Sunday, July 26, 2009

Le Ballon Rouge / Le Crin Blanc

I went to the movies again yesterday.  This time with my five-year-old daughter, and what joy to discover two rare pearls!  
"The Red Balloon" and "White Mane", which are the titles in English, are movies made in the 1950's by the French director Albert Lamorisse.  
He used to be a photographer before he started directing short films, and it is obvious that these works of art are made by someone who is used to see.  The pictures are so beautiful, no less than wonderful to watch, and together with the music, and the touching stories, they are the kind that surely will follow you when you leave the theatre.

The first movie is about a little boy, Pascal (played by the director's young son), who finds a big, red balloon tied to a lamppost.  The little boy and the balloon, who is magic, become friends, and they are watching out for one another while they wander the streets of 1950's Paris.

The second one, in black and white, takes place in Camargue, in the south of France, a sunny country where rivers meet the sea, and there are horses, flamingoes and fishermen.
We get to know the wild horse who is chased by lokal rangers, and the little boy, Folco, who becomes his friend.

I'm so glad I got a chance to get to know these classical masterpieces!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Half-Blood Prince

I just saw the movie "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".  

I started reading the HP books about four years ago, when only five books had been written. I wanted to read them, because everybody talked about this phenomenon, and because my 8-year-old was reading them.  Well, I became hooked, and from the third book on, I was to read first, and then my daughter.  That way she could talk about the book while reading it, ask questions etc.  Both her and I were desperately waiting for the two last books.  
When I  saw the first HP movie, I was disappointed.  The book had been such a rich reading experience, and the movie couldn't possibly contain it all.  I get that books and movies are seperate works of art, and that a movie should stand on its own feet, even when it is adapted from a book,  but in this case, where the books hide this very special universe, I feel that the movies haven't succeeded in meeting my expectations.  Suspenseful, yes, and spectacular, of course, but I end up not caring that much about what happens with the caracters.
Well, I have to say that this last movie is doing this a lot better.  There is still the suspense, and the spectacular special effects, and the music, but there is more this time.   I can't pinpoint it, and it was a little bit hard with the multitude of popcorn chewing (and commenting..., (how I hate that!))kids in the theatre, but this was a good cinema experience!  I realized that I had actually forgotten a lot from this book, and now it all came back to me.  I'm looking forward to the two last movies... 

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Family Summer Visits

Summer days are still here, even if the bright summer nights are shortening in...  
Most of the days, we've had one or two extra kids in the household, which means our kids have rediscovered their friends!
My mom came to visit for about a week.  The kids reconnected easily with Grandma, even if it had been 6 months.  One of the days, we had a "girls only" trip to the doll museum, which we all experienced for the first time.  A huge collection of dolls and other vintage toys, all displayed in a cute, little house, hidden away in a beautiful garden.  Coffee, waffles and ice cream after the visit.
It has been raining a lot, or so people say, but we have managed to spend an afternoon on the beach of "our" lake, swimming, playing in the sand, and barbecuing for dinner.
We also enjoyed the visit of my sister and family for a couple of days.  The kids played together all the time, and talking into the night. (That goes for kids AND grownups!)  
Family is precious, 
and I'm glad I have a job that permits me taking time for receiving them, and spending time just hanging out, even if it sometimes means working long hours for a couple of days to catch up.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer holiday read

I'm reading Warning of Gales again. Last time was three years ago, in Leeds, England, and I'm having a great time reading it again. It is so funny, so well observed, so recognizable, this story about three different women and their families, renting a vacation home together. Cornwall, July, beach, personalities, relationships, baggage...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Work and birthdays

Yes I know.  I'm not writing here.  But, I've been working a lot since we came back to Norway.   Photo shoots most days and editing work afterwards.  It's fun, but exhausting.  After all, it has been  six months.
And, it is strange to be busy, when everybody else is enjoying  being out of school and work, and the overall mode in our house is rather laid back.  
But, after a week or so of intensive studio work, it looks like it is slowing down somewhat, so now I expect to get to do some relaxing, reading, and enjoying the celebrating of my ten-year-old tomorrow!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I hate jet lag

Second day in Norway now, and the jet lag is bad. 
Really, really bad.
I had forgotten how it feels when you wake up at 3 AM, can't go back to sleep, and then, when you just start to drift into a dream again, around 7.30, you're woken up by the five-year old who had a nightmare.
And, the baby is sick.  Started the day we left, actually.  For the first time in his life, to be exact, he has the stomach flu...  Poor thing, what bad timing.
Threw up all morning, and we kept changing his diapers every hour  throughout the trip.  Then, the plane was late, and, just to make everything perfect, it was full.  We ended up having him in our arms all nine hours on the plane to Copenhagen.  
We slept some of the night, 
Because of the delay, we lost our flight out of  Copenhagen, was rebooked to a later one, and then, when we finally got to Oslo, our bus had left, and we were stuck for two hours at the
After a almost two-hour bus ride, we were finally at the train/bus station in our home town. Surrounded by our 11 suitcases plus carry-ons and stroller, The children and I stood there, on the curbside, waiting for J.Y. to get back with the car and trailer.
At 9.30 PM on Friday we were finally at home.
So strange to be there after six months.  
These two days have been about unpacking, rediscovering toys and rooms, eating strawberries and doing some swimming in the city's outdoor pool.  But first of all about trying to get some more sleep, and about caring for a sick child, plus cleaning floors and bedding because of him.
My brain doesn't work properly yet.  And I'm working tomorrow.  Two photo shoots.  God, give me strength!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Final Seattle Days

A couple of days ago, June 29th to be more exact. 
"Singing in the Rain" is blaring from the load speakers at Seattle Center, beside Fun Forest. Well, I guess one could be singing in the rain in Seattle, a lot actually, but definitively not today.  
The sun is bleaching hot overhead from the beautiful summer sky.  The little wind who is moving the colorful flags and the leaves on the trees is doing me good, but it is dangerous.  I may end up thinking that the sun doesn't burn, that I'm still just dealing with the mild winter sun who is able to warm my face and soul without burning my skin.  
Earlier today, the International Fountain, an outburst of water, music and choreography.  A freshness in the air, the open feeling of no boundaries, not limits at all.
Right now I'm sitting practically underneath the Space Needle, looking up to the dish high up there, spreading out like a white and grey canopy against the blue sky.
I'll miss this landmark...
There are so few days left now, that my mind gets all dizzy.  It is unreal, frankly, that I have three more nights left of sleeping in Seattle., and that four days from now, I'll be in Gjøvik, my little norwegian home town.
How could half a year go by that fast?
Well, right now, between stress with laundry, packing and last minute shopping, I'm savoring these final days.
Pauline and I went to Barnes & Noble early this morning.  While I was taking notes about which books to order online (yes, I just can't pack anymore books, there is a weight limit...), Pauline read Japanese comic books in of the comfy armchairs upstairs.
"Oh when the Saints go marching in" is playing now, and I can smell the freshly baked ice cream waffle cones and the coconut of sunscreen.
I couldn't resist buying some books, though... A Kindergarten level summer workbook for Alma, and for the plane, a couple of easy reader storybooks and two Roald Dahl pocket size books: "The Magic Finger" and "George's Marvelous Medicine".  For me: "Shopaholic and Sister".  Yes, I know, it is not a Nobel Prize candidate novel, but it is a perfect overseas plane ride with building jet lag - read!  I'm looking forward to getting started, if I get the chance of course.  We may not get a seat for Jonatan, and I'll end up holding a wrestling toddler in my arms for 10-12 hours.
I'm crossing my fingers.
"Over the Rainbow" just played, the exact same song that Pauline played on the piano in church yesterday.
I guess I'm actually going over the rainbow now.  
Far away, and even if I'm going back to a place already seen, 
maybe I'm not, after all.  
Who knows what's in store for me, us, over the ocean,over  the rainbow...