first task for gioia

my dearest,

hello again! the plan has, once again, not worked out exactly as we had hoped it would, but nobody really expected that, did they? from sunday to wednesday and back again, meaning i’m three days late with this post, giving you three days less time to complete the task i’ll be setting you at the end of this post, but i think the world will keep on turning.

we talked just yesterday and yet you know very little of what magnus and i got up to last week, so let me seize this here opportunity and tell you all about it. (disclaimer: it was cold. at times very cold. and there weren’t quite as many hours of sunlight as we southerners are used to. all of this meant we spent a lot of time indoors, because, warmth.) alrighty. the start of my journey northwards didn’t go as smoothly as i hoped it would, with delays on both flights (including a hurried quest for the right gate at the airport in copenhagen), but everything worked out in the end, with me catching the last train from oslo airport into town.

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it was nearly two a.m. when we finally made it to bed, but thankfully we hadn’t planned anything on monday and could sleep in. after doing just that, we started the day with some coffee (hand brewed by magnus using his shiny new v60) and christmas bread with brunost (a lot of christmassy things yet to come…you’ve been warned) and then, with only about two hours to go until sunset, we ventured out into the cold to take a walk. we caught the last rays of sun at the park (you know the one) and then wandered through unknown (at least to me) streets until i felt too cold to continue. at home, lovely johanne joined us for our supper of spaghetti with cinque pi and then it was time for some good old ‚sherlock‘, which we were lucky enough to watch in the presence of linn, olav, johanne, aase and a looooot of snacks.

one of the first things i remember from tuesday morning is getting my christmas gifts from magnus, one of which was an invitation to the opera for that evening! we planned the rest of the day knowing we’d have to be ready and presentable around six, the opera starting at seven. after another breakfast of coffee and christmas bread, we headed out into the cold once more with a very clear destination in mind: cocoa, a café where they serve – you’d never guess – hot cocoa. both magnus and i went for the mex, i.e. spiced, one, with extra mini marshmallows for him. a lot of slurping and summer reminiscing later, we left cocoa heaven again and spent the next hour getting ingredients for our traditional norwegian christmas dinner (to take place on thursday) and then hauling them homewards. the rest of the afternoon was spent catching up on skam and just like that it was time to get going. we were joined by johanne and the three of us made our way to the opera, found our assigned wardrobe hooks and seats and enjoyed the first half of our opera evening watching ‚cavalleria rusticana‘. very tragic. incredibly tragic even. a break and a bottle of prosecco (oops) later, ‚pagliacci‘ (with more drama) kept us at the edge of our seats. the evening could have ended then and there and would have already been an extremely lovely one (thank you again, magnus), but what would opera be without post-opera drinks? oslo has some very nice places to have a drink is all i’m going to say…(#cuba2018)

much too early on wednesday morning, we made our way to tøyen, magnus to attend a meeting, i to explore for a bit. before finding shelter from the icy winds in a café, i walked down memory lane in the park we spent some days in this summer, at the festival. you’ve already seen proof of how small the park really is and i still have no idea how all five stages of the festival fit there – magic maybe? engorgement charm? who knows.

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a stroll through the botanical garden, which admittedly is not at its prime right now, led me back to the café, where dracula kept me company for the following hour. very ready for some breakfast and a nap we returned home and spent the rest of the day watching christmas movies, eating norwegian christmas cookies and making another new-to-me meal (you’ll hear all about that on sunday) for dinner.

thursday was all about pinnekjøtt and its preparation. having soaked the pinnekjøtt overnight, they were almost ready to be steamed again. however, the sun was out and although the snow in oslo was nothing compared to the snow in switzerland, there was enough to justify a trip to holmenkollen to pay a visit to the holmenkollbakken, inhale some (almost) mountain air, see oslo from above and take a mini walk in the snow.

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and – on the way back – buy a copy of ‚harry potter and the deathly hallows‘ for a mind-blowing 10 kroner (i’m still in shock, can you tell?). we arrived back home with just three hours to spare before dinner time – just in time to start the steaming process. there followed a lot of lid lifting, preparation technique discussing, side dishes preparing, table setting and candle lighting and then – vel bekomme! – it was time to dig in.

and just like that, my last full day in oslo arrived and with it, cinema plans. we had already decided on monday that friday would be our day (well, afternoon and evening) of cinema going, which resulted in the buying of tickets for no less than three movies: ‚arrival‘, ‚passengers‘ (there was no way i’d miss watching magnus watch chris pratt) and ‚assassin’s creed‘. with a backpack full of snacks and a thermos of mulled wine we walked to the first of the screenings, once again enjoying some sunlight and snow. from then on the motto was „lean back and enjoy“, which we did, thoroughly. (and although we didn’t run into even at the cinema, we saw sana for the second time in one week. a very worthy replacement, i’d say.)

now you know almost everything about my first week of the new year. a truly lovely first week. (you already know about the not so lovely parts and the internet does not need to, so this is where i’ll end things.)

or almost end them, anyway. because of course it’s time for you first task now! my dearest gioia, i’ll not make things too hard for you this time. within the next one and a half weeks, i would like for you to study the night sky and learn a new asterism (which is as i’ve found out the correct term for what we’ve been calling „constellation“ for the past years. we’re not the only ones, so i guess it’s fine.). make it a good one!

yours always,



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