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Aug. 3rd, 2008

Happy

Join Facebook Instead

Sorry for the absence of blog entrys. Feeling to lazy to do anything so I'm going to stop posting entries on this. if anyone wants to know what I'm doing they can check out my banal Facebook messages instead..

Bye-bye

Jun. 19th, 2008

Happy

Exams over, time to renovate

Hello too all those people who are still checking this after a long period of silence.

I'm now back in Sweden after a busy 2 weeks of exams in London. Oh how I missed that feeling of exam time. Anyhoo all finished for now, although I don't find out about results until August so you never no.

In the last week I've managed to rip out 90% of the old kitchen which was lots of fun. Unfortunately I now need to build a new one. Luckily I have some help from Anna and her sister Ida which is very good as I've discovered that I can't plaster a wall to save myself. Luckily Ida is very good at this so I'll only need to sand it a little bit and then paint it (things I'm all to familiar with after earlier rooms in the flat).

Other things of note is that the whole country is slightly depressed as Sweden lost to Russia in the European Cup yesterday. I think it is as much as they loist to Russia as that they won't get to the quater finals.

Apr. 25th, 2008

Happy

Busy studying

Sorry that I've been very lazy with the blog but I'm having to study rather a lot at the moment. I'll explain.

My swedish teachers have decided that I'm learning swedish quickly enough to move up a level. Very nice. But this means I now only have 7 weeks to learn the whole next level before the exams. Possible but slightly less so as I also have exams for the public health course in 6 weeks. But no fear I will succeed as otherwise my whole life will be in vain and I will be a failure. Not really but there is still a bit of that mentality going on. If all goes well there will be a benefit as I can begin to work as a doctor over here much sooner.

So take care, all is well here and I'll be back in touch when I need to procrastinate a bit more.

Mar. 20th, 2008

Happy

Biking in Norrköping

One of the lovely things I've rediscovered since moving to Sweden is the joy of mountain biking. Previously this has meant big hills on nice dry trails but now it means small hills covered in rocks, tree roots and the most mud I've seen since walking in Tasmania. As the winter this year has been pretty disappointing in terms of severe cold, the mud has persisted on the trails most of the time, leaving me looking like this at the end:

and just in case you can't see a thing, because to be honest I'm struggling, here's another one from the same day:
No that's not some mysterious disease, just 100% Norrköping mud.

I was particularly excited yesterday when there was a significant amount of snow lying around - time to try snow biking. Unfortunately it wasn't that cold so the mud persisted but the trail was nice a snowy for the most part:

I've read a fair bit of a very interesting blog about riding in the snow (in Alaska) recently so I was determined to have a good time. I struggled. The snow simply made steering even more difficult and when combined with the inevitable mud made my beautiful bike clog up with even more gunk than normal. As for braking, forget it. The best way of stopping was to ride to the side of the trail and be stopped by the snow drift. I think I brought half the forest back with me on the bike:

That'll test out the degreaser I bought recently!

The parentheses are visiting from tomorrow for a week so I'll have to remember how to speak English.

Mar. 10th, 2008

Aussie

Homesick

I was going to write something about my recent mountain biking here in Norrköping but have decided to wallow in a rare attack of homesickness, and invite you all in.

Of course it was all started by my amazing procrastination ability. Instead of studying something useful (ie Swedish or Public Health) I was browsing my way down the list of 50 most powerful blogs in the world, http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/mar/09/blogs, when I was caught by Chocolate and Zucchini, http://chocolateandzucchini.com/, who has just posted the most wonderful article on her recent visit to WA (the state of Western Australia for those who were wondering). Her magical descriptions of the local food and wine have resulted in total brain-block (hmm, how many words can I make up today) as I'm overwhelmed by memories of food and wine from Oz. As I currently have 70 minutes before I'm due at SFI I can thus guarantee that no study will be happening today.

Ultimate procastination = wireless internet + discovering the wonderful world of quality blogs.

Yes I know I'm only about 10 years behind most people but I've finally discovered that there is interesting stuff to read on the web that isn't a digitalised version of an old media publication. It does make me wonder though when the august Observer Newspaper decides that my favourite blog, The Fat Cyclist http://www.fatcyclist.com/, is not one of the fifty most powerful blogs in the world. The next thing you know they won't include mine on that list. Oh shit, they haven't.

Isn't it strange that the wonderfully interconnected nature of life today means that I read something written by a Parisian about Australia that makes me feel homesick while sitting here in Sweden. There's an interesting research topic for someone with more time than sense.

Anyway I'm going to wallow in this semi-pleasant feeling of homesickness for a while so any incoherent dawdling about my mountain biking around the local environs will have to wait until another time.

Mar. 5th, 2008

Happy

Weekend in Skåne

Anna and I travelled down to Skåne last weekend to visit her relatives. Of course as it was the weekend the beautiful weather disappeared and it was cold, rainy and blowing a gale the whole weekend. But we being Sweden it is possible to have fun inside so all was not lost.

We visited Anna's grandmother on Saturday. She was in fine form and very pleased that I could communicate with her (well at least compared to previously when my Swedish vocab was limited to 10 words). Anna was given a designer armchair that her grandmother can no longer sit in and that Anna likes more than just about anything else in the world (it's a bit sad when you're upstaged by a chair, but hey, it's Sweden and furniture is really important to people over here).
 
We also managed to find some nice presents for coming birthdays as well as a lamp shade that we've tried to find for a while now (I think this interior decorating obsession is contagious - especially once you've lived in Sweden for a while).

We drove down to Anna's mum's grave on Saturday afternoon and it was appropriately miserable once we arrived, blowing at least 80km/hr and feeling very desolate. We left some flowers at the grave and hopefully they won't be blown over too soon.

The weather turned nasty on the way back to Anna's dad's place (the howling gale and temperature of 4 degrees were normal weather for that part of Sweden) with pouring rain and thick clouds causing us to lose daylight earlier than usual, resulting in fun driving conditions. We recovered with some fantastic home cooked food and conversation before dozing off.

Back in Norrköping now with my essays still hanging over me (hence the desperate need to procrastinate writing an entry here). Hmmm it's lovely weather for a ride in the forest this afternoon.

Feb. 28th, 2008

Hungover

Swedish Winter

I'm probably not experienced enough to comment on this but that has never held me back before.

Swedish winter sucks.

All you fortunates in sunnier climes (such as Oz) will not understand the profound physical and psychological impact the prolonged winter has on people here in Sweden.

You stay inside for inordinate amounts of time.
You magically put on extra insulation (luckily swedish food is very good for this).
You get used to never seeing daylight as you are inside working or studying for the two or three hours a day it is light (yes even lazy students like me). I do not say seeing the sun as this is a much rarer event, occurring usually once every two months during the nine month Swedish winter.
Communication becomes shortened and strained. The Swedes have perfected a range of grunts to achieve this and it is a well known phenomenon that the further north in Sweden you go the shorter the conversations become.

All of this hit home today when I woke with a particularly nasty head cold, the first for quite a while, and slept for the morning and moped around wondering how I could write on my blog but not concentrate on my imminently due assignments.  I then looked out the window everything became too much. There was the most delightful day I have seen since visiting Oz over Christmas: crystal clear blue skies, not a breath of wind and quite a summery temperature of seven degrees.

Oh the injustice of it all.

Feb. 25th, 2008

Happy

Why Journal?

Why indeed.

Maybe so I can be even lazier about sending emails to people.

Maybe so I can procrastinate more than I currently do.

Maybe so I can become obsessed by my blog.

Maybe so I can save the world and make a fortune at the same time.

Who knows, but for now I need to rush of och lara mig mer svenska so this pathetically short first entry must end but I will return.
Happy

August 2008

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