Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse
Still, it’s so much clearer
I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge
The moon is low tonight.
When I drove home from my day at the beach (oh no another one of those beach blogs, you think), I thought that this would have been the perfect night for nightswimming. Almost. It was 11 o’clock at night and the temperature was still 23 degrees celsius outside. Almost no wind.
If you people who live in other countries have trouble grasping why this is so sensational – here’s the explanation: In Norway the weather usually sucks. Therefore Norwegians are obsessed with weather. We need to know how the weather is going to be today, tomorrow, next week and next year if possible (yes, yes…we know that it’s not). When we ask for the long term weather forecast when we’re on holiday in sunny countries, people just look at us as we’re from some weird planet. We’re not. We’re from Norway. And when the weather is nice, we MUST be outside. Preferably at the beach…
I’m currently in Oslo. The weather today has been perfect. I cannot remember it being so perfect in…uhm 5 years or something. It probably has. But then I must have been away or at work or something. Or just forgotten about it (although hard to believe). Because perfect weather according to me means 28 degrees celsius, a mild warm sea breeze and 22-23C in the ocean. AND not to forget – time to spend at the beach.
This time I had returned to my favourite blue flag beach Storøyodden situated a 20 minute drive from where I live. However the beach is outside Oslo in the neighbour kommune Bærum, and it’s still kind of “new” (well, we don’t go to the beach everyday, do we?). So even if it is perfectly wheelchair accessible, there are not a lot of wheelies there. The parking conditions (for normates) are crazy. No buses goes directly to the beach, and you have to walk for about 500 metres or more unless you have a disability permit.
Well, at least I spent Saturday and Sunday there with a book, comic magazines (check out the new Lunch magazine), newspapers and me, myself and I. Saturday I had to get used to lying on the beach again (first time in at least 3 years). Because if you think it through – there are quite a number of annoying things about being at the beach:
- A closed electronic gate at the entrance – where you have to call the kiosk to have them open the gate. Yes, it’s kind of wheelchair apartheid – but I guess it’s because you non-disabled suckers couldn’t dare the temptation and have been disgregarding the signs that only disabled people are allowed to park at the beach…
- Stupid people not understanding that the wheelchair ramp is actually for wheelchair users – letting your children (maaaany of them), dogs and grandmothers sit in the middle of the ramp thingy (doing the unspeakable probably) and quite frankly turning it into a lobster pot you don’t want to be in the middle of…
- A never ending ice cream queue. But hey, what’s to expect when Norway have 2 days like this a year? At the end of the day you couldn’t ask for X & Y icecream anymore. You just asked: “What’s left…?”
- Dog pooh (or maybe it was just birds?)
- Balls or other kind of sport devices falling on your head (therefore choose the lazy section of the beach instead of the sporty one).
- And finally…ants.
However. When I placed myself in the fjord with my usual floating device (yes, I know how to swim….it’s just a safety precaution because of the cold water), life was not that bad after all. It was cool, but not freezing. So I floated around in the fjord (I would guess 22c), left all the noisy children behind, leaned back and thought: “Ahhhhhh…..”. Pretty close to perfect… 🙂
Sunday I had gotten over most of my beach annoyance. I found a nice spot without dog pooh and ants. And I managed to stay not so annoyed until one of these charming little creatures uttered the oh so famous (last words, I wish): “Mom, look at that little woman and her big stomach! Do you think she has a baby inside it?”. Oh, how I just love that comment! It’s not the first time I hear it. But quite frankly, I have hardly been eating lately because of my broken frigde, so I really don’t see where that comment comes from. I AM NOT FAT CHILDREN! And to make it even better, this charming little monster broadcasted the following compliment the second time I was around: “Look Mom, there’s that weird looking lady again!”
At least I am a lady. And I am way above it. Way above it. Besides….it’s a perfect day. Almost. And I am sure they will encounter some kind of real life problems themselves at some point in life. Or maybe not. We’re in Bærum. Home town of the curling children, isn’t it…? 😉
Ok, enough bitching. Besides this little encounter – it WAS a perfect day. It was so lovely to swim (and so hot to be in the sun) that I stayed in the water for about half an hour each time. When I left at half past 7, I still felt like having another swim because it was still hot. Didn’t feel like getting wet again though, so I left.
On my way to the parking lot (the upper one) I picked up this slowly walking woman, who looked as if she needed a ride. Turned out she had a genetic disorder as well. As a thank you for my nice gesture, she left her bag/lunch box in my car. Damn, I thought. Now I have to figure out who this woman is, to return it.
Turned out that it was pretty easy finding this woman again. Because after I had a stroll in the Nansen park (it might deserve it’s own blog post) I became hungry. It was getting late. And my fridge was still broken. And the only restaurant open in the Fornebu area was Sjøflyhavna Kro. And who else did I encounter, but the woman who left her lunch box? Since my car was far from the restaurant now, I got her phone number and added another thing on my neverending to do-list. Somehow I keep writing blog posts instead…
So how was Sjøflyhavna Kro? Hehehe. Well, I ordered shrimps. Oh, how stupid of me! You don’t come to a place (that has probably been packed with people all day) at almost ten o’clock at night and order fresh shrimps. There are only teeny weeny shrimps left. And they seemed frozen to me. I thought, “Oh well, should have gone with the burgers instead”. But when I saw my neigbour table getting their burgers, I was sort of happy with my frozen shrimps (with this dry dark bread). And the scary Swedish waitress reminded me of Lisbeth Salander. Dark hair, big tatoos and when she said “How did it taste?” and “Have a nice meal!” it sounded more like “I want to rip your tung out if you don’t like this dish” and “If you try to complain….I WILL kill you”…
So when I answered: “Well, the shrimps were kind of small….” I rushed to add: “But they were VERY tasteful”. She grunted. And at one small moment I felt as if she wanted to kill me (and everybody else in the restaurant for that manner). And my fear did not become less, when I saw the foreign guys at another table leaving 1NOK (!!) as a tip. I quickly asked for the check before she noticed. Somehow I feel that Sjøflyhavna Kro had a really bad day today. Or maybe it’s just a crappy restaurant?
Anyway, after paying for the shrimps and testing the disabled friendly toilet I left and headed back home. When I saw the full moon I thought about R.E.M. and my favourite song. When I came home and carried out the garbage (well, someone’s gotta do it) the wind and the clouds came.
And I thought:
Well, probably a good thing that I didn’t stay for night swimming. Gotta go home and work on my abs instead…