Into the Polar Night

Sunrise/sunset: Down all day

I’ve been laid low with a cold this week. Fortunately, I started feeling much better yesterday, but I was off work on Monday, then spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday working from home.

I attended an online course over those three days, the subject being animal welfare during transport. It was an excellent course, Europe wide and run by the BTSF (Better Training for Safer Food) Academy . I was one of only two participants from Norway.

Transporting animals can cause huge welfare issues. Even for the relatively short journeys the animals take here when coming into the abattoir (transportation is limited to eight hours – it was quite eye opening how far some animals are being transported within and from the EU) there are significant welfare issues. It’s vital to keep on top of them, so if I’m taking part of the responsibility for that, which I hope I will be within the next year, I want to have as much knowledge as I can. Like the Arctic Council/One Health conference a couple of weeks back, this was also in English. They also gave pointers to several other groups with online information about animal welfare relating to European law (most of the Norwegian welfare rules are based around the EU rules) so I can hopefully engage in some very useful reading.

Driving from Bardufoss to Finnsnes – mist rising over the newly frozen lake

Next week is going to be very busy. There are some tough cases to catch up on and a couple of goat blood tests that have to be carried out before the end of the year, so I will be out on follow-up visits with Birgit and Thomas this week, as well as visiting some goats to test them for brucellosis (another infection that can pass between animals and people) along with (hopefully) finishing up some paperwork.

I hope that you have been enjoying the advent calendar. It’s difficult to know what to include, but hopefully there will be a mix of scenery and scenes that strike me as I go about my daily life here. My mum has sent me an online advent calendar from Jacquie Lawson which I am very much enjoying.

John has also paid for access to the Norwegian TV2 channel so that we can watch The Julekalender. The Julekalender is a Norwegian advent staple, very much loved here in Norway, but I’ve only seen snippets of it before. It was created in 1994 (following on from a Danish version in 1991) and an episode is broadcast each day in the lead up to Christmas. It tells the story of Nisser (elves) who were driven out of Norway to the US by some evil, vampire like beings called the Nåså. An elder Nisser (good old Gammel Nok) is dying as the key to the music box the keeps him alive is missing. He calls for three, brave, younger Nisser to find it. So far, we have seen these three brave elves returning from the US to Norway and finding an old Nisser cave. Their plane crashed and for some reason, they are carrying around the propeller (which is terribly bent) while speaking in Norwenglish, which is a wonderful blending of Norwegian and English, where the words and sentence structure are mangled together. Oh and they keep breaking into a catchy song about how hard it is to be a Nisserman, despite the fact that they spent much of the first two episodes sleeping. I’m quite glad I’ve been in Norway for fourteen years before seeing it. There are lots of Norwegian “in jokes” that need context. It’s set in Trondelag, for example, which is widely considered to be hillbilly country, or perhaps in terms of England, roughly equivalent to Norfolk. Anyway, I’m already looking forward to the next episode. It’s lovely to do things together in the lead up to Christmas.

Have a good week.

Triar is getting festive in his red, Christmas jumper

4 thoughts on “Into the Polar Night

  1. Glad you’re getting better & that you enjoyed good courses from home while housebound. And I love the idea of “Norwenglish!” These mash-ups are such fun (and so rich in jokes & meaning)

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