England 40 Years Ago — August 3 and 4, 1981

August 3 Olag and I went shopping in downtown Oslo taking the six children with us. We had a picnic between the palace of the king and the parliament building. Olag had prepared open face sandwiches of cold cuts, cheese, and brown cheese on waffles. We were royally entertained by a band and soldiers drilling. To cool us off we had ice cream cones. What a treat! The ice cream was so much better than anything we’ve had in England.

Riding the T-Banen was much like riding a clean New York subway of years ago. It was very convenient to walk to from the Osnes home, let us out at the shops we wanted to explore, but cost a total of $10 round trip for the 8 of us.

In the supermarket near their home were the cutest miniature shopping carts just the right size for 2 – 6 year olds to push beside their mothers. On further thought, it might be that since food is so expensive there, you can only afford to fill one of those tiny carts.

For dinner that night we had fried fish pudding, boiled potatoes, mixed vegetables and cherry cake. They put slices of tomato and springs of dill on the fish pudding and made it look festive.

August 4 We made a leisurely start for the Osnes summer house south of Oslo. Eivind’s parents seemed glad to see us swoop upon them without warning. In one trip down the only access to the house from land, a steep footpath, we managed to carry bathing suits, towels, food for two meals, a grill and charcoal. The children paddled about in the freezing water, went in the rowboat with Mr. O, and had fun running and yelling.

The house was right on the fjord with a lovely level yard in front. The cottage had four bunk beds, a living/dining room, kitchen and no running water. At the moment all the water is walked down in bottles.

Kate was impressed with the toilet facilities. She said, “I’ve never seen a loo and a garden shed all in one!”

For middag we had grilled hot dogs, rolls, potato salad, Olag’s homemade cloudberry cake, and the sweetest strawberries I’ve ever eaten. Putting sugar on those berries would be like pouring syrup over a candy bar. They were perfect just as they were.

We relaxed and talked with the senior Osnes couple before leaving for World’s End. The boulders are all rounded at the tip!

Our families at World’s End

We picked a few raspberries beside the road, had a picnic of cheeses, cold cuts, home made rolls and cake.

Vertical picking of raspberries

The drive back to Oslo was pleasant in the evening twilight and mist. As an extra special treat the girls were allowed to stay up till after midnight looking at home movies. We saw clips of John’s sister’s family in Oslo and all the movies from the O’s year in the US.

15 thoughts on “England 40 Years Ago — August 3 and 4, 1981

  1. I love all your posts about your time abroad, but this one just stands out to me. I think it is the cultural nuances–the foods, the clothes (I haven’t seen a guy in shorts that short in a long time!) and the descriptions of activities; John laughing with his bare feet and jeans rolled up, those young boys being boys with their faces and twisting moves–it is all so heartwarming.


  2. Anne – I love reading your blog, but this was special! It’s great to read how you experienced Norway and our family! A lot of familiar stuff, my childhood store closed 25 years ago, but I still remember the small shopping carts as well 🙂 Since I was too little to remember this visit, it’s great to read and see your pictures, I’ve saved a couple of them. Thanks!


    1. Hello, Egil Reidar! Thank you for reading my blog and commenting on this post. We loved your family, and staying in your home was fantastic. We felt we saw your area from the inside, greatly enhanced by conversation with all of you. As I reread the old letters, I was amazed by all the wonderful things your mom did for us. All of you helped, and she was there quietly managing the superb meals and the running of the household. That was a marvelous feat with ten people together under one roof. Those days with you were the high point of our vacation.


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