Tales of Norge II

I have been here for three weeks now and I’m settling well into my temporary life in Norway. I have my breakfast from my kitchen table overlooking the mountains and the fjord. Walk the five minutes into work alongside said fjord. Past the bric-a-brac shop which is rarely open but has a dazzling array of old junk and a woman with very big hands. Across the bridge, where I look down at the water and everyday marvel at how clear it is. And then finally into the Arbeideren which is the beautiful Art Nouveau theatre where we are working. Actually most of the centre of Alesund is Art Nouveau after it was destroyed by a fire in 1904 – history as well as updates, eh?

The rehearsals are going really well and John and Jonas appear to be enjoying the challenges of the world of Hvit. They have even started to look relaxed in the egg catching section! In the photo you can see how Jonas is getting on with knitting. Shona and Craig come out this week to light and finish the set. Shona is adding a few Norwegian touches to some of the houses – so we have assembled a small collection of Norwegian items to be auditioned.

My Norwegian is not really improving, although certain words, mostly colours, are creeping into my brain. There aren’t many occasions when you need to say “It’s a red egg” or “Wrinkle. Time to wake up” but I still try and pepper my conversation liberally with them just so I feel like a local.

On Thursday night I optimistically decided to test my language comprehension by going to see a stand up comedian. Unfortunately the entire show was in Norwegian and I was sitting in the front row. I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified of being picked on and having to explain that I didn’t understand a word. Fortunately, I escaped unscathed. It was quite weird though, fake laughing and clapping for an hour and a quarter.

Afterwards we went to Teaterfabrikken which is a regular weekly event for everyone at the theatre. Astrid, who is also an actor and whose place it is, opens it up to theatre friends and we have a few beers. We take over a section of its three vast subterranean rooms and enjoy the atmosphere of this former cod liver oil factory. Think old, very old, and really wooden – like being in the bowels of a ship with a lot of sofas.

Oh…The other day I had my most expensive meal – a take away soup for lunch which cost me £14! It has to be said it was a very good cauliflower soup with truffle oil, but still…

I sipped it slowly and pretended it was a steak, which made me feel slightly better.

Right. That’s it for now. Look in again for the next Tales of Norge.