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Monthly Archives: May 2013

et besök hem

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As you might guess from the title, I’ve been home to see the parents.

It was rather fun in all honesty: Emil brought my cases and bags from my house and met me at the station after work, and we got the train down to Cornwall on Friday, visited my grandmother and the beach on Saturday, saw the angry mob and my friends on Sunday, and did nothing on Monday before Emil returned up here ready for his big conference on Tuesday. I stayed home until yesterday morning, then caught the train up.

That, my friends, is the short version of this story. The long version is a bit more amusing. You see, my grandmother has taken a shine to Emil. In her own words, she found him ‘Enchanting’ and ‘felt like after a chat with him I had known him my entire life’. My grandmother and I have an interesting relationship – we’re a little too similar for our own good (that is to say, neither of us believes we are EVER wrong and we enjoy bossing people about. This results in a bit of a personality clash between us). However, Nan was behaving at the weekend and her and Emil got along famously.

The angry mob I referred to earlier is actually my slightly extended family: I have two brothers, a sister, their respective spouses, three nieces and three nephews, as well as my dog. On a Sunday afternoon, everyone descends onto my parents’ small council house kitchen for Sunday Tea: think the Weasleys’ only with less ginger hair and more food. My youngest niece has decided that Emil is her favourite playmate. She’s three years old, and both last time he came to visit and this time, she claimed him and refused to be entertained by anyone else. If he did anything, it was hilarious… if anyone else did it, it was so not funny. Also, every time I gave Emil a hug she gave me dirty looks. It would appear I have competition from a three year old. Wonderful.

My friends seemed to get along with Emil well as well. It was the first time they had all ever met, so it was quite an occasion. However, everyone seemed to get along well enough, even if we were all absolutely exhausted for various reasons.

Meeting my friends was the main reason for the trip, however, a side reason was the removal of all of the superfluous-yet-important stuff from my house up here. Basically, other than clothes, laptop and my bedlinen, I no longer have anything in my up-country house.  My room is almost entirely bare; stage one of moving is 90% complete.

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en hektisk dag med min symaskin

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Today my sewing machine started an adventure.

Yes. That’s right. My sewing machine.

Let me explain. My sewing machine is called Naomi. She’s a Singer 160 (see left), and she was bought with my first pay-packet from my first proper job, and is my pride and joy. I love her to bits. It’s kinda a tradition in my family: my mum bought an old singer with her

first ever pay-packet and named it Katie. Naomi is beautiful, she’s a total marvel, and I love her to bits. I create all sorts on her, including most of my clothes for work.

Today I took her from her lovely shelf where she sits pride of place, packed her up with my most important sewing items (all 11kg of her),tied her in ropes to make her a harness and took her (by bus and train) to Swindon, to meet one of my best friends. Said best friend is going to transport my Naomi to my parents’ house, from where I shall find some method of transporting my baby to Sweden, where I shall happily use her to take over the world, or at the very least, Etsy.

 

Today also involved a hefty amount of nattering in Costa Coffee over a cup of coffee and a slice of vanilla and blueberry cake, which was incredibly satisfying.

 

Once I had returned home, the process of packing my entire life into two cases and a large backpack began. Needless to say these cases are *really* heavy, but at least I’ll be able to get them to my parents’ house quite easily, with the Emil’s help, when I visit them at half term (5 days to go!) Seeing as this works as effectively a rehearsal for the move to Sweden, it’s quite a big thing!

Oh, and I’ve spent the last few days speaking mostly Swedish to Emil. Not all of it is *correct* Swedish, and some of it is quite badly bungled, but it’s all at least vaguely intelligible, if a little stilted. Either way, my big target is to be able to have a conversation with Emil’s epic Grandad without having to get Emil to translate. When I first met him, I could understand about half of what he was saying, and he could understand the gist of what I said in English too, but we needed Emil to translate the bulk of the conversation. That was a huge shame, because we share a few bizarre common interests ( Industrial Chemistry with a focus on steel-working and World War II), and it’d be fantastic to chatter to him a bit more about them. Also, he lives in the most beautiful house in the world on a lovely little island.

Furthermore, I’ve started an online TEFL course. It’s probably not really going to be of any use to me, but I thought I might just as well get *some* form of teaching qualification. It can’ really hurt!

 

Packning

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I’ve stolen Emil’s case from his house, and am currently beginning to attempt the massive game of tetris that awaits me for the next two weeks: packing.

Currently, his case contains multiple enormous novels (think: his dark materials and Harry Potter), the contents of my fabric box, a large cushion and a few other oddments.

There is still an entire shelf of books to be packed in my case, and a case full of clothes and Steampunk accessories to go home to the Parents’, which is the first stage in the process of moving out of my current house and to Sweden.

However, I have managed to sell most of my possessions that I no longer need/want. For this I am very very happy 🙂 It has paid most of my food bill so far this month.

Göteborg, Norrköping, and a midnight taxi ride through the Swedish countryside

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I’ve been almost everywhere mentioned in this blog-post! It makes me excited for going back again 😀

Aarons Termin i Sverige

00.08 Lördag, 11 Maj, 2013

I’ve had another busy few days this week – this time, I went on a three-day trip to Göteborg (pronounced ‘Yuh-teh-bor-ee,’ and known as Gothenburg in English) in southwestern Sweden, and Norrköping (pronounced ‘Nor-shup-ing’), which is between Göteborg and Stockholm.  You can see them on the map here.  I went on this trip with some of the same people I went on the last cruise with, and we had a great couple of days exploring Sweden outside of Stockholm!

On Tuesday, we woke up very early to go to the Central Station to catch our 05:59 (!!) train, which took us the nearly 500 kilometers to Göteborg in just over three hours.  Since we had slept on the train, we naturally needed some caffeine when we arrived, and in the Göteborg station, we found the first Starbucks I have ever seen in Sweden (apparently…

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Min Nyaste Dilemma

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Ok, time to get down to the important stuff. I’m a massive fan of Doctor Who, which, for the uninitiated, is the best thing on British television. Yes, better than Downton Abbey.

When I went to Sweden at Christmas to visit, I was struck by the fact that Downton Abbey had made it to their TV screens, and was quite excited actually: it was fun watching the Christmas episode that I had seen three days beforehand with Swedish subtitles on it.

However, my excitement turned to consternation when I realised that absolutely nobody in Sweden has ever heard of Doctor Who! It’s a source of total incredulity to a person brought up on 50 years of television history, of people wearing leeks as a fashion statement and long scarves with silly hats and sonic screwdrivers and daleks and cybermen and hiding behind the sofa. How on earth is it possible that people have not had these experiences at all, or even heard of this bizarrely British tradition… and yet they know of Downton Abbey, which is a relatively new phenomenon.

The Mark 2 fibreglass (Tom Yardley-Jones) Tard...

The Mark 2 fibreglass (Tom Yardley-Jones) Tardis as used in the 1980s – photo taken by me Zir 23:49, 18 May 2007 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emil spent half a week following me around and explaining in a potted version what I was talking about whenever I used the phrases ‘It’s like a TARDIS in here!’ ‘TARDIS-blue’ ‘Alons-y!’ or ‘Wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey’. He sat me down at one point and explained, as kindlyy as possible, quite how confusing I was being to everyone else.

” I hadn’t realised how often you use Dr Who as an analogy… I understand, but no-one over here even knows what a police box is, let alone a TARDIS”

And so, my friends, we come to my great dilemma. In late November, the BBC will be showing a 50th anniversary special of Dr Who, in 3D, and it will even be available to watch at the cinema. It will be a glorious celebration of fifty years of Whovian history, and the flagship of British television will be everywhere. In November, I shall be living in Sweden, and shall be far from the wonder that is Who-mania.

How the hell am I going to watch the special in a country that doesn’t even know what a police box is, let alone a TARDIS?