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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.

 

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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!

 

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)

 

biblioteket och IKEA igen

Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time curled up in the university library with my kindle reading. I was feeling a bit down yesterday afternoon and so decided to go for a walk, and ended up very quickly at the library, curled up. Originally I was going to read the ebooks I have for uni, but then I realised that I hadn’t sent them to my Kindle, so instead I ended up Game of Thrones-ing instead.

After an hour or two Nina came along and we collected all our coursebooks together. Harry Potter and the Course CollectionI was very amused to find that J K Rowling’s Harry Potter books are in the ‘course collection’ – the required reading section, which contains books that are required for at least one course at the university. I currently have a pile of books in front of me and am trying to absorb the knowledge in them through my feet.

Today however, I made a visit to IKEA with Emil. It was a lot of fun, and we managed to buy a few bottles ready to bottle up the mead (which is almost ready to drink). Huzzah! We also found some frames and some other useful things ( Honest – they were useful.) It’s insane how quickly the price of IKEA visits add up though.

We also found a little sign on a bit of paper saying ‘Once I was a tree’ which amused me.

Oh! And I discovered that the big meal of meatballs and mash is WAAAAAY too much for me to be able to eat . I only had a middle sized meal and found it hard to finish it! Emil had a large one WITH salad and crispbread too!  It was very tasty though!

Afterwards Nina and I went for a lovely two-hour walk around Gothenburg, which was great. We put the world to rights and nattered loads about absolutely everything, which was great. We walked for 3.6 miles, which is quite good really considering it was snowy, and I only slipped once. Success.

Anyhow, I suppose I ought to go do some University Reading so that I can justifiably tell Emil I’ve done some work today when he gets back from Band Practice.

Jag är en student!

I’m a student again! Huzzah!

I’ve been on campus three times today already: Firstly, this morning, I went to sort out my website account so that i could log in and get to all of my information. I hadn’t been there for five minutes before i met two people I already know. Emelie stuck about with me whilst i got everything done then showed me the library and how everything works at GU’s library. She also then came down for a cup of tea at my flat.

After lunch I then went back up to the uni for my first lecture. There are about 30 people on my course and it was quite interesting for a first lecture: we got through practical matters and then started work on one of the poetic eddas, which was interesting. I’ve read a few of them before, but not the one we particularly looked at today. A lot of other people in the group were either erasmus or were foreign students, so it was quite interesting. We had to get into groups to discuss the poem, but our group was a bit on the quiet side, which was maybe a little awkward, but it was still great to be back in a seminar room again. Genuinely – I enjoy studying more than anyone has any right to. I get more excited by history than is in any way reasonable, and it was fun to be able to put my skills to good use again.

When I arrived home i checked my university email to find out that my university card was ready to collect. Emil came with me to collect it, at which I found out that my card gives me student discounts not only for things through the student discount people, but also for the train! I also was very excited at now being able to get books out of the library – and being able to access JSTOR again! Huzzah!

Afterwards we went shopping and got some stevia, which I’m curious to try out. Hope it’s good! Also managed to get some flavour-stuff that’s meant to put in water to make flavoured water, which is good – I have already tried it. Looks like it’s not as strong as it suggests, but it does make water more palatable!