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Burnout: week 1

One week of staying home from work. Honestly, it does not feel like it. It feels like I was at work yesterday.

One reason for that is that the majority of the days go by quickly without feeling like I do much of anything. I  sleep a lot, and it takes me a long time to get started in the mornings. I read a bit. I watch a bit of the cross country ski world championships. I knit a bit.

I have reblogged a lot over at Tumblr. Not that that really says anything about how much energy I have. Basically, it requires about as much concentration that I have.

When a trip down into the basement feels like a long hike. When a trip to the kitchen feels like a long hike… I think that not going on my work trip this week was a smart decision.

I said to my sister as she came home from work today that my head feels less foggy today than it has done in a long time. It does. But at the same time, there are also huge variations in how I am feeling just within an hour, so I am also expecting that to go back and forth over the coming weeks…


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Quotation Monday #93: Marathon

“I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable. “,

The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work by Berkum


Burned out

On Thursday, I went to my doctor. (We have been having bi-weekly appointments since November/December.)

Back in September the theory was that various physical ailments that have popped up since January 2013 (at least) were depression and anxiety related. (Dizziness, nausea, headaches, tiredness, feeling down, etc.) So I have been having sessions with my GP for that.

But after listening to me on Thursday, she said: “I think you might be burned out. And the anxiety and the depression are really symptoms of that, and not the main cause of the other symptoms which also come in burn out mode.”

There was a theory on why it has lasted so long, and have gone in waves on how strong it has been – basically it has been building in strength until I hit the top of a wave, and then it crashes and I am forced to take time out. This time we are sort of hoping that we have caught it before a major crash, and just a minor one in the aftermath of the flu two weeks ago.

I am therefore on sick leave until our next appointment in three weeks, with a strong admission to not do any work. I disconnected my work email from my phone.

A planned work trip next week got cancelled – which felt like such a huge relief (not have to wonder whether I would have the energy to be around co-workers and be “on”.) that, while I initially wondered about the doctor’s decision, it made up my mind that it was the right one.

For the next three weeks, it will be a matter of first relaxing completely, and then gradually try to fill the energy back up with activities that I enjoy. And then we will evaluate where I am and what we need to do to stop it from happening again.



A Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
For some reason, I really seem to enjoy books where people move to another country and give their reflections on living there. In this case, British journalist from London moving to Jutland, Denmark. (Something a lot of Copenhageners I know would have had a serious problem with.)

She covers topics, month for month, as she gets used to living in Denmark and the oddities of Danes seen from a British perspective. Sometimes some of the chapters seemed overly long, but as there was a red thread binding the story together, it felt like a complete project.

In some things I could definitely recognise the first period when I moved to Denmark myself – and my first meeting with the Danish tax returns… By virtue of speaking Norwegian you’d think it would be easier, and it was, somewhat, but bureaucratic Danish language is in a linguistic family of its own, with little recognisability to Norwegians.

The stories are funny at times, and interesting at others. (Sometimes both funny and interesting.) Well worth a read.

The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell (Amazon.co.uk link)


Princess Leonore 1 year

The Swedish court has released new pictures of the 1 year old.

Prinsessan+Leonore+1+år+foto+Brigitte+Grenfeldt+Kungahuset.se Prinsessan+Leonore+1+år+foto+Brigitte+Grenfeldt+Kungahuset.se+

Foto Brigitte Grenfeldt, Kungahuset.se / Brigitte Grenfeldt, The Royal Court, Sweden


bunad1893The Hardanger bunad is probably the national costume that has the longest association with the Norwegian royal family. Princess Maud of Wales received a costume as a present from the city of Bergen in 1893, when she visited the area. The photograph was later turned into postcards.

(An article in Bergens Tidende from 1906 says that the Queen also received a Hardanger bunad from the women of Odda, and wore it, when she and the King visited Odda after the coronation in 1906.)

Queen Maud’s Hardangerbunad joined the exhibition of her clothing (Style and Splendour: Queen Maud of Norway’s Wardrobe 1896 – 1938) at the V&A Museum in 2005-2006.

Around the time of the Norwegian independence the Hardanger bunad was considered more of a national than a regional costume, and wearing it was a political statement. It was called Nasjonalen (The national.)

Princess Astrid received a Hardanger bunad in October 1959 from Ungdomslaget i Hardanger. She has worn it on multiple occasions, among others, when her son Alexander Ferner got married, and on a centenary celebratory service in Holmenkollen chapel.  (on page 6 in Risbladet.)

Crown Princess Mette-Marit received a Hardanger bunad as a wedding present from the Hardanger council in 2001. She wore the bunad on the county visit to Hordaland in 2002.

Her maternal grandmother came from the farm Fosso by Kvam in Hardanger. Mette-Marit last visited the farm when she was 6 years old, and remembered playing with the goats there.

Mette-Marit has frequently worn the Hardanger bunad since she first got it, lastly for the 2014 Christmas photo shoot at the palace (and the photoshoot the year before that.) On the service marking the centenary of the coronation of Haakon and Maud in 1906, Mette-Marit also wore the Hardanger bunad.

She also wore it when greeting the Children’s parade on May 17 2003 at Skaugum, in 2006in 2010, and on May 17th, 2014 on the palace balcony for marking the bicentenary of the constitution.


Quotation Monday #92: Panic Attacks

“Panic attacks are crazy beasts. They don’t care what you think you’re ready for. They don’t care what you want. They just take control, and then you suffer.”

Breakaway by Catherine Gayle


Video series: 30 days of Yoga

I have only got a couple of these videos under my belt, but I am really appreciating the instructor. I usually come to the sessions with a feeling of being sluggish in the head, and the body.

Although, I sometimes feel that way for quite some time during the session, afterwards I feel accomplished and lighter in the head.


In-between ill

Of course, it became evident when the fever left me that I am really terrible at being “in-between” ill. When I had fever and was coughing, I was quite good at that. Making sure I had enough to drink. Kept warm or cold depending on what my body wanted. And took a couple of Panodil to get the fever to behave once it reached 39 degrees.

When the fever went away, I still felt terrible, because then the mucus started its invasion. I felt lethargic after the fever.

But also because the hormones that the fever had repressed suddenly came back to life and with the hormones come my anxiety and my depression.

Which result in fun (?) times either way.

After almost a week at home, I had my first day back at work today. With the lack of energy, and lack of appetite, it was a shortened day at work – but as I kept working from home, it still ended up being a long work day. Fortunate that I have enough projects that can be done from home.


On January 24, Princess Astrid’s husband, Johan Martin Ferner, passed away. He was buried earlier this week. He was, in short, the model of the perfect royal in-law – never in the papers for his own gain, never speaking about his royal relatives, had a thriving business and life of his own, and always two step behind Astrid when she was out representing. Certain royal in-laws could learn a lot from him.

10 days before his death, Princess Astrid gave an interview to the weekend edition of Dagbladet, Magasinet. According to the wishes of the Princess and the court, the interview was published yesterday, as it was originally written. I have translated out-takes of the interview, below.

The interview took place in the Minister Salon at the Royal Palace in Oslo.

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Mary: Crown Princess with a cause

DR has a small documentary about Mary’s work with the Mary foundation and childbirth deadliness across the world.



The flu

When I visited my grandmother in the nursing home on Saturday, she and the other inmates were a coughing choir.

On Monday, two days later, the cold I had been waiting for, for weeks, broke. Only, I suspect the flu instead, as there is fever, aches in the muscles, lack of appetite, mucus and a lot of coughing.

Fun times. I am sleeping moderately well at night, though, thanks to Panodil. I am not a person who naps during the day, so getting in 6+ hours of sleep at night is crucial.

I am trying to only use the Panodil for the things it will help the most with – the fever and muscle aches when I am trying to sleep. I sort of figure that my body needs the rest to heal itself.

Yesterday, I juiced a bunch of clementines and ginger, with some carrots and an apple to get some vitamins and fluid in.

Anyone have any good tips for the flu?



Quotation Monday #91 – Love

Love is like riding or speaking French: if you don’t learn it young, it’s hard to get the trick of it later.

– Downton Abbey


Goals for February

In February I will…

  • Order tickets to visit Oslo.
  • Play in the KVSC Trivia Weekend. 50 hours of trivia. Playing from Norway, on Minnesota time.
  • Go on more hikes. (Possibly walk to work depending on shape and weather.)
  • Reschedule with friends who were invited to the tea party – and set up new times to meet.
  • Blog more.

Status for the resolutions of January

Overall, January has been marked with a lack of energy and bad weather, and just wanting to be inside.

In January, I wanted to…

  • Read more paper-books and less e-books.
    • Have definitely done this. I have taken to heading for my own shelves when I am home and done a lot of rereading.
  • Visit a couple of museums.
    • Nope. I have thought of it a couple of times, but have been low-energy and really not done much leisure time activities at all save for  reading and watching television.
  • Print outmyNanowrimo novel and start editing.
    • Printed half of it before the printer stopped working. Have not got started on the editing.
  • Make the BBCGoodFood Calendar recipe for January.
    • Nope.
  • Invite friends for a tea party.
    • They were invited, but as the party was to be today, and my grandmother was admitted to the hospital last night for falling and breaking her hip, and is having surgery today, I cancelled. Will try to get this back on the schedule at some point.
  • Walk to work at least once a week.
    • I did not walk to work once. Mainly because I was hit with a gigantic lack of energy/downer, and it really took a lot out of me just to get out of be in the morning. I went on a couple of hikes in the weekends though.

The chairs

My dining room chairs has got a bit wonky. (Borrowed from my grandmother, who stored them somewhere and had not used them in a while. As evidenced by the fourth chair with paint splatters.)

So, this summer, I made renovating them a project. I used sandpaper to remove the old paint as much as possible. Then I painted a layer of paint – it was called Eggplant.

After a couple of days, the eggplant colour did not catch my eyes. It was dull. And boring. And only had a purple tint when the sun was shining directly on it. (Which in Norway would probably only be in the summer…)

So I went to another paint store and picked up a bucket of Electric Purple.

And painted.

The end result still make me happy almost six months later, so I call this a success.

(Pictures behind the tag)

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DSC_0172A new year, new food promises. This porridge from BBC Good Food is incredibly creamy – it actually feels a bit like rice porridge, but it is oats- and the compote on top brings it all together.

The recipe gives two servings, and two big servings at that. From experience: I put one in the fridge, and plan to have it for breakfast tomorrow. That works perfectly – and it still will taste good.

I ended up fresh pressing oranges for the juice. If I’m going to start eating fresh, I wanted to avoid the preservatives in the store-bought orange juice. It takes about two oranges to get to the 150 ml juice needed in the recipe.

If you want to fancy it up even more, adding cinnamon would be a nice touch.


January resolutions

January resolutions
Happy New Year, people!

I never keep the resolutions I intend for a whole year, so I thought I would try to have some resolutions each month this year, instead, and then hope at least some of them will become new habits. Or you know, a way to get it done.

In January, I will…

  • Read more paper-books and less e-books.
    • I made my goal over at GoodReads to read (at least) one more book in 2014 than I did in 2013… and I ended up at a lot more past that, thanks in part to e-books. . So new goal is one more than I read in 2014 for 2015. But I also figure that I need to get cracking on reading the physical books in my TBR pile…
  • Visit a couple of museums.
    • I was fairly good about doing this when I lived in Oslo for the first six months of 2014. Now it is time to start going back to it in my home region.
  • Print out myNanowrimo novel and start editing.
    • I actually finished in 2014. So, clearly, I need to go back to it and have a look at it.
  • Make the BBC GoodFood Calendar recipe for January.
    • I missed a couple of recipes this year, but overall, I made some tasty new dishes that I might not have made otherwise.
  • Invite friends for a tea party.
  • Walk to work at least once a week.

Quotation Monday #90: Memory

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.

James M. Barrie