Monday, 27 May 2013

Question 7: How did you end up where you live now?

This is the view from The Attic where I live right now. How did I end up here? Would you like to hear the short or the long story?
Question 7 wasn't an easy question. Sometimes I had to limit my question from country to city to flat/house. It would take up too much space publishing all the answers; besides it would be hard for the project people to remain anonymous. 
What surprised me though was that a lot of the people had ended up in their current location because of love. People hade either moved somewhere because of a partner, moved in with a partner or had wanted to get away from a partner. The second most popular reason for ending up somewhere was university studies or other studies. Other reasons were work, money, homesickness, a longing for nature and a desire to have a place of one's own.
Yesterday, I reluctantly changed my "current location" on Facebook from Brighton to Gothenburg (Göteborg). I still find it hard to accept that I actually don't live in England at the moment. It's not like I've made a final decision, but I'll stay in Sweden at least until January. So how did I end up here then?
Short story: Midlife crisis ("30-year-old-crisis" in Swedish)
Long story: I did a project that involved staying with 30 different people (15 in England and 15 in Sweden) during 30 weeks and I asked each person 30 question, hoping that their answers would help me work out what to do with my own life. One of the things that I worked out was that I wanted to try university studies. And when you just want to try something it's a big advantage when education is free which is the case in Sweden. Of all the places I visited in Sweden I liked Umeå (in the North) and Gothenburg (on the West coast) best. The reason I chose the later was mainly due to the location. Closer to home. Both to Brighton and to the forests of my hometown. The reasons for ending up in The Attic are private.

This study is by no means scientific, the answers are based on interviewing 15 people in England and 15 people in Sweden, age 22-59. Look out for the next question: How settled do you feel in your country/town/neighbourhood/flat or house?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Question 6c: What's Your Favourite Word or Expression?

I asked all the people I stayed with during Swenglish if they had a favourite word or expression. There's a big difference between a word and an expression because an expression can sometimes also work as a motto, but most people chose to answer with just one word. And some people didn't have an answer. I've chosen to keep the Swedish words in, very useful words to know if you ever plan on visiting Sweden!
Panoply, Ruffle (" I like the sound of them.")
Bof! (French. "I like things you can’t translate. The French communicate a lot without speaking, with sounds and shrugs .” )
Silver (”In a poem I have to be careful to put it in, so I don’t always use it.”)
Think less, do more. (“ Although I think a lot, keeping busy has been really good for me.” )
Chthonic (From Greek mythology = of or relating to the underworld    )
You live and learn, but in my case you live.
Swirlingly (The person who said this word thinks she has invented it herself.)
Amazing (“And Awesome, but that's a Kiwi-thing.”)
It’s like Picadilly Circus in here.
Heirloom ("It sounds so nice, a word in its own right, it’s not part of any expression.”)
”Apparently the fave word of Brits is Serendipity, but I'd say ’Somewhat’ – I'd rather that be my favourite word.’

D’accord (”Okay” or agreeing to something in French.)
Verkligen, Väldigt (= Really, Very. ”When I write school stuff I want to add words that aren't very suitable for academic writing …”)

Nu knullar det i munnen. (= Now it's fucking in the mouth. Said about very tasty food.)
Neo (”The name of my cousin's child. At the moment I notice people's names. If you've got a name you've got an identity.")
Amazing, Laila tov (= Goodnight in Hebrew.)
He (= Put, a word from the North of Sweden.)
Fantastiskt, Enastående Ljuvligt (= Fantastic, Astonishing, Lovely. ”I use a lot of expletives, for example ’det var helt sinnessjukt’ = 'that was totally insane". That's part of how I express myself.”)
Horisont (= Horizon ”I find it so pretty, unattainable, but still new ... Well, I don't know, I'm just talking bullshit.”)
Merde (”Fuck it” in French.)
Fair enough (”As my English teacher used to say all the time.”)
Vidrig (= Obnoxious, Disgusting. ”Then it's really bad. I saw that someone described some food as "vidrig", but if you use it too much it loses its meaning.”)
Det ordnar sig alltid. Allt löser sig. (= It will always work out. Everything will work out.)
Rövelen! (Untranslateable! Something you say when you're angry, but with a sense of humour)
Kanon! (= Great! it does not mean cannon!)
I find it exciting that some of the participants choose French words or other words that weren't their mother-tongue. Some people picked words because of the meaning, others because they liked the sound of them. I like words beginning with v: verkligen (=really), viadukt (=viaduct), vemod (= sadness, melancholy). And I actually really like the word really. What's your favourite word or expression?
This study is by no means scientific, the answers are based on interviewing 15 people in England and 15 fifteen people in Sweden, age 22-59. Look out for the next question: How did you end up where you live now?

Monday, 6 May 2013

Spring Flowers and Spring Scream

I haven't spent spring in Sweden for the past ten years.
I've really missed hepatica/liverleaf, wood anemones and  coltsfoot
One Swedish person I stayed with during Swenglish, who had lived abroad for many years, moved back home because she missed "her stone and her water"
and that's a bit what I felt, even though you can't own a flower.
You can find wood anemones and coltsfoot in England too,
but as I spent most of my time in the city, I never came across them.
Now I'm out in the forest picking flowers every other day.
In Småland you're allowed to pick the hepaticas/liverleaf, but in some areas of Sweden they are protected.

And after I'd watched one of my favourite films  Ronia - The Robber's Daughter 
I felt inspired to do a spring scream
- dressed up as Pippi Longstocking!