My story begins in the city of Stavanger, Norway…

Well, actually I should go even further back. My parents, Randi & Per, met i Egersund, where they lived. They fell in love and got married. Ha! Don’t they all? Anyways. Two years after their marriage my mom gave birth to a charming, yet very determined child, august 28, 1975, in the hospital of Stavanger.

For the next 5 years we lived in Egersund, in a very nice house in Iglatjørnveien. It was close to Gåsungeveien where my uncle & aunt (Paul & Gro) lived with the kids.
April 6, 1978 my sister Ingrid was born. I remember for her 1 year birthday I was carrying her around but she was to heavy for me and I lost her on a car battery just outside the door. She started bleeding and, oh man, how she scared my mom with her screaming. We even had to call off the birthdayparty to take her to the emergency room.

My dad worked in Televerket (now Telenor) and was away a lot and when I was 5 the family moved to Drangedal, where my dad grew up. We lived in a house not far from my grandparents, Johanne & Bjarne. (In Norwegian fathers mother and fathers father are called farmor & farfar and that is very common for all kids to call their grandparents, but we called ours for Bestemor & Bestefar that means Bestmom & bestdad. Also very common to name your grandparents).

A year later we moved to Arendal where we stayed for the rest of my childhood. I did all my school years in Arendal.
It was a nice city to grow up in where winters were milder than most of Norway (because of proximity to the open sea) and really nice summers.

For 4 years during high-school I also attended evening classes at Arendal kunstskole (school of arts) led by an inspiring artist, Franco Fughero Bartolomei. I learned so much and I loved learning about different techniques  for oilpainting, aquarelles and shades. Sometimes we had excursions to Oslo to go to museums. I still love to take my sketch pad with me to a museum to draw.
 (article from Norway main paper about one of my co-students – ps: in norwegian) and I loved it.

I also danced a lot since my mother was a dancing teacher at Arendal swingklubb. We learned swing, rock’n’roll, blues, stroll and so much more apart from having a great deal of fun at the same time.

I also played football (soccer), volleyball, handball, sailed and danced classical ballet when I was a child. I loved bicycling and swimming as well so we migth call me an active child, even though one of my favourite hobbies was reading. I used to borrow 20 books a week at the local library and I early moved on to grown up litterature like 1001 nights (at age 11), the series about Marianne (from which I got my name) & Angelique.

I read almost anything I could actually get my hands on.
I also loved movies.

My family always loved travels. When I was a child we traveled every single vacation we had from school. My family is spread all over and we often went to Trondheim to visit my moms parents  Ingrid and Olav, (mormor & morfar) & aunt Hanne and her family. My moms other sister, Inger, lived in Kyrksæterøra & later in Hitra before she and the family moved back to Øra. Of course we also spent a lot of time going back to Egersund to visit my moms brother, Paul and his family, as well.

We also traveled to se my fathers sisters an their families. Liv lives in the western part of Norway, In Fosnavåg – located on the lovely island of Herøy, outside of Ålesund, & Signe lived in Drangedal.

Apart from visiting family within Norway, we also went to Denmark by cruise ship and toured Europe by bus twice (From Norway – France in 1985 and Norway – Austria 1992).

This pretty much sums up my childhood.

I had a great start of my life.