It may be Thanksgiving Day for some of my colleagues but some of us are still working. I am, however, lucky enough to be in Oslo. I flew in last night. It was dark when I arrived but there was an unmistakable hint of snow on the ground at the airport. Considering all the trips I make to this part of the world, I have been a little disappointed that I have never seen a great deal of snow here. I was particularly saddened that there was no snow in Helsinki recently. Alas, by the time I made the centre of Oslo there was nothing to be seen.
I’ve worked for American companies for a few years and never really grasped what the thanksgiving holiday was all about (apart from some very obvious things). This year I actually started to look it up:
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated between the Pilgrims and the Indians in 1621. That first feast was a three day affair. Life for the early settlers was difficult. The fall harvest was time for celebration. It was also a time of prayer, thanking God for a good crop. The Pilgrims and the Indians created a huge feast including a wide variety of animals and fowl, as well as fruits and vegetables from the fall harvest. This early celebration was the start of today’s holiday celebration. Like then, we celebrate with a huge feast. [Source: holidayinsights.com]
I would like to wish anybody passing by a very happy holiday.
Luckily, I don’t get any spam on the pages that I have allowed comments on this site.
Luckily, I don’t get any spam on the pages that I have allowed comments on this site although Six Log has a nice piece on them. However, buried in that piece is the line, “Movable Type Pro (which we’ll be talking about in more detail very soon)”. Now I am excited indeed. A little sad, huh?
The Finair flight is usually very good except for their inability to give me any kind of e-ticket on the London/Helsinki route and, in one easy move, reduce my stress about losing tickets. The flight is about three hours long and gives me the chance to stop and think. I generally travel alone and fellow passengers are not always the greatest conversationalists so I am able to enjoy the relative silence.
I have written before of my business travels to Helsinki but this is the first time I am going in the winter. I am writing this on board the Finair flight. I expect darkness and a cold air but it’s going to be interesting to me. I imagine that any photographs will be of limited use (given that I will be in offices during daylight hours).
The Finair flight is usually very good except for their inability to give me any kind of e-ticket on the London/Helsinki route and, in one easy move, reduce my stress about losing tickets. The flight is about three hours long and gives me the chance to stop and think. I generally travel alone and fellow passengers are not always the greatest conversationalists so I am able to enjoy the relative silence. I tend not to listen to music on flights and so I read. I read work papers and things I printed from the web; I read books and newspapers but, above all, I read them and think for a while.
Today, however, is the first time that I think I have been able to appreciate that time. I’m not sure why I have not noticed this feeling before. My brain suddenly seems uncluttered: there is none of the normal chaos to distract me. No television, no radio and no web-access to stimulate my thoughts in a hundred million directions. No commuters or people to annoy, frustrate or distract me. No, for this brief period, my brain has wandered in the directions it has wanted to and it is a strangely liberating experience.
Earlier this year I also mentioned that I find flying a strange experience. I have done it so much for work (and much, much less for pleasure) that it should be like taking a bus. I do not lie awake at night worrying about a journey and have discovered that the art to staying relaxed in airports is to give yourself time. I don’t really mind where they sit me – as long as I can stow my bag – and I am used to many of the strange noises a plane makes. Yet this exterior of calm hides an absolute fear every time we hit the tiniest pocket of turbulence. Regardless of how many stray air-pockets I have flown through I know my blood pressure must rise alarmingly when the plane shakes.
And so, despite the relative freedom my mind has to wander and wonder on today’s flight, it is regularly brought back to reality at every minor shake of a plane.
I visited one of my favourite areas of London earlier today, the Thames’ South Bank where I went to see Olafur Eliasson’s Weather Project at The Tate Modern
I visited one of my favourite areas of London earlier today, the Thames’ South Bank where I went to see Olafur Eliasson’s Weather Project at The Tate Modern. There’s half circle of the Sun made up of mono-frequency lamps – the kind which provide the orange glow to our streets at night. Running along the ceiling of the vast turbine hall is a mirror which gives the whole image the look of a whole circle, the sun. You can watch yourself in the mirror on the ceiling and many people do, indeed, lie on the floor looking up at themselves and the other ant-sized people. The lamps really restrict the amount of colour that you can see and that makes the whole atmosphere and experience quite eerie indeed. In fact, despite the orange glow it’s very grey.
I am not in a great one for museums and galleries but I really do like the Tate Modern and The Turbine Hall in particular. If you don’t know it, it’s a vast gallery space that once housed the turbines of the bankside power station. It’s huge and always seems to house interesting works – which is what attracts me back on a regular basis to see them.