Elf's Treehouse -> Archives -> 2005 -> August

I Did it

2005-08-01 02:15:50 - 0 comments    |     Archives

I've just finished wallpapering a room! What you got to understand is that this is a big thing for me! I've never done it before and I did it all by myself!

I've never been what you would a practical person. If something needs fixing around the house and it doesn't involve computers, sound equipment or electrical stuff like lamps I will lean on the assistance from someone else. I'm in awe at friends who build their own houses, cottages or verandas. I wouldn't even know where to start if I decided to build a veranda.

It's not that I don't want to grow up or that I don't want to learn these things. Ok, I'll admit that I haven't exactly been very interested in stuff like this in the past, but the thing is that I'm not very good with practical stuff. There are moments when I've surprised myself and pulled through, but a lot of times I've made a real mess of things and have needed other people to come to the rescue. Not to mention that a lot of times I don't even know where to begin solving a practical problem. So I'm not the man to call when something needs fixing around the house.

That's why I'm really exasperated right now. I was not looking forward to this and I put it off as long as I could. Sweat kept breaking just thinking about it, and after struggling with the two first layers my shirt was soaked because I was under a lot of pressure from myself. By the third layer I realized that I was probably going to be able to do this. So I ventured on and I wallpapered the windbreak. I did the gluing, the measuring and the cutting all by myself.

Does it look good? With the right lightning, yes. Seriously, it doesn't look too bad, if I might say so myself. Upon further scrutinizing you will of course see the odd beauty spot and also reach the conclusion that this is not the work of a professional, but we all got to start somewhere. Besides, each layer looks better than the last, so I improved as I went along and will hopefully do it even better the next time I do something like this.

I've done most of the work in my new apartment myself, but this was the fundamental challenge. And I passed. I'm just so relived and right now I feel like I could do anything. Of course, some practical problem will creep up on me soon and reveal that I'm helpless again, but maybe next time I will be bolder and manage to fix it myself?

And it's only now, after proof reading this blog posting I realized how pathetic I came off in it, but I don't care. I WALLPAPERED A ROOM! WOO-HOO!

Chasing the dream

2005-08-09 23:55:31 - 0 comments    |     Archives

If you ever encounter (of course you will) people who put video games down, you should refer them to this brilliant article. Take a look at this, I admit rather large, quote:

'Another analogy can be made between games and music—specifically, with the emergence of rock and roll in the 1950s. Like games today, it was a new art form that was condemned for encouraging bad behaviour among young people. Some records were banned from the radio, and others had their lyrics changed. Politicians called for laws banning the sending of offending records by post. But now the post-war generation has grown up, rock and roll is considered to be harmless. Rap music, or gaming, is under attack instead. "There's always this pattern," says Mr Williams of the University of Illinois. "Old stuff is respected, and new stuff is junk." Novels, he points out, were once considered too lowbrow to be studied at university. Eventually the professors who believed this retired. Novels are now regarded as literature. "Once a generation has its perception, it is pretty much set," says Mr Williams. "What happens is that they die."'

And the article is full of spot on observations like that. Check it out!

Safe Now

2005-08-24 22:34:22 - 1 comments    |     Archives

It's close to midnight. It's half a day since I left the place where I grew up.The last remains of what used to be the Midnight Sun is getting ready to settle down in the west for a few minutes before ascending in the horizon again. It's not a sign of life outside. It's a wonderful summer night. As wonderful as only a summer night in this haven can be. Everything is just as I remember it. The car is way over the speed limit but I don't care. I feel like I'm flying when I cross the bridge and I look down on the village. A small place that together with other magic spots on the island shaped me in to whatever it is I've become today.

(Anneli sings: "There you go")

Yes, I here I go. I'm filled with this uncontrollable joy. A joy that paints a wide grin on my face. The passengers of the German car that suddenly appeared in the other lane on the bridge looks at me like I'm mad. And I am mad. I hit the accelerator even more. Can't wait to get down there. To see it all again.

(Annelig sings: "In and out again/Of my life/It happened once before/But you should know/I still feel the same")

And I do feel the same. I hit the brakes and make a right turn to get down there. The car slowly makes it's way down the hill that leads to the docks.

(Anneli sings: "Just be yourself/In every way you are")

But you're not the same anymore. The docks are only shadows of their former selves. They have torn down the house with the kiosk that was only open when the Coastal Voyage arrived. Back in the days when the Coastal Voyage was nothing more than a means to transport people from point A to point B in this world. A time when people gathered here. When there was life.

(Anneli sings: "You don't have to change/In every way you are")

But you have changed. There's no denying it and I feel a bit of hollowness inside my joy. Empty houses. Stores long gone. Drowning boats. But this is part of it. This decay had started already in my childhood. And it's in childhood my mind is currently lost.

(Anneli sings: "Time goes by")

Yes, it does indeed. Eight years. It's taken me eight years to come back here. This place means more to me than any other place in the world. And I've deserted it for eight years. Unfathomable!

(Anneli sings: "People come and go")

They do. At least they go. I halt the car and I look down on the house. It's red now. They've also moved the kitchen to other end of the house. I haven't been inside that house in thirteen years. Thirteen years since the death that closed the door to my childhood forever. A door I desperately try to pry open now. I'm trying to resist the temptation go down and knock on the door. In stead I look at the garden. They've taken down all the trees. Not a single flowerbed is left. Maybe I don't want to see what it's like inside anymore, after all.

(Anneli sings: "But we remain/The way we used to be")

I don't know. I'm not sure I am what or whom I used to be. But right now I'm clutching at straws to be that person. And I can remember the feeling of how it used to be what I used to be. I close my eyes and saviour it. I drink it until I can't take it anymore. The car's engine roars to life. With a roar I move forward and I leave the place behind. There are other shrines to visit. And I haven't reached my destination yet. The little white house with the barn. The latter a haven for a child and his best friend, the cousin. Skinned knees, swings, jumping in hay stacks, self picked blueberries with milk, fishing, laying on the ground reading magazines, having no cares in the world but to have fun, fun, fun... I force the car to move on even faster. The sky is a symphony of purple, pink, orange, blue, yellow and white. It's a night of beauty. They are waiting for me. To welcome me back. Here comes the grin again. I blink to clear my vision for the tears.

(Anneli sings: "I feel safe now")

Yes, I am safe. I'm home. Finally. A place where I belong!

"You Don't Have to Change" and "Safe Now" written by Anneli Drecker

We'll Go Bycycle Riding, You And I

2005-08-30 14:12:35 - 2 comments    |     Archives

For the first time in 8 years I returned to my childhood paradise Andøya (Duck Island) this summer. I did all the things I remembered from the summers I spent there. Fishing for trout, picking berries, meeting relatives and just plain relaxed. I can't explain how much the place means to me, but what I can do is to show you the beauty of the place.

This summer I fulfilled an ambition that I've had for quite some time, which was to take my bike and ride around the island in a day. It's 145.6 km (90.47 miles) around the entire island and it's Norway's 4h largest. I stopped a lot during the trip to take pictures, appreciate nature and to have fits of nostalgia. The entire trip took me 11 hours and I won't deny that I was tired towards the end. I ate so many bananas that I was sure I was going to be crapping blood for weeks afterwards, but my main problem during the trip and the days after it was that my bottom was sore beyond belief. I'm in great shape, but I hadn't prepared my ass muscles enough for this. I also swore when I came back that night that I would never do it again, but I've already decided to do it again next summer.

You can look at this map to see the route (the blue line) I took. I started from our summerhouse on the southeast side of the island (marked as Stokkland on the map) and I took the route around the southern most tip of the island first. Then I cycled north and took the west side until I reached the northern point of the island. Here I took a one hour break for food and a little nap before going back via the east side of the island. I even included the little swing down to Risøyhamn.

Pictures from the bike trip are now posted in my photoblog. Enjoy.

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