Some years ago I visited Kew Gardens with a main goal to see the Marianne North Pavillion, with the huge collection of Marianne North´s floral paintings. At that time the pavillion was closed due to renovation.
Last month I was in Kew Garden again, and this time luck was on my side. The pavillion was open......and I was the only visitor.
Six years ago I was in India, visiting my Indian mother Carolyn. One of the many things Carolyn and I share is a love for travel litterature, and on this visit I was introduced to Marianne North through the book A Vision of Eden. North was a remarkable Victorian traveller and floral painter, and she spent most of her adult life travelling the world with paintbrush and journal. When I came home from India I bought the book and have since then read it several times. And I have followed her steps on Tenerife, enjoying the same flowers and plants as she did.
The collection of paintings in the Marianne North Pavillion is extraordinaire. If I remember correctly the pavillion has more than 800 paintings, covering huge walls from floor to roof.
I sat down on one of the benches and dreamed myself around the world together with Marianne. I was not actually allowed to take photos, but somehow my cell phone suddenly was in my right hand, seeking out some of the floral art all by himself........you see, cell phones can do that!
Wouldn´t it be fun to write "The Marianne North Travel Chest Tale" :-)
I got a book from amazon.co.uk in the mail today: Marianne North. A Very Intrepid Painter by Michelle Payne.
Sorry, I must stop this blog post as a book is calling my name......loud!
The garden looks grey and almost dead now. Still no snow, but I can smell another air. Winter is just around the corner. Western Norway gets too much rain these days, way too much. Devastating floods are running through towns and villages. Here in Trondheim the day has been a mixture of sun and heavy rain. I took my camera, with the macro lens, and walked out in the garden in a treasure hunt.
And with my treasure hunt glasses on, I found what I was looking for.
By the way, treasure hunt glasses comes in a lot of different sizes. For a lot of different purposes. The ones I am wearing right now are for hunting every day beauty.
The weather forecast has for many days now predicted heavy rain at 11am today. We woke up to a blue sky, we had breakfast and enjoyed the sun through the windows, we laughed at the weather forecast and we went out for a Sunday hike.
Again and again Terje told me: "at this date two years ago I was out cross country skiing" Actually I think my husband is looking forward to snow!!!!!!!
40 seconds before we came home and reached our front door it was still sunny. 10 seconds later the rain was pouring down.
I looked at my watch. It was a quarter to 11. "At this date last year" Terje started to say, but I did not listen. I ran home not to get too wet.
With food security and "give us this day our daily bread" as out theme, we could not go through the week without a farm visit. Today we went to two different ones, a modern dairy farm and a small farm where the owner does about everything, including inviting us in for coffee and homemade traditional food.
Starting with the dairy farm. Senbeta is the director of an agriculture program in western Eritrea, helping farmers to increase their productivity. Visiting Kari Ljøkel´s farm outside Trondheim, he had a million questions.
After a while Kari invited us down to walk among the cows, to see how they are milked by a "robot". But now before we had dressed properly.
Everything was so completely different from Ethiopia, and Senbeta was busy both with his questions and his camera.
Thank you Kari for showing us around.
At the next farm we met Jon Fredrik, his cows, his sheep, his hens, his little farm shop, his making of local dairy products, his coffee, his hospitality, his.......
When we arrived, Jon Fredrik was busy cooking "mølsgraut", boiling milk until it tastes almost like caramel, a prosess which takes all day.
Flatbread, from another day´s making.
Coffee was ready for us, and we could have a taste of the local made products.
Here you see a close photo of the sweet, tasty mølsgraut. I bought some with me home, and will surprise Terje tonight :-)
As you know we, I mean the diocese of Nidaros, has a friendship link with Western Synod, a diocese of the Mekane Yesu Church in Ethiopa. Together we have designed a four year project, "Give us this Day our Daily Bread". This is our third year of the plan, and during the week our two friends, Senbeta and Elizabeth are here, we are focusing on this issue.
After lunch today Senbeta, Elizabeth and I went to the firsh market, then to a grocery store. Both places we bought food for our dinner - fish cakes, carrots, broccoli (potatoes from our garden). Before making dinner we made bread together. Typical Norwegian bread. In Ethiopia last autumn I learned how to make injerra, the typical Ethiopian bread. Now Elizabeth knows my bread recipe.
After dinner, while the breads were in the oven and while Terje did the dishes, we sat down to work on a common project.......
We will make a calendar together, with photos, recipes, stories and so on from our two churches. I am thrilled to be able to work on this :-)
May be we should start a new organisation, Bread Across the Borders
Elizabeth, who lives in a small town deep into the western part of Ethiopia has never seen the sea, has never tasted salt water. She and I spent part of yesterday together, doing a lot of fun things. At one time we stopped along the sea, walked hand in hand down the slippery stones, drank salt water from our hands, collected shells....
....and laughed a lot.
There are so many things Elizabeth is experiencing for the first time. Like when we drove along a common Norwegian road she looked at me, smiled and said: "Have your roads been like this from the beginning? You know Britt, when I sit in a car in Etiopia the car is dancing, our roads are not at all like yours, there are deep holes. To come to Norway I took a plane, I have never beed in a plane before. I though the plane would be dancing as well, just like our cars. But it did not. It was like sitting in an ordinary chair. I could even sleep on the plane"
We drove on to see the ferry. Elizabeth couldn´t believe her eyes. "Look, there is a bus on the ferry, and look, there is even a driver in the bus. Is he the one driving the ferry? Oh, look, there are more cars coming out of the ferry......."
I am supposed the be the guide, but what happens is that Elizabeth shows me my world though her eye. And I love it!
There is a garden......outside a private hospital in Oslo. Sometimes I go to the guesthouse connected to the hospital for meetings and conferences, and when I do, I always make sure to find at least a few minutes to visit the garden. The Silent Garden.
A few minutes during lunch break yesterday was enough - to fill up my heart with beauty to pray for a good friend
A few minutes alone, in the middle of a day filled with people and words.
All texts and photos by Britt-Arnhild Wigum Lindland
I am living in a red house surrounded by a blue garden near Trondheim, Norway. I love everydays and post about my steps through life. Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods is open to everybody. Welcome over!