Sydney has sunshine and surf, so why did you move to Sweden?
Good bloody question. I first came to Sweden in late 1999 as an exchange student from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, to study classical trumpet with Sir Håkan Hardenberger. I was meant to stay a year but ended up staying for 15.
How the hell did that happen?
Swedish men are handsome. Actually, I ended up playing too much trumpet and did nerve damage to my upper lip. I tell people I got into a bar fight and broke it that way, but the truth is I just played too many Mahler symphonies.
If you are a professional trumpet player but cannot play the trumpet, your knowledge of the Tomasi Trumpet Concerto and the difficulties of Baroque articulation are fairly useless out in the real world, as I discovered. So then I decided to have a breakdown, I met a cute Swedish boy and ended up staying.
So what do you do now?
I closed the lid on my trumpet career a very long time ago and turned to the dark side. I now work as a writer.
You’ve spent 15 years in Sweden, why isn’t your Swedish any better than it is?
You seem to love acronyms, footnotes, exclamation marks and starting sentences with the informal ‘and’, what else do you love?
I love my husband (TSH – The Swedish Husband) and baby girls born July 2010 (Bubbaganoush), July 2012 (The Flash) and March 2014 (Surprise Baby). And I love opera, food, rock pools, my Mac and over sharing.
I’ve read hilarious posts such as this one from 2012-2014, why did you stop writing?
I had a newborn, 1 + 3yr, moved a family of 5 to Sydney, and didn’t have the time. Now we’re back in Stockholm and I still don’t have time.
You claim you suffer from fake infertility?
You can read about our years of endless IVF treatments in Sweden here, here and here. They never found anything ‘wrong’ with us and were we medically labelled with ‘unexplained infertility’. We were blessed with 2 beautiful daughters and couldn’t be happier. Then, soon after IVF hell, ended up with a spontaneous surprise baby at 38. Obviously, the years of infertility had been quite fake.
What else do you suffer from?
During 2016 I found a wise old owl allergist in Sydney, Dr. Baker. After 15 years of symptoms and without any doctor in Sweden or Sydney working it out, Dr Baker finally put the pieces of my immunity puzzle together. I’m allergic to waffles.
I’m also allergic to dustmites, mould and grass, the latin term for those things combined is what we commonly call ‘air’.
I’m allergic to all ‘grass family foods‘:
oats, oatmeal, rice, rice flour, rye, sorghum grain, sorghum flour, spelt, sugarcane, cane sugar, raw sugar, molasses, teff, triticale, wheat, wheat bran, bulgur, wheat flour, wheat gluten, graham, whole wheat, wheat germ, wild rice, bamboo shoots, barley, barley malt, maltose (from Barley), corn, maize (corn), corn meal, corn oil, cornstarch, corn sugar, corn syrup, hominy grits, popcorn, sweet corn, kamut, lemongrass, citronella and millet.
I’m highly allergic to ‘nightshades‘:
Tomato, potato, capsicum and eggplant. And all their friends: Goji berries. Hot peppers (such as chili peppers, jalapenos, habaneros, chili-based spices, red pepper, cayenne, paprika spice)
Should we feel sorry for you?