International Women’s Day

Today is a beautiful day. Not because of the flowers we are receiving, not because of the congrats, not because of the pink beer or the whiskey in a dress, and certainly not because of the hate.
Today is a beautiful day, because once every year, on the 8th of March, women remind men, and each other, that we are important. That we are strong, that we will continue to fight for issues that we live with and we will do that for all women around, for the women without a voice, for the women unsure what to think. We will continue to raise these questions until everyone is listening, until every Harvey has fallen, until an act of goodness will just be that, and not a heroic sacrifice for the greater good.

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It has been a big year. Huge. The TIME person of the year was WOMEN, Silence Breakers, standing up against the power that has been crushing them, women who finally spoke of the secret (not so secret) events that has been going on, since always.
We have been wearing black, we have been wearing roses, we have marched, and we have been writing. And writing. And writing. We have shared our stories, #metoo, and we have been heard. But we will keep writing. We will continue to write until we will wake up to a world without having to fight for respect, for a chance, for equality.
Let’s make this year even bigger.

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TIME’S UP, she screamed high over the roof tops, over the patriarchy, over the masses, over the unwilling. But ,most importantly, she screamed towards her sisters, standing united, finally, together. TIME’S UP.

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This embroidery is made by my fantastic friend Cornelia (I’ll tag her on Instagram) and I am so grateful that she let me use her stunning art work for this piece. Thank you hun.

A Portrait

Last year my friend Andrea made a documentary about me for her university course. She studies film and art in Brighton and honoured me with documenting on my life as a writer, a student and a feminist.
It is so weird to hear and see myself on film. I will never get used to my voice.

Around 3.20 into the film I talk about how we were creating a magazine for university, but this project has been closed down. I decided to keep that bit in the film though, because when I talk about the magazine that I was going to be a part of, I talk about stuff that I am passionate about and topics I still want to share with the world. My original magazine is no more, but the issues that we were going to rise are still around.
I am creating another magazine now, but more about that later…

Andrea is a great filmmaker and I felt comfortable in front of her camera. She asks good questions and are interested in the person she is covering.
I feel a bit (read a lot) self conscious, but she did such a good job that I want to share this here.

Selfie worth.

My dear friend Aziza wrote the other day about her view on selfies and how her phone album is full with self loving, weird angled selfies. Because she doesn’t care anymore. She is happy with how she sees herself, how she can portrait herself, and she is extremely good at it. I am glad that I have reached that point myself, although I’m not quite as confident. But still, I have come a long way and don’t mind other people taking my picture.
But where did this selfie obsession start? Social media and the pressure to post pictures of ourselves have gone above crazy and I know it too well myself. If I post a really clever picture of a book I have read, or a magazine, or my coffee cup, I don’t even get half the amount of likes as I do when I post a selfie. Isn’t it weird? Still, I do like the numbers under the post and I do check my notifications more often after posting a selfie. I am in the middle of it, I really am.
In the latest issue of Womankind – The skill of happiness there is an article written by Antonia Case called ‘No self in the age of selfies’ where it says, “What was the first selfie? You scroll backwards in time, through 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, and further still, until you come to a pause, a gap – almost like birth – and behold a photograph of a rose tree.”
The author talk about ego and how it is the ego that’s at the ready to be either wounded or gratified. It is fascinating.
Sometime over time how we looked on social media started triumphing our presence in real life. And this with selfies in focus.
So what about the people who doesn’t like their own self? Or, more likely, their own selfie? What happens with the people that avoid those pictures, the camera, that angle that they hate? Do their non-existing presence in social media define their self worth, and if it does, is it higher or lower than mine, a selfie obsessed social media user?
Which ego is most wounded and which ego is most gratified?

Aziza’s blog post

Womankind Magazine 

Both worth a read. I fell in love with Womankind Magazine and will continue to write comment pieces on it.

 

2013.

I applied to become an au pair in February 2013, and it started off bumpy. There was a long journey from emails, to interviews, to finally finding a family that wanted me, but when it was over I was so excited, I was on my way.

I moved to England, London, W10 on 12th of August 2013. I arrived to Victoria Station and was picked up by the father of the family who drove us to their house, my new home. The rest of the family was not at home, I would be seeing them the next day.
I didn’t sleep at all that first night, I was so nervous. I had left my family home, my safe island, my friends, my life, for something I didn’t know anything about. The excitement suddenly felt far away. The only thing I knew was that I liked the language, the pub life, and the football. And there I was, terrified.

The next day I took a train, I think from Paddington Station, up to Lincolnshire where I would meet the mother and the two boys that I was supposed to take care of. They were staying with Granny knit knit and Gumpy, grandparents that I would spend a lot of time with over the years.
After being picked up by the mother and master John King we arrived to this:
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Harrington.

I was in shock, I could not believe that people actually lived in this house. I got a room, my own bathroom and was encouraged to take long baths. This was a lifestyle I was completely unfamiliar with.

We spend a week or so in the country; I was getting to know the boys, had long chats with the grandparents, went swimming in the pool (pictures below) and wandered around the grounds. There were a lot of cows in Lincolnshire.
My first day there Hesther, the host mother, said “Don’t you think we should have tea by the pool house”. “Sure”, I said thinking that we would have a cup of tea before dinner. Can you imagine my, discrete, surprise when she came down with several trays of food? I was then enlightened with the fact that ‘tea’ in English also is food.
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Here we have Bobby.
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And here is John.

Then we went back to London. Everything was big, and slightly scary.

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I got myself an A to Z for London which I studied carefully. I went for walks, tiny ones, but step by step I started to explore London, my new home.

One day I met up with a big group of au pairs who all had come to London through the same organisation as me: Swedish Connection. We met up down by the Thames to go on a boat tour, and I knew I was in the right place straight away, wow there was a lot of blondes.
I had already started to navigate myself in the masses of au pairs and had found group that I thought seemed cool enough to hang out with, I was right.
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The boat took us down the river towards Greenwich where we would spend the main part of the day. Greenwich seemed so far away for a W10 girl.

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New friends! (Who now are old friends.) Agnes, Jenny Lilja, Mikael, Linn, Jenny, Clara and Sophie.

We arrived and I thought everything was so pretty. We walked around Cutty Sark, went through Greenwich University and enjoyed the late summer sun. I talked to Jenny about tennis and feminism, Gustav and I pretended that we had known each other for ever (which it felt like we had) and Linn let me borrow her camera.

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The view. This was my first ever London profile picture, it got over a hundred likes. I noticed I was more popular after I left Sweden.

After that day in Greenwich I started to hang out with a little group of au pairs who I did almost everything with. We organised taco nights, went to markets, and spend a lot a lot of time in the pub. We became a little family. A few of these wonderful people are still my best friends, and I am so happy that we moved to London the same year.
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We celebrated Linn’s birthday in September and spent the day in Primrose Hill where our birthday girl got chocolate cake and picnic served.
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Here they are! Agnes, Erika, Anna-Karin, Styffe, Gustav, Mikael, Linn och Jenny.

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I went and admired Emirates Stadium for the first time, this was before I became an Arsenal fan. I didn’t have a favourite team when I first moved here, I always said “I support football”, but as months passed I, and people around me, realised that I actually liked Arsenal more than any other team. Now I am a dedicated Gunner.

blogg18We had a period when we made pancakes all the time, I would say that I am a great pancake maker.

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There was also a lot of head scratching going on.

I lived in W, but most of my friends lived in NW, so we spent a lot of time in West Hampstead where we discovered some of our favourite places. That’s where we found our favourite pub, The Railway, and this place called Art for fun where we have spent many hours designing cups and other pretty pottery.

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Winter slowly approached and I got to come with the boys and Hesther, the mother, to Winter Wonderland. I loved it. Me and the boys ran around the massive fun park and went on every ride. It felt like my childhood days at Liseberg.

blogg21My boys. They used to be so little.

Back in Sweden I played this sport called floorball, and it was basically my life. We trained twice a week, had games and I also did floorball high school. It was a huge thing, but when I moved to England, I did not think I would ever play it again. But it learned that London has 3 floorball teams and that there is a league, so I had to join. My team was, and is still, called London Sharks.
I called this team my fucked up multi cultural family, because all players were from all over the world; Australia, England, Switzerland, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Sweden and Latvia. Most of them were also a bit fucked up. I spent many weekends in Clapham where we trained on Saturdays, and more often than not this training led to the pub.
I have gotten to know so many people through this sport and I am truly grateful that I joined a floorball team here in London. Thank you Gustav for bringing me.

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Picture from our Christmas Tournament.

I went back to Sweden for Christmas and woopidoo it was 2014.

Four years of London.

I have now lived in London for four years and six months. You might say that I am stuck. I would agree. I came here because I could not stay at the little Swedish island where I lived, I needed something new, something big.
These four years have been dramatic, eye opening, exciting, lonely, and absolutely wonderful, and soon I will graduate university. How crazy is that?
I don’t know what will happen after the summer, but I have big plans, and I will probably stay in this amazing and heart-breaking capital.

I was thinking that I should do a recap of my years in this city; what it has given me, what it has lead me into, where I have ended up, and who I have met along the way.
I will do one part per year I have spent here, and I am quite excited about it. I get to go through all my albums and it will give me space to reflect on what has happened.

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V-day.

So yesterday was Valentines day and for me and Dennis that is not that big of a deal. I went for a meeting in the morning, bought some cute cupcakes, came home to my NA-KD order that had arrived, and in the evening we went to the pub. We drank beer and watched Champions League; that is how we celebrate love.

Valentines day is all about money and it has almost turned into a competition: Who spends the most money on their partner? Sad huh? I can absolutely appreciate proper date nights, putting on my nicest underwear and that my partner makes an effort, but it does not have to be on February 14th. Also, making an effort for me can be as small as “do you want to go out for a coffee” or “I love the lipstick you are wearing”. For me it’s absolutely the small things that equals the big love.

The holiday of love is also a day that makes people without a partner think less of themselves, which I cannot understand. Honestly, you are not less of a person because you don’t have a partner. Do not let anyone (the society) trick you into believing that.

What do you think? Is Valentines day worth celebrating? 

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We are 100% silly. Picture taken by Linnsejphotography 

On another note, Sweden has earned 5 medals in 5 days in the Olympics and this morning I cried because one of our young talents took her first ever Olympic gold. Well done Hanna Öberg!

Magculture.

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A couple of weeks ago me and my journalism class went to Magculture at 270 St John Street to check out their amazing business. Magculture was created by people loving magazines for people loving magazines, and we got to meet the founder Jeremy Leslie. Jeremy fist started Magculture as a blog in 2006, and moved into the shop in 2010 and has since then collected over 400 titles from across the world. He gave us a lecture on what works in the business right now and it was inspiring to listen to someone with so much experience.
We then had time to feel, smell (wow it smelled nice in there), and check out all the cool magazines and I’m surprised I didn’t spend too much money in there. I got myself Positive News, the pink mag on the table, and Season, a magazine about female football and fashion. They are now laying here, together with Stylists Suffagrettes issue celebrating 100 years of votes for women, making my workplace pretty. Check out Magculture here.

I love indie magazines so much, the design is calmer and more welcoming than the glossy magazines I grew up with. I also like the minimalism and lack of headlines, also that every advert look like an editorial piece designed for the magazine.

They say that print is dying, and I don’t want to believe that. But then I realise that I don’t go to WHSmith to go through the shelf to pick out my favourite magazines for the week. So I feel that I can’t really feel sad about it until I do something about it? So I’m doing something about it.
My favourite magazines to pick up at the moment are minimalistic ones, pretty food ones and, actually, new Vogue. New Vogue is very much new, much better than what it represented before and it has a whole new vibe. I read the first issue from front page to back page and loved it all.

What kind of magazines do you read? Will print die, or can we save it?

Winter Olympics 2018

Friday the 9th of February kicked off this years Olympic games and I am excited.

I have always loved the Olympics, both in Winter and Summer, we even have our own little Olympic fire at home that we light and keep lit during the games. My family are very into every sport there is and usually sit in the sofa helping the athletes towards their goal. Helping = pretending we have poles and push with them through the air.
Man that was hard to write in English, we have much better words for that pretend activity in Swedish…

Today was the first day of competition and the first sport to finish was the Women’s Cross Country Skiathlon. It is 15 kilometers of skiing, and the first winner of the 2018 Olympic games was SWEDISH! Charlotte Kalla (who I have actually met and I don’t think I have ever been more starstruck than that time) led most of the race and won with 7 seconds down to Marit Bjorgen. It was a great race and Kalla was so happy after crossing that finish line!
The Norwegian favourite is up for winning most medals ever (men and women) during her Olympic games which is crazy impressive, so winning against her must have felt good!

I am positive to this Olympic games even though it will start very early here in the UK, but Sweden do have chance to more medals and I will try to watch as much as possible.

Go sport and go the Olympic games and GO SWEDEN! (Sorry GB, I am yellow and blue.)

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Everyday*

One thing that I love about blogging, and me trying to become some sort of a blogger, is that it motivates me to go out and see, do and experience stuff. I want to go to open mic nights, I want to go and see new exhibitions, I WANT TO TRY NEW CAFES, I want to live, and I want to document.
I just saw Swarzy Macalay post a Insta story of a live monologue and I wanted to be there. I thought, where can I find an event like that? And I am in London, so all these events and experiences are just around the corner, and I am so happy to be in the middle of it.

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Book shopping in Angel.

Soooo I met up with Grace Latter yesterday, and she was just as lovely as I imagined. We had a lovely chat at the Coffee Works Project in Angel, drank their yummy coffee and just sat. She had a fluffy coat and I had a fluffy hat, I think that must have been a good start?

We then went to the local Waterstone and Grace gave me some expert advice on which books to buy. I got myself 4…
By the way, books are always a healthy investment. Always.

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I bought Unboxed by Non Pratt, The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and Girl Up by Laura Bates. A few YA novels for research and pleasure and Laura Bates’ follow up to her book Everyday Sexism which I loved to read, relate to and engage with.
I have some exciting reading to do!