Our secret neighbourhood forest

Very close to my apartment here in the middle of Old Oslo lies an urban forest of small, but charming stature.   

(Okay, it's more like a park, but let me have my forest illusion, okay?)

Just last year there were plans for cutting down a large number of  trees to make ... more ... parking lots .... Luckily, that madness was stopped in time. The long-term plans for the area is to re-open the stream that runs in pipes underground. I think it will be lovely when its done. If it gets done. :)

There are so many hidden gems out there, if you only look for them.

That oddly decorative castle-like wall in the background is actually our local prison!

I love that this half-dead cherry tree has been left alone. See all that green stuff behind the dead stuff? It's the same tree. Dead trees are so important to the local wildlife, and believe me, there's lots of wildlife in a city! 

I'll very soon be moving out of the city to a much more rural place with a lot bigger forests than this one. No wych elms there, though (I think). I try to make the most of my last two weeks before my big moving day!


Viking and Medieval plans!

No spring or summer is complete without a visit to at least a few viking and medieval fairs. This year will be quite eventfull for me. There's the big medieval festival in Oslo, which for once will be held on the medieval fortress in town. I assume it is because the Norwegian Armed Forces finally understood the coolness they were denying themselves and all of us ... but why is the army hogging one of the extremely few medieval buildings in Norway, anyway? That is the question! Then there's the jousting tournament St. Hallvards Turnering which is the same weekend at the same location. Then we have the viking fair in Trondheim, which I've never been to before. It's famous for striving towards historical accuracy on a much higher level than most other such events. They don't let just anyone sell their stuff there, quality matters. So it'll be interesting!
Then comes Borre, which is only held every other year, and is quite large and legendary. 
And finally, there's the Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum in Germany! Yikes. I have no idea what to expect from that one. Well, no, I expect a high level of fantasy. It's in the title after all.
I'll probably squeeze in a few more if I can. :-)
I have a secret sort-of-plan of going to Salzburg in December to see the Krampuslauf there, and/or go on some kind of medieval Christmas marked tour, but that's still so far into the future that I haven't given it all that much thought. Yet.

Here's a picture-spam from previous seasons!  
Do you ever go to any viking/medieval/etc fairs?

Myself, Sól and Branna

We have so precious few medieval buildings and ruins in Norway that we encase some in glass. 
This is Hamar.


Sól and Tathariel

Myself and Camilla Rose

Me, Branna and Vigdis

Branna and Ingrid 


The Game of Thrones Exhibition in Oslo

Last Saturday I did something slightly stupid: I went to the Game of Thrones Exhibition in Oslo, well aware of the fact that the rest of the city had the same idea. But I was going with good friends, and my main motivation was to hang out with them. And boy did we hang. The exhibition was free and in a fairly small location, and the queue stretched around the entire block, hundreds of hundreds of meters. We moved at an irregular pace, making it hard to predict just how long it would take. At some point you reach the point of no return, where you start thinking "I can't give up now, after 2 hours, I can see the entrance in the distance dammit!". After a while I think most of the thousands of us there wanted to cry. And pee. And drink the pee from dehydration-related reasons. It was an unseasonably warm day, amazing 21°C or so!
I was lucky enough to not be thirsty or in need of a toilet. But I felt like crying at the end.

From the left: Branna, Lise, Jan ToreSól and Eirik - the people who made this feat possible!

Now, I know I sound negative, but that is just because I'm so frustrated with myself. Having lived with CFS/ME since childhood I should know better than to queue for 4,5 hours. But my reasoning at the time was that I was after all having a jolly good time with my friends, at least I was outside in the sun and probably made a weeks worth of vitamin D, and after so much suffering I couldn't turn around now! Point of no return and all.

 Luckily for us a knight came buy and offered some support. 

And then we were inside! And all our troubles melted away! There was music and gorgeous costumes. We had our nerdgasms, we frolicked in the light and glitz and glam of the clothes, and some of us (not me) queued again for the Iron Throne (the thought of another queue made me queasy). Noen of us made it up the Oculus Rift trip to the Wall. 

From the far left: Tyrion, Sansa, Prince Oberyn 'The Red Viper', Margaery, Joffrey and Cersei

Details, details.

The lighting made it very difficult to take pictures, but the effect was nice and a bit otherworldly.

I loved the armour hip details on Sansa's dress, I never noticed those on the show!

 Me, Bran and Hodor.

The Red Rriestess of R'hllor

Yeah, so, why did they put Daenerys' outfits in such poor lighting? Blue light on blue clothes? From what I've heard, this was fixed after the first day. 

I'm very happy I went, even though the last few days have been dreadful. I just regret not going on a weekday. 3 houres would have been better after all. Oh, hindsight.

Here's a little video HBO Nordic has put together:

(Some of these pics were borrowed from Branna and Jan Tore)


Make-up: Makiash - review #1

As some of you may know I've become an ambassador for the new Swedish makeup brand Makiash. :-)
Makiash is tested on models, not animals, is EU-made and paraben-free. Ingredients are listed for every product.

If you contact me I can give you a code which gives you member access and a 20% discount on everything. You keep this discount, it's not a one-time thing.
You can also use this link right here.  :-)

PS for Norwegians: Shipping is from within Norway, so no additional taxes. ;-)  
So, this means I've been given some products to review!

Packaging: Makiash arrives in sturdy packaging, carefully wrapped. No plastic.

Volume&Length Mascara (black)

I'm very pleased with this one. Good color, it lasts all day and doesn't smear or flake off. The brush has the same problem most brushes do though: It gives off a bit too much product. So I do what I always do; after applying the mascara I brush my lashes with a cheap, clean disposable mascara brush (that I wash and reuse over and over again). Everything looks more even and natural that way.
Durability makes up for this, I'd say!

Eyeshadow: Smoky Look

A trio of natural, matte eyeshadows, which are very easy to smudge and apply! 
They have a good pigmentation, so you can fade or build up as you please.
Here are some smudgy swatches on my pasty neutral arm:

Waterproof eyeliner (Dark Bronze)

I'm a bit conflicted about this one. I am super happy about the color, which is a nice semi-dark brown with lots of shimmer. It can be smudged out nicely and be worn as sort-of an eyeshadow. But I wish it was more pigmented.
I have always found this particular kind of eyeliner design troublesome because they are impossible to keep pointed (and what good are they unsharpened?).
But with this clever little device all such issues are gone:
The smudging thingy at the end doubles as a tiny pencil sharpener! Hahh! Cleverness!

Highlighter Natural Glow

I have very light skin, but this highlighter is light enough to work well for me.

Trio Nailpolish: Dark Shadows

The colors are how they appear, pigmented and shiny. With a base/top coat, they last around four-five days before minor flaking begins. In my book, that is approved. They also dry up withing reasonable time!

I've tried to photograph myself wearing the eye-shadows, mascara and highlighter in various lighting and camera settings (no photoshopping). I've learned that taking pictures of your makeup is incredibly difficult! Yikes. But I hope this gives you some idea: