Report by a British Facebookie about her journey to Norway for the Tønsberg Summer show with Alexander Rybak , July 7th 2012
Text and photos: Emily Boycott
Thursday 5th July
Mum and dad drove me to Birmingham late at night, I was so excited, I actually exploded (At least, that’s what dad blamed the nosebleed on!) Lillian picked me up from there, and I said goodbye to my parents before we embarked on an all night long trip to John Lennon airport where to my amusement there was actually a yellow Submarine… We had a cup of tea and a doze before meeting Anni and Dave at about 5am. Currently lacking sleep and over excited – funny combination!
I can see Norway!!!
Friday 6th July
We got to Torp at about half Nine, I decided that Norway looks like someone put a country in a blender with all the islands and what not, but so pretty and awesome! After a short train vs. taxi dispute, we chose the latter.
An hour later, we got to the Hotel and met a few of the Facebookies (All of a sudden online friends became real people! Very scary but rather awesome) and found we couldn’t book in yet, so we sat around and chatted for a while, I was a tad shy, having not met many of these people before. Some of us took a stroll down the road and found a Viking longboat – being made with traditional methods and everything (Gotta love the Norwegians!) – And a Viking who taught me some stuff about Norse mythology, I had asked him how to pronounce ‘Sleipnir’, something that had been annoying me a while, it’s not something that appears in everyday conversation.
Next came a moment I will treasure for the rest of my life – my first sighting of Smurf. AKA – The moment I temporarily became a statue and died…
There were a few of us sat outside and as we were chatting, I turned around and found Alex stood just a few feet behind me! He saw me looking (I was sort of staring because THAT SORT OF THING DOES NOT HAPPEN TO ME) and walked over to me and said ‘hi’. Naturally – as the Smurf has this effect on people – I went all quiet and unable to respond, thankfully someone else was kind enough to introduce me, telling Alex who I was and where I was from. Alex said he recognised me – that he has heard my name a lot. I screamed internally, as you can imagine, this didn’t help my temporary deadness and as HE calmly shook my hand, touched my cheek and introduced me to his girlfriend I barely even managed to say ‘hi’.
In shock, I was incapable of human communication, so I went upstairs to change my jumper for the meet and greet.
At the M+G, I got to talk to both Alex and Didrik, at first I was terrified – there are many brilliant pics of my ‘oh my god what the hell is happening to me’ look, especially when Didrik started to talk to me in Norwegian, thankfully Alex (who knew where I came from, remember) came and saved me, simultaneously translating Didrik’s question (‘Have we met’) and answering it for me :-). I got introduced to so many more people before I sat down next to Alex as we chatted with him about stuff. Though I am (slightly) ashamed to admit that mostly what I remember is that he has a nice arm and eats strawberries in a cute and adorable – if odd – way.
After we all had a group pic, I FINALLY plucked up the courage to ask both the boys for a hug, and Alex complimented me on my hugging *grin*
We hung around some more, before a few of us headed off for pizza and the biggest ‘small’ glass of coke I have ever seen. I had reached the stage of feeling very faint and nearly blacking out, having not slept for more than 30 hours, and eaten/drunk very little all day. At some point I avoided a panic attack by going outside for some fresh air and calling my mother to tell her about the rather epic day I had had, but that bit is all rather blurry due to my lack of sleep/food and over excitement. Reminder – next time I must take twice as many jelly babies.
Some final Facebookies arrived, but I retired to my room for a while, listening to music until the concert finished and then we sort of crashed the signing despite having not been present at the concert. I got an autograph plus one for my friend, Alex remembered me and I got a hi-five! After that, I sort of started falling asleep, so it all got a bit blurry, but I determined that I would get the days events written in my notebook before I went to bed, it had been so epic and I did not want to forget it (as if I could)!
Saturday 7th July
Lillian woke me around 9am, and I had a quick shower (Which ended up being slower because I couldn’t turn the blasted thing on) before joining people for breakfast. We saw Didrik and then I bumped into him again when I went to find sugar for my tea. Very bizarre experience, I have to admit, but put it in the context of being on holiday with 20 people I met online to see some artists virtually unknown in my country, and it seems pretty normal…
I then went shopping with Anni and her friend whose name escapes me (Sorry!) bought some gifts for my friends and Yohan on DVD. Plus, perhaps the most entertaining part of my trip was the brilliant fact that Norwegian money has holes in it) I have since attached a Kroner to a necklace – it’s pretty cool.
I spent FAR too long getting ready for the show, making sure my outfit and hair was okay – but I shall not bore you with details!
Then all of us headed to the pizza place which was lovely! I got to chat to loads of people and discovered quite how expensive Norway can be (£4.60 for a coke) but we discussed everything from books to various pizza toppings.
Back at the hotel, I started to panic and pace around being all over excited about the concert…
… WHICH WAS EPIC. The comedy, although in Norwegian, was brilliant, and I was so happy when Alex sang ‘Roll with the Wind’, plus Didrik came and smiled at me because I was singing along to ‘Best Kept Secret’. But most of you have seen the Concert, so I shall not go into detail of it!
After the show, we went to the signing, at this point I was nearly crying – I couldn’t believe I was actually in REAL Norway with REAL Facebookies and REAL Smurf and REAL Didrik! Didrik Laughed when I explained this and I got another hug. When I got to Alex, I told him Thank you for being amazing, he hugged me – he smelled really nice – and touched my cheek again and I got a few photos (THANK YOU to all those who have taken photos, they are all so lovely and brilliant reminders of happy memories). He told me he liked my waistcoat (Which made me very happy, because I had specifically chosen to wear it in his honour [There is no denying how handsome he is in his black waistcoat, I was secretly pleased when he wore it in the show]) and commented on my cyberman badge, asking if it was a transformer. At this point I knew I can no longer marry this guy – he does not know about the Cybermen!
There may have been a moment where I *BONKED* out
This evening leads to a VERY late night, I stayed up until around 3am, but I know others were up later, we met the crazy waiter and there were loads of brides (We worked out it was due to being the 7th/7th). Once again I phoned my mum and told her everything, getting wet because I stood in the rain (Yeah… it rained most of the time, but who cares? I was in Norway!) Lillian played her ukulele and sang which was lovely. I felt very at home among everyone, it was so cosy and sweet. As I drifted off to sleep, the sun began to rise slightly in my window and I remember grinning and being so happy.
Sunday 8th July
Lillian’s alarm had gone haywire, so I was woken with a start at around 10am, rushed to get dressed (And mostly packed as I was leaving today) and ran to the lift. Half asleep, I got one hell of a shock when on the fourth floor Didrik got in the lift! I complimented the concert, and then he was kidnapped by a mad Norwegian lady… It was almost comical – she was all hyper and telling him stuff at 100mph (Sadly I don’t know what as it was in Norwegian) and he just stood there looking bemused and nodding occasionally.
After we had signed out, we sat in the lobby chatting (occasionally saying sad goodbyes to people) and chatted, most of us browsing Facebook on our phones or laptops (We found this funny). A few of us went for a walk around the towny part of Tonsberg, very pretty, like a picture of an ideal town. Then went back and sat around some more. I liked sitting, I could look around and think about the epicness of it all.
I had to fix my bag, as the flag and large amount of stuff I had squeezed into it had caused the poor thing to burst, and as I stand up from doing this I get one final surprise – finding out I had been blocking the door and Alex was standing there looking at me. He wished me a good journey home and I decided there and then that I HAVE TO RETURN ONE DAY! He touched my cheek again, a touch I have come to describe as ‘The Touch of Death’ – it’s very simple but leaves you as a silent pile of happy mush. But it set my mood (awesome) for the journey home.
Soon after, our ride to the airport appears, and we said a final goodbye to all remaining Facebookies (so sad)
The ride home was uneventful, though I got home really late after taking a plane and two trains, tired, happy to be home but missing Norway and my new friends terribly. Britain was raining (Yay). I will never miss British weather….
My holiday was over, but it was (in my mother’s words) ‘The trip of a lifetime so far’. Brilliant, fun, best weekend in my life, there are few words that describe how I felt by the end. And what made it just perfect was how approachable Alex and Didrik were, they cared for their fans, and each other, watched out for them, at the signings afterwards, nobody got more attention than anyone else, they were never turned away and both men didn’t leave until everyone had been seen, and then stayed to chat for longer! There are very few artists who treasure their fans like that. And very few fans who are quite so close knit and caring for each other and their artists as the people I spent my holiday with.
Note: Check out the epicness of the RFacebookies: These two pictures were taken from opposite sides of my hug but AT THE EXACT SAME MOMENT!!!!