Karen Koren: Norway like home for a pre-Festival mini-break

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MY annual summer holiday has begun in earnest. I’m at the summer cottage in Norway for the next fortnight, a time to relax and not worry about the everyday stresses of home.

It really is not warm enough, though. Looking at the long-term forecast, the temperature will not go above 20 degrees the whole time I am here. Not good. What is going on with the weather? It beggars belief!

That said, although I love travelling and visiting different countries, the last time I was in Indonesia, I found the heat unbearable. So I now enjoy whatever the weather has to throw at me, rain or sun, as long as I have some good books to read - I may even try writing a little more than I already do.

The festival, however, is always at the back of my mind. A few weeks ago I wrote that I had lost a few shows. Thankfully I am now pleased to say that I have filled most of the gaps. I am really relieved about that.

The lovely Alan Davies is coming for the second half of August to try out some new material. Where better to do that than at the biggest arts festival in the world, where there are enough comedy fans around to let him know if they love or hate what he has to say?

Alan was up in Inverness in May at the Happyness Comedy Festival and it was great to see him and renew our acquaintance, although he actually won his Perrier nomination at the Gilded Balloon way back in the early nineties, long before he got his own TV series Jonathan Creek or became a regular on comedy quiz show QI.

For the first half of the month I’ve resurrected the Best of So You Think You’re Funny? This gives past participants of our annual newcomers stand-up comedy competition the opportunity to perform in a compilation show. All these former competitors have gone on to greater things.

So, we are set to present the Festival... but for the meantime, I will relax in the rain-soaked but beautiful Norway.