I now know what I am doing. Maybe.
A friend sent me the link to a recent Winter programme on Swedish Radio. Even for someone like me, in exile, it makes sense, because there were always Summer programmes, and one has to assume Winter is the same. Except in winter.
It seemed to be.
They are very popular, and ‘everyone’ listens to them. I don’t know how they find the time! I really wanted to listen to this one, but setting aside 90 minutes isn’t easy. In the end I cut the vegetables for a while, and then had a solitary lunch.
The pattern for the programmes is that someone – usually famous, or important/interesting for some reason – talks about their lives and plays music. A sort of Desert Island Discs.
This time it was Patricia Tudor-Sandahl, who is English but who has lived in Sweden since 1964. The other side of me, so to speak. I only knew Patricia as a psychologist, having read her column in a weekly magazine for some years. But it seems there are books, too.
And it was those that pointed the way. Patricia had been interviewed by someone who asked what sort of books she writes. Her answer was ‘the kind of books she wants to read’. Not unusual in itself, but as quite a few are not fiction, I found her reply more interesting, even if it should make no difference at all.
It made me realise that I blog what I’d like to read. That sounds presumptuous, I know. But what I mean is that I like to find other blogs like mine. And while I search I write what it is I need to write, in the hopes that someone else out there was waiting for the drivel I am offering them.
Anyway, this realisation went slightly deeper than I had expected.
As for Patricia, she spoke of her humble beginnings in Manchester – which I did not know about – having tin baths and trying to stay warm while her father fought in the war. And how she was in such a need to get away, and with a choice of Turkey or Sweden, she went to Sweden and never left. Her first job was teaching us all English, alongside Ian Dunlop who was famous on television in the 1960s.
Like me, she has adopted many, many Swedish things in her new life, but she will never be Swedish. I needed to hear that.
And I’d not listened to Mikis Theodorakis’s Zorba for far too long.