27 Aug 2007
v. wad·ed, wad·ing, wades
1. To walk in or through water or something else that similarly impedes normal movement.
2. To make one's way arduously: waded through a boring report.
To cross or pass through (water, for example) with difficulty: wade a swift creek.
The act or an instance of wading.
To plunge into, begin, or attack resolutely and energetically: waded into the task.
The weekend was spent with Granny Libby, Grandad and Auntie Katherine, also known as the Wades, minus Uncle Alistair, who had to stay home in the UK and work.
We had a lovely visit with them on Thursday, when they drove out to see us from their hotel in Oslo. The weather was glorious, so we decided to wade up to a view point not far from where we live. Well, if you ask B boy, it is quite far and with a very steep ascent. He spent a bit of time complaining about the wade, but did finally make it to the top. The view was spectacular - we could see bits of Oslo and even Holmenkollen ski jump in the distance.
Saturday morning the Wades arrived in Drammen yet again, this time to spend the rest of the weekend with us. Once more they brought wonderful weather with them, so considering how thrilled Benjamin had been to wade uphill on Thursday, we decided to wade downhill instead, into Drammen. It is not a long wade. Perhaps 5 km, and, like I said, it is all down hill. Moreover, keeping Benjamin busy discussing the finer points of all three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies - not to mention having him reenact particularly gripping scenes - kept complaints to an absolute minimum, and we made it down to the town in no time.
Weekends are busy in Drammen, and this Saturday was no exception. We waded around a bit and then moved on to the lovely riverbank that has been redeveloped along one side of the river. The newly planted grass and miniature beaches looked really nice, and we spent some time sitting on the grass eating fresh fruit and watching the kids goof off.
Or maybe just looking the other way and pretend not to see the kids goofing off...
We could not imagine wading UP the hill with the kiddies, and thus took the bus back to our house. Since our children are not used to taking public transit, this was quite a highlight, and a fight almost broke out over who got to pull the string to signal the bus driver to please stop. A prolonged battle was only avoided by promising to take another bus in the near future.
Grandad and Mike got up early to hit the golf course on Sunday, and upon their return we packed a picnic - my first - and headed into Oslo and Vigelandsparken, where we met up with Granny Libby's niece Barbara, her husband Terje and their two lovely kids. That's when I realized that picnics can be taken to a whole other level, and my salami-n-cheese sandwiches just do not cut it. Barbara brought a freshly made pasta salad and a home-made, absolutely delicious chocolate and custard layer cake. Needless to say, Mike was very happy and helped himself to two rather large slices.
Both Christopher and Benjamin proved to be very good with the younger kids, and B boy was particularly taken with Barbara's one-year-old girl, Ella. She is a fantastically good-natured little girl, who was thrilled to have Benjamin guide her around the park. Christopher, meanwhile, was happy to kick the soccer ball around with four-year-old David. Made me think that our kids really are getting older...and whatever does that say about us... :(
The park was incredibly busy, undoubtedly because of the fabulous weather. Vigelandsparken is dedicated to famed Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. It consists of some 200 granite and bronze sculptures of human beings of all ages engaging in various human pursuits, including running, dancing, hugging, holding hands, etc. The most surprising aspect of the sculptures to newcomers is perhaps the fact that the sculptures are all of naked people. Once you have been to the park a few times you no longer notice this, but it is striking the first time you see the sculptures.
I had mentioned this nakedness to Benjamin when talking about a particularly famous sculpture in the park, called "Sinnataggen" or "The little angry boy". This is a wonderful sculpture of a small boy clearly in the throes of a severe temper tantrum. The expression on his face is captured so perfectly that any parent, I think, can recognize it from personal experience. Mike and I wanted a shot of the boys next to Sinnataggen (for no other reason than to prove to ourselves that life really has gotten easier now that the boys are somewhat more receptive to reason), but as we started moving in the direction of the sculpture, Benjamin decided to throw a mini-tantrum of his own. He did not, in any way, shape or form, want to be photographed next to the "naked, angry boy". Christopher was slightly more accommodating, but made me promise not to show any pictures of him with the "naked boy" to others. And not to post them on my blog. He was particularly clear about the blog ban, so I am honouring his request.
At the end of the day we said goodbye to the Wades, who were heading out to an airport hotel for the night, planning to catch an early morning flight back to the UK the next day. We will see them again in just 5 weeks, but it was nevertheless great to be able to catch up for a few days here in Norway. It was also very nice to see Barbara again, and hopefully we will be able to get our kids together again soon.