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Visitors to Hampstead Heath in north London could have been forgiven for thinking they had somehow taken a wrong turn and ended up in Norway this afternoon. The unexpected sight of a nearly full-size ski jump, complete with real snow and skiers, on a sunny March day in southern England, was enough to make the most broad-minded of observers do a double-take.

The snow, and most of the skiers, were indeed from Norway, but the ski jump was the creation of the Central Council of Physical Recreation, alongside the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Oslo Ski Association.

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The team of 25 Norwegian skiers brought the snow with them – 45 tons of it, packed in wooden boxes insulated by dry ice.The jump itself was supported by a tower of scaffolding 60ft (18.29m) high, giving skiers a 100ft (30.48m) run-up to the jumping point, 12ft (3.66m) above the ground.

We are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features

Event official

Modern ski jumps reach 200ft – 300ft (60m – 90m), but skiers on Hampstead Heath only had enough room to jump to about 90ft (27.43m).

The London ski jumping competition, as it is known, held a trial contest yesterday evening involving only the Norwegian skiers. The event the crowd was waiting for, however, was this afternoon’s contest between Oxford and Cambridge University. Tens of thousands of people gathered in the sunshine to watch the University Challenge Cup.

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It was the first time ski jumping had been seen by most of the crowd. A broadcast commentary on the competition kept everyone informed of the quality of each jump. Spectators, however, seemed to be more interested in how deep each skier disappeared into the straw laid at the bottom of the run.

In the end, the Oxford team, captained by C. Huitfeldt, won the competition, while the London challenge cup – open to all competitors – was won by Arne Hoel of Oslo. An official said of the event, "This exhibition has been such an unqualified success that we are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features."

In Context

The ski-jump competition was never held again, despite several attempts to revive it.

The ski-jump on Hampstead Heath was among the last major events to use real snow to re-create ski conditions.

The first artificial snow was made two years later, in 1952, at Grossinger’s resort in New York, USA.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

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I’m not often proud of my countrymen, we’re a very rich country so as individuals we’re usually selfish and smug. But each autumn around now we arrange the world’s largest fundraising and this year the money goes The Norwegian Church Aid and their goal is to give 1.000.000 people in third world countries clean water close to their homes.

And when the 8 hour long TV broadcast closed tonight we had reached over NOK 234.000.000  that is about £22,320,000 and $35,800,2000. More will be added in the next two days as the fundraising telephone number will be kept open.

Not bad for a country with a population of slightly over 5 mill.

a1057_norwegian church aidSome people throw coins into a well to make a wish. For a small community in Ethiopia, their wish came true with the well itself.

For girls like Tigist, the difference has been remarkable: because now she can attend school instead of carrying water for hours each day along paths dangerous for young girls.

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No more hiking without Quick Lunch

Quick Lunch was almost born as outdoor chocolate. The reason why Quick Lunch was outdoor chocolate, is said to be that Johan Throne Holst, Freia founder, along with a business associate a few decades earlier got lost in the woods. His companion complained that the Throne Holst had brought chocolate on the trip and this was something Throne Holst apparently never forgot.

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“Health and strength”

The shape of the new chocolate was tailor-made for the ultra-modern sports garment in the 30s, namely the anorak. Besides, chocolate is easy to carry and easy to eat, and took the contemporary nutrition issues seriously. It was actually said that this chocolate had the same nutritional value as one egg and two slices of bread with butter.

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The chocolate that wishes you a good trip

Quick Lunch is the Norwegian outdoor chocolate. It has always encouraged consumers to embark on a trip and provided good advice. In the 60’s there were mountain codes printed on the packaging, and to this day the back of the Quick Lunch has been used to convey travel tips, information about attractions and where to find The Norwegian Trekking Association’s cabins all over the country.

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Did you know?

When Quick Lunch was launched in 1937,  chocolate was well established as nutrition during strenuous physical exertion. Chocolate was in fact an essential provisions as polar hero Amundsen reached the South Pole in 1911.

The very first batch of Quick Lunch was made with dark chocolate. It was anything but a success. Fortunately, there were some who insisted on trying again, now with light chocolate and the rest is chocolate history.

During and after the war, between 1941 and 1949, the production of Quick Lunch stopped partly because of the lack of sugar and the quality of the flour.

When Norway hosted the Winter Olympics in 1952, incredible 10 million Quick Lunch chocolates  was sold!

983_kvikk lunsj_10Ten pack that you can use as a lunch box when you’ve emptied it

Few if any Norwegians are without an out-door memory connected to Kvikk Lunsj. It is indeed the ultimate Norwegian hiking snack, I never head for the woodlands around Oslo without a few in my knapsack and neither did my dad when we went hiking when I was a kid. Kvikk Lunsj is one of the few things that follow most of us Norwegians from the cradle to the grave – Ted

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We used to have them in Norway too, until the government decided sometimes in the fifties that it was time to put an end to it. They ordered the police around the country to take their horses and slaughter them. This was normally done right there by the road side while the owners watched. It is a part of my country’s history I’m deeply ashamed about and I blame it on the old-school social democracy’s love of mediocrity and the principle of forced equality.

I saw an interview with a man of the travelling people who was a small kid back then and he told that the only time he ever saw his father cry was the day the police slaughtered his horse.

It is strange that so many of us find it so hard to accept people who chose to live their life on the outside of the mainstream – Ted

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This photo with the title as above was among the photos in a post called “These 60 Rare Photos Will Destroy Everything You Knew About The Past” posted on Distractify some 3 hours ago. But honestly, I know we are a small country with merely 5 million citizens and even fewer back when the photo was taken, still I think you would need more than 12 people to call an event a celebration.

On the other hand, a song from just after WWII called “Når det kommer en båt med bananer” (When there comes a boat with bananas) is still played on the radio from time to time, so yes, we do love bananas in Norway – Ted 😉

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586_trafic signMayor of Marker Municipality, Kjersti Nythe Nilsen, is not going to remove the unorthodox pedestrian crossing signs. (Photo: Kreativiteket).

Most people are having a good laugh when they see the pedestrian crossing signs in the village of Ørje in Eastern Norway. Unfortunately, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration does not share the same form of humor and say they are going to remove them.

– If the Mayor does not take them down, we will remove them, says Head of Department Ivar Anton Christiansen to Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK.

The Monty Phyton sketch “Ministry of Silly Walks” from 1970, where John Cleese plays a minister who is responsible for developing silly walks, is the inspiration behind the idea of a group who call themselves “Kreativiteket”. They say that there is no deeper meaning behind the pedestrian signs, it is just everyday humor.

– I think the signs should be allowed. They are not to any nuisance and are very similar to normal pedestrian crossing signs. In fact, no one has noticed that we have changed them, after all, they have been there a couple of months, says Mayor Kjersti Nythe Nilsen.

She has no plans to remove the signs and must therefore resort to civil disobedience.

– This is a storm in a teacup. I think that they should be allowed to be placed where they are right now, she says.

It remains to see whether the Norwegian Public Roads Administration actually will travel to Ørje and remove them.

Text, image and video found at ThorNews

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Michael Harding, a British comedian, writer, radio personality and song artist has a story on one of his records about a lot of families in his street going to Blackpool in a charabanc they had rented. As they drove off, kids from families who couldn’t afford to join ran alongside the bus calling: “I hope all them donkeys are dead.”

This became a standard between a very good friend and me back then and still is (we’re both big fans of Mr Harding). Every time one or the other mentioned something he was going to do or places he was going to, the other would immediately say: “I hope all them donkeys are dead.” And now more than 30 years later we still do.

Late last night he called me telling me he was going to a Dixie Chicks concert here in Oslo to day and without even thinking I said: “I hope all them donkeys are dead.” – Ted

Image found at Shorpy

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511_train

Most Norwegian valleys with a bit of self respect has a railway line. Østerdalen has the Røros line, Gudbrandsdalen has the Dovre line, Valdres had its own railway until thirty years ago , Hallingdalen has the Bergen line, Numedal had the Numedal line also until relatively recently, and Setesdalen has got left a little bit of its former pride.

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The steam engine “Bjørkaasen” with one of Lommedalen line’s 22 diesel engines

More recently Lommedalen in Bærum also got its own railway, thanks to one of the most narrow-gauged railway enthusiasts, Olaf Wiegel from Haslum in Bærum. Right from childhood , when he built a trolley track in his father’s garden centre for internal transport, through engineering education and subsequently a job in the National Rail Administration, many years working as a grounds man and operations manager at the Urskog-Høland line (better known as Tertitten) and then at least firstly, lonely navvy, with crowbar and sledgehammer in Lommedalen.

Text: Jørgen Seeman Berg – Photo: Egil Nordlien – Published in Norsk Motor Veteran The Lommedalen Line’s Homepage

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All posts material: “Sauce” and “Gentleman’s Relish” by Ronnie Barker – Hodder & Stoughton in 1977

The Fancy Dress

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She: No one will know it’s me, I’ll be wearing a mask.
He: But I will be with you!
She: Very well, then – you wear the mask.
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Back in 2010 I made a series of posts from the start of December through to the 24th called “A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse”. It was based on some background work I did for a series of Christmas cards I did donkey’s years ago. Since a lot of regular visitors have turned up on Retrorambling since then, here’s a quick reprise on the series – Ted

We have a strange lingual phenomena in Norway and that is that the fat sod you English speaking people call Santa we call a “nisse” and that would have posted no problem if it wasn’t for the fact that we already had a”nisse” long before St Nicolas started giving presents to poor children somewhere in Germany. It is all a linguistic mishap really, it is because the Swedes called Santa "Nisse" which is a nickname for Niklas and we here in Norway adopted it. The real nisse don’t like this at all. So in order to put things into prospective, I’m going to use December on this blog to let you all take part in my only scientific study “A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse”.

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The Norwegian "Nisse" is a relative of the Brownie, the Pixie and the Leprechaun. He lives in rural districts and in the woods. In Norway we call Santa Clause "nisse" as well, but that fat, jolly, "Ho Ho" chanting lunatic that Coca Cola and other companies that think they have a claim on Christmas love so much must never ever be mistaken for the original. The original "Nisse" has been around for as long as there has been people here in Norway, and he is here all year round.

In the old days people believed that the "nisse" took care of their houses and animals and kept them out of harms way. In rural districts people used to put out porridge for the "nisse", a tradition that is still upheld round Christmas at many farms around the country. The "nisse" could be quite a prankster, so keeping him happy was important. It is a well known fact that if he didn’t get his porridge, he could hide things or rearrange whole rooms or even worse.

In our day and age, the "nisse" has become very shy, as all the products of the silly thing we call progress scares him. Very few people has seen a "nisse" these last hundred years, so as I am one of the few fortunate, I will share my knowledge with you. In "A Study of the Norwegian Nisse" you will meet two, they both live in the woods close to my cottage in Enebakk, some five metric miles from Oslo city. They have never been willing to divulge their names so in lack of better names, I’ve called them Prototype No 1 and Prototype No 2, No 1 and No 2 for short.

All my knowledge stems from these two individuals, so this study may not give a general picture of the "nisse" as such at all. They are after all great pranksters. Pulling your leg is among their favourite past times, so if the picture I’m painting here seems to vary from your opinion of what a "nisse" is and should be, what can I say.

A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 2
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 3
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 4
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 5
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 6
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 7
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 8
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 9
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 10
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 11
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 12
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 13
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 14
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 15
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 16
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 17
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 18
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 19
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 20
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 21
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 22
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 23
A Study Of The Norwegian Nisse–Part 24

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Norway before the oil – Ted 😉

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This is a “Bindalsfæring”, a type of boat still built in the northern parts of Norway. You can easily see that her roots run all the way back to the Viking ships. For her size she is extremely light and she is ,in my eyes at least, graceful almost beyond this world – Ted

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In 1902 at the age of 21 Thekla climbed up on the family’s Locomobile for the first time and luckily there are photos of her doing so, but unfortunately no description of how she handled the car. Later in life she married a Scottish factory owner and moved to Scotland. As late as in 1951 she has been described driving a Lancaster there and doing so with excellence according to her brother. Very few people have been driving cars for that long and certainly very, very few women.

Translated from an article in “Norsk Motor Veteran”  No5 – 2010

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080_kurer

The Kurér was the first reasonably small portable radio produced in Norway, it was introduced 24th of April 1950 and it became an immediate success. In spite of the weight, a little over 7,5 kilo with the battery, we brought it everywhere, to our summerhouses, the beach and to the mountain. Here in Norway it has become a real fifties icon. Few Norwegians of a certain age are without a memory or two connected to the Kurér. I had a bluish grey one until my youngest daughter discovered it, now she has – Ted 😉

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Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent.

A noteworthy aspect of the Norwegian Constitution Day is its very non-military nature. All over Norway, children’s parades with an abundance of flags form the central elements of the celebration. Each elementary school district arranges its own parade with marching bands between schools. The parade takes the children through the community, often making stops at homes of senior citizens, war memorials, etc. The longest parade is in Oslo, where some 100,000 people travel to the city centre to participate in the main festivities. This is broadcast on TV every year, with comments on costumes, banners etc., together with local reports from celebrations around the country. The massive Oslo parade includes some 100 schools, marching bands, and passes the royal palace where the royal family greet the people from the main balcony.

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Norwegians’ relations to skis and snow is at its most peculiar when Easter comes. Other Europeans celebrate spring on sidewalk cafés enjoying the sun while most Norwegians take to the mountains in search of the last vestige of snow so they can go skiing.

In this context I’m very un-Norwegian, I hate snow and I hate skiing. The only person who could have made me go skiing is the woman on the picture to the left here and she is alas no longer with us. Besides she would have been 86 by now and might not have been all that interested in skiing anymore.

So during Easter You’ll find me on a sidewalk café with a double latte or a decent Assam enjoying the fact that the city is finally free of snow – Ted

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Every time I hear of this movie or see images from it I think of a lady in her fifties that was interviewed by a major Norwegian paper back in the sixties. She had seen the movie more than 150 times. Back then I thought: “What a pillock”. My mind hasn’t changed through the years. Not that I find the movie particularly bad, but 150 times. Roughly 225 hours or more than 9 days of sugar sweet sixties erotic and suspense free dilly dallying in the Alps. Give me a break – Ted

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In 1922 Sig Haugdahl (Sigurd Olson “Sig” Haugdahl) built a car with an aluminium 836 cu. in. (13.7 litre), 250 h.p., 6-cylinder aeroplane engine, He managed to push the car, dubbed the “Wisconsin Special” to a top speed of 180mph at Daytona Beach, Florida setting an unofficial World Record.

The record wasn’t officially recognised as he wasn’t a member of the American Automobile Association at the time of his run. Although it has been unofficially recognised by many, he beat the previous record by a respectable 24mph and did it all on a public beach, not a dead smooth salt lake.

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The design of the Wisconsin Special is eye-catching, the teardrop front grill, shark-gill heat vents on the underside of the bodywork, Spitfire style exhaust outlets and tiny little windshield are all quite unique as is the fact that Sig set a 180mph top speed on what appear to be wheels off a horse-drawn cart. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to.

Read more about the Norwegian-Amaerican Sig Haugdahl on Wikipedia here.

Text and images found at “SiloDrome

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11220_fan25Illustration © TidiousTed

Two out of three Norwegian told in a large survey on Norwegians’ sexual habits that they had more sex during their holiday than usual. Some even claimed that they had considerably more sex. Only 15 % on the other hand reduced their sexual activity when on holiday.

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81 %  of travelling Norwegian use a digital camera to document their holiday while 6 % make do with their mobil camera.
Only 2 % writes a travelling diary. Now wonder, trying to read what they had scrawled down under heavy influence of alcohol in countries where these beverages are a lot cheaper than at home would be almost impossible anyway.

Illustration © TidiousTed

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