Sunday, 31 March 2013

Writing Prompt #4

Today's beautiful writing prompt is from the Giraffe Manor in South Africa. Could you ever imagine staying somewhere like this?!

If you're new here (hi!!), this is just a little writing prompt. Write a little story about this picture. Where is this? Who is meeting the Giraffe? What is her story? Perhaps she opened this place as a sanctuary. Perhaps the Giraffe has it's own story. Maybe these two are being reunited :)

She bounced up onto her tippy-toes to peep out of the window and was quite astonished by her new surroundings. Vast stretches of pale yellow as far as the eye could see, and great wide-branched trees, like no other she had ever imagined. Norah had slept most of the way to the new house and the heat had made her poorly during the journey from England such that she wasn’t altogether able to take in the new landscape until now. She had woken up in the soft warmth of the armchair, a slight breeze washing over her from the lace curtained window. Mama Abeni had settled a little china cup on the table and the sleepy little girl took a sip. Sweet rose tea, her favourite. Carefully placing the cup back down - using both hands to stop it spilling and making mother angry - Norah stretched deeply, yawned, and rubbed her tired little eyes. She called out to her parents and again to Mama Abeni, but nobody came. It was not the first time this seven year old had been left by herself while her mother ran errands and her father snoozed in the living room, pipe still smoking, newspaper fallen to the floor in a crumpled mess. Mama Abeni was probably busy with the dinner or bringing Norah’s things to her new bedroom. She sighed heavily and glanced at the grandfather clock by the door. It was curious to -have fallen asleep in the car in the midday sun only to wake up in this strange room, full of twee curiosities that made it look like an old, tattered dolls house. She gathered her skirts, pulled on her shoes and tottered over to the window. The first glimpse of her new country made her gasp in wonder. So suddenly did her breath catch in surprise that she nearly toppled over, bringing down the curtains with her. Norah steadied herself and peered out again. Those strange wide trees seemed to line the sky, layer upon layer before meeting the puffy white clouds. The grass was yellow and dry. Ahead stretched plains of mustard-yellow plains that reached far into the distance. Norah scrunched her eyes up and could just make out the subtle glimmer of water in the distance when a large creature brushed past the window, peeping it's head curiously inside, nuzzling Norah's rosy little cheeks.

As always, please feel free to leave me a comment with your writing, or link me to it on your page. I've missed your beautiful little tales!

the little nordic cabin

Friday, 22 March 2013

I miss you, Oslo

Tonight I'm missing my beloved Oslo.

Autumn on the island of Hovedøya was too beautiful for words.

This island was where I was happiest. I dream of that place now. It stole my heart. 

I miss the harbour too, the smells of fresh fish lingering in the air and the cool breeze coming from the sea. I once got talking to an old fisherman who invited me and my friend for dinner, but we were a bit frightened of him! Evenings on the harbour were so peaceful and in the summer it was just beautiful.

Jeg lengter etter deg Oslo

the little nordic cabin

You are welcome to use/pin my photos but please link back to me :) 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Lesson time with Miss Nikki

Here is a small collection of things I learned today:

1. It is 31 days until all of my work is due in. That is not enough days. 

2. My reluctance to reading Harry Potter was purely down to my fear that I'd become obsessive. This fact was proved today when I walked up and down Goodge Street, then back up Tottenham Court Road, through Leicester Square and all the way to Covent Garden (and then all the way home again) searching shops for the cheapest version I could find of the third book. Good one. 

3. It is possible to hack a bottle of wine using the following items: a small vegetable knife, tweezers, scissors, a great deal of determination. 

4. It is subsequently possible to drink said wine after obtaining your clever cousin's advice to sieve out the bits of cork that fell in during lesson 3. Here's an additional tip, substitute loo paper for coffee filters for the filtering process for an subtle, toilet-y taste. Mmm... 

5. One bag of popcorn is never enough. Ever. 

6. It is mildly embarrassing to walk into a shop display and apologise to it in front of a group of bystanders.

7. You know you spend too many hours on the computer when you call breaking into a bottle of wine ''hacking''.

Class dismissed.

the little nordic cabin

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

J.K. Rowling wins a point

I'm not a Harry Potter fan. I know, *gasp* *shock horror* *unfollow*, but J.K. Rowling gets a point for this wonderful quote: 

What a perfect way of putting it. 

Maybe I should start reading her books. I feel like I've avoided Harry Potter 10% because I wasn't hugely impressed by the first book, but then the other 90% because I've seen what Lord of the Rings has done to me in terms of obsession and I think I might turn into one of those Harry Potter super fans and then there'll be trouble!

the little nordic cabin

Sunday, 17 March 2013

A happy weekend

This weekend was a happy weekend, filled with laughter and snuggly times with hot chocolate and J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan.

On Saturday I met Bryony, the sweetest friend, and we went to a cozy little cafe together.  Later on, we decided to go for a little walk down Oxford Street. We popped into the huge Topshop there and bought the most amazing frozen yogurts.

It was so nice to see her after being apart for a few weeks and it was ever so sad to have to say goodbye to her again!

Today I met my wonderful cousin, Abi, who blogs over here. It was the first time we'd seen each other in over 2 years! She spent a whole year in Korea and then somehow we never got to seeing each other. But today finally came! I took her to Scandinavian Kitchen, a little Nordic cafe here, where we ate delicious open sandwiches and talked about scary wisdom teeth operations!

After our yummy lunch, we went shopping for crafty things and spent over an hour looking at everything! I bought some pretty little things and some paint, which I'm so excited to use! 

It began to pour with rain so we headed back to my little flat where we sipped elderflower tea and ate soft blueberry muffins. It really was the loveliest time. 

How did you spend your weekend my dears? Did you have ever such a happy weekend too?

the little nordic cabin

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A - Z theme reveal...

And the winner is, from a vote held in my very own brainbox...

The A - Z of Nordic literary characters!

By literary characters, I mean any characters found in books by Nordic authors, including the Icelandic Sagas and Norse mythology. I will do my best to include as much variety as possible, but you all know how I love my Scandinavian children's literature!

If there are any characters that you know and love and would like to see in my A - Z, please just let me know and I'll see what I can do. 

Have you guys thought of a theme yet? Have you signed up for the A - Z? Click here to find out everything you need to know. And then sign up because it's really the very most bestest and fun way to spend April!

the little nordic cabin

Friday, 15 March 2013

A Wonderful Surprise

While I was sipping my morning coffee there was a tiny knock on my door, followed by the sound of something being placed on the mat. I decided to investigate...

It was a parcel! Just for me! And inside was a Kindle. I was so stunned and overwhelmed. My dear Björn had sent it to surprise me. It was the loveliest surprise. 

Now I know what you're thinking. I steadfastly oppose e-books and will fight for the printed book but... I have to say... In it's little envelope case, with it's already growing storage of PDF files from my university library, it's a very handy little item for a bookworm like me. I can't read from my computer screen for long periods of time, it always makes my head hurt, so I was never able to make use of all of the web-journals and online resources to use in my writing. Now I can just copy it all onto my Kindle. 

A perfect gift. 

I still love you, real life books. Never leave me. This isn't a betrayal. It's just a tiny affair on the side with my Kindle-mistress.

the little nordic cabin

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Mama-bear duty

Lately, I've taken over Mama-bear duty as she's gone on a little trip to the mountains. I have learnt the hard way that presents from the kitty-cats are not joyous and include such horrors as rats heads and birds feet. I hate to think where the rest of the poor animals are... please please not my bed...

My week has been filled with sweet treats and tiny delights when it should have been filled with books, but I'm feeling nice and relaxed from the little break. 

On Wednesday the postman brought me a lovely surprise - I'd forgotten that my Graze account had switched back to weekly deliveries. So after I made some tea, I opened the little box to see what those wonderful people at Graze had sent me this time.

Before I got to the blueberry box, I opened a box called 'Cookies and Cream'. It had sunflower seeds in it, as well as little chocolate pieces and some kind of mini cookie pieces. I like sunflower seeds but not when I'm under the impression that I'm about to get something sweet, creamy, chocolatey, crunchy, chewy and milky. That is not the time, nor the place for sunflower seeds. Get out of my cookies and cream, sunflower seeds. Nobody invited you. You don't even get a photo. 

So, the next box was a much happier surprise! 'Scrumptious Blueberry Swirl' had the most delicious yogurt coated blueberries, swirled in amongst dried blackcurrants and raspberry-infused cranberries. I love dried fruit infused with other fruit. This box was a perfect mix of sweet, tart and creamy. Yum yum yum.

Next up was 'Korai Chutney'. I love indian spices, but they always make my tummy hurt, so I was a little nervous. I have a habit of gobbling these little boxes up all at once, which sort of defeats the purpose of them being healthy, so it was a strange experience to have the Korai Chutney after the Blueberry Swirl. It was delicious though, even though it left my mouth a little warm and tingly!

Finally I opened the 'Super Carrot Cake' box. I've had one of these 'Afternoon Tea' boxes before. They are ever so nice! They come with a bag of Kenyan tea and a little piece of cake. The cake is so soft and sweet and actually, the sunflower seeds can sit there happily because they really added something extra to the flavour. The tea was also lovely, I added milk last time, so I tried it black this time. It was delightful. I saved this box for a mid-morning treat on Thursday and I was reading Out of Africa while I drank my tea. It was simply perfect.

Other simple treats included tea and toast, tea and biscuits, milk and homemade marble cake and homemade speckled fudge. Honestly, how I'm not breaking the chairs I sit on, I will never know. 

I've also had fun experimenting with pretty glitter nail varnishes...

Here I used Barry M's Gold Foil Nail Effects polish and topped it with a couple of coats of Revlon's Sequins (also gold), before using Barry M's Aqua Glitter polish to get pretty little mermaid toes!

What has your week been filled with? 

Mama-bear kisses ♡

PS, as a special treat, you can get a free Graze box by entering this code: X3PW3R4D or by clicking on the 'free Graze box' button at the side. If you decide to sign up, you will get your first and fifth box for free! Also, for my American friends, it seems like they have Graze on your side of the world now too! If I try to get to the website, it just redirects me to the UK site but they have a Facebook page. Maybe they're still setting up, but keep an eye out for it and before you know it, you could be getting weekly snacks delivered to your home too! Yippee!

the little nordic cabin

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The teeny tiny guide to the Norse goddesses

I'm supposed to be studying. It's not very scholarly of me to draw little pictures, but it's the fastest way to remember who's who! 

Here we have Frigg, Skađi, Njerda, Freyja, Sif and Gerđr. Each goddess is surrounded by her main attributes as well as additional little details to aid my memory. Which of these lovely ladies is your favourite? Personally I like Sif, but my inner little girl adores Frigg and Freyja for being the most princess-y. (I think that's mainly based on my drawing though!)

Which strategies do you use for memorising information? I find it easiest to remember things that are written in colour. If I need to remember a lot of information for an exam, I tend to record myself reading my notes and then listen to the recordings as I walk to and from university. It's highly uncomfortable listening to my own voice, but for some reason it really helps the information to stick in my mind!

the little nordic cabin

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A - Z Challenge 2013

It's already that time of year again! I can't believe that April is just around the corner and many of you already know what that means... 

The A - Z challenge is quite simple: Write a post every day (except for on Sundays) and begin each one with a different letter of the alphabet. 

Last year I did the A - Z of all things Nordic. Now, I need your help here. Please please could you take a moment to follow this link and see whether you can see my A - Z from April 2012? Please just leave me a quick comment to let me know. Since I changed the title of my blog it seems that not everyone can reach my older posts that were written under the old name. So let me know if you can see those posts, or whether they've been lost. 

If you can see them, then I'll see what I can come up with for this year's challenge. But if not, I still have the drafts saved and, even though it's a little sneaky, I will repost them each day for the month. (And, if you're lucky, a little something extra too!)

So that's my task for you my dears! Now click here and sign up for the challenge! It's really good fun and you get to meet so many wonderful people! Some of my dearest blogging friends were met during this challenge. It's really such a wonderful experience! 

the little nordic cabin

Monday, 4 March 2013

It Matters Monday - Domestic Violence

Happy Monday everyone :) 

The new week brings a new laptop. My beloved Mac died a painful death at the weekend, taking all my files and photos with it to its grave. As a mark of respect, I went out and bought a very nice new one. I'm everso excited about it! My last one was sweet, in a falling-apart kind of a way, but this one feels very fancy and special!

I'd like to share a video with you today; it's another TED talk that I found inspiring. In the video below, Leslie Morgan Steiner talks about her experiences as a domestic abuse victim, before explaining why victims don't always leave an abusive relationship. This is such an important topic. Domestic violence is sadly extremely common and I often hear people question the victims' decision to stay. Such a common occurrence in today's society shouldn't be so poorly understood. We all know what the abuser is doing, but we never fully realise the mentality of the victim, often wondering if the victim might be partly to blame for not leaving. Steiner, however, explains the precise reasons why this happens, why the victim stays in such a relationship and why it's problematic to ask these sorts of questions. 

Please note that the content of the video is rather upsetting - Steiner describes the abuse she once suffered at the hands of her former husband so please be cautious when watching.

What are your thoughts on this issue? I wholeheartedly agree with Steiner when she says that we need to talk about this. As she says, abuse thrives only in silence. We need to break that silence.

A final note - Steiner mentions that abuse victims can of course also be men. I think she generalises a little in the video despite this. In my opinion, abuse towards men needs to be brought into just as much focus as that of women. For society to be equal, we need to acknowledge each others problems regardless of gender and take these issues just as seriously no matter whether they are affecting a man or a woman.

the little nordic cabin