Monthly Archives: May 2015

Want To Learn German?

Interested in learning German? May be this could help:

Enough Concerts For A Festival!

We noticed that in the next 2 weeks we have 5 concerts in Finnsnes Church – enough to make a festival. So here is “Something for everyone“, our spring festival (Vår in Norwegian means both our and spring!):



Treenighet!    Saturday 30th May – 7pm

An exciting concert for Trinity, with Christopher Briggs, Sarah and I (the 3 B’s), playing 3 instruments (organ, piano and harmonium), with music all somehow related to 3. More details here.

Salmer i sommerkveld    Wednesday 3rd June – 9pm

A summer evening of hymn singing with Finnsnes Kantori (the church adult choir).

Rostocks manskör    Thursday 4th June – 7pm

Rostocks manskör (male voice choir) from Sweden, joined by coloratura soprano soloist Anna Foresbo.

Gladsang i juni    Saturday 6th June – 6pm

Joyful song in June. A concert with three local choirs: Finnsnes Korforening, Rossfjord blandekoret and Kjølenkoret.

Finnsnes church summer concert    Saturday 13th June – 6pm

A relaxed family concert with our church children’s choir, youth choir, the church band and soloists. Music from Easter through to the summer. More details soon.

Twenty Four Hour Tanning

Yes, if you want to top up your tan at midnight, Finnsnes is the place to do it! Today was beautifully clear – just right for the midnight sun:

Twenty_four_hour_tanning_01 Twenty_four_hour_tanning_02 Twenty_four_hour_tanning_03


They back!

Today our beautiful, screechy, argumentative, and sometimes vicious summer visitors have re-terned. So no peace ’til at least August.

Not my pictures:

and the view you really don’t want to see for real:

It’s Raining So . . .

. . . no pictures of the midnight sun yet.

In order to keep the blog ticking over, here are some recent headlines, culled from the NRK (Norwegian national broadcast) website:

The midnight sun makes you dull, fat and ‘unromantic’. The uniform reaction from all here in the north reading that headline is “must have been written by a southerner”. The text follows up by saying that we have to keep the bedroom dark and follow strict routines (so tell us something we didn’t know). It’s not a very good advert for the thriving midnight sun tourism industry, but don’t let that put you off visiting. At least the article had a nice picture:

Police could have given out $15000 of driving fines in 5 minutes. NRK set up a camera next to a roundabout in Alta (in Finnmark, 8 hours drive north of us). In the space of 5 minutes they filmed drivers incorrectly tackling the round about in a manner which could have resulted in $15000+ of fines. When asked why they weren’t doing something about it, the police spokesman replied that they were out catching real criminals ( I’m paraphrasing). Sensing a followup question, the policeman added that they didn’t deliberately target areas where they could levy the most fines (funny, we hear that in most countries . . .). Just so you know, the fine for not using your indicators (correctly or at all) is $300 and driving in the wrong lane can cost you $600+. I guess if you try going the wrong direction or directly over the roundabout it will be even more expensive.

90 year old Austrian is to heavy. This time Norwegian police were stopping overweight vehicles, including a Czech couple who had 1 ton of food in their camper, and the aforementioned fat Austrian. Neither driver was fined. However, it’s reported that the Czech pair were told to wait in a lay-by for friends come and help them ‘eat the food’. Meanwhile, the overweight Austrian had to leave his food with the police and comeback to collect it another day (maybe after some exercise?)

And the really criminals : –

Final year high school students broke into a zoo and stole the penguins for a prank. One of the penguins is still missing and whilst 4 students admit breaking and entering, none of them say they stole the birds. This is of course a national scandal.

Fakin’ It

Nothing to do with living in the arctic, but maybe you’ve seen the news story about the faked pictures of a certain state apparently launching a rocket from a submarine. I’m surprised it took the experts so long to work it out:


Dawn Of A Brand New, Very Long Day

Tonight is technically the last ‘night’ before the midnight arrives in Finnsnes, so I guess this picture is the dawn which heralds the beginning of a nearly 2 month long day!


Alt Er Klart

Everything is ready.  The big countdown to the 17th (tomorrow) is almost complete.

The last of the Finnsnes area confirmands were confirmed on Thursday – Kristihimmelfartsdag (Ascension day, which is still a public holiday in Norway). Pictures show some of the 600+ congregation, and the organist trying his best to clear the building by pulling out all the stops, which seemed to work!

All the concerns mentioned in the previous post have been dealt with:

  • The forecast is good (at least here in the north), with full sunshine in the critical 11 – 12 time frame when the tog (procession / train) wends it’s way through Finnsnes, with just enough breeze to wave the flags.Alt_er_Klart_01
  • The ice on Finnsnes Vann suddenly melted on Thursday afternoon. We’ve never seen so much ice disappear so quickly, and there’s discussion about whether the council have started heating it! On Friday the council were even able to put the ‘islands’ back, which will be good for the seagulls. Pictures from Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday:


Now, if only the authorities can find the missing penguins, tomorrow will be a perfect day.

Counting Down to 17

Sunday is the 17th of May – Norway’s ‘national day’.

Sadly this year a couple of the ‘unwritten rules’ are in danger of being broken:

  • Nationally, the sun MUST shine. But the forecast is rain.
  • Locally, the ice must be gone from Finnsnes Vann (the town lake). Doesn’t seem likely, but judge for yourself: this was the scene on Sunday:


and this is today:




Still, at least the street washing is going OK:


Back To The Stone-Age

Today was the 4th of 5 confirmation services in Finnsnes. The order of service has remained basically the same, with changes to the sermon so that the people who have come to all of them don’t get bored. However, today we finished a little differently.  In the middle of the 1st verse of the last hymn (Deg Være Ære / Thine Be The Glory) the power went off. Our local power transformer “sa takk for seg” (died), so, in the blink of an eye (or in a puff of smoke) we were back to the stone age!

No text to sing (the projector requires power), no organ (at least once the bellows emptied of air, comedy style), no sound system (so it all went a bit quiet), and no drums (they’re electronic). However, the acoustic guitarist manfully continued to lead the 500+ people! Within half a verse the drummer had grabbed a djemba and I’d got the cover of the piano, so we ended the service in the 19th century. Shame most people couldn’t remember the words . . . .

Here is a completely unrelated picture, taken this evening: