Karen Koren: Norwegian wood - and antibiotics - to the rescue

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Second week in paradise - well, Norway actually, and maybe not quite paradise, as it has been pretty damp all week and I have had the flu, the kind I had at Christmas and as most of us know is not very pleasant.

I ended up having to go to the local hospital for antibiotics to relieve the infection. The Norwegian doctor who had a white cheesecloth scarf around his neck, looking very Scandinavian, told me that I was the ninth person to come to him with a throat infection that week and he had been the eighth.

He said that I would be better within 7 days and I told him that this was the 6th day of the infection and he then decided to take blood and a very dutiful nurse put it in a mixing machine and gave me a wee note to take back to the doctor. It had a number on it, number 57, this I took to the doctor who told me the number 5 was normal and 200 was fatal and I was going to live So I am now on the road to recovery, I am reliably informed by the hippy doctor.

So while all this was happening, my very good friends from Bergen came to visit, Olaf MacKenzie, Katrine Lunde and their two lovely children. Olaf was the production manager for Assembly Theatre in Edinburgh for many years and met his wife Katrine while she was performing there.

She is a very talented actress and singer. Katrine worked with me when I commissioned BA Robertson of ‘BangBang’ fame, to write a musical called Too Close to the Sun.

This was a lovely piece that was on at the Gilded Balloon a few years ago. The musical play was about President John F Kennedy’s relationship with a Danish journalist Inga Arvad. Katrine played Inga and she sang beautiful songs which she interpreted with a great voice and amazing style.

I always believed that the piece should have gone on to greater things, however this has not happened as yet, though we discussed this at length while we enjoyed each other’s company in front of the warmth of a Norwegian wood log fire.