I'm off to my cousin's wedding tomorrow, flying to Lausanne toute seule (if you count an airplane full of relatives as being all alone) and hoping to rub a little shoulder with the glitterati. A wedding in Switzerland has a certain "Lifestyles of the rich and famous" ring to it, I think. One can always hope it rubs off.
Back with full report on Monday. Keep an eye on Leo for me.
(The painting is actually called "Before the wedding". Very sad. Is the old man going to lend her his handkerchief or strangle her with it? One wonders about art.)
We have neighbours. It's a new thing. When you live in an apartment you pretty much live in your neighbour's lap, but still there's not much interaction. In the House it's very different. We have neighbours to the left and to the right and right across and from afar. And we meet and greet and exchange pleasantries more or less daily. And they are all so nice! So friendly, so kind, so funny. And we feel so lucky, having heard many stories of the terror of Suburbia.
But here's the thing. Everyone, from dearest friends to parents to co-workers, says the same thing: You don't want to be too friendly. Not get too involved. You'll soon get tired of them. You don't want to have their children running around all over your house.
And when we reply that maybe we do, if not all the time, they all look at us like we're the biggest fools on this planet.
Yesterday the kids and I ended up next door. The sun was shining, the kids were playing and there was blueberry/coconut (no, it was good!) cake and coffee. I was happy. It was lovely. And I kept wondering if maybe, somehow, I have turned into the most naïve person on earth.
So now I need to know, is this a Swedish thing? The whole don't-get-too-close-approach? Because I'm having a hard time listening to the voice of reason here.
Leo is with me on this one. But he is American. Does that explain it all, or am I taking the easy way out? Let me know what you're thinking.
Sorry, this is my last Wire post, I promise. But holy macaroni, things are really getting out of hand in Baltimore! We have one episode left, then I'm back to writing about the beauty of spring or something cute the kids said. But Jesus, Mary and Joseph, this is brilliant tv. I'm falling off the couch in anticipation. And crying my eyes out.
Omar is dead. We have six episodes left of The Wire and Omar is dead. About five minutes before he got shot, I turned to Jesper and said "I love how Omar is eternal, how Omar Little cannot die. He has that otherwordly thing going for him. It's brilliant." Bla bla bla, idiot.
I feel bereft. It's almost like when Leo had his second heart attack.
Though Leo doesn't think so, of course. Being a Sorkin man, he doesn't relate easily to other characters.
A package in the mail! With foreign stamps and the box for "gift" ticked off! Such a great way of ending the day, coming home way too late to find my Springtime Swap gift from Pamela waiting on the counter.
And when I opened it... HOORAY! There were Reece's Peanutbutter Cups (the best thing on earth, unfortunately not available in this harsh climate), a rabbit holding a tiny drawstring bag with the most beautiful earrings, chocolate coins for the kids, a very sweet note, cute bunny stickers and napkins. A veritable gift extravaganza!
The earrings are so pretty. I'd show you how they look on, if not Mary had been so clear about not liking the dress I was wearing, that we laughed too hard to take a good photo. I'll get back to you on that one. But they are. Very much so. (And the dress too, but that's another story.)
And the kids, who woke up to this sight, think the world of Pamela. "They're chocolate? For us? Before breakfast?!" And so do I. Thank you, new friend! I loved it all.
I think Leo could enjoy the idea of swapping gifts with strangers. Not that he would participate himself, but the whole thing has a UN quality to it that he'd appreciate.
We are now house people. I know this because yesterday I pondered the possibilities of buying some kind of fleece garment for cold nights on the porch. We are so definitely House. It's not so much a transition as a total transformation, but a good one. In the words of Madonna, everything feels shiny and new. Raking leaves, having cold feet, running out of hot water, commuting. All shiny and new. I love it. And true friends have not forgotten us. Or my birthday! Thank you so very much. I felt like Hollywood royalty.
Easter was celebrated in the name of food. Cheers! (And no, that's not Wilhelm drinking wine, with his mother's arm protruding from his head, it's an optical illusion known as really bad photography.)
The new house has turned me schizophrenic. I walk around in the kitchen, "Hmm, I wonder where they keep the toaster?" It's not a pretty sight.
But, oh, New House, how I love thee! Wilhelm picked all the flowers in the garden on his way to pre-school. The kids are like newly released prisoners, in awe of everything, eating dirt, ripping up flower beds, talking like crazy to strangers.
And it's my birthday.
What Would Leo Do? With a house in transition and not a ballgown in sight and a loving family all going a little crazy? He would postpone his birthday. So that's what I have done. My birthday will be on Saturday instead. Do come by!
Come Sunday it's football season première over here. As always I greet this day with mixed feelings. I think anyone who belongs to a family where football is important can relate to that, so I'm not going to go on about it. Today I just want to be misty-eyed and happy and enjoy this very serious tribute that our team has made for their fans. Poetry in motion. Forza Gnaget! And that's the first and the last you'll here from me on the subject.
Leo isn't big on football. He insists on calling it "soccer" to start with, and that's never a good way to start a conversation on this continent. No, he's more of a chess man, and a good thing for his president that was.
Wilhelm calls me from Midsomer, where he and his sister are spending quality time with the grandparents (and saving us from nervous breakdowns during the moving project). It's lambing time. He's a city kid:
– It's really disgusting on Gudrun in the back. – Sorry, on who? In what? – Gudrun, she is a sheep, and it's really disgusting. It's coming out of her. In the back. – Ah. – It's sort of like blood. And the bag. – The bag? – The bag the lambs come in. – Ah. – I'm telling you, it was like uuuuaaaaghhhh. So gross! – Ah. – It's SO nice here, mom!
Now, there's a reason this post carries no photo. Leo would be queasy. So would some of you.