23 and I'm starting to think about it more seriously.

I'm trying to think of all the reasons why we shouldn't have kids now. There are a few of course, some being: We don't have a house of our own yet. I don't have a 'fast' or permanent job. We're not married. We haven't been together THAT long (almost two years). I wonder if we're financially stable enough. Maybe I'm too young. Are we ready?

I guess the most pressing concerns are the house and us being ready. Really, the house thing isn't a very big problem. A lot of people have kids before they have a place of their own. I've been talking about this a lot with the people at work and one woman said 'Yeah, but even if you have a house you'll start thinking 'Oh, we should decorate it and get everything in order first etc''. She said that you should just have kids when you want and take the other stuff as it comes. I thought that this was actually a good point. There really is no 'perfect time' to have a child, and if you wait for such a time, you may be waiting forever..
In terms of us being ready, I guess I do feel ready, and so does Lars Erik, he's really dying for children. My mum said that if I wasn't in a happy and secure relationship then I probably wouldn't be thinking about having kids yet (maybe a reason why some people wait a bit longer, they haven't found 'the one'). But I guess I'm a bit afraid that we'll have a baby and then suddenly I'll think of all the things we wanted to do before/can't do after becoming a parent. Or like I don't realise how much it will change my life and maybe we should just enjoy being us two for a little while more..

I've also been weighing up the pros and cons of being a younger parent vs being an older parent. 
I guess I kind of know already that I want to be a younger parent because: 
I want to have the energy to chase after my child in the park 
I want to be able to get up to a crying child in the middle of the night and still manage work the next day
I want to be young and healthy enough to start a new chapter in my life after my kids have grown up
I want to be a 'young' and active grandparent

I also think of course about the biological pros to having children younger; there are less risks of chromosomal abnormalities when you have children younger, they say your body handles childbirth better, I'm probably more fertile now than I will be in ten years time and I guess its just the 'natural' way, to have children when you're young. Nature says we're ready to be parents when we get our first period, 11-12 years of age (I'm of course not suggesting that 11 and 12 year olds should be having kids, but you know what I mean :P). I also think about that if I decide to wait a few more years for example, what if I have difficulties conceiving? There are no guarantees that just because you want children, you can have them. I know of lots of people that have a hard time getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to full term, and I think that if that happens to me, I'd rather have time on my side.

Of course, there are also benefits to waiting until you're a little older to have children, and 'older' parents are just as capable as younger parents of chasing after their kids and getting up in the night etc. Also, its likely that you're more adjusted, more financially secure, more sure of your decision and have enough life experience not to resent having children, as some younger parents might.

I think when it comes down to it, age, life experience, biology etc don't mean an awful lot. In my opinion, the 'right time' to have a baby can only be decided by the parents themselves. And just because you're in your thirties doesn't mean you're any more ready to have a baby than somebody in their twenties. Its a huge change at any stage of life.

As for me, I'm not going to rush into anything just yet. I know I probably have 'baby-fever' just because I'm surrounded by cute kids all day at work :)

But we'll see... Maybe next year :D

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Lars Erik and I knew we were going to Ireland with his family, as we booked the tickets quite a while ago. However, I wanted a little holiday just for us two to a place that was a bit more exciting for me than just boring Ireland :D After much discussion we decided on Copenhagen, Denmark. I hadn't been to Denmark before (Lars Erik had but it was many years ago and he wanted to visit again) and the flights were quite cheap and only one hour long so it seemed the perfect place for a long weekend :)

Copenhagen is a really cool, compact little city. It has just enough to keep you busy for a few days and everything of interest is more or less within walking distance. Everybody speaks fantastic English and there are loads of bikes and everybody cycles everywhere!
Also, seeing as we live in Norway, we thought everything was very, very cheap! Especially alcohol and eating out.

 On the first day we arrived we just wandered around, trying to get a bit familiar with the area. Our hotel was about a 5-10 minute walk from 'Strøget' which is like the big main shopping street and I think we saw three Irish pubs along it :P

The Dubliner
We ate lunch here at 'The Dubliner' on the first day and it was really yummy! Lars Erik had a breakfast type thing and I had Guinness and beef pie with chips!

Nam! :D

On the second day we decided to see Nyhavn and The Little Mermaid statue and try and do some shopping and see some more of the city.

First view of Nyhavn!

'Den Lille Havfrue'
Waffles and coffee!
 I had planned to visit the weekend markets while we were there and it seemed that a lot of them were open on Sunday so I thought I'd do my vintage treasure hunting that day, however this was a big mistake. The best and most central markets are held on a Saturday so unfortunately I only got to visit a couple as I wasn't aware of this beforehand. I still got some nice vintage Danish designed items though :) We also decided to visit the Tivoli on Sunday.

The 'Sky Ship' I went on this one :P


The Tivoli was nice though I feel it was a bit expensive for what it was. Its 95 Danish kroner in and then you pay individually per ride, or you can buy a multipass ticket for almost 300 DKK (you don't have to pay 95 kroner in when you buy the multipass) and you can go on all the rides as many times as you like. Its open late, until midnight and full of restaurants and places to eat so you can really come early and spend the whole day here. You can also go out and come back later if you wish though I think that costs 15 kroner or something. We were there on Sunday so it was really busy and the queues were long. We were waiting about 15 minutes per ride at least. Lars Erik was much braver than me as there were some things I was just too scared to go on :P

Copenhagen is a very safe city and its really nice to walk around at night, absorbing the atmosphere and enjoying the vibe. We even saw some families walking around with their kids as the clock was nearing midnight. Its also legal I'm told, to drink on the streets and unlike Norway there are no time limits regarding the sale of alcohol (in Norway you can't buy alcohol after 20.00 on a weekday or 18.00 on the weekend).

By the time Monday came we were tired from walking so much every day and ready to come home to Norway. It had been a lovely trip and it had also been interesting for me and gave me an opportunity to reflect. The biggest thing for me was being able to understand Danish (for those who don't know, Norwegian and Danish are extremely similar). It was a really strange feeling to be able to understand signs, menus, instructions etc in a language I've never studied or tried to learn. Spoken Danish was a bit more challenging but I could understand most of what they said and even Lars Erik found it a bit difficult. It was often the case that we spoke Norwegian to them and they'd speak English back to us :P
Also, it made me realise that I'm not missing anything by living in the country and not in the city. Sometimes I miss the buzz of a city, people rushing around busy, dressing out of aesthetics instead of for the weather, having something to do all the time, being able to go into a clothes shop whenever I feel like it etc. But actually, cities, while lovely to visit and probably to live in too, seem to me to be a bit shallow and superficial. Appearance is important and the focus is on different things. There's no silence and no space to think and everything is always 'going'. Like I said, cities are wonderful to visit but I was very glad to be able to come home to our little apartment in the countryside, surrounded by nature, fresh air and silence :)

Ps. If anybody is interested in visiting Copenhagen I strongly recommend the 'Visit Copenhagen' website. It has loads of current, useful tips and suggestions on everything from where to shop for antiques to where to eat if you want a typical Danish sandwich.

If anybody has any questions I'd be glad to help, just leave a comment! :)