Zoë, soldier Andrew and Rory, who is four, on forces life by the fjords.
How long have you been an army family?
Andrew has been serving since 2005. I met him in December 2015 and by September 2016 we were married with our gorgeous little boy on the way.
Time in Norway?
15 months and we’re loving every moment of it. We’ve been fortunate to receive an extension until 2022, which is super exciting as we’ve spent most of our time here during the pandemic. There are so many places that we want to explore.
How many other military families live there?
There are currently around thirty other families – a mixture of ranks from all services. The communities are small compared to other locations.
What’s your quarter like?
We’re absolutely spoilt as it’s in a great location, not far from the fjord and so spacious inside. We have wood burners, which warm the whole house – a bonus for the cold winters.
Are there any employment/training opportunities?
There are a few on base, for example working in the shop or working within the National Support Elements. Some spouses have found jobs working in local schools. I’ve been very lucky to have the role of Community Liaison Officer for the British community here.
What about schools/childcare?
There are two local schools, which many children from the community attend. Some families including myself have chosen to put their children into a Norwegian barnehage (nursery) – all of the education systems are outstanding here.
Where do army families get together?
We have community houses where the British military are able to meet up, host events and socialise. There’s also a bar on camp, which holds a weekly coffee morning and different events. There are various clubs on base where we can join and integrate with other nations including a friendship club and a hiking group.
How do you find the cost of living there?
The first time I went to do the food shopping I was so shocked at how much things cost. After being here for more than a year I’m finally used to the prices.
What are the best and worst things about living in Norway?
The best things are the amazing walks and scenery. Every morning, whether it’s sunny or raining, it’s always beautiful looking across the fjord at the mountains. I’m yet to find a worst thing about Norway – I absolutely love the culture here and they seem to have everything just right when it comes to family life.
Would you recommend it as a family posting?
I would 100 per cent recommend this posting to anyone who loves the outdoors and exploring. There are so many things to do and beautiful sights to see. I’m going to miss Norway so much when we leave – so I’m making the most of these next 18 months!
Want to share your experiences of army family life? Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org