Lament and Sorrow for Norway

What started out as a wonderful day with the sun having finally returned to London after weeks of heavy, sorrowful rain, quickly turned into sadness when news broke that central Oslo had been rocked by a bomb blast.

As Norwegian police and emergency rescue personnel fought to help those injured in the attack, the world media and social media erupted with reports from Oslo. Horrified by the sights and stories, I felt an utter sadness that the peaceful country I have grown up in have now had its innocence taken away.

However, no-one knew the tragedy that was to come…

Waking up this sunny Saturday morning to the news that over 90 people have died because of one man is almost impossible to understand. What appears to be the actions of a political extremist who is still alive – is it just me or doesn’t this show off his sadistic self? – will take a while to digest: for those directly affected; for Oslo; for Norway; and for the world.

Like London and the 7/7 bombings  this, the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II, will now forever be part of Oslo’s story.

My thoughts go out to all families and friends directly affected, the people of Oslo and all Norwegians.

“Oslo is a small, small town…”

Fastelavnsris

Today was Fastelavn in my home country of Norway. For me that equals cream filled Shrovetide buns – Fastelavnsboller – but as I’m a) on a very strict diet at the moment and b) not in Norway, head over to Nordic Nibbler for a recipe and scrumptious images!

Fastelavn has roots in the Middle Ages and comes three days before Lent – you’ll have Shrove Tuesday here in the UK this coming week, when people will be feasting on pancakes. But for me this is all about Easter being just around the corner!

Growing up, one of the best things about Fastelavn for me was Fastelavnsris – an old Pagan ritual – where you twine birch branches together and decorate them with brightly coloured feathers (faux of course!) before placing them in a vase. They can be re-used as cat toys if you happen to have a furry creature in your home.

Sadly I have not made any Fastelavnsris for years. Not since moving away from my childhood home come to think of it…  I might just have to revive this tradition next year – it really does brighten up grey winter days!

Here’s a little collection of Fastelavnsris I came across online

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<Bagatell on Flickr>

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