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Monthly Archives: October 2013


Every year since 2008 I’ve participated in an event called NaNoWriMo, which happens every November. The aim is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I’ve only finished (or won) once: that very first time. I’m hoping that this year I might manage to succeed again.

This year’s novel is a bastardisation of a book I’ve been trying to write for years. It’s a bit different from the original form of the story, but it’ll work ( I hope). It looks like it’ll be better than before.


Anyhow, it might mean that I’ll either be a bit quiet or talking about writing for the whole of November. Wish me luck!




The shops here seem to be selling all sorts of types of pumpkin I’ve never seen. It’s rather odd, but quite cool. I’ve bought sweets just in case the kids from the flats come trick-or-treating, but I rather suspect they won’t. Either way – the first kids to appear get to have ALL the liquorice, because I detest the stuff. I swear that Haribo packs don’t contain any liquorice in the UK. Here it appears they do, but then – liquorice seems very popular here.



Te: part 1 av många

I know: I’m posting a lot today. However, I’ve had a lot of conversations this week about tea, and the way that I have always felt about the beverage.

Tea is amazing. It’s possibly the best drink ever, and I know it’s so incredibly British to think that, but I don’t care: I love it. Swedes don’t seem to understand the importance of it, or how it saves the world. As such, today I bring to you the first in a series of videos about tea.

( there will be more, I assure you. They’re queued on my dashboard!)


Just a quick aside, I’ve been running this blog for a few months now, and it’s been a lot of fun so far.

I’d like to say thank-you to all the people who are reading. It’s nice when people come up to me in the real world and tell me ‘I read your blog!’ Likewise, it’s lovely when people post messages and let me know they’re listening that way. It’s fun to hear from you all.

It’s also great when I discover that the people who are ‘listening’ are people I don’t know in the real world. Welcome! Thanks for being interested enough to look at my little corner of the internet!

To those who were brought here involuntarily by a search engine: I’m sorry if I wasn’t the link to the Ikea airing-cupboard you were looking for, or the in-depth commentary on the precise effects of Storm Simone on Sweden that clearly has been particularly popular this week ( I’ve been reading my stats page – the things that lead people here are particularly amusing sometimes). I hope you find what you’re looking for somewhere though.

Anyhow, as the title suggests, I wonder exactly who is watching sometimes. Having a blog is a bit like having a radio station: you can sometimes guess how may people are listening, and vaguely who, but you’re never quite certain exactly who it is until they let you know.

Also, WordPress things I should tag this with something to do with US navy JAG. I have absolutely no idea why, but there you go.

Simning och bowling i sverige

This morning the Emil and I went swimming at Valhallabadet (Yes: we swam in Valhalla Baths. No we didn’t see any gods).

English: Valhallabadet, an indoor swimming fac...

English: Valhallabadet, an indoor swimming facility in Gothenburg, Sweden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Swimming in Sweden seems a bit different from swimming in the UK, or at least, different from modern swimming in the UK. To begin with, at Valhallabadet, there are still just communal changing rooms.  As in, no cubicles at all, just plain space with lockers to put your stuff away in.

Secondly, you have to have a shower before you go in the pool. A naked shower. In communal showers, with no cubicles. In the UK you’re sometimes supposed to kinda rinse down in your swimming costume before going in the pool, but that’s it.  In Sweden, there are signs up everywhere commanding you to shower WITHOUT your swimming clothes before entering the pool. As far as I’m aware, in the UK public communal showers and indeed, most communal changing rooms, went out a long while ago. They’re almost unheard of these days.

Also, Valhalla Swimming baths is a massive complex. There’s a bubble pool in the changing rooms, and there’s a diving pool, a kids pool, and a 50m pool for swimming lengths, which is fantastic. Unfortunately though, only the kids pool is shallow enough to stand in. The shallowest parts of all the other pools are 1.8m minimum, which resulted in a bit of freaking from me ( I dislike deep water – nearly drowned as a kid. Took forever for me to learn to swim!)

Other slightly bizarre things I noticed: in the 50m pool, which was laned off, the lanes not only specified fast lane or ordinary exercise, but also with the ordinary exercise lane, the stroke was pre-set as breaststroke on the sign. There wasn’t a lane for Front Crawl, which seemed odd to me as I LOVE front crawl, and dislike breast-stroke – I find breast-stroke more energy intensive and slow, and find it hard to coordinate my arms and legs with it, whereas front crawl is much easier to count.

Furthermore, swimming protocol seems a bit bizarre here too. The general rules of laps being done in a specific direction are the same, but people are much readier to overtake than they are in the UK, where generally I’ve found it’s frowned upon or harder to do due to the lane widths generally being smaller. Also, the polite ‘may I’ when you come across someone waiting at the end of the pool and you want to skip in front doesn’t happen here. Odd.

In conclusion, today I learnt that not only am I terribly British when faced by nakedness and any form of queueing, but that the Swedes really are a lot less shy about public nakedness than the Brits in general.  Also, Swimming’s expensive here ( 60kr for a go, but you get 4hrs) although for a 6 month pass it’s only 900kr, which means if I was to go 15 times to swim, it’d be worth buying a pass.

Also, yesterday we went bowling. This was also very strange. for me as I used to go bowling on a regular basis with friends and one of my ex-boyfriends. First off, in Sweden, you choose your own bowling shoes. Yes! Unlike in the UK, where one asks for a size and is handed shoes by a bloke who then looks after your own shoes, here you are able to choose your own shoes, and you bring your shoes and sit them next to you whilst you bowl!

Secondly, bowling here is given to you on time, so you get a 55 minute session of bowling, and as many games as you can get through in that time. We managed three and a bit. I won the first game comfortably, but Emil beat me to a pulp in the other two. Ho Hum. The fourth was merely an attempt with three minutes left to go to see how well we could do in the time!


Strike & Co Bowling, Göteborg