Six months to Midsummer

This post and the links in it contain advertisements for my books.

This. This slope, covered now in snow, is the spot where Artedi was born. This very spot is where Christer and Henrik get a second chance in The Seventh Flower.


An appropriate place for two people who – what are the odds? – both have a thing for the enduring friendship between Linnaeus and Artedi. These two lovers of history.

These two lovers.


I’m a sucker for time. The wings of history, comparing then and now… And this frozen field where nothing grows – in half a year, it will be covered in grass and wild flowers. In just six months, the sun will only set a few hours over this spot. Now it only shines at midday.



The rays are so yellow, so tired. The sun climbs just over the horizon and then sets again, too exhausted to stay, and the light never reaches its full potential. Just this yellow-pink, golden glow that leaves as soon as it touches the crystallized trees.



To think that this is the landscape where Christer drives his car through the bright early morning mist, searching for Henrik!ย The landscape where they watch the sun rise together – at half past two in the morning.


It’s frozen. Dead. Silent.




And in just six months, it will all be green again.

Out of the tunnel


Last year at this time I was sick with untreated hypothyroidism, my father in law was dying, I was preparing for my nerve-wracking defense, I had severe back-ache and knew I’d probably have to (reluctantly!) change jobs.

Not a good time. I felt like a ghost in my own life.


And yet I made this video (with a cold!) to explain the phenomenon of Swedish Lucia that always falls on December 13. (And which will have to suffice this year too because I’ve been too busy to make a new one.)

My year since then has been… interesting. January was a complete disaster in every respect, and each month that followed it brought a fresh new twist (of the knife). My back got better, then worse, then better, then worse, etc etc ad nauseam. I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism and got medication. Other stuff happened. I got my good job back again. It was fun and hard and a little bit frightening.

And in the end, it seems I’m destined to survive 2017. Maybe in hindsight, it’ll be the best thing that ever happened. Because now I’m here, soon a one-year-old in academic terms, and I’m not the same person I was then. I’ve even made peace with a certain TV series that broke my heart the very first day of January and then proceeded to royally fuck with my head for longer than I care to admit.

And as we enter the darkest week of the year, I see more light than ever before.


The feast of Lucia

One of my favourite days of the year is December 13, when Swedish people gather to remind each other that the winter and the darkness and the cold won’t last forever. Through a peculiar merging of an Italian legend about a saint and a time-honoured Swedish tradition where medieval young men got drunk and brawled in the streets, we now have a procession of light accompanied by lovely Christmas and Advent carols. Here is an example.

In this video, though, it’s just me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was inspired by this phenomenal lady and her breath-taking Lucia videos to make my own version, complete with flu-y singing voice! ๐Ÿ˜€ Enjoy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

More is more

Tonight was the perfect evening to bring in the Christmas tree and do the last bit of decorating. I’m recovering from a nasty cold and needed something fun to do and nice to look at, so we decided it was time.


The best thing I ever did (Christmas-wise) was to butcher a plastic tree and snip off all the branches, because now I have material for a whole big bunch of these things. I also keep buying decorations at flea markets, because you really can’t have too many of them!



While I worked with the tree, hubby read to me about the history of the Christmas tree. It’s become quite the tradition that he reads aloud about… well, traditions!


And now it’s done, all we have to do is enjoy the glitter and the lights.


The gift that is Advent

Christmas is my favourite holiday, and my general motto “more is more” is never truer than in December. We have a big house, and so we have to have a lot of decorations. It’s logic, you see?

Silly Advent pig candle stick from my childhood. *Sigh* ๐Ÿ™‚






Aaaand snow! Nowadays it’s not always a given during Advent, so I’m really pleased that we got a fluffy white layer for the start of the Christmas season.





Sometimes I hear people say that they can’t summon any Christmas feeling, and then when you have a look at their house, there isn’t any Christmas Stuff. Well, duh. Christmas doesn’t just happen. It’s up to us to create it!


Which is why I’m sharing a silly little video of me doing just that. ๐Ÿ™‚ (And listening to some music that has nothing to do with Christmas but which has still become tradition for me at this time of year. Not logical!)

Here’s wishing you a lovely holiday season, whichever way you celebrate!