my utopia?

For me, Oslo is like a dreamland, where all my anxiety dissipates and peace of mind is the only option.

I know you think OK, well all holidays feel like that, right? No. Not for me. Some are stressful. Some come with irritations and exhaustion. Not Oslo.

I have a few friends that live there, making it more appealing and it makes for a really awesome holiday destination because I get to see the city through the eyes of locals. But also for many other reasons which I will now go over:

It is a healthy society with a high standard of living and equality.

Low crime, low social unrest, good education system, good incomes, pensions, care for the weaker in society, etc.

Amazing landscapes, especially in the Fjord country, but all over.

Being arrogant is frowned upon, there is a sense of openness to others and a respect of differences.

They have a tax structure that prevents huge inequalities in society, equality of opportunity in education and work for all.

They have the highest per capita newspaper readership, high engagement in political debate with few barriers for people entering politics.

It feels like everyone is an activist. But that may be only those in my immediate network.

It feels like my idea of Utopia. If there was ever anything close to it, Oslo would be it for me.

Have you been? What did you think?

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Ash cloud weekend.

Gareth's flat looks over the harbour - the big building there on the right.
Sausage Land.

I made it to Hamburg despite the airport closing on Wednesday due to lame ash cloud. I went to Gatwick on Wednesday afternoon from work not knowing if I was going to make it on the plane. Spent the majority of the day checking every 5 seconds on the Easy Jet website if my flight number was added to the flight cancellation list. All other flights from Gatwick to Hamburg had been cancelled that day so I was very lucky. I must say, its a good thing I made it, otherwise I may have banged my head against a wall like they did in Girl Interrupted.  The build up to a reunion between two loved ones is no joke. I was packed and emotionally prepared. This ash cloud was not going to get in my way.

The day closed with me in the arms of the man I love and dont get to see very much. Nothing could be more satisfying than that. Plus, I bought masses of Lindt and Toberlone at Duty Free which contributed to the overall satisfaction.

Since my arrival, I have spent a lot of time in bed, writing and reading while Gareth has been working. Other activities include bike-riding, meditative-walking, finishing the Lindt balls, eating German-Chinese, watching House, sleeping, eating more Toblerone, taking pictures and loads of cuddling etc…

Gareth was out of work for some time, but now has it coming in from all sides. When it rains, it pours. Why is that? So bizarre. Such is the life of a freelancer.

So I leave you with some pics of my couple of days here so far. The streets are so quiet here compared to London. So peaceful. And so pretty in Spring. I really felt the robust yet relaxed energy that Hamburg has to offer on my walk yesterday. And I enjoyed the street art, too.

Queen Mary

Saying yes has its rewards.

Im saying yes more.

It’s really the only way I get to meet people.

I said yes to two very lovely events this weekend.

The first was celebration of Coca Cola’s 125th birthday at London’s Design Museum.

My colleague and new favourite friend, Alex, took me to the Coke event after work on Friday to meet another potential favourite friend, Nick, who runs http://karlismyunkle.com. Check it out.

We browsed and talked and Alex bought me a ‘weird and wonderful guide to London’ from the Design Museum bookshop.

Saturday I went to my sister-in-law’s birthday picnic. Which really wasn’t hard to say yes to, but, gosh, we hung out in the sun on the grass from 2 – 9PM. REBELLLLS.

Twas beautiful. So so beautiful.

the coca cola bottle throughout the years.

Guests were given paint etc to create their own bottle art.
calligraphy vibes.

Wandsworth Common
birthday girl with M&S caterpillar chocolate cake