Introducing my SCARF-obsession

I have always loved scarfs and shawls. Not only because I hate freezing and having a scarf can instantly save the day, but for their brilliant ability to brighten up any outfit. Also, they look great in photos. As a photographer, I really appreciate that.

Until recently, my scarf collection consisted of random pieces. Although carefully collected over the years at various sales around the world, I wouldn’t have started this blog if my friend hadn’t introduced me to traditional Russian shawls last spring. She lent me this gorgeous woolen scarf on a cold afternoon and I kept it for a couple of weeks:

It was not mine, but I got to borrow it – this gorgeous scarf.

Seeing my reflection in mirrors and in windows, with that brightly colored piece around my neck made me smile

again and again…

… until the silky threads got stuck in the zipper of my jacket and got all messed up in my attempt to free them. I promised my friend to find her a new “platok” just like the one I messed up, but it’s was not possible to find in any stores in Murmansk.

I have bought two other scarfs for my friend and will eventually show them to you. But if you happen to know the name of this design, please share it in the comments!

Platki, Murmansk 2019

Pavlopassadskie platki – beautiful scarfs and shawls from the Pavlovo Posad Shawl Manufactory.

After discovering the platki, there is no going back.

Every now and then I travel to Murmansk for work. Dropping by the PPS manufactory shop there has become a favorite tradition. Every platok has a special design, usually with a lovely name such as Dream GardenSpring Fairytale or Earthly Love.

This orange fairytale is names Karavan – produced: 10.09.19:

I’m officially a collector of Russian scarfs and shawls.

What do you collect?

Back. In white

How wonderful it is to be back, catching huge snow flakes on my eyelashes, getting a glimpse of the northern lights at night time, traveling across the border to Russia for pelmeni… The head image was shot from the top of the stairs of Nikels Cultural Palace.

Cultural palace in Nikel, Russia 26.10.19
Cultural palace in Nikel, Russia 26.10.19

Life has been running nonstop since I got home from vacation. We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the region where I live as being freed from nazi-occupation. That was last week. Huge celebration. King Harald and several ministers were in attendance in Kirkenes:

Skjermbilde 2019-10-28 kl. 19.38.36

And my mom ❤

She’s visiting now.

Mamsi @Nikel

She told me this joke today:

The child turned out to be allergic to the cat. We had to give it out for adoption. Then try again. All children can’t be allergic to cats!

Have a nice day 😉

Ulyanovsk // Simbirsk

Slightly hangover, we grabbed some of the wedding bouquets (obviously for photo-ops) and left Imperial Club Deluxe to discover Ulyanovsk city..

I got to go to Ulyanovsk for the fairytale wedding I wrote about previously. It was a get-in-get-out operation. I would have loved staying longer, but since I had business to attend in Norway, I only got one day to explore the city of Lenin.

Sunday stroll in Ulyanovsk.

It was originally named Simbirsk, but was renamed in the honor of Vladimir Lenin (born Ulyanov), after his death in 1924. Simbirsk was also the birthplace of another famous Russian revolutionary, Alexander Kerensky, who’s government was actually overthrown by Lenin in the October Revolution. It’s interesting to think about how two such prominent political figures of that time came from the same city.

Ulyanovsk lies 850 kilometers southwest of Moscow, along the bank of Volga, the longest river in Europe. Volga is widely regarded as the national river of Russia and the historic cradle of the Russian state. Volga’s immense economic, cultural and historic importance, rank it among the world’s great rivers.

Strike your best Volga-pose.

The time was short, but I got to buy a magnet and I made this video (in Russian):

Wedding in Ulyanovsk

Remember my friend Nina? Guess what, she just got married!

This is great for many reasons. Personally, I appreciate the fact that I got to visit a new city and that I got to be a wedding guest for the first time in my life. Somehow I missed the weddings of my Russian friends because of travels and exams (everyone I know over there got married in the beginning of those summers when I was studying), while none of my Norwegian friends have tied the knot yet. I keep waiting for my childhood bestie Ida to get married to her baby’s father, but she insists they need to buy a house first. I began suspecting that I might never get to go a wedding, toast and cry for the bride and groom, and do all the other stuff that I’ve seen in films… I started thinking that maybe my time to be a “wedding guest just like in the movies” is past, because all the people who intended to get married, did it in their early twenties – and the rest will probably never “get out the finger” (GOTF = a fine Norwegian idiom for getting shit done).

Then came the invitation! To Ulyanovsk, of all places! I’ll tell more about this interesting city in another entry, let’s focus on the wedding for now.

wedding invitation
Wedding invitation

The family of the groom rented Imperial Club Deluxe, a five star hotel with it’s own park and a scenic man-made lake. Apparently most couples of Ulyanovsk come to this park to get their wedding photos taken, but the fewest actually rent the whole place for the whole wedding. The plans for this wedding corresponded with all the wedding movies I’ve ever seen, with many invited guests, a big reception and fireworks. Hearing all this, I happily agreed to get styled by a professional make up artist on the morning of he wedding. If you only get one chance at being a wedding guest, you better do it right. This is how I ended up looking like a princess for the occasion:

It’s funny to think about that when I was living together with Nina, she felt that she had to move away from Alta to find love. She had spent a total of nine years in this little arctic city and believed love could never happen to her there. After our period as roomies, she actually did move to a much larger city, but she met her husband while living in Alta. They met abroad, but it happened while Nina still lived with me. I remember picking him up at Alta airport a couple of years ago when he came on a visit. Who would have thought I’d end up going to their wedding!

The moral of the story: Love can find you no matter where you live 😉

Ninochka, I can’t believe we’re here.

Video summary (in Russian):