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Category Archives: Learning Swedish

Ooops…. I forgot to blog in a while.

Wow…. sorry for the total lack of posting in a considerable while. My life suddenly became incredibly hectic.

Things I’ve done in the last few weeks:

-another CISV camp

– Began volunteering with ABF vuxen

– LOTS of baking

– started swedish lessons.

– watching Game of Thrones at least once a week.

– Presentation at uni

– begun playing World of Darkness courtesy friend from America and a few other people

-visited Slottskogen and the moose and penguins with friends

– reorganised my flat so we now have a library

-visited a new retro-café literally around the corner from me.

– Emil’s dad crashed into a tram whilst on his bike

-visited the house we almost moved into

– found out my best friend from home is having a baby

– Angbatsfika

– bought my ticket home to the UK.

So yes, seriously…. it’s been so flipping busy. I’ve been enjoying it, but in terms of time? I have none.  Like seriously…. none. Between Swedish lessons and everything else, my life has suddenly become a whirlwind where even sleep suffers dramatically. So there’s that. I’ll try to write a few posts about all of this stuff, because lots of it is really interesting (like Slottskogen, which is beautiful and full of fantastic animals, or the new café which i heartily recommend). Some of it could probably do with a bit of qualification too – Emil’s dad is ok, by the way – 7 broke ribs, but ok. Others are either fun stories or I have some brilliant photographs of… so yes.

At the weekend I’m going to branno, and hopefully a daytrip to Oslo on Wednesday, if we can get that organised. We also have the steampunk party coming up in may, Gothcon coming up at the end of the month and a few flashmobs on the horizon.




Svenska i huset

I’ve been in quite a good mood the last few days, which is strange but good. I’ve also been very productive, which is infinitely better than sitting around staring into space! Having sent off the majority of my forms earlier in the week, on Friday I sent off my change of address to HMRC in the UK, to let them know that I’m here for the most part. Looking through their website, the forms for being abroad don’t apply to me as I’m here less than a year, and it also doesn’t look like i need to do any other forms, but I expect that once they process my change of address they will call me at an inappropriate time and shout at me for not doing something i should have done.

In the midst of writing this, the post arrived with my Residence permit sheet. It’s only a letter, but it basically says that I can stay as long as I fulfil the conditions of why I’m here (i.e as long as I’m at University).

Emil at Saltholmen

Emil at Saltholmen

We also have been taking a lot of walks recently. On Saturday we went up to Saltholmen for a bit of sea air. It was very windy and Emil climbed up to the top of the rocks ( I was having problems balancing even further down the rocks so I decided not to go up that high. He was almost able to lie against the wind, it was that strong. We kept being pushed all over the place, but it blew away the cobwebs. It was quite chilly in spite of being a lot warmer than it has been in months – around 6 or 7 degrees above. Nevertheless, it still felt freezing.

The first draft of my novel

I’ve been starting to read through my Nanowrimo – Yes – that book I spent the whole of November writing is starting to form a real book! It’s a bit odd reading through my words and trying to make sense of them, but I’ve already realised that it’s not all crap, there are a few stellar bits of storytelling there. There’s a lot of rubbish there too, and a lot of clanky scene shifts and broken bits that need a bit more than just polishing, but I think there’s something worth working on there.   Considering this is a book I’ve been daydreaming up for the last four or five years, it’s really good to see a first draft out on paper – yep – we printed it all out so I can have a good look at it. It’s a lot of words, although nowhere near as long as it needs to be – ideally there will be something in the region of 150,000 words… maybe a bit more. Nonetheless, it’s beginning the long journey towards being a decent piece of fiction.


Car chargers?

Car chargers?

Oh! Yesterday we visited Emil’s family. On our way we stopped by Jula to go and get a few things.I now own a hair dryer again – for the first time in months! It only cost 99kr (£9.99), so I’m not expecting miracles but at least I might be able to dry my hair without too much difficulty. On our way we passed a carpark with lots of funny things sticking up in it. As we got closer I realised they were electrical cables. There are two options: either they’re some sort of heater for diesel engines (which sometimes don’t start properly in winter due to the temperatures) OR they’re Electric Car charging points. In all honesty, we aren’t quite certain which. A couple of the cars seemed to be plugged in. Either way – it seemed odd to me. Answers on a comments post, if you happen to know what these points are for certain.

Anyhow, Emil’s parents were asking me how well I was doing in Gothenburg this time around. They knew that I wasn’t always so happy in the autumn and that I found it hard, and they seemed relieved to find out that I was doing better. They also were talking about thinking in Swedish, which resulted in me speaking Swedish to them.

I explained ( in swedish) that basically that I don’t speak swedish often, but at home Emil and I speak Swedish quite a bit – not all the time, but quite a lot, and that i understand quite a lot. I also told them about the fact that I’m starting a course in swedish with the university in March and that I’m not on the most basic course because i understand more than is on that one, and that I am, in fact, on the second course instead.

They were pretty stunned, which was quite amusing. To be fair, that was the most swedish I’ve spoken in one go to anyone other than Emil. Whilst it wasn’t perfect and some of my words were a bit off, they understood what i said and it sounded fluent enough that it was clear that I knew what i was doing at least a bit. Not bad for someone teaching herself from the internet!

Anyhow, it’s time to eat something and head onto campus for my Viking lecture. Yay! Vikings!


Worky week

So it’s been a bit hectic the last week. Emil’s working nights at the moment, so has been sleeping most of the day, which means I’ve spent a considerable portion of my mornings doing my university reading. I’m still not up to date on it, but I’m getting there.

In between that, I’ve managed to post off my forms to student loans regarding where I am right now, so they don’t get narky and start demanding money from me. Emil and I have also booked our tickets for Asylum 2014, and our accommodation for it. Further to that, we’ve actually got tickets to the ball this year, which is rather awesome, and I’m very excited about this fact.

I’ve seen a lot of Nina this week, and met her kitten on Tuesday evening ( It’s so Purr-y!!!It never stops purring!) and even if it does regularly attack my socks and feet it’s very cute and playful. It’s exactly how I imagine the cat from The Worst Witch: A grey tabby cat.

On Wednesday evening we had the first official meeting of Steampunk Götheburg. The meeting was all in Swedish, but I understood the majority of what was going on, even if i didn’t participate much. I cheated only minorly – occasionally checking a word here and there using Google translate on my phone, but for the most part, I got what was going on anyway. I’ve found that if I don’t try to translate *every* word said I get a much better result comprehension-wise than if I try to understand all of it. When I try too hard at it I get bogged down by one word and then will miss the rest! With things I already knew about, I could understand EXACTLY what was said. New information is harder, but I’m getting there! Anyhow, I’m officially a paid-up member of the society, and am very excited that my little facebook group grew so much.

On Monday I also got a place on the Swedish Courses at Gothenburg University. I’m going to study Basic Level Swedish, which is one up from the beginners total-newbies class, but a step down from Independent Users. With any luck, I’ll be a bit ahead of other people at it, but I don’t think I can count myself as an Independent user yet. My Swedish reading level is currently around B1, same with listening, but my Speaking, Writing and Spoken interaction are only about A2. This makes sense because I’m lazy at speaking Swedish – and, for that matter, at writing it… but I’m getting there. Once I’ve done this course I’ll be working at a higher level than before and will have some sense of the direction I’m going in, so that will at least kelp me to improve! It will also give me a certificate at the end of it giving me some proof that I’ve studied Swedish, which should also be useful from a working point of view. Fingers-crossed!

Oh! and whilst this blog is not really concerned with it, my weight loss *is* slowly continuing. When I stood on the scales earlier this week I’d lost another pound, and I spoke to my personal trainer* a friend via video chat last night (read: skype) who says he reckons my face is looking a little thinner, although it could have been the light. But still – if not – Yay! Visible results!

What else has happened? It’s snowed pretty much every day this week, but it’s supposed to rain later and that might wash away the MASSIVE piles of snow all over the place ( some of them are almost Emil sized and I have the urge to jump into them all the time, but I won’t because sensible adult… ish.) There has been a covering of snow ever since I arrived, and it hasn’t been below zero at all – although it’s due to this weekend.

Anyhow, back to quietly reading whilst waiting for Emil to get out of bed.

(* Said friend has a personal training qualification. He also is in the process of trying to make himself into Thor, and is helping me by answering questions, looking at my food diary and helping me adjust it and furthermore generally keeping me motivated every so often. He’s not technically my personal trainer, but he’s an awesome friend)


Galen dag

Yesterday turned out a little bit mad, didn’t it?

I apologise for the sheer gamut of posts yesterday – I only intended to post about Christmas, but then it snowed and I had photographs to post… it all got a bit out of hand! Hopefully I didn’t spam your news-feeds *too* much, my dear readers. I also had the highest view count ever on my blog yesterday, which was pretty darned cool. Yay! Readers! Anyhow, this post should serve as a quick update on all sorts of things.

Practicing Swedish

Anyhow, whilst the weather was causing havoc with my lighting and causing me to unplug every computer in the flat in fear of a power surge, I wrote a letter to my flat in Swedish (as you do – Hey – my flat is over 80 years old and  I’m not convinced it understands English):

Hej ljus i min lägenhet,
Det skulle bli jätte trevlig om du slutar flimrande. Det är konstigt och irriterande!
(Jag skriva i svenska for du är gammal och jag tror kanske om jag talar svenska, du ska forstår mig bättre)

I posted it up on facebook last night and was told that it was ‘cute and perfectly understandable’ which was something at least! Leaving this here as an example of my progression at Swedish.

How is it going generally with the learning Swedish front? Well – I understand quite a bit now, and the things I know are getting really easy. I’ve got my head around pretty much every foodstuff and I don’t even really translate recipes anymore. For a good proportion of the time Emil and I speak Svengelska which is both amusing and strange sometimes. I often will remember either the English or the swedish word for things, but not both.

Accent-wise, I still sound awfully foreign, and the emphasis in words is quite hard because it seems to be the opposite of whatever I expect. It’s difficult to explain further than that!

Storm aftermath

I must admit, I haven’t left the flat yet today. Outside looks rather on the cold side, and the wind whipping through Liseberg-tournet’s lights sounds terrifying. Really. However, checking the news it looks like two trams collided partially, with the result of a few minor injuries, 800 people are without power  or hot water on Hissingen, although the district heating system is now working again in the area (I need to look into this district heating thing… it sounds bizarre and like it shouldn’t work, and I had never heard of it before i came here). Other than that the bridges have been closed, a load of trains weren’t running for a while, the ferries were cancelled to the islands and a few of the trams weren’t working because a tree fell on the wires and cut off a section of the track. Down in my part of town, though, all is well. The wind just keeps whipping through my windows!

No more snow is forecast, but the weather should stay cold for a bit longer.




Symässan och några besökare

Yesterday I went to the sewing fayre at Kviberg/Bellevue in Gothenburg with Nina and her mother. It was a lot of fun, and I managed to grab two goodie-bags with fabrics and thread for £6 total, which is quite good. they’re fabric scraps, but they’re quite nice fabric scraps really! I’m sure i’ll find some use for them! We also found some amazing fabric with rainbow owls on it, which Nina bought to make trousers, and I started thinking about making a muff and a cape for the Steampunk visit to Christmas at Liseberg next month. Choosing the fabrics is going to be hard!



After I returned, Emil’s grandad and his ‘lady friend’ came over for tea. They brought smorgastorta with them, which is best described as sandwich cake. It’s a savoury cake made with bread, prawns, and whipped cream, but this one also was covered with hard boiled egg, olives, lime pieces and other very pretty bits. To the left you should see an example ( not the exact one we had, but very similar)Unfortunately, I really dislike whipped cream ( long story – it involves a theatre production and gone off cream), but I ate about half of my piece ( I tried!) It was a lovely thought though. They also brought us a lovely new sandwich maker as a moving in present, which was very kind of them.

I did a little bit of speaking Swedish to them too, as they have very little English, so I did my best little bits of swedish when i realised i knew how to explain what i was talking about in swedish.

In fact, yesterday involved a lot of swedish speaking for me. I spoke swedish or svengelska ( which translates as swinglish) all afternoon with emil, because i kept getting confused and starting sentences in english and ending them in swedish. I’m not entirely certain whether that’s a good thing or not, but emil understood so it can’t be too awful.

I’m still continuing with Nanowrimo, and I’m just about on target at the moment. It isn’t easy, but hopefully i shall get there if i carry on.

Tomorrow I am going fabric shopping with nina at a shop near bäckebol. Hopefully ( if Emil remembers) at some point this week I shall also get to go to see Thor 2.

fingers crossed.