Happy after a great celebration of Ronja yesterday. Woke up with a feeling of contentment. Do you get that feeling sometimes? Like everything is in its place.
And today, the sun was warming our faces again, I pretended it was spring a little bit. And Dad and Mr. Payne went berserk in the house, tore down the old stairs and a wall, we could hear the banging echoing in the valley, haha! We also enlisted another member of our zoo today. A little mink came around up at the house, totally nonchalant and completely ignoring us. Such is life in the wilderness!
Now, Fleetwood Mac and a beer.
Hope yours was equally good!
It's the best one we've had so far!
How-to: Make a huge bonfire, a gigantic pot of hot chocolate, make other people make cakes, invite friends and family, make them bring whatever they want to grill, play games in the field and generally rejoice. Result: One happy birthday girl + stress free parents.
(Oh, and bribe the weather gods. We did, and it worked!)
Again, one of those moments, where I feel like time just tornadoes through me, and I grab myself repeating the same clichés over and over. She is transforming, reinventing herself, becoming more her, every day.
I, on the other hand, hold back, want someone to jump the brakes, I'm not ready. Not there, yet.
And then I think, the only way to live in it without collapsing into melancholy, is to let her grow. To make friends with it, to welcome the new her every day. To love her and see her and dive into the stream of it.
(Yup, that's what I'll do. Until next time it grabs me, at least.)
Poor Billie is suffering from a slight phase of confusion these days. She thinks she is pregnant, or rather, she thinks she just had puppies. She had all the symptoms of pregnancy, and when the time came for her imaginary due-date, she started to follow the kittens around the house, licking them, whining, distressed and restless.
She also suddenly does all sorts of weird things. Like chewing up a plastic bag, or running home when she was let off the lead in the fields. Or deciding that the sofa is hers.
I feel for her, poor woman. I think I'd be a little psycho too, if I thought I had puppies and they turned out to be kittens.
Whoa! Stuff has happened up at the house, and it's so exciting and so scary! The old extension has been ripped off, and the foundations for a new and bigger one are being prepared.
I'm overwhelmed. Suddenly the house project went from being a wonderful idea, to becoming reality. Cra-zy!
Feeling a little bit like her today, working like a maniac in our house, while the sun is shining outside. Hmpf. So much for days off!
Reminiscing a day only weeks ago, but nonetheless of a different season. It was still warm, our sunflowers were still stretching. Mummy and Freja in the garden.
Now: Our noses point us towards winter, and first thing every morning, Ronja runs to the window to see if there's been any snowfall during the night.
Ah, such is life in the north. Only way to deal is to dress in wool, and make friends with it, right?
Rainy day Sunday. The wind has been so cold today, and according to Ronja, the ground was frosty this morning. (I was indulged a lie-in again, and yes, it was wonderful.) As proper farmers, the weather did not stop us from moving 14 chicks from the basement of the house (!) to a seriously pro chicken room designed and crafted by Mr. Payne himself, in the barn. Grandad even came to help, which is always popular. And wow, coming in from cold and windy weather, to a house heated by the fire is nothing short of one of the magical things of being human. The rest of the day has been spent in ways inspired by our cats & dog - pretty chilled out.
Well, that goes for everyone except for Freja. A moment of not monkeying around is a moment wasted, in her book. Phew!
Happiness is having a little lie-in, and then being served breakfast by a proud 6-year old who prepared it all herself!
Crispbread with brown cheese, tea and water, and a little note saying "You're welcome to sit down, mummy". What luxury!
This day, 2002:
I get on a train in my little home town in Norway, with my then boyfriend, big backpack on, and tickets to the end of the continent in our pockets. We were going to Portugal, and stopping wherever we wished on our way through Europe. We were taking a year out from everything, from studies, winter, everything. Little did I know that the end station on our trip would lead me to the family I am a part of now.
Two weeks later, we were on a train from Valladolid to Lisboa. We travelled through the night, and as early morning whispered its first hellos, we crossed the border to Portugal. I was awake, looking at the landscape, excited to see the first silhouettes of our homeland for the year to come. In the coupé with us, was a young French man, about our age, I think his name was Francois. He was also awake, and we were talking quietly as the train moved into Portugal. He worked as an arbonaut; climbing trees, arranging tours for people who wanted up.
This day, 2009:
I marry Nik Payne, a tree climber whom I met in Portugal on a visit back to my friend there.
I've many times thought about that image - me on a train at dawn, talking to a stranger, and that stranger somehow represents the man I was to meet later, in that country. My man, the tree climber. It was as though life was whispering to me: look.
Milan Kundera wrote: Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress. It is wrong then, to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences, but it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty.
This day, 2011: Thank you, life, for showing me this beauty. Thank you, my husband, for marrying me and for walking this path with me.
I ♥ U.
Zoo Payne is Mr. & Mrs. Payne and our three sugarplums Ronja (8), Freja (3) and Falk (0). With Billie the Wolfhound, cats Boo and Sioux, Marius the horse, a pair of cows, a band of sheep and a bunch of chickens, the Paynes live the dream on a farm in Norway.