It was a good day yesterday!
For the first time in I don't know how long I didn't wake up until 11:30! I must have been so tired from the first week at school. Then I worked on the design project for my friend throughout the day, chatting with various friends as I went! I actually had a chat with one of Hans' aunts on MSN too, which was a bit strange - apparantly they just bought a pc and are now on line... she said she may be online again today along with Hans' mum so I shall keep one eye/ear open for noises coming from MSN! A friend also called on Skype which was a surprise, and it was really good to talk to her again too.
Anyway, as planned I was picked up at 6pm by Maria and her boyfriend. We picked up her sister from work and drove to their home - I wish so much I had taken my camera; they had an absolutely gorgeous house and garden, with amazing views across the water and to mountains in the distance - they were situated partway up a mountain themselves so you could see for miles. Their garden was full of fruit trees, it was sunny and warm and there wasn't a cloud in the sky! They also had 4 gorgeous cats - 2 siamese and 2 oriental - but I discovered that they are actually the same breed, but siamese cats carry a specific gene which gives them their famous colouring. They were beautiful cats though, the whole place was lovely and they had a very relaxed feel to the place.
The house itself was a typical, red wooden house as you see all over Norway, but it was different to all the others too. The owner of the house has kept adding on parts so it has a unique look and feel to it; maria lives in one part of the house with her boyfriend, her sister, sisters' boyfriend and their little girl live in the top part - and then the house is kind of split down the middle and other people live there. I didn't meet them as they were away on holiday - but I did meet a few different people, and I can't remember who they were, what they did or where they were from! I am terrible with names and didn't bring anything to write them down. I will ask Maria nicely next week for a recap on the names and edit this post later!
I sat in the garden with them and a lovely cup of coffee and we chatted and drank coffee, then it was time to prepare the meal!
The meal was absolutely delicious, but the preparation of it was something new for me too - I shelled and beheaded (i don't know the term for it!) a big bowl of shrimp, I have never done this before; I ripped of their heads and pulled all the shell off and gave them a quick rinse under the tap. The whole feast (because it was a feast really) was a complete sea food delight - for starters we had the shrimps, and some whole crayfish (again something I have never eaten) all still in its shell with head and everything, and all it's eggs attached (also edible) there was also a crab shell in the centre of the table with lovely sweet crab meat inside, and to round it all off was a lovely sauce and a salad made with lightly roasted aubergine slices, garlic and grated cheese. It realy was delicious, and when we had eaten the starter we sat back with a glass of wine and waited for the main course -
I was so intrigued as to how the main course would taste - i had seen the fish earlier - a huge thing lying on a tray, very fresh, and then when I had finished my coffee earlier and come back in from the garden in place of the fish was a huge mound of rock salt. I have heard of this being doe but again I have never seen it - apparantly cooking the fish covered in salt has 2 main benefits, it retains the flavour and alot of moisture, and also it is supposed to take the skin of with the salt later on. Anyway, the fsh was roasted in the salt for not even half an hour, then it was brought to the table along with a hammer (for the salt which goes rock hard!) and i sat mesmerised and watched the fish being dug out of the salt.
I was given the first piece, again we had the same nice sauce, a different salad, some potatoes and vegetables. I began to eat it and it was honestly some of the nicest fish I had ever eaten - it was sea trout apparantly, which is different to freshwater trout. The colour and texture was much like salmon but it had a sweeter taste - but being sea trout it had a very fresh, 'sea' taste to it. It was delicious anyway, and I helped myself to seconds when I had finished and the whole time I ate I was silent, just really enjoying my food!
For dessert we had ice cream and hot berries from the stove - something I have had a few times here before. Another cup of coffee and a small tot of a really nice, smoky cognac finished the evening off. I was kindly driven back to Fantoft, and was so full and tired when I got home that I just managed a quick text to Hans and then tried (to no avail) to watch an episode of Flight of the Conchords, and I drifted off into a satisfied sleep. I had a great night, and I'm very grateful to Maria for the invite and to the family for making me feel so welcome!
And here we are today - I feel much more rested as for the first time I got here I slept ok and didn't wake up once in the night. I woke up really missing Hans though; even though I am making friends and it's getting easier to be here I still really miss him - and all the new people I meet and the nice things I experience I always wish he was a part of it too... maybe apart from last night - Hans hates fish and passionately hates aubergines so he would have been a bit stuck! haha...
So, I am going to go and do some washing in the launderette now, then finish off some of the graphics work (hopefully) and wait for Hans to call later. Then I shall prepare for the beginning of my next course tomorrow. I forgot to buy food and milk yesterday (the shop is not open on a sunday) so i need to be very frugal with my coffee, and try and salvage something to eat tonight!
Fun and games, bye! xxx