This week is Vinterferie – winter holiday / ‘half term’ – things are a bit quieter at work, so been opportunity to ski everyday, and twice yesterday. With temperatures hovering around freezing and no new snow mean the prepared ski tracks are getting quite icy, so the last two tours have been off the ‘beaten track’. In fact they weren’t even on land – a frozen lake is an excellent place to ski if there’s a bit of snow on it. So, here are some pictures which would require a boat in the summer!
Not much in the way of pictures at the moment, so here is a story I found on the Norwegian nation broadcastering website (NRK).
It’s a report from Swedish researchers saying that over 50% of current jobs will be replaced by computers by 2035, together with a table of those most at risk. It makes interesting reading. There are some surprises (librarians, models, hunters, blacksmiths and agents).
|Bookkeeping and auditing assistants
|Machine operators in wood industries
|Assistants in agriculture, forestry and fishing
|Other machine operators and assemblers
|Sellers in retail
|Street and market sellers
|Other office staff
|Cleaning and recovery workers
|Office Secretaries and data punchers
|Machine operators in rubber and plastics industries
|Process Operators of steel and metal
|Kitchen and restaurant assistants
|Food service and restaurant personnel
|Furniture and model carpenters
|Butchers, bakers, confectioners
|Machine operators in chemical industry
|Coarse Workers in construction
|Machine operators lithographic
|Storage and transport assistants
|Delivery drivers and couriers
|Painters, sweeps and refinishers
|Process Operators, wood and paper industry
|Mining and quarrying workers. Stonecutters
|Sellers, buyers, brokers
|Other service workers
|Hand Packers and other factory workers
|Hardware and engine repair
|Tailors and paperhangers
|Fishermen and hunters
|Electricians, telecommunications and electronics repairers
|Engineers and technicians
|Archivists and librarians
|Tanners, leather workers, shoemakers
Thankfully there is no mention of musicians / organists / kantors.
One can only wonder toward what sort of world are we headed? Maybe the researchers have been watching the Terminator films. Do they foresee some kind of universal ‘personbot’ that can find you a book, check out your shopping, shoe your horse, shot your next meal, and pose on a cat walk? Will the same device also clean your toilet (esepcially the hard to get to bit round the back), fill in your tax return (hopefully having washed it’s hands first), then redecorate your home? And will it try to kill you if you want to switch it off?
And how reliable will it be? To quote the much used worst oxymoron: Microsoft works!
Hmm . . . .
Due to some not very arctic weather (+6 degrees and everything is melting) there’s been a bit of a shortage of good photographic material. So, here are some northern lights from about a month ago. There was rather a lot of ‘interference’ from street lights, but they were probably the best we’ve seen here in town, including some white, which is quite unusual:
Since the original spiral ice post, the photographed icicle has now developed a conventional ‘tooth’. In addition, there are now some new twisted icicles. I’m curious about what’s causing them – could it be the electromagnetic field from electricity substation from which they are growing?
After a full Saturday, we followed up with an even fuller Sunday. We replaced skiing with morning services in Finnsnes and Rossfjord, then retraced our steps to the confirmant camp and Botnhamn for afternoon services.
On the way back from the camp, the sky lit up:
Compare the first picture above, with the same scene the previous dayØ
This weekend has been particularly busy, but great fun.
Yesterday (Saturday) began with just enough time to have another go on my new skis. Here are some pics from the tour – the clouds were amazing.
I was amazed and slightly worrying to see the ski tracks running down the steepest part of kistefjell (see the track almost immediately below the giant TV tower): in the summer it’s almost 1000′ of hands and feet scramble!
After a quick sandwich it was off to the confirmand camp at Tømmeneset for a sang timer – an hour of singing and learning hymns and songs. They did well – especially the boys, although in the end the lure of lunch became a bit distracting (risgrøt – rice pudding is traditional Saturday food here, and is used as a vehicle for butter, sugar and cinnamon – rather like grits in the US!). This was the view over the frozen lake, before and after it snowed:
Finally it was off to Botnhamn, (via Husøy to collect some equipment which got stranded last time the road was closed). It was a couple of hours drive in the snow, so no scenery pictures for this segment. We had another confirmand ‘job’, this time as the entertainment for a fund-raising evening. Our parish supports about 100 children in Congo so that they can go to school. Great coffee and cake.
How do you make ice curve or spiral?
We’ve had skis since our first winter in Norway, but have struggled with smør. This is a multi-use word meaning butter, to spread, or the wax you put on cross country skis. It important to understand the context – especially at meal times!
The problem (in skiing terms) is that you have to have the correct wax on your skis for the conditions. One buys a set of 4 – 6 ‘colour coded’ waxes’ and then tries to determine which one to use, based on temperature, how fresh / old the snow is, whether there is ice, etc. The wax is then applied to certain areas of the skis in order to get good grip. This is usually done before you set off, but changing conditions can mean stopping to re-wax en-route. And then there is klister (literally adhesive), which you use if there is a lot of ice, especially towards the end of the season. Klister is messy, sticks to everything (skin, clothing, even snow) and is very hard to remove. Learning to smør correctly is the study of a life time.
Living here means that in theory if one has a spare hour, it should be possible to go skiing. However, the waxing issue often precludes or deters. So, today I invested in wax free skis. What a liberation! The purists are of course correct that they’re not quite as fast, etc, etc, but they’re fast enough for me, and definitely better than not going at all!
This afternoon Susanna and I went for our first trip:
Just a quick post to say I’m home safe after the concert was cancelled.
In the end I set off straight away and made it over the bridge and over the mountain pass before they were closed. The last couple of hours were a white out so it was pretty difficult driving.
Not sure what tomorrow holds as most of the roads on Senja are closed, and much of the area is without power, so difficult to hold services.
Meanwhile, here is a rather dramatic picture (not mine):
The police have told people have told people to stay home and the church authorities have said they wont be responsible if anything bad happens, so we have sadly had to cancel the concert today.
Hoverer, because the weather wont improve until after the concert should have finished, I’m stuck in Vestbygd!