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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Engelsk och Svensk Mat.

I managed to hardly see anyone last week somehow, and towards the end of the week I got quite homesick as a result. Need to work on the whole making-sure-I-socialise-thing.

What’s that got to do with English and Swedish food, you may ask. Quite a lot actually, would be the answer! Food can have a lot of emotional weight attached to it, and when I’m homesick, I usually end up craving sausages. That might sound odd to some people, but when I was little there was a phase when sausages were one of the very few foods I would eat. Makes sense I’d go back to the same food as a comfort food.

English-style sausages are almost impossible to get in Sweden. Almost all sausages are pre-cooked or are chorizo-type ones, and often sausages are made with very finely ground meat so they have almost the same texture inside as hot dogs. Even in Saluhallen it’s impossible to find the wonderful strings of uncooked sausages waiting to be grilled or fried, waiting to give off the delicious aroma and that awesome squeal and bang that only sausages can make – they’re all the dried, cured or pre-cooked varieties, which is such a shame. Don’t get me wrong, I like Swedish sausages. There are lots of varieties here, and Falukorv is absolutely delicious. It’s one of my favourite things to eat here, and it tastes very similar to Polony sausage. But it’s just not the same.

However, yesterday Emil managed to find the Holy Grail in ICA Focus: CUMBERLAND SAUSAGES!!! He bought me some incredibly expensive ones and then we proceeded to have Sausages, mashed potato and onion gravy for tea. It was heaven. They were really good sausages too! The texture was like the nice butchers’ ones that can somehow never be replicated properly by supermarket sausages. They were quite honestly amazing. Can’t buy them often, because at roughly £8 for a pack of 4 jumbo-sized sausages they’re pretty pricey, even if they are wonderful quality.

Anyhow, there are a few other things I’m missing, albeit less seriously:

Ribena

1) Ribena

Whilst there are other drinks over here similar, it’s hard to get the bottles of concentrate so I can have hot ribena when I don’t want tea but want something warm to drink. What is Ribena? I hear a few non-brits ask? It’s a blackcurrant-based fruit drink that *everyone* drinks as a kid. Very sweet, but very nice. Real blackcurrants too.

Skips Crisps

2) Skips

Skips are prawn cocktail flavoured maize snacks. They’re also one of the foods kids always eat, and are one of my favourite types of crisp.  They melt on your tongue when you eat them. No one seems to have heard of them here, and the English shop doesn’t ( to my memory) even stock them.

Aaaah! Bisto!

3) Bisto Gravy

Whilst I’ve managed to make myself a substitute gravy which is almost as good, nothing beats bisto.

 

PG Tips!

4) PG Tips tea.

In two months , I’ve drunk roughly 240 cups of tea here. How do I know? My box of tea is almost empty. I drink an insane amount of tea, and a £4-on-offer-box of PG Tips would cost me about £13 here. Yeah. Not good.

Fruit Pastilles

5)Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles.

I know Rowntrees are evil because they’re owned by Nestlé now, but nevertheless, I love their sweets. Particularly the lime fruit pastilles. Those are my favourites.

 

 

 

And now, to a friend’s for lunch, a visit to slottskogen and gaming!

 

(Edited to add tags and photos)

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The spring seems to have finally arrived! Huzzah!

This week was much quieter than last week.

I did end up visiting SF Bokhandeln on Friday and picked up some dice, which was good. They’re all pearly-coloured ones, and very pretty. I also bought Emil some Munchkin cards as an anniversary present.

Tradgarn, looking stunning

Tradgarn, looking stunning

A pineapple, for me!

A pineapple, for me!

I’ve spent a lot of time going for walks the last week. The weather has been beautiful, and Trädgår’n has become one of my favourite places to curl up (admittedly still in my thick jacket against the wind). The crocuses are all out in full bloom and so are the snowdrops. It’s rather wonderful! The glasshouses are also fantastic, containing all sorts of exotic plants. One is entirely full of camellias, and another has a balcony with seats and tables where one can get some work done if one feels like it. Another also has a mini pineapple plant in it. Fantastic!

Last night Emil and I finally made my electronic die. Emil soldered the first resistor into place to remind me of how to do it, and the whole thing was assembled within a couple of hours. There was only one dodgy contact in the whole thing, a miracle seeing as i was using a massive soldering tip. Also, my soldering is pretty darned good for someone who last soldered ten years ago, and only did it once or twice, if I do say so myself. So yes: I have a die that when shaken, comes up with a pseudo-random number between 1 and 6. Huzzah!

My very own die!

My very own die!

Other than that I’ve finally finished reading the Song of Ice and Fire Series so far. It only took me a year and a half!

Fortlåt!

Ooops, I forgot to post for the last week. Sorry about that – it’s been hectic.

So Thursday last week was Cage Aux Folles, which I loved, and Friday consisted of being curled up in a ball relaxing a bit for the first part of the day. We went shopping at ICA and I got really dizzy and felt sick, but I managed to get out to the benches in the entrance before I actually collapsed or anything, which was good. It happens occasionally (bizarrely enough, it happens most at supermarkets). I went home and had something to drink and eat, then went over to Hayley’s to watch Game of Thrones, which was really good. I came in about halfway through Season 1, but as I’ve seen it all and read it all before, that was no problem. I brought Påskmust with me, which is actually the same thing as julmust but it is in a yellow bottle instead of a red one.

Whilst we were there, I was invited to going in a World Of Darkness game she’s running. More on that later. I ended up staying out until past midnight and walking home (due to really stupid tram-timings) but it was lovely out and a really welcome walk actually.

Saturday was another Angbåtsfika (Steamboat fika – Literally, coffee and cake on a steamboat near Roda Sten) with the Steampunks, That was a lot of fun as always, and lots of silly conversations occurred. Emelie and I talked about meeting up for coffee at some point this week, but thus far it hasn’t happened as chaos has quite seriously reigned over everything. Sofia decided to play with my hair and ended up plaiting it into a herringbone-braid, which was cool.

Sunday was busy. I met Martin and a new friend, John at the station for fika and a chat. We ended up talking about all sorts of things to do with writing and teaching. It was incredibly interesting, and we chatted for ages. He mentioned that he might know of some teaching work coming up and told me he’d get back to me. Afterwards we had a committee meeting for the Steampunk Society, in which we were discussing all sorts of things (mostly to do with the party, admittedly). It was great to have everyone over, and at one point I ended up in a serious giggle-fit. Joakim (our treasurer) has, as a result, now been renamed Petyr, (you had to be there) and we organised another meeting for Tuesday to go over merchandise ideas.

Monday was, as always, Viking time. We had Henrik again, and we were studying viking expansion east. He made a quip about Ukraine, relevant because of the viking involvement in development in the area. Again, you had to be there. Monday also happened to be mine and the Emil’s 2 year anniversary. When I returned home from my lecture, there were flowers, a card and a box of chocolates on the table. The flowers are beautiful, the chocolates delicious, and the card so *cute*! I went out for a quick walk up to SF Bokhandeln and other places in search of something cool for the Emil, but found myself empty-handed. Such is life. Why is he so hard to buy for?!

Tuesday morning was the Merchandise meeting. We came up with loads of cool ideas ( including various uses for Dry Ice) and seriously, the party is going to be brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Everyone should come. Seriously. I spent a considerable amount of the meeting playing with Nina’s Cat, who is the most adorable creature in existence, even if he does seem to think that feet are toys to attack and backs are climbing walls, and my tea is his to drink. I went straight from the meeting to University, for my Colonialism lecture. I confess, I didn’t do the reading, but that’s mostly because his summaries are so good. I’ll do it eventually, but it just didn’t seem worth it at the time. Tuesday was Fat Tuesday too, so they had semla at the cafe, but I didn’t get any. In the evening Emil took me out for our anniversary meal at River Café in Eriksberg. We took the ferry over – I love the ferry. It was a really lovely restaurant – very posh, but absolutely fantastic. It’s right on the pier by the ferry landing, with a stunning view out over the river. Neither of us fancied any starters, but we both had Grilled Entrecôte with red wine sauce for main. Seriously, it was delicious. Really tender, succulent and beyond belief. I loved it! Again, none of the deserts particularly caught our eye, but we had coffee after. The view was stunning, the atmosphere wonderful, and our waiter so incredibly charming. Genuinely really enjoyed our meal.

Wednesday was slightly quieter. The morning was spent trying to sort out some of my uni stuff and doing a little gaming, but after that i received a text regarding a contact I should speak to about some work. Thus, the afternoon was spent applying for jobs, after which I ate and went over to hayley’s to finish watching Season 1 Game of Thrones and to do some work on my character for the game. I’m going to be playing a character who was previously an NPC. She’s really rather awesome and I’m very happy with her.

Thursday started with Laundry and housework, continued with our group project, and ended with a very long skype call or three. Someone stole my usual slot for laundry the last few weeks which means I’ve had to slot in where there’s space. I’m really annoyed that they’ve taken that slot, because it worked for me so well. Now, the difficulty is that I’m never sure when I’ll get to do laundry, and seeing as there are three machine- loads on average per week, that’s irritating. It’s also irritating because I like my routines. Without them I get stressed. I’ve had that slot since September. I like that slot. Now I don’t have a regular slot anymore, and it’s frustrating. That might sound really anal, but when you don’t have much of a structure to your day due to not-having-a-job, any structure you do have becomes important. Anyhow, the group project meeting was good. Still no word from the fifth guy in our group, so i think we’re just doing what we can until we know what’s become of him. We have a bit of direction, which is also good, and we know vaguely what we’re looking at. I’ve got a few books out and shall be doing a bit of light reading on the subject today. After the lecture Hayle came over and printed a few things off and she met Emil, which was cool. When she had left I ended up going for a walk around Gothenburg and finding the Stora Teatern cache (finally – it’s only taken me months!) The evening was spent on skype doing further character work with Hayley on my character. Seriously, love this character so much. I ended up writing eight pages of notes during the skype call on all the backstory and things I need to know about her. I’ve got more notes scattered on my desk from random scribblings as I started sorting out my points, skills, rotes etc.  She’s awesome.

Today’s jobs consist of uni work, a visit to SF Bokhandeln because I need and want dice and possibly a few other shineys, and maybe a bit of grocery shopping. I don’t know what we’re eating tonight because Emils going to be home ( originally I was going to have my egg fried rice, maybe not now.) Next week is currently looking really boring an empty, so hopefully I’ll get some work done then.