It’s never sunny on my birthday, this dull february day was no different. Which featured clouds as thick as our hangovers. We warmed our souls with coffee amd kanelbullar in a little cosy underground cafe in Gamla Stan. Armed with a fist full of balloons we climbed the path to this lookout, Katerina hissen, round the back of Slussen. I can never tire of this view.
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There was this cafe, down the end of my road, it’s called The Grind. The coffee is good, but not the best I’ve had. I order a skinny chai spiced latte with whatever non dairy milk they have [middle class level 5: complete], but the food, and homemade cakes, are the main draw. With them changing on a daily basis I could never find a reason not to visit. And then they went and got an alcohol license and started selling prosecco [middle class bonus round: achieved!] and I found even less reasons not to go. Every Thursday, and most weekends I would meet my friend there, the preceding confirmatory text would be something along the lines of ‘fancy a grind?’ and then we would indulge, be it in people watching, chit chat, serious talk or giggles, lounging for hours or a rapid half hour dash. I miss these kind of life debriefs.
This is why in every succeeding remembering moment, the story will likely be revised as the present becomes the past anticipating a certain future that bestows a meaning on the whole.
Sometimes you get given a paper to read for research methods class that is so stale and devoid of colour that no will in the world could allow you to reach the reference section. And then you get Brigitta, the women I wish was my adopted grandmother. A retired childrens nurse who continues academic work “for fun” a bespectacled, grey haired and humorous lady who, due to her extensive experience both in the field and home, seems to knows anyone who is anyone in global health. And Brigitta gives you a paper that makes you cry, one that makes you think and one that makes you question everything.
I think its official, Swedish summer is over. The recurringly beautiful sunsets continue, accented with raindrops and gusts of wind. The days may be bright but the chill is set in the air. Autumn is here and the leaves will turn. The nigh draws its curtains earlier and the morning wakes later with every turn of the earth. Soon it will be Swedish winter, and we will see if I survive.
After an intense and slightly exhausting first week I was expecting to catch up on sleep this weekend, early to bed on Friday and a nice lay in Saturday, that was the plan. However, after two weeks of early starts my body clock had other ideas and woke me at 8am, not to be discouraged I quickly changed my plans and took the T-bana to Södermalm and arranged a morning fika with a friend from my course. Fika is quite possibly one of my favourite things about Sweden. Although there seems to be no literal translation for the word I like to think of it as a turbo charged coffee break. During our introduction week it was referred to many times and even proposed to be the reason for the success of many a Swedish company and a method for quicker promotion at work. Whether this is true or not, the fact remains that fika is a great excuse to drink coffee, eat a delicious baked good or small treat, chat with existing friends or make new ones. You don’t need to have known me for too long to know that I have developed a great love for the kanelbulle, or cinnamon bun, and this is what I would suggest any fika newbie would order to accompany their coffee. On this particular occasion I broke with (my own) tradition and had a smörbulle, a vanilla-y, buttery, almondy ball of goodness, it did not dissapoint. Equally as good are the cardamon flavoured buns, which is not a spice regularly used at home but one which I love. Unfortunately my cardiovascular health and waistline are not too fond of these, now almost daily, baked good accompanied fikas so I may have to curtail the habit before it gets out of control…