Daily Prompt: The Undulating Mountains of Norway

CEE Conference Oslo 1968 Safety Rules for Hand Tools

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but it was the pre digital days of photography, a camera with a film roll in 1968. I was in Norway, in Oslo to be exact. attending a CEE Conference for Safety Rules for Hand Tools. I have no idea what the CEE was actually, but I was working for a branch of the Robert Bosch Company in Switzerland, called Scintilla and they manufactured the hand tools for the Robert Bosch Company, like drills and jigsaws. I was the english secretary for the company and there was an international conference every year. For the Hand tools we had the chair. It was also pre computer days in the office and all minutes of meetings were still taken down by stenography, so I was the elected recorder of the proceedings.

I was up on the stage with an audience of about 2-300 men and with the various Swiss organisers. The proceedings were 5% in french and the rest in english. I filled up two notebooks with my strange signs which I had to transcribe when I returned to Switzerland. That is just a short summary about it all.

Up to now I had only seen the Norwegian country from the plane as we approached which seemed to be a vast forest of fir trees with houses in between. We had one free day where a trip was organised to the surrounding Norwegian mountains by train. Living in Switzerland I knew what a mountain is, but Norwegian mountains are something completely different.

CEE Conference Oslo 1968 Safety Rules for Hand Tools

We had an organised walkabout with the people attending the conference. The mountains look something like this when you are at the top or was it the top. We marched up the slope expecting to be at the top, which eventually was not the top but  there was another gentle slope downwards. You saw the next top to climb when you reached the bottom – of the slope of course. Yes this must be it. You climb to the next peak and can now look across the Norwegian country, perhaps even see the coast. No, nothing like it. You walked up to the top of the next slope and what did you see: another slope, the next slope. This must be it. After climbing and descending slopes for half an hour you realised that there were no peaks in Norway. You never reach the top, because there would be another slope hidden behind the one you have just conquered. It was all a delusion.

60 years later I still remember the never-ending journey, my opportunity to see the Norwegian mountains which were not mountains, just undulations. And here I am at the conference, a 21 year old secretary, discovering the mysteries of the Norwegian mountains which are not really mountains, just a length of undulating slopes.

CEE Conference Oslo 1968

Daily Prompt: The Undulating Mountains of Norway

11 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: The Undulating Mountains of Norway

  1. I think it is great that you still have these photos. I am in a nostalgia mood today, with the anniversary of Bowie passing two years ago, so I listen to his work and recall what I did way back and each when–I listen to the albums all the way through, the way it used to be when we had them on cassette and had only one direction to do on them–!

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    • Unfortunately I do not have as many photos as I would like to have from my Norway trip. It was the pre digital days. I was never a Bowie fan. I grew up with the Beatles and Stones. When Bowie arrived I was too busy being a housewife and mother.

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      • He had many aspects, from the naughty genderbender to the eventually very-politically-astute and very open-minded and educated. I have enjoyed him even when I lost track of his work for 20 years or so at a time–

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  2. Oh my! Who even remembers stenography? My younger sisters who are only two decades younger than I am could not comprehend what my old typewriter was for, or how to operate my old rotary telephone. Oh, I just remembered when my sister #4 put MTV on television right when they were showing a historical video of the Jackson Five. I commented on what a cute little kid Michael Jackson was. My sister seemed perplexed when she asked what Michael Jackson had to do with the video. I explained that the little kid jumping around with the microphone was Michael Jackson. She responded emphatically, “That kid isn’t Michael Jackson! He’s BLACK!”

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    • That remark about Jackson is really funny. How things change. I was a wizard at stenography, we had the Pitmans system in England – write what you hear. Mr. Swiss also learned steonography, but the Swiss system. The good thing about the english system was that you could use it for all languages, so I could apply it to french and german. I used my stenography for many years until I was retired, but I can still read and write it with no problem. I remember learning to type on a manual machine. It was only the director’s secretaries that got to use an electric typewriter. I remember the IBM executive and working with the first writing machines, the predecessor to computers.

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      • Oh my! When my Pa was a cartographer for the Navy at a facility in San Bruno that is long gone, there was a computer that lived at the end of the building in a big air conditioned room. The floor was elevated over all the cables that connected all the components. It all hummed in a weird sort of way, with flashing lights and such. I really do not know what it did.
        Transistors were invented at a site just a few blocks from where my parents lived when I was a baby Computers were invented not too far from that. Back then, no one would have guessed that computers would be what ruined our way of life here. No one remembers our history, and no one remembers the more recent history of computers. The historian who is frantically trying to preserve some of the modern history of computers in the region is not even of that industry, and is not even a native of the area. He is French, and Parisian at that! (As contemptuous as that part of our history is to me, I am very pleased that someone is so passionate about preserving it.) That is how little regard there is for our history.

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        • When I started working again after a 10 year baby/growing up kids pause the computers had moved in. Mr. Swiss and I were both into computers because of our work. I was an export clerk and without a computer it would have been a lot of work to create the docments necessary. At home I had teenagers and there were the games to play. Afterwards son No. 2 was at the university studying law and needed the computer for writing his various works. I love computer, it became part of my life, I even learned how to establish web sites with html and all that stuff.

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  3. I was the English-language editor (and secretary) for the University of Jerusalem Environmental Health Laboratory. Since my Hebrew was all that good (ever), that should have been a problem. But because no two people in the department spoke the same language — talk about IMMIGRANTS — English was the only language more or less everyone understood. I just had to figure out what they were trying to say. Our lives have paralleled 🙂

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    • I think so too. We seem to have been doing the same thing almost at the same time. Had I not had a baby bump a year after my escapades in Norway, I would have gone to London for the next conference, but Mrs. Swiss got in the way in the meanwhile. I went to Norway in November and the following February we got married. One of the quickest courtships known.

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  4. So much info of great interest and none at all at the same time. I too learned steno and even passed my exams with additional steno tests not only in German, but F & E…. WHAT a time that was! Then I went to Canada and was glad to be able to take notes in shorthand 🙂
    I also remember vaguely of the first really large computer system installed when I was a young apprentice. It took over a whole floor, was protected like Fort Knox and probably cost as much. Ppl were employed to stamp cards, etc….. tempi passati.
    I too much regret that I have NO proofs of photos from the earlier years of my life as a young woman. They are ‘flou’, brown, tinged, and no negatives are to be found.
    A great article – you truly are a excellent short story writer 🙂
    Kiki
    Even we have fog although our area usually doesn’t sport this feature. It’s also extremely wet and feels like November…. it will pass though!

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    • Our exams in school were speed tests, where I got fo 120 wpm. It is not so much the actual writing, but you are always writing what has already been said and you must concentrate to keep the words in your head.
      I was a stay at home mum when the computers arrived in the companies. When I returned to work we had a Philips computer, but only used by the accounts department. Afterwards the new computer arrived for everyone and gradually we all used it. There were a few problems now and again, and if the computer refused, then the whole company came to standstill.
      I have many old photos from my granparents and a couple from my ancestors. I no longer need negatives as I can scan them into my photo system for the future generations.
      Thanks for the compliment on writing. It is a hobby that I enjoy.

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