It’s been an intense sort of week. After posting several ‘political/foreign’ book reviews, and after all that happened in Norway, I feel we need peace.
These fields with the sea in the distance are beautiful and calm, but with no specific significance. Just what we need.
It’s been women’s week this week. That’s apparently why it rains. More.
Sweden has its namedays and usually there is enough of a mix that you don’t get single sex weeks, so this week of women’s names – which as luck would have it is only six days long – is the only one. We call it fruntimmersveckan, where fruntimmer isn’t as nice a word as women. It’s more like biddies, perhaps? Correct me if you have a better equivalent to fruntimmer.
Today it’s Kristina, and she is last. Before her we had Sara, Margareta, Johanna, Magdalena and Emma. To complete the week we tend to borrow either Fredrik the day before, or Jakob the day after.
As a young witch I had two complaints about my name, other than the fact that I found it a boring one. It was not the name of a Swedish princess, and it did not come in fruntimmersveckan.
One nice thing for those who have a ‘proper’ name, is all the cake eating that takes place. The magazines are full of cake recipes, and July being the holiday month, people have plenty of time for celebrating. And eating cake. Preferably all week.
One of the – very bad – ideas for a novel I had all those years ago, featured six sisters named Sara and Co. There might have been a brother or two. I don’t think I ever got past the naming of my characters, which is probably just as well.
Make the most of this. You are not going to be treated to swimsuit photos of me just any old day.
But I was inspired by the charity Thames blob I told you about, and wanted to offer up the blogger’s version. This one didn’t exactly take place yesterday. It’s more like 45 years ago, in Henley.
That’s where Mother-of-witch took us on my first English holiday. We’d never heard of it. Henley had a small ‘pool type’ swimming place just outside the town, where the pool was the river itself. Grass to sit on, huts to change in, river to swim in.
It’s where I bought my first packet of English crisps. By myself. (Which obviously contributed to my added blobbiness.) It was an important milestone. First I learned they are called crisps. (We call them chips. Good old Swedish word, that.) Then I learned they come in handy individual little packs. Had never seen the likes of that. And I went up to the counter and asked for them on my own, and handed over the three pence it cost. (Does that sound about right? Or was I swindled?)
I’m guessing this place can no longer exist. Not only would people be less interested in the dirty wildness of rivers when you can go to the Med and swim in a pool, but surely Henley property prices have made it an impossibility? Please put me right! I’d love for it to still exist.
As another history lesson, I need to mention that this was taken with my very first colour film. Expensive, they were. I was only allowed one, with twelve pictures. After some initial care, I wasted the rest on the penguins at London Zoo…
Some people are too modest for their own good. This here, is a photo from a charity swim in the Thames for the Alzheimer’s Society, earlier this summer. I know that wild swimming is an ‘in’ activity these days, but this is a step wilder still. (Although I’m puzzled by this ‘wild’ term. I have apparently been wild – swim wise – all my life.)
Anyway, modesty. Someone who works in the children’s books world is in there. That’s all I’m allowed to say. He/she is the blob in the bottom right hand corner. I mean, how can anyone tell? You can’t look at this photo and go ‘hey, there I am!’ One blob is much the same as another. No offense intended.
But as sponsored charity events go, I’m impressed by this. Bathing in baked beans is nothing…