Thursday, 30 June 2016

Liking cities - now, and then

These are not even the same spots in Stockholm - the two at the top must have been a jungle forest at the time. Still, all of it Stockholm. So: should one not specify, when asked which is one's favourite city, the timeline? For example: Stockholm, 1665-1789 and Rome, 1551-1601. But Bonn, 2016!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Proof of summer:

Spontaneous picknicks in colourful clothes and triathlon people running by in wet scuba dive costumes.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Being an adult could mean modifying time, and glass

Step 1. Organic chemistry course fresh in my head, I assumed that opening this glass up would be as easy as tearing a pasteur pipette apart. (It is very easy.)
Step 2. Aah, it needs far more heat than one flame. But no way I can make 4,500 C here on the cliff. Let's improvise to focus the heat. Hi, cute guy passing by for no reason. Yes, I  always wear these cool laboratory glasses, thank you for not asking. Aah, I have to crack and not tear it open. Oh, that was a very uneven edge of glass that tore off. (This is the second hour glass on fire.)
Step 3. Aah, it is done when the brown coal has turned white. Now, let us put a piece of the mountain on fire to naturally get rid of the stearine. 

Step 4: "put what you wish inside and seal" with clumsy glue and clumsy fingers. Squint and consider it as good as it gets given the conditions. 

Step 5: send the hour glass by mail and hope it will reach the right person on time.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Museum Mission (extended): Fjäderholmarna/Båtsamlingarna

Fjäderholmarna are 25 minutes away from the core of Stockholm and is the first official archipelago
island. Which has two everlasting exhibitions!

One is about small boats and dinghies, handmade and donated.

Some with fishing nets, ropes and sails, mostly from the previous Century but some also made in the late 1800's.

Some are to sit in.

Others for transporting cows.

But there are are things to observe and enjoy as well.

First, there is the endless cuteness.

Then, war artifacts.

This of course has been a military base during the Second World War.

But also is the only island that offered boat tours for free to make it possible for people to buy  alcohol much cheaper than in Stockholm - known as the "alcohol war" (my own translation). This is explained in another exhibition - but unfortunately, it is all in Swedish only.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

"The Girlfriend" by Karolina Ramqvist

She loves it, can't live without it. Has never been able to make it work with "normal" guys. But the life as the girlfriend of a gangster also tears her. He can be gone for weeks, and though having left her another, new, phone in the big immaculate house he got her for Valentine's day, he does not call or text. When he gets home, he can have scars on his face. Fall with his face down. In her previous apartment, he hid cocain behind the flour, which was fine by her once she found out she was the only girl he wanted. And she cannot ask questions - this is not how it works.

"Flickvännen" is based on Ramqvist's own life. She has flickered by in my Facebook feed as suggested friend, which felt like a direct link to the gangster world. But - as my friend and colleague said - always differ between the work of an author and the author herself. And this author is a good writer.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Sign of #party

 Dressing up trees, that is creating expectations. 
 Spot is good, too: right next to the Design and Fashion Museum (my translation of ArkDes) and the Modern Museum.
Inspiration for all of you who planned for decorating gardens this summer!
Here is a café, by the way. I can't say the choises are lush but the coziness factor is unavoidable. (What is out of sight is a seriously-looking young man sitting next to this poisonous mushroom tree. Spectacular.)
And swings. Always a plus for swings.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Museum Mission: Rosendals slott

Rosendals slott is one of the museums where photos are prohibited inside. The bigger mystery! I like this castle a lot - there is so much information that links Swedish modern history with the past here, and it is beautiful, of course. My best recommendation is to get a guided tour for yourself - which I by pure luck had last week. Then you can ask questions. It was here I found out that Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was adopted by the age of 47 to become a king as legal as possible in people's eyes, and that he would not have become the king had not the Danish crown prince Karl August fallen off his horse dead by a heart attack during a calm show in Copenhagen (guide said), or during military practice (this site says). Dead either way. It was also here I found out that prince Gustav composed the music to one of the most famous Swedish songs: Studentsången.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

"Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline

What few people know is that over 200,000 children were transported from the east coast to the Midwest between 1854 and 1929. Many immigrants came to the United States for the search of a better life, but many of those people also died - and their children were sent to different cities and picked by people who gave them a different name and could treat them as servants, not much more. Some were more lucky.

This story is fiction that mirrors the reality. The author has attended the annual meetings of some og these children, now between 90 and 100 years old, made research and then discovered that the life of Irish Pat Thiessen eerily matched much of what she had written.

Definitely worth reading. Sometimes children think more like adults than the adults do themselves, and here is proof.

Tribute to the Swedish translator Britt-Marie Thieme.

Monday, 20 June 2016

The minimalistic package of a student

Spotted at the entrance of a dorm. Apparently, most important things are here. What would be missing is probably on that student and in the student's hands. The wine bottle, maybe. This actually happened: two French parents who came to see their daughter did not react to the worn down common kitchen, but to the abscence of wine glasses! They bought her a set right away. 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Madama Butterfly

I am so full of culture now. Madama Butterfly at the Opera, you make me wonder so much about scenography and symbolic metaphors.
 When I was here on a guided tour in May with my students, one of them selected the Opera as the most beautiful office in town.
 From here, it reminds me of the café at Grand Palais in Paris. 
 I am very likely going to Spain to work in the autumn. I doubt it will be possible to learn playing the harp in the small town I am aiming for, but who knows? 
 Orchestras <3 brass <3
And all the people, of course. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

The end-of-school day and a million roses.

The yearly tradition is to sing and hug goodbye in front of a castle near our school. It was sunny and promising, as usual. (Simon, a teacher, was smuggling candy to the other teachers and said "Nobody puts baby in the corner. It is a 'Dirty Dancing' reference" when I for a moment stood behind him instead of next to him discussing teacher stuff.)
My age was confirmed undecided. When  I asked a parent who she was the mother of (among the 15- and 16 years old in the room, some aka my former pupils), she replied by naming her offspring and went on asking who in the room I was mum to. An hour later, when I stood next to teenagers, a different mother mistook me for a teenager.
I got flowers. People got flowers.
I got my students homework over summer: bingo with summerish stuff to do.
This teacher is a big favourite. Here, he carried so many gifts from his students, that he dropped two. I offered to help.
And this was me.

Friday, 17 June 2016

New in: a statue

This peace-working lady is a new Stockholm exterior detail, as of 13.30 yesterday. There is still a sign next to it saying "here there will be a statue, you can donate money for the charity organisation who took the initiative", and by chance I ended up at the mingle (I was not invited, just happened to be there for other cultural reasons) which succeed a lecture on the "opening" of the statue made by Peter Linde. In part, she brings Alva Myrdal (a Nobel prize for peace laureate) back to life, and Inga Thorsson, who was nominated three times. Their portraits are visible on each side. Indirectly - all women involved in a struggle for peace. The organisation in question is Swedish doctors against nuclear weapons (Svenska läkare mot kärnvapen, they in turn received the Nobel prize in 1985).
 Found on Djurgården, when you walk towards Rosendal castle.
I also wear a scarf and tight dresses that move with the wind when I struggle for peace.