Monthly Archives: July, 2015

Lives in parallel, the Prince and I


Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon turned 43 today, welcome to the club. I wonder if he makes a noise every time he gets out of a chair too?

His Highness and I have little in common. His was a public Royal birth from an ancient blood line, mine was decidedly personal and common. You can imagine how lives diverge from those starts. And yet, I’ve often thought about his life and mine, and all the things we did “together”: growing up, puberty, experiencing life’s ups and downs, skiing, going to college, discovering the internet,  starting a family, trying to understand global terrorism, living in an increasingly diverse land…

CP Haakon and I are fellow travelers on spaceship earth, a sentiment all of us should contemplate more often. Within the fortnight I’ll be living within miles of CPH, I’ll be breathing the same air, hearing the same news, and equally surrendering to the tilting earth’s growing darkness. Living closer won’t make us closer, he’s a Royal and I’m a temporary interloper from America. And yet I suspect I’ll be thinking more about CPH more this year than ever. Perhaps we’ll be able to meet? The Norwegian Royal House is famously informal. But we probably shouldn’t meet.  Why shatter a perfectly good illusion of familiarity?

Har an god fødselsdag, Haakon.

Din venn, john


What’s a hot day?

The heat index in Oslo today was 70 degrees, and the newspapers noted how warm it was, Norwegians flocked to the beaches. In Cedar Rapids the heat index was 109, the air temp got to 92. I mowed the yard and was self-drenched by the time I was done. In Norway I won’t be mowing any yard, but I will have to learn and appreciate what constitutes a “hot day.”