Archive for March, 2007

the birthday boy 2

Gratulerer med dagen min skatt!(Happy birthday, my treasure!)


sunday snaps

In the trail of last weekend’s walking tour up to Ekeberg, Knut, Keng, Stein and I took ourselves down to the Oslo Fjord, passing through the medieval grounds of the Akershus Fortress and Castle, the car-zero quay of Aker Brygge brimming with sunkissed outdoor restaurants and Norwegians in stylish sunglasses, then Brasserie 45, a restaurant overlooking the National Theater and Karl Johan, the capital’s major thouroughfare, illuminated by the strong sun.

Here are some photos I took with my crappy phone.

A tank used in the 1950’s, as well as in the Vietnam War, resting on the grounds of Akershus Fortress, the old castle built to protect Oslo and now site of the Norwegian Military and Resistance Museums. The entire ground is open to the public in both winter and summer.
A partial view of the Oslo fjord from the Akershus Fortress, here seen with one of those docked cruise ships that ply its way to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Part of the Akershus Fortress.
The King of Norway’s (royal?) Ship. So small, eh?
The City Hall as seen inward from the Oslo Fjord.
Afterwards, Knut and I watched “Notes on a Scandal” with Frank and Luc. So riveting and such intense performances from Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. “How can it be so wrong if it feels so right?”, quote not taken from the movie.

my name’s aphrodite

Last Monday, after a week of researching about growing and caring for it, I decided to bring home an orchid plant. Among the varied potted orchids in the shop, I picked up this dazzling white beauty. I think she looks very pretty. Very simple, yet very sexy. I named her Aphrodite, because that’s what her breed is, a Phalaenopsis Aphrodite. And incidentally, she comes from the Philippines.

Now growing orchids seems to be a daunting task, like a mother nursing her child to perfection. They need the right lighting, humidity, and watering. That’s why the research. And I also joined a forum group for orchid-growers. Their orchids are so beautiful! Makes me wanna raise some more. But I’ll struggle with Aphrodite first. Who knows, she might get a sister or two when I’ve proven to be a rearing mama.

And oh, since last Monday, Aphrodite has bloomed two more flowers. I was very excited watching each day as the buds slowly and silently bloom into dazzling white flowers. That must be the silent thrill mothers get when they first see their baby. Ah, sweet sweet life.

hot ticket: the sweet escape tour

Gwen Stefani extends her “The Sweet Escape Tour” to Europe and on the 9th of October, Knut and I are seeing her perform live in Oslo Spektrum, the largest indoor multipurpose arena in Norway! Sales opened at 9 this morning and although we could be closer to the stage by buying tickets for the standing area, which covers a whole lot of space mind you, we chose the numbered seats set further aback because I couldn’t stand killing my feet by standing the whole time. A lesson I painfully learned when I watched Gavin de Graw in Oslo and Darren Hayes in Stockholm.

Anyway, I can’t wait! Now if only we were able to get tickets to Justin Timberlake’s concert…

a walk to ekeberg

The snow has melted, the sky is a clear blue, the wind doesn’t sting, and the sun has been fiercer than ever. Spring is slowly coming to Oslo and like a change of the season, weekends are spent differently these days. So we kicked off the skis and the fur-lined shoes and changed to more comfortable walking sneakers as we headed off to Ekeberg, a 2-mile walk southeast of downtown Oslo, to see fine views of Oslo harbor and the fjord. Along the way, we spent some surreal, quiet moment in Gamlebyen or Old City, the nuclear site of Oslo eons ago.

At the old monastery ruins in Gamlebyen

After an uphill walk, we finally made it to Ekeberg Restaurant, affording a fantastic view of the city.

After taking in the view, although I didn’t channel Edvard Munch and paint “The Scream” from up there, I had a cup of hot chocolate which was sooooo rich in flavor and thick in texture, a carrot cake, and Bailey’s with mint at the restaurant.

The sun was so strong I can’t help but squint.

This is the full view from up there. One could span the fjord with the new Opera (the white building in the center) due to open in 2008, the city with the pitiful skyline, and the mountains that embrace Oslo.

music and lyrics

No, I haven’t had the opportunity to see that Hugh and Drew starrer yet, since Norway seems to lie at the end of the world when it comes to showing films from Hollywood.

Instead, I had a fun afternoon with a fellow Filipino who has been living here in Norway for many years now. And when I say fun, I mean karaoke fun. He has this thing of a wonder called Magic Sing, which is like a karaoke machine packed in a microphone, ready for plugging onto your TV. I think every household back in the Philippines has this one ready any time there’s a family gathering or a drinking session, or just to break any dull ordinary day into one filled with songs, laughter, and trying to beat each other’s evaluation score after each performance. Yes, it scores your singing, on criteria I do not have any idea of.

So from Elton John classics to Enrique Iglesias latino rhythms and those Filipino songs we sorely missed, we sang the afternoon away. It was fun, it was filling (we had dimsum, pizza and a whole cheesecake to ourselves), it was trademark Filipino.

And I couldn’t have spent one dull ordinary day any better.

from kinsella to murakami

I haven’t been blogging lately because really, there are some things I just wanted to keep to myself. Even thought of shutting down this blog because I have come to a point where I self-censor, keeping drafts instead of hitting that publish button, which I think loses the essence of publishing one’s thoughts and experiences in the first place. Well, I’m feeling better now.

Much better that I got two books today. One I ordered from Amazon, the other bought for me by Knut. The fifth installment to the hit Shopaholic series of Sophie Kinsella, Shopaholic & Baby follows the life of Becky Bloomwood who is now expecting a new baby – all the more reason to raid more shops and lug around those carrier bags, from designer nursery to the latest, coolest pram, and oh, to the celebrity, must-have obstetrician. Of course, her seemingly perfect world starts to crumble when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be her husband’s glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend. Okay, the book doesn’t tackle politics nor philosophy, but hey, a girl guy just want to have fun.

On the other end of the spectrum (totally!), Knut got me Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I haven’t heard or read anything about Murakami but if The New York Times hails Murakami as being “on the course to becoming the most widely read Japanese writer outside Japan, past or present,” then it must be good.

And oh, the cover looks so cute.

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