I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe it

I received a comment on this blog yesterday:

Well, I read all your posts for now…I’llcome back tomorow for more great posts!

Actually, it was one of about 20 comments caught by the spam filter over the last couple of days (spam filters FTW), most of which are in the same vein, i.e. telling me how interesting my blog is in varying degrees of bad English. If you have a blog I’m guessing you get them, too.

This one stood out, however. All my posts happen to add up to quite a few. We were talking about our “internet history” at work just before the holidays and I realised – again – that I have been blogging for quite a long time. In fact, we’re coming up to my 9 year anniversary. I started the bookblog in February 2002. And then Roger suggested I needed to post about something other than books, so I started a general mish-mash sort of blog in April the same year. And though I’ve changed platform a couple of times and lost most of the oldest comments at some point a few years ago (I’ve actually got them backed up, they’re just not connected to the correct post anymore and so make very little sense), all the posts are available in the archives.

Hence if you just found my blog there is quite a lot to catch up on, even if there have been long periods during those nine years where I’ve written nothing for months. You’re not going to be able to “read all my posts” just like that, I wouldn’t actually neccessarily advice reading all of them, as a matter of fact, and even if you did, it would be more like “well, I FINALLY finished reading my way through you archives”.


Med rettepenn i hånda

Jeg vet jeg tilhører mindretallet når jeg henger meg opp i stavefeil og grammatikk i ett sett, og jeg er jo for så vidt enig i at det viktigste er at budskapet kommer klart fram (men mener altså at det er større sjanse for at det skal skje dersom språket – teknisk sett – er korrekt). Med bakgrunn som korrekturleser – riktignok på hobbybasis – er det vanskelig å ikke sitte med en mental rettepenn når jeg leser.

Er det en blogg jeg leser er jeg overbærende med mye (men jeg foretrekker blogger der språket er godt) og synder selvsagt selv, tankene beveger seg langt fortere enn fingrene klarer å henge med på tastene av og til. I nettavisene blir jeg enten småirritert eller lattermild, litt avhengig av humøret og hvor ufrivillig morsom feilen er. I reklameskriv fra bedrifter er grammatiske feil ofte nok til at ellers interessante tilbud går i papirsøpla.

Når tilbyderen i tillegg må antas å ha brukt massive mengder penger på teknisk løsning, men ikke har spandert to minutter på korrekturlesing blir det hele bare, tja, patetisk – særlig når temaet for nettsiden er læring:

Ny nettportal for de yngste, lansert av Foreldre & barn
Ny nettportal for de yngste, lansert av Foreldre & barn

Kjære Foreldre & barn: Det heter “mellom 3 og 7 år” eller “fra 3 til 7 år” (alt. “på 3 til 7”). Enten eller. Man kan ikke blande ordene som man vil og få norsk.

I dette tilfellet tester vi kanskje tjenesten uansett, vel skulle jeg gjerne genierklært snuppa, men snart fire år er litt for tidlig til at denne typen dårlig innflytelse vil ha noen effekt (hadde hun vært 7, derimot, hadde jeg kanskje nølt mer, i hvert fall om det viser seg å være gjennomgående, ikke bare en enkeltstående tabbe på forsiden).

So, it seems we bought a flat

This is good. Really good.

See, we sold our current flat, thinking it would be useful to know how much we’d get for it before buying a new one. Despite the fact that we’re really looking to move somewhere now where we can stay, like in “forever”. Or at least for a very long time. Which means it ought to be kind of ideal, not just the first reasonably ok place we find. But even so, we sold our current flat. And the guy who bought it expects to be able to move in 20 September. Ooops.

So we were suddenly facing homelessness, in as much as even if we could crash at my parents’ place where would we put all our stuff?

And then we won a slight bidding war one and a half week ago. And then we had to waaaaaait until the “forkjøpsrett” – the right of first refusal – in the borettslag was cleared. Which is was this morning.

So, it seems we bought a flat.


We’ve been celebrating with a bottle of champagne and have only just started planning. How to move, for example. Getting a new daycare place  for the lass, since the new place is basically on the other side of town. Trying to figure out how to best utilise the space. Realising that we need to buy some furniture. Like wardrobes. There are none in the new flat and the ones in this are built in, so they stay here.

IKEA here we come.

By chance, Petchy (on of my regular reads) has also just recently become the owner of a new flat. She’s doing a lot more interior design than we’re planning, but I’m going to be picking up some inspiration in any case. Some decoration will be neccessary, after all.

Dreaming of Islay

I apologise for the recent long silence, life happened.

Anyway, this summer we’re going back to Islay. Our last trip there did not go quite according to plan, so I’m hoping for some better luck this time. And I have no intention of being pregnant on Islay again, either.

This time round we’re actually organising a trip for some of the members of NMWL Trondheim, so we’ll be a group of about ten people for the first week. Then a few of us, not including the husband and the lass, are going via Campbelltown and Arran before hitting the mainland. After that, well, our little family still has about two weeks to fill, how much whisky is involved will depend on whether we have a tail of NMWL-members or not. Odds as it looks right now is not.

Anyway, plans for the week on Islay include vip-tours where possible and in any case a visit to every distillery. Personally I’m most looking forward to Ardbeg, since the day we were supposed to take a tour of Ardbeg in 2006 was the day I spent in hospital trying not to bleed. We will stop to see the Kildalton Cross, again, of course, and we’ll be sure to have lunch in the Old Kiln Cafe.

Kildalton cross
Kildalton cross

We’re also hoping for a proper tour of Kilchoman, last time they didn’t even have real whisky yet, and we only had time to see the shop. We’re also trying to wrangle some extra special tours or tastings out of some of our contacts, but I’m not going to reveal just what…

In 2006 our best tours were at Bowmore and at Caol Ila. At Bowmore we’d booked a VIP tour and when we arrived were told the destillery manager was regrettably not there, but the head brewer would show us round instead, and did we mind much? Did we mind? You’re kidding, right? Someone who’s most likely worked there for years and who is directly involved in production? Yeah, we’ll take it. It’s the most thorough tour I’ve ever had – we spent more time in the maltings and kiln than the Japanese bussload who arrived at the same time as us spent on their whole tour and tasting. It was also the tour where I regretted not being able to drink the most, as there were a fair few cask samples pulled in the warehouse, all of them quite stunning. Ah, well.

Bowmore, seen from the pier
Bowmore, seen from the pier

At Caol Ila we actually did the standard tour, but our guide was one of the men who’d been involved in rebuilding the distillery in 1973/4. He knew the place like the back of his hand and gave a marvelously engaged tour.

Caol Ila
Caol Ila

No doubt we’re in for some grand tours this summer, too. I’m salivating at the thought, and my notebook’s at the ready. The husband and I will have to take turns sitting the tours out, though, as the lass is coming along. Luckily throwing stones off a pier is one of her favourite activities (as it seems to be for most kids), so she’s unlikely to be bored. We may have to sneak in some nature spotting as well. On the 2006 trip I found the most impressive beetles in London, but Scotland has plenty of creepy-crawlies of its own, and a fair few bigger animals, too. Like sheep. When you’re three, sheep are exiting enough.

Big beetle, somewhere in London
Big beetle, somewhere in London

Once we’re back on the mainland, as mentioned, it’ll probably turn into more of a family vacation than a peat-freak’s dream. We’re planning on visiting Bladnoch, but also to spend some time in Wigtown‘s bookshops (yeah, I know. Me? Bookshops? You’re shocked, right?), which the lass should enjoy (her mother seems to have a fairly limitless budget when it comes to children’s books. Can’t imagine why. We’re then heading north towards Talisker, Skye and Balmacara, where we have friends we’re hoping to spend a few days with and then on to Aberdeen, lovely Aberdeen, for possibly a day or two of shopping before flying home.

Along the way we’re looking for interesting activities that all three of us might enjoy. Any tips would be welcome. So far we’re considering the Jacobite railway (the lass and me, the husband to drive the hire car the same stretch), seal tours in Oban or from Skye and the Satrosphere Science Centre in Aberdeen, where I was once supposed to go with Linda, but our plans were sabotaged by a terrific lunch with a few pints of cider at The Tilted Wig and never made it in time. Ahem.

Well, back to the planned trip: I can hardly wait.

More pictures from the 2006 trip can be found on Flickr.

In which I read letters

…and wonder whether I should write some. I ought to know better, actually, than to read the letters page in the newspaper. Especially letters signed somebody whose name I really can’t be arsed to remember, Kristent samlingsparti (or whatever it is they call themselves, and no, I will not google them, I do not want to contribute to their hit count). It left me feeling exasperated and a little tempted to go on a rampage of sorts.

Ok, ok, I get it. Some people are against the new marriage equality law.But I need some explanation, nevertheless.

So you’ve read the bible and found that it says that teh gays they are teh evilz (though, you know, I read it too, and I never found that part), and therefore they need to be saved from having happy fulfilling lives and be “cured” into miserableness and probably forced to marry someone of the opposite sex and procreate, because that-thing-you-call-god-which-bears-little-resemblance-to-my-God apparently thinks the world is underpopulated.

That’s fine.

Ok, it isn’t fine, but I can sort of see your point if I tilt my head and squint a bit. You’re entitled to your opinion, even if I fundamentally disagree.

But how, how, HOW can you describe Bill and Ted down the street finally getting the legal recognition of their loving and faithful relationship over the last 20 years as an “attack on those of us who want a normal marriage”? No one’s talking about YOUR marriage. No one CARES about your marriage. You’re married? Fine. Good for you. If your marriage is so frail a thing that the fact of someone completely unrelated to you getting legal recognition of a relationship YOU wouldn’t want to be in then, you know, perhaps it’s how YOU handle your own relationship you should be worried about and talk about and do something with.

See, I’m not gay. The person I fell head over heels in love with and who happened to fall in love with me and whom I married a while back and hope to God (mine, not yours) I will stay married to until death do us part (and oh, let that be in a good many years) is of the opposite sex. And I hold our marriage sacred. But it matters to me NOT ONE JOT that Bill and Ted get married and live happily ever after too. In fact, it makes me rather happier, in that the more people in this world who are happy, the less people are likely to go on murderous rampages (or to write moronic letters to the editor, because, have you noticed, really happy people don’t feel the need to put other people down). It makes our marriage no less valid, no less valuable. Neither does Jane and Ben getting a divorce or the fact that Joe beats Diane senseless every Friday, though the former makes me kind of sad and the latter hopping mad. But it doesn’t affect OUR marriage.

You know, you probably heard this before, but it seems to bear repeating: Go get your bible and read the bit about loving thy neighbour as thyself and doing unto others etc. again. It’s in the New Testament. You know, that bit of the bible you’re supposed to hold especially dear if you’re a Christian.

I meant to forget all about that stupid letter and not write all that, but then Faith posted this at Shakesville and I really needed to post it too, and the other bit sort of just happened. Video emphatically not safe for work (well, the sound isn’t, and you really need the sound on):