Tag Archives: Snow

That Christmas Post

17 Dec

I effing LOVE Christmas but that wasn’t always the case. When I was younger and my parents were still married, Christmas was a hard time. The family gathered at my Granny’s place for dinner and gifts on Christmas eve and for lunch on Christmas day. On at least one of those days someone started a fight and yelled at someone else. THAT, I hated. After my parents divorced and some time passed, it got better.

By now, it is my favourite holiday because of all the great food, advent calendars, spending time with family and cookies. Oh, and presents of course! By now, I don’t even hate ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! anymore. ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ sung by Dean Martin, ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby and ‘Winter Wonderland’ sung by Frank Sinatra make a huge smile appear on my face whenever they are on the radio. Seriously, I couldn’t grin wider if I tried.

I love the cold weather – when the sun shines but the air of minus degrees attacks your face, makes your nose and cheeks all red and gives you the gift of snow. I cannot get enough of it! We had all that last week. It was deliciously cold, it snowed, the sun shone and I was giddy for no apparent reason. Yes, I can be pleased that easily but please keep this to yourself. I wouldn’t want the word to get around.

Last year, my hopes were pretty high for Christmas, I wanted it to be the best celebration we ever had because I knew it would be my Mom’s last Christmas (no, she wasn’t even that sick back then, but some part of me was prepared for her death, even then). But it wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be. There is still the beginning of a post I was going to write about it in draft form on here. I don’t even know what went wrong, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I foresee something similar happening to me this year but I don’t care. I am so looking forward to it despite the fact that Mom’s not with us anymore. I still have family though and I love them. I may not always agree with them and their views, but I truly love them. And I am thankful for my life, my friends and family – for the opportunities I had so far, the trips I was able to make and the places I got to see.

Last week, on the 13th (which is also my cousins birthday) was Lucia which is a Christmas tradition In Sweden. There are special Lucia-songs that are sung on this day, lussekatter to eat and many celebrations to take place. While I was In Sweden 2 years ago, I was part of the university choir and we did the Luciatåg that day. I actually only partook in the first concert in the morning since I had a final the next day or class later. I’m not entirely sure. It was a fantastic experience though. In the evening I met with my friend family and we went to see the big celebration in church, where High School kids perform like 3 concerts back to back. I was blown away by their talents. The atmosphere was fantastic and I miss not getting to see it year after year. I miss putting on my Lucia gown and singing the beautiful songs that are as dear to my heart as the Christmas songs I grew up with.

If you look real close, you can see the text I wrote on the candle holder because I wasn't able to remember all the lyrics to the songs.

If you look real close, you can see the text I wrote on the candle holder because I wasn’t able to remember all the lyrics to the songs.

On Saturday I bought my last presents. I’m not very good at gift giving but I tried my best, which is how I ended up with 3 different books and 2 gift cards. But hey, I thought about every one of those gifts long and hard even if it doesn’t sound exciting. I like to give gifts that I would enjoy and I hope I chose right. What about you? Do you already have all your presents?

As much as I love Christmas, I also cannot wait for 2012 to be finally over and 2013 to begin. Hopefully it will be better than this year but it won’t be too hard.

Wherever you are and if you’re celebrating Christmas or not, I hope you have a good time and great company. Here are some videos of my favourite songs from Sweden. Seriously, they give me chills! There used to be a video of SVT on Youtube with these songs sung in ‘my’ church in Växjö but it’s not on there anymore.

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The Miracle of Snow

2 Dec

A couple of weeks ago I promised myself I would do a walk through the first snow of the season. You know, I *may* have gotten inspired by the Gilmore Girls there but that doesn’t matter. As I was at a Christmas Party of my University’s International Office, it started to snow like crazy. I didn’t stay long because I was a bit afraid I wouldn’t make it down the hill of the Uni and back up at home and I’m glad I did.

I took the long drive through the city, not because the streets were so bad but because it was so beautiful outside and I wanted to prolong the moment. At home I changed into more appropriate clothes and shoes and went for a walk in the snow.

You guys, it was sooooo perfect. It wasn’t even cold and it was snowing like crazy. Not many cars and people were on the streets – just me and the crunching snow below my feet. I glided through tire tracks, pretended I was an airplane with my arms outstretched wide, sang my favourite Swedish Christmas song and threw snowballs. Childish? -Maybe!! Worth it? -Definitely!!!

I tried taking pictures with my cell phone but they mostly ended up too dark or crappy but here are some of them anyway:

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Footsteps in the snow...

Footsteps in the snow…

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And this is what happened over night. According to my ruler it’s been 7cm but it’s thawing now.

Some of my favorite things!

16 Apr

Today I wanted to share with you, dear readers and those who accidentally stumble upon this blog, some of my favorite things. As I feel sad and weighed down by the weight of the world more often these times than is good for me, I like to remind myself that there are numerous things in life which are beautiful and very dear to my heart.

So, let’s start, shall we?!

The smell of fresh cut grass. I don’t have any allergies, so I can truly appreciate it :-)

Watching a sunrise or sunset, possibly somewhere close to the ocean or a lake.

Raindrops pounding on the roof, so you have a reason to snuggle up into a blanket and stay inside to read a good book or watch an old b&w movie.

That musty smell as well as fresh cut trees lining your way while you walk through the woods in spring when there are no flying insects annoying the hell out of you.

Singing your heart out to a favorite song (there are a lot of favorite songs which accommodate different sets of moods).

Waking up on a lazy sunday with the sun shining into your window when you don’t have to get up immediately but can enjoy the relaxed feeling of a good night’s sleep while staying in the not-sleeping-anymore-but-not-being-awake-either-mood as long as possible.

Watching snowflakes on their way to earth on a crispy cold winter night.

The feeling of going outside on a sunny day with -10°C and enjoying the hell out of yourself because it’s so pretty and not that cold at all.

Getting unexpected mail from a friend, preferably in form of a post-card :-)

That’s all I can come up with at the moment. What are your favorite things?

I searched Youtube for a clip of Julie Andrews singing that song out of the Sound of Music but coulnd’t find any, so this will have to do.

Embracing My Inner Kid!

4 Apr

There is a great quote from FRIENDS, well actually there are like a ton of those but that’s not the point. Joey has this new girlfriend, Melanie, and while the guys all sit together at Monica’s place, she says: “There is a little child inside this man!” and Chander answers: “Yes, the doctors say if they remove it, he’ll die.”

I love this quote, mostly because I just love Chandler for his humor, he is the best (at least for me, I know tastes vary). The other reason I love it, is because I think we all should be like this and keep the little kid inside of us alive, happy and well nourished. This is maybe stupid, coming from a 24-year-old, but nevertheless I don’t think I’m wrong here. After all, Ellen agrees with me, so duh! If Ellen says that, it must be true xD, just kidding, I’m not some crazy person who listens to what celebrities say and then has to do whatever they tell me to.

I got the idea for this post, while I was reading through older posts of This Labyrinth I Roam, where Anju writes about how she was as a child and it made me think about how much I am still a little kid inside. So, this is going to be a list of reasons why I am definitely no grown-up (and probably never will be, because it’s boring, also I still feel like I’m 14 most of the times and I don’t see it changing anytime soon).

Here we go then in no particular order and without numbers (take that Freshly Pressed):

Sometimes, I like to get on one leg and jump up the stairwell to see how many jumps I can do without losing the rythm.

Braids are my choice for a hairstyle. Most likely because my mom never knew how to braid hair so as a child I never got to wear nice braids and I have to make up the lost time now. It’s also a great way to not deal with my curls.

Ok, don't mind the light blurriness and just concentrate on those beautiful socks :D Originally this photo was taken to show a friend the new dress I got, so don't be to harsh with your judgement. Thanks!

Striped (knee-) socks are what make my feet and me happy. I recently got some new ones (they were actually made for children but fit perfectly on my legs as well) and they’re awesome. Colorful and fun looking.

In general I love to wear colorful clothes because they make me happy especially in the darker seasons like winter. I will probably never fully understand how people can choose dark winter coats, they’re so depressing and black as if winter wasn’t dark and depressing enough on its own.

Sometimes, when there is a streetlamp in the way, I walk straight towards it and only decide at the last possible moment on which side I should pass without crashing into it.

When there are hip-high obstacles in the way, I like to let my hand(s) glide over them as if they were little planes in order to make me believe I can actually fly. Believe me, the day I learnt that no matter how fast I flutter with my arms, I’ll never be able to fly on my own, was a very sad day.

I proudly wear my T-shirt with Ernie and his little rubber duck from Sesame Street on it. What can I say, it’s green and so cute!

I don’t like wearing heels, mostly because my insole, to even out my odd-lenghted legs, doesn’t fit into them. I will probably be wearing Chucks for the rest of my life xD or at least for a pretty long time!

I rather play board games with friends than go out and get drunk because I neither like beer nor wine. It’s tragic, I know and oh-so boring!

I can eat an entire cheesecake in less than 2 days, maybe even one day, on my own and I don’t even feel bad. Besides, why should I, it’s delicious!

There’s never a day not to eat candy or potato chips or chocolate or all of them together.

I love snow, you can have snowball fights, make snow-angels and go sleigh-riding and yes, I still do these things.

This may not be the most imaginative list and I thought I had more to say when I started writing than I actually came up with but there you have it. I’m like Peter Pan, I don’t really believe in growing up because it seems to be boring. I could be wrong, of course, but I’m not ready to find out yet. I prefer to keep my inner child alive and not let it starve out of neglect or even worse, change who I am.

I spent my youth wanting to be older, more grown up because I thought it would make things easier and me more confident. Guess what, nothing changed so far except the years on my clock. I’m done wanting to grow up, maybe it will sneak up on me someday in the future but until then, I embrace myself, whoever that is.

Is it wrong to get homesick while walking through IKEA?

26 Feb

Two days ago I was walking through the IKEA store in my hometown and I got homesick! Big time! You may ask yourself why. The reason is simple. I miss Sweden, a lot, and although I left it over a year ago I still think about living over there at least once a day.

Is it even possible to feel homesick for a place that only was your home for 5 months? It sounds a bit crazy to me, but it is how I feel. In the following I’m trying to express why I miss it so much and what living in Sweden meant to me.

I spent one semester abroad at Linneaus University in Växjö. I moved there in August 2010 and stayed until the following January. Växjö is located in the heart of Småland in the south of Sweden and has about 60.000 inhabitants. For those of you, not too familiar with swedish landmarks, you’re maybe more familiar with Astrid Lindgren’s work. A lot of her children’s books were set in Småland such as “Emil of Lönneberga”.

Part of Campus

I fell in love with the country and I cannot even say why. It’s just that I felt really happy, safe and free there. The best thing for me was a walk around the lake conveniently located next to campus. We also hat a little castle on campus, very cool.

Lake Trummen at sunset

Lake Trummen at sunset

During my stay there, I lived in a dorm and it was a great experience for me because at home I live with my Mom. Also, we don’t have a campus university here, my home university is spread around town, located on the several hills of my hometown, making getting around from one building to another not that easy or fun. But in Växjö everything was in one place, even the student housing. I met some great people there and am still in contact with my corridor mates. Most of them were ERASMUS students as well or free movers obtaining their Bachelor or Master degrees there. I really, really miss them!!

In my experience it’s quite hard to get in contact with swedish people or students for that matter. They are a quiet people and like to keep amongst themselves (of course there are exceptions from this rule!!!). But I got lucky! Linneaus University offers great support for foreign students and so I was paired up with a swedish family through the Friend Family Project. Björn and Lotta were great, they showed me around the area, let me tag along to gatherings with friends or theatre rehearsals. Unfortunately my Swedish is still not really good and I also have forgotten most of it since I left there.

The little Island of Lotta's family with a typical red wooden house.

Of course I did not spend all my time in Växjö, I wanted to see as much of the country I was staying in as possible, so I went on trips with my corridor mates. We went to Copenhagen, Lund, Karlskrona, Gothenburg, Stockholm and many other places.

Me in Skansen on a Dalarna horse

Unfortunately it was still January and the weather was not at its  best when I visited Stockholm which was also the last part of my semester abroad since I flew back home from Arlanda Airport. But one thing, I know for sure, Stockholm is my kind of city and I desperately want to go back there this year when it’s not cold and snowy.

Even though Stockholm is Sweden’s capital it doesn’t appear to be big which makes it typically swedish because what most people think of as big does not apply to Sweden. Växjö for example, with its 60.000 inhabitants, is the biggest city in that particular region and getting to the next town may encounter a 80-100 km drive.

As you can see in the picture on the left, I was fortunate enough to encounter a real swedish winter and let me remind you, I was in the south. It first started snowing on October 21st but it didn’t last. A month later though it snowed again and everything stayed white and cold until I left in January. I really enjoy snow, it makes the world look more peaceful and quiet. Now, I am also a fan of -10°C during the day. One of my best memories is seeing the humidity freeze during a sunny but cold winter day. The sky is clear blue and when you look up there are thousands upon thousands of little snowflakes reflecting the sunlight like little diamonds. It looks as if it’s snowing but it’s not really because there are no clouds. It’s just so beautiful.

What makes me miss Sweden so badly that I can’t even walk through IKEA? I guess it is this feeling of being on my own, not having to let anyone know where I’m going. You may answer that I can have that everywhere and you’re right. But the freedom on top of the always polite Swedes and the beautiful landscape really got to me. I want a lake outside my house, damn it! How could I live so long without it? How can I live without it again?

For me, life in Sweden is peaceful and quite, it’s not as hectic as it is here. I remember coming home for Christmas and I was so shocked at the people around me. Buying groceries suddenly was extremely stressfluss, something I hadn’t experienced in a while.

I really hope that I will manage to squeeze in a visit to Stockholm in May or June this year, so I can hear Swedes talking again and just being in the country I feel more at home in than my home country.

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