Sometimes you need to spend time in a simple place. We arrived and unpacked, made the beds, unthawed the prawns, chilled the rosé, stared out at the Oslo fjord. My mother talked about her childhood, her elegant mother who made them ball dresses out of silk curtains and mosquito netting, and how even though her father was absent for much of the war, working as a doctor away from home, she felt tremendously safe and loved by him. She told me stories of she and her friends at 14 skiing in the mountains, staying a a friend's hut, a seter (mountain pasture), and melting snow to bathe. She spoke freely and told me things I hadn't heard before. I wanted to record her but I think that would have made her self conscious. It was lovely. It was lovely that she felt safe and home and comfortable enough to tell me her stories. She was tired and her body ached but I could tell she was happy to be home.
I walked down to the jetty after dinner, watched the sea birds, the ripples on the surface of the sea, the cygnets who have reached their awkward teenage years, the wild puce roses. So many times have I walked here, since just learning how. Nothing and everything has changed.