Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Along Memory Lane



Eldest son, a Geologist, lived with his family in Norway for several years - a country that we always enjoyed visiting and loved. On our first trip over to see them, I recall going to the local supermarket with my daughter-in-law, a visit which made me smile, but one which I also found to be confusing. Everyone, apart from me, was wandering around filling their baskets, seemingly oblivious to the various extras sitting on the counter tops and along the shelves. So grab yourself a shopping basket, I will take my camera, and join me on an "expedition" around the aisles of Helgø, a Norwegian Supermarket. 


I wonder what British Health & Safety Standards would think of an adult stuffed polar bear sitting on top of a counter selling cooked meats and pâtés?
There must be a storyline here, but I have no idea what it could be.
Did the supermarket owner buy a taxidermy 'job lot'? Or was he a frustrated collector whose wife wouldn't allow him to keep them at home!
The cheese and wine counter
It wasn't just the stuffed animals, but also the scenic dioramas that accompanied them.
This is a revamped old post - the picture quality is poor - they were taken with my first small digital camera. 

43 comments:

  1. Funny looks, it is almost like a museum!

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    1. It does bare a strong resemblance to a natural history museum.

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  2. It looks a little creepy to me, to tell you the truth. I think I would have looked for another store.

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    1. I found it an amusing visit - Helgø is a very, very expensive delicatessen shop, but Norway is a very expensive place to live anyway.

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    2. A friend of mine visited Denmark, Norway and Sweden a couple of years ago and said she couldn't believe how expensive it was. I guess those northern countries have to import a good deal of the food they consume.

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    3. Norway is expensive even though it is a very rich country but they have very small differences in their salaries. In addition, Norway has a large range of universal health and welfare services free of charge, paid for by their taxes.

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  3. Hello Rosemary, I wonder if this shop is still the same. Sensibilities about such things have changed, and I agree with you about that health inspector. It is such an odd choice for a supermarket--in a men's clothing store, for instance, it might have been more sensible.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - it was about 9 years ago that I visited this shop so I really don't know if it is still the same or not.

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  4. Dearest Rosemary,
    As you mentioned, this was long, long time ago and it looks so unreal stil!
    It better be at present so I would be able to cover my 'dropped mouth' behind a mask...
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. My DiL knew that I would be amused by seeing it, that is why she took me there, but I think that it must have amused her when she first visited it too.

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  5. That's wild! I've only seen such a large commercial display of taxidermy in big-box hunting supply stores here in Canada!

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    1. It was certainly something new for me - I know that some people like to have the odd stuffed animal in their home, but mainly I have seen them previous only in Natural History Museums.

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  6. How weird - I think I would shop elsewhere (if there was an elsewhere).

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    1. It is actually a very high class delicatessen store.

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  7. That's an interesting take on shop decor. It looks clean and very well done, though.

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    1. It is very clean and they do sell really lovely food too.

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  8. That's something you don't expect in a grocery.

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    1. I have never seen anything like this supermarket before.

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  9. Amazing to see such awesome animals in the grocery store! Only thing better is seeing them in their natural habitats. I still would love to visit the Arctic and see the Polar bears.
    Did you even bother with buying food - too much of interest to photograph!

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    1. My DiL was shopping, I just went along for the ride.
      I do worry about the Polar bears now that the ice-cap is in retreat.

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  10. I would love to see this place! The Scandis have a much more robust approach to these things and I daresay nothing like this would be Allowed in this country these days, but there's certainly plenty to look at while you're waiting for your turn at the counter here. I imagine there'll be kids in the town who have their favourite to visit when they go shopping with Mum.

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    1. It was funny and made me laugh - shopping in the UK is extremely dull in comparison.

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  11. Oh Rosemary: the pictures are hilarious! I think Norwegian people have a very subtle sort of humour (here in Germany the Bavarian cannot understand what we Northern people are sniggering about) - so they might have distilled that kind of subtlety onto an even higher level?

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    1. Dear Britta - I had a smile on my face all the way around this shop. I think that the biggest surprise of all was seeing the giant Polar bear.

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  12. Lovely to see something so quirky first thing in the morning. The Norwegians clearly have a sense of humour :) B x

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed this Barbara - I don't know what the storyline is behind it, but you might have hit the nail on the head that it is the Norwegian sense of humour.

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  13. Well I never!
    Haven't seen a supermarket like that before, so pleased you showed the photos.
    Just amazing and I don't think I would care to shop there with those animals there, but of course if there wasn't another.
    Take care Rosemary.

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    1. It was actually a very high class delicatessens - in the shops defence I should add that everything was spotlessly clean and the food goods were under glass covered counters.

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  14. One of the joys of travel is seeing how people live in other places and I'm sure folk from abroad think some of our 'normal living practices' in the UK equally weird. Or is that supermarket an oddity, even for Norway?

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    1. Yes, this shop is one on its own even in Norway.

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  15. Dear Rosemary,
    The owner deserves recognition for being so original. Each and everyone of the displays is a wonderful scene. It is his way of being different and I applaud him/her for his/her originality.
    By the way, I have two stuffed pheasants, in a natural setting, on top of one of my kitchen cabinets. Thank you Rosemary for bringing a little whimsey to our Thanksgiving Day.

    26 November 2020 at 14:34

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    1. Dear Gina - I am delighted that this post has brought a little whimsey to this your Thanksgiving Day - hope you are having a happy day. I am sure that someone has spent many, many hours setting up these dioramas to show off their beloved animal collection - they certainly succeeded in putting a smile on my face.

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  16. Definitely an interesting place to do your grocery shopping , I do think the owner has an amazing creativity , and shopping there surely isn't dull LOL :-)

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    1. Definitely not dull, and it adds an element of fun to your shopping experience.

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  17. Ha, well certainly interesting. I like you would have been clicking away instead of shopping.

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  18. Heipsan, for a long time.
    These photos are interesting and lovely.
    Hugs

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    1. Really lovely to hear from you - take care.

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  19. As I was enjoying the beauty of the animals and scrolling down quickly composing my thoughts on taxidermy in a high-priced deli, I had to laugh out loud when you wrote about the possibility of a frustrated wife! EXACTLY what had come across my mind: a husband who had spent a lot of money over the years on his collection and a wife who finally gave him an ultimatum. He took it and rearranged his collection in his deli. (of course, a donation to his business= tax deduction and also a happier wife!!!) If that store was near me, I naturally would do just as your daughter-in-law had done and I would be sure to share it with any out-of-town guests. What fun! Many years ago while living in Wisconsin we were invited to a small wedding at the couple's new A-frame home. It was chockful of taxidermy! One bird was in flight suspended from the highest point in the living room! When once, again, flights will let me return to Paris, I have always wanted to wander through Deyrolles. I'll bet you've been there, Rosemary?

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    1. Dear Mary - I am pleased that you enjoyed this little trip around Helgø.
      I haven't actually been to Deyrolles, but do know about it. I understand that it is taxidermy at the high end! if you go, and find yourself tempted, then I believe that you will need to have lots and lots of euros in your purse!

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