Saturday, 23 January 2010

Memory Lane

Several months ago I got an Honest Scrap Award from Sans where I was supposed to tell 10 honest things that people don't know about me, but since I'm not doing awards, I answered only in a mail to her. Now I have also been tagged by Rebecca on Flickr with a request to share 10 random facts about myself and post a photo. She posted two photos, and the second related to some facts and stories from her childhood. On her blog Rebecca has also posted photos of her childhood furniture.

I was inspired by her photos like I have been by all the stories callsmall tells about her family, so I thought I'd use the opportunity to respond more properly to Sans' award as well.

I'll start with the photos. Tomy and Annika was kind enough to lend me their room and some of their furniture for this post.

The little doll in the bed is made by Cocco. The duvet and pillow are of my own making.

The bed and the matching drawers, the fish tank, the green chairs and the paper basket are all from my childhood. The bed can be folded up. Both Tivoli posters have been there since I put them on as a child.
Most of the toys in these pictures have survived my childhood, like the bus and the cars, the doll's houses and the farm. Recent additions: The little people and the farm animals are from Micro Playmobil sets. My children have the Ikea Mammut table and chairs, but these are the Lundby version together with the red flower mirror. The rest of the furniture are Re-ment and Playmobil.

I had a little elephant and a dog just like these when I was a child. These ones are from the "in my pocket" series. Pippi Longstocking was one of my childhood favourites, this copy is a gift from Grace at TreeFeathers.

Now, to the facts:

1. I have played the piano since I was 6 years old. I got the piano from one of my grandmothers and was taught to play by the other. I thought about studying music but found I wasn't good enough to make a decent living of it.

What I like most is to sit by the piano and improvise, it helps if I'm stressed or sad. Most of my songs are rather melancholic. I made my first song when I was seven, it was just one line and was supposed to sound oriental :-) I have written down some of the songs, but none of them are very original. The first song I wrote down, at 14, was one page long and was dedicated to a boy in my class who I had a crush on for several years. I wrote my best piece when I was 18 and gave the notes as a present to my grandmother who had taught me to play.

Recently my nerd of a husband wrote a Pre-Indo-European blues with the subtitle "The horse, the wheel and language blues" based on a book review. I made a tune to it, with all the blues clichés I could think of, and whenever I play it, he gets in a good mood. (I thought blues should have the opposite effect?)

2. I have sung in choirs most of my life. These days I sing in the church choir (which often consists of me alone).

3. I once won a limbo contest, but now I'm sadly unfit, so there's no chance I will be able to repeat that.

4. When I was fourteen we were in Morocco, and my father was offered 35 camels for me, luckily for me he rejected the offer.

5. I hate housework, so when we finally decided to hire a cleaning women, our house was a real mess.

6. I also hate woodeating ants and I am almost obsessive about killing them.

7. Like Rebecca, I'm interested in genealogy. One of my foremothers was Norway's most famous witch, Anne Pedersdotter, who was burned alive at the stake in the city of Bergen on the 7 April 1590.

8. I love reading about the Big Bang, nuclear physics and the space, even if I just understand a fracture of what I'm reading.

9. I'm an avid Dr Who fan, but I've only known the 9th and10th doctor.

10. I added the Gauguin painting not only because of the colours, but because a copy of the painting (by one of my great aunts) is the picture I remember best from my grandparents home. Now it's mine, and below is the painting hanging on my staircase wall. Underneath it is a painting I did myself some years ago inspired by François Boucher (when I had a wall that needed something in those colours).


Lize said...

You looked after your toys very well when you were little! When I was a teen, I decided to give all my toys away to the poor! Including some antique dolls. Two seconds later I knew it was a mistake but by then the deed was done!

How many interesting things you do Helene! And a great many funny things I could laugh at. Can you imagine how different your life would have been, if your dad traded you for the camels! Very funny!

PS Is there anybody that LIKES housework???

TreeFeathers said...

Hi Helene, I'm glad you did this post, it was very interesting and entertaining to read! How many women can say someone offered 35 camels for them? That's hilarious!

You're lucky to still have so many of your childhood miniatures! (And also - yay, Dr. Who!!)

- Grace

Rebecca said...

Oh wow, what a wonderful room, Helene! Such a cool set of bed and drawers - I love it! and the tiny Asterix and Pippi Longstocking books, and the wastepaper basket filled with screwed up paper! I had a little elephant a bit like that when I was tiny - I will find a photo. Your farm buildings and houses from when you were little are great, too.

Well, we knew you were very talented architecturally and with colour and style (and painting! wow!) - now we learn that you are very musical too, playing the piano, composing and improvising, and singing in a choir. Wonderful! Clearly your dolls house scenes - and especially the church - would have music, if we could hear it!

Trond's Pre-Indo-European blues sounds like it would be a great hit with historical linguists! I'd love to hear it. What language (or proto-language) is it in?

I'm so glad your father did not accept the offer of 35 camels (it sounds like a very good offer!) - but if he had, you would have had a great time decorating Moroccan tents, I think!

I will have to keep looking at these pictures often, there is so much to enjoy in them :-)

Pubdoll said...

Thanks Lize, just shows you're a much kinder person than me, I would never have done that! Clothes and kitchenware to the poor? Yes. Husband and children to scientific research? Maybe. Giving away toys? Never!

Pubdoll said...

Thank you Grace, when I read your comment I remembered I had forgotten to write about the Pippi book I got from you. But now it's added.
I've kept many more items from my childhood than these, e.g. Nora and Helmer's grand piano and living room furniture.

Sans said...

What a great post! I don't remember you telling me as much! Definitely not about the camels. Maybe you know I love camels and that if I were your dad, it would have been sooooo tempting! lol

I kept enlarging your pictures to look at the details. To see which ones are like fine wine, vintage and precious. Is that a fish tank I spot? So cute (vintage)! And that lava lamp. That one must be new. We would never have owned toys this small because of their "chokability". My brother swallowed a coin and to this day, I can still remember how it looked when months later, he decided to vomit it all out.

When I saw the mini Gauguin, I thought how interesting that you should want to put an "adult" art in that room. I can't freaking believe I know someone who actually owns a Gauguin!!!!! LOL.I don't know why I am so excited, I am not even a fan of Gauguin except he did make Van Gogh went even more nuts and I do love Van Gogh (my god, I can go on and on) Then I saw that you said it was a copy by an aunt? So do you mean your aunt painted it?

I like what you did very much. Will you swap 1000 minis with an original painting of yours? It can be in miniature, no problem since a life size one will mean 1 million minis. ;p Or maybe they are the same value? Or you think the mini one is more? How about 35 camels?

Oese said...

Liebe Helene, wir alle wussten, ja dass du eine wahre Künstlerin bist und sehr humorvoll. Nun hast du uns noch solch originelle Geschichten aus deinem Leben erzählt, danke dafür. Es gefällt mir, wie manche mit den Awards umgehen: Sie gehorchen nicht sklavisch den Regeln, aber sie nehmen doch am Spiel teil. Das gefällt mir!
Und die Kinderzimmerszene ist natürlich auch wunderschön. Die Fotos sollte ich mir ansehen, wenn ich mal schlechte Laune habe - das beruhigende Grün und die gute Laune und Liebe, die du hineingegeben hast, sind Heilung!
Vielen Dank für alles.

rosanna said...

Hi Helene,thank you for your bits of life, sounds like a very interesting one. I gave away all my toys when I was 20... apart from my Ciccio Bello doll. I still have it. Your house is truly beautiful, so detailed and modern, I love it. Have a nice day Rosanna

Natalie said...

I loved reading your post and I must say you are so lucky to still have so much stuff from your childhood, and in such wonderful condition! It was so nice getting to know you a bit more and I see so much of what you have said about you, in your previous posts and its so lovely! I always enjoy loooking at all the little details in your pictures and the miniature toys! I am a big fan ;-)

callsmall said...

Nice to know more about you, Helene! I always enjoy your stories, and love all the little details of toys. The Crayola box and Pippi book are darling, and I love the window shade as well. Thanks for sharing!

püppilottchen said...

oh, wow!! you did it - answering the request to share 10 random facts about yourself. i think a was added by rebecca, too?! but i always try to shirk these requests ;D but i liked to read all these private things about you and i noted some more commonalities we have - not just our birthdays in the same year & month :) i sang for a long time in a chorus, too. it was a jazz-choir, but at the moment i´m looking for a new choir. i also played piano, but unfortunately stopped when i was a teenager. i still can play and i plunk sometimes on cosima´s e-piano.

i adore the cute room you furnished with all these treasures from your childhood!! and i liked your sweet comment at my last post and will answer to it, soon.


Pubdoll said...

Thank you Rebecca for all the nice comments! I like to have books in the doll's house that are special to me in one way or another.
The Asterix series I bought as a souvenir from Paris along with a tiny Asterix doll, since it was Bendik's favourite read at the time!
Trond wrote it as a post to sci.lang, but it's in plain English. Trond was too lazy to write it in PIE and I was to lazy to write down the notes, but I will send you the lyrics on Flickr mail.

Pubdoll said...

Thank you Sans, I laughed so much reading your comments! I'm very glad you're my friend and not my dad, and I will never travel with you to a camelian country :-)

The Gauguin painting is made by my great aunt, the eldest sister of the grandmother who taught me to play the piano. But she worked as a pharmacist.

I will see if I'm able to paint a miniature, I have never tried!
But it won't cost you neither a 1000 minis nor 35 camels :-)

Pubdoll said...

Liebe Oese, ich bin so froh dass du meine Bildern heilend findest! :-) Vielen Dank für deine nette Wörte!

Ich benutse nur die Ausförderungen die mich inspiriert etwas zu machen oder zeigen, wie hier.

Sans said...

Tell Bendik that Asterisk is still my all time favourite comics :). If I ever own an original Helene ME, I will treasure it forever :).

Pubdoll said...

Ha, ha Rosanna, I wouldn't think many would consider playing the piano with noone who listens, reading weird books or sitting by the computer very interesting :-)
But thanks for your kind words:-)

Pubdoll said...

Thank you very much Natalie, you're so sweet!
When you spoke about seeing so much of what I have said about me, in my previous posts, did you mean the hate housework part? :-) I thought I was very careful not to take pictures of my real life mess, where did I slip?

Pubdoll said...

Thank you Nicola, as you may have seen I never do awards, mostly because I don't like the "chain letter" part of it and because some of the first ones I got had such bad design. But I always appreciate getting them, and this time Rebeccas pictures inspired me to do it.

So cool we share even more similarities, I also noted we both do doll's houses :-) Too bad you stopped playing when you was a teenager! Because of some disagreements over which pieces to learn, I also stopped going to my piano teacher when I was 16, but I think I'm a better player now than I was when I quit. I love jazz! The first record I bought, (when I was about 12), was by the Dutch band Ekseption who jazzed up classical composers like Bach and others.

Pubdoll said...

Thank you callsmall, I hope you could tell from what I wrote, that I really love your stories too!
I bought the crayola box in the little shop on Îsle St-Louis in Paris and I thought it was so nice of Grace to send me a Norwegian edition of Pippi Longstocking!
The window shade was a table cloth I got from Cocco. (Who else :-))

synnøve said...

Hei Helene, takk for alle de hyggelige komentarene dine opp igjennom. Har lagt meg til som følger slik at jeg kan se innom bloggen din litt oftere. Pleier å gjøre det når du er innom og komenterer. Mitt første hus var også et Lundeby. Huset ble ødelagt etter at mine døtre lekte med det og flytting. Men mesteparten av møblene er nogenlunde intakt. Har faktisk noen av dem i det franske huset! må snart poste noen nye bilder av litt forandringer jeg har gjort, da ser du dem kanskje! Det er foresten ok med engelske komentarer på bloggene. Jeg liker å lese hva andre skriver...og det er det kanskje flere som gjør? Da kan vi jo bare skrive det på engelsk da :-)

Millimari said...

>>6. I also hate woodeating ants and I am almost obsessive about killing them.>> Most people I know hate spiders although in Finland we don't have any poisonous ones. I respect spiders and leave them be. But just like you, I hate ants and I'm obsessive about killing them, woodeaters or not.

Pubdoll said...

Ha, ha, thanks Millimari for telling! It's so nice to hear there are more of us! I don't usually kill spiders either, just if I find them in our bathroom, which Iluckily almost never do :-)

Mimmi said...

Hei, jeg fant noen Brio of Sweden hyller og tenkte på deg. Jeg har lagt ut bilder på det norske dukkehusforumet så du kan se dem. Det mangler en skuffe, ellers er de helt iorden. Er det noe du hadde vært interessert i? :-)Hvis du vil ha dem lurte jeg på om du ville byttet dem i et eller annet.

Amy's Miniatures And Smalls said...

Fabulous!!! So nice to learn more about you. I am sure you could win another limbo contest. Just raise the pole you go under. I am so glad your father didn't trade you because you have made the world a better place. Love the toys that survived. Wonderful, wonderful post. THX!

Pubdoll said...

Hei Anne Mari, jeg hadde disse hyllene da jeg var barn, men syntes ikke de var så fine da siden de var i plast og herjet fælt med dem. Angrer på det nå, så ja, jeg er veldig interessert, selv om jeg ikke har noen umiddelbare planer for dem. Kommoden i stålfarge på Nora og Helmers soverom er den samme som den som mangler en skuffe, bare malt om av meg og påsatt bein.
Jeg vet ikke om jeg har noe du kunne være interessert i? Vi kan vel "snakkes" med meldinger på forumet?

Pubdoll said...

Thank you Amy! It was nice to be challenged by Rebecca, because I got so inspired because of it. I have some projects going on that will take some time to finish before I can post about them, especially since I'm so busy at work and otherwise, so it's nice to get inspiration for some scenes that require less work :-)

dale said...

I absolutely adore the look, the colors and the feel of this room. :)

Amazed that you were able to keep so well your childhood treasures. :)

I don't usually do the awards and questionaire type stuff either, not sure I want to be all that *revealing* but, I enjoyed reading more about you. :)

The camel thing is funny and the cleaning person, is a must have. Leaves more time for play. ;)

Pubdoll said...

Thanks Dale, I put away all my toys when I was 11 years old, so all the minis I had at that time, I still have.

There are things I won't reveal too, but after almost a year in the blogworld I thought it was okay to tell a bit more of myself :-) Glad you enjoyed it!

The bad thing about having a cleaning woman is that we have to tidy up before she comes :-)

dale said...

Oh, goodness, Helene, I used to clean before she came. I've gotten wiser. ;)