My life had been troublesome for some years. Without work, I did not know what to do. I was sad, bored and without my usual “go”. A good friend tried to help; she suggested that I should write notes for the good things in my life every day. And then have them in a jar – so I could see them, the good things. I tried, but could not see what was written on the notes. It didn’t quite work to stack the good things in the jar.

After a while I got an idea. I would buy a phone with a camera. I was going to take photos of the good things. Having them on the phone, I could see them all the time.  Perhaps then I could be more grateful for the good things in my life. Start to be happier.

This is the beginning of the story. A low point in my life. The winter was beautiful, and I was lucky. On my daily walk the first day I met some moose. Another day I met reindeer. The landscape around Tromsø is full of them. I posted photos in Facebook; suddenly I had something to tell.  I even established an Instagram account @marja.9105

Norwegians love to own houses or apartments, it’s kind of a goal in our life, buy your own place to stay. And I had it, my own house. I had loved it; it was a dream coming through. But the dream had faded. So how to get the feeling back? Instagram has a lot of photos of food, interior and design, and houses.  So I got inspired to try to show – to myself – and others; how nice our home was. We had finished redecorating our bedroom in January, and I was proud, some place inside i felt proud. Why not take photos? I had always loved baking and cooking. Years ago, when Facebook was new, muffins were a big thing in Norway. No, several years later, I started to learn how to bake them – and to put them on Instagram.

The winter went on and I got interested in the light; I was totally fascinated by the light. I have always loved the winter in northern Norway, but now I tried to put it into the camera. My brain started to function.

Even when living in one of the richest countries in the world we are not happy all the time. Personal crisis hit on, trouble with work, illness – some people are even poor. Perhaps we are a bit lonely; our culture has a kind of a solitude to it. But we live in these beautiful surroundings, all this nature.  Totally we are about five million people at 385 180[a] km².  Finnmark is the county with most space, bigger than Denmark but with only 75 000 inhabitants.

Norway is part of the Arctic. We have The Arctic Council Secretariat in Tromsø. Our mainland is neighbored by the Barents Sea and Svalbard is under Norwegian jurisdiction. Besides the understanding of the High Arctic as Svalbard over Seas and the Low Arctic in the northern part of the mainland, there is also the Sub-Arctic, towards the south. These three areas are delineated by the climate and the vegetation.

Birdlife, northern light, midnight sun, winter with snow, and polare low pressures, the horrifying storms that appear suddenly. They make our Arctic surroundings and give us Arctic experiences. This blog is about living in it, and how we have, in the northern part of Norway, dealt with it for thousands of years. Once these northern areas were described as hell, now their popularity tells a totally different story. Welcome to join.

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