Andy and I have just got back from the most expensive country in Europe. The Norwegians are most amused to warn you that a pint of beer costs £10 - not our problem. However the £70 bill for 2 drinks and 2 chicken salads was a bit of a shock! Norway is a land of dark winters, tall people, robotic efficiency, super-strong coffee and raw herring.
The average salary, in a country with 5 million inhabitants and oil and gas wealth beyond wild dreams, is £43,000. However, the basic tax rate is 40% and when a three stop train ticket costs £17 and a punnet of strawberries £10, the standard of living may not be so different to the rest of Europe.
We were in Oslo at the invitation of Jan Mesicek, owner of a publishing house called Little Moon. Jan is a Low-Carb-High-Fat pioneer in Norway and publishes many health titles that go against the traditional Low-Fat-High-Carb dietary advice. Dietary advice, as we discovered, varies astonishingly little from Australia to Finland: eat carbs, not fat.
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