Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The best hangover ever

When I started writing this blog, I really had no idea where it would take me. And I had no idea that it was going to end up a fairytale. With the most happy ending.

You see, when I got so very sick after that wine tasting last summer, that awful nausea seemed to never go away. After four days of not being able to eat anything but crackers, I decided to take a pregnancy test, even though Mr. I told me not to, as I would just be disappointed again. We had been through that whole circus too many times. Getting your hopes up, and then "BAM!".

Well, guess what! I was pregnant! Or, I was not really sure at first, as the test was this high-tech French one with a text indication, and it read "5-6 semaines enceinte". They surely would not indicate the time if you were NOT pregnant, would they?

The whole pregnancy was a roller coaster of nausea and anxiety attacks, as it was quite difficult to really understand that this was now really happening to us. It may also sound weird to you, but even though I was thrilled to finally be pregnant, I sometimes I could not help but thinking about the child that we would now not be able to adopt. I guess I had already opened up a little spot in my heart for that little one going through the first steps of the adoption process. I have the deepest respect for all the very patient people around the world that has gone through that process, or are in the middle of it. Us, we got it easy, in the end.

The pregnancy itself was a bit over-rated though. I certainly did not feel that "glow" everybody keeps talking about. I was worried and scared a lot of the time. And giving birth? Ouch! I will refrain from going into more detail, as this is a secret we should keep to ourselves - simply to avoid scaring people off and causing humanity to one day become extinct.

Of course, I am now the happiest Mum to walk in two (flat) shoes. Or mostly sneakers. Sometimes I am also the most tired and frustrated one, but people tell me it is going to be like that from now on. Yay! You will NEVER hear me complaining.

And - I had no idea that you could love another creature as much as I love our daughter, even when she wakes me up at night. Or perhaps, especially then. She is now a month old, and the most beautiful thing I have ever laid my eyes on. I am being strictly objective here, of course.

And, do you know what? Converse shoes come in baby sizes!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The mystery of the gnome

For those of you that have been awake at night wondering where our garden gnome went, now we know!

We were invited over to the house of the two Italian Angels who take care of the house for us, for some "apero". And there he was, sitting in their garden! I did not say anything, as these are not the kind of people that would actually intentionally steal anything, so bringing it up would be just plain embarrassing. I guess they just thought he was a left-over from Monsieur Duct Tape, the previous owner of our house.

Well, now he has a view of the bay of Mandelieu. Definitely moving up in this world, I would say. Good for him.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The last pair?

I saved the best pair for the last day. My Jimmy Choo golden strappy kitten-heel sandals. Given to me by Mr. Incredible during a weekend trip to Stockholm with some friends. Something tells me that he really must like me.

Today a year has gone by since I started this blog. Meaning that this is supposed to be my last post. And I know that you are dying to know if I really managed to use all of my shoes this year. Yay! Well, it might not come as a complete surprise to you, but - no - I didn't. When I started off I had this plan that I would have to get rid of the shoes I did not use this year, but I can't. There are in fact exactly fifty pairs left, including some really nice ones.

It feels a bit sad ending this journey, and it surely has been a year full of adventures. As I started off, it was not really my the intention to share so many details from my personal life on this blog. But somehow I did, and it did not feel to scary. Sometimes it even helped me sort out my head when I was a bit of a mess. So, thanks for being out there.


Oh, I think I'm gonna cry! This is so sad!

Now. Bye. Really. I mean it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wine tasting - by the bucket

Red strappy sandals from Högl. A brand for old ladies focusing on comfortable shoes. I will be there in a couple of years anyway, so I figured I might just as well get used to it. Souvenirs from that shoe-purchasing-bonanza in Kiel.

My dad got MIA* at our local hypermarket in Grasse on Thursday. I found him frozen on the spot in front of a shelf full of ordinary** sparkling French wines. Looked a bit like a hunting dog that has found its prey and is waiting for the hunter to come pick it up. I do not think he was drooling, though. Or maybe he was.

The "prey" was a whole shelf of sparkling French wines in the price range of 99 euro-cents to 2 euros. One of them allegedly cost 15 euros at the government owned (crikey!) wine store in Norway. Living under such harsh conditions up in the cold north with only over-priced wine and booze to comfort us through the long and dark winter evenings has of course made some serious damage to our souls. We just cannot resist cheap alcohol when we see it. There. I said it.

Friday night we decided to give our wine bargains a try. I mean, how bad could it be, even at less than one euro? What would we really prefer? Twentyfive bottles of this crappy bubbly, or - one delicious bottle of the staple every day champagne from Möet et Chandon?

Actually, I would say it is hard to come to a true conclusion here, as nobody I know would really be able to test the twentyfive bottles and live to tell the story. But, if the effect of the four bottles we tried between us is anything to go by, my hunch is that I would rather go with the one bottle of real champagne over the two cases of the cheap stuff. I just think it will be better for your health. At least judging by how I felt the morning after this rather small sample.

Poor Monsieur Incroyable. Returning to France today to find his Madame in such a state. Can somebody get me a bucket, please?!

* Missing In Action.
** Not from the Champagne district.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Being French

My yellow "Replay" souvenir sandals from Croatia! Purchased in the town of Pula. I am not good with names, neither with people or places (I am a bit like Dory in the movie "Finding Nemo"). But the name of this Croatian town sticks like glue, as the name is written and pronounced the same way as the Norwegian work for f***ed. I guess this says a thing or two about my unintentionally selective memory.

These yellow shoes are a typical "holiday romance". You totally fall for them after walking around in the sun for three weeks in a brightly colored sun dress (messes up your brain big time). You even fall so hard that you go ahead and buy TWO PAIRS, because you simply cannot decide on red or yellow. Then you come back home, and your yellow patent leather platform sandals (hellooooo!) just do not work in "real life". At least not for me, as pole dancing is not part of my job description (I think). Still, it makes me happy to look at those yellow shoes sitting there at the bottom of my closet.

I love France. I really do. Perhaps to the extent that - in theory - I could live there permanently. Still, it is quite a strange country. In some areas they are way ahead of other countries - especially when it comes to gastronomy and fashion. But then they have other things that are just plain backwards. France is for instance one of those countries with a banking system still relying heavily on check books. Then there is the traffic. People are so much in a hurry. For being such a "sophisticated" or "civilized" country, people are pretty rude! Also, parking is allowed anywhere, just as long as you turn on the hazard warning lights on your car. Works every time. When it comes to gender politics, France is also a country where women are still women, and men are men. Or rather - cheating bastards, as you also may also refer to it. You see, having a mistress - or - as they call it - "a second wife" is perfectly normal. Even the presidents do it, so then it must be ok….

Come to think of it, I do not think I will ever really blend in in France, if that is even an objective. Being blonde (chemically at least), rather "big boned", and not being a smoker, I do not have much going for me. That last point is "tres important". All French women do smoke. That is in fact the way they avoid getting anywhere near being defined as "big boned", even in spite of their serious croissant-and-latte habits. Another problem is that I tend to smile a lot. Perhaps even more so when I am actually in France. In France, smiling is for children and tourists (people who does not know how to act cool). So, even though I sometimes take up the morning habit of carrying baguettes forced up my sweaty armpits, my silly grin while doing so will always give me away. Merde….

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mozart et la

My white Havaianas. Purchased in Brazil. Not my favorite pair of flip-flops, as these are apparently not meant for Norwegians with broad feet and an abnormally high instep. Note to self: Always try on shoes before you buy. Now these shoes live in exile in France.

Which brings me to this: We have this great pizza take-away place down the road from our little French chateau. This is where we go to pick up our "diner" if we:

A) Run out of propane for the barbecue
B) Have forgotten to buy groceries
C) Just cannot be bothered to cook, a.k.a. throw the remains of some dead animal on the barbecue

This pizza-joint is just starting up (I think), so they have these "generic" pizza boxes. Which makes me wonder: What on earth is George Clooney doing on a PIZZA BOX IN FRANCE? Is this his "dark past"? We know that all great actors/actresses always needed to take some shitty job before their careers took off. Serving coffee/flipping burgers, or - if really desperate - doing porn movies. But - "pizza boy"? That's a new one!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mister Cleverpants

My lovely, but impossibly high-heeled Marc Jacobs sandals. They make me tall, but as they are incompatible with champagne, they mostly stay in my closet. Sad.

Back home in Oslo, I have this neighbor. Everything he does ends up a success. I just can not decide whether I should just let go and allow myself to be utterly impressed by this guy, or whether I should just feel annoyed (this is by the way THE Norwegian way of handling other people's success, and it is deeply embedded in us all).

Listen to this: He has played football on a fairly high level, he has a great education (happened to study at the same school as I…), and he landed a great job at a huge bank. Then, his band project during his student years turned into one of Norway's best-selling bands. Just to try it out, he starts writing crime novels about this thirsty policeman called Harry Hole. And, guess what? A huge success. Children's books? Oh yes, that too. In addition to this, he does not look too bad either (huge understatement). Argh!

This summer, I have given in. As I think I was the only grown-up person In Norway who had not read any of his books. Now I have read them all in the course of close to six weeks. And I just have to give it to this guy. He is good. He is really good. I just wish I could come up with something as brilliant. Perhaps I should write my own crime novel? About an old apartment building in Oslo, where people start to disappear after entering the huuuuuge daaaaark basement. The first one to go, in a very violent way, would be our next-door neighbor, Mr. Grumpyface! (Ok, I can sort of understand why he hates us so much. There has been a few loud parties over the years.) Then we will all disappear, one by one. And then they catch the killer, and - "ta-daaaah" - it is the famous novelist living up in the attic. Seems he is testing out his ideas for the next book in real life….

I think this book could most probably make me a millionaire, and then he would surely sue me for all I am worth (and then some). I better not risk that.

I do, however, have another great idea. As I have had far too much time on my hands this summer, I have had the chance to dive into some French literature, too. Or rather, a French crime series, written by an Englishman. The main character, Inspector Bruno, is a bit different from the Norwegian policeman Harry Hole. The French hero is a nature lover and a hunter, goes for walks in the fields with his dog, is friends with everybody in the village, and he cooks the most incredible food. Of course, he also drinks on duty, but just a little Sauternes. Even though the books about Bruno are crime novels, they are "feelgood" crime novels in a way. And although I also love to read about the deeply depressing world of Harry Hole, my dream crime novel would be the one where Harry Hole has to go to France to help his colleague Bruno solve a case. Harry could definitely use a touch of Bruno's "joie de vivre". Me and my brilliant ideas!