The Art of Chilling

When I say chilling, I mean Nothing. Let me relent here because there are the basic functions of living to be considered. Breathing, eating, checking into the loo and the works. Then there is the glorious prospect of gazing dreamily into the fjords beyond the windows, sighing from time to time, because you could live with such a view for a long time. As long as you lived.

Add a lifetime’s supply of books, coffee, tea, husband, hikes and two dogs. Now did I just describe Els’ life?

But before you get down to the art of perfecting nought, there is a condition that has to be met. The weather gods will have to conspire to make the heavens burst asunder till you will have no option but to sit tight within. If you are in a cottage by the fjords would you even consider complaining about thunders and showers?

The first day of our Norwegian vacation was about sparkling blue skies adorned by billowing clouds. As a cloud chaser, I could not have asked for a better start to the vacation. The second day materialised into an overwhelmingly grey one. That dirty, washed out hue which can only cast equally grey shadows upon the mind. But happiness is a state of the mind. Here I shall quote Anne (of the Green Gables) whose words firmly stuck in my teenage mind as I was growing up: “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” You do need inspiration to make light of the weighty moments in life.

But you shall need to give into sadness and woe too because those are inescapable emotions, isn’t it? What kind of a person would you be if you did jigs at a funeral? (Which makes me think that I would indeed want people want to dance at mine, tuck into a pile of good food and drink away. In death too, it would be good to know that I have not left sadness behind. Life is too short to allocate enough time to ennui and glumness, is it not?)

Leaving thoughts of mortality behind, it is a Sunday after all, and I do not want to make you too contemplative on a day that should be about just nothing really, it is a rare feat to achieve nothing on a holiday. I have rarely indulged in that wonderful feeling and it felt grand. Delicious.

We had to step out in the morning and get a fair chunk of groceries beneath those leaden skies because realisation had rapidly set in upon us during our time in Stavanger. Eating at the cottage and taking packed lunches for our drives were going to be part of the essential ritual of eating in Norway, unless we wanted to head back home as paupers with our heads in our hands. There is that little matter of subsisting upon a pittance for the rest of the month once you get back home. But there needs to be careful planning to have even that pittance at hand.

The mists swirled in and around the bridge like wraiths smoking their way through, parts of the bridge often disappearing behind them. Nature is such an effortless magician. The sight that morning reminded me of the first time I laid my eyes upon the Eiffel Tower on an autumn’s morning, when only the top of the tower loomed in upon me, above a sea of mist. The waters of the fjords looked mysterious. A uniform sheet of leaden blue.

Right, time to scamper back to the cottage, after we had armed ourselves with a decent stockpile of food from the store nearby. There was the added incentive of demolishing a large cache of organic chocolates I had amassed at the store. Those chocolates count high on my list of best chocoholic experiences. They were expensive and Adi did grumble, but later, how he ate his words as he gobbled the bars up with lasciviousness equalling mine.

Upon our return to the cottage, we were greeted by the sight of a cute little pot of mint and a couple of organic eggs with a hand-written note. A welcome breakfast thought from Els. If you have not added mint to your omelette, you would not know the fragrance it adds to the fluffy piece of goodness. We went about a brunch laden with hot dogs and eggs, all the while facing the fjords so as not to lose out on the changing landscape that unfolded right before the eyes. Adi watched movies on the ipad while I sat and read, looking up from time to time to soak in the unreality of it all.

Then came the best part of the day. Els dropped by with organic chicken from her farm. She sat for a couple of hours, her legs folded up on the sheepskin rug upon the couch, and we chatted. It is rare to come upon with individuals who you can achieve a connection with so easily. She was one of that breed, highly unconventional, a bit flighty, a bit wise and a bundle of quirks. We shared confidences during that time to the tune of a few cups of tea, discussing husbands, the importance of fighting in a relationship, meeting the loves of our lives, hiking, travelling and then reflecting upon the art of how to go about making this one life we have a wonderful happy place to be.

Giving into the whims of nature is not quite a bad idea as it turned out.

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57 thoughts on “The Art of Chilling

    1. What a lovely line, Mary. Coming from you, it is special! I think standing still is overrated. But now lying still, I can do that with ease. Just get up from time to time to snack and ease my way through it xx

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  1. I have mint and eggs in the fridge … I know what I’m having for brekkie tomorrow! As usual you have made me want to pack my bags immediately – it’s quite extraordinary but I am certain Norway IS a soul country for me. Just need to get there and this place of Els really seems like the perfect retreat. Xx By the way – living in the West of Ireland for a while I got used to people dancing jigs at a wake … it’s actually rather fabulous 😉 xx

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    1. Another bit of this crazy wonderful world where things are a topsy-turvy then? Here I come, o west Irish folk 🙂

      You might get along fabulously with Els (knowing what I have learned about you so far), and yes, then there are the fjords. You just got to convince HB2 now! xx

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  2. Sounds like a peaceful day 🙂
    I love the days where you can just sit back, relax and enjoy your time.
    I felt very relaxed writing this (minus the short tangent about death), and I enjoyed your writing as always 🙂

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    1. The joys of digressing – is there any equal to it other than tucking into cookies and sipping on tea? Talking of relaxing and doing nothing, we have been indulging in it to the fullest today. I chomped down a large and fat macadamia-white-chocolate cookie and washed it down with jasmine green tea. Hope you are having a lazy one as well 😉

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  3. Enjoy your holiday there. Sometimes the trip is not always about wandering. It could be being chilling and enjoy the moments. There were some days when I did traveling, I just spent by laying around at the hotel with the coffee and book in my hands 😄

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    1. I hear you Tracey. I am mostly always on my feet too so this was a different experience 🙂 You have got to beat the downpour somehow and I did not mind it at all for once. Even though I missed out on the hike to Trolltunga.

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    1. Thanks Kristyn 🙂 She did. Every time I read my foxed copies, especially the first two books, I could not help choking up. You do not like the Netflix take on Anne I believe, going by the inclusion of ‘abomination’ above xx

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      1. Haha, no, sadly not. I am loyal to the books and the 1980s miniseries. I will concede that the new series is okay, but I had a hard time with added scenes, and I just don’t think they needed to play on a darker undertone that did not exist in the books. But it also had its merits. Great casting for Matthew and Marilla. And beautiful cinematography.

        Did you see the new ones? Your take?

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      2. I always have a problem with the way shows and films change the basic goodness of the book. I mean why do they even bother? The book is after all the parent of the concept. But yes I too like the way they have shot the island and Matthew and Marilla are indeed lovable.

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  4. As much fun as it is to explore new places. Some days it is equally fun to hole up in your room, in your pyjamas all day, watching YouTube, napping, ordering pizza, and avoiding responsibilities. Wait, I just described every second day for me… That looks like a perfect little cabin for doing just that.

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    1. I do that too Jen, all the time. Guilty pleasures. Today evening there was a deluge. It was not like in the UK where it rains for 10 minutes and then it stops or otherwise it keeps drizzling like a leaking pipe. This was a big arse one. Straight down in sheets for a couple of hours. I sat and watched two lovely classic movies back-to-back and had a whale of a time. That cabin lives in my dreams. How I wish I could do a Mary Poppins.

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      1. Hmm we are such a cheery lot, aren’t we. But yes, I shall totter in on high pink heels, in my wrinkly old skin, and don the brightest of fuchsia dresses to make you smile xx

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  5. Your beautiful writing always transports me to the place you are writing about! ❤ Chilling is something that I am great at! When hubby is sometimes home for 3-4 days straight, I begin waiting for him to return to work, as I miss my own company so much! 😉 and being snuggled up in bed with a book, on those windy, rainy, cloudy days sometimes is soooo much fun! Wonderful piece :* (P.S- A little birdie told me that you have interviewed DHONI!!!!! Girl, I don't run out of things to get jealous of you lollzzz! xx

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    1. Haha, are you friends with Nisha then? See I have to examine the network. It is a small world even out here. It was part of my work really 😛 Maybe I should have retained Dhoni’s bathroom slippers and sold them on ebay. Thank you for the lovely words as always, Mallika. We have similar likes. Adi has been out for three days in Detroit, and though I do miss him, I am having my fill of uninterrupted writing, reading and movie binging 😉

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      1. oooh I hear you girl! Some “me-time” is definitely needed every once in a while, isn’t it? Hubby went to his hometown in India last year and he called our neighbor to check on me… (in case I am hiding my woes from him..hmph..paranoid much?) Anyway, he asked her- “Is she doing ok?” and she laughed and said- “I should think so! There are pizzas and chinese food being delivered frequently and we can see her dancing in the kitchen sometimes, not a worry in the world” hahaha! It’s one of his favorite stories to tell! 😉 Yes I am friends with Nisha as well! How amazing is this bloggers’ community? We all havent met/seen each other once but are now such a constant part of each others’ everyday lives. Love it! ❤

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      2. It is strange that we have not met each other yet we do know more about each other in a way than most of our acquaintances would not bother to know. If you know what I mean. It is a wonderful feeling alright.

        Hahahaha, I love the picture it created. Hmm you are in your own safe hands then 😉 As I make sure I am when Adi travels. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are often quite concerned because they think I might get lonely. But if they had a camera recording everything I did, they would not bother at all 😛 xx

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