The thought never occurred to me until I was chatting with a Norwegian friend the other day. We were discussing the weather and snow, as you usually do in Norway for casual chit-chat. In Alta we have had a large snow dump, then it melted and froze, turning all the city into a massive iceskating rink. I told my friend that I was having a hard time of it even just walking 2 metres on the ice – I was like an octopus on roller-skates. He said it is because I’m too stiff. I heard a ‘ding’ in the background. He was right. Every time I feel a little slip on the ice I squeal and tense up preparing to fall. But my friend said, Norwegians, when they slip and slide on the ice, they just ‘hang loose and go with it’. If they are going to slide anyway they may as well do it in style.
For the last couple of days I’ve been trying to ‘hang loose and go with it’ – it is not working yet. I’m sure the horses were giggling at me when I was skating to them with a bucket of water. They shouldn’t laugh, they look mighty funny themselves crossing an icy patch. And I have seen both the sheep and geese fall on their butts being a little too eager to beat the others to the food.