Tuesday, September 08, 2009
The weather is Norway has not generally been great this summer. Last year it was exceptionally hot until 3rd August, the date we arrived here from France. The next day the temperature jumped off its high plateau and hovered around five degrees lower for the rest of August. This year, the good weather was certainly in the earlier part of the summer with a couple of warm weeks at the tail end of June. The hottest day was the 29th June which is when my parents arrived here for a few days holiday. In the same way that my brother thinks that Norway is always covered in thick snow after visiting in exceptional February conditions, my parents now think that Norway is always bathed in sunshine.
The truth is that the weather is extremely unpredictable. The forecasts seem to be often incorrect. When I took a week off in August, heavy rain was predicted all week, so that we abandoned our plans to go camping. But in the end it rained very little. The picture above shows how things looked last Sunday when we went walking at Reianes, an island to the north of Stavanger: overcast, rain threatening but just about holding off, patches of sunlight on the sea.
The agricultural land here is marginal, close to the wild. The trees are mainly rowan, covered with red berries at this time of year, and the ground is marshy, poorly drained and good only for sheep. On our walk we discovered a few dead ewes in various stages of decomposition, simply left to rot away. The rocky coast is littered with flotsam, but only very high on the shore suggesting that the waves off the North Sea can scour high up the rocky platform. In the bay a lone fisherman patrolled his lobster pots and I caught sight of a martin scampering among the low juniper bushes that grow along the shore. We were all rather soggy when we got back to the car after losing the path, fording the marshes and scrambling with the children over unstable walls of loose stones.