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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!

 

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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)

 

‘And it’s beginning to snow’

Storm Sven is making itself felt in Gothenburg tonight with a hefty (for a cornish girl) dose of snow. I may have gone out to take photographs. Apologies for the terrible quality – in my defence, I got a photograph of a DInosaur in the Snow!

hemsjuk

Emil’s gone to bed: he has work ridiculously early in the morning. I’m curled up on our 3-seater sofa, the place which has become my favourite spot in the flat.

And I feel so lonely and homesick it’s unbelievable. There don’t seem to be any jobs that I can do here, and I haven’t met anyone of my own to make friends with. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve managed things like topping up my vasttraffik card in swedish without help, and that I made it to Partille on my own today, but it’s very frustrating. I feel like I’m ten years old again and going out to town on my own for the very first time. I’ve always loved being independent, and it’s really quite difficult going from total independence right back to needing help to read the basics in the supermarket.

And I’m not feeling very well either. Funny stomach and the beginnings of a cold and just generally feel really ugh! It’s awful! I think it’s making me feel worse. I’m meant to be volunteering over the weekend in a kitchen for a camp – I can’t do that if I’m ill!

To be fair, I suffered from homesickness when I went to Uni too, and it passed, and I felt better eventually, but I made so many friends instantly there, and so many of them are brilliant and I miss them very much ( hello Uni-people…. you know who you are). I guess I just feel a long way from home today.

I really hope I haven’t made a very expensive mistake by moving here. I love Emil with all my heart, and his family have been wonderful so far, but at the same time, it feels a bit lonely here.I need to go and make friends with people and *do* stuff… so far my time has been spent as a house-girlfriend waay too much.