It’s been a bit more than two full months since we moved and settled in in Oslo. We had a pretty good first month and a great first impression of the city and the life here. How about two months in?
Weather in Oslo in October
It’s 10 degrees right now.
Yesterday, 7th October I brought out our winter jackets for me and for the kids. In the evening I even decided to wear my Ugg boots and a beanie! The temperature has dropped dramatically in the last week or so. On the last week-end of September, we were picnicking by a lake and the boys were all wearing T-shirts. Last week-end it was sunny but a bit chilly, you needed a jumper or a jacket, especially in the shade. See the evolution through the series of pictures below and note the amazing colours that nature brings us. Oslo is very proud of its four seasons and I can tell why.
Wind wise: Google weather only indicates 3 to 4 miles per hour wind but I feel it’s an average. Sometimes you have no wind, sometimes your hair fly and you get much colder for a few seconds.
In the morning it’s overcast and the sun comes out a bit after lunch. Then from 5pm it starts to get cold again as the sun is about to set.
Daylight and darkness in Oslo in October
21 Septembre was the equinox. It’s the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere as it’s the day when days are the same length as nights. Aussies don’t have this. Their spring falls on the 1st September and their autumn on 1st March. Simpler I suppose. So here, on 21st September there’s a big event with lights, stalls and artists along the Aker river in Oslo. We had planned to go but it poured and rained cats and dogs just on that evening. Next year perhaps?
It’s only been a week since it’s been dark when I wake up. Today the sun rose at 7.38 am and is going to rise more than 2.5 minutes later everyday. The sun sets at 6.30pm tonight so still a while until it goes dark when I pick up the children. Not so long in fact: what’s amazing here is that we are losing 5 minutes an 22 seconds of daylight each day right now. It’s totally new to me as the difference between each day is perhaps 1 to 2 minutes in Paris and Zürich and even less in Australia and zero in Singapore!
So at the end of this month I’d lose 5.5 minutes x 23 days = 126.5 minutes = more than two hours of daylight! But worse, because of daylight saving in the last week of October, instead of 5.30pm, the sun will set at 4.30pm. Here you go, darkness at kids pick-up time. What’s more? There’s another 2 months after that before you start gaining back some precious minutes of daylight.
Stay tuned to see how we cope with this new darkness experience… lucky I have friendly neighbours who are reassuring me about winter in Oslo.
Our housewarming party with Norwegian neighbours
We had our housewarming party last Friday night. What a rush! A lot was homemade: guacamole, croquembouche, spinach and ham quiche, tomato and mozzarella canapés, plus a very French touch: foie gras on honey and nut bread. Hubby did a fab job in the kitchen. We also drank a bit. Oh my, locals drink a lot! We had planned the whole thing for a month as we went back to France twice and made sure we maxed out on our alcohol allowance at the Oslo Airport duty free shop with beers and wine! Lucky we did! We were 10 people in total and what went down was prolly 10+ cans of beer, 3 or 4 bottles of wine and we ended with our French digestive spirit! The good thing is that no-one had to drive home!
It was very koselig: warm and fuzzy inside, we felt comfortable with the candles, the food and drink but also with fun conversations, jokes and of course getting to know your neighbours. Housewarming parties are not something Norwegians do but they were all very happy about the idea and were keen to get the opportunity to meet the other neighbours too. I believe we had the best people in the building attending 😉 and all had a great time! We even got beautiful flowers, candles and a bottle of Spanish wine as gifts.
How warm is it indoors?
Thankfully, house insulation is much better here than in Sydney. The apartment stays pretty warm. For the last two weeks we’ve been using the fireplace in the kitchen. What a nice feel, love the smell, the dry heat and all we can do with it from a culinary point of view:
- grilled marshmallows, just like in the “my little pony” series I heard
- chocolate banana: put some chocolate squares under the skin of your banana and wrap the whole thing in foil and chuck it in the fire
- fondue normande: fresh apple diced dipped in wood fire melted camembert!!!
It also helps us dry some clothes that can’t take the roughness of drying machine and it’s pretty cheap heating too. We use one big bag of wood over a week and that’s around 6 euros. Our flat does not have any other heating systems. We also benefit from the neighbour below us heating their place. It’s good to be on the top floor!
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