Sunrise/sunset: 02:20/23:14 Daylength: 20hr54min
There’s only a week and a day to go until we have 24 hour daylight again. I just counted the number of weeks between Polar Night and Midnight Sun and it was only seventeen weeks. No wonder life here is a whirlwind of changing light patterns. The snow is in serious melting mode. There’s a lot of mud now, and puddles, rushing streams and brown, brown grass. The trees are still bare and, until a couple of days ago, it looked as if everything was dead. But in those couple of days, there has been a subtle change. Wherever you look, if the snow has been gone for a few days, there are signs that the regrowth has begun. The coltsfoot flowers at the top of the page are first to arrive, but as well as their yellow, there are tufts of green grassy plants and patches of ruby red. It will still take a bit more time to get going, but by the beginning of June, everything will be growing rampantly. Sadly, this will include mosquitoes that grow to the size of elephants, but you can’t have everything!
I got in touch with a dear friend of mine from Scotland this week and was terribly saddened to hear that she is going through something unimaginably tough right now. I could feel her pain and I so much wish that I could be closer. If you are reading, my friend, you have been in my thoughts all the time since we spoke. It did give me a sense of perspective however, over my own problems and yet my wonderful friend still found the time to say how frustrated she had felt on my behalf in recent weeks. I have made some amazing friends over the years and I its at times like this that I most wish I was back in the UK.
It’s been generally a good week at work, though I had a day and a half off on Monday and Tuesday as my left eyelid suddenly swelled up and turned red and hot. Norwegian doctors are rightly reluctant to hand out antibiotics, but I rolled up at the surgery mid-morning on Monday (as I had started to feel more generally unwell) and I was given topical antibiotics in the form of chloramphenicol eye ointment. I had half expected to be told to try paracetamol (given that physiotherapy – Norwegian doctors’ other staple – probably doesn’t apply here). The ointment does seem to have helped, though my eyelid looks a bit red again this morning. Hopefully it will do the trick, though having smeary gunk all round my left eye for half the day isn’t the best look.
Anyway, back to the rest of the week, I was delighted to be working alongside my new colleague Ingrid. Ingrid has taken over my old job in Finnsnes and will be spending some of her time at the abattoir and some of her time out in the field with Thomas. I hope she’s enjoyed her week with us as much as I enjoyed having her there. Obviously working in an abattoir isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we try our best to be friendly and welcoming and I am doing my utmost to ensure she gets plenty of help and guidance. Starting a new job can be incredibly tough if you don’t get enough support. She wasn’t originally planning to come back next week, but I invited her to come a couple of days to work with Konstantin and she has agreed, so we must have done something right!
I had one of those 24 hour blood pressure tests done from Thursday to Friday. Surprisingly, having my arm squeezed every half hour didn’t disrupt my sleep too much. I confess that I took a sneak peak at the results and I’m fairly sure the doctor is going to tell me I have to do something about my blood pressure as it’s a bit higher than it ought to be. I hope he will give me practical advice and help me lose weight, get de-stressed and exercise more, rather than going straight for drugs, but I guess it will depend on how bad it actually is. I’ve been comfort eating more than I should in the past months and have been virtually hibernating through the snowy winter, so it’s not that surprising, but working out how to tackle it, while theoretically easy, will be mentally difficult. Still, if anyone needs an incentive to lose weight and get moving, it’s me. I know that if I do, I will feel better. Get the whip out and give me a hand please!
It’s only a couple of weeks now, until I’m going on another holiday to the UK. I am visiting Mum and Dad in Yorkshire, so hopefully we will spend a relaxing week exploring castles and trying not to eat too many fish and chips. April and May have so many bank holidays in Norway that they usually seem to fly by. This coming week, we have Wednesday and Thursday off. Wednesday is 17th May, which is Norway’s national day and Thursday is Ascension Day, which is quite a random day to have off, but no complaints from me. It’s supposed to get up to 19 degrees this week, so hopefully we have had the last of the snow for this winter. I will need to go and get the summer tyres put on my car, and other celebratory summer things!
Have a lovely week all!