He’s touched the hearts of many, entertaining through a column he submits regularly to The News Review and now he’s taken his writing to a new level for readers to enjoy.
Kaare Askildt, aka “A Farmer in Training” has penned his first book and soon it will be appearing on book store shelves.
Making his way to Canada from Norway, Askildt has stories aplenty to tell about his experiences from life in Norway to life on the farm in small town Saskatchewan.
Growing up with an identical twin brother with whom he enjoyed playing pranks set the stage for humor and adventure which he now shares through stories.
“I married my first wife in Norway, and we wanted to travel and live in an English speaking country for a couple of years, to learn the language by immersion,” he says. “Canada became the choice as we had friends in BC.”
Having experienced the Canadian lifestyle, he says, there was no going back to Norway.
“I moved around in Western Canada over the next 10 years as I was being transferred by the companies that I worked for. I settled in Edmonton in the late 70s, and changed both career and wife.
Marion (his wife) is a farm girl originally from Garrick, Saskatchewan so when the topic of retirement eventually came up Askildt says he gave her a couple of options. One was Newfoundland and the other, Saskatchewan. “And here we are! She wanted to get back to the farm life and to be as self-sufficient as possible, so we bought a farm by Preeceville. This is how I started becoming a farmer. I knew nothing about farming, so it was a new experience for me. I kept on screwing up, so I took on the moniker: “Farmer in Training!”
It’s been an adjustment to say the least, but an experience he says he wouldn’t trade.
“In 1968 there was a huge difference in the Canadian life style versus the Norwegian life style. My first wife and I embraced the Canadian life style, to the point where we would never return to Norway other than as visitors when we can afford it.
“I do miss my twin brother; he and I had a lot of fun together, even to this day! We talk to each other on the phone at least twice a month, sometimes more often, and we email every day. Norway is a nice place to be from! But I don’t miss the Norwegian taxes!”
The biggest challenge as a newcomer to Canada he says, was learning the language.
“In Norway I had four years on the English language as a school subject. However, we were taught what I would call BBC English. Mix that with my Norwegian accent, and it could only cause confusion, as well as many funny moments.
“I listened to the radio and TV, and emulated the speech. I read all the newspapers from front to back and took up cross word puzzles to expand my vocabulary, and when I heard a new word spoken, I would look it up in the dictionary. It worked so well that I now have problems with my Norwegian language. Last time I was in Norway one of my nephews told me that I spoke ancient Norwegian.”
Humour plays a big part in Askildt’s life and it shows in his writing.
“My dad always told me that no matter how bad or dire a situation is, one must always find the positive side to it, however miniscule. I always analyze my situation to find something to laugh or smile at as well, and I always find something that I did that I can laugh at.
“This way I have learned to laugh at adversity. My credo is: ‘I’d rather poke fun at myself to the amusement of others, than to poke fun at others to amuse myself’.”
Initially he says, he wrote stories for personal amusement, but then his wife suggested he have them published. “And that’s how it all started. In my book I have combined funny stories from my life in Norway, with my “Farmer in Training” stories.”
He suggests readers of the upcoming book have some tissue close by… “to wipe the tears of laughter off their faces!
“My twin brother and I looked so much alike growing up that we were referred to as “They look so much alike, like two drops of water!” And we were addressed as: “Hey you twin!” We delighted using our likeness in pulling pranks. The girls were never sure who they had just kissed! The first part of my book describes in part the reason why my mother stated: “I would not wish twins on even my worst enemy!” Then of course the latter part describes the humorous side of my efforts to become a farmer. I tried once to put a serious spin on one of my farmer stories, but it didn’t work!”
With another book already in the works Askildt says he is living his dream and his life goal is quite simply to “live life to the fullest! I hope that I live long enough to be a nuisance to my grandchildren!
“My only regret is that I didn’t start the book projects earlier! Today’s world needs more laughter!”
Called the Heedless Norseman, Askildt’s book is currently in the hands of the publisher and is set to released soon. Stay tuned and learn more by visiting: www.theheedlessnorseman.com.