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The emotional weight of memories and smells

Updated: Nov 9, 2019

As the daughter of a Dutch mother and a Norwegian father (tough sailor - yes indeed) my childhood is drenched with Norway. The summer holidays are dedicated to freedom, the outdoors, water and even more water and - last but not least - back to basics. The smell of trees, salt water and rocks give me goosebumps. This is my home.

We all know that smells are strongly linked to memories - and vice versa - with a lifetime impact. The objects - the look, the feel and the smells specifically, are so intensely imprinted in my memory, that I can literally sense them as we speak. The smell of rocks? My rock is large, it borders the salt water, is heated by the sun and smells of salt, lime and seaweed. Smells that are accompanied by the cries of the seagulls... and one cannot be disconnected from the other.

Our hytte in the Telemark region is both our safe haven and our base. Our Norwegian home without any frills and luxury (such as tv, telephone and running water) far from our Dutch regulated life, in the middle of the woods and yet only a two minute walk from a beautiful lake. The days consist mainly of swimming, rowing, fishing, reading, drawing, climbing mountains, looking for moose, bears, foxes, the remains of small rodents in lynx caves, picking blueberries, baking wafles and lots of daydreaming on the side. Once in a while there is a trip to civilization or to relatives after which we hurry back to our self inflicted solitude.​

However insignificant or irrelevant they seem, these objects, these smells and day-to-day events - and some of the people too in hindsight - as I even had a crush on a neighbouring famers' son called Henning, whom I had never even met - they form a clear and traceable track to who I am today. Apparently, even the most everyday or trivial situations or circumstances are capable of causing a strong emotional impact and weight, or connotation if you will. I love that. Because it proves that happiness is in the smallest of things. Small things that are in fact big things, right?

Well anyway, this is where, when, why and how it originated, my Nordic state of mind, my intense love for Scandinavia, for the language, the culture, the Saabs and Volvos - and for the design, the beautiful, simple, timeless design, the organic shapes - inspired by the overwhelming beauty of nature.

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