Statue of the week: number 45

We’ve seen a statue of this person before outside the National Theatre.  It’s of Henrik Ibsen (1828 – 1906) and this one is located outside the Ibsen Museum. The museum is the flat in central Oslo (just by Slotsparken) where Ibsen lived for the last 11 years of his life.  Here he wrote his last two plays.  The flat is decorated in a style appropriate for the time that Ibsen lived in it and is furnished with Ibsen’s furniture.

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Statue of the Week: number 44

I took the photo of this statue located in Slotsparken, a while ago, whilst there were still roses placed all around cental Oslo, including in Crown Princess Martha’s hand. The statue was a gift from the Stortning (the parliament) in 2007 and the sculptor is Kirsten Kokkin.

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Crown Princess Martha (28.3.1901 – 5.4.1954) was born in Sweden and is a Swedish princess by birth.  She married the then Crown Prince Olav on the 21st March 1929 in what is now Oslo Cathedral. Whilst being a marriage of love it was also seen as a good strengthening royal ties and a sign that the tensio between Norway and Sweden, following the dissolution of the union, had gone. Martha and Olav had 3 children, the princesses Ragnhild and Astrid and Prince Harald, the present King and first heir to the throne to be born in Norway in 567 years. Unusually for a Crown Princess at the time, Martha undertook many speeches and an increasing range of public engagements.  Martha never became Queen of Norway, dying before Olav became King.  She is buried in the mausoleum in Akershus Festning.

Normal service resumed

Apologies for the break in transmission. Normal service will now be resumed.

The PhD thesis has been submitted and teaching of new subject areas is almost complete. Some catching up on Statue of the Week is required though which will not happen all at once. The statues have not dissappeared or run out – there are still plenty around Oslo.

Statue of the week: number 43

This is another statue located in Slottsparken.  This one was sculpted by Gustav Vigeland but is very different in style to those in Vigeland Park.  The subject of this statue is Camilla Collett (1813 – 1895).  Camilla was the first major female author in Norwegian literature. I took these photos in the early evening one day when the light was fading and I managed to get some that I think look rather similar to the dementors in Harry Potter.

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Å kjøpe mat

Shopping for food in Norway reminds me of shopping in the UK 20 – 25 years ago, before the huge supermarkets arrived, but without the greengrocers, butchers, and fishmongers. There are still plenty of bakers (normally with a coffee shop attached) and I do live near a fishmonger (but it’s the only one I’ve seen).  So basically food shopping in Norway reminds me of Laws or Fine Fare or even the manky Gateway behind Clyde Hall in Glasgow.

There are lots of small supermarkets (though really there are only 2 or 3 because they are owned by 2 or 3 parent companies).  Small supermarkets means higher overheads and a smaller range of food.  The range of food isn’t helped by all supermarkets selling the same brands – Eldorado and Toro food items are available in all shops at different prices. Tine virtually has a monopoly on dairy produce so to support the other dairy producers it’s good to buy non-Tine dairy produce if possible.  Delis and other specialist food shops (e.g. a fromagerie – or cheesemonger to those who don’t speak French) are slowly appearing.  Centra (at the expensive end of the supermarkets) does sell some imports mainly from the USA but also some from the UK – you can buy Fentiman’s Ginger Beer and Ovaltine there.

The organisation of the supermarket shelves can appear very strange to the uninitiated.  Tins of sardines both in oil and tomato sauce (known as dead men in a box) and  liver pate are located next to jam and chocolate spread. Eventually you realise that they do have something in common

Things to put on toast!  The baked beans and cheese are in different aisles so it’s not a fully thought through idea 🙂 Please note that Pudding ate the sardines.

There are also some products that people in the UK have been buying for years that have only just reached Norwegian shores – Alpen cereal bars arrived in January – and in the past few weeks – flavoured cottage cheese!

statue of the week: number 42

A statue of another Brit this week. This one became Queen of Norway! Queen Maud (1869 – 1938) was the daughter of King Edward VII and grand-daughter of Queen Victoria. She married her cousin Prince Carl of Denmark on the 22nd of July 1896.  Prince Carl became King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905.  Click on the link for more info about how this came about. The statue was sculpted by Ada Madsen and unveiled by King Olav V in 1959 I think she looks very elegant in her Edwardian dress standing in Slottsparken, surrounded by flowers.

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Statue of the week: number 40

First of all I know the numbering is out of order.  But I wrote this one first, I just didn’t press the publish button.

This weeks statue is a sleek affair.  It sits between Akershus fortress and Rådhus plass. You can walk through it and I’m sure people climb and sit on it.  It’s called Marriage, sculpted by Tony Smith (1912 – 1980) in 1961 and was given to the people of Norway for their contribution to peace. There are 3 versions of Marriage.  The other two are in California and Iowa.

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Statue of the week: number 41

Fred Dibnah

I’m sure the non-British readers are now thinking “Who?”  Fred Dibnah (1938 – 2004) is Bolton born and bred.  There are other famous people from Bolton (e.g. Maxine Peake, Vernon Kay, Peter_Kay (I was on the same bus as him one night from Manchester Piccadilly to Bolton),  from children’s telly in the 1980’s  Stu Francis (ooh, I could crush a grape!) and for any history buffs Samuel Crompton the inventor of the Spinning mule.)  Sam has the honour of having the first civic statue in Bolton.  However Julie  (Dannikins) has never mentioned wanting to yarnbomb Sam, but she would love to knit Fred some trousers 🙂

Fred was a steeplejack (he repaired and demolished chimneys and other tall things), but in 1978 the local BBC new programme interviewed him and this led to a TV programme about his life as a steeplejack. In 1998 when the need for steeplejacks and chimney felling (demolishing) had declined he began to present TV programmes about Britain’s industrial heritage. His statue was unveiled in 2008 and is by Jane Robbins.

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You know what happened on Friday.  It’s a huge tragedy and has truely shocked the whole nation.

If you let what happened stop you from doing what you want to do,  then he’s achieved something. Last night I was at the knitting cafe which meets in Santinos which was damaged in the explosion.

Nuff said