Grorud Dalen has an insoluble uniqueness about it. A wonderful place, almost sui generis in character. On the one hand, the urban and industrial sprawl presents itself to the senses as the modern boiler room of Oslo: the quiet coarseness of Alna Bru, to the jagged perch of Romsås - the channelled asphalt of the 163 and E6 huddled around the desolate, and almost vacant stretch of rail track. The homes and dwellings however seem almost indifferent to the upward march of modernism; they retain their warm sense of dwelling and vitality among the sea of commercial placards. But on the other hand, the functionality of its industrial form belies something so much more redolent, something that is palpably immanent. Grorud Dalen discloses itself in a beautiful sense of uncanny. Peppered between the reservoirs of a modern city are the fragments of an enduring place, one not forgotten, nor displaced.From Lutvannet, as the crow flies, to Alnsjøen heading north east, the lip of the valley reminds us of what is now sedimented beneath some of the concrete, but remains on the surface of our sense of place. The stillness standing on the platform of Nyland station at night is, strangely, the same stillness felt whilst sitting in the forest on the banks of Lilletjern. The valley's bygone charm pervades, and endures. Time slows, and when the sun bathes the valley, it does so as though there wasn't a building in sight.I remember some years ago, sat on one bank of the valley looking across to the apartment buildings of Lindeberg and thinking, 'How can being in an industrial heartland feel so much like being away from it all?' The surrounding forests always appear as though they are untroubled, and might simply roll over on to all of mans steel, brick and concrete like a sleeping giant. It affects one with such an effortless calm that to me Groruddalen seems as though it is always just on the cusp of a very pleasant afternoon nap.Perhaps this is the character of the symbiotic relationship Norwegians have with their natural environment - that they always, despite the highest degree of transfiguration, allow the spirit of the place to shine through. But then, perhaps it is simply that this spirit will always resist mans best efforts to placate it. One thing is for sure, I am in firm agreement with Lena Olsen - that I love Groruddalen too!