'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Vikings!

The Norwegian houewarming passed off splendidly, though sadly without any pig-racing, which is hereby exposed as a hollow sham, got up to lure credulous tourists. Instead we had a bizarre collision of Cumbrian & Nordic cultures in a farmhouse near Jarlsberg, where the landscape of neatly tilled fields, forested hills and bright yellow-&-red wooden houses with flagpoles outside reminded me entirely of the United States - until I realised that, of course, Norway is the original of which Michigan is the copy . . .
The Country Doctor was there, having spent the previous week investigating his Norwegian heritage up in the fjords where his grandparents, in between putting up some good first ascents of mountains in the Lofoten Islands, founded the firm of Mundahl & Mudd, exporters of glaciers to the world, in an ultimately doomed attempt to become the Mr Bigs of the early 20th century refrigerated fish business.
The barbecue itself took place in the barn & went on most of the night, featured a host of lascivious veterinary surgeons called Monica & a local delicacy which went by the name of 'fish-cabaret', if we heard it correctly. This provided some ill-judged (& entirely non-camp you understand) Liza Minelli impersonations in the latter part of the evening. When the Musical Engineer began showing off his chainsaw to a posse of admiring Norwegains, clearly all connoisseurs of forestry equipment, I knew it was time to make an excuse & head for bed.
The weekend has given rise to plans for a more considered Cumbrian invasion of Norway next year with a view to mountaing an expedition to the far north, there to see Tromso, the maelstrom and the North Cape. I'm just a bit concerned that the Musical Engineer may decide we're going there in his long-wheelbase 1966-vintage Landrover. As any fule no, the only vehicle for an expedition beyond the Arctic Circle would be a 1964 Chevy Impala with whitewall tires.

8 Comments:

Anonymous peter said...

In my unheroic way I have travelled perfectly comfortably in the Arctic Circle in a country bus. Tfe bus sits on the pier at Tromso and then heads for Alta in Finnmark at 4pm. Two ferries and three glaciers later (distant glaciers, you understand) you change buses and then traverse another archipelago to a little white wooden town in the really quite far north of everything. THere you can get the Coastal Boat back to Tromso which gives you a spectacular disembarking in the luminous dusk of midnight.
As perhaps the least alititude-prone reader of this blog, I can vouch that the buses were extremely comfortable and that the food on the coastal boat was very nice indeed.On the way, in the first bus, we passed a stationary van which said that it contained the travelling theatre of Heligoland. Well, that's what it said.

31/5/05 11:34 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Peter, I think you'll have to join this northern expedition. Either that or we must explore Svalbard together . . .

2/6/05 7:54 pm  
Anonymous Eleanor said...

It's true. You can't throw a rock without hitting a scandihoovian in the head around here. It is said that in Michigan's upper peninsula the first language is either Finnish or swearing, depending on who is doing the saying. In any case, my genes are wanting to join the expedition.

3/6/05 12:21 am  
Anonymous Musical Engineer said...

I know this is a little late coming, but the Landy is infact a 1963.

I will however now make it my aim to source a much younger 1964 Chevy Impala with white wall tyres specially for next years expidition.

If we get enough folk together maybe we could take the Landy and the Chevy...........

8/7/05 12:04 pm  
Anonymous Musical Engineer said...

Oh,

And yes the Monica scandal..............

8/7/05 12:06 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

'Monica scandal'? I have a clear memory of there being no scandal whatsoever. (Very disappointing).

8/7/05 12:15 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Oh, you must mean a different Monica entirely. Pizzas, cigars, that kind of thing . . . somehow 'fish-cabaret' doesn't conjure up quite the same set of depraved possiblities.

8/7/05 12:17 pm  
Anonymous Musical Engineer said...

Ah yes,

The desired Monica Scandal... Sadly just the name in common, not for the want of trying though.........

At least the Norwegian Monica didn't look like the princess of darkness chewing on a wasp, (I have not met this dog I hope the likeness is not an insult for her (the dog that is))....

As for Fish Caberet...............

8/7/05 12:59 pm  

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