Lent for the 1st time.

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Sometime after lent had commenced I decided that maybe I ought to try it, not that I was aware of when it started exactly, as the local church is somewhat neglected by the church authorities and don’t even have a service every Sunday; but that’s ok, the most important thing is that the church hasn’t been closed and is still standing strong, open at all times, after all these years. (It’s Norman and an absolute beauty).

Lent was interesting as it functions like a habit-breaker, I was not entirely successful but at least I gave it a go and tried my best. The biblical reason for this strange “celebration” is that Jesus was wandering around in the desert for a while and withstood temptation from the Devil ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I personally have not reached this section of the Bible as I’m still working my way through the Old Testament; I’ve largely been a protestant-in-name-only, (or secular protestant) my entire life, gradually turning to Christianity over the last few years. So lent was pretty new to me (just like attending Holy Communion), but a valuable lesson nonetheless.

The Church of England is struggling greatly; they don’t have enough funds to look after England’s numerous and beautiful places of worship, and most people who I’ve run into complain about dwindling numbers when it comes to attendance.

It is rather sad since England is an Anglican country and so far I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed whatever services I’ve come to; I also heard complaints about general low attendance over in Norway last time I was there. There also seem to be many women who take it upon themselves to keep the faith alive by becoming priests.

The Old Testament is proving a very interesting read as it illustrates how various tribes interact with one another; how everyone travels to Israel to shower the Jews with gifts and praise when they are strong and under tough leadership, while everyone tries to take advantage, looting and conquering the Jews once they are seen as weak! The work is repetitive, as I’ve also written in the very looooong review that I’m writing about it; it is hard to read due to the fact that it was not written to be a page turner. Names of entire Jewish families are listed over and over and over again, which certainly makes for tiresome reading. I therefore decided to check out “The Lion Encyclopaedia of Jesus.,” just to get a more “in-depth” introduction to Jesus; in comparison to what little I already knew.

If you feel like helping persecuted Christians then please read this: “Persecuted Christians around the World.”ย If you live in England then maybe this will be of interest: “The Vulnerability of the Poor & Our Shared Cultural Heritage.” Here are some interesting petitions to check out:ย Petitions To Sign & Share.

Here are more books on spirituality & self-help:

โ€œAn Angel Saved Meโ€ by Theresa Cheung.

\m/ Spiritus Gladius \m/

The Map of Heaven โ€“ by Dr. Eben Alexander & Ptolemy Tompkins.

Spooky Cults, Online Shaming and Alcoholism.

โ€œDonโ€™ts for Weddingsโ€ from 1904.

Abortion.

Is Christianity & Islam Compatible?

Patron Saints of Europe.

Intellectual vs. Popular vs. Physical Satanism.

St.Patricks Day a Christian Holiday??????????

A History Magazine from Norway.

Ancient Greek Myths โ€“ The Universe, The Gods, And Mortals told by Jean-Pierre Vernant.

The Odyssey โ€“ for children.

Boosting Energy So You Can Play More!

The Occult Symbolism of Led Zeppelin

How To Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.

Willing To Win.

Taking Back Your Time. (goodbye April, hello May)

Bli Best Med Mental Trening by Erik Bertrand Larssen.

The Chimp Paradox.

Live Better & Longer by Michel Cymes.

Lโ€™ Art De La Simplicitรฉ By Dominique Loreau.

The Clever Guts Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley.

The Map of Heaven – by Dr. Eben Alexander & Ptolemy Tompkins.

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This was an interesting read written by a Neurosurgeon who experienced a near-death experience. He is obviously very well read as he quotes a great arsenal of influential philosophers and whatnot. The book is easy to read (but not too much); you’ll race through it in no time. My only critique is that it gets a bit repetitive at times.

Dr. Alexander is one of those people who don’t believe in organised religion but rather thinks that we are all united in describing the same phenomena but in slightly different ways. The book contains several letters sent to the author where people describe all sorts of “paranormal” experiences/behaviour.

The bottom line is that hell doesn’t exists; all you feel when you step over to “the other side” is endless love; you’ll also meet your loved ones once again, if you are open for it. When I shared this with my brother, he revealed to me that there are plenty of stories of unpleasant near-death experiences out there, something that surprised me as I’ve certainly never read or seen anything like that. Who knows? Maybe it sells more to write about unconditional love without any rules of conduct to obtain it…

It is interesting that the superior “beings” (angels?) from not just Dr.Alexander’s experience but other ones as well, are described as clouds of light, or beings that are just light – makes me think of something else I’m currently reading – hmmmm…*cough* *cough* … the Bible….

According to Dr.Alexander you can get in touch with the creator-force of this universe by immersing yourself in binaural beats and meditation. It is obvious that the Doctor feels that his message is an important one; as we all need to understand that we all come from the same life-force and will be re-united with it on this “other” spiritual plateau of existence after death; maybe even before if meditating and “Ommmmmm”-ing enough.

Love is the message of this book. Be kind and don’t worry. The end is nothing to be afraid of. You are not alone. You are loved. Amen.

 

 

The Chimp Paradox.

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I’m almost done with Prof Steve Peters’s book.

After reading the first chapter I was planning on criticising his work for its limited, repetitive, simplified vocabulary. This book is a shockingly ย easy read which may leave you feeling underestimated as a reader. Considering what an impressive CV Peters has I expected something very, very heavy, but as this work is intended for the masses I guess it was decided to make it ย u-n-d-e-r-s-t-a-n-d-a-b-l-e… (So try not to feel insulted by that and prepare to feel like someone is talking to you like you are an idiot). It is also obvious that Peters is terrified of being a controversial character as he continuously makes sure that he doesn’t generalise, almost apologising for scientific facts as he literally tries to wear a literary bullet proof west in an attempt to not offend anyone. It seems like this book was first published in 1988, then re-published in 2012, so if I’m correct it was originally written way before the SJW craze, which makes me wonder if the SJW mentality has always been a problem…..

The book is good and picks up after chapter 1. It ties in with other mental training books especially Willi Railo’sย work ย as Peters explains how you can re-program your mind to fulfil your potential. The work becomes increasingly brutal as you go deeper into it with Peters delivering one hard truth after another. “The chimp” is nothing but brilliant as it highlights comical behaviours which evokes hilarious ย associations with your inner “chimp” and its irrationality. Prepare to chuckle your way through several of the chapters.

I certainly had some questions answered by reading this book, so even though the language is simplified it delves further into the mind than a lot of other “similar” works. It is of course always advisable to read this type of literature with a pencil or marker at the ready as no mentality-change will ever happen over night. If you want to exert your full potential you have to be committed.

We Have Always Lived In The Castle.

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Shirley Jackson’s “We Have Always Lived In The Castle” offers the best literary description of mob mentality and social anxiety that I’ve come across so far. Jackson display her extraordinary ability of realistic descriptions of human beings and their strange quirks. Especially amusing and tragic are her characters attempts at keeping up a normal life, when their circumstances are anything but. The change of atmosphere in the ย Blackwood’s family home at the arrival of their male cousin is very realistic. The relationship between the sisters suffer a strain when the oldest one, realises how miserable her existence is. With the arrival of Charles, Constance longs to escape her suffocating, pantomime of a life. Her character displays clarity for the first time in the story, but only due to a man’s influence. Gravity shifts from Merricat to Charles, who now enters the household as the most dominant character. Both Merricat and Charles are negative forces in their own right, influencing and/or destroying those around them in order to get what they want or to make a point. Charles is more obvious and by shaking up the relationships within the family change the atmosphere of the household completely. Merricat internalize her contempt, is vindictive by nature and more subtle. She displays an “us vs. them” attitude in regards to the villagers, but only in her own thoughts. The ending of the story is very tragic and can be read as a warning of what can happen if someone never leaves their comfort zone. The sisters are pretty much buried alive in a fantasy, that only death will liberate them from.

The book yields few “stand-alone” quotes and has to be enjoyed and valued in its entirety.

” It was a fine April morning when I came out of the library; the sun was shining and the false glorious promises of spring were everywhere, showing oddly through the village grime.”

“Their throats will burn when the words come out, and in their bellies they will feel a torment hotter than a thousand fires.”

My only criticism is the excessive focus on food in the story.

Goodbye March, Hello April :)

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Another month of the year was over not too long ago, and what a great month that was ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a great Easter celebration and a great St. Patrick as well! ย Music wise the classical album kept on selling and we launched a promo vid for my upcoming release, which is now available for pre-order ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not long now till I have the actual physical CDs in my hand and not that long till I’ll be playing the classical music live either ๐Ÿ˜€ Wo-ho!

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I had way too much fun doing this โ†“

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Can you spot my egg? ๐Ÿ˜›

 

In Norway we read/watch crime for Easter ๐Ÿ˜› Check my review here:ย My Easter Read

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Seriously, Carluccio’s cupcakes are nothing but divine ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ #BestThingEver #LikeEver

 

 

 

A book is not good unless you have to read it with a dictionary ๐Ÿ˜€ ha-ha

Still working on this oneย โ†“

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Willing To Win.

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I decided to re-read the books that I have regarding performance psychology etc. and the first book I finished up was Willi Railo’s Classic ย “Willing To Win”.

By reading my selection of books simultaneously it gave me the opportunity to compare different points of view.

Willi Railo’s classic is tailor made and intended towards athletes, this doesn’t mean that it is unsuitable for musicians, as the mentality or problem of performance anxiety certainly concerns more people than just those involved in sports.

The book is full of helpful tips and great stories from various athletes, so that you can compare and read about how a change in attitude/inner dialogue helped sport’s men and women win.

The book shows you how you can actually fulfill your potential and use your mental resources in the best way.

If you are willing, that is- willing to win ๐Ÿ™‚

There are plenty of advice regarding what type of action one should take to eradicate certain issues one might have.

This obviously takes time, as does physical training.

My mother bought this book for me, as she knew of Railo due to his extensive work with Grete Waitz. Railo also helped Manchester United when they had Eriksson as their coach.

It is a book of indispensable value to anyone interested or engaged in any sort of performance.

Why performance psychology isn’t more wide spread in the music industry beats me.

I suspect that it makes for a dull story. Much more profitable with an industry littered with scandals and tragedy.

Swimming on a roof, how to cook Mussels and Sogn & Fjordane! Lots of pictures!

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It’s so wild to experience the tube with no people. So surreal.

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The best spot is wherever there is a power outlet. So funny.

IMG_0005 IMG_0007Me looking very cheerful.

This is the best view ever, btw. Nothing beats seeing the world from the skies.

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Hunting for food, in the middle of the night over at the hotel.

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“Mandatory” make-up selfie.

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When you’ve been living in the UK for way too long, you re-create the “meal-deal” when you are abroad ๐Ÿ˜› See what I mean?

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When my stay was over at the hotel, I had the most amazing host ever. An old family friend of ours called Kjell. A former business man, he told me of all of his adventures from doing business in Africa, to being a ski instructor in California, from being a teacher, to working at a hospital being in charge of a number of exciting things. He told of fist fights with a gang in America, hunting trips to the Balkans next to what would become Tito’s hunting lodge and a scandalous, headline grabbing news story involving a sea plane and a police officer who decided to hang onto one of the floats on said plane, as he was trying to catch the pilot ( a friend of Kjell), who had been shooting whatever deer he could find, which is illegal ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

A very entertaining stay indeed, I had the time of my life. Here you got Kjell, a real life “Indiana Jones” type of character, a proper adventurer \m/

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“The life of the rich & the famous” ๐Ÿ˜›

Swimming on top of the Aker brygge skyline in Oslo. The most exclusive area to live in Norway.

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If you are ever making Mussels….I’ll help you out a little…

First, you gotta sort them out. Any mussel that is open already from the store you gotta throw away.

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Then you gotta “steam” them. Which means that you need a steam cooker!

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If a Mussel doesn’t open up after steaming, you have to dispose of it. Steam them until they open up and have a nice orang-y colour.

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Then you are ready to dive in ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect dinner for two ๐Ÿ™‚

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The only thing nicer than reading to yourself, is reading aloud.

Especially if the literature of choice is amazing poetry.

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I love Jakob Sande.

I don’t know if you can find his work in English, if you can’t you should learn Norwegian so you can read this ๐Ÿ˜›

Yes, here is a picture of something seriously mundane. A dishwasher. But I had never seen anything like it and loved that you put your cutlery up there in stead. Apparently it makes your forks & knifes cleaner. So there, I learned something new.

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Hmmmm…..no Cecil the Lion? I used to sleep on top of that Canadian Bear when I was a kid, I would sleepover in the room where all the hunting rifles were. It made quite an impression on me as a child.

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Whenever I was in Norway as a child I always felt that there was a Moose head staring at me. Seriously, there was always a moose head or a reindeer head hanging somewhere when you went to a house.

I remember I saw my “uncle” cut up a Moose once, Jesuuus, poor thing.

There was always a spinning wheel to be found somewhere as well….

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Look at that view!

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You will never run out of shrimps in Norway.

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No excuse. If you can’t go online, go for pen & paper.

Here are some pics from Aardal ( Fossenes dal = The Valley of the waterfalls) in Sogn & Fjordane.

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A Norwegian bakery.

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This Ladies & Gentlemen is a proper Norwegian mountain tunnel. I was so fascinated that I took a gazillion pictures and even some films. It’s so tight that only one car can drive at the time, meaning…you got some “pockets” on the side of this…ehm…road..where you can go if you encounter any traffic in the non-existent other lane.

This was very cool though. Notice how you are truly in a cave. Hardly any smooth lines.

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We went for a picturesque drive to check out “Offerdalen” which directly translated, if you were to be creative, sounds more like ” The Valley Of Sacrifice”… sounds very Viking-ish to me!

That is a very Norwegian looking farm btw, that’s the style.

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Here they would cut up trees…or would that be timber? Not quite sure how to explain it, but this is old and out of use obviously. They cut down the trees in the forest and sent the wood down the stream and that eventually led the trees here, where they were cut up. These buildings are a fine example of Norwegian heritage when it comes to old buildings and how things were once upon a time.

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The water is so clean that you could actually drink right out from the stream. I was so tempted but I didn’t dare…I was afraid of catching an infection or something, so silly. If I ever go there again I’ll give it a go.

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Dad & me.

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This Ladies & Gentlemen is a Norwegian “ute do” ( outside toilet)

It’s obviously the ancient version of toilet. But for some strange reason there is this Norwegian tradition that you should keep a cabin up in the mountains, this cabin should preferably have no water ( so you will have to go and pump it out from somewhere or collect rain water) and to stay true to tradition this cabin should also include the “iconic” “outside-toilet”. So when I was a kid, believe it or not, I also had the privilege of experiencing the “ute do”. I don’t think it is that common anymore now. But here you got one.

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More of the lovely panorama.

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Some information…We had an ancient Stabbur when I was little, in fact we had two. And we also had a house where one half was modern and the other half was really, really old, with a “Grue” which is a fireplace you put a cauldron in & stand upright in…and there was also grass on the ceiling. So pretty, so romantic.

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Just a random waterfall…

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Quality time with Grandpa ๐Ÿ™‚

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In Norway, we watch chess tournaments…Here we are watching Magnus Carlsen kicking ass.

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And here is a picture of Grandpa playing chess with his brother. Look at the style. So cool.

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There are some old copper & silver mines in Aardal so we decided to go and take a look ๐Ÿ™‚

Check these pictures out, so cool! I can’t believe I’ve been inside a REAL mine!!!

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You gotta write down your name!

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And here we have reached our destination!

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Check out how awesome this looks like!!!!

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I was almost expecting a Dragon or something.

Aardal by night.

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Yummy. I love Marzipan cake. Yum yum.

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There is no end to how many books Grandpa has. It’s so cool. I love literature and once again as I said previously, reading alone is great but reading together is way more fun.

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Grandpa loves Russian culture. He made the Icon in the middle himself.

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Saying goodbye after a week up in the Norse mountains.

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Suitable reading material. Funny enough I wrote an entry on the 8th of March about badass women where I included a number of female Russian snipers.ย 20 Badass Women!ย It’s so weird for me to read Norwegian these days. I gotta do it more.

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Back home in the UK!

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And back to doing this sort of thing…

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