I was thrilled to wake up at 5:30 am this morning, since what woke me up was sunlight pouring in through the curtains. Spring has arrived in Norway at last! Mother Nature has forgiven me.
Which is why, after sending the boys off to school and putting out a few work-related fires, I put on my shoes and went for a run.
Six months of chocolatey sedatedness have done more damage than I imagined. There was jiggling of body parts I didn't even know could jiggle. And in this country of mountains, even the slightest incline seemed like a Mt. Everest climb.
I eventually managed to run for 25 minutes - with a couple of life-saving breaks thrown in - and I suppose that's OK for the second run this year.
But I clearly have my work cut out for me, and I was so disappointed because my first run - just three days ago - had been much more enjoyable.
Of course, that may have been because it was on a flat surface. Or, more likely, because I got to run past this:
I mean, who wouldn't be able to manage a few minutes of leisurely activity if you got to do it along the Seine, past the Notre Dame in Paris?
Jiggling notwithstanding, Mike and I spent a fabulous 3 days in Paris, as part of my Christmas present. I'd been to Paris a long time ago, and frankly wasn't very impressed with the city, as I found it dirty, crowded and the Parisians rude.
But no more. I now officially 'aime' Paris.
First of all, the buildings look like they've all had major facelifts, or at least undergone serious sandblasting. In addition to the sparkling clean Notre Dame, both the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay were in impeccable condition, as were the gilded statues that abound in Paris. Perhaps they'd been cleaned in the hopes of being awarded the 2012 Olympics.
What's certain is that Paris is now one of the cleanest European capitals I've been to. Every morning, the garbage receptacles were lined with new, empty bags, and beautiful floral displays could be found on almost every corner.
Furthermore, while Paris is still a huge and busy city, its people couldn't have been friendlier, or more gracious when silly foreigners try to test out their tenous grasp of the French language. You know, like responding with a resounding 'si' instead of a 'oui'. Not that I'd know anything about that!
The weather was variable on our weekend away, but we still managed to make the most of it, visiting all the usual tourist traps...
Arc de Triomphe
Versailles and its Hall of Mirrors
And of course...
But now it's back to reality, which for me means facing suitcases bursting at the seams. We have one week left in Norway, and I'm not sure there's enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Plus squeeze in a run each day.
I guess I'll be jiggling a little longer...