Sunday, June 30, 2019


In my efforts to not be completely slothful (evidenced by staying up till 1am reading my Dorothy Whipple) I decided to swim this morning despite the fact that it was only just over 16 degrees celsius (60 F). Charlie insists that one has to wait for the glow (that comes from plunging oneself into cold water) and enjoy it. Inspired by him, I went straight in, down the steps, splashed around for about twenty seconds and came straight out again feeling rightfully smug. There is no better sensation than the cold clear salty water of the Oslo fjord dripping off one's skin. There is honeysuckle everywhere and the clouds are blowing about, unsure of their direction, unsure of where the wind will blow. 

People are beginning to arrive from Oslo to begin their long month of July holiday. Soon the island with expand from less than 5,000 in the winter to more than 50,000 in its summer months. Nobody used to live here but fisherman, my mother tells me, in the old days. But it has been a summer destination for Norwegians from the beginning of the last century. My great grandparents came here in 1905. The bridge opened in 1933 but before that, a ferry brought families across to their wooden huts. As a child, my mother spent 2 months every summer here. 

I am thinking of tomatoes on a a piece of bread smeared with mayonnaise, a sprinkle of salt on top, for lunch. 

I must mourn my Whipple, throw myself into Mollie Keen, and steel myself for a long walk through the pine woods at tea time. I should like to be wearing a long white linen dress and a crumpled hat, but I have my inappropriately ripped jeans and my red Birkenstocks on instead. I am waiting for my mother to pull off her t-shirt and sit in the sun in her bra, and I will do the same, as my grandmother used to do. ("She dressed so elegantly  in Oslo and so eccentrically in Tjøme" my mother said.)


LPC said...

Sigh. Absolutely lutely lutely beautiful:).

Katherine C. James said...

Transporting writing. It’s lovely to contemplate your family’s history in Tjøme. It’s also lovely to contemplate months of vacation, and tomato sandwiches with mayonnaise and salt.

Miss Whistle said...

@ LPC @ Katherine I could not survive without your love and support, your constant giddying me along. I just want to say that I am grateful, especially at this time when I'm toe dipping again. Much love. Miss W xx

tedsmum said...

I'm in good company then with the bra thing ;)