" Ditt og Datt "

Her snakker vi om ditt og datt - Here we talk about this and that

- news of members and news of our recent events -

Warm Woodhaven welcome for Norwegian veterans

17 September 2015 

Woodhaven CatalinaTo honour the great number of Norwegian servicemen stationed in Scotland during WWII, a special visit was made by seven Norwegian war veterans to Scottish shores this autumn. Here they are at Woodhaven, wartime base of 333 Squadron, today a sheltered bay nestling beneath the winding streets of Wormit on the Firth of Tay. Famed for its Catalinas, or 'flying boats', the Squadron flew special operations deep into occupied Norway. 


Norwegian Veterans at Woodhaven (Scotland) 2015

Norwegian WWII veterans and children of Wormit Primary School at the Woodhaven Monument

Catalina Rowing

Wartime Catalina 'flying boats' inspire the local boat club

Norwegian veterans at Woodhaven

 Youngsters waiting to meet their Norwegian friends - time for a fly cup and delicious local shortie!

Skiffs at Woodhaven

Newly built skiffs 'Catalina' and 'The Flying Boat' nestle beneath the Norwegian flag at Woodhaven

Norwegian Monument Woodhaven

Time for a moment of reflection

Norwegian veteran at Woodhaven

A special day...

Woodhaven Scotland

Woodhaven, Scotland - forever a wee bit of Norway


Mjøsikale at the Castle! - Lillehammer choir to lift the rafters in Edinburgh

CastleConcert-2015-123 April 2015

Lillehammer choir 'Mjøsikale' hopes to lift the rafters of the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle when conductor Inger Grini Skagsoset rouses her lively chorus of voices to song on their forthcoming visit to the city. The 40-strong choir will entertain Castle visitors with a varied and accessible programme on Friday 24th April at 1pm. (We hope they're ready for the Castle's big one o'clock surprise!).

The choir are 'very excited' about their trip to Scotland - which will also include a wee tour to the East Neuk of Fife, taking in the sights of sand and sea, and good a few cultural and culinary delights along the way. We wish them 'en riktig god tur'! 


Norwegian eyes on Edinburgh - artist's city residency

Kjaernstad-Roar-(Scottish-National-Gallery-II)-201425 September 2014 

Norwegian artist Roar Kjærnstad trained in Flanders at the Royal Academy of Art (Antwerp) where he studied the 'Old Masters' Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. He has just completed a month long residency in Edinburgh (exciting times for an artist!) and here, in 'Scottish National Gallery II' finds a quiet moment in our lively capital city.

Kjærnstad's work can be seen at the Sutton Gallery, Edinburgh, 04 to 25 October 2014. A grand chance to 'see oursels as ithers see us'! 


Tartan noir? 'Norwegian Night' sees light of day

Norwegian-Night-tartan-thumbnail16 September 2013 

He knew, by streamers that shot so bright
That spirits were riding the northern light.

Walter Scott's 'Monk of St Mary's aisle' may have looked up at the 'streamers' of the aurora borealis and shivered with fear - summoned to recover a Mighty Book of wizardry from a lonely tomb, can you blame him?! - but he needn't have worried at sight of a brave new night-sky tartan, one inspired by a spirit of much happier sort 'riding the northern light'.

Though busy with his work on a production platform in the North Sea, Norwegian oil-worker and 'happy spirit' Richard Kvam has found time to commission a tartan he says any of his compatriots can wear, whatever the occasion. Called Norwegian Night, the new tartan - dark and vivid as a film noir still - promises to look smart and classy with a good Prince Charlie jacket, Richard's favourite. With black for the night sky, white and yellow for the 'streamers' or polar light, and red, blue and white for the Norwegian flag, Richard's tartan, already popular with his compatriots, is guaranteed to cut a dash on the dance floor.

Richard, who started his project not for commercial gain, but just for the fun of seeing his tartan come to life, says he's amazed at the response: 'the first 56 metre roll sold out in just 10 days' and orders have been flowing in. So whether it's tartan for kilt, cushion or curtain that takes your fancy, Norwegian Night, officially registered as a new fashion tartan, is available for all to enjoy. More about Richard and how to find your touch of 'tartan noir' here.


Two Norwegian travellers in Scotland go 'North by Northwest'

07 September 2013 Two Norwegians have gone 'north by northwest' in the Scottish highlands and islands and written up their travels in book and blog. Though their itineraries are carefully planned and calmy followed - a far cry from the frenetic journey and frights of Hitchcock's thriller! - both are filled with filmic detail and a rich store of real-life meetings with locals along the way.

Jareg-oeyene-i-vestKirsti Jareg's Øyene i vest (Cappelen Damm 2011) is a gently-paced, reflective account of life in the Western and Northern Isles – in Norwegian eyes, 'looking west', the old Viking lands. Jareg, of Scottish descent, spent several months living amongst the folk of the islands, getting to know place and people at first hand. Her research is detailed, but so lightly handled that the book is a joy to read. An abridged translation for Scots readers, set along with excerpts from that seasoned nineteenth-century traveller, AO Vinje, might be a teaser of an idea for the future. There's certainly a hearty vein of humour and irony to be relished in both.

Meanwhile on another adventure, Norwegian blogger Tony Jensen, a member of Bergen Pipes & Drums (recently featured here in Ditt og Datt!), writes of an action-packed trip to visit fellow pipers in Wick – another Norse territory, up to the Treaty of Perth in 1266. Rousingly titled Skottland – Highlands!!  evidently a visit to the local whisky distillery went down well! – Jensen gives a fun-filled picture of a seemingly all too short tour round northern Scotland, taking in Orkney, Inverness, Aberdeen, and, just to keep the cold out – a few more distilleries along the way!

To both travellers, we say 'Haste ye back!'.


Bagpipes go big time in Bergen!


08 August 2013 Big excitement for the musicians of Bergen Pipes & Drums who appear this year as the first ever Norwegian competitors in the prestitgious World Pipe Band Championships, held in Glasgow on 18 August.

Led by Pipe Major Thomas de Ridder, the pipeband is looking forward to participating in the Scottish event which has been running since 1906 and attracts over 200 pipebands from the world over. Hoping their 2/4 march will attract the ear of the judges, 'we're aiming to get to the final!' says Ridder.

Bergen-Pipes-and-Drums-1eAs one of three pipebands proud to promote Scottish music and culture in Norway, Bergen Pipes & Drums has also announced a brilliant new initiative to be launched this month – Bergen Bagpipe School will offer teaching to youngsters as an enjoyable alternative to the traditional buekorps bands and instrumental groups which attract Bergen's musical youngsters.


We wish Bergen Pipes & Drums a hearty welcome to Scotland and 'lykke til' – good luck – with the Championships! 

Edinburgh's Norwegian Christmas tree in symphony of light

Edinburgh's Norwegian Christmas tree 201230 November 2012 A simple and delightful symphony of light ushered in Edinburgh's Christmas this year with the traditional lighting of the Norwegian Christmas tree on the Mound.

For over a quarter century, the city has enjoyed the gift of a tree from Hordaland County Council in thanks for support given Norway during WWII.

Crowds cheered as a final crimson fanfare brought the ever popular ceremony to a close.

En riktig god jul til alle våre NSA-medlemmer, lesere, og venner verden rundt!





Puzzling 100 year old parcel in Gudbrandsdal

23 August 2012  A mysterious 100 year old parcel - not to be opened until the 400th anniversary of the battle of Kringen - is puzzling Norwegians and Scots

Folk in Gudbrandsdal are scratching their heads over a mysterious parcel. Packed in 1912 by a local man, Johan Nygaard, on the 300th anniversary of an unfortunate Kalmar War skirmish between Norwegian peasants and Scots mercenaries - the battle of Kringen - it bears instructions only to be opened in 2012 on the 400th anniversary of the battle. Something to delight and benefit future generations is promised. But what can it be? Maybe the children of Gudbrandsdal have the answer! Watch the video here


It's that Norwegian Penguin again!

13 August 2012  It's that Norwegian Penguin again! Sir Nils Olav featured in Edinburgh Exhibition 

'Animals Beyond the Call of Duty', an exhibiton celebrating the 40th anniversary of the adoption of king penguin Colonel-in-Chief Sir Nils Olav at Edinburgh Zoo, by HM the King of Norway's Guard, explains why a penguin was knighted, explores Scottish-Norwegian wartime links and tells the stories of other animals that have served.

The exhibition runs from 17 to 31 August 2012 at Edinburgh Zoo Education Centre (10:30-15:30), and is sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General and promoted by Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Featured are:

Colonel-in-Chief Sir Nils Olav, a king penguin from Edinburgh Zoo who was adopted as the mascot of HM the King of Norway's Guard in 1972 and has been steadily rising up through the ranks ever since.

Sea Dog Bamse, the heroic St Bernard mascot of Free Norwegian Forces in the Second World War, who was stationed at Montrose and Dundee.

Sea Dog Bamse (Montrose)Winkie the Pigeon, whose epic flight saved the crew of a Beaufort torpedo bomber, based at RAF Leuchars, that crashed in the North Sea following an anti-shipping mission off the Norwegian coast in 1942.

Wojtek the Bear, who was rescued as an orphan and enlisted as a private in the Polish 22nd Artillery Supply Company, fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino and lived in Edinburgh Zoo from 1947 to 1963.

The exhibition opens Friday 17 August at 11:00, in the presence of veterans from Norges Gardistforbund, with four short talks about the animals featured in the exhibition. More.

Hjertelig Velkommen
 Warm Welcome to NSA

Our Association, which meets in Edinburgh, provides an opportunity for Scots, Norwegians and friends to get together and to celebrate important Norwegian events. Whether you have a family connection with Norway, or just a love of Norwegian or Scottish culture, why not come and join us? Ye'll surely find a 'hearty welcome'!


Norwegian Scottish Association


Did You Know?

Syttende Mai i Edinburgh

Syttende mai i Edinburgh

Edinburgh's Syttende mai parade - the 17th May or Norwegian Constitution Day parade traditionally takes place along the capital's main thoroughfare, Princes Street. At the boom of Edinburgh Castle's 'one o' clock gun', the pigeons fly and the parade begins!