As I am writing this I find myself yet again 69 degrees north and inside the Arctic circle. I have returned to my first university city, Tromsø, for two months of friends, writing and working as a landscape gardener.

This is my third summer working for the university and the botanical garden (the northernmost botanical garden in the world, and boasting a unique collection of Arctic and alpine plants), and the crew are loyal as dogs to our glorious boss.

Although I would naturally prefer to spend my summer with my love and partner, economy is forcing us to spend the summer apart this year as well, fingers crossed for next year.

With that being said, when we do have to spend time apart, there are worse things to do than spending all day outside, sun, rain or (yikes) hail. I did mention this garden is in the Arctic circle, right? Our crew of gardeners are open, friendly, and from almost as many nations as there are staff.

I spend my days weeding, hedge trimming, lawn mowing , digging, planting and (bonus) hiking.

But what my number one goal is while being here is to finish my first novelette. The draft is done, so there is only the editing and grammar to touch up. Entirely doable in the shade of the midnight sun, I dearly hope.

Perhaps even some of the Arctic spirit will weave its way into the story at large, short though it is. I doubt it though, as it is not that kind of story, but you never know.

The picture is from last years annual staff hiking trip (that’s me awkwardly on the right). Great hike, heard an eagle, horribly steep descent.


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