Monday, 6 July 2009

A midsummer night's dream

Midsummer in Norway is all about being outside and enjoying the sunshine.
Traditionally, a bonfire is built, usually at the edge of a lake, river, fjord or the sea. In England they build them on top of the highest hills to send signals, but every self-respecting hill should have a beacon on the evening of the longest day.

The wildflowers are at their best, and not many can resist the temptation of picking large bouquets. Small children traditionally plait coronets of flowers to wear on their heads that day.
In modern Norway it means a good barbeque, and this year our favourite supermarket was just about sold out of barbecue meat. A lot of wine and beer gets consumed too.
We went to Arild and May Sissel and sat on their lovely big veranda. We had grilled seafood kebabs, which were delicious. We sat eating and drinking and chatting until quite late. We watched the sun finally go down at 22.46, four minutes to eleven for those who haven't mastered the 24 hour clock. It would have been possible to see well enough to read a paper at midnight, and the sun was on its way up again before 3 am. The birds seem to sing all night, especially the large gang of magpies that greet each other merrily at any time of the day or night - the little rascals!
Now the nights are getting longer already, but we still have plenty of lovely summer to enjoy.