Documenting daydreams

Somewhere in between sleep and reality last night, I remembered a cow. Nice thoughts followed. I couldn’t convince myself that I would remember them in the morning, although I really tried, and so I wrote them down:

Writing, documenting, publishing. It’s a nice method to process life and an excellent way to remember the important things.

It’s funny how one of the scenes I remember most clearly from Haiti is the skinny cow from this post:

Skjermbilde 2019-06-27 kl. 21.41.03

This cow was shared because I encountered her while being absolutely high on happiness. I get closer to that space just from remembering that overwhelming grateful feeling. I love you cow, I felt. And feel.

The essence of this entry?

When you realize that your spiritual cow guide probably is a bull, don’t miss the point. If you can find one reason to smile right now, don’t overthink it – just do it.

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The original cow post.

The weirdest Vardø

Vardø is basically located at the end of the world. Even the clouds today have the layout to confirm this statement, they rest like a kettle lock above this arctic fisher town and it’s 2000 and some inhabitants.

It’s like the car passes over from a land bathing in the evening sun beneath distant pink clouds into a shadowy world of brown hills and grey grass. There are no trees. Reindeer run across the road from time to time.

Welcome to Vardø town

You don’t see a lot of people. Urban winds have reached this rural place though. Hidden though town you can spot several murals, graffiti and other displays of creativity.

Pøbel (probably the most famous Norwegian street artist ever) invited several leading street artists from around the world to Vardø back in 2012. They arranged the art festival called «Komafest». I guess the goal was to wake Vardø back to life with graffiti. I hope they come back to repeat it someday.

Vardø’s history is rich and full of dark chapters. Vardøhus fortress was built in the 13th century. The place would witness some of Europe’s biggest witch trials 300 years later.

Almost one hundred people were burned for dancing with the devil under a full moon, learning dark arts from black cats and drinking bewitched beer…

Today you can read their stories at Steilneset Witch Monument where a light shines for every victim of the witch hunt.

Another noteworthy thing about Vardø:

It’s a senter for top secret NATO-activity.

See those balls in the skyline?

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They are radars, Globus I and II.

A third one is being built as you read this. A Russian Bitcoin Factory will soon open it’s doors as one of the closest neighbors to this new radar. American army families are moving into town, according to local media. A lot seems to be going on under the surface here. One of the houses facing the only road leading from the tunnel which connects this arctic island to Norwegian mainland, may very well be recording all comings and goings to town. I have a rich imagination and can’t help feeling watched, although I’m not sure if it’s the spies or the witches who are behind it.

What I am sure about is that Vardø is an inspiring place. It makes you want to think and write and paint.

I’ll be back.

Should’ve played more video games

I’ve bought myself a drone.

For years now I have watched footage filmed using drones, musing about how cool it is to be able to get a bird’s view of the world, to see your neighborhood from a totally new angle – What a time to be alive for a photographer, I thought.

And so, I decided to buy a DJI Air, because it’s tiny and therefore very portable. #instantlove. Deciding turned out to be much easier than buying.

Far up north, where I live, it takes a while to get your hands on a drone. I did consider ordering online, but I happen to be one of those people who need to touch expensive technology before making a purchase.

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Weeks went by before I found an electro shop that actually had the Air in store. They couldn’t sell it me though. Their model was only for display… #thenorth

In the end, I found a drone to grope and buy on a journey to the Capitol (read: Oslo, where northerners should never-ever shop, because we need to support our local businesses or risk a ban from the community).

After finally-FINALLY flying my drone for the first time, I realized one thing:

I’m a shitty pilot.

I’ve watched tutorials on YouTube. I’ve learned the joysticks. But my brain refuses to understand how all that connects to flying.

Have a visual on your drone, they say. I get that. But I never get what’s the front and the back of the thing. And how do I keep a visual on the controls at the same time as watching the drone?

I wish I had played more video games as kid, but it was not considered to be a productive activity back then. I’m pretty sure it still isn’t in many circles. My drone problems however, remind me of those frustrating times when I actually got to play video games while visiting friends. I remember feeling like a retard. Let all kids play with technology, I say.

Moving on. What I lack in flying skills, I hide with skillful editing.

!!! DON’T watch this if you are in danger of suffering an epileptic seizure !!!:

Oh, how I hate not being instantly good at stuff. I’ve given up on a lot of things because they didn’t come easy, especially when I was younger. Fortunately, I’ve learned that the pleasure of mastering a challenging skill through hard work brings more satisfaction than being a natural tal is awarding as well.

The clue is figuring out which areas you want to conquer and then work toward that. That’s way better than spending time on useless activities where you happen to excel. I’m very good at building homes for my Sims, for instance, but I’ll prioritize flying my drone instead.

You’ll hopefully see the results. Eventually.

created by dji camera

PS. In case you wonder what I did instead of gaming: Handball. I also often play-pretended to be on a disco with my BFFs on top of a roof next to school, smoking stolen cigarettes and arguing about who’s turn it was to play «the boys».

Feel free to share embarrassing stories from your childhood in the comments below 😉

I want to feel new

I got to hang out with a fellow journalist today, Vilde, at her office.

We work in the same building, but I rarely have a reason to drop by her publication. Today however, I was making a TV-story about local journalism. So here we are:

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Vilde is a couple years younger than me, recently done with her studies and full of journalistic vigor. She seems happy landing her first full time job and motivated to work her hardest. I remember that feeling, and honestly: I’m a little jealous.

I miss the thrill of being recently employed and seeing the world as full of opportunities. All I’m left with now is that burning desire to excel, without seeing any way to do so.

I’ve even talked to a therapist about this.

For the record: I’ve never talked to a therapist before. Now I have. And she asked me to make a plan, like a calendar with dates, on how I plan to find my inner motivation in order to love my job again. I have recruited Vilde to brainstorm with me on this matter today.

I would like to recruit you who reads this, too! Please answer: How do you feel about your work? (If you don’t mind sharing, what do you do for a living?) What motivates you to do your best? What triggers happiness inside you during working hours? Do you ever hate your job? What gives you this feeling, and how do you deal?

#FirstWorldProblem – I know.

People get jobs for money, not pleasure.

Having a job should be pleasant enough.

Yay.

Welcome to Bøkfjord lighthouse

Honestly, I thought I might faint climbing up and down hills to get to this place.

But the struggles were worth it.

Berries!
Also, we found tons of blueberries on the way!

Some facts:

This lighthouse, on the south side of Varangerfjorden, was established in 1910 as a result of growing traffic connected to the mining activities in Kirkenes.

During the 2nd World War, German troops took over the lighthouse, and before they retreated in 1944, the whole station was demolished.

When it was rebuilt after the war, it was given a modern, functionalistic style by the famous architects Blasted and Munthe-Kaas.

Bøkfjord was de-manned in 2006.

The view
Spectacular hike in Northern Norway…

The station is owned by the state and protected as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Act.

The Coastal Administration is cooperating with local interests to facilitate alternative use of the premises, meaning: You can book it for a night!

Breakfast at Bøkfjord lighthouse
Breakfast at Bøkfjord lighthouse.

And if you don’t have the power to walk to this pearl of a place, you can call for a boat. As we did on the way back (not because of the «power issue» – some of us had to catch a flight in the afternoon, and boating back seemed safer than walking in order to make it to the airport in time).

Boat by Bøkfjord lighthouse
Hoho, got picked up by boat!

As the Norwegian saying goes: Everybody agreed it had been a nice trip.

Creeping in broad nightlight

Maaan, I hate working evenings. It should be enjoyable. But it’s lonely, and I don’t get enough sleep. After finishing work around 11 PM, I spend hours watching Netflix, playing Sims 4 and (on good nights) reading books. Sometimes I annoy myself purple reading comment sections online, and I once found myself in a vertigo of belly dancing videos on Youtube.

Then I go to bed when other people get up, and hate life when I wake up in the afternoon, after slumbering my phone alarm for ever – not feeling rested.

I used to think I’m a B-person. Turns out I just love sleeping more than waking up early.

Tonight, I decided to have a walk under the midnight sun. The grey weather of the last weeks kind of made me forget the magic of living up north.

I enjoyed the bright night with my camera (Sony A7III), feeling kind of sneaky while photographing the houses in the neighborhood. If anyone saw me, they might have assumed I was planning a robbery. But all was quiet.

Lapland holidays

When you’re living in the great north, country boundaries aren’t that big of a deal as in more populated areas. No matter if you live in the northern Norway, Finland, Sweden or Russia – you live behind the wall (you get it, if you’ve seen GOT). People up north share a lot of traditions and struggles, and there is a lot of border crossing going on. Which is why I didn’t think of going to Finnish Saariselkä yesterday as a big deal.

I didn’t take a single photo.

Whyyy,  Ksenia?

._.

Saariselkä with it’s 350 inhabitants was pretty much as expected: Quiet, empty and moody. The rain was poring down most of the day with no sight of the midnight sun. The Acho-shop was closed.

Midsummer’s Day is a Holiday in Finland. So after a delicious dinner at the hotel, we found the only open bar “downtown”. Germany beat Sweden 2-1 in the World Cup, as we were drinking fresh blueberry shots with cream while kind of watching the game.

I really wish I had some proper photos to share from this trip (not counting the selfies or snaps on my iphone).

Recommendation: If you go to Finland you MUST drink Minttu Cacao with cream! It’s delicious.

Other things you probably should do in Finland – not in the midnight sun season, though ^^

Lapland, Visit Finland

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