So its the end of my first official winter in my new home outside the city. What have I learnt about winter in Norway.
It is to be enjoyed, accept it is cold, dress up stop complaining and take up a winter activity. The darkness still sucks though whatever optimists say!
Snow is to be enjoyed not feared. Where I am from if it snows, highways become littered with stuck lorries, huge traffic lines and lots of flashing emergency lights. Snow is still an event for us Brits. The novelty quickly turns to chaos. In Norway snow is part of every day life in the winter. I actually loved it this season. The two snowmen we built sat looking at us for 3 weeks!
Winter Car Tyres
There is no such thing as an all year round car tyre in Norway. Not using winter tyres after November starts is like deciding to go out in pouring rain naked. You asked for it, whatever happens to you!
Cross Country Skiing
My new discovery. I almost broke my shoulder the first time doing it but I see immediately why people love it. It provides a great workout, it feeds Norwegians obsession with practicing their commitment to fitness and sports. It allows you to enjoy trails in the winter time in less majestic winter conditions required for Alpine skiing.
Winter Clothing Lasts
This hat I have on my wife bought me in 2013! It never dies no matter what I do to it. I feel like in Norway the winter clothes you buy despite their costs last forever. Norwegians take winter wear seriously. Even the cheap brands seem to last a long time.
Learning To Walk On Ice
Penguin walking as I call it becomes natural. You learn to apply mind over matter when it comes to walking in icy conditions. Humans adjust, you learn your own version of the penguin walk. Walking safely on ice consistently is where you will see the truth of the concept of mind over matter.
Light a Fire
Lighting a fire up, in your house, out in the woods etc is done by most people. It isn't some arsonist gang ritual to be seen lighting up a fire in the woods with your family. I lived most of my life in London so perhaps the city dweller in me needs to get used to it more.
Lack of Light
OK there is stuff I don't like. Lack of light is the main one. But I thought about how fast it gets dark on Christmas day back in England and asked myself is it REALLY much different - 3:30pm and its often grey and rainy.
In Oslo at its worst point. Mostly in December and January it can not get light until 08:30 sometimes. And dark by 15:45! That means office hours take up ALL your daylight. That can be very hard if you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Effective Disorder) which I do.