Hi everyone! Hope your summer has been going well, and that it feels like summer where you are. We had a couple of days over 90 degrees last week, and since then it's been back to 60 and raining. I've been keeping fairly busy both with work and with the rest of life. Since last time I posted (wow, almost a month ago?)...
I went to Oslo, Norway for a conference where I was presenting a paper with a friend from the Lab. Oslo is a really lovely city. I was there for a few days at the end of May, which was perfect...it'd started to get around 60 degrees during the day, the sun stayed up forever (we're talking still light at 10:30PM), and spring flowers were everywhere. I spent most of the time at the conference at the University of Oslo, but also had some time to wander around the city, see the amazing Vigeland Sculpture Park, get a tour of the City Hall, and see the evening changing of the flags by the palace.
On the first day I was in Oslo, I also met up with the amazing Anika! She's every bit as awesome and sweet as she seems on her blog (and, by the way, if you haven't visited her blog yet, you should go over there right now. I'll wait...) She showed me around some of Oslo and we had coffee over at the Opera House (the iceberg-like structure rising out of the water behind us). Thanks, Anika, for being such a great host and welcoming me to Norway!
A mural in the main room of the Oslo City Hall
I didn't know very much about Norway before the trip, so was really interesting to learn about the country's history and culture. It's only been about the last hundred years that Norway has been a completely independent country...before that, it was in "unions" with Sweden for most of the 19th century, and with Denmark for almost 500 years before that. So the Norwegians eventually gain their independence, and have to figure out/define for themselves what it means to be "Norwegian." Norway was also apparently a fairly poor country until the discovery of oil resources around 1970. So all of that contributes to some very interesting art and design throughout the city.
One of the many, many sculptures in the Vigeland Sculpture Park
This was definitely a great trip, and makes me want to do a lot more travel! (Though at least it's satisfied my resolution for this year of finding some way to make it back to Europe.)
I also started the Me-Made-June challenge, pledging to wear at least one handmade or refashioned garment/piece of jewelry every day in May. I'll post some pictures of a handful of outfits soon... I've been doing well with the challenge, and there have only been a couple of days when my handmade jewelry was the only me-made piece in the outfit.
And a few other random things...
--I've been running a bunch. A week ago, I ran over five miles for the first time, going all the way into Boston to see a friend's art piece at a festival. The run wasn't all in one stretch, but had a couple of breaks (including the stop in a CVS trying to find someone who knew where the street I was looking for might be...)
--A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a tremendous haul of yarn from someone on Freecyle who no longer needed it. (We're talking several large bags and boxes worth!) Now back to some serious crocheting/knitting!
--I've also been preparing for my best friend's wedding (!!!) this weekend. I'm one of her bridesmaids and just found out yesterday she'd like me to give a toast at the reception! (now have to figure out what to say...anyone have experience with this?) I'm really happy for her and looking forward to the wedding!
--I've been spending a fair amount of time with friends, including hosting a couple of fun dinner/cooking parties. The last one was cheese-themed (so...much...cheese), and tonight we're having a foods-from-childhood dinner.
How has summer been treating you?