Friday, January 30, 2009

Hey Babygirl

You are the best surprise I ever got. We had no idea that ours would be a family of four, but I guess you had just made up your mind. I’m so very grateful. It seems that sometimes the best decisions are the ones you never make.

We named you Blanka. Maybe it was me trying to compensate my first acknowledgement of your presence with a royal name. (I’m still very sorry about the ”Oh, hell!”, but you did take me by surprise.) We also named you Susanna, after your godmother, my mother and her grandmother. Should you ever doubt your own way, take your cue from them and you’ll be alright. You’re in good company.

At your Christening Mei-Li sang The World’s Greatest, while Gunnar played the guitar and everyone cried their eyes out. We wanted to give you all the strength and confidence the lyrics hold. Being a girl in this world, you’re going to need it.

I look at you and I see more than I ever thought possible. You are so beautiful, so strong, so happy. I never dared to dream about you, but you found me anyway. Happy second birthday, babygirl. You and I, we’re in it for the long run.

And of course, Leo thinks the world of you.

Another One Bites The Dust

So. The Wire. Well, it's not Aaron Sorkin. No Leo, no walkingandtalking, no Bradley Whitford, no women of Qumar. But it is good! We watched the first episode reluctantly and felt very Don't believe the hype-ish. Everyone's been saying how brilliant it is, and you know that lovely feeling when everyone is wrong? I almost wanted it to be bad. The first episode wasn't promising. But we figured we had to watch at least three before we quit. The second episode had us smiling at some of D'Angelo's courtyard wisdom. And by the third we were hooked. We've just started season 2 and long for the kids to go to sleep every night for our daily fix.

I love Bubbles and have a hard time with him being back on the dope. I'm still very upset they shot Wallace and keep worrying about the kids that stayed with him. I love Kima. I have a serious thing for Stringer Bell, but who can blame me. I enjoy the new guys too, even if my heart is still in the projects.

I wonder if Leo would like The Wire? He is by definition a Sorkin man, but still. I think he could enjoy the politics and the cynicism. And McNulty's redhead prosecutor, he'd definitely enjoy her. But maybe his patriotic heart would be hurt. The Wire doesn't paint a pretty picture of America, no siree. But I'm hooked.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

La Vida Buena

This was the last time Blanka flew without a seat of her own, and I don't know who'll be happier the next time, me or the person in front of me whose hair she kept grabbing.

Luckily, the inflight entertainment was very good. Nothing like a sock-on-ear-elephant to cheer things up.

The local cuisine was no big thrill, but Wilhelm was very excited. He actually got to eat fries every day for a whole week. He just couldn't believe his luck. The masterpiece above is a sandwich of his own making ("FRIES and BACON on TOAST! I call it a Wilhelm sandwich".) He's showing some serious Brit tendencies, I blame his godmother.

But with this much attitude at 5, he'll probably be alright for the long run. Even on his Las Palmas diet.

It was very pretty. And ocean-y. And lovely.

And for a bunch of sun deprived Swedes, making shadow dinofingers was highly entertaining.

It's a fact that my husband is at his happiest while having bad coffee in a Spanish bar (it dates back to his Sturm und Drang days in Madrid). And I love that look he gets, talking football with the patrón, munching on some non-descript ham and stale bread, smoking, scratching his two day-stubble. Travels are good.

It was in fact a very good week.

But I missed Leo terribly!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dreams Of My Father

My father has a big heart. Last week he took his family on holiday to give us all a bit of sun and sea in the darkest and rainiest of January's. He choose the destination carefully, not wanting his grandchildren to have to endure too long a flight. He booked a vegetarian meal for me on the plane. He took all of our convieniences and desires in concern. And I think he dreamed of having the time of his life, turning 60 in the heart of the family, the sun on his face, my mother in his hand, a bottle of cava and a spicy chorizo on the table.

And then we started getting sick. Blanka first. Then my father, on his birthday, my sister, my mother, my husband, Wilhelm. We tried to cheer each other up, but for the first couple of days the icing on the cake just wasn't there. I said "Such a shame" about a million times. But Dad just kept on smiling. We had terrible coffee and he claimed his to be excellent. He took the kids for a walk on the beach so I could get some sleep. He found a sausage the Blanka loved when she hadn't eaten in two days. When the rest of us were nothing but sick and tired, he just went on being Dad. My father is a great man. And he has a great big heart.

Leo would have been impressed.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I'm taking Howard Jones and the rest of the family on holiday tomorrow. This place will be quiet for a week or so. But it would make me very happy to see you here again after that.

Leo is also on leave, he said something about checking up on the women of Qumar.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What Did I Do

I've cut my son's hair. I couldn't wait for a professional like normal people do, no, I had to do it myself. I'm an idiot. My baby looks like Howard Jones. Or rather, a mix of Howard Jones and the Hitlerjugend. Gone are his curls, his surfer look, his rock'n'roll shakermaker-do. Enter 80's synth pop look. Thank God he has good hair to begin with. Good hair is at least more forgiving. Hopefully, so is my son.

What Would Leo Do, having by his own hand turned Mallory into something very unfamiliar and... dated, to say the least? Shrug? Take no notice? Maybe he'd be like my father, who's first reaction was "Excellent! Then he won't get stuck in the drill again!" (They like to build things together, and Dad has always felt that Wilhelm's hair is something of a security breach.) Very practical men, both Leo and my father. I'll try to see things from their horizon tomorrow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Teenage Flashback

I made my husband kiss me sixteen times at StEriksplan metro station (he's a reluctant public kisser). And when I came back to work my chin and nose were all red and scratchy. I burst out laughing when I saw myself in the elevator mirror. The perfect flashback to the making-out-when-you're-not-supposed-to-and-then-trying-to-look-innocent-look of my teenage years. Ah, sweet memories.

Leo thinks I'm being awfully girly today. He does not approve. So tomorrow I'll be all Gaza and Lehman Brothers on you.

PS. Yes, that's EXACTLY what we looked like.

If I Were A Boy

"...I'd roll out of bed in the morning, and throw on what I wanted and go."

Beyonce Knowles might just be the smartest person in the world. I spent my morning ironing a not-pretty shirt and obsessing over my too comfortable jeans.

Leo is a boy. He doesn't see my point.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Say Hello To The Little Bread

My beloved started baking over Christmas. He is after all 35 years old, living in central Stockholm and working in media, so I pretty much knew it would happen. But still. I had no idea how good it would be!

Last night (after beginning the whole sourdough process early on Saturday) he made these. I've had four sandwiches so far today. If he keeps it up there's going to be a whole lot more of me to love. But such a happy me!

My darling, you are all a girl could possibly want.

Leo feels the same.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dear Aaron Sorkin

What happened? It was so good, it was everything I ever dreamed of. We laughed, we cried, we saluted you and your genius. I fell in love with Matt, with Danny, with Jordan and Harriet, even with Jack. And I spent hours agonizing over the fact that there was only one season, that when we would finish our shiny box set of dvd's, that would be it. No more.

For fifteen episodes you had me by the hand. I was your puppet, your kitten, your Donna Moss. And then you what? You give me "The Disaster Show"?! What happened? It was a really, really, really bad episode. And from that, even though you did pick it up at the end, nothing was the same. We googled ourselves crazy, hoping to find proof that you didn't write this, that it had something to do with that screenwriter strike. Anything. But to this day, no such proof has been found. I'm so very disappointed.

And Leo is devastated, needless to say.

(That said, I have to tell you this: Those first episodes? Pure indulgence. Bliss. Writeorama. So good I had freaking goosebumps. Thank you.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Picture Perfect

Thankyou Vanity Fair, for giving us the best of 2008. And congrats Emilove and Alex on Twilfit! (In Swedish.)

Wilhelm is throwing up all over the couch, have to go.

Leo would call house cleaning.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fashion Question Of The Day

With the weather we've had lately, the following question has been on my mind. Now I turn to you, fashion oriented readers, for an answer:

Do you work with the weather or against it? Do you adjust your look to work in the cold or do you say Bugger off! to hats and ugly boots and wear your usual gear?

I'd really like to know.

Leo would neither work with nor against the climate. He doesn't give a damn. He puts on his suit and that's it. But then again, the man doesn't spend too much time outdoors.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Photos Pour Hélène

(I know this is getting boring, but bear with me. These will be the last pictures of snowy Stockholm for a while. Chère cousine, c'est seulement pour toi.) Anyway: It was yet another beautiful day in the North and I headed out to the Japanese baths at Hasseludden.

My means of transportation. With very friendly captain.

I jumped off here and had a vision of us living in that green house overlooking the bay. Taking the boat to the office every morning, teaching the children how to swim, sitting on that bench watching the seagulls. But with us being far from billionaires, I guess not.

I spent the day indoors, soaking in the hot spring and eating sushi (not enough though, I was hungry the whole time). And when I went out six hours later, this is what greeted me. Hello snow. Hello freaking blizzard!

As I waited for the boat to come rescue me I felt very small. The darkness was like darkness in a John Ajvide Lindqvist novel. It seemed hungry.

I put on my brave face, but the dark would not be fooled. The wind was getting a piece of me, the snow sniffing it's way into my jacket. (Thanks to Igor Sport and Emilove I was never cold.)

When my friendly captain suddenly emerged I wanted to kiss him and his boat. I jumped on board like a happy mountain goat, giddy with relief. Darkness is not for me.

What would Leo do, being stranded on a desert island in a blizzard? Smoke? Maybe he'd call Potus for a little company.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Greetings From Stockholm

I haven't been this cold in years, but it's hard not to love the place when the streets suddenly look like an ancient postcard.

Blanka won't fall asleep in the stroller anymore, she keeps crying "cold! cold!", and who can blame her. But it is pretty.

It doesn't even look like home anymore! We could be in St Petersburg! All this bridge is missing is Anna Karenina flying by in fur coats and desperation.

These boats on the other hand, won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Thanks for being lovely, dear capital of mine. But tomorrow I think I'll stay indoors. As a matter of fact, I'll be in Japan.

Leo will come with me, of course.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hello 2009

Dear New Year, welcome! I've been looking forward to seeing you. And I must say, despite the financial crisis and baby Stellan's chicken pox, you're looking good indeed. You started off sunny and lazy, with continued baking extravaganza and dear friends. For this I thank you. It's lovely of you to go easy on us all on this first day.

Leo would be very happy to see you too, but alas.