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Beautiful Norway


A party on Fløyen mountain
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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We had a good crossing, and we danced and talked and smoked, as we did in those days. And when we got to Bergen I had a place booked, and Kirsten of course joined her family. She'd been spending a year as an au pair girl in England to perfect her English, which seemed to be pretty good to me anyway. And I went to see a name that I had been given by Barry Dawson, another Australian student who had visited Scandinavia, and he had got to know a Danish [sic] student, and said, look them up. So I did, and this family were very accommodating and pleasant, and insisted that I stay for dinner. And they'd arranged – they knew I was coming, because I had let them know I was coming – and they said, ‘We must go for a party up to Fløyen', which as you probably know is the mountain just above Bergen, served by a cable car, and has this wonderful view over the harbour of Bergen and the fjord. So we went, and they said, you can bring a friend, if you like. The only friend I knew, of course, was Kirsten, so I phoned her and she said, yes, she should come, which I think was a bit hard on her parents but anyway we had a marvellous time dancing and eating up at Fløyen. So that was in fact a romance which was to blossom over the years until we finally got married in 1951, but that's ahead of the story.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: Bergen, UK, Scandinavia, Fløyen Mountain, 1951

Duration: 1 minute, 52 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011