Birthday eve update

[Pretty mornings walking past Bryggen to work]
Not much has happened since the New Year besides for, what seems like, great job potential at the place I'm currently working (Sars Centre for Marine Molecular Biology). There is a full-time position opening up and they are hoping that I will be eligible  based on my visa requirements. I'll be handing in a new visa application tomorrow morning, so it will be a great birthday present if the police station can grant me temporary work permit while my new application gets processed. So that's happening. 

I have gone back to Oslo a few times the last couple of months, and we actually haven't gone up to the cabin. We went to Tylldalen to visit Marius' grandmother who is currently in a recovery home. The weather in Tylldalen was beautiful and I managed to sneak out for a run, but no ski since our skis are at the cabin. Marius' grandmother has her ups and downs. She is always in high spirits and enjoys playing games with us; usually cards or dice. 
[Can you see that Marius is in two places at once?]

[Cool old picture at Marius' grandma's house]

[New skis!]

Since my classic skis are at the cabin (classic = for classic style cross-country skiing), Marius bought me a skate ski kit as an early birthday present. Skate skis require longer poles and boots with ankle support, and the skis can't get wax on them (only glider) or else you won't be able to move. Skate skiing is faster, but definitely involves good technique. We found some relatively flat trails near our apartment in Oslo where Marius could teach me the basics. I was quite good on the flat areas, but I can't seem to get the uphill part just yet. We'll just blame the glide for now. We skied twice that weekend, but not since because the ski tracks are now just sheets of ice with temps in the mid-30's. I'll have to bring my new skis up to the cabin to try out the runs there, but the mountains are intimidating me because I'm afraid I won't be able to climb them. 

[Renovating the new apartment in Oslo]

[Hard running up the mountain]

This weekend Marius came to Bergen to visit me for my birthday. He got in Thursday night and stayed with our friend Knut, and picked me up from work on Friday and we picked up my birthday package from Mom and Dad. It was forwarded from Rigmor with a package from her and Tron inside as well. We walked around town a little bit and invited Knut and Ruth (another friend from Marius' college days) for dinner and games. The next day was full of entertainment. We walked around town a little more to window shop; Marius eventually bought himself a light raincoat and some "late winter boots". We got back to my place just in time to watch cross-country skiing on TV and have a light lunch. I convinced Marius to come for a run with me, which started out as only a 30 minute 5k and eventually turned into a 5k plus a mountain run up Fløyen. We felt good and tired afterwards as we went to the movies. I always liked going to the movies for my birthday. I even remember Grandma Jo taking me and Carolyn during our winter break to the movies, and it usually fell on my birthday. 

["Please don't disturb the invisible witch hunter"]
Today was more of the same. We woke up to seeing snow falling outside my window. We took a walk around my neighborhood and picked up some ingredients to bake while we watched the next day of the cross-country skiing world cup. We had planned on baking a cake, but I decided that I wanted to bake boller (raisin buns) and have ice cream instead. I thought it would be sad to rush to bake a cake before Marius would have to leave and just have a piece and have to put the rest away for another time. Had I thought of that before I would have had us bake the cake on Saturday, or Friday when our friends were over. Well well. Marius really mastered baking boller and kanelboller (cinnamon rolls). I have plenty left over to bring some to my colleagues tomorrow.

[Birthday rolls and buns baked by Marius]

So, in reflection. Tomorrow I'll be 26 (technically tomorrow night). I will be applying for my new visa, going to work, and then relaxing with a needed long run. I'm sure my 26th year will be better than my 25th, which was full of stress due to my immigration situation and limited job opportunities. There's lots to look forward to in this new year if things are now on the way up.

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