We had a lovely time in Norway: first of all in Oslo, where we managed (finally) to get to the Viking ship museum, and also to the Fram — a ship which contrived the double whammy of getting nearer to 1) the North pole and 2) the South pole than any other. We found it unexpectedly fascinating: you are allowed to scramble all over it, boggling quietly at the thought of spending about four years on the thing, with individual cabins slightly smaller than a ordinary single bed, in the company of 150 Huskies (this was the traverse of the North-West Passage, which was finally achieved frozen into the ice till it spat Nansen et al out in the White Sea). We took a train from Oslo to Stavanger — about 8 hours — stopping off in North Telemark for a night. This was quite lovely; we were staying in a little white painted farmhouse under weeping birches, perched over a glassy lake with snowcapped mountains reflected in it, etc. etc. Between the one evening and the next morning, the mountain went green. All over southern Norway, summer came with a bang in just those few days. Stavanger is a lot nicer than the Rough Guide says it is; we had a very jolly time there, and came back yesterday evening laden with cloudberry jam, salt cod, crispbread, herring and so forth to find our Animal Uncle completely in charge, beasties glossy & bursting with health, and everything just as you’d want to find it. It has been a terrifically satisfactory week.