marte_marie_forsberg marte_marie_forsberg

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marte_marie_forsberg  Norwegian photographer and author, living in the English countryside. Photography and Cooking workshops. Cookbook out October 2017 by Clarkson Potter

http://www.mmforsberg.com/

A wee corner of my English cottage. Slowly each room is beginning to feel like home, and I'm starting to love the process, embracing renovation and unpacking madness that still ensures, and finding joy in the parts that are taking shape, the imperfect journey. Yesterday the garden was basking in sun and we pulled up plants by the root, cleared our little stone terrace from a feisty ivy attack, and replanted lilacs, primroses and a few budding roses. They bay tree stands proud at the bottom of the garden enticing me to use its leaves in more than just autumn stews and soups. I read somewhere that bay leaf ice cream was ever so tasty, have any of you ever tried it? I love that the cottage encourages me to simplify my life and to uncluttered. Something I'm sure many of you can relate to. Lovely Beth Kirby @local_milk has written about it often too these past months. Perhaps it's the pace of the time we live in, and the constant pressure of creating more, be more, that's beginning to stear us towards a slower life, a life perhaps filled with the mantra of every single one of us being enough. That we are enough while with steady footsteps growing and learning, and perhaps letting go of the constant pressure and misconception that this life is a race. Every day I take bags of clothes and props to the local charity shop feeling lighter by the hour. One wall of the cottage is coming together slowly, whitewashed and with summer hats and baskets gathered from my trips to France and Italy carrying nostalgic memories of the world beyond the thick stone cottage walls. My home is coming together much slower than anticipated, and much slower than is comfortable if I listen to my inner pressure of being more, doing more and comparing myself to other's journey. But in the end this is my journey, my life, my short time here on earth, and my little home in the countryside. So we potter in our small garden, nest and picnic under our favorite tree more often than not, and I'm feeling full, full with happiness and a newfound excitement for each new day, and the dread of facing the never ending list of to-do's is beginning to lift... #weareenough #picnicmore #slowingdown

It's full on asparagus season and I'm not holding back. Almost every day I find a way of incorporating it in a meal, and since many of the pubs and cafes in the area work with local and seasonal produce, eating out has way too many tempting asparagus options on the menu. The other day I drove past lush green fields to @pythousekitchengarden nestled inside an old Victorian walled garden on the Pythouse estate. Their sautéed asparagus salad with burnt lemon, goats cheese and wilted spring onions was nothing short of luscious. At home I simply slice a few raw asparagus lengthwise, drizzle with the lovely Italian olive oil I recently got from @redbeetlefood , season with sea salt and coarsely ground pepper before topping it off with generous shavings of Sicilian pecorino cheese. So simple, so quick to make and ever so good for you. Researching plants for my wee allotment up the street, I read up on the asparagus and was a bit blown away by all its nutrients and benefits. I don't like the term super food, but did you know that this little vegetable in its raw form is packed with antioxidants and anti inflammatory properties in addition to containing large amounts of vitamin K, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, choline, vitamin A, zinc, iron, protein, and magnesium and calcium? I believe in a well balanced diet, but I can assure you my allotment will sport quite a few asparagus. I haven't even began digging or even planting in my garden yet, but all this research is making me all kinds of excited. Luckily, since asparagus will take a few years to begin yielding results, there's plenty of organic farms around locally where I can get them until my own pop above ground.... #allotmentplanning #seasonalproduceistheshiz

Rain is tapping gently on the windows and Mr Whiskey and I are working from our desk in the corner of the blue room. In my childhood home in Norway my mother had a lavender colored blue room that was filled with fabric, sewing machines, knitting and crocheting needles, feathers, rhinestones, an old weaver and lots of patterns, big sheets of paper, coloring pencils and paint. It was the creative room. After school I would throw my rucksack on the floor in the hallway and run upstairs to disappear for hours in her creative world. The blue room was an oasis of possibilities, an Aladdin's cave for a creative soul. I cherished every minute of time spent there, sewing, knitting, gluing, painting, tearing, and inventing. It was the best of times with no boundaries, no rules, just endless supplies of products to create with and her ever changing mood boards spicing up every wall. Blue has, even if it may be quite a conservative color, become my color for creativity, and in every house I've lived in after moving to England, I've made sure to paint one room blue to remember to keep playing, keep inventing and keep to approaching any task with a creative mindset... #keepplaying #everyoneneedsablueroom

On our recent trip to Norway we stocked up on liqueurs and botanical syrups to bring home to England. Cloudberry and Crowberry syrups have quickly become some of my favorite ingredients in cocktails, and since both berries carry nostalgic notes from my childhood in Norway, it's like a kiss from the past whenever we mix one of them a drink. For our retreat in Sassi di Matera in Italy in September we've incorporated two evening cocktail sessions, where we will be working with local botanicals and drink traditions led by mixologist and avid cocktail maker @theo_maxfield I'm so very much looking forward to this pre dinner cocktail hour, that I have a sneaking suspicion will be ever so photogenic as well, as these liquid treats will most definitely forever remind me of my time in the south in Italy. Do you have a warm or cold drink/cocktail that instantly transports you to a place, memory, person or event? Warm black currant toddy always brings me back to winters in Norway during my childhood. The fireplace was crackling away and mum stirring the pot warming up this ever soothing dark purple drink, leaving me with a purple smudge from ear to ear that I wiped away with the back of my hand with a smile. #drinkmemories #mmforsbergworkshop #cocktailsession For more information on the retreat in September click on the link in my profile or email us at workshop@mmforsberg.com

We drove back to the English countryside from the airport in the dark, past midnight and in the rain, yet I knew I was home. After the most glorious whirlwind visit to my beloved Norway, spending our days with my family celebrating Norway's constitution day, I ordered a mediocre cup of tea at a service station and felt like I belonged. After moving out of my parents lovely countryside home in Norway I yearned for years to be able to put my suitcases down and feel like I'd found my spot in the world. I never dreamed it would be England, a country I barely had visited a few years back, yet it fit like a glove the moment I tried her countryside on. Life is unpredictable and filled with so many opportunities around every bend. At any given moment we can alter its course by signing up for an evening class, begin baking bread every morning, take up painting, go back to school, chose to adopt a child, quit your job, or go for a walk. Some events can be more life changing than others, and I'm so glad I gave England and it's countryside a chance to change my life... #myenglishcountryside #picnicmore

Without me, he asked and lowered his head, and we had a heard time nodding. We'll bring you along on our next adventure we told him, trying to sooth our own aching hearts. We hurriedly carried our luggage through the rain to our car and turned our noses toward the airport after giving him plenty of snuggles and wet kisses. When we landed in Norway for our short 48 hour visit to see family and celebrate Norway's constitution day on 17th of May, we'd brought the rain with us, and the temperatures outside indicated that Spring hadn't properly reached my home country just yet. On the fridge in my parents home on Jeløy, a beautiful fjord island, my mother has hung a quote that reads; You can take a Norwegian out of Norway, but you can't take Norway out of a Norwegian. I smiled at the quote as I reached for the brown cheese, a speciality brown goats whey cheese that I believe is unique to Norway, still my favorite after over 15 years abroad. Happy 17th of May!! Take a peek at our constitution day celebrations on my insta stories 🇳🇴 #17mai

The garden is covered in snow my mother told me over the phone a few days ago, and we both laughed at the absurdity. The week before Norway had sported summer temperatures and everyone hit the beach, sunbathed in their garden and life was good. Her garden flourished within hours, and sleepy plants kickstarted their summer modus. But that was all before the snow came and draped every budding flower and plant in a thick white blanket of snow. Spring is unpredictable she told me, and so is life. So we made a promise to picnic more often, to embrace all that good and to take full advantage of every day. A package from my lovely friend @redbeetlefood arrived not long ago, filled with the tastiest olive oil, balsamico and hazelnuts from Italy, and we didn't waste a minute before we threw it all in a basket and went to our new favorite tree nestled between two green rolling hills overlooking a small thatched village. Sprawled out on a blanket, Mr Whiskey was his usually cheeky and energetic self, while we slumbered underneath the tree he covered what seemed like every field from here to London and back before falling taking a seat next to us. The nearby Ansty farm shop offered freshly picked asparagus, so we threw together a raw salad topped only with shavings of Sicilian pecorino cheese, @redbeetlefood 's heavenly olive oil before a wee sprinkle of seasoning. Pastries and peaches for dessert, and after a wee snooze under the tree, we packed up our little spot of paradise and returned to work. Every day he has a few hours off in the afternoon and we don't waste a minute. Our basket alters between carrying a blushing Provence rose on a sunny day and @dorsetteauk breakfast tea for when it rains and we sit underneath an umbrella wrapped in our wool blanket to stay warm. Come sun or rain, (or snow!) there isn't a beat to be missed... #everydayhappinesses #picnicmore

I woke up with a quote from last night's incredibly inspiring evening @messumswiltshire where Hugo Spowers founder of the Riversimple movement and the Rasa, a zero emission car spoke on the future of the car industry. His last slide lingered as he came to his closing remarks, and my eyes caught hold of a quote at the bottom of it that read; " We are called to be architects of the future...not its victims." ( by Buckminster Fuller) I smiled and wrote the quote in my journal as soon as I returned home that night. It reignite my inner fire of creating the future I want to live in, and made me all kinds excited about the many work and life projects ahead. Isn't it just the most empowering sentence!? This morning I took a blank sheet of paper, wrote the quote in big bold letters and hung it above my desk so that I never forget that in the end, I'm the creator of my own destiny and the future I want to live in... #saturdaymusings #wordstoliveby

So incredibly excited to be launching my Food, art and Photography workshop in the south of Italy today! With the beautiful @sextantio cave hotel as our home base, we'll explore the local cuisine, work daily on visual storytelling, styling and photography looking at the grand old masters in painting and sculpture for inspiration and guidance. Our in house cook will lead us in pasta making sessions, and the wonderful @eminchilli will take us on a day trip to the nearby seaside town of Bari for a food wander to local markets, through town, shops and lead us to secret little spots for lunch and dinner. The keen mixologist @theo_maxfield will host evening cocktail sessions working with local botanicals and drink traditions. This is a five day retreat that aims at honing your photography and visual storytelling skills both on and off line, work on your social media presence, further open your eyes to art in photography, introduce you to the locale food traditions with hands on cooking classes and for you to slow down, relax and enjoy the ever so restorative atmosphere this unique place has to offer. We travelled down to this magical spot last month and completely fell in love, and I cannot wait to share it all with you come September. For more information and to reserve your spot click on the link in my profile. See you in Italy! #mmforsbergworkshop

His favorite spot in the cottage, overlooking our little village while making sure no one enters our garden unnoticed, especially the neighbor's cat... #myenglishcountryside #mrwhiskey

I rolled down the car window as I drove from one little English town to the next yesterday, cold air gushed in and I turned the heating up. This is English Spring. Warm sunny days one moment, and brisk cold winds the next. Last week I was determined to head down to the wee river that runs on the outskirts of town. A gentle drizzle of cold rain accompanied us from our cottage to the river banks, where we warmed our hands on steaming hot tea from a thermos and wrapped ourselves in a thick woolen blanket. Nothing but birdsong and the sound of trickling water broke the silence. These days I'm taking it slow. In a way it feels like I'm learning to walk again, learning to overcome the feeling that urges me to fill every second of the day with something "productive". Simply being is ever so important too. I'm about to embark on so many wonderfully exciting projects, but I'm fiercely editing these days. Editing my life, my work and projects that I'm involved in. These edits cuts into every aspect of my life, from how many plates and cups I allow to take up space in the kitchen, to my closet and to people in my life. These days I'm ever so inspired to simply be, to walk slow but with intent, and to build strong foundations in work and in life, that enables me to give more. The wet drizzle turned into rain, and soaked my hair and jacket. The cold wind and wet weather whipped my face pink, and I felt alive. Let's take our afternoon tea here more often, he said with a smile. I took his arm. I carried the basket with teacups and an empty thermos, and he the heavy soggy blanket, and together we made our way home through muddy paths and slippery wet grass... #takingtimetosimplybe #myenglishcountryside ( 📷 by @theo_maxfield )

Up the stream and across the bridge, is a big old tree standing tall in the middle of a green field. I pass it almost every day on my way to Shaftesbury, the biggest nearby town. Early this week I had the pleasure of creating a two day private workshop for the wonderfully talented photographer @lizbanfield We explored the world of photography, wandered through ancient castle ruins talking about the grand old masters in painting and sculpture and how they approached light and composition. After having done a baking shoot in a wonky old Tudor tea house, we swung by the local cheese monger filled our basket with the necessary ingredients for a picnic and journeyed on to my favorite tree. The cool Spring air blew hard, and we nestled up by its roots in the shade of the wind and talked about the future of photography as we nibbled away and uncorked a bottle of a full bodied red. I think there's adventure ahead, I said to her as I popped a warm grape in my mouth and smiled, and we agreed with a nod. I recently read in a magazine tear out my mother sent me attached with her weekly letter. It read; 'If you want something you've never had, you must be prepared to do something you've never done...' We finished our picnic in silence as we packed up our cozy little world, and I think we both felt the wind change... #adventuresahead #mmforsbergworkshop #myenglishcountryside

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