There’s nothing like an unplanned holiday to lift the spirits and my spirits are rising high now. We booked a last minute holiday, cruising up the coast of Norway, because it was last minute the price was incredible and so was the scenery.
On Friday 18 July we visited the Lofoten Islands, situated at the top of Norway they sit inside the Arctic Circle. There are 24,000 people on the islands – not exactly over populated; I live in a town with ten times that many people. There are also 24,000 sheep and they roam freely, eating what they like and pooing wherever they like – you can smell it in the air. Ah, nature.
What I didn’t expect from Norway – especially in the Arctic Circle – was heat and it was very hot, though apparently the sea never heats up, we were warned not to even think about going in it. The sun shone, the sky was blue, the tops of the mountains were misted in fluffy cloud, the sand on the beach was white and powdery – with the occasional sheep wandering along – just beautiful.
This is the land of the midnight sun, apparently for about six weeks surrounding the summer solstice you can watch the sun set and rise again within minutes around midnight. Certainly, during our travels we never saw darkness – every night was a white night.
I also didn’t expect to see so many stones and great granite rocks, some were piled into ornamental tors, others looked as though they had been scattered, like dice thrown by a giant hand. It reminded me of Stonehaven, the setting for The Finder and The Illusionist, a place I’d created – although I’ve since found out that such a place does exist in Scotland. (Apologies Stonehaven if I’ve taken your name in vain.)
And, to come back to the title of this post, I sat in the Arctic Circle eating ice cream, soaking up the sun’s rays, relishing the daylight. I wouldn’t like to be here in the winter though, because just as they get white nights, they get black days – 24 hour darkness.
And I managed to write every day, so my romantic comedy, The Spring of Life, is progressing well. Watch out for more first draft excerpts on this blog. And you might notice that this month’s short story shows evidence of my holiday…