Archive for augusti, 2010

Model for a day?

augusti 23, 2010

It’s spreading like a wild-fire? Have you seen all the new profile pictures on Facebook, where people are looking seductively at you from above a mirror?

I got at least ten phone calls from sales women who wanted to give me an amazing introduction offer: to be ”model for a day”, get make-up by a ”make-up-artiskt” and have my pictures taken by a ”photographer”. But it wasn’t until one of my friends asked me if I wanted to tag along with her and and another friend that I actually said yes.

So we boldy stepped into the fancy Model Lab. And my God, what a business! The place was packed with people hoping to look marvellous. Middle-aged women, an entire family, teen-age girls. OK. I don’t want to be a boring whiner. It WAS fun to do this because I was doing it with two good friends. But then again, with good friends you can do pretty much anything and still have fun. And OK, we did look A BIT glamorous on some pictures.

Woman with make-up sitting backwards on a chair

But the make-up looked pretty much like what we wear on stage with our choir and put on ourselves. Make-up artists??? I don’t know. And the photographer had big problems looking through the camera and actually catching the model-wannabees in the picture:

Woman with no legs standing off center

(Granny is a way more advanced photographer than these young girls – sorry girls!) There were a number of poses we were supposed to strike, with one picture taken of each pose. Some of them were so complicated that our long arms and legs got all tangled up. And knowing right from left is not one of my special talents… We ended up laughing hard at our pathetic efforts to pose like models. This is one of the less complicated ones. But seriously, how often do you stand like this? Check out this weirdly cropped picture:

Left arm over head, no right, no left...HELP!

It took almost six hours. Mostly waiting time. Waiting for make-up, waiting for photo-session, waiting for the pictures, waiting for paying… Pernilla, didn’t have time to wait and left. And that’s when we found out that it’s not at all for free if you don’t but any pictures. Then you have to pay for the make-up instead. Very tricky. So we got some pictures for her anyway.

OK, OK, we do have some pictures that are more glamorous than what we ordinarily take. At least more make-up. So now I have a new profile picture on Facebook. And they cost less than going to a real photographer. At least if you only buy 2-3 pictures. Still. It’s a smart business idea. But ethical?

And it’s not over here: If you give Model Lab 12 names with telephone numbers, you get one of your pictures for free. And before I knew it I had scribbled down 12 names of good friends. I sold my good friends for a free picture! I will burn in hell for that. Maybe. But I’ll be in good company.

Was it just a dream?

augusti 19, 2010

School has started, the boxes from the container are unpacked, much of the mess is cleaned up, back to work – trying to find some inspiration. Telephone interviews, e-mail, papers, papers, papers.

Meeting with the music committee in choir yesterday and planning this upcoming season – fun to see all the friends again. And it struck me again and again: has it really been over a year since last time? Was the year in the US really real? It feels more and more like a dream. But a very good dream.

Crayfish party

augusti 15, 2010

What did I miss from Sweden when I was in the US? That’s easy! Good old friends. And crayfish!

Delicious sea crayfish. YUM!

Yesterday was the first crayfish party this year – a perfect way of combining the two!

Good old friends

Snaps and snaps-songs, fun catching up, and all of a sudden it was very late. Or maybe I should say early… Some were playing golf today. Wonder how they did. I’m glad I didn’t have to do many productive things today.

House warming

augusti 9, 2010

Our first visitors since our arrival on Swedish territory: My sister with family. Five people and two dogs. Silver clearly appreciated the human visitors more than the dogs, but everything went very well.

My sister and I had some excellent games of Scrabbles (Alfapet in Swedish). And having visitors is always a good excuse for being a tourist in your own town. So we went, among others, to the Art Museum and the guys went to the Aeroseum aviation museum (near Säve airport) inbetween all the awsome dog walks in the Delsjö forest.

We made an interesting observation. Cleaning your house, repainting and redecorating it is all good when it’s filthy and everything needs to be repaired. But having people you like come and visit you is what really makes you feel good about being back in your house. So the word ”house-warming” is really a very appropriate word!

The coolest riding course ever!

augusti 4, 2010

Can lesson horses be as calm as police horses when confronted with scary sounds and sights? Yes, with the right training some of them would no doubt make excellent police horses! In the most exciting course I’ve ever attended in our stable, we learned more about how horses react and how to train them to handle scary situations.

Jonte, the riding police, is giving instructions

We already knew that horses are as individual as humans and that goes for courage and curiosity too. And that has  nothing to do with your size or status in the group. The bravest horse was the smallest pony, a little mare who seemed unaffected by almost anything.

Here Louise is crossing a ”bridge” with a lot of stuff that the horses haven’t seen before. On top of that, Birk thinks it’s really creepy to be separated from his horse buddies.

Scary "bridge" and drum

The entire riding hall was full of weird and scary things to go over, under and through. There were spooky drums, waving flags, horns, a flapping wind tunnel and worst of all – according to my horse for the day, Ikaros – fire crackers!

Flapping windtunnel

The trick is to approach the scary things little by little, be kind but firm with your horse and tell him or her with your body language that there is nothing to worry about. (Not always that easy when you jump at a sudden sound, yourself).

We’re back!

augusti 3, 2010

To blog or not to blog – that is the question!

When I started this blog, my only ambition was to share my adventures overseas with my Swedish friends. And honestly, I thought just a handful would read it regularly and only in the beginning. But since I can see the number of people who visit the blog (but not who they are) I have been very happily surprised to learn that I have quite a few visitors every day. So maybe it isn’t time to bury the blog yet. As long as you read, I will write. But from now on, it will be in English to include my American friends as well!

It has now been a week since we left the US. And it’s very mixed emotions. It was sad to leave our American friends. But it is also great to see our old friends and family here. My sister with family comes here tomorrow!

Our first impression of our old house is that it’s very – old. We immediately saw a million things that need to be fixed. Some things, I guess, we had gotten used to before but saw with new eyes now, others were things that have happened during this last year.

cleaning the couch

Our tenants cleaned the house before they left. But they didn’t do a very good job. And other people’s dirt always feels dirtier that your own, doesn’t it? So we have spent a considerable amount of time cleaning – just as we did before we left. And I also wonder: why don’t you fix things that you have broken 😦 ? Lots of small annoying details…

Mold

Now that the kids are so big, we have decided that they will get the guest room and the office in our attic. Which means we will have to fix their two rooms, plus a guest room and office on our first floor. And when we started to pull down bubbly parts of this wall paper, we found mold underneath.

Cabinet for sale

A lot of furniture is very old and in very bad shape. And there is also more furniture in the container that hopefully arrives this week. In addition, the ”room shuffle” makes it more urgent to get rid of old stuff. So we have sold some stuff on Blocket (Sweden’s version of Craig’s List), like Fredrik’s bunk bed and the dining room furniture, but most of them will just go to the recycling station.

But now, focus on two great things: 1, getting the house ready for the invasion from Södertälje 🙂 and 2. a 2-day horsemanship course in our riding club (awsome to meet all our riding buddies again!). Report will follow.