I was out walking my regular route to the university the other day when I decided to take a detour through the kolonihage. A kolonihage (directly translated: colony garden) is an area of garden patches designed to give those of us who are living in condos or apartment buildings the pleasure and agonies of having a garden. Typically each garden has a tiny cabin or hut in it, so the kolonihage looks a little like a village for small people. (By using my googling skills I have learned that the proper English word for kolonihage would be either 'community garden' or 'allotment'.)
Oslo has quite a few of those 'villages' since gardening always has been considered healthy for mind and body, something every Norwegian should partake in directly after climbing a mountain or hike in the forest – activities we all do every Sunday, of course.
I’ve never really been the gardening (or mountain climbing) type, but I like walking through the kolonihage. The houses are adorable, and it is rather amazing to see what they manage to do even in such limited garden space. Flowers, vegetables, trees – and the obligatory hammock.
Since I moved not long ago, I haven’t been able to explore the kolonihage in my new neighbourhood yet. As I walked down the gravel lane with white picket fences on each side, I suddenly noticed a familiar pennant. It said “Portveien 2”.
I went SQUEEEEE!
I realize this will not make sense to anyone that isn’t Norwegian, but let me try to translate it. Imagine you were walking around in your neighbourhood, and suddenly you found yourself strolling down Sesame Street. (Don’t tell me you didn’t go SQUEEEEE! now… )
I always knew they shot this show somewhere in Oslo, and I may have even known that it was in one of the kolonihage, but this sounded unlikely to me since I didn’t remember the house in the show as particularly small. In retrospect, I can think of two possible explanations to that: First of all, I was a lot smaller myself, so naturally the house looked bigger. Secondly, all houses looked small inside the TV… (Naturally, this was before the age of giant plasma screens)
Seeing the (slightly smaller than I remembered) house took me right back to my childhood. Suddenly I craved popsicles and my mother’s homemade pizza. I imagined waving my bare toes from the highest point of the swing set’s pendulum. Had I seen any, I would have picked wild strawberries and put them on a straw.
Walking through that kolonihage made me 20 years younger in a second. When I left, I was back at my own age, but with a smile on my face.
In other giraffe related news, I was thrilled to discover earlier this week that one of my giraffes (one that has made an appearance on this blog before) was chosen as "Giraffe of the day # 391" on http://www.onemilliongiraffes.com/. This project, which started as a silly bet, has earned originator and Giraffe in Command, Ola, 884,834 handmade giraffes since he started collecting a little over a year ago. The goal is to reach 1,000,000 before the end of this year, and it looks like Ola is going to win his bet. But there are still 115,166 giraffes missing - you go make one right now, and upload it to (I'll provide the link just one more time, shall I?) http://burrowers.blogspot.com/ - just kidding - to http://www.onemilliongiraffes.com/, of course :)
Have a very happy weekend, lovely followers! Don't forget to check in at the Burrow Blog. We have a special something planned for this weekend :)