Archive for August, 2012



The trees on the lawn beneath our 7th story window, as seen in the previous post, look like brocoli. In the photograph I mean, in reality I have no idea what they look like. I just assumed they looked like trees or that it didn’t matter to me.



It makes sense that author’s have to know things. I do know things. I’m writing a children’s book. It’s about brocoli. See, I just made that up. But really, I will now write a children’s book. But I will write it in Swedish.

I’m thinking. This makes me nervous.

Hold on.

Nu vet jag hur jag ska göra, jag ska cykla! tänkte Emil. Och så tog han nallen och la på flaket, satte persikan han fått av mormor bredvid – i fall de skulle bli hungriga på vägen – och så rullade han ut från uppfarten. Trehjulingens trampor kunde han inte trycka ner, men han sparkade med fötterna i asfalten och snart var de förbi granen vid husknuten och ute på stora cykelbanan. Mot grisen.














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The view from our apartment window, rabbits often run around here. Once released from being pets in Stockholm, otherwise we mostly have hares in this part of the country.

I don’t know, I don’t feel like writing for some reason. I’m reading at the moment, a novel by Swedish author Marianne Fredriksson. In Swedish the novel is called Simon and the Oaks (my translation). It’s been translated to probably all likely languages and even adapted to film. But I just discovered it now in my mother’s library as I’m staying her for a while, resting while pregnant. It came out 1985 according to the cover page, I was living in Canada then, an eight year old dancing to Walk like an Egyptian… and Manic Monday la la la… Material Girl… While there she was, Marianne, writing this really clever book.

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Honestly, I’ve been trying to post for days now but WordPress just gives me “Invalid request” which has seriously ruined my plans for this blog. But here goes the story about my outing the other day. Sorry if the language seems pretentious or literate, I guess I have a different tone when I’m writing a story out in full, instead of giving spotlights of it like in blog conversation. Then again, if you don’t think it’s pretentious or literate I apologise aswell for the let down.


The berries are bright orange, rönnbär we call them in Sweden. Rowan tree berries. The first sign of autumn, my favourite time of year. And especially this year. I swallow a bad taste in my mouth, feel the baby kicking at my bladder and look around the bus stop for a washroom. Only four months left now thank God.

“Ma-amma”, my two year old son calls out. “Ma-a-amma!” He’s running, laughing, with his father chasing him, around the bus stop where people stand mutely staring into space.
Across the water are boats, and that old kind of architecture central Stockholm is famous for. Out here on Skeppsholmen, a small island with only museums, there are still mostly tourists now toward the end of August. I hear a couple speaking Spanish, leaning over a map, wondering if there are any other ways off the island than the bus. No subways or streetcars run out here, and there is only one small bridge wich the bus takes. Otherwise the three museums of modern art, architecture and east asia are cut off from busy down town commerce with its shop windows and fast plastic bags. Out here, where I used to work a few years back as a guide at the Museum of Modern Art, culture and nature meet uninterrupted. Ducks shit on the grass under the rowan tree and I put a five kronor coin in the slot of the small green toilet booth. Waving to my husband who nods, to say he sees where I disappear to.

The toilet is unusually clean and I let go of my nose. Quickly I do my business and rinse my hands under the tap, not wanting to cause us to miss the bus we’ve already waited almost twenty minutes for. It must be here any minute now. But when I come out the bus is still not there. I wedge the door open with a stick, so the next person doesn’t need to spend five kronor, and go back to the pram.

“Did you check the time table?” I ask my husband. The tourists at the bus stop are beginning to look at their watches and a few have left already to walk off the island instead.

He nods. “It should be here by now.”

Normally we would’ve walked also, but my hips hurt already from walking around on the hard stone floors of the museum for hours, listening to the audio guide. Fascinated by what I remember of art school and my time at the museum, that I can still connect with other pieces of myself than the diaper-changing-floor-sweeping-mother I’ve been for the last two years. I’m tired now and want the bus.

“We’d might as well walk”, my husband says. Putting the struggling two-year old back in his pram.

An Italian couple comes up and asks us how to get off the island, they’ve waited for forty minutes they tell us. I point them toward the bridge and we follow slowly after.

Though it’s been a cool summer the sun is glaring now and I ask my husband for his cap. My hair is black – it attracts heat quickly and bakes my head until I’m dizzy. Though I used to work out here I feel like I’m trapped in southern Europe, on holiday in a spot I regret coming to because now I can’t get out again.
We reach the bridge rather fast, and it’s no problem passing over it. The problem is on the other side, where police cars and a big luxury coach block the narrow road, making it impossible for the local buses to complete their route to the island. So this is why no bus came. We hear wild shouting and see a group of young dark men jumping around the entrance to the Grand hotel. A police siren from the distance draws nearer. My hand runs over my stomach and I reach for the blanket to hang over the pram to cover the sleeping two-year-old. I raise the foot rest and the bonnet, hiding him completely from whatever danger lies ahead.


READ MORE IN THE MAGAZINE 1:1 – I’ll link here when the next edition comes out, if my text is accepted. Thanks for reading this far.


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I’m going to write a longer version of my blog post the other day about the chaos around Grand hotel in central Stockholm as the Brazilien soccer team came out to their bus. The reason is that the German magazine 1:1 has an edition coming out soon about threats and architecture. Anyway, the way I interprete that is how I felt when I couldn’t pass the hotel. How from a distance I was scared when I saw the police cars, but then relieved and glad when it was young boys cheering to see their heroes. But still, my husband became stressed about where to walk with the buggy. And the narrowness of the street, the bus blocking our way, the police cars and fans and on-lookers all made for a situation I think will suite a short story in 1:1 with that theme.


By the french illustrator Philippe Payant. Now living in Canada, I believe.

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Sorry, WordPress does not work at all for me. I’ve stopped writing long posts because it just says invalid request when I try to post and then I have to redo.

My photos don’t attach properly.

I can’t continue to blog here when nothing works, a real shame.

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Water journalism

This is when I was working and really enjoyed it. Here I am doing a nature show in the very north of Sweden. Yes I dare say very north because I’m up around the arctic circle, in Torneälven. We’re about to look for mussels, and find lots of them. This is something I could see myself doing when maternity leave is over, but the nature around here isn’t as spectacular as up north.

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Rough day, vomited, I don’t like being sick so I won’t post tons about it. Good night.



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