We've just celebrated the Norwegian national holiday on May 17. It's a major holiday with parades all over the country. Many Norwegians wear national costumes; for the ladies this consists of full-length wool skirts and beautifully decorated blouses. Some of the men wear wide-brimmed hats. People tend to look very smart, for once :-) Although they still wear sensible shoes and I discovered why.

We attended the festivities held at my elder daughter's school-to-be. The march was a lot longer than I had expected - 45 minutes each way - so of course my high heels were very unsuitable and I went through four plasters on my heel en route. At least I had plasters in my bag. The bag was very unsuitable too, and unnecessary. So next year, I'll know better. Wear trainers?

No, God forbid! Wait behind and let the rest of the family tramp around the country behind a marching band. A woman can't be parted from her high heels and handbag during a birthday party, even if it is for a 102-year old who doesn't want to be a part of Europe.

We seem to be the only house in our area which, on such occasions, doesn't hoist a Norwegian flag up a pole in the garden. We haven't got a pole (or a flag, come to think of it) so we can't raise the Irish or Danish flags in an act of contrariness. The flag above was waving at my daughters' preschool.

Happy Birthday Norway.
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