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Posts tagged ‘Sweden’

The Book Club – part 2

Missed The Book Club – part 1? Click here to catch up.

Book Club book #2

With the weighty chunk of a bible for Book Club book #1, I was eager to get my hands on the next book as early as possible, to ensure success. With two failed attempts in-person at the library – the book hadn’t come in – I emailed the librarian, who promised to send me an email when the book arrived.

We waited and waited, and life went on. Thoughts of Book Club book #2 sank to the bottom of everything else swimming in my brain. Then the email arrived.

The shock, the horror. It said Book Club was in two days, and would be an in-person event at the library including cake. She’d forgotten to email me when the book arrived; we were screwed.

I told Elsa what had happened, and that we would jump on the Book Club bandwagon for book #3 and skip this one. Then I got The Reaction. She burst into tears, completely devastated that she would miss the next session.

“Did I just say we would skip book #2? Of course, we would never do that!”.

How could I forget to follow up on the book? I pinned that Best Parenting Award badge straight to my jacket, and power walked to the library to claim the book. In the next two days, we powered through the first few chapters, speed reading and skipping the boring bits. We didn’t finish it, but we did make a good attempt.

The Book Club met, and she could keep up with the discussion. The librarian told her to cover her ears when they were discussing the ending. The cake was a hit; smiles returned.

And wasn’t I just totally on top of book #3; got it in my hot little hands the minute it landed at the library. We were off and running with a strong start, plenty of time to read the book before the next session. We were going to nail book #3.

Book Club book #3

Here’s a loose translation of the Swedish book…

Prologue, 1796.

It was a grey and damp morning, when Christine, handcuffed, travelled over the meadow towards the harbour. The carriage wheels and horses heels could be heard on the gravel, but nothing else. No wind. No birdsong.

Oooooo, that’s a descriptive way to start a story, I said to Elsa.

Not many were there. Some soldiers, some police, the officials for the protocol; maybe eight, counted Christine.

Mmmm, I wonder what’s going to happen next…

But Christine, doesn’t want her life to end. Not yet. She’s too young.

Hang on…ummm…

The officials read out she’s convicted of killing her baby son. She didn’t. He’s still alive. No one listens to her. Her screams have never been heard.

Ummmmmmmmm…

The executioner takes a step forward with a rope. Christine looks at the executioner right in the eyes, it’s all she can see of him, his face is covered in a black hood. He has light blue eyes without life. She falls to her knees… As the clouds appear and dawn arises, there is nothing left of the woman known as Christine.

CHEERY START TO A BOOK FOR BOOK CLUB AGES 9-12. A young, immigrant, innocent women gets hanged beside the harbour, in graphic detail. SHOULD BE A GOOD BOOK.

Needless to say, we didn’t read much more, and Book Club book #3 was one we gladly skipped.

2/2 for 2022, on a writing roll.

Christmas in Sweden, 2021

I think nothing says ‘injecting some life into my blog’ like writing content that should have been published weeks ago. Why yes, January is the perfect time to write about Christmas. Today is a public holiday in Sweden, Epiphany – thirteen days after Christmas, so in fact, I can legally still write about the festive season, getting it in at the very last minute. To push my point further, the Swedes like to drag out Christmas so it doesn’t officially end here until Saint Knut’s Day – twenty days after Christmas – so maybe I am actually ahead.

Delightful (and dark) December

When December 1 appeared, we were Advent-ready. As a Christmas extremer, I am a fan of this lovely tradition that dates back to the 1890s. On top of our usual adventures with advent – Grandma’s beautiful advent calendar + public television’s daily Christmas tv show and radio saga, with matching calendar – this year, we took it up a notch.

Marigold and Elsa made their own calendars at school, turns out they were my favourites, of course. To hear the matching stories associated with each window was pure joy. Grandma also sent us a ‘kindness’ advent calendar with a kindness challenge for every day. Fabulous!

Christmas near the north pole – Santa included!

As the pandemic raged on, we were very grateful to be able to spend Christmas together with our Swedish family. For so many both in Sweden and around the world, this type of family gathering was not possible; we were truly thankful.

On Christmas Eve, the Swedish Christmas Goat made his majestic appearance like clockwork and Christmas celebrations officially started. Santa must have been triple vaccinated, because he showed up on a sleigh!!! A day of eating, gifting, chatting, napping, and taking walks with the puppy. Yes, that’s right. A puppy!

A puppy for Christmas

The Ling puppy lobby won their petition for an earlier-than-expected surprise purchase of a puppy, with a strong four votes out of five. By mid-December, we were able to pick her up, an 11-week-old ‘Pomapoo’ – a mix of Toy Poodle and Pomeranian. Her real mix is part dog, part teddy bear, so it was love at first sight; introducing Yumi Rose, the best Christmas present ever! Having her with us up north was golden magic. She even loves snow.

The joy of writing

I have now set a target to write one blog post per week and with this post, I am 100% on track. You’ll have to put up with me a bit longer.

More to come.

Can you ever take too many pictures of a puppy? How was your Christmas? Could you spend time with family or did corona bite you in the bum? Let me know below.

Summer so far…

Summer is abundant wild flowers, long days that barely fade into night, warming sunshine, family together at last, laughter, slower days; sometimes.

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The slow summer of 2020

Think forests, swimming in lakes*, berry picking, tumbling with cousins, social distancing from grandparents, remote working and breaking bread around the table.

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A midsummer night’s dream

However, midsummer 2020 was very low key; mona corona. There were no mass gatherings, traditional dress, or dancing around a 20-foot penis - oh those were the days. The frog dance leaped a year, the organised fun set aside, and for something completely different, the sun was shining.

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Halloween in Sweden – part 1

I went as the dead car crash victim in the Great Gatsby/or a Dickens novel. I have to say, looking dead took no effort at all. Over the last few months I have truly perfected the haggard look and basically, just roll out of bed every morning looking like this.

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Starting a herb garden

So over the coming weeks, TSH did the hard labour of cutting back the overgrown mess and I became the operations manager. This project was the start of our dream to build a kitchen garden and to attempt sustainable living. My 'all spirit/no skills' approach to gardening was born.

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Seeker Lover Dreamer

Today, I finished up at 9.30am and by 10am I was at a specialist appointment with Miss 5. I ate ice-cream for lunch and had a cup of tea. This sparked immense joy.

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Warning: more change ahead

I'm now a job seeker in a country where I can only apply for 5% of the jobs on offer. Jobs in English. Sure, I can speak Swedish, but it's a version of Swedish that is not recognised by the EU, nor by the greater Swedish population.

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Game on!

We had a nude weigh-in on Sunday night - which sounds like it should have been way more fun than it was - because we know it may come down to just grams.

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