Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Høstens Vemod

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  • Lilith __,

    Further googling yields this insight

    the Swedish and Norwegian languages are very similar, enough so that my knowledge of Swedish can help me get by In Norway.

    Now, the more interesting difference (for me) is the way in which the languages are spoken. Norwegians speak with roller coaster like inflections that are very pronounced compared to Swedish. The best way I can describe this is to say that the Swedish Chef sounds more Norwegian than Swedish.

    [ source ]

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to daleaway,

    Eavesdrooping...

    Now why didn’t New Zealand’s early settlers adopt the stave church model instead of the severe shearing sheds so many of our little old churches resemble?

    That would've done Weta Studios out of a lot of set-building work,....
    ...which also makes me wonder why they're filming Thor 3:Ragnarok in Queensland - a location not exactly renowned for its Norse look-alike scenery?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Alfie wrote:

    Here’s more evidence of vemod being Swedish with the author’s Swedish wife claiming it was probably the “most Swedish” word she knew.

    Very interesting! As I understand the word ‘vemod’ exists in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and (sort of) German (as ‘Wehmut’).

    But the descriptions given in that discussion thread don’t really match very closely to what the Norwegian (an electrical engineer on paternity leave) told me. I wrote down what he said at the time and he wrote ‘høstens vemod’ in my notebook for me. I found his description of the Norwegian national character to be fascinating.

    Lucy Telfar Barnard wrote:

    I don’t know about the Norwegians, but the Danes think that the absolute best kind of practical joke is the one where the butt of the joke never finds out about it, ever.

    I feel you may be onto something here, Lucy! I can quite imagine the electrical engineer going home to his wife and talking about the amazing practical joke he just played on a New Zealander. “Now he’ll go and tell everyone in New Zealand about it. Quick get onto wordreference.com and write an article claiming it’s also the most important phrase in Swedish. He’ll never figure out that this was a huge practical joke: ever.”

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Fiona Mckenzie,

    If you’ll excuse me for butting in I’d suggest lower Highfield or (as that’s a pretty large area), individual streets – Park Lane, Beverly Rd, Nile Street, Orbell Street all have homes like this.

    Thanks so much, Fiona -- hugely appreciated! Now I'll go mad looking on Google Street view. I scoped out a really good location when I was last in Timura, but somehow stupidly lost my notes.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Woods,

    Polly is a wee crackerjack. You have done well to remember the amusing things she says. I often wish I had left a recorder on when I take my grand-daughter to Kindy. I laugh and laugh but sadly later I can not tell anyone the wonders I have heard.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Idyllic family life with melancholy – what richness! My only thought on høstens vemod is once autumn has vanished and we’re in the depth of a Canterbury winter, there’s also the feeling things can’t get a lot worse.
    Of course they can. But at least the weather will almost certainly get better, eventually.
    Until global warming really hits.
    Oh dear. This Norwegian vermod is strong stuff!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Lilith wrote:

    ... waiting in the terminal I was so tempted to jump on a bus and try to go Home, back to the pre-quake city. Perhaps it might still be there?

    Gosh I've had that feeling too, Lilith, coming back to Christchurch airport after a couple of months away. A very sad feeling.

    Moz wrote:

    I’m assured by friends in Norway that such things are just not done there, and they have expressed surprise at the standard of building we can get away with in NZ and Oz.

    The houses that I had a good look at in Trondheim were very nice -- but not flashy -- timber buildings. Much like a very well-insulated version of the "raw timber cladding" buildings that were built here in the 1960s and 70s, e.g. the cedar (and sometimes Kauri!) A-frames, etc.

    They didn't seem as OTT as some German or Dutch houses -- just good common-sense architecture and carpentry/joinery work. I must say that I was very impressed.

    I'm theoretically a big fan of the thermal mass inside/insulation outside as you describe -- and I've certainly done a lot of thermo calcs on this. But the seismicity of NZ has frightened me off the idea of big heavy chunks of thermal mass. Though I've had a good attempt at persuading an Australian acquaintance to go in that direction.

    The 40-odd seconds of shaking in our first earthquake seemed like an eternity. The thought of 3 or 4 minutes from the alpine fault makes me very sober and cautious. Maybe I have a Swedish streak somewhere? Perhaps in future I shall insist on seat-belts and airbags for all our furniture.

    I envy you the seismic freedom of Australia, you can go really crazy!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to daleaway,

    Our scenery would have looked AWESOMER with some stave churches dotted about.

    Thank you so much for your beautiful and evocative descriptions of Norway -- I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. (And you really should get some sort of award for best use of AWESOMER in a poetic/architectural piece of writing).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Fiona Mckenzie,

    If you’ll excuse me for butting in I’d suggest lower Highfield or (as that’s a pretty large area), individual streets – Park Lane, Beverly Rd, Nile Street, Orbell Street all have homes like this.

    It was specifically Beverly Hill I had in mind.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    If you haven’t seen it this project to collect words from around the world for specific emotions is worth a look.
    In defence of Norway this fills a lexical hole:

    utepils (Norwegian, “a beer that is enjoyed outside . . . particularly on the first hot day of the year”)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    hmm 'utepils' - I can't wait ...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Jennifer,

    editedhighlights.mp4

    While her father was fielding comments on this thread, Polly was directing and starring in a short (but possibly not short enough) video to cheer her sick grandmother. The extract attached reveals that school has not yet beaten the macabre and surreal out of her.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Jag älskar hösten. Det är min favorit säsong eftersom Nya Zeelands vintern är inte olycklig. (Ja, det är svenska och inte norska. Jag tala inte norska!)

    It’s weird, Robyn, but if you read this aloud you can almost figure it out just knowing English:

    "I [something] autumn. That is my favourite season [something] New Zealand’s winter are not [something]. (Yes, that is Swedish and not Norwegian. I [something] not Norwegian.)

    Gosh, if I only knew what the [something]s were then I would be a fluent Swedish speaker!

    (My identification of Norwegian vs. Swedish is totally based on the letter ‘ø’)

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    If you haven’t seen it this project to collect words from around the world for specific emotions is worth a look.

    Bloody brilliant, Rob! I must say that it's especially worth knowing the word mbuki-mvuki exists -- just so I don't use it in a sentence accidentally...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Matt Woods,

    Polly is a wee crackerjack. You have done well to remember the amusing things she says. I often wish I had left a recorder on when I take my grand-daughter to Kindy. I laugh and laugh but sadly later I can not tell anyone the wonders I have heard.

    A "wee crackerjack" is perhaps the most accurate description of Polly that I've ever heard, Matt. I feel your pain on missing out the proclamations of your grand-daughter -- I only capture about five per cent of what Polly says. The voice recorder on the phone helps; although just writing it down immediately seems to work for me too.

    I feel compelled to mention that we somehow misplaced our dustpan & brush this evening. Polly proclaimed enthusiastically: "I know where it is!" "Where is it? I asked. "I can't show you, but I can tell you how to find it. Go outside and wait for the first star to appear in the sky. Then walk towards that star..."

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to David Haywood,

    Watching Polly's stile video I am eerily reminded of the movie Bugsy Malone, where a cast of lisping tots do impossibly sophisticated things.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I hate to break your revelry of child inspired love so I'll try not too.. I have no children whether by choice or accident doesnt matter now, And as much as I would have loved to have children of my own I am content to let those who have them enjoy them to the fullest extent they can.
    In a way I'm glad I dont, as it would break my heart to know they will grow up into a world that without an increasing amount of conscious effort by an increasing number of people to take care of this place, our birthplace, it is going to get very tough in their lifetime just to stay alive let alone prosper. A world where a parents love is never going to be enough, if it ever was.
    I have little faith that the Elon Musks of this world will turn things around.
    And like Polly Im wary of the types like Key and Brownlee.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Just gonna leave this here

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Jennifer,

    Polly was directing and starring in a short (but possibly not short enough) video to cheer her sick grandmother.

    "I wish Mummy wasn't dead! Ah...well."

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    it's a sort of state that lives in ones own mind and changes over time (I wasn't so much going for 'wistfulness')

    Round our way we call that "mild insanity"...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    David, your child scares me. Job well done. Hurry up and grow bigger, Polly, so you can take over the government and be Queen.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to andin,

    … it would break my heart to know they will grow up into a world that without an increasing amount of conscious effort by an increasing number of people to take care of this place, our birthplace, it is going to get very tough in their lifetime just to stay alive let alone prosper. A world where a parents love is never going to be enough, if it ever was.

    You’re not wrong. That is something that I certainly worry about: what sort of a world have I brought them into. You can make yourself awfully depressed thinking about it. Though it has occurred to me that if everyone acted in a manner that would provide the best outcomes for children then practically every major problem would be dealt with. (Hardly an original observation, of course)

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Stephen Judd wrote:

    Just gonna leave this here

    Norwegian satire: I loved this! Very much the sense of humour that I encountered and enjoyed during my brief visit.

    nzlemming wrote:

    David, your child scares me.

    Join the club! (It's kind of like the Electrocution Club but you don't have to eat as much electricity).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to David Haywood,

    what sort of a world have I brought them into. You can make yourself awfully depressed thinking about it.

    It’s a less ignorant world, that's not as anxious about the atomic bomb as we where when we drank beer out of big bottles.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to David Haywood,

    The houses that I had a good look at in Trondheim were very nice – but not flashy – timber buildings. Much like a very well-insulated version of the “raw timber cladding” buildings that were built here in the 1960s and 70s, e.g. the cedar (and sometimes Kauri!) A-frames, etc.

    They didn’t seem as OTT as some German or Dutch houses – just good common-sense architecture and carpentry/joinery work. I must say that I was very impressed.

    I have absolutely no engineering, construction, carpentry, or related expertise at all, but this is pretty much how I remember the houses I saw in Trondheim, Verdal, and the few other places around Trondheimsfjorden I saw. Actually, I think my friend's parents' cabin in the woods near the Swedish border was built better than most NZ houses... And I suspect the cabin I helped hammer a few logs into would've turned out to be just as well-built.

    Which reminds me of the numerous signs of damp I've seen on the roughly 5-year old houses in this part of Wellington, which does not inspire confidence.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

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