Monochrome Series 4: The Worker

When I was still living in the city, I wondered where the bees were, because I only saw a couple of these pollinators even though the place is rich in plants and flowers. I always have a fascination for bees because of their bright yellow and black color. Also, these species has an enorm contribution to the ecosystem. Without them, we would starve to death. Going back to where the bees are, they are on the countryside. Apparently, they do not thrive in the city. For sure, because of the pollution and the human population threatening their peace and existence.

 

 
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Monochrome Series 3: Abandoned

A couple of hundred meters away from where I live, there is a growing number of forest. Inside these forests are hidden cabins/houses that have been abandoned for many years. We found two of them at the moment and these cabins seem to have stories to tell if only the doors are unlocked. There was of course the temptation to break in, but I respect the door locks for perhaps the owners wanted it that way. And I find it very rude to just break in into someone’s property without permission. Well, we were already trespassing on their property already and breaking in will be way too much, in my opinion.

The first house is not hard to find because it is located by the main tractor road and it is located just behind someone’s active property. But as you can see in the picture, mother nature is slowly, but surely taking over the property.

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House #1

House number 2 on the other hand is a bit isolated. It is hard to find because of the dense forest that surrounds it.

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House #2
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House #2’s side entrance/door.
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Some of House #2’s details.

The Product

After months of never-ending work, noise, body aches and frustration, here we are finally done with the flat renovation. It’s great to see the outcome of combined ideas and tips not just from the designer but also from our family and friends.

In the process, the renovation has thought me something. It is about the effort, time and how we incorporate ideas into reality when we only have limited resources or limited budget. I’ve learned that it is alright to seek for help. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask and admit to others that we can’t do everything on our own.

Anyway, this post is not just to show you the final product of the upgrade but also to give tips on how to upgrade a flat and make it presentable on a limited budget. So here you go:

1: Declutter! – Decluttering will not only make your place neat and tidy but also easier for you to picture how you actually want the flat to look like.

2. Find for inspiration on the internet No designer? Don’t fret! Just type a keyword or two and see what the Internet has for you. Well, you don’t have to copy every single detail that you see in the pictures but let this give you an idea on what you really want to do with the flat.

3. Talk to your broker and ask for advice: If you are going to sell your crib, it is wise to ask the broker for tips and advice about what is the best for your flat. Here in Norway, brokers are good in giving tips on how and what to upgrade and calculate the cost of the renovation.

4. Borrow stuff– You don’t need to buy new sets of furniture or room decorations for the photoshoot. Ask friends if you can borrow their couch, plants and etc.

5. Less is more. – One thing that I’ve learned from Scandinavian homes is simplicity. You don’t have to use all your decors all at once. Remember, you want to emphasize the flat/property and not the decorations in it!

6. Remove all personal belongings. – I’m refering to your toothbrush, laundry and your family/couple picture on the wall.

7. Color coordination. – Colors should compliment each other.

8.Clean! – Who wants to buy a dirty place? Remember, first impression, last.

9. Use plants. – Plants can make the place look fresh and it can also take away the focus from the things that you don’t want the potential buyers to see.

10. Be sure to let natural light in. –Light is essential for bringing out the best in the room.

 

 

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The living room.

 

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Renovated kitchen.

 

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Hotel style bed. Courtesy of my partner’s siblings.

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Details

 

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The terrace.  The chairs and coffee table are borrowed from my partner’s siblings.

 

 

The Season

They’re here again to invade our pavements, restaurants and city. No they’re not on war. We are not on war with them. They walk in pairs, groups or solo. Cameras, especially the system ones are a common sight with them. Do not forget the maps and the translation devices too. Some of them know where they are heading and some get lost. Everything that we find mundane in this city, they find it exciting and interesting. Because of their curiosity about history, they fill up the museums, churches and souvenir shops.

Some locals would probably find this season annoying. Perhaps because of the amount of tourists that storm in to Bergen. In terms of the areal size, Bergen is not a big city compared to NY, London, Barcelona and etc. So a cruiseship or two will somewhow make the city center look overpopulated.

If you would ask me how I feel about it, I think it’s great that they want to explore Bergen/Norway. Tourism is also good for the economy. My only concern regarding the cruiseship industry is the pollution that comes from it. I hope that they’ll fix that too.

 

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The tourists.

 

 

Early Summer

If you will ask me when the summer season is in Norway, I’ll say in the month of May. This is the time of the year when temperature can be so high as approximately 30 plus degrees. Hence, people go out in shorts, mini skirts, and bikinis. June is really the start of summer here but it is usually rainy and cloudy. Not to forget the lower temperature as well!

So anyway, before the sun hides from us again, time to spend time under the sun or at least appreciate it.

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The Very First 17th of May

Yesterday was Norway’s constitution day. My hubby and I were home in our new place since it’s a holiday. Here in Norway, people pay respect to their holidays by not doing any kind of “noisy” work that will disturb the neighborhood and the solemnity of the celebration. Well, of course there are some who does not care about the holidays and their neighborhood, so they either get a friendly reminder from the neighbors or being reported to the police if they do not listen.

Anyway, this is our first time to have 17th May brunch in our new house. This is also my first time to prepare a proper brunch for us. I usually did not care about how the table would look like. As long as there is food on table I’m good but this year is special because we got a bigger crib and we had my hubby’s dad over for a visit.

This is also our first time to raise the flag. Never knew what time of the day we should do it. Thankfully there’s Google. We raised it around 8 a.m. and lowered or take down at 9p.m. According to the Norwegian flag site, we can raise the flag around 8 in the morning during the summer because the sun rises up during that time and pull it down no later than 9 pm because that’s the time the sun sets. Also, we can raise it even though it is dark (For instance during winter) but  should NEVER lowered it when it’s already dark.

I have no pictures of the parade because our place is not one of the routes of the 17th May parade and I got busy in preparing food and cake for dinner. However, it didn’t stop us for having a great time but next year I’ll make sure that we get to see the parade or take part of it.

 

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Our proud Norwegian flag.
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Our humble brunch setting.
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Fruits on the top, dried hams on the next and slices of bread on the buttom.