Sunday, May 30, 2010

NY Day 4/5 - Typical tourist activities

 Taking a break halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge

Breakfast on the go: Sis checking out the selection at a sandwich store

Day four, with our luggage in place, we finally decided it was time for some sightseeing. My sister wanted to visit the Norwegian Seamen's Church, located in Midtown East. Since it was a Sunday, there was a service. Because of all the people stranded by the ash cloud, we were told there were a lot more visitors than usual. Here's my sis outside the rather unpretentious church:

The American and the Norwegian flags side by side

And a little lipstick is needed before entering the service at King Olav the 5th's Church, as it's called:

"Do I look presentable now?"

Later on we met up with our cousin to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Caught in a windy moment here:

After crossing the bridge, we hailed a cab from the Brooklyn side of the brigde and went to Williamsburg. The guidebook was over itself about how fantastic that area is supposed to be. While that might be so during nighttime, going out to the many clubs or bars, it certainly wasn't much fun during a cold and windy Sunday afternoon. Our very quick retreat back to Manhattan was unanimous.

That night I had made a reservation for the four of us at the Tao Restaurant, after reading a blogpost about it by fellow blogger She Wore It Well from Melbourne, Australia. Now, that was a success seen from my point of view. I loved the busy atmosphere of the place, the interior design and the food. Having been tempted by a picture SWIW had posted, of the Giant Fortune cookie dessert, I could hardly wait to try it for myself:

Inside one side: White chocolate mousse. Inside the other: Milk chocolate mousse. One serving was big enough for four. One word to describe it: Fantastic!

On our day of returning home, we spent the last few hours checking out some of the stores on the Upper West Side, around the area where we were staying. Sis made certain she did not forget any necessities before leaving:

All stocked up

I made it into a Gap store and found three pairs of shorts for summer. One pair of beige linen shorts, and two pairs of a model they called boyfriend shorts, one white and one army green:

They should all go really well with my love of everything khaki or army green colored, like this top and jacket which I got from H&M when I returned home:

Or this tank from last year's Diesel collection with an army green bra underneath:

The only sad thing is, with all this stress I've experienced lately my weight has dropped several kilos. While they fit perfectly in the store a month ago, wearing a pair of shorts today for the first time this summer I found now they're a bit on the big side. 

Oh well, I guess that gives me an excuse to have a lot of ice cream when the sun starts heating things up.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Balenciaga open toe ankle boots

(Photo from Browns)

As worn by Charlotte Gainsbourg at a photo call at the Cannes Film Festival (right image). Love everything about that outfit, and the shoes - OH LA LA! If only I had £795 to spare (and not too many shoes already..., eh..never mind that, can there ever be too many shoes, really?).

 (Photo from Fabsugar)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Under my umbrella

Well, that's where I've spent most of my time this week, anyway.

Since returning back to Oslo on Tuesday after spending the weekend and our National Day (Constitution Day) on May 17th at my sister's place in Southern Norway, the weather has been gorgeous and very warm. Perfect for outdoor activites (read: keeping cool in the shade of my parasol). To quote one of my favorite songs by Kid Rock: I've been sittin' here wasting time - drinkin', smokin', tryin' to free my mind....

 (Terrace slippers - great for lounging around)

These past few weeks since returning from New York have been quite the ordeal. It all started last summer, really. A tiny pea sized lump on my tummy caused me to worry enough to have the Cancer Centre change my scheduled routine check-up from October to August. Nothing wrong was found. It grew, and was taken out by a local surgeon in November. By January it was back, twice the size. It was removed once again by the same surgeon. At the February check-up the Cancer Centre found no reason to worry. Again, the tests showed nothing wrong. By the beginning of March the lump exploded in size. My GP thought it better to have the Cancer Centre take a closer look and asked them to give me a new appointment Almost two months later I finally got a response - from the head of the department of plastic surgery! He flat out refused giving me a new appointment to have the lump removed and examined. Like he thought I was a lunatic hypocondriac or something. In the meantime, the lump had grown even more.

That's when I decided to invest in getting a check-up at a private hospital. Unfortunately, they don't have a department for treating cancer, and since that's what they're thinking the lump might be, they sent a rather strongly worded referral back to the public hospital, asking to have it removed within one to two weeks. Even if it turns out to be benign, it must be removed shortly, they said, otherwise the surgeon won't be able to close the opening in the skin as it it will be too big to pull together. A week later I was called in for a consultation, which consisted of a surgeon taking a superficial look at it, and telling me he would waitlist me for a surgery. Then - nothing. No word from the hospital. When my GP called the surgery coordinator yesterday, he claimed my papers must have been misplaced as he had not received them, so no surgery was scheduled. I don't know what my GP said to him, but at least she could give me the good news that I'm going for a CT-scan on Tuesday and surgery next Friday.

The fight for being treated, the worry and the waiting has caused complete exhaustion on my part, thus no blogging. But for all that have been so kind and left encouraging and comforting comments here; Thank you!

For LouBoo and the challenge of a Grumpy Meme, I guess I'm so grumpy about the arrogance of some of the doctors at the public hospital I can think of little else at the moment to go grrrrr! about. When fighting for one's health and maybe even life against a couple of bastards in white coats, everything else turns pale in comparison. But otherwise, all kinds of injustice and cruelty towards humans and animals usually trigger my temperament to the extent of explosion.

For Soul Princess and the challenge of discussing one's blogging habits, blogging isn't really that big a part of my life. Originally I started blogging just to discuss clothes, shoes and make-up with a friend living in the US and anyone else possibly interested, but somehow my blog has turned into more of the "everything else" part than fashion and beauty, it seems. At least for the moment. What I really enjoy about it though, is the contact with other bloggers, all the inspiration I get from them and also the feedback, both from bloggers and my family and friends.

And for Holly Wolf and your comment to this post - yes, that is cousin Denise. And if she's your cousin too, it must mean we're somehow related - and I can't place you. Now, that has me really intrigued...or wait - do you happen to live in San Diego? :)

Well, that's it for now. I'm done with the "drinking and smoking" for today. Tomorrow I'll be doing more of the waisting time bit - in gardening centres. There's still a few more flowers needed by the "early morning sun/afternoon shade wall" here, I believe.

At least until the climbing Flammentanz rose in the corner (which were about 5 cm (2 inches) tall when I planted it a month ago) grows a bit further and becomes more like this:

 (Random photo from the net)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Into the swing of things

A gorgeous spring afternoon in Oslo today. Hard to believe it was only 4 days since we had 3 inches of snow!

While playing along with my friend's kids in their backyard, I just couldn't help myself getting a little carried away. After being reassured the kids' swings were certified for "elephants", I tapped into my inner childish spirit and had a go at it. Must be at least ten years since I last did this:

My friend's daughter and her pal had fun too, after "auntie" brought along things that are usually totally off-limits:

Wearing: Volcom T-shirt, Levi's jeans, Converse Allstars and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Health related causes put brakes on blogging

There are many posts and comments on other's blogs waiting to be published from my side. One reason for my absence during the better part of a week, has been a) I've been out of town to celebrate my stephbrother's 40th, my father's 75th and my nephew's confirmation - parties three days in a row have taken their toll.

The other reason is b) exhaustion from arguing with doctors. I rarely comment on political or medical things on my blog, which I strive to keep limited to more important interesting things in life, like fashion, shoes, Chanel nail polish and furry friends. In this case I'm making a rare exception to that rule, as there is also this small, but very energy consuming case of an undiagnosed tumor growing on my tummy. I'ts taken me a hell of a lot of work, more than half a dozen phonecalls to doctors and hospital VIP's to get an appointment, but I'm finally off to see a private doctor tomorrow. Paying for their services is the final solution, with the Norwegian public health system cynically exploiting the possibilities that some patients might (hopefully to them) die while being waitlisted. One less troublesome and expensive cancer patient in the queue seems to be their goal.

Thank you all for all the nice comments you write on my blog. I'll be back with updates on New York, lousy shampoos, National Norwegian costumes and a bloody snowstorm killing my freshly planted terrace spring flowers (on MAY 4TH GODDAMNIT!) later on.

 (Oslo, noontime, May 4th 2010. Picture by