Monthly Archives: July 2016

Sleepless nights in northern Norway.

When will it be dark?

Ho how I wish I had thicker eyelids. No matter what we do to keep the light out of the bedroom, it creeps in through every crack and tiny pin-prick hole, flooding the room with midnight light. Angie’s stuffed spare (dark) towels into the roof-light and against the side windows, it helps… a bit, but it’s persistent stuff – light. Four am is my regular waking point, the light creeping in and seemingly crow-barring its way under my eye-lids. Once awake (and of course being over 50) I need to get up and pee, once that’s taken care of, Ive NO chance of getting back to sleep. Up here, at 69 degrees north, it ‘goes dull’ between 23:30-01:00, it just dulls a bit, not dark, just dull, a bit like an eclipse. So if you want to do any serious sleeping…better get on with it within that time period, because after that, those light rays that travelled millions of miles across space, came all this way just to lift your eyelids. If that’s not enough, a car full of Sweeds turn up at midnight and set up tents 10 feet from our door, chatting away, doors slamming, zips zipping and general clinking and clanking about, quiet by day time standards I’m sure, but a boisterous cacophony to a sleep deprived dweller of more southern latitudes. So you see, its not all sun, fun and lazy chairs. If you do manage to beat all that and finally get back to sleep, there’s the “winged beasts of squawk” to blot out. The squawking racket of Crows, Gulls and Oyster-catchers squeeze past the best fitting ear-plugs, sometimes even doing a Fred Astair & Ginger Rogers number on the roof. One very early morning I’d had enough, I’d been listening to that bloody gull tap-dancing on the roof for 15 minuets. I bided my time, waiting till it got closer to the bedroom sky-light, then I pounced. I flung  open the roof-light like a trap-door spider, my arm lunged out for the chicken sized pest, with the intention of dragging it inside and wringing its scrawny neck. Alas, I missed and it lived to wake me another morning. What the hell I’d had have actually done with a live flapping, squawking gull in my hand I’ve no idea, but that’s the level you get to sometimes. Did you ever see a film called ‘Insomnia’ with Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank. Pacino is in an ever decreasing circle, fighting the sleep depravation in a north Alaskan town, caused by the ever present daylight. It’s very much like that. The brain biologically NEEDS dark, its a fact, Its like a reset button for the next day, if you don’t get the reset, who knows what will happen? You could wake from a zombie-daze-state, having just beaten to death a bunch of camping Sweeds with a squawking gull.

That's a new one.

That’s a new one. If only I had Tipex.

It’s hard to take it all in.

The Yorkshire countryside is nice,,, stunning in places. As are The Fens, The Downs and many other places in the UK. Morocco has an untouched, untainted, spectacular landscape all of its own. I could go on…I’m sure there are many beautiful places on this planet, most of which I have not, nor will, ever see. But what I can say is, Norway is the most visually stunning, dramatic country I have ever seen to date. With this many lakes, rivers and fjords it’s difficult to look in any direction without seeing water, and that always adds merit to scenery. Snow capped mountains, sheer plunging rock-faces, spewing waterfalls and man-made model houses, all add to the magic, that is Norway.

Hardly a ripple

Hardly a ripple

I’ve grown up on the edges of towns and city’s, only venturing into the countryside for a day or two usually, never that far away from a major town, but then…that’s England. When we first started driving around Norway, into ‘the wilderness’ where there are no towns, (other than a small gathering of houses like a ‘Hamlet’) no shops, no pharmacy, no internet! I was constantly muttering to myself, “what would you do out here?” and “why would you live out here?” It took me a while, longer than it probably should, but I now know the answer to those questions.  What would you do? Answer: whatever the hell you like! (within legal limits) No one is going to stop you. Why would you want to live out here? Answer: why wouldn’t you?

Lots of spray-painting old bikes by the road-side...very strange.

Lots of spray-painting old bikes by the road-side…very strange.

Another day, another fjord. You never get tired of it.

Another day, another fjord. You never get tired of it…

...and another lonesome boat.

…and another lonesome boat.

Norway will soon be over and I’m sure I’m going to miss it. Finland has been described as a bit ‘flat and boring’ compared to Norway, but we’ll see, there’s bound to be merits. It may even be dark at night.

Hopefully I’m off to catch some more fish, I may squeeze in a ‘nanna-nap’ this afto…IMG_2807

Have a great weekend. Wayne X