Saturday, 23 July 2011

“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.”

Kahlil Gibran.

Today I'm sad for the people of Norway. Sometimes, I think being sad about news items can be pretty self-indulgent - but some of my heart is in Norway. It has been since I was about fourteen.

I spent a few months working there in the year before I went to university. (I'd already fallen in love with the place on school ski trips to Voss)

I worked on a farm way up in the north. Here's me with a piglet I nobly bottle-fed, saving his little life so he could be made into bacon a bit later! In the push-chair is Rune, grandson of the Hellem family. More of him in a bit.

Here is Rune's Mum, Åsa. I didn't see that much of her as she was away at college when I was on the farm


About a year ago, I found Åsa on Facebook! It took me about two minutes. She replied to my message in about five minutes. Facebook has its detractors but tell me that wasn't magical - thirty six years on. Rune and I speak quite a lot.

And here is Rune now, with one of his children and his grandmother, the kindest of women who gave me a home and memories to treasure all those years ago.

Rune lives in Oslo now. He and his family were safe. Åsa was on a visit to Oslo. She was a few blocks away from the bombing, unhurt but scared. As she said:

Brått ble en hyggelig Oslo tur noe helt annet - Suddenly, a nice trip to Oslo became something completely different.

My heart goes out to everyone. I must go back there soon.