Friday, December 30, 2011

Between The First And The Last

This year. Such a brilliant year. Could not have asked for more.
But I do.
At the end of a year that brought me more than I thought possible, I find myself dreaming bigger than ever.
And I wonder if it's greedy.
Or brave.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Of Comfort And Joy

I'm taking a blogging break over the next days and hope to see you again (as in really hope) after Christmas. Until then I wish you all a peaceful holiday. And some comfort and joy too. And eggnog. And warm feet.


PS. I'll still be on Instagram. 'Cause it's the law.

Mixed Feelings, Mixed Days

I opened the door and they ran right by me, laughing, screaming "We're going to watch tv!"
So they are. And I'm back to fretting over a work problem that I don't seem to be able to solve.
But we're all here. In the middle of the day. One fretting, one cooking, two watching.
And that is also Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Things I've pondered today:
What if I didn't work at all?
What if I only worked and did nothing else?
What if my feet were made for high heels?
What if Downton Abbey was on every day?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

For The Love Of Lisch

So. Work is a little crazy right now NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING, LORD, hence the meagre posting. But this I had to show you. Now, if by chance you are Canadian HELLO MY DEAR or American HELLO ELIZABETH you've probably already seen this, but if you're say British HELLO JO HELLO PINK SHOE or maybe even Suisse SALUT CHERE COUSINE or Danish FOR FANDEN JENNIE or idunno, Swedish? You might not have seen it. And then I feel it my duty to show you. See how pretty this is? Look at that fox in skinny boots! En garde! Now, I haven't read it yet, so can't promise anything in that department. Other than that it seems very promising. So, link here. And if anyone of you have read it, will you tell if you liked it? This post was brought to you by the society for WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE ENJOYING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNGSTERS BUT NOT TWILIGHT, where my dear friend Lisch is president. This seems to be a book right up her alley. Just look at these illustrations! Oh my.

Now back to work.

Oh, it gets even better. They're husband and wife.

And Jonathan Safran Foer likes it. So that's that.

Now back to work.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Night Is For Feeling The Love

I was feeling small. And this guy kept coming into the kitchen, talking about chicken and Pokemón. Stroking my arm while I made a salad, putting his arms around my waist and pretend-sighing over the fact that he could see my underwear between my jeans and my shirt. We talked and laughed and discussed the pros and cons of Fridays vs Regular days (agreeing on the Total Awesomeness of Friday night). I was feeling small and this tiny person was bigger than ever. Be still, my beating heart.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday Is For Thoughts Of No Importance

The cold came today, with promise of snow tomorrow, and Emi and I have been texting each other with fur reports all week. Today it was on, for both of us. Grraouur. The apples of August seem very far away.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Out Of Office

This morning Blanka spotted my old boss out the car window and suddenly asked "Mom, do you not have any work friends anymore?"
It's a good question.
And well put, since work friends are important in a way that colleagues are not.
So it felt good to be able to tell her that, yes, I do.
I don't see them everyday, like I used to.
And they don't know everything about me, like they used to.
But they are beginning to feel very much like friends.
And there are places where I'm starting to feel very much like home.
So, yes.
Out of office.
But not really an outsider.
I like it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snowflakes And Poodle

Nutcracker at the Royal Opera today and the kids surprised with a day off. ("Is it Saturday? Why are we still in bed? Can we watch tv?!") No photos (hence pictured egg sandwich above), but lovely anyway. Wilhelm fell asleep at the end and I had to constantly bribe Blanka with candy the last thirty minutes, but as a first I think it counted as a good one. Plus: Dancing snowflakes. In white tutus. And a live dog. Yep, it was a good one.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Last Week, You Say?

Last week we got stuck in flu-land (and I'm not sure they're planning on letting us go anytime soon). But with a little help from aspirin and friendly neighbours we still managed some baking and Instagramming. And a lot of whining (not thanks to friendly neighbours, no, that I can do all by myself).

Some giraffes were left too long in the oven, others didn't get enough sun, but we've eaten them all by now. All but one (see below).

I've still to go out and find me some green moss of the perfect shape and kind. Until then, these fellas are keeping the candles company. They live under constant threat though, the children aren't convinced they're not for eating.

When Sunday night fell and temperatures were still rising we said you know what and decided on McDonald's for dinner. Probably our best decision all week ('cause really, who bakes when they're sick? who does that?! it is dumb). This week I'll post everyday. Just to show you I'm back on track. Did I hear fake 'til you make it? Thanks for stopping by.

And don't forget Instagram! All the cool kids are doing it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Is For Making You Read Back Catalogue

Sometimes I forget that it's been less than a year. A year of life lived differently. I remember handing in my notice on October 2oth, and how I couldn't tell you about it but also could hardly breathe with excitement. And then I told you and you were brilliant about it, of course (thank you, all of you). I remember leaving the office just before Christmas, saying goodbye, a little surprised about how that goodbye turned out. And then, diving head first into the new way, the new me, the new everything, and feeling oh so good about it. Yes, it's been less than year. But what a less-than-a-year it's been. Thanks for being around for every twist and turn in the way. You are patient and kind.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hello Friday

W is sick. I'm having dinner with my cousins. We're all really tired. Christmas starts on Sunday. Talk to you tomorrow? Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


My dear friend Ebba called and we talked forever about the big things (crying at the office, epilepsy, vampires) and the not so big (laundry, IKEA, ambitions). Ebba said something brilliant about having dreams, and how they most of the time seem impossible to get around to, even just to get started:

"I like to think of it as knitting" she said (not that she knits). "It's like, you do a little bit today and then you might leave it for a while and then you pick it up again, knit a few rounds, put it down again, and all the while life goes on around you. And then one day you pick it up and, bam! A sweater!"

Bam. A sweater.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Night Lights

B had a temperature today, or rather last night, and we spent the day on the couch watching hours of tv. Richard Scarry and Charlie & Lola and Little Red Tractor and all kinds of animals: birds, sheep, pigs, dinos, you name it. (Take a moment to consider the sheer amount of animals in childrens literature and tv. It's crazy. Like Noah's Ark at the zoo.) When night fell I was actually relieved to go to school for a meeting with the PTA (not really the PTA, we don't have that here, but it's the only word I can think of. Which makes me think of Dolly, darling Dolly, and Harper Valley PTA, such a great song. Oh, I digress.) Anyway, meeting was good and now I'm back at home, enjoying my 21th century Ingalls family evening (fire burning, children snoring upstairs, tea at hand, husband stroking his beard, apples in store, computer in lap). Best there is.

I've been stuck in Instagram since Thursday, it really is quite addictive. And I'm getting better (less awful). Join me if you can stand it.

It's getting late and I just wanted to stop by. I know what I want for Christmas, by the way. A book, a fox, a pair of earrings. Will get back with details. Do you have a wish list, or do you consider yourself too... something? J and I tried a "only gifts for the children" Christmas a couple of years ago, and it was evident within three seconds of me spotting the tree and realizing NOTHING UNDER THERE IS FOR ME that we're not doing that again. No, let there be gifts. Let there be wrapping paper and tissue and a kiss or two when noone's looking. Even Caroline Ingalls wouldn't mind, I'm sure.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Couldn't Live With All The Brown

This is also a bad photo, but at least it's possible to decipher what's pictured. Less brown. So I'm signing out with this instead. And with a quote of the day and a link. Here goes:

Wilhelm wanted to talk about "You know, eh, that word, you know... You know, what it's called when you put the baby inside the woman? That word?" And when I didn't answer immediately he looked at me incredulously, raised his eyebrows and sighed: "Ooooh, mom, you KNOW you've done it!" I give to you my son, Chandler Bing.

And the link. You see, I could embed this, but my Swedish readers (all two of them) would find me incredibly not-cool, since this is old news. Real old. Like three weeks or summat (that's my Emmerdale impersonation, never mind). But I know for a fact that someone very dear to me has a daughter who's a Robyn fan. And I'm thinking that she has probably not seen this version of Call your girlfriend, performed by three Swedish girls singing in harmony and drumming on (empty) cottage cheese containers. It's pretty fantastic. But you know, a bit old.

Ok, that's all folks. Night.

So Not A Good Way To Announce This

But I'm throwing caution – and more importantly this really lousy photo – to the wind to let you know that I'm now on Instagram. And if you'd like to you can follow me there. I'm annaander (clever, huh). I'm hoping my skills will improve (vastly) so the whole sharing thing will be less embarrassing. Ok. Bye. Thanks for putting up with me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dear Husband

This is a trifle.
Never to be confused with tripe.

Sorry, forgot: I did not take this photo. Nor do I know who did. Sorry, unknown trifle master.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hi From Sunday Night

This weekend we did better. Last one we nearly died of overload, but we live and we learn. This one much improved. We realized a couple of years ago that what we need when Friday comes is No Plans. But last weekend was Wilhelm's eighth birthday so No Plans, not so much. Sunday night found us like beached whales on the couch, too tired to even turn on the tv or make a decent cup of tea. (And we were no beauties Monday morning either.) Tonight much better. So, a bit of random before I stuff myself with the last of the seasalt chocolate:

PanAm (the series). Boring, to start with. I mean, really boring. And stupid in a way that I didn't think tv was stupid anymore. The "ugly" girl is a redhead? The blonde sister is naïve? Seriously? And Christina Ricci's so skinny it makes me want to cry.

Rick Perry (Republican candidate). Oh wow. Need I say more? There's hope for Obama yet.

November (the month). Rushing by. Incredibly fast and incredibly warm (both of these things make J very happy, me not so much).

Bolognese (king of food). Tonights was lamb and pork (from left over salsiccias). Holy macaroni, even my mother-in-law was blown away (and she's more into "traditional" food).

Church (place of worship). Went today for the first time in long. The choir sang Duke Ellington and all was good. So glad to be there.

Father's day (today). We made J a pancake-cake and brought him breakfast in bed. I called my father and sang him a homemade song and talked about butchering (literally). They were equally pleased.

Good night, dear you. I hope you had a good one. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lost For Words

Ok, almost lost for words. But seriously.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not For Realz (But For A Minute)

There's a part of me who wants to live somewhere else. Somewhere greener and quieter. Surrounded by mountains or at the border of the sea, on a green hill or in the middle of great big field. I imagine our life there as simple and beautiful. Polished wooden floors, chickens and chestnuts. Warm in the summer, cold in winter, exploring the seasons together. I probably knit. And ride horses (with red hair blowing in the wind). There's a creek close by and the children get wet all the time and have to hang their socks to dry in front of the fireplace. At this part of my fantasy I usually get back to my senses (you'd think that the hair blowing would do it, but no). When you look around and realize your stuck in Enid Blyton-land it's time to get moving.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things You Didn't Know

Turns out Ginny Weasley's mother is none other than Laura Linney! Who would've thunk it.
(Thanks to Hank for helping me turn two photos into one, this is so not my field of wizardry.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Trust In The Kindness Of Strangers (Not Necessarily Family)

My grandmother yesterday, while looking at photos from this summer:

"Oh, Anna! Your daughter is turning into something alarmingly pretty! She is just beautiful that little one, just beautiful! Such features on a fouryearold, it's amazing. And Wilhelm. Well, he looks just like you."

This is even more funny if you know my grandmother, who's always had a thing for beauty and once stopped me in the middle of a deparment store, right in front of the escalators, to apply concealer to a spot on my chin. I was eleven. Nearly died of shame.

Oh The Love

The holy moly ramma lamma ding dong love.
I cried the other day. Over dreams that never amounted to anything. Dreams that died of fear and insecurities and notknowingbetter. I cried because somehow I've taught myself that I'm a quitter. A lazy quitter.
When the truth is this:
The big one.
My one big dream, the really huge one, my only true wish, you know the one, that one, the one.
I never gave up on that. I never settled. I never made do.
I went for it all the way.
I went for it all the way.
Oh. The love.
Turns out I'm no quitter.
I'm a go getter.
Here I come!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Working late, folding laundry, eating egg sandwiches.
Yes, November, you've made your point.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

And It Was Plain To See

It's a good thing, knowing where your heart is.

There was a time when it wasn't so easy, when I kept wondering where I'd put it.
Like a pair of gloves left on the bus, or the keys to your house hiding in the wrong jacket.
I'd search a little and move on, hoping that it would turn up.
Hoping it wouldn't be at some place really bad.
Hoping that my carelessness wouldn't break it in half or scratch it, mark it.
Make me lose it.
But it was ok.
In the end it turned up.
Pretty much where I'd left it the first time.

It's a good thing, knowing where your heart is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All Work, All Play

It's a busy week. The good kind of busy.
Such a good feeling, working when it's not feeling like work.
I wish there was a way of applying this to my running.
Run run run, I guess that's pretty much the only way to do it.
Maybe tomorrow.
If there's not too much work.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Reach Out And Touch Faith

I spent the weekend singing.
It changed pretty much everything.
Now, can I please go to sleep for a week?
This whole baring-your-soul-thing is exhausting.
Eva, Marith, Stella, Tove, Linnéa, Maria, Åsa, Kristina, Annicka, Elin, thank you.
Thank you forever and ever.
You changed pretty much everything.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Have A Good One

It's Friday night and the fire is lit and dinner is finished.
We are watching a little tv, some of us, and drinking our coffee
and enjoying the quiet, some of us.
Wilhelm wanted something to drink and Blanka just surprised him
with lukewarm tapwater. In a sippy cup.
To each his own.
It's Friday night and we are tired and it's raining and it's perfect.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Twelve On Tuesday

Picked W up too early from school, forgot all about art club (sorry, miss Liselotte!).
Wrote something really good.
Let J read it without embarrassment.
Made it to bookclub (had some excellent chocolate as well).
Worked hard at pilates. Still fell down from the damn ball.
Enjoyed it just the same.
Read to the kids while they were drawing.
That's drawing and reading in front of the fireplace
. Major Laura Ingalls moment.
Thought about Christmas.
Thought about Wilhelm's birthday.
Thought about calling grandma.
Decided it was time for something else (can't remember what now, so I think we can safely say that that "something" was nothing more than me procrastinating).

Still, it was a good one. Thanks and goodnight.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello From Over The Hill

I'm feeling very homestead-y these days. Very Laura Ingalls (or Caroline, more like it). It's the change of season and all the getting ready, I think. I'm stocking up on things to do when the weather's making us stay inside. Card games, glue that actually works, new pens. I'm filling the shelves with applesauce and cider, with jars of dried mushrooms, with gazillion boxes of Barilla pasta. We live five minutes from the supermarket, so the need to stock up has nothing to do with logic or even sense. I just like to do it. Wrapping apples in newspaper, so they'll last until Christmas. Buying a whole lot of potatoes, just to make sure we don't run out. I know. I sound so boring, it's amazing I have any friends at all. But here's the thing. I've always been like this. Always. I was the same at seventeen and at twentyfive. The difference is, I just don't feel the need to hide it anymore. Yeah, it's good to be a little bit older. Especially for a sixtyfive year old bird like meself.

(And since having kids I can consistently blame my flee market finds – a scale! for playing store! a cardboard game! four old books! – on them. They help a lot with making me seem like a normal person. Thanks, you guys!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hot Chocolate Instagram

The cold came this morning. The first frost this weekend. Lists have been made, with some things crossed off and others waiting to happen. We're getting ready. The last two winters have been fairytale winters, if you're feeling that way, or nightmarish, if you're leaning towards the other. Starting early, lasting long, masses of snow, temperatures dropping to Russian levels. So this year we're getting ready. Gearing up. Making the lists. And I can't help but wonder, will this be the year when we have nothing but darkness and rain for four months? Oh well. We'll know soon enough.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And Then A Hero Comes Along

Yes hello, this is me doing my "It comes very natural to me, being both serene and fabulous while looking into the great unknown accompanied by this snow leopard" look. All for the benefit of my reader(s). Enjoy!

Yes, well, sorry about the Whitney Houston. No wait, let me rephrase that (why should anyone ever be sorry about Whitney Houston? Sorry for, maybe, but's that's another blog post entirely). Let's start over. Sorry about the cheesy headline (yes, much more appropriate), but MAN did pinkshoeknits save the day today. Man! You see, I had just given up. I was just about to finish this thing up and then BAM! New and appreciative reader appears as if sent from above. Deus ex machina! (This little piece of Latin is for my beloved Ansjo, who enjoys a literary high school reference once in a while. Not that she ever reads this blog, but I digress.) Anyway. There I was, feeling sorry for myself and the fact that my humongous literary talent (not to mention the very artsy iPhone photos) (iPhone 4 that is, as you probably can tell, even sadder, huh?) is all but being ignored by the masses and thinking that enough is enough and let's call it a bloody day already. And then BAM (as previously stated), there she was. BAM BAM BAM. And so here I am. Back and back and back and you can't stop me and I will NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT. God, you hate her now, don't you? Poor pinkshoeknits. But I love her! I will always love her! I will be saving all my love for her! It will be the greatest love of all! Oh, I wanna dance with somebody! No, seriously, I do.

Just realized that if "Then a hero comes along" isn't a Whitney Houston song, this post pretty much lose all the "fun". Especially the discography of the last sentences above. Oh well, can't be helped. My love is your love and so on.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

As Previously Stated PART 2

You can't really tell from this picture, but this day the waves were big and came crashing in with a magnificent thunder and we jumped and surfed and jumped and surfed and laughed so hard we almost couldn't breathe.

Oh, and there were sheep and chickens and a few cows in the olive grove right behind the hotel. And kittens. Yep. That place had it all.

Everyday held at least an hour of this. Siesta. Magic word, magic time.

Vue Panoramique Obligatoire. Am tourist. Will shoot from balcony.

The weather took a turn for the worse on our last day, but we didn't mind. It made for interesting light.

And it didn't stop us from swimming. Yes, we swim now.

Goodbye Crete! It was lovely. Hope to see you again.

Our Greek Week In 12 Really Bad And Very Touristy Photos PART 1

The inflight entertainment: One Nintendo, one hedgehog. Oh, and Wilhelm got to shake the captain's hand before takeoff. The hedehog hoarder was more into folding her tray up and down.

From plane to pool, where we spent most of our Greek week. This is the only photo I can show you though, since Blanka sported nothing more than her birthday suit for most of the time and I simply cannot expose you to our Swedish indecency like that.

The kids made friends in like two minutes and (thank you, Lord) the friends' had very nice parents who took all sorts of good care of me. Thank you, Lisa and Johan!

Please don't fall into the abyss, child of mine. Your father will be most upset with me.
Oh, how I wish that I could show you the beach and the waves and all. But all photos contain naked Swedish children, and half of them aren't even my own, so no. You'll have to picture the sand and the little crabs and the shells all by yourself.

It was a very good week. A brilliant week. The iPhone photos taken in 34°C heat and blaring sunlight don't do Crete any justice at all. But trust me, it was good. Ok, stay tuned for part 2 of Our Greek Week In 13 Really Bad And Very Touristy Photos!