We’ve had a very busy couple of weeks, so sorry for the lack of posts.
A lot of our time has been spent on things relating to Norway’s ‘national day’, 17th May, which this year was even more important because it marked 200 years since the Norwegian constitution came into being.
In the run up to the 17th the town was ‘spruced up’ and spring cleaned. The highways department brushed the streets and filled in some of the worst holes, the fire brigade washed the streets, most people with a garden cleaned up after the winter, and Finnsnes church had a dugnad (volunteer day) when the grounds were racked of last years leaves, etc, resulting in a lot of black sacks of garden waste. Note: unlike in South Carolina where the city (kommune) regularly come and automatically pick up garden waste several times a week, here you have to call several times a week and then wait.
I thought I could get away with an hour of raking, followed by a Norwegian lesson, but in the end my tutor arrived and decided to join in, so it turned into 3 hours of raking, with time off for good behaviour (good grammar) to eat waffles and drink coffee:
Despite encouraging signs of spring a couple of weeks ago, temperatures dropped enough to prevent all the snow melting, and there was still some piles of snow, and the ice almost completely covered Finnsnes Vann (the town lake) – you could even see where the skating loop had been: