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Naughty in Norway

A Saucy Saga of the North

by Barbara Godfrey

Naughty in Norway cover
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About the book...

Naughty in Norway drawingNaughty in Norway is a light-hearted tale based on the escapades of the author and a girlfriend as au pairs with a family near Oslo in 1953.

The book makes good-natured fun of the girls and their male conquests during their adventures in the Norwegian capital, the western fjords and the Land of the Midnight Sun, where they had to climb hundreds of steps in the sheer cliff face of the North Cape to reach the isolated plateau.

Highlights of the trip to the frozen north included seeing the wreck of the sunken German battleship Tirpitz being dismantled in the Tromsøfjord; watching a small boat sailing across the infamous Maelstrøm whirlpool; and gaining an insight into the offbeat nature of the folk whose lives are dominated for weeks on end by perpetual sunlight and then by endless night.

Besides its accounts of their often farcical skirmishes with frisky Norwegian men, the book is packed with information about this fascinating country, past and present, where the coronation of the English Queen – the great-niece of Norway’s King Haakon – was followed with avid interest.

Naughty in Norway takes an affectionate but irreverent look at life in post-war Oslo, where foreigners were still a novelty and the British were held in esteem for their part in liberating Norway from Nazi Occupation, and compares it in the final chapter with the beautiful but gaudy city of the Nineties.


Some reviews...

"Immensely readable . . . It is difficult to put the book aside once opened."
– John Gatrell, Alderney Society Bulletin

"A lovely book . . . I thoroughly enjoyed it. My Norwegian friends all feel the same."
– Sten Adeler, Norwegian Consul for the Channel Islands

"Ideal holiday reading."
– Alderney Journal

"Hilarious . . . guaranteed to cheer you up."
– Hayling Islander


Excerpt...

From Chapter 11: Pining for their Shadows

It was in Tromsø that I had my first real insight into the offbeat phenomenon that characterised North Norway. I had never before tried to visualise how it would feel to be blessed by a never-setting sun for weeks on end, only to be dragged into the deepest gloom by a never-rising sun in the winter. Looking around at the faces of passers-by, I could now understand the comment by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun in his novel Pan, set in North Norway, that the people were ‘strange and of a different nature to any he had met before’.

He wrote that one summer’s night was enough to change a child into a mature adult. But as winter closed in a ‘secretive stillness’ came over the people – ‘they brooded silently, their eyes waited for winter’. As this was summer I was not able to witness this singular transformation, but I learnt more about it from an impetuous young farmer who accosted me while I was watching the football. ‘Hi, there!’ he shouted as he clambered over a fence from his field and sat beside me. He was determined to prove that he had plenty of summer vigour, and the moment the footballers dispersed he inveigled me into helping him stack the last of his hay – ‘and then, my love, I’ll teach you about our mysterious northern yearnings’.

My educational session in the hayloft was largely verbal, punctuated by short, lively exercises of a practical nature. My mentor told me his name was Peter – ‘it’s usually shortened to Per’ – and he had lived in Tromsø all his life. ‘You see, we have to work all the hours there are in summer – and that’s when we do our loving, too,’ he added with an affectionate squeeze. ‘In the winter darkness we get too tired. Some of us can’t sleep, others of us sleep so long we don’t know whether it’s morning or evening when we wake. We get disoriented because our body clocks run amok.’ I said: ‘It sounds as though Hamlet must have been to the Arctic, the way he spoke of time being out of joint. Perhaps he wasn’t a Dane after all.’



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ALSO BY BARBARA GODFREY
The Spare Child & Other Rather Nasty Stories
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