Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Swedish word/phrase of the week - Christmas edition


Actual translation: Christmas present
Literal translation : Christmas pat/tap/touch

I was thinking about this in the shower just now. Why is a Christmas present in Swedish a julklapp, but a birthday present a födelsedagspresent? Evidently present is both an English and a Swedish word. So why not a julpresent? 

Wikipedia has been my saviour in this matter and I have discovered that the tradition used to be that you would 'klapp' on the door of the gift recipient, throw the present through the door and run away. But that tradition changed around the 1700s and people would then wrap the gifts. But I guess the name had stuck. 

Perhaps a new tradition for next year? Be environmentally conscious and throw gifts through peoples' doors and run away instead of wrapping them up in paper. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Under the sea puerperium

What week is complete without another puerperium? I think I posted about this one previously. It was knitted up from hand dyed wool and was intended for a friend who is actually due this week. 

This is what it looked like back then, when I was knitting up from the green wool that had been dyed twice, once in yellow and then again in blue. 

It was a little too busy, colour wise,  for my personal preferences, so I overdyed it blue. Just to make it more green and not so yellow was what I told myself. I may have been a little too enthusiastic with the blue dye as this is the result:


So rather than send this now blue cardi to my friend, I decided it would become a cardi for a different friend, who is also expecting a baby in the winter time. I wanted to use the right colour buttons to bring out what I felt was the oceanic quality of this cardi. So I headed to Knapp Karlsson, button shop of the gods and got some lovely pearlescent buttons to complete the project. I'm very happy with how it turned out. 

And closer up:

Thank goodness my friends near and far are of the age that I can make a mistake with a newborn knit and still have someone to give it to. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

RUNNING! (said in the manner of Charlie Sheen's WINNING!)

Three and a bit years ago I was getting fit. I was starting to run again for the third time and I was about to turn thirty.

My friends got me a 30th birthday present. It was entry to the midnattsloppet, and apparently it was so the 'tant' genes didn't take over. Midnattsloppet is a night time run in Sweden. It's 10km and has been held since 1982. 

I'd only ever managed to get myself up to running 5km. But the challenge seemed like a good idea. So I started training for the 10km. Only to get pregnant a few weeks later and have tiredness and nausea slow me down considerably.

I then had the misfortune of having my grandfather pass away when I was 7 weeks pregnant and I took myself back to Australia to see my family. During my visit, I wasn't training at all. I was eating as frequently as possible to stave off nausea and sleeping vast swathes of my life away.

Upon my return to Sweden, I was 11 weeks pregnant and the race was just two weeks away. I decided not to do it. I also found several weeks later that my hips do not enjoy pregnancy and were trying to move apart from each other, a painful condition known as  SPD

So running and I were not on friendly terms again until TWO was about two. I tried running a bit the summer after she turned one, but my hips were not too keen on the idea at all. 

Fast forward from that painful time to about March this year. TWO turned two and my friend Ana asked me to train with her. She had never run before and wanted to give it a try. We started doing the couch to 5k program and were most dedicated, even running in the snow one evening. 

I had used the Robert Ullrey podcasts previously to get to 5km, found here, and they were great again. But once we reached 5km, it was time to get something to get us all the way to 10km. Ana had her own programme going and I found Suz's 5 to 10km podcast and decided to give it a go. The combination of the 90s R&B and hip hop and Suz's high voice had me hooked. I used it, sang along at times, and found a new appreciation for TLC that I thought I'd never have. 

I ended up being inexplicably injured two weeks before the official race day, and thought perhaps I would have to miss out. But fate was on my side and I completed the race in 1 hour and 7 mins. Which is pretty close to my goal of doing it in an hour. 

Since then my running has dropped off considerably. And I think my mood had dropped off too. So in the last few weeks I have asked the boy to make me go running when it isn't pissing down with rain.

Today was an example of that kind of run. The rain was holding off, it was 7 degrees C and windy. But I went out running. I've been a bit stressed in the last couple of days and the running helped me distract myself from the stresses and worries. The cold sped me up and the endorphins made me a much happier person when I got home. 

Considering the weather predicted in the next few weeks (rain, rain and more rain), I've decided to join a local gym for the opportunity to run when it suits me and not the weather. I'm thinking after dagis drop off of TWO. The gym is between dagis and home, perfect way to get some running endorphins in me. I just hope that the treadmill doesn't bore me stupid. I guess I'm stuck listening to Suz's podcast while I run so I can keep entertained. 

Long story short? RUNNING! Love it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I have been delighted more than once of late

Several months ago I did what has become a bit of a tradition. I went to the IKEA to the north of Gothenburg, and while there I visited the fabric shop that's up that way. And outside the supermarket, there were an array of those things you put a coin in, turn the lever and get some kind of treat. 

One of them made me stop:

moustache vending machine

I spent 10 kr and got myself a stick on moustache. Much fun was had by all in our house in the month of Movember as a result of this little moustache. 


I hope that next time I'm up that way I will be able to get myself a 'Regent' or a two part 'Trucker'. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Yesterday I started knitting mittens for TWO and in and of itself, this is not really a big deal. But the big deal is, I'm following a pattern written in Swedish. Wheeee! Integration comes in all kinds of shapes and for me, following a knitting pattern in my third language is worthy of note. Huzzah!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Swedish word/phrase of the week

Hej då

Actual translation: goodbye
Literal translation : hello then

I love that Swedish doesn't change their greeting very much to have their farewell. It's almost like an afterthought. Hello then. Quite often this phrase is combined with something along the lines of "ha det så bra" (have it so good, or have a good one in Australian English). But not always. 

I've been working a lot on Swedish today. I have been to the bank and booked a table at a restaurant for tonight, both interactions happened in Swedish. Something tells me I'm finally feeling comfortable with the language. Only took me five years of living here.