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I've thought of all kinds of things to talk about on this journal, when I'm away from the computer, but they disappear in puffs of vapor as soon as I sit down at the keyboard.

Yesterday around 3 p.m., I succeeded in getting the kids stirred up to go outside and build a snowman. Anders went out after about 15 minutes to help, and then I pulled on my boots and coat and took the camera out to document like a good mommy should. As soon as I stepped out the door, I reacted like a cat in the rain, pulling up my paws and shaking them, because it WAS raining. A kind of sleety-barely visible-rain that had been apparently coming down for some time. The kids were soaked, but it didn't seem to faze them one bit, so I stood under the porch roof and took pictures while they built their masterpiece. Frosty had a carrot nose (just like tradition requires) and potatoes for eyes. Martin insisted on arms, so they finally used the hockey sticks that Anders had cut down for Karin to use. :)

Right after the snowman was finished, we left for Anders' sister's house for dinner. It rained the whole way there, the whole time there, the whole way back, and apparently all night long. I've seen reports of major flooding all over the area this morning. When we got home last night, Mr. Snowman was lying facedown in his own, er, body fluids.

Anders and I stayed up WAY late :) and this morning, I got to sleep in accordingly. I'm halfway through Almost French by Sarah Turnbull, and loving it. Thank you so much, ozswede, for sending it to me. It's a really refreshing take on the expat experience and very well-written. I suspect acclimating in France as a foreigner is more difficult than my experience has been in Sweden, but it's probably a very subjective thing. From the author's experience, it sounds as though the French are even more withdrawn and reserved than Swedes when it comes to making friends, which surprises me.

Karin just came in from outside where's she's been happily puddling around in the ice and slush to ask if she could eat the snowman's nose.
mood: okay
music: Love & Rockets—So Alive


I thought you'd like the book. I guess it will "do the rounds" here in Sweden :) We should start up a book swap, though I guess postage is a pain. I liked the book a lot (read it in one sitting!). Although it was certainly not an easy transition she doesn't whine and complain about it endlessly as some expat books do. She has an interesting way of looking at her experiences and her writing style is easy and fluent.

Man, a sensible comment! I must be feeling ill. Better go lie down.


You are right, it's refreshing to hear from an expat that overcame the hard parts of adjustment without whining and endless bitching.

And not ONE pun. Are you sure you're not running a fever?! :P

almost french?

I'm interested in that book. I spent three years in France and I'm also married to a Frenchman, have French in-laws. It's hard to believe the French are more reserved than any Scandinavians. JF and I traveled through the Baltics and the closer we got to Scandinavia, the more reserved and standoffish the people seemed to become. But maybe it was the Former-Soviet-Unionness of it that made them so hard to talk to. I don't find the French particularly reserved compared to other Europeans.

Re: almost french?

I wouldn't have thought so either, but the more I read it, the more I understand why. It's very similar to the Swedes, actually (and, I suspect all of the Scandinavian countries). They make their best friends growing up and at school, and feel little need later in life to make more. It's a very interesting book. I read Le Divorce some years ago and think this one is much, much better, frankly.

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Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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