norway, Uncategorized, Youtube

Life Update & Cloudberry Pickings

England, Expat Life, Studying Abroad, Travel

Life in England: Alnwick Castle Daytrip

Good morning lovelies! I’ve been a busy bee these past few weeks with university assignments and a wonderful weekend in the North-East with Kjære and his fam. Oh yes, we were reunited after five and a half loooong weeks and I didn´t stop smiling once the entire weekend. Except the part were we had to say goodbye again, but as luck would have it our next stretch is only three weeks at which point I will be back in Stockholm! We’re kicking LDR ass! More on this in another post.

Now, to get to the point of this post, last weekend about 50 Erasmus Society members and committee members headed north from Newcastle to Alnwick Castle & Gardens. Alnwick is a real castle currently owned, run and periodically lived in by the Duke of Northumberland. The castle itself and the (frankly ginormous) castle grounds have been used as locations for Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and a number of other films and tv-shows. It´s truly beautiful and visiting Alnwick was a grand day out, as you can see by the vlog I made of the day 😉

Hope you’re having a great monday! Xxx

Expat Life, Youtube

VIDEO: Scandinavian Food Haul

I´ve been ill with a chest infection for several weeks, popping antibiotics left and right, rubbing vaporub on myself as if it would make me turn my pumpkin illness infected self into a beautiful, healthy golden pumping carriage. It´s really early in the morning, I don´t know where I’m going with this. What I came here to say was – I ordered Norwegian Food! I made a video! isn’t cheap but it’s a godsend for ill/homesick/food particular scandi expats in the UK. As you can see by the video I mostly ordered Norwegian things that I´ve particularly missed, as well as several cans of microwavable stews to help feed me when cooking was not an option. I could probably have managed two more months without Gløgg and Joikakaker, but when I’m ill I need comfort food. Online shopping therapy also works 😉

Happy Monday everyone! Xxx

Expat Life, Life, Studying Abroad

The 7 Worst Bilingual Problems

Modern Family is one of my favourite TV-Shows and in many ways I relate to Gloria more than I like to admit. I speak two languages in my (sort of) every day life and though it’s useful it is not just fun and games. I’ve used English and Norwegian as examples in this post since that’s the two languages I consider myself fluent in, but the problemsbelow are universal for most bilingual people.  Here are  the (in my opinion) 7 worst bilingual problems.


1: Switching Back and Forth Between Languages
I spend most of my time in England, but tend to go home to Norway for Christmas and the summer holidays. My brain can not cope with this change however, and more often than not I end up changing languages mid-sentence, speak the other language by accident or completely forget words  in one language, but remembering them in the other. It’s frustrating to me, but endlessly amusing to everyone else.

2: Reading or Hearing Something In Your Own Language but Having no Idea What People are Saying.
Nuff said. People can repeat things over and over and over again but Ze brain does not compute ze words. Y U SPEAK COMPLETE NONSENSE?! AM I SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND YOU?! ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE SAYING ACTUAL WORDS?! THIS GOBBLEDYGOOK MEANS NOTHING TO ME.

3: Words That Don’t  Translate Between Languages
Norwegian is one of those languages that has words that simply don’t translate into English. In Norway we have a lot for words for snow, and the texture of snow, for example.  And we have the word “kos” and “koselig” which are meant to mean something like “warm, cuddly feeling of fun” but can be used to say “this house is koselig”, “saturday night kos”, it was so koselig” and therefore can mean that something is nice, inviting, lovely, meant for enjoyment and so on. It’s infinite ways of describing something as positive and nice in one word. “Pålegg” is another one. It’s the word for anything you could think of to put on a sandwich. Do Brits have a word for this? I think not.

4: Coming Across Arrogant When speaking English in Front of Norwegian People.
This could just be a problem I have, but for some reason me having a British accent always makes people comment and/or send me a look as if I’m pretending on purpose or faking the accent. I have a slightly northern English accent because I live there and so my English has adopted this accent, much in the same way I speak with a Northern Norwegian dialect because I grew up there. It doesn’t seem like this fact matters to a lot of my Norwegian friends or acquaintances however and most of them ask me if I “actually talk like that” or if I’m just trying to make myself sound cool. I’m not cool and I wouldn’t bother trying, I just talk like this.

5: Autocorrect Shaftation
Not a day goes by without my autocorrect completely failing at letting me write what I’m actually trying to write. If I try to write English, it will correct my correct English into Norwegian. If I try to write Norwegian it changes it into English, and sometimes French? And If I dare to try and write in my own dialect Norwegian…. well, lets not get into that. Just trust me when I say chaos ensues. I’m also one of those people that type fast and send off messages without really reading through them. Don’t be surprised if I message you and “Have you remember to pille up the toalettpapir?” is what you’re getting. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what exactly you have to “pillle”.


6: Realising You Have Holes In Your Vocabulary
As you can tell by this blog I can write and speak a decent amount of English. I think myself as having an alright vocabulary, but there are some situations where I realise that my English education has left significant words and phrases out, simply because it wasn’t useful at the time. If I have to go to the Doctor for example and he asks me to tell him where it hurts I will do nothing but point to my stomach and hope he has X-Ray vision because damnit I don’t know many words for internal organs in English and up until this point I didn’t know that I needed to know. Liver, heart, lungs, eehhhhhhhh, that thing really far in the back of my stomach to the left of that bone thing? Yeah, Doc, I think that’s where it hurts.

7: Accidentally Changing Your Accent or Dialect.
Last, but not least, the problem of changing your own dialect or accent. After spending a significant amount of time speaking English my brain can not seem to remember the dialect words or the dialect versions of words that I used to know in Norwegian. Sometimes I don’t remember the Word in Norwegian at all and if I do remember a word it’s likely to be the literal dictionary translation and not my own northern accent/slag/everyday phrase.  I end up sounding like a complete baboon; accent confused and slightly linguistically foolish.

Let me know of any other #BilingualProblems you have encountered! xxx

Europe, norway, Travel

The Magical Trollfjord and the Norwegian Coastal Express

The morning after our Harstad exploration we were up around 6.30am to get ready and eat some breakfast before our big day aboard the Hurtigruten ship MS Kong Harald.  Hurtigruten is a fleet of cruise ships that run up and down the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes and is considered a  historical staple of Norwegian infrastructure and culture, helping to bridge the distance between the north and the south.

When taking the southbound ship from Harstad to Svolvær it takes about 10 hours, with three stops in between – namely Risøyhamn, Sortland and Stokmarknes. Stokmarknes is considered the birthplace of Hurtigruten and when they stopped there we left the ship for a brief tour of the Hurtigruten Museum – home to the largest museum object in Norway: the 1956 MS Finnmarken Ship. The sailing itself was very much all about sitting on the viewing deck and watching the beautiful world go by, but once we were off the ship in Stokmarknes we received our dose of history and facts and fun exploring for the day. The ten hours stretched on and we were both grateful for a break from the slow rocking of the boat (which may or may not have lulled me to sleep a couple of times) 😛

One of the main reasons we went on this 10 hour cruise from Harstad to Svolvær was the Trollfjord – a fjord famous for it’s extremely narrow mouth and steep mountains like nothing we had ever seen.  Huddled outside on the deck we watched the steep mountain walls around us close in on the ship and it was breathtaking. The water around the ship was impossibly blue and it was a great experience. The fjord is part of the Lofoten and Vesterålen regions and is a spectacular sight, a must-see if you ever find yourself in the area!

Until tomorrow, lovelies! Xxx

Ps: We’re not even halfway through our Northern Norway mini adventure, but I’ve already started editing the video… Think this is going to be a good one!