Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Spring in the sunshine and winter in the shade

I'm up to my ears in EU-projects, funding and complicated application requirements. It pretty much zaps any attempts from my side to be witty or creative, it's like there's a limited amount of brain power and at the moment mine is all diverted into understanding European structural funds.

Luckily, Easter weekend is coming up and I can pause that process for a few days and devote my time to live music, dancing, cooking and drinking wine.

Speaking of wine, when writing my shoppinglist for today my brain (or hand? Maybe I have alien hand syndrome) decided to write "life" instead of "wine". And to be honest, looking back at the past week, I do need a god damn life. And wine.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

We used to be so young and naive

I went through all my stored "house" stuff today. Glasses, plates, bowls and silver spoons. Everything I got for birthdays or graduations and never brought with me over to the UK. It's been stored in boxes, gathering dust for years. A few hours later it's now all wiped down and organised. Conclusions? I like organizing stuff and I own a lot of glasses. But the best finds must have been a bunch of old photos and letters, at the bottom of a cupboard.
The teenage-cringe is pretty much overflowing (there was a lot of poetry... Me and my friends all wanted to be rather "artsy"). There was old receipts for Nirvana CD's, love letters, school photos....

Christ, I was a pretentious little teen.
It's so good to get older.
So incredibly great not to be that age.
And it's nice not to feel anything but love when looking at the pictures. We were so damn cute and we turned out so well.
Who would have thought.

(If you want to see a photo of me at 15 looking sporty you could always follow me on instagram. EmmaLinneaEngstrom,)

Friday, 22 March 2013

10 to 1 Q&A

Happy Friday! Let's procrastinate for a few minutes with this list that I stole from here.

10 Things I like
1. Buying new perfume.
2. Crawling in to a bed made with fresh sheets.
3. Different shapes of pasta.
4. Big, over the top, musical numbers.
5. When you and your friends just can't stop laughing in spite of your belly hurting and all your makeup being halfway down your face mixed with your tears.
6. That point in a new relationship when you realise that FUCK, I really, really love this person and you find out he/she feels the exact same way.
7. Walking to a club/pub/restaurant with wine in my belly and my best friends by my side.
8. Sitting outside with a glass of sparkling wine and feeling the sun on my back.
9. First kisses.
10. Kittens falling over.

9 Things I don't like

1. That my best friends in the whole universe live in a different country and not up the road.
2. That it's still freezing outside.
3. That, because of afore mentioned freezing temperatures, I still haven't gotten to use my new trenchcoat.
4. Crabs.
5. Waking up from a nightmare about crabs.
6. Youbtube-comments.
7. Saying goodbye.
8. Awkward silences.
9. My outfit today. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I got dressed but now I feel uncomfortable and too hot.

8 Blogs I read
NiotillFem, Nina, Elsa Billgren, The Bloggess, The Sadbox, Fifty Scents, Animals talking in all caps and What should we call me.

7 Things I want to do in the future
1. Go back to Berlin and stay for at least a month.
2. Earn enough money to build up some kind of savings account so that I'm not stranded in an other case of major life-screw up.
3. A masters degree.
4. Go to Tokyo.
5. Own a Elie Saab dress.
6. Own my own flat/house with my own balcony.
7. Be really fucking happy.

6 Things I'm scared of
1. Never getting the job I want.
2. Winding up a little old lonely lady.
3. Skin cancer.
4. Being too far away to help my friends or family.
5. Moths.
6. Losing my hair.

5 Places where I like to be
1. The meadows in Edinburgh on a sunny day, when half the town all have the same idea and you keep running in to people you know.
2. My parents kitchen around Christmas.
3. Walking along the Seine in Paris in September.
4. In my friends livingrooms, dancing to 90s hits.
5. In beer gardens with a big group of people during the first days of spring.

4 Words to describe me
1. Smiley
2. Strong.
3. Soft (because I truly believe you can be both strong and soft. Being strong does not mean you have to be a cold).
4. Chatty.

3 Things I look forward to
1. The smell of sunlotion on my skin.
2. July, when my gang comes over for LADS DOES SWEDISH SUMMER: THE SEQUAL.
3. Love.

2 Good films
Today I'm going for upbeat, happy stuff (cause it's FRIDAY) so how bout The Muppets and 10 Things I hate about you.

1 Good Song
Take a walk by Passion Pit.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Life, boiled down to the content of my handbag

Continuing on the theme of the previous post I actually do think that you can say a lot about a person based on the content of their handbag. I Show me your handbag and I'll show you your life!
My handbag, this very day, contains:
  • My yellow purse, which is falling apart but I'm reluctant to part with.
  • 3 pens (blue and black ink).
  • One handheld mirror.
  • One tiny hairbrush.
  • One set of yellow post-it notes.
  • Some paperclips.
  • Some change.
  • 2 shades of red lipstick.
  • Some clear lipgloss.
  • Some lipbalm.
  • Liquid eyeliner.
  • Scented wet wipes.
  • A lighter.
  • Gloves.
  • Keys to my house, my bike and work.
  • A memory stick.
  • A note pad for everything that I could possibly need to write down.
  • Iron supplements. I don't normally take them but as I donated blood last week the nurses seem to think it's a good idea to keep my iron-levels up. All I can think is that if Magneto from the X-Men attacked me I'd be royally fucked.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

I say, it's the fire in my eyes, and the flash of my teeth, the swing in my waist, and the joy in my feet.

Thesadbox pondered on how a persons scarf might say something about them. The smell, the fabric, the colours and the pattern. I suppose that if you wear something daily it might take on a part of your personality, and in northern Europe we currently do not leave the house without at least ONE scarf. It's still snowing and spring does seem very far away.

I don't know if my scarf says anything about me. It's soft and worn, a bit torn by the edges but you won't notice unless you look at it up close. It's colourful and smells like a mixture of my skin, my hallway and Chanel perfume. It's probably been washed once of twice since I got it and it's been with me through winter, spring, summer and autumn.
In a way I guess I use it as a safety blanket, or a shield against the world. It's big enough to use as an actual blanket if called for and I have fallen asleep underneath it.

After 4 years of university and reading meaning after meaning into other peoples words I think I could write an essay about my scarf as a reflection of me. But I won't. Because today I will mainly learn about EU-projects on a regional level and that leaves very little space for other thoughts. So I will leave you at that and attempt not to get sucked into further procrastination.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

How nice of you to take photos of my suffering, mother.

This is how perky I looked having breakfast with my parents this morning. Let's just say I decided to celebrate the end of the working week with a tiny bit too much wine. But you know, after the week I've had I say I deserved a drink. Luckily I seem to have managed to shake my hangover and even dragged myself out for a walk and got to meet my brand new baby cousin. His 3-year old sister wasn't overly impressed ("He's so small, he can't even WALK") but in all honesty babies really don't do a lot,
Now, I'd say I deserve a day of tea, catching up on sunshine, tv-series and sleep. So that's what I intend to do. Enjoy your weekend my dears. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Excuse me, universe, I'd like to return this month, it seems to be broken.

I'd just like to make it known that I'm not bloody OK with this snow.
So I will keep wearing my floral dresses and tights until the universe decides to give in and give me some sunshine and bearable temperatures. M'kay, thank you please.

Monday, 11 March 2013

...And it's all over much too quickly

Internship, projects, coffee, learning new software in ten minutes, not sleeping/sleeping too much, trying not to weep when visiting my flu-ridden grandparents and seeing how badly a fever can affect a person in their 80s.
Buying the perfect spring coat only to be faced by -10 and biting winds, losing faith in humanity, finding it again, losing it, finding it.
Battling the stress, the angst, the hope, the fears. Dreaming of teleportation and summer nights.
Smiling even though I'd rather scream, nursing the hope and giggling like a fool. And yes, it's all over much too quickly.

Friday, 8 March 2013


To all the women in my life and those who aren't (because feminism is global).
To all the mother's, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, friends and lovers. To the women who have wiped my tears, laughed with me, held my hair for me when I've been sick from too much wine.

To the ones who raised me, the ones who nursed me, the ones who cared for me. To the teachers who opened up my eyes, the authors, artists, singers. To the friends who have been by my side, in classrooms, demonstrations, bars, parks and offices.

To the ones who kept me strong and the ones who kept me humble.
To the ones who have inspired me and the ones who kept my chin up.

You are my stars. And today is about celebrating you, the ones who got us this far. It's about giving you the attention you deserve so that we never forget that it's always, ALWAYS worth to stand up and fight for what you believe in.

I believe in you, and I believe we still have a long way to go but if I can have you as company I'm happy to walk that walk.
All my love.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Let me tell you that I love you, and that I think about you all the time

Today I miss Edinburgh so much it hurts. I'm not just saying that, it feels like I'm pouring salt in to a wound then I look at a map over Scotland. It stings and burns and makes me feel like there's a gaping hole in my body.
I've come to realize that I will always miss it. It was home for 7 years. That's a long time, and I did most of my growing up over there. It has left me with a sense of a dual nationality, and unfortunately also with a feeling of not really belonging anywhere. My best friends in the whole world are over there. The future I want seems to be over here. My family is here, but I still seem to be in my element in Britain. I fit in in a way I never did in Sweden. But maybe that's because I never gave it a chance to begin with.

Not a week goes by without me wondering if I made the right decision to move back. I don't think I will stop questioning myself until I've set down some proper roots over here. When you're in limbo it's easy to long for the place where you felt safe. I used to long for Sweden and ache when thinking about the salty air of my home town. I have been torn between these two places for so long.

I left because I wasn't happy with the way my life had turned out and I wanted to change it. Just rip it up and change it all. I don't think that I can ever go back, not to how it used to be. I want to be able to give Sweden the same chance I gave Scotland and truly set down some roots. But I will never stop missing my Edinburgh streets, the smell of the city, the lights, the people, the loves of my life. I left a bit of my heart over there and I will have to accept that it's always going to haunt me.

But I suppose the wound will scar and one day I will wake up and realize that I'm finally at home.


I don't know WHY I though that a documentary about Great Ormonds Street's children's hospital was a good things to watch during lunch. Really, Linnea. Bad move.

Now if you excuse me I'm just gonna sit in a corner, crying while desperatly trying to find my happy place for the rest of the afternoon.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Please, please, please (I want it all)

Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue.... And if I keep repeating it over and over maybe it will finally sink in and I will find it easier not to just demand everthing I want right this very moment.

Looking at the 7 heavenly virtues Vs. the 7 deadly sins I must say sinning just seems to come a lot more natural to must people (me included).

Let's have a look, why don't we? Starting off with the virtues.

1. Chastity. To abstain from sexual conduct and refraining from intoixicants. To be honest, that sounds dull as dishwater.

2. Temperance. Fair enough, I get this one. I find it important, even. But like many of the virtues it's just damn difficult, I mean, finding a just balance between the needs of others and your own needs? Isn't that what causes the modern human's massive amounts of angst, all the time? 

3. Charity. Well, this is a no-brainer. I even portrayed charity in a photoshoot a few years back (why charity? I don't know, maybe I looked like someone wh donates money to the red cross). No need to argue with this, giving is good. Although at the moment I'm so skint the only thing I can donate is my blood.

4. Diligence. To work hard, and with integrity. Yes, once again, I get this. Do it well or not at all, I'm all for working hard. Except for Sundays when I truly believe time is best spent under a blanket or in a pub.

5. Patience. Yes, I would say we have covered this one already. And, no, I still can't say it's one of my virtues. Maybe bacause I have a constant loop of "I want it all" by Queen in my head.

6. Kindness. Now this one I would say I can rock though. I truly believe in the power of being kind. And although I'm trying to train myself to be a little bit thougher, a little bit less reasonable, I still believe in killing problems with kindness. Nothing like a smile and some polite words to disarm unreasonable people. Unless, of course, we have a disagreement regarding how awesome Queen are, because then my kindness is very limited. I love Queen.

7. Humility. Aaaah. The one trait everyone seems to struggle with. And it's a tricky one as well. You don't want to over-do it and become some kind of wet blanket. I do think that you should be proud of yourself, and of what you're done. But you don't want to be blinded by your own awesomeness, and you do need to give credit when it's due. I thought I was FINE with this, but at times I do wonder. Keeping it in mind, either way.

And now, for the other end of the spectrum (dahdahDUUUUUUM). The 7 deadly sins:

1. Lust. Yeeeeah, don't really feel that lust should be considered sinful, unless you have no self-control what so ever. Lust is good, lust is fun, and lust can push you to try new things (hey, talking about lust for adventure, power and fame here, it's not all sexual. Get your minds out of the gutter!)

2. Gluttony. We've all been there. You've cooked too much pasta and instead of saving it for next day's lunch box you decide to go all out and OD on carbs and cheese. I suppose some people can resist gicing in to a bit of gluttony, but to be perfectly honest, I quite like digging my way through a whole carton of Ben & Jerry's every now and then. As long as I can combat the following guilt with some form of exercise.

3. Greed. I'm not gonna argue with this one. Greed is probably the root of most of the problems in this world and unlike lust and (a tiny bit of) gluttony it can't be used for fun. Thumbs down for greed!

4. Sloth. As in extreme laziness, not the adorable animal. Not gonna argue with this one either, I'm just gonna look at pictures of baby sloths instead. 
I mean, check these cute guys out! Picture from here.
 5. Wrath. So anger and rage might not be the most positive of emotions. I still like to make the case for productive rage, for  getting really pissed off about stuff and then doing something constructive about it. Constructive does NOT include punching a wall/person, vandalising property, trolling on the internet or spitting in someones food (even though the last option is tempting at times).

6. Envy. Oh, we've all been there. I know I have. You WANT to be happy for your friend who's landed the awesome job/perfect boyfriend or bought that lovely flat. But instead you just feel yourself being taken over by the green eyed monster and then you wallow in self-pity. Nothing good comes from envy, unless you're good at turning negatives into positives and use it as a driving force to get what you want. But even then I would say it's a negative. Let's all agree to work on this one, yeah?

7. Pride. In the naaaaaaaaaaaaaaame of LOVE! (No? Ok. No U2. Promise.) Pride is according to Wikepedia the one sin which histoically is considered the most sinful. I do face this with a healthy dose of scepticism. When an old book tells you that PRIDE is punishable with eternal suffering, but doesn't mention killing, enslaving or raping anywhere on that list of sins, well, then I think you are allowed to start questioning your source of information and guidance. I'm all about pride. Pride is positive. Being a stuck up, snarky, inflated jerk on the other hand, isn't.

So. As an atheist who puts most of her moral priciples down to a good upbringing, good friends and Yoda from Star Wars I can honestly say that the lessons learnt from my venture in to virtues and sins are:
  1. Try to use some self-control
  2. Never trust everything a book tells you
  3. And try not to be a dick.
It's not that difficult really. And as for my lack of pateience I find taking a deep breath and counting to ten often helps.

First days of spring

Friday, 1 March 2013

Top five feelings today

  1. The sun on my face.
  2. That first sip of coffee in the morning, how it tingles in the back of my head and I feel myself waking up. Like a hug for my brain.
  3. When my painkillers kick in and make my insane period pains go away (screw you, mother nature, I have medication).
  4. Feeling gravely ground beneath my feet instead of ice and snow.
  5. Not having hair in my eyes like in the above picture. Still loving the fringe. Hurrah!
I feel strangely... Positive. It's MARCH, people. That means spring. And yesterday was such an insanely good day in so many ways that I'm still nursing a bit of a glow from it all. I mean, any day which involves promising meetings, good coffee, the birth of TWINS and the news of a close friends engagement to an amazingly lovely person...Well, it can only make you happy, no? 
The two worst months of the year are over. This is when it really starts. This is when we come out of hibernation and blink at the strange glowing object in the sky. Stretch, smile and go on to spending far too much time freezing out asses of in thin spring-jackets because we feel like it's almost SUMMER. Bring it on.