Month: December, 2014

-21 here vs. -1 there


“If I’m not allowed to complain about my timetable since I have so few contact hours you’re not ever allowed to complain about cold.”



Sometimes when I think of him I just have to stop and breathe quietly for a second because I like him so much. When I think of his nose touching mine or our moments of intense kissing or what it feels like to just lie close to him and when my entire body is pervaded by a rush of happiness (kind of like a minor orgasm but that I am too prudish to write), I have to calm down a little. As soon as his name flashes up on my screen my heart skips and I find myself smiling at inappropriate moments (like when gran tells me of her past relationship issues or of a friend that has become an alcoholic).


I think that it is interesting how someone so far away can have such an impact on me. We’re hundreds of miles apart but still when we Skype it almost like he is here. I write almost because one major part is missing: touch. I long for his hands on my body and my hands touching his. I long for how he says that my skin is the softest. I long for neck kisses and other kisses and his arms around me at night and how he carefully, carefully climbs out of bed in the morning to not wake me up (although I do anyway because the bed is suddenly empty). We end our Skype messages with kissing symbols and hearts but I just can’t help myself and also write: “I can’t wait until Friday when I can actually kiss you”. “Same” he answers and even if it is a rather simple reply I have to sit down and gather myself a little before I continue with life.


“Home is not a place but a feeling”

IMG_8403_edited IMG_8310_edited

The Ideal Winter

IMG_8171_edited2-21 C and a nice familiar chirping noise under the soles of my boots. 6 layers of jumpers and a coat. Double pairs of knitted mittens. When I breathe in I can feel the snot in my nose freezing and blocking the air for a split second.
IMG_8189_edited_editedThe winter that we wanted came and delivered the most idyllic Christmas weather I have seen in years. As soon as I step outside the door my mind is blown away by the beauty of it. The snow that has covered absolutely everything and how it glitters in the sunlight. The crisp fresh feeling in the air.
IMG_8357_editedI love it how the muffled calm lingers on top of everything and creates a little wintery Christmas bubble I know that I’ll be able to live in until the break is over and reality begins again.

Opposites and emphasis

The world is built up by binary opposites, or at least man seems to like dividing things up into binary opposites. There can be no darkness without light and without warmth we cannot know the cold etc. I have always felt that this statement might need some further looking into and shouldn’t be blindly accepted but one thing I have thought a lot of this Christmas is how things about yourself become illuminated when they are exposed to something different, not necessarily the opposite but just something different, something other.
When I am in England I appear very Swedish. The way I talk, the way I dress, what I eat and how I eat it. My view on things, my routines and a whole load of other things that I have never reflected over myself are now things I think about a lot. Whatever Swedishness might be, I feel that I take pride in it. I emphasise the Swedish parts of me. I drink my coffee black because that’s how we do things in Sweden. I wear dark colours because that’s how we do things in Sweden. I celebrate Christmas on the 24th because that’s how we do things in Sweden. I have at least two ‘fikas’ a day because that’s how we do things in Sweden. The things I do are mostly things that I have been doing before and in that sense my behaviour hasn’t changed. What has changed is rather that I now point out and motivate my behaviour by that I am Swedish.
Returning to Sweden after two months away was a bit like seeing Sweden through someone else’s eyes, from another perspective. A perspective more objective than the one I left Sweden with. Suddenly the two women walking in front of me wearing colourful rucksacks, sporty coats and bright trainers felt more like they dressed as young children than the mature women they actually are and I now see trainers everywhere. Suddenly, it has become so clear that most girls in the ages 12-20 look identical with black jeans, jodhpur-inspired boots and similar black coats and bags. I have reflected over these things previously but not to the same extent as now.
I think of how exposing yourself to other cultures almost forces you to open your eyes and mind. Even if I was aware of this before and even if the British and Swedish cultures are not miles and miles apart there are so many examples of how there are different ways of doing things. The British have carpets everywhere, drive on the other side of the road, celebrate Christmas on another day, have a very different cuisine and sometimes they even warm up the plates before serving the food.
I think that exposure to other cultures is always important for one to realise that there are other ways of doing things than your way of doing things. And I think that it is important to remember that the other way of doing it is not necessarily wrong. It is just different.


IMG_8101_edited IMG_8102_edited IMG_8105_editedIt is interesting how much power and confidence that can be acquired from a piece of clothing. I bought these trousers for £7 at H&M’s sale a few weeks ago and immediately when putting them on in that bright fitting room I felt sophisticated. ‘Oh my god. You have to get those. We are not leaving until you have bought them”, my friend told me and so they became mine.
And I feel invincible.

No memory card

I went for a walk this morning with my black camera put into the depth of my black coat pocket. I wanted to capture the morning and the sun rising above the rooftops. When I had found myself a nice motif, taken my mittens off and carefully picked up the camera from its calm resting place and turned it on the screen was black and in white it said ‘No Memory card’. With cold fingers I put it back in my pocket and walked home.
The rest of the day I haven’t done much at all and now I am sat in the kitchen with my favourite tea mug, listening to the calming sound of the dishwasher and reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. I started it this summer but never had time to finish it.


IMG_8111_editedI have returned home again for the Christmas holiday and Saturday night made me remember why I left.
I went to one of the two local bars since my dad had a gig with his band. As we walked in around 11pm a middle aged couple were making out on one of the tables. She had her hands over her head and he had his hands on her butt. When the first of the three bands entered the stage they were the first ones to enter the dance floor. Swaying and wobbling they danced until she fell over and hurt her knee. Too drunk to function. It was 11.30pm.
Since it is one of the two places one can go to on a Saturday night, this place offers an odd mixture of people. There are young adults serving their parents alcohol since they work there and teachers getting drunk on the same dance floors as their students. There are people of all ages and everyone knows everyone. Even if I have not lived in this place properly for about 6 years I still recognised half of the ones there. I find it tragic.
IMG_8121_editedPeople were way too drunk and to think that this is their idea of a good night out makes me cringe. Pre-drinking at home until quite late to get as drunk as possible, making ones way to the bar and paying around £10 just to enter, buying more drinks to get a little more drunk, swaying to the music to the clonks of people dropping their drinks, ending the night with a slow dance together with strange man to “Love Hurts” and then waiting in line for the wardrobe together with other people and their empty gazes like cattle. It is not my idea of a good night out.
IMG_8122_editedTherefore, it is a good feeling to know that I can leave when I want to. I never have to become that one person who stands alone in the middle of the dance floor, staring into the distance, too wasted to even attempt dancing.


My camera is lying in the dusty bookshelf, untouched. On hold because life itself moves too quickly. In general, most aspects of my documentary life are on pause apart from the occasional bathroom mirror selfie and sentences jotted down in black ink on whatever piece of paper happens to be nearest. Around me, however, things are flourishing.
I wake up in sheets that has another person’s smell in them on top of mine. I walk to lectures with a feeling that I can not describe as anything else but content within me. I sit in dark lecture halls sipping my tea and I just enjoy it, enjoy being here, enjoy the people I have got to know.