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Defying my father's advice


Disappointed in Norway
John Julius Norwich Writer
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We finished with Denmark and we went briefly to Norway, where the ship's company gave a party on-board and invited all the sort of local Norwegians. And I got talking to a perfectly ravishing girl who I really took to and invited her out to dinner the following night. And I said, 'Is there anywhere...? – it was in Kristiansand, the extreme south of Norway, and she said, 'Oh no, there are no very nice restaurants around here, but why don't we take a picnic up into the forest, into the woods, because they're so lovely at this time of year and it's blazing sunshine, you know, it'd be lovely. And we would just have a lovely walk in the woods and a picnic.' So, I was looking forward to this enormously. She never turned up. The disappointment was deep. Anyway, I was very much hoping to lose my long-preserved virginity, but I failed. And so that was my last recollection of Norway.

John Julius Norwich (1929-2018) was an English popular historian, travel writer and television personality. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and on the lower deck of the Royal Navy before taking a degree in French and Russian at New College, Oxford. He then spent twelve years in H.M. Foreign Service, with posts at the Embassies in Belgrade and Beirut and at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. In 1964 he resigned to become a writer. He is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire and, most recently, 'The Popes: A History'. He also wrote on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Norway

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: 2017

Date story went live: 03 October 2018