Rain, Finally

The past two days are the first really cool and rainy occasion here in Seljord since the snow has melted in April. There was one other day which I remember between then and now when it rained, but it had failed to cool the air or moisten the ground sufficiently before the relapse of the dry spell. This summer, Norway has had its worst drought in fifty years – possibly even longer if this beats the record of 1947, which I hope it does not. This rain does not herald the end of summer here – not yet – but with nearing the end of July, most summer vacations and the Nordic “country is closed for July” phenomenon are coming to a close.

Our garden is enjoying a much-deserved watering along with the fertilizer we applied between Sunday’s torrential downpour and today’s drizzle, and the greenery is slowly recovering from its crunchy state to something resembling life. There probably won’t be any blueberries at lower altitudes this year (they all look dead around here though not so bad higher up in the mountains), but they will regrow. Conversely, my tomatillo bushes (native to Central America) appear to have enjoyed the tropical heat we’ve been having and grew taller than me (not hard, I’m pretty short, but still), and are covered in ripening fruit. We tried one (which fell off) last night and it was delicious even green and under-ripe – I am eagerly awaiting the rest of them turning purple as they should at which point I will roast and freeze the majority of them as, barring something bad, there should be a very decent harvest coming.

As of today, T went back to work, his vacation being over along with most everyone else’s, and I am waiting to hear back regarding a course of Norwegian language that I want to take this fall (I am assuming the lady tasked with administering that has been on vacation as well), and sorting out a variety of paperwork which fell by the wayside during the spring and summer. I also feel like I am taking the first real breath since we started the moving-house fun and games in mid-2016 across two countries with a bonus renovation and sale of an apartment in a third one, and continued with renovation of this house which (with breaks) has been going on and off until this July (the painter just finished painting the exterior right before we left on our vacation). Speaking of which, this was the first real vacation that we’ve taken since all that begun, and it was very sorely needed.

Since now we are thankfully no longer (for the foreseeable future) 1. moving, 2. stressing about moving and house-buying and home renovations, or 3. on vacation, and as we now also have a real freezer, my plan is to start eating more mindfully and healthier, to undo some of the expansion of my behind in particular, and the toll moving repeatedly and being stressed and exhausted for over two years has taken on our health in general. No, I am not about to start gushing over a newly-found fad diet or anything of the sort, but there are likely to be more posts about soups coming up (the plan for tonight is a curried lentil soup with spinach), and yes I remember the promise to review some skincare as well – which, having used several things for several months, I now can do with some degree of reliability. I also plan to pull out my exercise mat and start up my short daily routine as a way to ramp up getting back into shape.

I will not comment on various frustrations with the world, society, and politics today because I am somewhat exhausted by it all with the Swedish elections coming up (my friends already know what I think and the internet at large doesn’t need to). Instead, I will catch up on communications with friends which I know I have neglected (no, social media clicks don’t count), work on my Norwegian (because my pan-Scandinavian babble is enough to get about but is neither dignified, nor good enough for the sort of job I want), and start preparing the house and garden for our first autumn in the new home, and the slow coming of the Great Dark of winter.

So here’s a pretty photo of raindrops on our window and the view of the garden beyond. I hope you are all well and, if you’ve been having a heatwave as well, getting the rain you need.




3 thoughts on “Rain, Finally

  1. Hi Veronika. Not much rain here either in central New York this summer but plenty of water in the garden hose. Living next to a gigantic lake (Ontario) helps. Lots of cucumbers and dill and four varieties of hot peppers and grape tomatoes the size of my thumbs. It’s that time of year when all the neighborhood gardeners begin to realize that they have too many tomatoes and zucchinis and cucumbers and summer squashes and they try to give them away to their neighbors who also have too much. That’s when the lacto-fermentation pickling starts…

    1. Hi Ed – great to hear from you!

      Our lake is nowhere near the size of Ontario, and so we have had water restrictions (not watering ban outright though) all summer – we have been allowed to use 1 hour of water for the hose every other day (we can use a watering can anytime so it’s not a fascist kill-your-hanging-baskets-regime!). This translates well into watering all my containers/raised beds + half hour of sprinklers on front lawn, so nothing that matters in the garden is dead. The pretty large hemlock and thuja trees survived handily, and I am looking forward to my cherry and mini-plum tomatoes being ripe, but we have had bad forest fire problems in Sweden and a few in Norway (they are easier to control in small valleys here than on the big forest expanses further East).

      Pickling and lacto-fermentation are nice problems to have! We are just back down to the sort of temperatures where we can plant things into the ground without fear of them just dying of heat (I have a black currant and rose bush that both need to be dug in which I have been watering in containers most of the summer), and I am looking forward to fall when I plan to put in some fruit trees as well. This garden was neglected for decades and didn’t have anything edible in it other than a giant patch of thyme in the corner, so there’s much to be done. On the up side, it’s a project and it is wonderful to see things improve as we work on it – even as little as we could in the insane heat we’ve been having (blistering sunlight for 18-20 hours a day+heatwave = not fun)!

      In short, I didn’t get nearly as much done as I have wanted this summer, but we did get a lot of things done all the time, and I guess it’s important to be happy with that. Speaking of, need to check garden centres for some quince bushes, but – I have a half-metre tall Cydonia (tree) qunce sapling in a large pot on my balcony, grown from a seed. If I can manage to overwinter it in cold storage, come next spring, into the ground it goes! :)

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