I will really miss Swedish money when the colorful but soulless Euro comes to town. I already mourned the demise of Holland's pretty currency, and Denmark's swirly-curliqued holed coins are probably next on the chopping block as well. Sad. Money with sunflowers on it was a joyful sight, and the world's a duller place without it. And Sweden's artful-currency is among my very favorite (along with some of the Chinese banknotes that Anders brought home once from Shanghai), celebrating as it does artists, writers, singers, and scientists.
Tiny microtext to the right of Carl's head reveals the Latin text Omnia mirari etiam tritissima, one of his famous citations, and one I try to live by: "Find wonder in all things, even the most commonplace." And look at the back! It's even cooler. Stamens and pistils and insects, oh my!
Imagine having such a sweet singing voice, that you are fetéd by royalty the world over, and HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN himself falls in love with you and writes one of his most touching and enduring fairytales as a testament to it. All that remains is to be immortalized on the front of the golden and rosy 50-kronor note. Jenny Lind was called The Swedish Nightingale and she was an international celebrity in the middle of the 1800's. Sadly, there are no known recordings of her voice. Not one.
Selma Lagerlöf was a well-known Swedish writer of novels and children's stories. She was the first woman author ever to win a Nobel prize for Literature. Her image adorns the front of the 20-crown note, looking rather stern and schoolmarmish. But the back of it, the back is full of magic and wonder!
See that tiny figure seated on the neck of the goose, wearing a long red cap and wooden shoes? That's Nils Holgersson, who was shrunk to the size of a mouse as a punishment for his naughtiness by an elf, and while he was small, flew the length and breadth of Sweden on the back of his faithful mount, Akka from Kebnekaise.
Trading in music! Shopping with storybooks! Paying with plants and animals! And a few royal boys thrown in for good measure, of course. Not that we get our hands on 500 and 1000 kronor bills very often. :)
Martin and I are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory right now. Every page is thrilling. Roald Dahl was truly a master storyteller. If all you know is the movie, or the movie, I urge you to do yourself a favor and sit down with the original Mr. Wonka some time soon. If you can read it out loud to a child, so much the better :)
Cracking Me Up: "Two weeks without any starches, grains or sugar. It's good to feel so edgey you're ready to jump through the ceiling at the sound of every snapping twig. Next I plan to paint my face camouflage green and lie in wait in the bushes for the ice cream truck to pass. Boy will he be sorry he brought his chocolate covered poison on a stick to my street." Sunny-Side-Up-Sidebar over at paper napkin
*The old fart on the hundred-crown bill