I love my job. Right now I'm working in Westeros.
If you google «ingrid vaalund» you will find two people: the other one is my sister-in-law who works at the National Library. We are completely separate entities: She is tall and slim, and I am the short, fat one. And if I had foreseen Google when I got married, I would probably have kept my maiden name of Pedersen, which is the Norwegian equivalent of Jones, instead of opting for the rare one I married into.
(In case you're wondering, the answer is yes: There have been blacksmiths in my husband's family for generations.)
I have spoken both English and Norwegian all my life, and am in a constant process of teaching myself translation: I landed my first book assignment a long time ago, after asking an editor if she knew that the telephone had been invented in the 1700s: When people called on each other in the historical romance I’d been reading, the Norwegian word for “phone” was used. She laughed heartily and asked if I could do better, and I said yes.
Later, after getting the standard “Don’t call us, we’ll call you" from Semic/Nordisk Forlag every 6 months for a while, I became heavily involved in the fascinating world of superheroes, and I lived with Spider-Man, the X-Men and the rest of the Marvel Universe for years when my kids were at the right age to appreciate it. The characters are complex and troubled, and they were a great starting point for discussions about life, the universe and everything.
When rental videos came on the market, I began to learn subtitling, and I’ve been doing audiovisual translation since. About 20 years ago my husband quit working as a secondary school headmaster and joined me, and we’ve been subtitling together since then, now only for NRK, the national TV channel.
We have been married for almost 45 years, and we live on a small hill farm, a comfortable distance from neighbours, with our back to the woods and daily visits from wild animals who come to eat stale bread that we get from the local grocery store. I couldn’t find any deer or badger pictures right now, but here’s a squirrel eating stale julekake, a.k.a. Norwegian Christmas bread.
We enjoy being with our five grandchildren and their parents, and sometimes we invite people to come fire walk with us:
Except maybe for the firewalking, my life is pretty normal. The sunny side is comfortable, interesting and bright.
But without shadows, life would be flat and one-dimensional, and in another blog I write about areas outside The Streetlights of Normiarchy. And it's completely OK with me if you don't want to go there.