Business as usual

January 5, 2010

Yes, everything is fine. We still go to work, the tube/bus/train/plane are still taking us from A to B, schools are open, well everything is just like normal, it’s just a bit nippy and white.

At home it’s also just like normal. The flat is nice and warm. Central heating is of course working and I have water and electricity. The wires and pipes haven’t frozen as they are built in to the wall rather then flapping about outside the wall of the house. Clever you see.

If you want to be somewhere warm in our snow cowered country, you should travel to the west coast where it’s 1°C. That is the warmest place in Sweden right now.

Tomorrow it’s going to be -40°C in some parts of Sweden and we will still go to work.

Questions?

STO-LON

December 7, 2009

Tall, good looking, well educated, good job, dresses smart and with exquisite manners. No no it’s not the average Swedish man I’m describing, he is actually British.

I was just at my favourite bar having cranberry juice when I heard this voice which to me sounded like something godsend. Indeed it was Queen’s English I heard there and then in a trendy bar in Stockholm. My head turned to see where this lovely voice came from.

Bingo!

Mr double-barrelled surname was a head longer then everyone else when I saw him at the Embankment tube station, three weeks later. Straight from work he met me in a three-piece-suit, wig left at work. I didn’t mind.

While the rest of us only dress up at the occasional fancy dress party, England decides to make the stiff and serious atmosphere in a court room a bit more fun by wearing very small wigs and very large gowns.

Yes I do find this behaviour rather odd as last time I had a look it was 2009 and not 1609.

Anyhow, without his wig Mr double-barrelled surname whisked me away to an old pub where we had wine outside, and it made my frozen Scandinavian soul melt. I was standing outside zipping wine at the end of November. My coat wasn’t even done up. I could move back to London for this reason only.

By the next day it was like I was starring in a British romcom with Hugh Grant.

Sussex downs. The BMW parked next to a field belonging to the big Estate. The sun was shinning, me looking smart in brown boots and a green coat, with a big scarf wrapped around my neck. I was made to play this part. He looked casual with jeans, jumper and a down west. I was Cameron, he was Jude.

We walked down an ally in to the forest holding hands, dry autumn leaves rustling under our feet.

It was warm and sunny, and the country side was looking ever so beautiful in all its red and green colours when all of a sudden the sky became grey and heavy showers came down. We run and took shelter by a wall, had a kiss and then the sun came back again and a big rainbow appeared.

I would rent that movie!

Ps. Mr double-barrelled surname has mice in the kitchen of his Fulham house. Naturally.

In less then a week

November 12, 2009

• Boots (Tampax compact, Day Nurse, anaesthetic Strepsils) √
• Call for Indian take away from bed or sofa √
• Cath Kidston √
• Clapham (Friends) √
• Crabtree & Evelyn (Evelyn Rose Eau de Parfum) √
• Crisps (Prawn Cocktail)
• Eclipse (Drinks)
• Fulham (RHK) √
• Harvey Nichols (Bliss) √
• Hotel Chocolat √
• Jigsaw √
• Kings Road √
• Knightsbridge √
• M&S √
• Northcote Road √
• Paul Smith (socks etc) √
• Reiss √
• Ridgeview Wine √
• Selfridges
• Sloane Street √
• Starbucks √
• Wagamama (Edamame & Kare lomen)
• White Company

Occupation: Housewife

October 24, 2009

How I love to come home after work to an immaculate clean flat. It’s something very special to open the door and be welcomed by the lovely smell of cleanliness. And it’s a joy to open the wardrobe and see all the ironed clothes hanging on their hangers. Hats off to my cleaner!

I remember when I lived in England and once was filling in a form and one of the questions was about my occupation, there was a tick box for ’housewife’. How very 1950’s.

Housewives are an extinct species in Sweden. I know of one; my grandmother. She just turned ninety, bless her!

I had her job once when I was living in England. I of course held a 9-5 job as well but was expected to wash, clean and cook on my spare time whilst the boyfriend was out playing.

I won’t forget that time when I had forced him to cook dinner for me; he stood in the kitchen, looking very lost and asked me how to cook potatoes. I honestly wanted to punch him there and then, really hard.

Ones before we went to a wedding the hubby asked me to iron his shirt for him, and I of course said no. The lady friend we stayed at gave me a very shocking look. I’m sure she was appalled by my behaviour.

She ironed his shirt.

The Swedish man iron his own shirts, feed himself and takes six months pertinently leave whilst mummy brings in the dole.

Once again welcome to the world of today.

Hibernation

September 26, 2009

The brief I gave my Personal Shopper was to give me the classic British country look. And when I want to dress in tweed, dark green and burgundy it’s undoubtedly a sign autumn it’s on its way.

I no longer sleep with my window open at night, I’ve swopped for my thicker duvet, I want to have soup and home made bread for lunch and I’ve signed up for an Italian evening course.

Evening courses are also a reliable sign autumn is entering our lives here in Sweden. We tend to want to dance salsa and do pottery with strangers when it starts getting cold.

And the biggest change of all: I just want to sit inside and watch a film and that’s about it.

Long gone are the late summer nights when I stayed up until late. When I went out every day of the week, and still went to work the next day, without feeling tired. The sun, the light and all the good times have this effect on us Swedes.

But now all I want to do is to go to bed early and have a good night sleep. I’ve become boring. But so have the rest of the Swedish population.

Come September and we go into hibernation. It’s the force of nature. It’s the force of the very harsh Scandinavian nature.

We live in a country which is pitch black and freezing cold for about eight months of the year. Yes that’s right, eight months.

Its dark when we wake up, we plough our way through drifts of snow to work. It’s dark all day except for a few hours at lunch. That’s if you are lucky. If you live in the northern parts of Sweden its dark 24/7. Yep.

With this in mind you might understand our obsession for the sun. We need it. We need the light. I don’t know of any other country where doctors prescribe light therapy.

It might sound like a joke to dress all in white and sit in a white room with very bright light, but for some it’s necessary.

And when the first days of spring come, even though the temperature is still more towards zero then ten, we want to be outside. We feel alive for the first time in a very long time.

The sun it’s like a drug to us. We are so depended by it, we crave it. A bad summer could have damaging consequences on our lives.

I’ve had a great summer, with lots of sun, so I’m hoping I’ll make it thorough this winter. I nipped of to Italy for a few weeks just to be on the safe side.

Anyhow, I’m going to bed now and tend to stay there until May.

Good night!