MUSDALSETER 2013(INCL Soren's retirement party)
As per tradition,the 2013 season got off to a roaring start in the mountains north of Lilliehammer on the second week of February.But not before some business had to be attended to in Oslo the night before......
This year the pack of ravening wolves,assembled for duty in the wintry conditions in the Norwegian capital,like a bunch of Roman Cardinals to witness the departure of Pope Benedict.....well was shipbroker Steenslands dinner to celebrate life post Sommerfelt.
A gathering of Who's Who in Gas Shipping and Harald were hosted by Senior Management and the only living founding member of the company and enjoyed a fine selection of food and wines to take their attention away from the various speeches which interrupted the proceedings.
A remarkable career spanning over 40 years and streching from Oslo to Hamburg,Paris,London and Bermuda,with many trips to Rio in between.(Soren has been Petrobras' longest serving broker.....ever wondered why???)was celebrated
We hope Soren will now have more time to improve his golf game and enjoy all those activities that we have all longed for while using his own credit cards.
DOGGS reassembled the next day for cocktails at IngridBu.Unfortunately, Gene was still rehabilitating and chasing the nurses in St Malo and we were all pleased to learn that Chris was preparing himself for the Season Opener after missing out in 2012.Steinar was already in the US acclimatising himself for the mid March event.
The delegates at this year's conference were spared the lecture on Small-ship LNG Shipping,however ,as always,learned much from the Pressurised and semi-ref presentation from Rotterdam.The business centre TV provided most of the discussion points,with regular updates on a legless South African  runner,the Pope and the continuing Arab uprising which continued in Syria.These were slotted in between the various cross-country and downhill activities at the World Championships.Our Norwegian members were less enthusiastic about The Netherlands continued dominence of speed skating,down the road at Hamar.
Contact with the outside world was temporarily blocked on Friday 15th March when a wayward meteor soared overhead before disintegrating over the Ural Mountains.The lack of telephone,fax,telex and internet communication from Musdalseter,had less effect on the Gas Shipping market than it might have had some years ago.....
Bjorn tested his recovering leg, with an arduous ski run accompanied by Soren and Ola,while Harald and George,chased by Tig-a-ling pulling Bamse behind her ,made 20km hikes each day.
The kitchen staff didn't have much time to enjoy much of the free time activities,but they did manage to enjoy more than their fair share of refreshments,while peeling potatoes and preparing exotic sauces.Sufficient supplies of Caronne Ste Gemme and other red and white wines were on hand to wash down the excellent array of dishes during the weekend.They also offered some relief for those who were forced to sample the last drops of the Red Label.
.......this leads us into some disturbing news.Johnnie Walker just announced that they have 22% of WorldWide whisky sales,a worrying development and that only 5% of their production goes into malt.However more concerning for our Scottish member was the news that about 50,000litres per week(representing 90%of it's production) of his favourite malt,Caol Ila, goes into the blend of ......yes... you guessed correct...RED LABEL......skandale.
Anyhow,we are sure that it was the effects of this whisky, that caused someone forgot to peel the Saturday night potatoes It did ,however give him more time  to perfect the wonderful sauce for the meat.Or was it "Too many cooks spoil the broth"
Fortunately there was still enough time to discuss our golfing activities(or lack of them for the most of us)Harald has been to Florida twice,Myrtle Beach and the Jersey shore to sharpen his game while Ola just returned from his annual pilgrimage to South Africa.A long, and at times, heated exchange of opinions on Matchplay Handicaps,Strokeplay and Stableford kept most of us awake deep into the last night,giving a rousing finale to the weekend.
Prior to this and after the late potatoes,the AGM was held and minuted by the new Secretary,who also presented the Golfer of the Year Award to the deserved winner........HARALD LINDSTOEL.
The weather had allowed IngridBu to show off her most photogenic self and the departing group ,after thanking Jan Randulf for his unique brand of hospitality,look forward to next year's event,which has been carved into our stone diaries(and telephone agendas...."what will they think of next "exclaimed Mr Lindstoel) for FEBRUARY 13-16TH 2014.
As a consequence the World Ecomonic Forum at Davos has now been brought forward by a week,although the Church of Scotland and the Head Rabbi will have to wait for the new Pope before they can plan Easter .