The Art of Chilling

When I say chilling, I mean Nothing. Let me relent here because there are the basic functions of living to be considered. Breathing, eating, checking into the loo and the works. Then there is the glorious prospect of gazing dreamily into the fjords beyond the windows, sighing from time to time, because you could live with such a view for a long time. As long as you lived.

Add a lifetime’s supply of books, coffee, tea, husband, hikes and two dogs. Now did I just describe Els’ life?

But before you get down to the art of perfecting nought, there is a condition that has to be met. The weather gods will have to conspire to make the heavens burst asunder till you will have no option but to sit tight within. If you are in a cottage by the fjords would you even consider complaining about thunders and showers?

The first day of our Norwegian vacation was about sparkling blue skies and froths of clouds. As a cloud chaser, I could not have asked for a better start. The second day materialised as an overwhelmingly grey prospect. That dirty, washed-out hue which can only cast long grey shadows upon the mind. But happiness is a state of the mind you have got to court. As Anne (of the Green Gables) claimed: “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” You do need inspiration to make light of the weighty moments in life.

But you shall need to give into sadness and woe too because those are inescapable emotions. What kind of a person would you be if you did jigs at a funeral? (which makes me think that I would want people to dance at mine, tuck into piles of good food and drink away. Life is too short to allocate enough time to ennui and glumness.)

Leaving thoughts of mortality behind — it is a Sunday after all — and I do not want to make you too contemplative on a day that should be about nothing really.

It is a feat to achieve nothing on a holiday. I have rarely indulged in such a feeling and it felt grand. Delicious. But before setting about it, we had to gather provisions from a supermarket beneath leaden skies because realisation had rapidly set in upon us during our time in Stavanger about the pocket-ripping dangers of eating outside in Norway. Now don’t get me wrong. No one’s waiting to slash your pockets and mug you. Heavens, but this is Norway, folks! Get a grip. I mean simply that you eat indoors unless you want to risk heading back home as paupers. Eating in and carrying packed lunches on our drives were going to be part of the essential ritual of roaming around Norway.

Mist swirled in and around the bridge nearby like wraiths smoking their way through, parts of the bridge disappearing behind the mist. Nature is an effortless magician. That morning I was reminded of the first time I had laid my eyes upon the Eiffel Tower on an autumn’s morning, when only the top of the tower loomed above a sea of mist. The waters of the fjords were mysterious, a uniform sheet of smoky blue.

Right, time to scamper back to the cottage, after we had armed ourselves with a decent stockpile of food. There was the added incentive of demolishing a cache of organic chocolates I had amassed at the store. Those chocolates count high on my list of worthy chocoholic experiences. They were expensive and Adi grumbled, but later, he ate humble pie and those bars too, with lasciviousness equalling mine.

Upon our return to the cottage, we found waiting at the door, a pot of mint and a couple of organic eggs with a hand-written note. A welcome breakfast note from Els. Now, if you have not added mint to your omelette, you would not know about the heady fragrance it lends to the eggs. We went about a brunch laden with hot dogs and eggs, all the while facing the fjords so as not to lose out on the changing landscape that unfolded before the eyes. Adi watched movies on the ipad, and I sat and read, looking up from time to time to soak in the unreality of it all.

Then came the best part of the day. Els dropped by with organic chicken from her farm. She sat for a couple of hours, her legs folded up on the sheepskin rug upon the couch. And we chatted. It is rare to come upon individuals with whom you can achieve a connection effortlessly. She was of that breed. Highly unconventional, a bit flighty, a bit wise and a bundle of quirks. We shared confidences during that time to the tune of a few cups of tea, discussing husbands, the importance of fighting in a relationship, meeting the loves of our lives, hiking, travelling and then reflecting upon the art of how to go about making this one life we have a wonderful happy place to be.

Giving into the whims of nature, it turned out that day, can be a rum idea.

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Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

74 thoughts on “The Art of Chilling

  1. Really enjoyed this piece 🙂 thanks for sharing!!! Cloudy days aren’t always my favorite, but there are times when God has allowed me to be at peace and truly enjoy the beauty of all things.

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  2. Sounds like such a lovely vacation and your writing is so enchanting that I felt like I was there with you watching the clouds transform with the day. Thank you for sharing!!!

    ❤ Alana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely line, Mary. Coming from you, it is special! I think standing still is overrated. But now lying still, I can do that with ease. Just get up from time to time to snack and ease my way through it xx

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  3. I have mint and eggs in the fridge … I know what I’m having for brekkie tomorrow! As usual you have made me want to pack my bags immediately – it’s quite extraordinary but I am certain Norway IS a soul country for me. Just need to get there and this place of Els really seems like the perfect retreat. Xx By the way – living in the West of Ireland for a while I got used to people dancing jigs at a wake … it’s actually rather fabulous 😉 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another bit of this crazy wonderful world where things are a topsy-turvy then? Here I come, o west Irish folk 🙂

      You might get along fabulously with Els (knowing what I have learned about you so far), and yes, then there are the fjords. You just got to convince HB2 now! xx

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  4. Sounds like a peaceful day 🙂
    I love the days where you can just sit back, relax and enjoy your time.
    I felt very relaxed writing this (minus the short tangent about death), and I enjoyed your writing as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The joys of digressing – is there any equal to it other than tucking into cookies and sipping on tea? Talking of relaxing and doing nothing, we have been indulging in it to the fullest today. I chomped down a large and fat macadamia-white-chocolate cookie and washed it down with jasmine green tea. Hope you are having a lazy one as well 😉

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      1. I see that it is afternoon for you while it is night hours in my part of the world. Makes it easier to now figure it out. Have an extra piece for me…even though I just gobbled up a Lindor 😀

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  5. Enjoy your holiday there. Sometimes the trip is not always about wandering. It could be being chilling and enjoy the moments. There were some days when I did traveling, I just spent by laying around at the hotel with the coffee and book in my hands ?

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  6. The idea of chilling really appeals to me, but I suck at it. There is always so much to do, see, feel. I feel guilty when I do nothing, as if I’m wasting time…. but your day sounds great.

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    1. I hear you Tracey. I am mostly always on my feet too so this was a different experience 🙂 You have got to beat the downpour somehow and I did not mind it at all for once. Even though I missed out on the hike to Trolltunga.

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  7. You had me at “chilling.” The cadence of your prose was even relaxing. Brilliant.
    But that photo of the hot dogs…
    It’s time for lunch!

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  8. Now that is a place that makes chilling look like the perfect activity. The view is beautiful! And really, Anne with an E–not the netflix abomination–always has the right sentiment for every situation. 😉

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    1. Thanks Kristyn 🙂 She did. Every time I read my foxed copies, especially the first two books, I could not help choking up. You do not like the Netflix take on Anne I believe, going by the inclusion of ‘abomination’ above xx

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      1. Haha, no, sadly not. I am loyal to the books and the 1980s miniseries. I will concede that the new series is okay, but I had a hard time with added scenes, and I just don’t think they needed to play on a darker undertone that did not exist in the books. But it also had its merits. Great casting for Matthew and Marilla. And beautiful cinematography.

        Did you see the new ones? Your take?

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      2. I always have a problem with the way shows and films change the basic goodness of the book. I mean why do they even bother? The book is after all the parent of the concept. But yes I too like the way they have shot the island and Matthew and Marilla are indeed lovable.

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  9. As much fun as it is to explore new places. Some days it is equally fun to hole up in your room, in your pyjamas all day, watching YouTube, napping, ordering pizza, and avoiding responsibilities. Wait, I just described every second day for me… That looks like a perfect little cabin for doing just that.

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    1. I do that too Jen, all the time. Guilty pleasures. Today evening there was a deluge. It was not like in the UK where it rains for 10 minutes and then it stops or otherwise it keeps drizzling like a leaking pipe. This was a big arse one. Straight down in sheets for a couple of hours. I sat and watched two lovely classic movies back-to-back and had a whale of a time. That cabin lives in my dreams. How I wish I could do a Mary Poppins.

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      1. Hmm we are such a cheery lot, aren’t we. But yes, I shall totter in on high pink heels, in my wrinkly old skin, and don the brightest of fuchsia dresses to make you smile xx

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  10. Your beautiful writing always transports me to the place you are writing about! ❤ Chilling is something that I am great at! When hubby is sometimes home for 3-4 days straight, I begin waiting for him to return to work, as I miss my own company so much! 😉 and being snuggled up in bed with a book, on those windy, rainy, cloudy days sometimes is soooo much fun! Wonderful piece :* (P.S- A little birdie told me that you have interviewed DHONI!!!!! Girl, I don't run out of things to get jealous of you lollzzz! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, are you friends with Nisha then? See I have to examine the network. It is a small world even out here. It was part of my work really 😛 Maybe I should have retained Dhoni’s bathroom slippers and sold them on ebay. Thank you for the lovely words as always, Mallika. We have similar likes. Adi has been out for three days in Detroit, and though I do miss him, I am having my fill of uninterrupted writing, reading and movie binging 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oooh I hear you girl! Some “me-time” is definitely needed every once in a while, isn’t it? Hubby went to his hometown in India last year and he called our neighbor to check on me… (in case I am hiding my woes from him..hmph..paranoid much?) Anyway, he asked her- “Is she doing ok?” and she laughed and said- “I should think so! There are pizzas and chinese food being delivered frequently and we can see her dancing in the kitchen sometimes, not a worry in the world” hahaha! It’s one of his favorite stories to tell! 😉 Yes I am friends with Nisha as well! How amazing is this bloggers’ community? We all havent met/seen each other once but are now such a constant part of each others’ everyday lives. Love it! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is strange that we have not met each other yet we do know more about each other in a way than most of our acquaintances would not bother to know. If you know what I mean. It is a wonderful feeling alright.

        Hahahaha, I love the picture it created. Hmm you are in your own safe hands then 😉 As I make sure I am when Adi travels. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are often quite concerned because they think I might get lonely. But if they had a camera recording everything I did, they would not bother at all 😛 xx

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  11. Hi!
    Nice post! I’m making posts about scientific explanations behinde everyday appearance, so if you have time and will please go and check it out! If you like it please follow me, I follow you.
    Thank you! ?

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  12. This blog is utterly beautiful. The way you write is calming and grounding in the most pleasant way. Thank you. I am now a follower. X

    Liked by 1 person

  13. […] via The Art of Chilling — The Travelling Diary Of a Dippy-Dotty Girl […]

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      1. The images in ur post gave a fair view of the weather and the beauty of nature which you could enjoy. And hence, got a glimpse of what to expect when in Norway along with chilling ofcourse..haha..

        Liked by 1 person

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