Monday, 29 November 2010


Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, and in every traditional norwegian home a six-armed (electric) candlestick will be placed in the window, also often a star-shaped lamp is hung in another window.

These will shine all through December and into the New Year until Twelvth Night -the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th, when all the decorations are tidied away. Some even hold out till the 20th day, but I think that's something Reidar made up, to makeChristmas last longer. A lot of people also put lights on a tree in the garden. All these lights make the houses look so pretty and cheerful in this the darkest time of the year. The sun rose at 08.53 today, and set at 15.15, which gives us 12 hours 16 min. less daylight than we had at midsummer. It always makes me sad to drive in the dark when the lights have been put away, and I miss the friendly glow in the kitchen at night. So much so that I bought another small lamp which sits in the kitchen window and shines day and night to drive away the darkness.
On Wednesday we can open the first window on the advent calendar - always a reminder to we busy housewives who have gifts to buy and wrap, cards to write and send, rooms to clean and decorate, cookies and treats to bake, and 101 other small tasks to do before the big day. By the time we find time to sit down and catch our breath it's all over, the sun has "turned" and the days have started getting a little bit longer every day. Hooray!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

...and some showers

Life is not all sunshine, and we do need the rain to survive.
What we don't need is bad health. On June 4th 1977 I stood beside Reidar in St Gwinear parish church and promised to stand by him for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health til death do us part.
Now the time has come to make good my promise. His illness has taken a turn for the worse, and he is in hospital. A series of constant infections and a lot of unnecessary pain have left him tired out. Now he's got good pain relief, is able to sleep for longer periods, has had a blood transfusion, and his poorly kidneys are getting the attention they deserve. He looks rested and healthier than he has done for some time, and should be allowed to come home soon. If he continues to gain strength he should be able to get some more chemotherapy or radiation treatment. This will not, unfortunately cure his cancer, but will, hopefully prolong his life.
I know that I've kept my head buried in the sand, and every day that he's been able to get out of bed and lead a fairly normal life has been a day that I can pretend that the cancer has lost its power. Stupid really, but it was nice while it lasted. Time for some loin-girding, and doing all that I can to make his life pleasant, comfortable and safe.