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We get used to this sort of life

Last letter: August 2006 - Next letter: October 2006

Photos: Arild Burud, (you may use the picture if identified).

We've mostly had weather good enough to take a hike now and then. It's so late in the autumn that it gets dark at night now, so we've got to remember to bring a flashlight (no road lighting).  There's a lot of blueberry and red bilberry, but they're hard to see at night. We just have to accept gathering berries at daytime. Anyway, the freezer gets loaded with delicacies. This area is usually full of cloudberries, counted as a luxury in Norway, but not in our fields. What other people got on their fields has to stay unplucked by us.

In the turn of the month, I was on a trip away from Akkarvik, the first of many this year, to go away for work. I often lecture about archiving and record keeping. Nobody wants to set up their courses here in Akkarvik, so I have to go to other places.

Many people, both familiar and unknown, tells us how courageous we are, to take this year off work and away from the city. Myself, I feel that you have to follow your dream, or stop whining about the loss.

Gathering rein deers for markingThe weather still allows us to bike and to barbecue at the sea shore. Sun's giving heat in daytime, but nighttime is freezing cold. Inside, as usual in autumn, it feels cold, but I guess it will be better when the heaters have been on for a while.

Now it's almost time for the reindeer to be transported off the island, but first the new and unmarked animals have to be captured and marked. It's a spectacular show with shouting, lasso, almost a bit like a wild-west-movie. At the same time there is a selection, so that a few of the animals get butchered, and we were able to buy a calf from last year. We hang the calf in the barn for a few days, and then  used our wedding day to cut up, boil down the juice, grind meat and pack it all down to the freezer.
This is possibly not the best picture existing, but the dust cloud shows that these animals can get some velocity.

The food supply we need for the winter is almost secured. Now we can see the snow crawl further down the mountain. We've started to count the days before it reaches our doorstep.

Arild and grouseMid September I was on a trip again, Arild was exhausted when I came home. He wakes up every morning at 6 pm, wakes the children and since my brother was visiting, never in bed before 1 am. Once or twice they woke up 4.30 am to go hunting in the dawn. My brother takes a nap or two during the day, but Arild never does.

And it's not like they got a lot of catching to brag about, one grouse and one hare in more than one week.

Arild and I are to have a sabbatical year, at least, that's what other people tell us. If anybody finds this sabbatical year it can be delivered in the place for lost property at Oslo S. We will immediately go and get it. We live in a house from the rebuilding of northern Norway, when everything was build in a hurry and not with the best building materials. Fredrik's room has a rotten floor and the thermal insulation from back then is, well, almost non-existing, and I have not talked about the windows. And, of course, three children at school needs some parental follow-up, and it would be nice to do some pleasant things together, as a family.

Ingrid has handball exercises twice a week on Skjervøy, the total drive is 90 km and includes a ferry. I also have to make preparations for several courses I will lecture on. My employer needs help once in a while and I have got some small commissions as a counselor (archiving). It's always something happening: "voluntary" work at school, (driving to) training, parent's evening and parent-teacher meetings, survey along the river, visits down where the rest of the settlement is, helping others and our own children with homework etc. How did we manage to work full-time and have children at school at the same time? Hmmmm. Leave of absence: Yes. A different year: Yes. Sabbatical: No

Our new kitty, Lyra, is on the death row. She is not house-trained. Next time she poohs in the wrong place, the shotgun is the next she sees. I really hope she'll behave, she is sweet and to put to sleep animals is horrible. She has started to be more outdoors and trains hunting with our old cat, Korska. The two of them are so cute when they curl up in the sofa and washes each other.

The barnbridge is renewed, only some adjustments and a railing is lacking. It's nice to see our area become more as shown in old pictures. One day the wind was blowing so hard while raining, we could see the water float up in Kristine's and Fredrik's windows. Both windows turns north. We really look forward to get new windows with new rubber mouldings etc.

We have got used to put the ISDN-cable in the box when we want to access Internet. And even better: We remember to pull it out after use... almost every time (do you want to see our telephone bill?). The speed leaves a lot to be desired. For everyday use it's almost OK, but if somebody sends funny pictures and other attachments, we have trouble.

Greetings from Siw

Last letter: August 2006 - Next letter: October 2006

Added Oct. 2006, last changed October 2009