If you google «ingrid vaalund» you will find two people: the other one is my sister-in-law who works at the National Library. We are completely separate
entities: She is tall and slim, and I am the short, fat one. And if I had
foreseen Google when I got married, I would probably have kept my maiden name
of Pedersen, which is the Norwegian equivalent of Jones, instead of opting for
the rare one I married into.
And in case you are wondering, the answer is yes. There have been blacksmiths in my husband's family for generations.
I have spoken both English and Norwegian all my life, and am in a
constant process of teaching myself translation: I landed my first book
assignment a long time ago, after asking an editor if she knew that the
telephone had been invented in the 1700s: When people called on each other in
the historical romance I’d been reading, the Norwegian word for “phone” was
used. She laughed heartily and asked if I could do better, and Isaid yes.
Later, after getting the standard “Don’t call us, we’ll call you" from Semic/Nordisk Forlag every 6 months for a while, I became heavily involved
in the fascinating world of superheroes, and lived with Spider-Man, X-Men and the rest of
the Marvel Universe for years when my kids were at the right age to appreciate
it. The characters are complex and troubled, and they were a great starting point for discussions about life, the universe and everything.
When rental videos came on the market, I began to learn subtitling, and
I've been working with audiovisual translation since. About 20 years ago my
husband quit his job as headmaster of a secondary school and began working full time
with me, and we've been subtitling together since then, now only for NRK, the
national TV channel.
We have been
married for 45 years and live on a small hill farm, a comfortable
distance from neighbours, with our back to the woods and daily visits from wild
animals who come to eat stale bread that we get from the local grocery store.
being with our grandchildren and their parents, and sometimes we invite people over to play with fire and nails:
Except maybe for the firewalking, my life is pretty uneventful. The sunny
side is comfortable, interesting and bright.
And I was diagnosed a borderline psychotic in 1989. When I found out about the diagnosis 4 confusing years later, it was impossible to discuss it or fight it, and I had to choose between accepting it and staying away from the health services. I chose the latter. When I returned some years ago, the health services still refuse to discuss it, and they act as if the diagnosis never happened. So now I flaunt "borderline" as a banner in the battle against labeling: the most destructive force in the universe.