Tag Archives: england

Boo-hoo Rudolph, my whole face is red.

This year was the first year when I have received christmas presents and christmas cards adressed mutually to me and my partner. I don’t have that much (any) previous experience with steady relationships and the idea that you’re supposed to get to know each other’s families and get a long with your partner’s friends seemed to me for a long time unnnecessary and pointless. Before Christmas, me and my partner discussed whether to give gifts to each other’s families, do mutual gifts or nothing. We joked about breaking up for a week around Christmas every year to avoid the situation. It felt like people might catch on to us in the long run, so we decided against it, which led to the following gift situation: We gave a mutual small gift to my partner’s family, who in return gave me and us several “real” gifts which made me feel a bit guilty. We ignored my side of the family and they also didn’t gift anything to my partner. And trust me, neither of us expected anything, but now afterwards it feels like we should think it through a bit better to next year because it just seemed a bit irregular.

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Anyhow, I’m back in England and back at work and my skin hates me. I think I triggered a roscea attack by using soap to remove my make-up. It’s especially bad under my eyes and the best way to describe it is as if I had slept with a thick layer of salt on my face. It’s red, it’s puffy and it’s itchy. It happened during the winter last year as well, and it makes putting on make-up torture. It doesn’t look particulary dry, but if I try to apply foundation my skin goes nuts and it stings like putting alcohol on an open wound. RAH!

I keep forgetting that it’s New Years Eve tomorrow. Feels like a travesty to not celebrate in the city when you live in London, but I’m planning to have a pretty calm fodue-evening at home. Mmmmm Heston Blumenthal’s 4-cheese stringy fondue. No, I won’t eat it just by myself, althouh lonely heremits should definitely be allowed to eat an entire fondue by themselves on New Years Eve.

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Santacon London 2013

My very first Santacon. I had been working Monday – Thursday and therefore had to run around on Friday, the day before Santacon, to look for a Santa costume. I wanted to find something incredibly cheap, but as I grew more desperate I finally settled for a so called “luxury santa suit” for £16. My only other option would have been “female Santa suit” which obviously is a skimpy red dress and a hat, because I didn’t have time to find an other fancy dress shop. Anyhow, it turned out to be absolute shit. The label on the outside featured a costume made from velour, but the actual suit was made from 100 % polyester. The seams broke in the crotch area the first time I tried it on! I think the most baffling thing is that it was 50 % off and would originally have cost £ 32. I decided to skip the trousers and wear a red dress underneath the coat, which was a really good idea. The result was embarrassingly amateurish compared to some of the costumes at Santacon, but it was good enough that some Chinese tourists asked to take a photo with me and told me I was a pretty Santa. Judge for yourself. I’m not sure if the guy in the background is photobombing me or whether he just looked like that by accident? 

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I hadn’t realized that so many people would turn up in very well thought-out costumes that they probably had spent hours or days putting together, like the transformer Santas. I didn’t get a chance to photograph all of them, but here are some of my favorites that I managed to take a picture of:

Guy who looks like he was born to be a Santa:Image

Roman Santa:

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Wrestling Santas?

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Christmas tree:

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Inflated Santa:

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Very cold cross-dressing Santas:

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Homeless Santa:

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I think my least favorite ones were the people who turned up in morph suits! I commented to my boyfriend that coincidentally all the men in the morph suits seemed less endowed than the norm. He said that, in all fairness, it was pretty cold outside. Once again photobombed by the guy on the right in this picture:

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I had a good time though, and I think Santacon London is probably a lot different from Santacon NY. In the end it’s just a big themed party that takes place on the street, and of course you’re going to get some bad seeds as well as good ones, but the event as a whole was pretty well-organized in my opinion and I would definitely go again another year.

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You can’t see very well in this photo, but a couple that were getting married/getting their wedding photo taken, got surrounded and cheered on by Santas.

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They took off their hats and waved to us!Image

 

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Photos from a spontaneous day out

Woke up yesterday with no plans, so we decided for a trip down to Brighton, which is 50 minutes by train from where we live. It was a nice day out, we saw the veteran car run (the cars passed our window in the morning and reached their goal in Brighton), walked on the beach and the pier and went to Sea Life.

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Rainy day

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Woke up by the rain pounding against the window so hard that I thought it was hail. We’ve had a proper autumn storm today! Lightening and everything. Love it! The rain went away for a while during the early afternoon, but then came back and took me by surprise when I was out for a walk. I got pretty much soaked despite having an umbrella with me.

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Croydon life

I have now been living in Croydon for almost 2 weeks. Croydon is, judging by people’s reactions when I tell them I live there, one of London’s more “ghetto” areas. When I went for my National Insurance Number interview, the interviewer straight up laughed at me and said “oh, no, don’t get me wrong, I love Croydon, I have lived there. I know all the right people” and then recommended me a couple of nightclubs (Black Sheep and Bad Apple).

Anyhow, the building I live in used to house a brothel little over 6 months ago so I guess there might be a grain of truth to Croydon’s bad reputation. A week before I moved here, my boyfriend got harassed by a man who showed up in the middle of the night wondering “where the girls where at”.

But aside from that I think Croydon is pretty nice. Wandle Park is the most depressing park I’ve ever seen, but Coombe Woods Garden is amazing. Aside from that, every country seems to be represented by a restaurant (or two or three) and there’s an amazing noodle place (called “noodles”) that will make you amazing noodles for under £5. But the best thing about Croydon is undoubtedly the food market. Everything there seems to be £1 pound or less. 2kg of tomatoes? £1. 5 avocados? £1. 5 bell peppers? £1. For someone who loves fresh vegetables as much as I do, it’s heaven.

Here’s an odd little thing I found out: Apparently the artist Mika filmed his music video for the song “Big girls” in the middle of Croydon market. Why? Beats me.

My photos from the market today:

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Yesterday was my last day at my summer job. I worked for 9 weeks straight, showed up on an average 10 minutes before my shift started, worked double shifts occasionally, often worked overtime and never requested to be compensated, covered other people’s shifts when they couldn’t work their days, never took any sick days and the only time I took a day off was when my mum was in the hospital. I offered to help out with coworker’s workload when they were stressed and I spent time on my spare time putting together an aid for one of the residents I worked with. I guess what matters in the end is if the residents I worked with thought I did a good job when working with them, which I think they did (at least a lot of them were very appreciative).

I never thought I would grow up to be someone who cared about work ethics.

But work is over and as I was biking home through the rain yesterday, it gradually hit me. The only thing that was keeping me in Sweden is gone. I could leave to London today, I have no obligations here anymore (although it would be silly to do so, as Tom is visiting in a week’s time). I have very little money and I have no idea what kind of jobs I can hope to get (if any) but like a wise old lady said at work, “The time is now”. Stockholm doesn’t offer me much anymore. I spent years in Linköping longing to get ‘home’ to Stockholm once I was done with my education and I don’t know why.  I think gradually I developed closer friendships at university and found someone I could really trust and share everything and at the same time became jaded and cynical about everyone left in Stockholm. It’s like I was seeing my life there through rose colored glasses and then someone punched me in the face. I want to and will live in Stockholm eventually, I like the city and I like being near (most) of my family, but if I do end up here permanently I will wipe the slate clean, make new friends, find new hobbies and live in another flat. Life is too short to keep doing the same thing, living in the same place and hanging out with the same people, not because you enjoy it but because of tradition and fear.

I need a break from Sweden for a while.  For once in a long while I like that my immediate future is unpredictable. Circumstances could be better but they might never be better. The time is now (or at least in 2-3 weeks 😉 ).

Home is where I rest my head

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Catch-up Ketchup

Oups, haven’t posted in quite some time! I have an entire post drafted but due to an unpleasant cold I haven’t had the energy to do the editing.

Here’s a brief summary on what has happened since my last post:

* I graduated

* The day after I graduated I flew to Oxford to be with my LDR-boyfriend for a week.

* The day after I flew back from Oxford, and got home in the late evening, I started my new summer job.

* Aaand after my first week at the new job, I caught a cold and here we are.

So I guess the lack of posts make sense. But I’m now in Stockholm for a couple of months. I’m staying in my younger sister’s flat, where I’ve been alone for the last week but is joined today by my older sister who is coming to stay. I prefer company,- it’s a big flat and I get bored and lonely all by myself.

Here are some photos from the last few weeks:

The class graduating, me posing with the graduation scroll (which was more of a prop than anything because the university is still processing the degree diplomas):

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Tom and me in Oxford, with Fat-Betty Three-toes, a stuffed sloth toy I got as a graduation gift. Smoose, a stuffed moose toy, is hiding in the right corner.

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The view from the flat in Stockholm during the evenings. Lovely!

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