Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
Spring has brought mixed climatic conditions to Trondheim, from -9C and icy but sunny to abundant snow to rain and 8C.
Light has returned and with it shorter trousers, thin coats and shoes among Norwegians eager to show off Spring fashions and leave the drab but functional winter gear behind.
We have been busy and happy. Our son finished his first season of håndball and really enjoyed it. We didn’t know the sport until he started playing but we all enjoy the speed and athleticism of the game. He has now started playing football (soccer) and it’s bracing standing beside the field!
Our daughter had a singing concert that I enjoyed attending. Both children are progressing nicely with violin lessons. We’ve been accepted into the local government violin lessons and our children were assigned a private teacher, which is quite amazing considering the low cost. So they now have two private lessons each week. We go through different incentive programs to get them to practice. We don’t allow much screen time and our new incentive scheme allows minute for minute screen time to match violin practice time. It worked well this weekend but let’s see how it goes. I am teaching myself to play on my daughter’s half violin with guidance from our children. It really feels that music is intrinsic to a happy and balanced life and I wonder why I cut music out of my life for so long.
My husband and I attended an excellent concert of percussion by 4 teenage boys in Vår Frue Kirke as part of a Friday mass program. We look forward to the next concert there. All 4 of us attended the annual opera performance held in Trondheim. This year it was Otello by Verdi and it was very good with the full symphony orchestra playing the score.
I attended 4 films at the excellent international film Cosmorama. All of the films were interesting. I saw Wolf and Sheep (about Afghan shepherds), Marie Curiee (biographical film set in the interval between her two Nobel prizes), Sameblod (about the terrible treatment of indigenous Sami people in Scandinavia in the 1930s), and Personal Affairs (a humorous film about a Palestinian family).
We all attended the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra open day where our children enjoyed trying out different musical instruments, attending mini concerts and then a family concert afterwards.
I’m loving singing. I practice at home singing the songs that I’m learning with my choir and it is a joy to feel my voice resonating with the recording. I don’t know how my voice sounds but I think it’s ok and I certainly am loving learning. On Thursday night I had my first conversation fully in Norwegian with a man who kindly didn’t laugh when I mixed up the word for learn with the word for teacher.
Through one of my daughter’s choirs I’ve been invited to audition for another choir that isn’t associated with a church and will presumably sing something other than religious songs. I’m nervous about auditioning, especially because the choir master is famous because she is so good and has such high standards but she invited me so let’s see how I go. As my current choir master said, the worst that can happen is that she says no.
Last week we sold our house in Canberra. We were letting it but the burden of being absent landlords didn’t seem worthwhile when taking into account the cost of tradesmen and repairs which ate into the rental income. It’s strange to not have a house any longer.
We are facing the final 4 months of my expatriate assignment now. We like it here for many reasons associated with quality of life and opportunities, especially to do with music but we also have mixed feelings about other aspects. Let’s see what the near future brings!