marshtide: (Default)
I went on a slightly over-enthusiastic bike ride yesterday. You know how it is; well, now I'm here, I might as well go on to there, it's not much further...

Naturally, I also have photos. A couple from the lake (which may be from Monday, actually), and the rest from town and the harbour.

Lake & woods, this time with sun )


Following the river )

Yeah, it's a mixed up little town, this one.
marshtide: (Mymlan)
listorna

Entropin ska inte vinna den här gången! För nu har jag LISTOR!

--men seriöst, den här är nånting som läkaren sa att jag borde göra. Bestämmer hur jag ska organisera dagarna, skriver en lista och gör som jag har planerat så mycket som möjligt. Det har jag gjort innan och det hjälpte ganska mycket, så nu prövar jag igen.

På den röda listan står vardagliga saker, som ge lite struktur. Jag skriver ner också allting jag vill/måste göra - annars glömmer jag mycket och senare får ångest.

(Jaaaaaaaa, jag skriver skitdåligt på svenska, och jag bryr mig inte om det heller. Idag skiter jag i grammatiken. :D)
marshtide: (Mist)
Yesterday was a really misty day. I'm trying to go out with a camera semi-regularly again now because we're back into one of the bits of the year where stuff changes really fast all the time. Not because I'm any good with a camera, but I do like having a record.

Down to the lake again and back by the allotments at the edge of town:

photos )

Otherwise: mental health nosedive! SFI incompetence! Stress for all! Doctors appointment on Thursday. Sent home from school today. More tea, Birgitta Stenberg, ignoring world.
marshtide: (Snufkin - The traveller)
Norfolk - the bit of Norfolk that I know - basically contains an unreasonable amount of sky and water.

201008-10

(This was the view from directly behind where we were based. We were camping. Somewhere in the distance there is the sea, but there's a lot of marshland in between.)

More photos )

And some seals.

201008-05

And ridiculous, impractical, pretty little villages currently inhabited almost entirely by people whose first homes are in London.

Pictures )

Val claims to have spent the duration feeling as though she was on a film set, and I have to say I do rather see her point.

What I don't have are any photos of the towns we were in, which is mostly because I was actually feeling slightly stunned, I think; my concept of A Lot Of People has been adjusted to mean "Drottninggatan on a saturday", or "Any Roslagen Town In Summer". The reason this is a completely inadequate concept for dealing with tourist places in the UK is that Sweden has a lot of space and not many people; in the UK the reverse is true. This doesn't just mean that there are fewer wide open spaces in the UK - it also means that almost any town is going to contain a way more concentrated mass of people. The main roads in towns are smaller. The pedestrian roads are smaller. Buildings are smaller and much more squashed together.

As you can see from the photos above, that's pretty much because the UK has so many historic buildings (relative numbers are down to both the fact that a lot more older buildings are made of stone/brick in the UK versus wood in Sweden and the fact that the UK has been a rich country for way, way longer). They're very pretty. But it keeps everything feeling small, and I actually felt rather claustrophobic when we went to places like Wells and Sheringham, which is a problem I think I've basically only had to anything like the same extent in supermarkets* since I've been over here.

For the UK Norfolk doesn't feel very busy at all. And then!


* I promise you that you just do not want to try and fight Swedes for fresh potatoes in the biggest supermarket for miles around at midsummer. You don't!
marshtide: (Default)
[personal profile] valborg and I have been living together for six months as of the 5th and no-one has died yet, which I must say is rather pleasing.

I've been in the UK for a week or so with family, in a tent on the Norfolk coast. It was windy and Norfolk feels way more full of people when experienced via Roslagen rather than via London.

At some late point: full update on Norfolk, possibly with photos, and further Fascinating Thoughts on Swedish music.

For now I have only this to add:

normal for norfolk


Sheringham. It's a terrible place.
marshtide: (Mist)
Yesterday, [personal profile] valborg and I went to see Kent live at Långholmsparken in Stockholm. We probably shouldn't have, in honesty - both of us were amazingly sick in our own particular ways - but if we're talking about dedication to Kent versus a sensible attitude to our own health, there is possibly not much competition. We lay around in bed whining all day and then scraped together enough energy to get there, vaguely wondering if it'd be worth it, then the music started and, well, I think that would be a yes? Yes. Today we're back to lying in bed being pathetic, but we had a seriously good time at the show.

But how do I describe it? I have no idea. Completely a happy place, though. Heavy guitars and amazing lightshow and Jocke's crazy twisty dancing. Singing along and handwaving without feeling a bit selfconscious. Getting completely lost in the music. The crowd was really mixed - I guess from kids in their early teens through to people in their 50s or 60s, and all kinds of styles, and people were really, really into it. The crowd and the band both.

Set list )

Scattered thoughts )

Photos )


...but yeah, the hospital can't decide if I have an infection or kidney stones. So life is really fun and full of tests and pills and other less dignified things again! Yesterday I wanted to cry & this morning I was hysterical and this afternoon the whole thing seems kind of funny, if still more painful than I'm completely on board with. I'm terrible about medical things, so despite persistent pain and other delightful details I will swiftly gloss over I am spending a lot of time halfway convinced that I must be fine really and somehow imagining it/making it up and therefore wasting everyone's time. Yes. It is special, being me.

Skansen

Jul. 20th, 2010 07:54 pm
marshtide: (Default)
Today we went to Skansen.

Skansen is an open-air museum with old buildings from all over Sweden (and possibly parts of Norway), traditional craft stuff, and Nordic Animals. The first two are cool. The last are generally largely invisible, because the typical examples are things like wolves and lynx and other things that are seriously not fond of being seen.

(But we did see a lynx today. And some really unimpressed-looking baby elk. Elk: they're made of legs. And really smelly.)

SA400577 SA400585

SA400583 SA400602
marshtide: (Default)
Då blev det sommar.

SA400558

SA400556

SA400559


Now people stay and swim at the lake well into the evening. We've been down there most days, just to sit around in the shade and let J play.
marshtide: (Default)
[This was yesterday's post, and I fell asleep without submitting it. Er. Oops. And then I decided to go for a walk and take some photos before tidying it up, because it's a beautiful day, and then... no, I'm no good at daily posting.]

[personal profile] pulchritude asked if I would talk about Sweden, and how it compares with the UK. My first attempt got ridiculously long-winded and rambled all over the place, so I'll try to deal with it in little chunks. I guess the main disclaimer is that I haven't been here very long, and I don't feel like I can speak with any sort of authority about How Things Are Here. So it's How I Feel Here, with a little of how friends and family talk about things here.

Today: Seasons.


Right now, it's late April, and I'm living in what people keep calling central Sweden.* Last week it snowed, and we could reasonably expect more in the next month or so, although it would be very unlikely to settle; trees are only just getting buds; flowers are still looking kind of unsure about the whole thing, though they're getting there. The river has settled back to its normal level after the thaw, after a week when it was noticeably higher every day and beginning to flood paths. At the same time, it's a quarter to nine at night and it's not dark yet, and when the sun shines and I'm indoors the quality of the light sometimes makes me think it's almost summer, because the light here is not the same as the light in the UK, and it doesn't mean the same things.

Anyway, spring in Sweden isn't emphatic at the best of times, I think. It's not really a single big event, more like a series of hopeful moments punctuated by snow; and this year it was a long winter and a slower spring. We walked to the shops in the snow last week, and it was about 1 degree above freezing, and I muttered about it, and Val said, "but you're in Sweden now. People don't wait for spring here. They wait for signs of spring." And that seems like it. It's not officially spring yet. We just have signs of spring. But oh how people cling to those. I'm doing it too!

The first day the sun felt like it had any warmth at all, which I guess was some time in March, I was shopping with family, and we got out of the car, and went to pull on hats and gloves, and then realised it was almost warm. Everyone just kind of stopped and turned to face the light and didn't do anything for a while except have a near-religious sun experience. I gather this is completely normal. We certainly weren't the only ones.

Basically, seasons feel like a big deal here. To an extent they are in the UK too, and presumably in pretty much every other country far enough from the equator to know what they are, but all the same. I don't think it's even quite so much the shifts in temperature that do it (though they're extreme enough in themselves) as the shifts in light, because though we're fairly far south in actual northern European geographic terms the winters are still a lot darker and the summers are much lighter, to the extent that what people call darkness here in summer is more what I would recognise as late twilight, while what people call light in winter is more what I would recognise as early dusk. Maybe I need to get back to you with more detail on this one after a few years. At the moment it's a bit to do with the way people talk about it; and a bit to do with the number of songs which concern either how sad it is that everything is dark and dead and covered in snow or how everything is wonderful and sunny now but no-one can forget that it will soon be dark and dead and covered in snow; and a lot to do with the way that towards the end of winter, earlier than the experience I mentioned above, it felt as though I just woke up one day and the sun had come back, all at once, even though it was ten degrees below freezing out, and then it seemed like it would be OK. (In the south of the UK the weather changes fast but the light changes slowly. Spring itself arrives in more of a rush but the light kind of creeps back, and if I get surprised by it it's usually some time much later, maybe in May; it has to do with summer coming, not spring, or that's how it feels to me.)

It would be unfair to say that this stuff is uniquely Nordic, the emphasis on seasons and the slight melancholy associated with that, because actually, it exists in the UK as well, and you can see it in a lot of our stories and songs, and people get ridiculously excited about the first warm day and can't get out of bed in the winter and all the rest. But it's that bit more marked, further north. It's noticeable to me, just in the way I feel myself.

(But personally I think I could only have moved north from the UK, at least if we're talking within Europe. I wouldn't have wanted less seasonality, even if dark winter nights can be a drag; I have the sort of conflicted relationship with seasons that's probably more or less a prerequisite for living in the north. I complain about them but I wouldn't be without them.)


On a related note, today I went for a walk down to the lake and beyond into the forest.

The lake in February:
DSC01114

The lake in early April:
DSC01231

The lake now:
DSC01265

Things are coming alive, but we're basically not yet at the stage here that the UK was at when I visited in the middle of March.

First flowers:
DSC01273 DSC01268 DSC01274

Deeply appropriate quote for how I feel about spring in general and today in particular:

One calm and cloudless evening, towards the end of April, Snufkin found himself far enough to the north to see still-unmelted patches of snow on the northern slopes.

He had been walking all day through undisturbed landscapes, listening to the cries of the birds also on their way northwards, home from the south.

Walking had been easy, because his knapsack was nearly empty and he had no worries on his mind. He felt happy about the wood and the weather, and himself. Tomorrow and yesterday were both at a distance, and just at present the sun was shining brightly red between the birches, and the air was cool and soft.

"It's the right evening for a tune," Snufkin thought. A new tune, one part expectation, two parts spring sadness, and for the rest just the great delight of walking alone and liking it.


--Tove Jansson, The Spring Tune (in Tales from Moominvalley)





* It isn't, but the population distribution is such that from a certain squinting point of view it more or less works out. Which is to say, it's pretty far south still, but the number of people living further north is actually not that big. Not that the number of people living anywhere in Sweden is that big. The number of people in the whole country is possibly fairly similar to the number of people in Greater London.

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