Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.



“When it rains soup, the poor man has no spoon.”

– Swedish Proverb




Dalahest - Traditional horses




Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”

– Robert McKee


guitar art


Robert McKee, A Fulbright Scholar, is the most sought after screenwriting lecturer around the globe. He has dedicated the last 30 years to educating and mentoring screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, poets, documentary makers, producers, and directors internationally. However, McKee has been criticized for teaching screenwriting without ever having a script of his made into a film.


Thinking about the Swedish proverb, does it seem a little shallow or simplistic, to you? Poor communities can after all, have a very rich life, albeit not in materialistic or monetary terms. Is the proverb referring only to financial matters ?

And what do you make of Robert McKee’s words? Media can be used as a propaganda tool but is the media capable of suggestions of thought? Storytelling can teach us lessons in allegorical form, but can it also lead to misconceptions  by the reader or viewer? Take, for example, teenage girls who think they should look and act a certain way, based on watching mainstream TV? Do you think that media is purely entertainment value for the discerning viewer and that entertainment value can be separated from unrealistic impressions that relationships should be always be blissful, and an institutions such as marriage is always just a walk in the park. If this is true, could storytelling still be conducive or counterproductive to happiness?

I would be pleased to hear your thoughts.



Proverbial Friday – Something to ponder deeply about

~ Amanda




Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

Departing from the African proverbs, this week we have some wise words from Sweden.

Swedish house
Swedish house


The house that is built after every man’s advice seldom gets a roof

– Swedish proverb

and from one of the greatest minds, of all time, a quote :

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.”

– Socrates




My thoughts on the Proverbs and Quotes –

Many of us give, and indeed, receive advice from all quarters in our lives, yet it isn’t always successful in implementation. When we tell others our problems, do we even want to hear their advice? At times it is most helpful, and yet, is it not better to discover the solution for ourselves? For it is about ourselves, and we know that person far better than anyone else, and in that process of problem-solving, become more accomplished at handling life’s future blindsides?

For contentment is what we all seek, in many and various forms.

Despite the Swedes best efforts, we do need a roof over our heads, and we do also need food in our bellies and fellow companions. But how much more do we realistically need to survive, given we can’t take material possessions with us, when we pass. 

How clever was Socrates to know that if we are not happy with our what we have today, we won’t be happier when what you have is doubled?

Do you agree?

Join in the discussion. I would be glad to hear your thoughts.


Something to Ponder About

Røros – A Walk back in ‘Mine’



At latitude of 62 degrees North, in the Sør-Trondelag region of Norway, 620 – 675 metres above sea level, lies the copper mining town of Røros  – a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must see for tourists.



The town, itself, comprises traditional Norwegian wooden buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, that are still owned and occupied by businesses and residents today.

The smelting house “Smeltehytta,” (now the Røros Museum), forms the major part of the world heritage site, and is surrounded by black slag heaps.

Furthermore, it lies adjacent to the iconic, picture postcard, white-washed masonry church dating from 1784, that stands as a sentinel overlooking the town and countryside. (See more about the church in a later post)



The landscape surrounding Røros, is one of great scenic beauty – snow capped mountains, alpine flora, log cabins. This photo was taken in early summer and there was still ice in the lake, yet it was a gorgeous, warm summer day.

Lake Aursund

The largest lake, Aursund, which you will circumnavigate if you travel to Røros from Trondheim, (the nearest city) –a drive of about 2-3 hours, or 5-6 hours if you choose to  travel by train.

Norway sweden
Forbidding high country on the Norwegian Swedish border



Lying close to the Swedish border,  military action between Norwegians and Swedish forces was a common historical event in Røros, culminating in the Swedish forces burning the town in 1678 and 79.

The Norwegians rebuilt and a revenge, of sorts, was exacted by nature, in the winter of 1718, when 3000 Swedish soldiers died attempting to cross the border, into Sweden, via the mountain range near Røros.



The first traces of copper,  in the area, had been discovered at Rauhåmmåren, and by 1646, the first smelting shed had been constructed in Røros.  The same copper-mining company, ‘Røros Kobberverk’, operated the copper-works for 333 years from 1644 until it went bankrupt in 1977.


Røros Copper Mine
Smelting house

Today, 300 years of mining history is depicted in the Rørosmuseet Smelthytta (Røros Museum Smelting House). It was awarded the Best New Museum in Europe in 1990 and consists primarily, of a large permanent exhibit with full scale 1:10 models showing each part of the copper mining and production process, as well as family and cultural life, in this frontier style town.

English language audiotapes are available. Tours of the mine are also available.

If visiting, allow, at least, a good hour at least to see all the museum has to offer.


Artists Mecca

The mine may have closed, but tourists has another reason to visit Røros. Not only will they experience the authentic flavour and atmosphere of a 17th century mining town, but the town has re-invented itself as an meccas for artists and of all kinds and specialist food.

More about the some of the unusual creatives of Røros in the next post. Til then, Røros’ long history is Something to Ponder About

Linking to Restless Jo’s Monday Walks



Proverbial Thursday – Global Words of Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Valuable life lessons.  Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

So, with that in mind, each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying, and a Quote from different cultures and parts of the world, that I have found thought-provoking. I hope you think so too. I invite you to comment on your thoughts behind the meaning of these, often enigmatic, words.

You are very welcome to join in the discussion!

You can find previous Proverbial Thursday Quotes here – some of the discussions are fascinating.

city hall stockholm

In calm water, every ship has a good captain ~

Swedish Proverb

VAsa Museum

Although the proverb’s words did not help the ship:’Vasa’ on its maiden voyage, from Stockholm, in 1628! Read more about visiting Stockholm and what happened to the King’s ship here.


The quote I have chosen this week, does not necessarily apply only to school students, but also to workers, and all who interact with others, or reside in a community. The student’s  words struck me as profound, especially for someone with much of her life ahead of her.

“It wasn’t the friendship, fights and drifts that broke us; it was if we allowed that to fester into deep grudges and acts of revenge.  It wasn’t completing the assessment pieces that made us; it was feeling stressed or so over them after Term 1 and yet repeating that process in Term 2, then Term 3, then Term 4.  And it wasn’t the embarrassment or judgment from people that broke us; it was whether we allowed that to shatter our confidence and self-belief.”

J Tinn – School Student 2016

The student’s words made me think it is not the misfortune or good news in itself, that affects our mood, it is how we perceive the words relative to our own sphere, how we individually interpret, accept or reject the words; how much we let the words get under our skin, or soak them up; how much we react to the words and what that reaction looks like. We can choose whether the words help or hinder us.

pulling out hair

Is this true? We always have a personal, inner choice on how we react, even when there seems no other option? I believe so.  For whilst we cannot control what others might or might not do, we can always control how we act and – react. Do you agree?


And do you think the Swedish proverb has any relevance in today’s world or is it applicable only, to times gone by?


Something to Ponder About


Monday Mystery – Fredriksten Festning – Halden

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I encourage you to leave a comment if you think you might know where this week’s photograph, shown immediately below, is located. If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog when the answer will be revealed the following week. Guest submissions of MM photos are very welcome. Drop me an email if you would like to submit a photography to Monday Mystery Photo.

Last week we were in Fredriksten Festning, Norway, looking over the Swedish border! This fortress is situated high on the hill in Halden, and has an excellent vantage point for the Danish and Norwegian armies to warn of approaching invaders.


Now I could say that Gerard, was correct, if I could call Norway and Sweden part of Northern Europe! But it was really Ted from Recipereminiscing, who recalled visiting the fortress at Halden, as a child, and it is he that guessed the correct answer. Excellent effort Ted! Perhaps Ted even climbed, (as my girl did), upon one of the relic cannons which still stands watch for the marauding Swedes!!

Here are some interesting historical facts:

Fredriksten dates from the 17th century and was named after King Frederik III of Denmark and Norway, (ruler at the time). It has seen many battles between the years of 1660 and 1814, mostly between the Norwegians and the Swedes, with the Norwegian Danish forces being triumphant. It seems Halden, must have been a thorn in the Swede’s side, as two of their King Charles’ have died there, the last shot in somewhat unusual circumstances. There was even a rumour it was a Swedish soldier that killed his commander, although this may have been by accident.

Fredriksten Festning, Halden, Norway

Some interesting facts from

Charles XII of Sweden attempted to take Frederiksten by storm on 4 July 1716. His troops took the town after fierce fighting, but the citizens set fire to their own houses, forcing Charles, unable to take the fortress, to retreat and await the arrival of heavy siege guns. Unfortunately for the invading army the entire Swedish transport fleet was captured or destroyed by the Norwegian naval hero Tordenskjold in Bohuslen. Running low on supplies, Charles retreated hastily across the Svinesund and burned the bridges behind him. In the Autumn of 1718 Charles once more attacked Norway, intending to first capture Halden to be able to sustain a siege of Akershus [Oslo]. The 1,400 strong garrison of Frederiksten fought ferociously to hold back the invasion…..the Swedish army intensified their efforts against the main fort. The Swedish trenches had almost reached the main fortification walls when on the evening of 11 December 1718, a bullet struck and killed [Swedish] Charles XII while he inspected the work. The death of the king effectively ended the attack on Fredriksten and the invasion was called off, leading to the conclusion of the war. A memorial is located in the park named in his memory where the Swedish king fell, just in front of the fortress.  The old fortress flag from 1814, taken by the Swedish troops and not returned to Norway until 1964, is preserved in the present day museum located inside the inner fortress.

Halden can be reached easily from Norway’s capital, Oslo by train and bus.

Thanks to all who commented on this and indeed for commenting on the Mmp’s, in 2017.

I hope I have given you something to ponder about!

MMP will be back in 2017.

Monday Mystery