The cleaner looks puzzled. As she mops the Catering floor, she exposes brick. The grey metallic paint is water-based.
Already, on Day one of opening, the newly-painted floor resembles an ugly patchwork quilt. Traipsing through in snow-covered boots rids the floor of any remaining paint, most of it now embedded in the carpets of trucks.
Honestly, fancy using water-based paint in a country blanketed with snow for half the year.
Brave AC/DC crew members are still taking the stoic option of wearing shorts – this is one of those quirks of the industry – which is fine if you’re not planning to leave the Arena. Even Angus, the guitarist, was wearing trousers last night for a sound check.
Heavens, this band is noisy, though it seemed all right from behind several heavy, closed fire doors. Now, all this shorts-wearing in frightful temperatures is reminding me of a certain young trucker on the Tina Turner tour.
I won’t mention any names – James – but when discussing deformation of character on the blog with him, he did actually say: ‘I don’t mind having my character defecated.’ So, I’d like to digress for just a second.
A couple of weeks ago, a despondent James bemoaned the poor response he’d received from women on an internet dating site. Selectively aiming at a demographic of 18-99, very few – well, none; we might as well be honest, James – bothered to reply.
I pointed out that it was the weekend, and so any decent girl would be out enjoying herself. ‘I don’t want a girl worth her salt,’ he said, slightly stooped and wearing short trousers.’ I want one sitting at home, desperate.’
Returning nimbly to the AC/DC tour, Namibian is now backing out of building a snowman. He’s probably exhausted from our two-mile trek yesterday, and is talking of cleaning his mirrors instead, as an afternoon’s work.
So I totter off alone, in knee-deep snow, until spotting a passenger ferry going to somewhere called Nesoddtangen. Having decided I could spend my company float of Norwegian shitters, ostensibly for road tolls, I board the vessel for fifteen minutes of smashing through frozen sea. This is the sort of experience that deserves a resounding whoop and a grin from ear to ear.
Another ferry, returning to Oslo via a different route, pulls in alongside, and the captain encourages me to leap aboard – my ticket is valid anywhere for an hour. I do actually have to get back to the Arena at some point – for dinner, if nothing else – yet…why not.
The captain of the second vessel kindly looks up my bus number (and timetable) on the internet as we plough noisily through shards of ice. Can you imagine this happening on a ferry in the UK?
It’s not getting any warmer, by the way – it is minus twelve degrees Celsius and there are icicles hanging off my truck – yet very few Norwegians even wear hats. And I definitely haven’t seen one in shorts…