12 June 2011

34!

Birthday flowers
After several days of rain - a lot of it, just look at this! - the clouds went somewhere else tonight, and the sun decided to shine all day, on my 34th birthday. I guess I must have behaved real well this year. My sister brought me peonies, and my husband the red and pink ones (I have forgotten their name, but I love how they look with our lovely painting!).

It's been a wonderful day, we've all been doing nothing, which I love, and which means everyone have been doing whatever they want all day. I have been reading in the sun on the terrace with my husband, hugging the kids when they've stopped by, running in the woods, eating whenever hungry, and soon some friends are coming over for cake and wine. A lovely birthday!

05 June 2011

Ramme gård

Another visit to the extraordinary garden at Ramme gård. Yesterday was garden day. We didn't buy any plants, just enjoyed each other's company, the garden and a lovely lunch. Two years since last time, and I still find it such a wonderful place on earth. It has this combination of being both beautiful and vulgar at the same time. Immensely beautiful, yet provocative with it's kitchy decorations, like the King's portal or the forbidden garden. If you can appreciate the sculptures, the place is really one to visit. Full of people (people tend to come in crowds when it's open), yet quiet. Sit down on a bench, savor the garden with every cell. There are not many places - if any - like this in Norway. I guess it takes both a lot of money and a lot of courage to create something like this in the land of Jante.

02 June 2011

After 1Q84

I finished 1Q84 - book 1 & 2 on Monday. Afterwards, I went running in the woods. I ran faster than I have in a while, and my thoughts went back and forth through my head, thinking of everything, anything and nothing at all. It then came to me, I was stuck in that world, Murakami's world. I was scared. I ran through the woods in the middle of the day, and felt scared. Figured the people I met could be anything. Like in Murakami's universe. And I thought that if I'd met a bear, I wouldn't have been all that surprised.

It took me a while to get into this book, a couple of hundred pages, actually. I was a bit disappointed at first. The simple, straight forward language didn't quite appeal to me this time. I don't think it was any different from his other books, really. I've just read the wrong authors lately. Wrong in the sense of preceding Murakami (I've been spoiled, by my number 1 favorite these days, Tomas Espedal. I might tell you about him some day). And it took me a while to get to know the characters. At first sight, they weren't very Murakami like. They weren't quite the Watanabe character I always long for. But of course they were. I only discovered that after a while. The independent young man is there (as a woman, too this time!), but somehow that is not what the book is about.

The story is a strong one, the book a page turner, somewhat similar to Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (I loved that one!), only not quite so abstract. It is a heart breaking story, one of broken childhoods, loss, loneliness. It's about love, murder, hope, about strong individuals trying to live their lives their own way. It took me a while to get out of the book as well, to get it out of the system (I'm not sure I have yet). I fell in love with the characters, the universe. 1Q84 is the sad love story from Norwegian Wood and South of the Border, West of the Moon, and it is the abstract world from A Wild Sheep Chase and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. And yet, it is completely it's own.

As always, I regret finishing the last Murakami book, and envy all of you who haven't yet read it all. Next year, book 3 will be published in Norwegian, and although I do see book 1 & 2 as a complete and finished story, I look forward to it. Of course I do.