Tag Archives: snow

Music was my first love…

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Outside, the snow is falling once again and I can’t help but being mesmerized – I could watch snow falling for hours. I’m not sure what it is about it but it calms me down, it’s soothing to see all those little flakes slowly piling up, decorating trees, and roofs, and us.

People back home asked whether I wasn’t tired of the snow yet. Do they ever get tired of the green grass, the summer sun and the fresh flowers? Then why should I get tired of this white blanket that undoes all the little imperfections in the landscape, and shimmers and shines in the morning sun? No, I haven’t got tired of the snow yet. I’m pretty sure I’ll miss it next year.

Though I’ll forget, of course.

See, I’m an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of person. It is sad, sometimes, but that’s how I am. I can not hear from my parents or sister for weeks, and not a thought about them will cross my mind unless they contact me. It’s not that I don’t like them, or don’t care about them – I do. I just… seem to have a head full of other stuff. It’s the same with friends. Or work. Or anything else. I don’t see you, you won’t hear from me – it’s not written down, it won’t get done.

I forget.

And one of the forgotten things was my accordion. Well, not completely forgotten, obviously, since I did bring it with me to Sweden, in some feeble attempt to start playing again. It didn’t happen. I didn’t have the time and I didn’t feel like making it, either, to be honest.
Until last week, my sister’s best friend (which happens to be my best friend’s sister) called to ask if I would be willing to play the accordion at her wedding.

Ehm. Well. I guess… eh… yes?

Only – I haven’t played in 18 months. And I’ve only had the thing for a little over 3 years, so it’s not like I can just pick it up and start where I left – I didn’t have much in the first place. But I promised I’d try.

And I’m having so much fun!

It’s frustrating and all, obviously – I was never very good at it in the first place and it takes TIME to master a song, so after half an hour I generally call it a day, but boy how could I forget? Being able to play an instrument was a life-long dream (I wasn’t allowed to go to music school as a kid) so it was one of the first things I did once I graduated – it is just so great to be able to push the right button at the right time and hear the melody, coming out of yourself, as it were. How I could forget thís feeling I don’t know, but I’ll bet ya it won’t go away any time soon!

My precious...

Christmas Eve the scientist way

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I spent Christmas Eve at the lab. How geeky can you get?

:D

No, seriously, I did spend Christmas Eve in the lab, but it wasn’t (really) by choice. As has been the case since last Friday, my internet connection at home is still broken, and thus the lab is the only place to connect to the world. I could’ve of course stayed home and watched a movie or so, but we decided to make full use of modern-day technology and I ended up spending Christmas Eve at Ts place. Via Skype.

Webcams on on both sides, they actually put the computer at the dinner table so I could join in the conversation, and later dragged ‘me’ along to the salon for the gift exchange ritual. We always (well… the tradition started last year…) do a Secret Santa thing with the whole family (2 parents, 5 kids and 3 gf/bf make it a big enough group to make it fun). The catch is you’re not allowed to buy a present, you have to make it. Since all of them attended hippie school they are pretty good with crafts and the like (they can sing and each play 15 instruments or sth), so I always feel a bit daunted when I see their presents. Last year for example, I knitted a hat for SE – which I was very proud of, since I had never knitted 4 needles before. This year, NE made a tea hat for her sister, including holes for the pout and the handle, with wool she had made herself. Like in, take what comes from the sheep, clean it, turn it into threads, then knit.

This year, my target was YE, the boyfriend of Ts middle sister. He works at customs in the harbor of Antwerp. And he likes to cycle. That’s about all I know about him. Oh, and he doesn’t like sweets, so baking cookies (always the easy way out ;) ) was out of the question. Finally, I came up with this:

I bought the cheapest water bottle I could find and painted it. Maybe not the most masculine gift ever, but I was pretty pleased with the way it came out, especially when he said that he never drinks enough when he goes cycling – so it will be actually useful. Of course, it’s not a candle shaped like St. Francis or a wooden candle holder, or a mosaic mirror. But I tried :).

And then, as the evening drew to a close, I was silly enough to check the Brussels Airlines site to see if there was any news about my flight tomorrow morning. There was :

This is nót what you want to see on Christmas Eve. I completely freaked out and Ts dad almost jumped in the car to come and get me (which, under good weather conditions, would probably take at least 10 hours. however, there is a reason many flights are delayed: the weather sucks). A refresh of the page 5 minutes later showed the “on schedule” icon, but I’m still pretty shaky. The flight is at 11:40 am, and the train to the airport takes half an hour, so normally I would leave around 10 am, but since a colleague of mine had a train delay of 2 hours, I will be getting up at seven to be on the safe side. T will also be getting up since I can’t check tomorrow morning whether my flight is still leaving (how did people live before the internet??) and if it is even worth it going to the airport at all. Meanwhile, we have decided I will be leaving my christmas presents here and travel with hand luggage only, because there are huge delays in Brussels in the luggage delivery and if there is trouble, I will be more mobile with just a backpack.

This does have the advantage I won’t have to pack too much :D.

Fingers crossed!

A tale of snow and socks

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Yesterday when I was going home, I was knee-deep ploughing through the snow when I was thinking I had never walked through that much snow in my life.

(To be completely honest, I should clarify that I was walking next to the path through the pile of snow which had been cleared from said path. So the snow was only (very) locally knee-deep. Well, not actually knee-deep. But almost.
What can I say, I’m still a little kid sometimes.)

Now, where is the fun in walking ON the path?

But then it struck me: I had. Walked through that much snow, I mean. When I was 10. It was an experience never to forget and I’m sure you’ll soon understand why.

I was on my first skiing trip with the whole family when I was accompanying my dad to one of the ski-lifts. The lift was located a bit off-track, down a small but steep slope and when we got to the top of the slope, my dad wanted to say goodbye (there was no way I could go with him on the lift because the track at the end of it was way beyond my 10-year-old capabilities). But I refused – the line at the lift was long and I thought I could stand in line with him and chat a bit and then return when he got on the lift. I was in full my-dad-is-a-superhero-phase at the time, and I needed to be with him every possible moment ;).
So the moment came – my dad got on the lift and I got out of line to return and wait for him at the bottom of the track he was planning to do. I had learned how to ‘climb’ a slope by taking small parallel steps with my skis, and thus I began to climb the small slope that separated me from the center of the ski-area.

It didn’t work.

However hard I tried, however slowly and concentrated I did what I was taught – the slope was too steep and I kept sliding back down.

Time for plan B: take off the skis, and kick little holes in the slope as to make some stairs to climb up. I soon discovered that it would be hopeless if I also had to carry my skis, so I decided to abandon them (my superdad could pick them up later). But skis or no skis, the snow on the slope was so hard that I couldn’t possibly make the holes deep enough for me to find some stability.

By that time my sister had also joined me – she had found me struggling at the bottom of the slope and decided she had to help me. So despite my efforts to keep her up (“Don’t come down, you’ll never be able to get up there again!”), she came down. And despite her fighting spirit, we found no solution. We were trapped.

I am not so sure what happened next. I remember getting annoyed by the stiff skiing boots that are great for, well… skiing, but not so much for walking around, and even less for climbing a slope. I remember coming to the conclusion that the only way to get out of there was to circumvent the slope and go through the woods, where the snow was softer and the slope was less steep. However, I have no clue what got me to decide I had to take of my ski boots and walk back through the woods on my socks.

You read that right. I walked through snow that was literally knee-deep (for a 10-year-old) on my socks.

I could have well taken off the socks also...

I don’t know if my sister accompanied me on that crazy adventure (I think I “went out to get help”) – my next memory is of me sitting in the hotel, my feet red as they have never been before or after, rubbed by my mum to get the blood flowing again.

So here’s the lesson: don’t follow your dad everywhere.
Oh, and don’t go out at -9ºC when you’ve just washed your hair. It will freeze. Not that I have any recent experience with that. I just thought… it might be useful to know, maybe. (ahum)

This post wasn’t very labor-intensive

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Remember my !!! Smörgåsbord from Saturday?

Well, here’s what I’ve woken up to for 3 days now:


 
 
 
And if that’s not enough, my sister sent me this pic today:

I'm gonna be an aunt!

But ssshht… ;)

Saturday “!!!” smörgåsbord

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Initially the Saturday Smörgåsbord was intended as some kind of “happy news” item since I read this post by Jane from They call me Jane in which she sadly had to discover that while bad news is free, good news seems to come at a price. Literally. So I thought: why don’t I try to gather the positive things I read on the internet and post them according to some theme? But I quickly started to digress and instead just came up with whatever 4-5 items I could find on whichever theme came up in my head this week. So while I’m gonna try to return to that original spirit in the future, this week I’ll give you some things that may not directly make the world a better place, but that make me happy – which in a way is selfish, but as I often say: it is hard to make other people happy unless you’re happy yourself. So here goes my !!!-list:

 
Being with T makes me happy. It is not easy – it never has been and I don’t think it ever will be: 2 sets of female hormones multiplied gives not linearly or even squared, but exponentially magnified emotions. We are very different, we come from very different backgrounds and we have different interests, I sometimes feel we have more stuff keeping us apart than we do keeping us together. But in the end, after 2 years (yes, that’s a record, applause!) it’s still us. Her and me. Me and her. Us. We. And it makes me happy.

 
My new friends here in Lund make me happy. Many of them will be leaving soon, because that is how it goes in science: projects of a year, 2 years – people come and people go as the seasons change. It is hard for me, I like to build up something durable, friendship that lasts, and I find it not so easy to invest in a relationship which you know will end in 2 months. But that’s what I’m here to learn (well… partly) and judging by the people I’ve already met, I’m sure I will meet many more, interesting, lovely new friends.

I love snow! I admit – I had forgotten all about how wet and cold it can be if you actually have to wait for an hour to catch the bus after a Lady Gaga concert at 1 am, but there are few things that give me such pleasure as taking a long walk through a snowy landscape on a freezing clear blue sky-morning. There is something about the serenity of it that is soothing, and calming. So I was very happy when yesterday I woke up and saw the snow whirling from the sky… it only lasted a day, and I am so looking forward to the thick blankets of snow I hope will be covering Lund soon – and long. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to ski again this year … . Now thát would make me happy.

Dancing the Lindy hop in Atascadero, Californi...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned my love of dancing before, but just in case I didn’t: I LOVE dancing. Tomorrow will be my last class of Lindy Hop this semester, which I’ve been dancing as a lead (never like a guy to tell me what to do :) ), and while it’s becoming more and more challenging, I’m already looking forward to the second series next year. For those who don’t know Lindy Hop: Wikipedia and YouTube are your best guides. The best thing is you can dance solo jazzroutines, if you like, or grab a partner – anything goes. Also: it is one of the few partner dances where the girl actually also has a say (unlike the stiffer ballroom dances I have done before). I love watching, I love the jazzroutines and I love the partner-Lindy, there is just so much joy to be found and variations are endless. So if you like dancing and haven’t done it yet: do Lindy Hop. You’ll love it. I promise.

“From November 10 to 20: Change your profile picture by a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do likewise. Why this game? So we can see a real invasion of childhood memories on Facebook!”
I am normally not one to follow Facebook-statuses… but I did this time, and so did many of my friends. And it indeed brought some great childhood memories back.

 
(For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.)

Falling leaves

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I’ve noticed something this morning. They must have been there for a while, but I never even saw them – maybe I was still too occupied with other things (like, where did I take a wrong turn cause I’m not quite sure where I am now), or maybe I was distracted by the beautiful weather we’ve had these past few days. Either way, they only caught my eye now.

Brown leaves on the pavement.

Discolored edges appearing at the leaves still clinging onto the trees.

Autumn is creeping in.


It’s in sharp contrast with the excitement I felt (and still feel) when looking at my little plants and herbs in the windowsill who bring me so much happiness just by being alive. I’ve been so full of wonder watching them grow and change from day-to-day, that I just didn’t think of the fact that actually, growing season is over. It is September. How did it come to be September so soon? I was writing up my PhD only weeks ago (that was February), had my defense recently (early June) and started my new job, like what, yesterday? (2 and a half weeks ago)

But besides the fact that the falling leaves indicate the end of summer with its warm, sunshiny days and reminds us of how quickly time goes by – too quickly – I’m simply no big fan of autumn. It makes for beautiful pictures, I agree, and I do like a decent autumnstroll in the woods from time to time, kicking the leaves as you go. But I simply cannot relate to the many lyrical posts on this particular season, celebrating the circle of life which has once again been completed, the beauty of the colored leaves, … . My guess is that I have enough melancholy of my own, not needing a whole season that is so full of it. That and the fact that I find it horrific having to watch so many things die so slowly. Can’t they just have it over and done with?

No, I’m not an autumn person.

On the other hand – Autumn forebodes the coming of Winter. And Winter is generally accompanied by Snow. And Snow, my dear people, Snow is one of my dearest friends.

So hurray for Autumn!

PS – I’ll be off to Belgium for the weekend (leaving on Thursday), so it’ll be nice and quiet around here for a few days. Enjoy the silence!