Sunday, 30 September 2012

I really need to learn to control myself...

Just two stops away by bus, or a fifteen minute walk, from where I live there is a big fruit and vegetable shop. It also sells lots of foreign food, but I've only been there a couple of times and I've mainly focused on the fruits and veg as it's cheaper to buy them there than at the grocery store, and also they have a bigger selection. That is actually one of the things I like about Oslo, there is a much bigger selection in everything than what they have back home. I've got a feeling that if I feel like making a curry or something from scratch one day I will be able to get all the ingredients at that place.


I went down and got some vegetables yesterday, I wish I had brought a backpack or something with me as I wanted to get much more, it was just to heavy to carry everything! Something to try and remember for next time.

I found a recipe for a vegetable lasagne here that I kind of wanted to try out. But I didn't feel like adding the lasagne sheets and a few of the other ingredients, so instead of writing down the ingredient list I just wrote down the procedure and improvised a little bit. It was actually really tasty. I thought it would just taste okay, but it was so tasty I actually ate the whole thing myself, and right now I'm sitting here with a bellyache because I've eaten too much! I thought I would save at least half of it for tomorrow, but I guess I will just have to make it again. It would probably have been a lot more filling if I had added the lasagne sheets, but I also think it wouldn't have tasted as nice.

Here is what I used, sorry, I don't really measure things unless I'm properly following a recipe, and for those of you that are interested I'll put the original recipe at the very bottom.

2 carrots
2 thick slices of swede
A little bit of broccoli
1/2 red onion (I didn't have any "normal" onion)
2 sticks of celery
1 small chilli
3 small squares of frozen spinach
dash of milk
1 box of chopped tomatoes with oregano and basil
1 teaspoon of tomato puré
1 cube of vegetable stock
a handful of grated cheese
about 2/3 of a box of cottage cheese

 - Peel and grate the vegetables. you can use any kind of root vegetable except for beets.
 - Chop the onion. Sauté the vegetables and onion in oil. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puré, vegetable stock cubes, milk, (cream, spices) and salt (I used lemon juice instead as I don't like adding too much salt to my food.) Bring the sauce to a boil. ( I also added some garlic powder, pepper and freshly chopped chilli)
 -  Sauté the spinach for just a short moment in some canola oil and give it a sprinkle of salt.
 - Layer vegetable sauce, (lasagne sheets), spinach and cottage cheese in an oven proof dish. The top layer should be the sauce (I added a handful of grated cheese but it would have been yummy without it as well.). Cook at 225C on the bottom shelf for about 30 minutes
I wish I had had some nice bread to go with it when I ate, that would also have helped fill me up. I will definitely make this again!

As promised here is the original recipe, it's intended for 4 people;

400 grams raw grated root vegetables (for example 2 carrots, 1 swede and 1/2 stick of celery)
1 big yellow onion
400 grams fresh or frozen spinach
400 grams chopped tomatoes
For frying:
1 tablespoon canola oil
For the sauce:
0,5 decilitres tomato puré
2 teaspoons vegetable stock
2,5 decilitres cream
2,5 decilitres milk
salt, white pepper, basil
12 green lasagne sheets
500 grams cottage cheese

If anybody tries it, let me know what you think!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Catching Fire

The Hunger Games - Catching Fire
By: Suzanne Collins

Outer back cover: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are still alive. Katniss should be relieved, but now there are whispers of a rebellion against the capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
As the nation watches Katniss and Peeta, the stakes are higher than ever. One false move and the consequences will be unimaginable.

Second book in the Hunger Games trilogy and just as good as the first one.

The start of the book was exciting as Katniss is in trouble with the president and it was exciting to see what the President would do to "get" her without actually killing her, and whet Katniss would do to try and stop the President from doing anything at all. Then at the end of the first third of the book (every book is divided into three parts) there was a big twist that made it even more exciting!

There are so many twists and turns in this book, I was constantly surprised. While I was reading it I kind of realized what the third book will be about, but I had no idea how they would get there.

I'm really looking forward to reading the third book to see how it all ends and to find out what happens to the characters.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
By: Suzanne Collins

Outer back cover: In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

I've been wanting to read this trilogy since my sister was reading it last year and told me she really enjoyed it. I have to say I agree with her so far.

Televised fight to the death! It's a scary future, but not to hard to believe because of the way they describe the way it all started in the book. It's futuristic but at the same time I almost think that it's like going back in time as well. The difference between rich and poor is so big that it seems like the poor people lives in a completely different century.

The book is really interesting and there is so much happening all the time that I struggled with putting the book down. I think this is a book I will be able to read over and over again. I also really like the main character Katniss, it's nice to have a strong female main character that's actually able to fend for herself and take care of others instead of only being taken care of by others. Katniss' thoughts and actions were very realistic, being an independent person myself I could relate to some of the things she was thinking.

I'm looking forward to starting the next book in the trilogy, I think it might be just as exciting as the first but in a more emotional way maybe.

I think this is a book for everyone, both girls and boys, men and women can and should read this.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Excuses, excuses...

Well, from next month on I'm a full-time employee! Just need to sign the paperwork first.

The meeting with the store manager went well. I'm not  very good at listening to praise so I probably looked like a strawberry during the whole meeting. One of the first things the store manager said was that during the two and a half weeks he's been back from paternity-leave he's already noticed what a great worker I am and that I'm a person he wants on the team more than just part-time.

I did actually kind of negotiate on my wages as well. I didn't actually say "this is the wages I want", we just talked about what I actually do and then after a bit landed on a sum we both agreed on. I'm still getting paid hourly for this month though, which is good considering how many hours I put in during stock-take.

I also got more responsibilities; I'm the supervisor of the merchandise re-stocking team that I originally joined and I'm still part of and I've got more official responsibility of the storeroom.

I didn't say anything about England, I had the full intention to, but he never actually asked how long I was planning to stay with the company or anything... And anyway, a lot can happen in a year! It just means that instead of one month notice (or whatever it is now) I might have to give 3 months notice or something, I'm a planner anyway so that's not a big issue. But I do feel bad about not saying anything... It just seemed a bit silly: "I might move to England in a years time, but of course something might happen so that I don't go...." I mean.... What if something DOES happen that means I don't go to England? Am I supposed to give up a chance to have a full-time job because of that?

Monday, 17 September 2012

Excited and nervous...

I'm having a meeting with the storeroom manager and the store manager at work on Wednesday. We are going to discuss my future at the company and if I want to become a full-time employee or not. I am part-time now, but I usually actually work more hours than a full-timer.

If I say yes to going full-time it means I'll  get a fixed salary instead of hourly wages which I'm on now. As long as they can match or go more than what I make now then I probably won't mind going full time, but at the same time I don't want to seem "greedy", I don't actually know what someone with my job is supposed to be making on a fixed salary. I've never had a fixed salary in any job!

I've never had this conversation with an employer before, I'm excited about it but at the same time a bit nervous, it's something new. It will be interesting to hear what kind of things, if any, they are thinking about maybe changing, although I doubt they'll change much.

I've never been a full-time permanent employee or on fixed wages before, in a way it's a step in the direction I want to go, but at the same time I will of course be honest with them about wanting to move to the U.K. in a year's time, and see how they feel about that. A lot can happen in a year though...

Oh well, I'll just have to wait and see how it goes on Wednesday.

Just thought of something more to add here, 20 minutes after first publishing the post:

It's nice to finally feel like I have an employer that actually notices all the hard work I do and that doesn't just sit on his/her ass and does nothing about it. They are really good at saying well done to people at my job and  awarding people. It's nice to feel appreciated. It's a very nice and positive work place most of the time.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades Freed
By: E. L. James

Outer back cover: When Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged entrepreneur Christian Grey, it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably.
Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them had anticipated. Ana must learn to share Grey's opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity or independence; and Grey must overcome his compulsion to control, and lay to rest the horrors that still haunt him.
Now, finally together, they have love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of infinite possibilities.
But just when it seems that they really do have it all, misfortune and fate combine to make Ana's worst nightmares come true...

Oh I am so glad this trilogy is over! Don't get me wrong, the book is okay, I'm just not much of an erotica girl, or a bad-boy girl. If this is supposed to be romantic fiction and not erotica then I don't get all the sex in this last book. I could understand it in the two first ones, it was to show how it changed, but once they got over that then James could have eased up on the sex bits.

The first quarter of this book was really slow and boring, it took me ages to get through. It's just loads of "flash backs", the last quarter of the book on the other hand was really exciting and I wasn't able to put the book down when I read that.

I'm looking forward to starting something else, I've had enough of reading about the stupidity and arguments of Ana and Christian for a while. I'm not sure if this are book I will read again or not, but I doubt that I'll read them again, maybe if someone writes an edited version without all the sex parts, it was just too much.

I've booked a holiday!!

I was just going to take one week off, but one week turned into two as there is so much I want to do! My holiday isn't until the end of next month, but with all the hours I worked last week I should have plenty of spending money!

My holiday starts in Dublin, I've never been before and I want to meet up with a girl I met at Uluru. The things on my list of things I would like to see while I'm in Dublin so far includes the Guinness Store House (I don't like Guinnes but it's Dublin!), Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol and possibly Trinity College. Anyone got any other suggestions? I would love to see more of Ireland as well but hopefully I'll get a chance to do that another time.

After a few days in Dublin I'm taking the ferry to Holyhead and staying there for one night. I was going to jump straight on a coach or train to Chesterfield but since I've never been to Holyhead or any other part of Wales before I decided I wanted to at least have one day there so I could see at least a small part of it. I was tempted to get a coach tour or something to see more of Wales but I decided I wanted to have a bit more time than just one or two days if I was going to do that, hopefully another time. I am looking forward to the one night in Holyhead though, almost as much as Dublin, just because it's somewhere I've never been before.

After one night in Holyhead I'm getting the train to Chesterfield and staying there for a few days, I'm really looking forward to seeing my friends there again, I've not seen any of them for ages! Hopefully I'll be moving back to the UK sometime next year, then I will be able to see them more often.

The last few days of my holiday isn't planned yet. I was going to see a friend in Lutterworth (that I met in Brisbane), but she might be working and I don't want her to feel like she has to spend time with me in the evenings and then be too tired for work in the mornings, but she's on holiday at the moment so I'll see what she says when she gets back. If I don't go to Lutterworth I could of course stay a bit longer in Chesterfield, but I am tempted to go to some random place that I haven't been before just to see somewhere new, as long as I get to Gatwick in time for my flight home it's fine. I was thinking about going south so that I'm actually travelling towards Gatwick.

Looking at the map and trying to decide where I want to go I almost wish I had booked a ticket home from Edinburgh or Glasgow so that I could have travelled north instead of south, there are so many places I'd like to see in northern England and Scotland! This whole looking at maps to find out where I want to go is just not good, I want to go everywhere!!

Since Ireland and the UK is in general cheaper than Norway I was also thinking about finishing my Christmas shopping while on my holiday.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

No weekend for me....

We're doing stock take at work, which means really long days for everyone, but especially for us in the storeroom as everything back there has to be counted. On Thursday and Friday I worked 12,5 hours and yesterday I worked 14 hours, I could have worked longer yesterday but I had to catch the last bus home.

They say it's the last time we do the stock take this way which is good. It's very tiring. But at least I've found out that I really like this job. In any other job I would have been dreading the long hours at work and I would have been grouchy because I had to be there for so many hours and so late and because I had to work when I was supposed to be off, but although it's been a tiring few days I've not minded it and I've really enjoyed most of it, especially as I've learnt heaps of new things. Of course it also really helps that I like most of my co-workers and my bosses. I'm going back to work again in a couple of hours for the last day of stock take for now but hopefully today won't be as long.

The only thing that's annoying is that I was supposed to book my holiday for next month this weekend (more about that in a different post), but hopefully I can leave an hour earlier or something on Monday.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Who wouldn't want to learn how to fly?

September has started, this being Norway, the snow might come any minute! Yesterday it was actually sunny AND warm, so I donned a skirt and t-shirt and went into the city with my dad's SLR camera. Unfortunately the lens was dirty, something I didn't notice until I looked at the pictures on the laptop at home later. Anyway...

One of the first things I saw when I got to the city was a couple of sky-divers with a big flag! It was really cool to watch them slowly descend with a giant Norwegian flag.
Once the sky-divers were so low they were out of sight I headed to the Opera house. It's actually the first time I've seen it up close. It was really nice to see people just lying down and relaxing in the sunlight around it and on the roof. There's not really that much of a nice view from the roof but I think it's nice that they've made it so that anyone can get up there.  Just remember to wear flat shoes if you're going up there though, it's not a place for heels!

After the opera house I just wandered around for a bit and took some random pictures. I must say that Oslo is not a city for heels at all. I kept getting my heel stuck in-between the cobblestones all day and the shoe came completely off my foot 4 times! Luckily it was just a short kitten heel that I was wearing.

I was listening to the radio on my phone as I was walking around the city, I was about to go home when I heard on the radio that there was going to be an air show outside the city hall so I decided to head there. There was loads of people there! It was really nice, they were celebrating the centennial of the Norwegian air force. The air-force band was playing music and there was lots to look at both for kids and adults. It was fun to watch the acrobatics of the planes. I didn't stay very long, it was just a bit to crowded for me to be able to enjoy it, especially since I was there alone.

For one of the planes, I think it was an F16, they made a big fuss about how noisy it was going to be, they were handing out ear plugs and kept warning people all the time about covering their ears... I have a bad ear and loud noises are really uncomfortable for me, but when the F16 finally came I didn't think it was very loud at all. Yes it was noisy but I didn't think it was so loud that people needed to cover their ears and use earplugs and the like, but I saw lots of people covering their ears the whole time the F16 was flying. I must say I was really impressed by the skill of the pilot flying it though!

A little upside-down flying
Flying super slow
Flying so high it's invisible
It would be cool to be able to fly like that, I walked past the recruitment booth they had set up for the occasion and I must admit it was slightly tempting to join, just to learn how to fly, but the whole having to work for them for a few years (which is fair since you get to learn for free) and go to war etc... No thank you!
All in all it was a nice day in the city, but remind me to buy some new flats before I go  next time!


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