Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

He has also roped up the new well cover, which took him several hours. And he has to gather the new roof gutters strewn all over the ground and place heavy rocks on top of them before he is able to crawl home again, by which time he is so drenched and his face so contorted that Ingrid can hardly recognise him. She doesn’t like these storms, the creaking in the house and the trumpet blasts from the pipes, the whole universe in turmoil, the wind which tears the breath out of her lungs when she is in the barn with her mother, which drives the moisture from her eyes and sweeps her into walls and bowed trees, forcing the entire family to camp down in the kitchen and living room, where even there they don’t get a wink of sleep. Even Martin sits still when the Winter Storm ravages his island, with a cap on his head and his great hands resting like empty, immovable shells on his knees. Except when he is holding Ingrid, who shuttles between him and the table and the oven and the larder, and sits on the peat holder, dangling her feet, after which she goes back to Grandad and plays with his hands as if they were teddy bears. The adults are stony-faced. They whisper and scowl and make attempts to laugh but see through their own play- acting and turn serious again, true enough the buildings on Barrøy had withstood everything so far, but that is no more than proof of the past: once there was a house in Karvika, there isn’t any longer.


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