No words

As I’m off to Cologne (Köln!) to meet friend V and her new baby (yeah yeah, and her husband), my mind is in Stockholm. The love that her inhabitants are showing each other is amazing. And then there are people like author Fredrik Backman: 

“I realise that this is a small thing in the big thing that’s going on this weekend, but anyone who’s in central Stockholm can go to akademibokhandeln at odenplan and buy any children’s book, and I’ll pay for it.”

(Yeah, it continues a bit, but this first part gives an idea on what it’s about. )

Feminist Friday

While watching ukulele teacher’s videos, I came across Grace VanderWaal (regarding the spelling; really? Here it’d be van der Waal, and in Belgium pretty much any spelling… – Van Der Waal, Vanderwaal etc). And her voice is just crazy!

And then I listened to Anna Faris’ is Unqualified with Zach Levi as guest, and although I almost stopped the podcast when he was eating and talking (yes, seriously), I’m happy I didn’t, cause it was a good one. You can listen to it here.

Ooops I did it again

…it appears I went on a (short) vacation again and just completely neglected/forgot about the blog. Oh well, more about that in another post.

Last weekend we celebrated our 11 year anniversary (yes, we’re officially old people) and went out for dinner and stayed overnight in Leiden. Before you think we’re romantic and stuff, know that this was initiated by my partner having to play chess in Leiden the day after. It just happened to coincide with the anniversary.

It’s a very pretty city:


Can I also  just state how relieved I am about the results in the Dutch elections? Sleazy Wilders gained 4 seats, which is 5 seats less than he got in the 2010 elections, and the crazy religious people did poorly. (And the green party did very well, so win-win-win!)

Why I would consider living in Paris

Follow up post suggested by Lisa (after this one).

My mom had always dreamed of going to Paris. So after I moved to the Netherlands, she saw a visit here as the perfect starting point to go there. She hasn’t travelled that much and wouldn’t dream of going somewhere outside of Sweden on her own, so we took her (together with my younger brother). After that we’ve been back twice (?), and she’s still infatuated with the city.

My first visit to the city on the other hand was a bit of a disaster. I went with a friend and we had completely different expectations on what should/would happen on a city trip and it lead to some friction. I took this out on Paris and thought “meh”. But then the next time – that’s the time we took mom – it was like a different city to me. (Lesson: make sure you talk to friends about what you both expect before travelling with them.)

Most of this is probably in my mind, but this is how I experience Paris: it’s a city that still cares about people. Sure we make fun of the French and their strikes (“tractors on the highways again? Seriously?”), but people take the time to stop for a coffee, meet up for dinner and buying freshly baked bread. And I like old buildings.

Music Monday



Music Monday is initiated by Lauren;

Every Monday share one or two of songs you’ve been enjoying lately.  It doesn’t have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites – just something you’d like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

So I still want to learn to play an instrument, but the cost of a (digital) piano was just a bit high knowing how I tend to not follow through. So instead I impulsively bought a Ukulele. I figure 4 strings = easier than 6?

Goal: learning to play this version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Or anything from Eddie Vedder’s ukulele album.

Frozen Fog

This week man, I dunno. Can we fast forward? On Monday I will not be doing my slack desk job for a day, and instead go to our warehouse and work with “the guys”. For a one-day change it’s quite nice.

The night between Tuesday and Wednesday we had a weather phenomenon that my partner translated to “frozen fog”. Whatever it may be called, it looks like proper winter here for a few days! I like it.

Light vikings? Like a diet version?*

Sometimes it feels like my books are connected. Like when I read a book that took place in Russia, and one of the children in it had the same name as a child in the next book I read, but that one took place in Iceland and the name (Nonni) was not a name to me and the kids were of opposite genders. That might be all they have in common, but in my head they’ll always be linked now.

I’ve just had a similar thing, but with music. There’s this song by Mugison I love, called “Ljósvíkingur”. My beginner’s Icelandic has been literally NO help in figuring out what the title is about and Google Translate was equally helpful (“”Light viking”? wtf?”).

But now! I’m reading Halldór Laxness‘ “World Light“, and suddenly:

“My name is Ólafur Kárason, and I call myself ‘Ljósvíkingur’ because when I was a small boy I often stood at a little bay called Ljósavík, and watched the birds.”


Ooooooh. I get it now. And now it’s unavoidable; I’ll always hum the song while thinking of the book.

* I know it means light as in illuminate: ljós = ljus in Swedish, but thought this was funnier for a title.