Reflections

When all you want is a soap-bubble or two

We all have days when the “to do” list in our life is seemingly endless, when the chores pile up and life is far more grey than anything else. I guess all of us have different methods for coping with these days. Personally, I recommend some escapism: like living inside a glittering soap-bubble for some …

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No pain, no gain

Several years ago, I saw a stage version of Franz Kafka’s short story Metamorphosis. I’d read it before—my mother kept a steady stream of classics coming my way, and rated Kafka highly. The story left me itching all over, a disturbing mix of black humour and despair—most apt when telling the story of the young …

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Quae Mutatio Rerum – or how things have changed (or not)

Very many years ago, on this exact date, I was sitting in our large dining room with my mother. It was only us. My father was out in the Amazon somewhere for business purposes and our house in Lima felt very large without him. My sister was still a baby, asleep upstairs. The maid had …

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In Memoriam – of graveyards and mothers

A recent survey here in Sweden has concluded that a majority of Swedish people feel we should spread the ashes of those that have died in the great outdoors. A gust of wind and what little remains of a human after cremation would soar upwards, spread and eventually settle back on the ground. No need, …

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A Toast to St Sylvester

Today is New Year’s Eve. Most of us perceive this as a very secular holiday, best celebrated by drinking champagne, going a tad maudlin while singing Auld Lang Syne, and cheering madly as the sky lights up with fireworks just as the clock strikes midnight. Celebrating New Year’s Eve on December 31st is a relatively …

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Happy Christmas!

In difference to preceding generations, we live in the age of globalisation. Most of us have gadgets in our homes produced on the other side of the world, we wear clothes made in India or Bangladesh, we eat fruit and vegetable and fish that has been transported from very, very far away. That’s how we …

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A reflection on moving, books and the digital age

We have recently moved. An exhausting experience which not only involves a lot of packing and unpacking, but also a lot of vacuuming, of running about like a headless chicken while wondering in which box you’ve packed the very important screwdriver without which you cannot reassemble the bed. These days, most of us move several …

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Reminiscing in the Tower

When I was a child, I lived in South America. I attended an English school, learnt to read and write in English, sang English songs and studied English history. In third grade, I had a teacher named Mrs Miller who was charged with teaching us about The Hundred Years’ War as well as with starting …

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Ode to the Washing Machine

Laundry days, peeps! Woo hoo, time to undress and cavort in the shallows, looking rosy and warm and quite, quite desirable. To judge from various historical depictions of young girls doing the laundry, men did find them desirable – maybe they smelled nice and clean, like. Despite all these depictions of blushing laundresses, doing the …

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Is freezing in a garret a prerequisite?

There is this rather romanticised (and antiquated) idea that great art is created by young (mostly) male wannabees who laugh cruel fate in the face while they continue with their creative endeavours, no matter chillblains and empty stomachs, ice-cold draughts and ragged clothes. Our literary hero hoards his candle stumps so as to light his …

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