Password protection

6 07 2010

Dear friends,

I have decided to put a password on some of my posts in order to feel more comfortable writing about personal stuff. I think that most of these posts will be in Swedish for the time being, but I might change my mind.
If you are interested in getting the password, please drop me a line at [blog title in one word, i.e 18 letters] at []*. I will probably accept all requests for password and there is no need to be a regular “commentator” for you to have the right to read the protected posts. Nevertheless, I would just like to have some control over who reads my more personal posts.
Have a good Tuesday!

*) Let me know if you have any trouble figuring out the email address 😉


Three years!

25 05 2010

I almost forgot that today is my blog’s third anniversary!

Three candles

Some blog statistics:

  • 497 posts (498 with this one)
  • Most popular month: October 2009
  • Most popular post: an apple pie recipe, 24th September 2008
  • Least popular post: Busy times ahead10th June 2007
  • Meeting 12 13 14 bloggers in IRL (Sporty-Petra in Connecticut, Saltistjejen in NYC, JaCal, Monica O, Lotta K and Ing in California, Annika in Virginia, Bejla, Desiree in Alabama, Lia in Lund, Nick and Miri in Puerto Rico – I hope that I didn’t miss anybody! Update I: Opps, I forgot Anna in Stockholm whom I have met twice – both in Stockholm and in New York City!! Sorry!) Update II: I have also met Annaluna, also from Stockholm, but we met in Puerto Rico!!
  • And making lots of new friends whom I haven’t had the privilege to meet yet…

Thanks everyone for reading my blog and keeping it alive with your comments and feed-back! And for the regulars – thanks for becoming such wonderful friends!

Problem with keyboard

20 11 2009

Sorry for not replying to your comments but I am having computer problems / I don’t know if it is a virus but my keyboard is not working properly. I have to press the same key several times when typing, and it is extremely frustrating! Sometimes it works like normal – like now for example (of course!)…

Have tried to scan the computer for viruses etc but nothing shows up on the virus-protection programmes. Anybody out there who’s had the same problem?? I had it on my old laptop but the problem disappeared after a while…

O’s brother J-I arrives tonight.

Havea nie kened (see, the problem has reappeared!) – that is supposed to read Have a nice weekend!

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Hälsningar från Bergen

14 10 2009

Jag chattade precis med söta Lia (Mina Lyckopiller-Lia) och hon hälsar till alla sina bloggvänner att allt är bra i Bergen, förutom internet* och därför kan hon varken uppdatera bloggen, svara på kommentarer eller läsa andra bloggar  😦  Flyttlådorna är inte helt uppackade men hon och sambon mår bra, och hon verkar vara vid gott mod. Nu håller vi tummarna att deras internet blir bra så att vi kan läsa om deras norska äventyr på hennes blogg!

Lias Bergen

Fotot är helt fräckt snott från Lias blogg – själv har jag ju inte varit i Bergen… än i alla fall!

Jag har lovat att skicka era kommentarer till henne, eller så skickar ni själva ett litet email till henne. Hennes nya emailadress finns på hennes blogg, i vänstra kolumnen under “Om mig” (klicka på länken “Kontakta mig”).

*) Skype behöver inte så mycket internetstyrka för att man ska kunna chatta, som tur är!

Left or right, that is the question…

5 10 2009

Or rather, are you left- or right-handed?

Quite a straight forward question for most people, and “officially” I would say that I am left-handed. However, there are a lot of things I do with my right hand and after O and I had had a discussion regarding this subject, I started writing down what I do with which hand (the funny thing is that I wrote my list with the “Right” to the left and vice versa):

washing dishes
cutting bread
potato peeler
putting on mascara
brushing / combing my hair
brushing my teeth
pulling / carrying my suitcase (until tired, then I switch hands)
putting cream on my face
starting exercises always to the left (causes problems when exercising in a group, probably why I hate it!)
eating with a spoon
play badminton & tennis
using can openers
putting on mascara
use the phone (I often grab it with my left and then switch to the right when talking)
cut with scissors (I have never been able to use left-handed scissors)
computer mouse
hair brush (both hands actually)
carrying my handbag on my right shoulder
vacuumcleaning (both)
drink (i.e hold a glass, bottle or mug)

Keeping right in Jordan
Keeping right in Jordan

I remember using the knife and fork in opposite hands (i.e holding the knife with my left hand and the fork with the right) when I was a young child, but I don’t remember when or why I swapped to eating like most people? The reason why I remember that I used to do it the other way is that I had a plastic table mat with a fork and a knife drawn on it and it annoyed me that I would have to put the cutlery in the wrong positions. Already at a young age I had a certain sense of order and symmetry, and maybe that’s why I changed hands?

When it comes to playing badminton, it is quite a funny story: I started taking badminton lessons when I was maybe 9 or 10. After a few lessons, my mother came to watch us play and afterwards she asked me why I was holding the racket in my right-hand? Well, because the coach told us to do it! Maybe that’s why I never became any good? 😉 However, in sewing class I was aware of the fact that I was left-handed, to my sewing teacher’s despair – as she couldn’t teach me how to crochet with my left! I also remember hating the left-handed pairs of scissors – there were always a few pairs in our classroom and some teachers tried to make me use them, but I couldn’t since I cut [with scissors, but not with knives] with my right hand.

Out of the 6 colleagues I shared various offices with in the European Commission, 2 or 3 colleagues were left-handed just like me. My Spanish colleague R was “more” left-handed than I, he always had the computer mouse to the left – extremely annoying when using his computer! I feel that there is a certain affinity between us left-handers and most of us point it out when meeting another left-handed person. When watching films I always notice who writes with their left; Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves for example are left-handed. However, you can know somebody for quite a long time before you are in a situation where it would be discovered (usually when writing) – long-time friends, who are right-handed, have been shocked (??) to discover that I am in fact left-handed.

A friend used to complain that when she and her left-handed boyfriend were visiting a place they didn’t know, they would instinctively choose opposite directions to walk in – he would want to go to the left, and she to the right! Maybe that’s the same reason why I sometimes get confused with which cheek to kiss when greeting people (in cultures where you don’t shake hands!) – my instinct is to go left first!?

 Driving on the left in Puerto Rico??
Driving on the left in Puerto Rico?? We saw this puzzling sign on Isla de Cabras (the Goat Island) in Cataño, close to the Bacardi factory…

For many years I had difficulties in telling left from right, which I have read is quite common when 1) you are left-handed 2) a woman… In other words I have two valid excuses! My family will still make fun of me, claiming that I don’t know which is which! But I have a trick (still!): you say hello with your right (as höger (right) starts with a h just like hälsa in Swedish). When learning English I thought right has a h, so it is höger, in French it is the opposite – gauche is spelt with h so it is not höger, in Italian the h-trick doesn’t work but I think of the word “sinister” and then I remember that sinistra is left (sinistrare actually means to injure or damage!). Phew, a bit complicated but it works for me!

Furthermore, it is quite interesting that in most languages (that I know, Swedish being the exception), right both means “not left” (as it is explained in the dictionary) and “correct” as well as a “claim” (a human right for example). No wonder the Italians call the left “sinister”. I also find it fascinating that in Spanish sordo (deaf) and zurdo (left-handed) are quite similar words (especially when not making the distinction between s and z, such as in the Puerto Rican accent)!

How do left-handed people do in cultures (Muslim countries, India etc) where the left hand is viewed as “unclean” (you should eat with your right hand and clean yourself after toilet visits with the left)? Or in countries, such as the UK and the US where many school class rooms are not equipped with real tables and just chairs with writing boards to the right? Fortunately I never had to deal with those silly, or rather discriminatory, right-leaning “chairs + writing boards” in Sweden, even though abroad it has happened quite a few times.

Read more about left-handedness here, where you can learn that left-handedness is more common among men than women (strange then that in my family it was my paternal grandmother* and I who became left-handed, and only one of my left-handed colleagues was male).

*) My paternal grandmother was forced to become right-handed in school, a common practise in many countries until recently. She always spoke about it as a very traumatic experience.

Wednesday recipe & survey: Spicy Olive oil & sheet etiquette

17 06 2009

One of the Swedish newspapers that I read, Dagens Nyheter or DN for short, has an etiquette column written by a famous etiquette expert called Margareta Ribbing. I find it absolutely fascinating to read the questions sent in by readers, the answers written by Margareta and the sometimes outrageous debates that follow through the readers’ comments.

Maybe I have been away too long from Sweden and have gotten used to adapting to foreign cultures with different traditions, or maybe I am completely oblivious to the trail of insulted Swedes and foreigners I leave behind me?? Nevertheless, I am often astounded by the etiquette issues people have. You would assume that common sense and communication would be enough to solve most problems – especially when living in a relatively homogenous society such as Sweden. Why not actually ask people what they expect from you – do they want you to take off your shoes or not, split the restaurant bill or calculate everyone’s share by the decimal…

Etiquette for hands on walls!
I found this quite unusual sign in a condo in San Juan

I don’t know if this is a typically Swedish phenomenon or if people all over the world encounter the same dilemmas in everyday life? We usually say that we Swedes are so afraid of confrontation and making fools out of ourselves, is that why etiquette is so important? I am not saying that etiquette wouldn’t be important abroad, but are Swedes more anxious to not make etiquette blunders?

And do you expats, Swedish or not, find it easier or more difficult to interact with your countrymen after having lived abroad? And how do you deal with etiquette issues with people in your adoptive country? Sometimes it might be easier to be a foreigner and blame your faux pas on that!? Are the so-called unwritten rules in Sweden stricter than abroad?

My new idea for the Wednesday posts is that I will continue publishing recipes but also polls on etiquette to see how you reason around these, at least in Sweden, hotly contested etiquette dilemmas! I know that most of my readers, or at least the ones that comment, are Swedish expats but let’s see if we all agree or disagree with Margareta Ribbing and her readers… Every Wednesday I will choose one of the questions from Etikettfrågan (The Etiquette Question) for you to vote on. Let the debate begin!

The first etiquette question:
Do you bring your own sheets & towels when you stay at friends’ places (this is a link to the original question in Dagens Nyheter – in Swedish of course)?

Do you assume that if the host doesn’t mention sheets, it means that you should bring your own stuff? Or the other way around? Does it matter if you are visiting friends in a summerhouse (maybe without a washing machine) or at their permanent home? Do you even bring your own pillow and duvet? In other words, what is your sheet & towel principle?


And now to the Wednesday recipe, which once again is one of O’s recipes! One of the many reasons why I love my O is that he is a great cook, I find that very attractive in a man! We both enjoy cooking, and as you might have guessed by now from the recipes I publish, we prefer simple recipes. This is not a recipe for an actual dish but can serve as a future ingredient in all kinds of dishes – salads, frying meat, fish or vegetables…

Spicy Olive Oil

O’s Spicy Olive Oil
– a clean empty glass bottle
– olive oil
– fresh herbs – for example rosemary or thyme
– a few peeled cloves of garlic
– sundried tomatoes and / or a few small dried chilis
– peppercorns, preferably a mix of red and black etc

Put all the ingredients in the glass bottle and add olive oil. After just a day or so the oil will have a wonderful flavour from the spices and herbs!

NB. I found that the rosemary sprig that sticks up in the air above the oil level started to grow mould – so it is probably better if you don’t use entire sprigs of rosemary (i.e cut them in smaller pieces) or regularly add more oil.

Spicy Olive Oil

One of the world’s biggest mysteries…

7 04 2009

So close yet so far away…

Far away...

Far far away…

A little closer...

A little closer…

Getting warmer...

Getting warmer…

Almost there!

Almost there!

So close yet so far away… Why? I guess just one of the world’s biggest mysteries…

Is this almost every night reccurring mystery only appearing in our household??