2016 – From a Long Distance Relationship to Sharing a Home and a City

Now that a new year has come and 2016 is officially history, I thought it would be nice to have a look back at the year that just passed and reflect on that.

Last year was a year of many changes and for me and Greg it was the year that we worked on settling in to our life in London. It feels like we spent the whole year getting settled and set up a new life, a new home and a new routine. Here is a throwback to the year 2016.
On this day exactly one year ago the day we had been waiting for arrived. Greg moved to London.
I remember the trip to Heathrow airport so vividly as  went to pick him up. I had not seen him since September and I was stoked! I was both nervous and incredibly happy. I was nervous about the big step of moving in together and having our relationship go from long distance to one where we not only would see each other every day but also living together and sharing our lives. Would we meet differences that would be to hard to live with? Would we see sides of each other that we were not prepared for? I was also very excited to be living with the person I love and sharing my life with my best friend. To after missing each other for so long to finally be able to wake up together every morning and go to bed together every night.
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When Greg finally stepped out to the arrival hall at Heathrow airport, all my nervousness disappeared and I remembered just how good it felt to be with him. I had almost forgot how handsome he was and how much he made me laugh.
Finally we were together again.

Greg didn’t stay for many days before we went on a two week holiday to Norway. At that time Norway was covered in snow and the temperature went as low as 17 degrees. I can imagine it was quite a  shock to Greg, coming from sunny New Zealand. We spent time with my family, took a trip to Oslo and just fully enjoyed ourselves.

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Sightseeing in Oslo 

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Back at my mums house in Arendal

20160116_16181220160114_11493220160116_18594212540017_889299587857616_592658098_n20160116_16141820160116_161807Coming back to London we started looking for a place. As Greg didn’t have a job yet, getting a place by our selves was difficult and therefore we ended up renting a room in Stratford through Air Bnb. We moved into a family house with a family of three that rented our their spare room. Our plan was to live there for one or two months, ended up being until July.

At first we were just fine there, but over time being two people sharing one room where we would sleep, hang out, eat and spend all our time on the bed it grew less charming.

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Our new “home” a bedroom in Stratford

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Back in London – spending the weekends exploring the city!

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My handsome man outside the British Museum 

20160122_20472920160122_201734Greg got a job impressively fast and had his first day only a few weeks after we returned and is in this job today, working as a paralegal.

I continued with Uni and worked part time as a Health Care Assistant at a local Dementia Home.

In July we finally got our own place. I cannot even begin to express my relief! I felt like someone that just won the lottery must feel. All that space and privacy after months of living in a small confined space was an incredible feeling. I think it took me about two weeks before I finally could relax and believe that this was actually our new home!
When we moved in we spent most of our savings on the deposit and therefore had little left over for furniture. Our place looked empty for months, only filled with basic second hand furniture of what we needed the most. I must say however, I still loved it!
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Newly moved in!

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December – Finally furnished after living there for 6 months!

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During the summer I went from working as a Heath Care Assistant at my job to covering for the Home Administrator for two months, suddenly working office hours Monday – Friday, shorter shifts but more days a week than normal. It was a lot of fun and gave me an sight of what it is like having a normal 9 – 5 job.

When my time in the office was over, I went for two weeks to Greece with my mum for a holiday before returning to London to start the 3rd year of Uni.

I felt that over the summer I had gathered new motivations for Uni and was excited to start and continue to learn. After the summer holiday I have enjoyed Uni more than ever before so I think the summer gave me just the motivation and  excitement I needed.

I honestly dont even know what we have been up to from October to December. The time has just flown by whilst we have been busy planning for Christmas holidays and doing work and Uni.

I did however finally get to decorate the living room how I wanted in December and I am to this day still so excited for it. Finally it looks like a home!

Finally, as you know we flew home to Norway on the 23rd of December and spent the holidays here. I am still here and Greg flew home today where I will join him on the 5th.
I mentioned it earlier in a post, but during this Christmas holiday I feel as we have fallen in love all over again and got a better connection than ever before. Living hectic lives in London and feeling tired and stressed when we get home can make you disconnect and take each other a little for granted. I think we both want to take this holiday with us home in a sense and make sure we make time for each other, disconnect from all the rest occasionally and just enjoy one another’s company from time to time.
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Like said earlier, I feel that 2016 was the year of getting settled in and setting up our new life.

I hope 2017 will be the year of accomplishments and having fun with, work, uni and travelling!
Tomorrow I am posting about my hopes for 2017!

All that is left for me to do now is say thank you for a very interesting and good year!

–  Camilla

Christmas in Norway

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Greg and I have planted ourselves in the sofa with each our computers, Tour De Ski is on the telly and the fire place is creating a pleasantly warmth and an even better atmosphere.

This is how we are sitting now and this is how every day has been spent here in Norway during Christmas.

We traveled from London to Norway on the 23rd of December, just in time to wake up here in Arendal for Christmas Eve. In Norway we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, with Church, Dinner and Presents. For the rest of the days until New Years Eve we just relax, eat Christmas food and enjoy each others company.

For Greg this has been an unusual Christmas, with many new traditions and ways of celebrating but he seems to have loved it.
For me, this has been the best Christmas of my life. Spending time with my family, being back in Norway – back home, and to spend it with Greg – finally!

We have eaten out weight in food and sweets, watched a years worth of movies and just enjoyed spending the time together without the distractions of work and uni.
I feel like I have fallen in love all over again!
Sadly the snow has yet to appear, so we have not had a white Christmas this year but that is the only thing missing.

Here is a few pictures from our Christmas celebration in Norway
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My Sisters Turtle Franklin!

That was a little summary of our Christmas here in Norway.

Now we are sitting down to write our resolutions and wait to celebrate the New Year. We are excited to start the New Year stronger and better than ever before!

I hope you have all had a Great Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!

– Camilla xxx

Happy Birthday Mum!

Today, the 30th of June is my amazing Mother’s birthday.

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Last year, we had a great celebration for her with our whole family for her 60th.
I wish so much that I could be in Norway today for her celebration, but unfortunately this year I was unable to go back due to work.

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My mum is an amazing woman, and a great role model to me. When i grew up it was just me and my mum that made up our little family of two, and I think that is one of the reasons we are so close. Until this day we still go on holidays just the two of us and have an amazing time, sometimes many times a year. Whilst many of my friends just go with their friends since they turned 18, I prefer to go with my mum and we have at least as much fun as I do when going with my friends. This year I thing the trip will go to Greece and I am so excited!

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My mum took me on many adventures when I was young and I think that is what has made me so curious about the world and how other people live their lives.

Even as a single mum, my mum was never afraid of adventures, and to try new things and for this I am so grateful. When I was 14 we went to live in Cyprus for almost three months. We rented a flat where the locals lived, and became close friends with neighbors whom many of did not even speak English. I remember so well us having the children in the flat compartment in for tea everyday and sitting downstairs trying to make a conversation with their grandmother in very simple Greek.
We found some chicken eggs on our veranda in this apartment that was abandoned by their mum, and we took care of them until they came out and then until they where old enough to fly on their own.
The time there taught me to speak English and  even some Greek, but most of all it taught me of different ways to live in different cultures and that there is not necessarily a better or worse way of living, just different.

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She probably will kill me for this one, but sorry, it is too funny
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My mum and I at The Blue Mosque in Istanbul last year

When I was feeling down in my teenage years we got a beautiful golden retriever called Bob Marley. My mum did not really need the extra work load, but she knew how good it would be for me, and it was and she agreed to it. And we ended up having the love and laughter of a dog in our home until he passed away in 2011.

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When I was 16 years old and my biggest dream was so go on exchange for one year to Australia, my mum supported me 100 percent and let me travel to the other side of the world for a year at only 16 years old. I am sure it was not easy, but again she knew how I wanted it and how good it would be for me to gain that experience and let me go.

I could list examples like this all day, but the most important thing she does for me is that she is always there for me. As a friend and as a mother, whenever I need support. She is such a fun and loving lady and looks amazing for her age. I am very proud and what better day to give credit to all that she does than on her birthday.

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Happy birthday mum, love you xxx

– Camilla

A beautiful place

Good morning!

I have been away for some time now after I had to go to Norway for a funeral. It is safe to say my goal to blog everyday has gone down the drain, but now that I am back in London and a new week is beginning I will be much better!

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Last week we had to go to Norway for the funeral of a close family member to me.
It was a sad week, loosing someone you love is hard no matter how old they are or how much you have tried to prepare for it.

As my family is originally from the West in Norway, it became a week with a lot of travel. From where I landed in the south it is about a seven hour drive to the part of the West where my family is and then a few days after it was a seven hours drive back down before flying again back to London. The landscape on the trip is beautiful though, and we were so lucky to have beautiful weather in the West.

Here is some pictures from our week:

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The view from the church in the West part of Norway. What a beautiful place to be laid to rest.

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Pictures taken in the West part of Norway
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The long drive south
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Greg at my mum’s house
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Someone tired from all the travel

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That is the update for the past week!

I hope everyone will have a great Sunday! I am on my way out the door now to enjoy my last day of the weekend, which I will update on later today! How are you spending your Sunday?

– Camilla

 

 

Oslo Baby!

Hello again from Oslo!

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What a cold few days! Greg and I have been exploring Oslo for the past two days and how cold it has been! Yesterday was -13 celsius and we were absolutely freezing!

I had of course left my warm down jacket back in Kristiansand when I was home for Christmas because I hadn’t thought of that we would be in Oslo before coming back home. And I definitely was not prepared for it to be so cold! On top of that I had forgot to pack both gloves and a hat. The first day, before buying a new pair of gloves I nearly thought I would lose my hands it was so cold!

Apart from the biting cold it was a very nice couple of days though. Oslo is such a nice city, and when coming form London, it is refreshingly easy to move around in – being much smaller than London you can easily walk around to see everything without relying on transportation.

One if the places we went to see was Vigelandsparken. This is a park full of naked statues and is very famous in Norway. The most famous statue is situated in the middle of the park and is called ‘Monolitten’. This is a very tall staute of naked people in different positions.
Because it was so freezing we rushed through the park as the cold was painfully biting, but the upside to it being so cold was that we had the park almost to ourselves.IMG_1076IMG_1082IMG_108112511680_10153234369607097_475982412_n12506583_10153234369482097_296957794_n12511873_10153234369622097_606982170_n12511724_10153234369562097_1101214028_n

After Vigelandsparken, we walked around Oslo. We went to wave to the king at the Castle (slottet) we saw the parliament, the opera and the city fort. Here are some photos:

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We got a hotel for the time, and it was lovely to have some time for just the two of us. Not to mention there is nothing better than a hotel breakfast in the morning.

Now we have made our way south in Norway and are at my mums house, so nice to be back home and to so much snow!
Time for bed now, will speak tomorrow.

Have a good night,

– Camilla

 

Sleepless in Oslo

Hello from Oslo!

We have been quite busy the last few days, and now it is time for a small holiday in Norway with my family and friends.

We got on the flight to Oslo 7 in the morning from Gatwick airport and we are staying in a hotel in Oslo tonight before taking the train down south tomorrow.
The plan was for us to explore Oslo in the daytime after checking in, and take it easy tomorrow before we travel, but we were both exhausted by the time we got here and we ended up sleeping all day. I was especially tired as I have not been able to get any sleep at all the last two days. I guess setting up our life and looking for a place to live, as fun as it is also stressed me out a little to much and ended up taking my sleep away. But that is fine, we got a lot of rest today, and we will do our exploring tomorrow!IMG_1055

In the evening we had dinner with one of my best friend that also lives in Oslo. It was so good to see her again, and catch up and nice that she could meet Greg for the first time! Oslo is such a nice city and it was nice to get a little glims of it today after all.

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After dinner we just had a quiet night in, Greg is asleep now, but I cant get to sleep after our long nap in the day, so I am sitting up at night blogging, whilst Greg is in dreamland next to me.

I hope everyone has a great night and we will speak again tomorrow.

– Camilla