#SwedeInMadrid: Our plastic X-mas tree

When we lived in Sweden we would go to our own forest on "Första advent" to pick a X-mas tree. Best case there would be some snow so we could pull the tree on a sleigh all the way to our house.
We would decorate it and enjoy the smell and look of  a real tree in our house.
Twenty days after X-mas, on "Tjugondag knut" we would give it back to nature. Taking it out of the house was always a bit sad, but a natural part of saying good bye to X-mas.

Now that we live in Madrid, far away from our own forest, we have a small plastic tree. We picked it up in a shop rather than in a forest and when X-mas is over we will put it in a box so we can re-use it another year.

Different ways of celebrating. God Jul vs Feliz Navidad. I like both ways.

The feeling of X-mas comes from inside anyway. It is up to you if you see it as stressful or peaceful as I wrote in Julstress och Midsommarfrid. Don't let anyone fool you inte thinking it is normal to stress about it as I wrote in Känner du julfrid ännu?

I wish you all a great feeling of X-mas, no matter how you choose to celebrate it!

Feliz Navidad, Merry X-mas and God Jul!


#SwedeInMadrid: Cold butt in Madrid

The contrast is huge.
In the summer it gets up to 35-40 degrees celcius in Madrid. Driving motorcycle then feels like driving through hot air from hundreds of blow dryers.

When I drive to work now the feeling is quite different. With around 0 degrees and frost on the saddle, even the double gloves and extra sweater under the normal motor cycle clothes do not manage to keep me warm.

The cold is not a problem. It may not be comfortable, but I am warm enough. But coming from the west coast in Sweden and having lived in the Hague in the Netherlands I know that temperatures around or below zero can make the roads slippery and thus dangerous for bikers.

I have a colleague who drives motor cycle 60 km to work everyday. When I asked if he drives also when it freezes he said:
"Yes, of course. I always go by motorcycle."
First I thought this simply meant that he is more of a risk taker than I am, but after a while I remembered.
The difference between Madrid and Göteborg is not only the temperature. It is also the humidity. To go by motorcycle when it is freezing in Göteborg means there is a risk of ice on the road. Since Madrid is very dry, that risk is a lot smaller here.
So here in Madrid I go to work by motorcycle also in winter time. Even if it gives me a cold butt.


#SwedeInMadrid - what makes people feel safe in different countries

As a Swede it is easy to get surprised about the many high fences and bars in front of the windows in Madrid.

 A Norwegian asked us, after having lived here for just one week, if it was very unsafe.
"There are these gated communities with high fences, guards and security cameras. Is Madrid that unsafe?" 
The thing is, we do not perceive it as unsafe. When I ask Spanish people about it, they say it is a safe city, but that the fences and bars are necessary. This confuses me.

In Sweden we do not have gated communities, we do not have bars in front of windows and the fences are usually not that high. But, there are alarms. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who have installed alarms in their houses to keep burglars away.

I have always wondered if that really makes a difference. Reading the magazine Villaägarna makes it easy to think so. At first glance.

One article stated that the risk for break-ins in a house is reduced if you have an alarm.
However, when looking at the figures in the same article you see that the reduction of the risk is really, really small.

  • Amount of houses with alarms installed that get broken into: 0,59 %.
    • That means about 6 out of 1000 houses.  
  • For houses without an alarm the figure is 0,72%.
    •  That means about 7 out of 1000 houses.
A ridiculously small difference in my opinion.

High fences in Madrid, alarms in Sweden. Do they really make us safer?

I think not. But they seem to make many feel safer. And maybe that is what counts.


The girl with the butterfly hair part 3 - High-heeled shoes on a park bench

Before you read this blogspot I suggest you read the story from the beginning

She sat down on the bench. As she bent down to remove the high-heeled shoes her blond hair fell as summer curtains around her face. When she saw the blood on the inside of the shoes as well as on her heels and toes she made a face. There was no way she was going to put her feet in these shoes again.

She had walked a lot further on them than she had planned. When she had left the house where she had been waiting in vain for the boy with the long eye lashes to come back, she had expected to find a taxi or a metro station just around the corner.  But this was la Moraleja, not the center of Madrid, so even if she had walked far she still had not seen a metro station or an available taxi.

She wedged the heels of the shoes into the back of the bench. She startled when someone spoke to her in Spanish. As she looked up she saw an elderly lady smiling at her.

“Lo siento, no hablo español. Do you speak English?”
 “Oh, yes, as a matter of fact I do”, the lady said and sat down next to her.

The girl looked surprise. “That’s unusual, most Spanish people your age do not speak English!”
The lady nodded. “I know. But since I have lived in London the last twenty years, I guess I am not like ‘most Spanish people’ when it comes to speaking English.”

They both moved slightly so they could look at each other more easily.

“Have you moved back or are you just visiting?”

The girl looked at her with honest interest. The old lady knew she would not be honest back. It was too complicated. The letter that had made her go back, after all these years, still felt like it was burning in her pocket. As if he could hurt her even now, from his grave.

“That remains to be seen”, she smiled, and quickly asked a question back:
“What about you, do you intend to walk barefoot from here?”

The girl lifted her feet and showed the blisters.
“I know. And it is so stupid. All for a boy. I just wanted to look good tonight.”
“Oh, you already do dear. You just do not see it yourself.” The old lady looked down at her hands. At their wrinkles and the blue veins that spread over them like embroidery.
“Youth has its own beauty. A beauty that does not need enhancements, it is just there. The silly thing is that we normally don’t see it until we have lost it.”

The girl shrugged. Too young, too pretty to fully understand.
“From now on I will go back to sneakers. It’s not like guys dress in uncomfortable ways for us girls.”
The older woman moved her head slightly.
“Maybe not. But they sometimes do stupid, dangerous things, just to make us notice them.”
The blond girl laughed as the older woman put her hands on her knees before she stood up. 
“It is time we get you a pair of shoes.”
The girl tossed her hair back. “How?”
“My daughter owns a second hand store.  I have the keys to it. I am sure we can find you something.”

They walked away, the elderly lady and the girl without shoes. They walked away from the bench with two shoes in the backrest. 
Read part 4 of the story here.

Just like with the wine glass (see the girl with the butterfly hair part two) this story entered my head after I came across an unusual sight during one or our walks in the outskirts of Madrid. The real story behind it? Who knows...


An autumn that smells like summer

The birds chirp happily in the mornings - it sounds just like spring.
Outside of the office I hear the lawn mowers and the smell of freshly cut grass makes me think of summer.
But wait a minute. It isn't summer. It is just an unusually warm autumn in Madrid. My associations from Sweden fool me.

To think of summer when it is actually autumn is harmless. I know what month it is, I can correct myself easily. But our associations may fool us when we meet new people too.

It is easy to perceive Spaniards as rude if you measure them by Swedish standards. They interrupt regularly and talk a lot without leaving space for others to say anything. In the same way Spaniards may find that Swedes are really hard to get to know.

Whenever I enter an elevator in Madrid I will be greeted with "Hola, buenos dias" and when I leave, everyone will say "Hasta luego". What a Spaniard will experience when entering an elevator in Sweden is silence. Possibly a small nod and a smile, nothing else. They  might perceive that as very cold and rude.

In the project I am working in (with people from Sweden, Spain, the US and China) we have agreed about how to behave and what respect means for us.
We have agreed to NOT assume, because if you assume you make an Ass of U and Me.

This is not only valid when we talk about different cultures and different countries, It is valid whenever we meet other people.

Remember, what smells like summer to you, may be autumn for someone else.


The girl with the butterfly hair - part 2: A lonely wine glass

Before you read this blogspot, I suggest you read part 1, that you can find here.

She took another sip from the wine he had given her. It was probably a very nice wine, considering she was in Spain and considering how rich his family must be, living in a presumably big house behind the high stone wall she was leaning towards. When he had given her the glass of wine, he had asked her to wait just a little while, so he could prepare his family for another guest.  
So here she was, outside of the garden where the party was taking place, sipping on a glass of wine all alone. She was starting to feel silly. What was she doing here, standing outside of a house where there was a party going on, a party to which she did not seem to be welcome?

They had had fun tonight, she and the boy with the longest, darkest eye lashes she had ever seen. Much more pronounced than hers, even when she used "super volumizing mascara". It was not just the eye lashes of course. It was his shy smile, the jet black hair and the wonderful paintings he had done in art class. All of them illustrating animals of one kind or another. They had had so much fun together that it had seemed like a good idea to come along to this party. But now she had her doubts. He had asked her to wait just a few minutes. 
Now, she had been in Madrid long enough to know that "a few minutes" in Spain meant something different than a few minutes in Sweden, but still. She had waited quite some time already. If he would not come back within ten minutes she would leave.

"Have you gone insane? Do you want to ruin your big brother's graduation party?"
They are in the kitchen, he and his mother. She holds her slim arm across the chest, the other hand holding a wine glass. 
"You know how difficult this is for him. All these people. It only works because he knows them all very well and everyone knows how to treat him. And you want to bring in a new person, some foreign girl we have never seen?"
He looks at his mother, searching for words to say even though he knows he will not find the right ones.
"There are already more than twenty guests here. One more or less is not going to make a difference", he says weakly, Too weakly.
His mother puts down her wine glass on the counter.
"Don't pretend you do not know your brother, you know how strangers can upset him!"
He knows very well. He knows his brother's condition is the reason they live like they do, now that they can afford it. Away from the busy part of Madrid, behind a high wall, with access to a garden where the family has a lot of space just for themselves. No unexpected noises, no strangers coming in unannounced. A predictable world for his intelligent but socially handicapped brother. His very own Rainman. He was about to agree with his mother when she said something that really hurt.
"That you even think about this only shows that you do not really care about your brother."
His wounded look makes her step back.
"I love my brother more than you will ever understand! I know him a lot better than you and father do. But you, you only care about him, about his condition. That you have a healthy son that also has needs is something you don't care at all about!"

He grabs a wine bottle from the kitchen counter and storms out of the kitchen, out of the house, into the garden where groups of people are sitting around the pool, eating the tapas the catering firm has brought. All talking loudly while drinking wine and other drinks. 

His big brother stands on the other side of the pool, in a suit that is tailor-made for him but still looks like it belongs to someone else. When he spots his kid brother his eyes light up and he walks towards him, smiling. When he gets closer he slows down. Wants to show his affection and happiness, but wants to avoid physical touches. Not that he needs to worry, his kid brother knows very well. He just lifts his hand in their brother to brother -type of wave they have used since they were both little. 

When he has congratulated his big brother he rushes to the gate, while he wonders how he will explain to his queen of light that he really wants to be with her, but that he cannot invite her in. With the wine bottle still in his hand he nods to the guard who unlocks the gate. When he looks out his heart falls down to his stomach. 

The only thing waiting for him is an almost empty wine glass standing next to the wall.

I was inspired to this story when I encountered this wine glass outside a big garden with a stone wall during one of my morning dog walks.
The real story about this lonely wine glass? I don't know, so I made up my own.

What story would you make up?

Read part three of this story here.


#SwedeInMadrid: Dog poo density in different cities

"Watch out, dog poo!"

When walking in the streets of Madrid where we live now (or actually, we live in a town next to Madrid, but Madrid and that town has grown together, there is no clear limit between the two) this is a common warning that we give each other.

It is a bit strange that there is so much dog poo in the streets here. There are waste bins everywhere, so there is no need to carry around the filled poo bags for more than a few meters.

A year or two ago it was even easier - the waste bins were equipped with dog poo bags that dog owners could use. Unfortunately this seems to have been forgotten or considered too expensive. We have lived here for more than three months now and so far the bag holders have always been empty.

I have lived in a town with even higher dog poo density though - I have lived in Den Haag in the Netherlands. The amount of dog poo there astounded me. On the other hand, the dog poo there was often in "de goot" meaning the dog owners taught the dogs to poo in the gutter, so the risk of people stepping in it is smaller.

I am not saying that the dog poo density in Den Haag was terribly high - it was just a lot more than what I was used to from Göteborg in Sweden. (And yes, you Swedes out there who complain about the amount of dog poo - it is a lot worse in many other places...)

Below I illustrate the difference in the dog poo density (as I perceive it) in the  three cities:

I wonder why there is such a difference.

  • Is it simply a matter of amount of dogs? 
    • (There are of course a lot more dogs in Den Haag and Madrid than in Göteborg. )
  • Or are people more likely to pick up after their dogs in Sweden?
  • Or is this just a reflection of how much each city wants to spend on cleaning?

If you have any thoughts on the matter, please add your comment!


The girl with the butterfly hair - Part 1

Her hair was soft as silk as it lay on the arm he had carefully placed on her shoulders. Every time she said something she turned her head towards him and the hair, so blond that it was almost white, brushed softly over his tanned skin.

The first time he had seen her, that evening when they both started an art course in a small studio in the center of Madrid, he had been blinded by that unusual beauty. The art teacher had talked about colors; basic colors, how to mix colors and how they would experiment with colors throughout the course, but all he could think about was the absence of color, that sun-like whiteness of her hair and skin. He thought about how he wanted to draw a painting of her, with butterflies scattered all over that blond, silky hair.

He was amazed about how much they had talked tonight, him and her. He who had barely talked to her at all during the eight weeks they had had their weekly art class. He knew his English was good enough to talk to this foreign girl and normally he had no problem talking to anyone, neither boys nor girls, but as soon as this girl turned her unusually light blue eyes towards him the words would get stuck and he would end up smiling sheepishly at her. She would always smile back but it was not until tonight that they had actually talked. So much that they had not noticed when the rest of the group had left the bar where they had gathered to celebrate that they had concluded the art classes.

And now they were here, where the taxi had left them, just in front of his parents' house.  He had told her about the big party that was going on there to celebrate his brother's graduation and how his family had complained when he had chosen to go out with the art class group instead of being at home this special day. That's when she had suggested it. That they would join the party - to both celebrate the conclusion of their art classes and his brother's graduation.

He had been so thrilled at the prospect of being with her a bit longer, being in her light, that he had agreed without thinking, stopped a taxi outside of the bar where they had had a few drinks and some tapas and told the taxi driver the address.

He kept his arm around her shoulder as they both looked at the high fence that surrounded the estate. He noticed her surprised look. This place was very different from where they had just been, in the busy narrow streets around Sol in Madrid. Now they were in La Moraleja, and on top of it in the calm and posh part of it where his family had lived ever since his parents had made a fortune in the IT security business, making the whole family depending on firms specializing in personal ditto.

The girl with the butterfly hair, he still had not made the painting he had imagined when he first saw her but he knew that one day he would, stood next to him, the blue eyes wide open. Even though he was still ridiculously happy that she was here next to him, he started feeling uncomfortable. This was a bad idea. He had acted on impulse, he had not thought about this brother. His very special brother. What had he been thinking? Bringing his queen of light here was really a very bad idea.

Part 2 of this story is here.


#SwedeInMadrid: How I protect my dogs in different countries

As a matte (the Swedish word for female dog owner) my aim is to provide Love, Care and Leadership.

I have now lived with dogs in three different countries and the everyday care has been different in each of these. 

In Sweden (especially on the west cost near Kungälv) it is important to use this:

There are many ticks there and they can carry nasty diseases like Borrelia and TBE. Even though we use a spot-on preparation there is still a need to check our dog regularly and remove ticks from his skin with a tick-picker.

While living in the Netherlands I never encountered a tick. On the other hand I encountered lots and lots and lots of fleas so my lovely Lotti (on the picture together with our cat Vlekje) needed to use flea collars.

Now that we live in Spain, we expected lots of fleas, given the warm weather. We have not had a single one! We have also learned why - they need a humidity of  more than 50% and so far it has been very, very dry here in Madrid.

On the other hand there is a risk for a chronic disease called Leischmaniosis. It is transmitted through the bites of the phlebotomine sand flies. This is what we use to protect our dog from that fly: 

Another less dangerous but still annoying phenomenon are these thorny little things that now and then end up in my dog's paws during the walk.

Our care seems to have worked out fine so far - Jaspis is doing just fine in Spain!


"Someday I want to live where palm trees grow in the streets"

...my Dutch husband said some years ago.

At the time we lived in Sweden. Needless to say, Sweden is not a place where palm trees grow just like that. We had no desire to move at the time, we were very happy about our home and life in Sweden, so we let the dream be just a dream.

This year an opportunity came our way and we now live in a country where palm trees grow in the street:

Actually, they do not only grow in the streets, they grow on roofs too!

As you have probably already guessed - this blogspot is not really about palm trees.

It is about dreams.

There are people who never dream. They do not dream since they think the lives they have are the only ones they can have.

I know people who do not dare to dream, because they think they will be dispappointed if the dream does not come true.
Not that it works. As I have written in an earlier blogspot - you cannot avoid disappointment by not hoping.

I also know that there are many who do not express their dreams, not even to themselves. If they do, they feel that they have to act on them. Set up goals, do actions and follow-up.

Sure for some dreams that may apply - if you know exactly what you want you can "Dream it, plan it and do it" and you will need to put in the necessary effort as I wrote in this blogspot.

But other dreams should just be dreams. Dreams that inspire you and make you happy.

And then maybe one day, the dream will come true. Not because you followed a certain plan, but because your dream guided you in  your everyday decisions and kept your eyes open for the opportunities that came your way. Maybe even without you noticing it.

When it comes to my husband's dream -  he has now planted  a palm tree in our front garden.

Keep on dreaming!


#SwedeInMadrid - Park bench for skinny butts

Park benches in Madrid are often made of iron and wood

A man with a skinny butt wished that he could
Sit on something softer than wood or stone

So he decided to fix it on his own

In a country where it rarely rains
(without irrigation they turn into deserts, the Spanish plains)
it is possible to have a sofa in the street
without adding a water resistant sheet

So without any further ado
that is what the man decided to do
He knew he would be considered a nut
but he did not care - finally there was a soft bench for his skinny butt


This blogspot was inspired by a sofa I saw on the street when I walked my dog.
A bit more likely than my poem above, is that the owners got tired of it and left it on the street for the garbage collectors to handle. 

From what I have seen so far here in Madrid the ones who take care of garbage (protected by bike helmets when they "hang" on the back of the garbage truck as you can see) are very flexible and seem to take care of anything people put on the street.
Sooner or later.


#SwedeInMadrid - On which side of the street would you walk?

Take a look at the picture below.
On which side of the street would you walk? Your answer will most likely show where you come from.


For instance, most Swedes will without a doubt pick the sunny side of the street. In a country where there are several months a year when you barely see the sun you take the opportunity to be in it whenever you can. Especially since it may be nice and warm in the sun, but rarely hot. Like my Dutch husband said when he moved to Sweden:
"It's so weird, I can see the sun, but I can't feel it!"
However, those who live in Spain (or other warm countries) know the danger of dehydration and will avoid the scorching heat of the sun by being in the shade as much as possible. So they will mostly walk on the shaded side of the street.

Let's have a look at the data:

No big surprises there. We all know it is hotter in Madrid, Spain than in Göteborg, Sweden. What I find more interesting than the actual figures, is how the temperature affects daily life.

Since we have moved to Madrid we...
  • Walk in the shade rather than in the sun
  • Bring lots and lots of water wherever we go (and drink from the many water fountains that are spread out in the parks of Madrid)
  • Get up early to walk the dog before it gets hot - and take it easy during the warm afternoon
  • Cool down regularly in the pool (an outdoor pool heated only by the sun)
The interesting thing is that this year (2014) it has been an unusually cool summer in Madrid and a superwarm summer in Sweden - and we still think the weather in Madrid is superhot!

Do you have any tips to share about how to deal with heat?
Or maybe, how to deal with a cold and dark climate?
The comments field is all yours!
(You can write the comments in any language you want - there is always google translate...)


Nattsvarta rubriker döljer mångfärgad verklighet

Spårvagnen skramlade vidare. Den ovanligt varma sensommaren vällde in när dörrarna öppnades. Smilla blåste en bubbla med sitt tuggummi. Hon brydde sig inte om att sitta, hon satt så mycket på dagarna ändå, nu när skolan hade börjat igen.
"Visst är det för jäkligt? Det går verkligen bara utför med den svenska skolan." Mannen som pratade satt på ett säte någon meter framför henne. Han läste debattsidan i en dagstidning. Sportbilagan använde han som en solfjäder men svetten pärlade ändå ner längs hans rödbrända ansikte.
"Först PISA undersökningen, där vi är sämre än, jag vet inte hur många andra länder. Vad är det frågan om?"
"Jag tycker att man ska vara försiktig med komparativa undersökningar." Det var först när mannen med tidningen vände sig om för att se på henne som Smilla insåg att hon hade tänkt högt.
"Alltså, jag menar... det kanske inte är vi som har blivit sämre. Det kan vara de andra länderna som har blivit bättre. Det behöver inte vara dåligt eller hur? Det kanske till och med är bra ur ett internationellt perspektiv om till exempel Estland får bättre resultat än vi?"
"Men det är ju inte bara den där undersökningen", invände damen som satt bredvid mannen med tidningen  "Det är ju så många lärare som bränner ut sig också. Med alla nerdragningar så behöver de ta hand om en massa sociala problem utöver att lära barnen att läsa och räkna."
"Min farmor har varit lärare. Hon tog också hand om barn från familjer med problem."
"Ja, men, ja men...", den svettiga mannen verkade bli upprörd och Smilla funderade på att gå av redan på nästa hållplats även om hon då skulle få gå extra långt hem.
"...om man ser på eleverna som börjar på de tekniska universiteten - deras matematikkunskaper är ju bedrövliga! De kan knappt räkna så lärarna behöver ändra hela kursplanen!"
En man med kort och busigt hår som stått en bit bort kom och ställde sig bredvid Smilla.
"Visst ändrar vi kursplanen. Men det vore konstigt om vi kunde köra samma kursplan år efter år, vore det inte? Världen ändrar sig och då behöver våra metoder att lära ut göra detsamma." Han log godmodigt.
"Jag jobbar på Chalmers. Visst är mattekunskaperna lägre eller åtminstone annorlunda hos de som börjar idag än de som började för tjugo år sedan. Men det är också så att teknologerna kan ta sig an avancerade problem tidigare. Kanske första året istället för fjärde. Allt arbete de har gjort med datorer gör skillnad. Det viktiga är vad de kan när de är klara på Chalmers. Jag kan garantera att de resultaten inte har sjunkit."

Spårvagnen stannade. Smilla hoppades att mannen med det okammade håret inte skulle gå av ännu.
"Visst ska man vara försiktig med att tolka komparativa undersökningar", fortsatte han. "Egentligen ska man vara försiktig när man tolkar undersökningar överhuvudtaget. För att inte tala om vikten att se genom alla nattsvarta rubriker. De finns inte där för att vara sanningsenliga. De finns där för att vi ska köpa tidningarna eller klicka på facebook-inlägget. Verkligheten är tack och lov mer komplicerad än så."

När Smilla klev av log hon i solgasset. Hon, resten av Sveriges elever, ja hela svenska skolan, var kanske annorlunda än förr. Inte nödvändigtvis sämre. Och om det nu var så, så var det ju bara förbättra sig själv och skolan, istället för att sitta och beklaga sig. Ryggsäcken med matteböckerna i kändes plötsligt inte alls så tung längre.

Detta inlägg är inspirerat av en artikel i ingenjören där flera personer som arbetar på tekniska högskolor beskriver hur de ser på elevernas kunskaper och möjligheter idag.

Om du vill läsa ett liknande inlägg kan jag rekommendera en titt på Dags att bryta gnällspiralen.


Annies midsommarnattsdröm

Smörblomma, klöver och en vacker viol
Låg med fyra andra i hennes uppvikta kjol
Annie plockade dem mest för skojs skull
Hon var inte den som var skrockfull

Drömmen kom med fart, den hade inget stopp
Hon åkte i en luftballong upp till Urbergets topp
I korgen låg en påse med magiskt pulver i
Hon strödde ut det och ropade: Bli fri, bli fri!

Det föll på Alkis-Berta
som hällde ur flaskan och blev fri från själens smärta
Det föll på Pundar-Kalle
som från och med då fick en drogfri skalle

Det föll på tjocka Anders
som kastade läsken åt fanders
Det föll på magra Anne-Lie
Som blev av med sin anorexi

Det föll på den slagna Mari
Som till slut sa: Det här finner jag mig inte i!
Det föll på den slående Knut
och i ett slag tog hans okontrollerbara ilska slut.

Pulvret trängde in i sjukhusens alla salar
och alla blev starka nog att vandra i både berg och dalar
Pulvret öppnade fängelsets dörr
Fångarna gick ut, laglydiga och lyckliga som aldrig förr

Ballongen den dalar, pulvret är slut
Annie kliver glad på ängen ut
Och se, där bland blommorna står han
Den som kommer att bli hennes älskade man

Glad midsommar önskar jag er alla!


Rätta svaren på tävlingen

I förra veckan kunde alla nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter delta i en tävling. Här är frågorna och de rätta svaren:

Fråga 1:
Vilket år skrev jag första inlägget på bloggen?
Första inlägget skrev jag 20 juli 2011:
Start av Annikaslol!

Fråga 2:
Skriv namnet på en av mina föreläsningar.
Jag har 4 olika föreläsningar som jag ger till intresserade:
Gör det du vill, inte det du hinner
Vi är alla fantastiska - även när livet golvar oss

Att Skriva
Skuld, hämnd och förlåtelse

Fråga 3 och 4 var utslagsfrågor som handlade om vilka av mina inlägg som har varit mest populära mätt i hur många som har tittat på dem (hur många "page views").
Dessa 5 har varit mest populära där den översta har varit mest populär:

Putsa fönster i minusgrader

Konsten att koka en groda

Äsch, jag är så dålig på matte

Hund i snor

Nothing else matters

Jag är själv förvånad över vinnaren - är det verkligen så många som är intresserade av att putsa fönster i minusgrader? Kanske beror det på att några av klickningarna är gjorde av program snarare än av människor - program som vill lägga upp reklam för till exempel fönsterputsare (reklam som jag eller blogger tog bort så snart den dök upp).
Några tävlanden hade gissat att den var med bland topp 3 men ingen hade gissat att den var mest populär.

Konsten att koka en groda och Hund i snor är onekligen rubriker som kittlar nyfikenheten och har  nog därför hamnat högt. Att så många har läst om matematik tycker jag är både roligt och förvånande.

Ingen av mina tävlande hade gissat helt rätt, så vinnaren blev den som ändå hade mest rätt. Vinnaren kommer att få ett mail i morgon så att hen kan välja vilken av följande vinster hen vill ha:

Om du inte var med i tävlingen eller om du inte vann men ändå är intresserad av att köpa något av priserna är det bara att skriva en kommentar så ordnar jag det!
(Halsbanden är dock unika så om vinnaren väljer att halsband så går det inte att köpa just det halsbandet.)
Lisbeth Eks vackra halsband kostar 100 kronor styck (+ frakt)
Jenny, Jenny och Ursus går att köpa för 129 resp 149 kronor styck + frakt.

Tack till alla som deltog!


Jag vill inte blogga om vad jag äter till frukost

Detta var min första kommentar när jag pratade med en coach jag hade tillgång till under en kurs arrangerad av Balansekonomi.

Vi pratade om hur jag skulle kunna hitta fler läsare till mina böcker. Hur skulle jag få folk att veta att de överhuvudtaget fanns?

Min coach föreslog att jag skulle använda nätet, till exempel blogga. Min bild av bloggar då var att folk skrev vad de hade gjort under dagen, som någon slags öppen dagbok. Det hade jag inte lust med. Jag är också fullständigt ointresserad av både mode och kändisar som annars verkar vara populära bloggämnen.

Då sa min coach det i efterhand så självklara:
"Men, du kan ju blogga på ditt sätt."

Och det är precis vad jag har gjort, i hundra inlägg inklusive det här!

Det firar jag med en tävling för alla nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter som idag får ett mail med tävlingsfrågor att besvara.

För er som läser bloggen utan att vara nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter firar jag med nedan bild och ett stort tack för att ni läser och ibland kommenterar det jag skriver!

100 inlägg - hurra, hurra, hurra, hurra!!!


Tävling i morgon - se sista priset i prispotten!

I morgon är det dags att fira 100:ade inlägget på bloggen!
Alla nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter kommer då att få ett mail där det står hur tävlingen går till.
(Det går alltså inte att delta i tävlingen enbart genom att läsa bloggen, alla som vill kan bli nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter genom att fylla i sin mailadress till höger.)

Vinnaren kommer att få välja sitt pris och sista priset som finns i prispotten är detta vackra glashjärta som Lisbeth Ek har skapat:

I morgon kommer 100:ade inlägget och tävlingsmailet till alla nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter - håll utkik!


Tävlingsdags - vill du vinna Ursus?

Tävlingen som alla nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter kommer att få mail om på torsdag innehåller många priser att välja på.
Om du vill vara med i tävlingen men ännu inte är prenumerant så kan du bli det genom att fylla i din mailadress här till höger.

Självklart ingår även min andra roman Ursus-dit rättvisan inte når, i prispotten.

"[Ursus - dit rättvisan inte når är] en historia som berättas i scener vilka främst utspelar sig i göteborgsförorter och dalsländsk naturidyll; det är nästan som att se en film. Det är en omfångsrik roman som bjuder på mycket dialog och som överraskar i hur den rymmer allt från en slags Harlequin-tematik till en hårdkokt värld där kyligt beslutsamma muskulösa torpeder tar lagen i egna händer. [...]" 
Marie Eriksson på Bibliotekstjänst (BTJ)

En svårighet med mycket skönlitteratur är de första sega 50 sidorna, men du börjar liksom på sida 51. 
 Nicke, en av mina läsare

Min fru har läst ut din bok. Hon tycker att den är fantastisk, mer läsvärd än böcker från mer kända författare. Hon kommer att rekommendera den till sina vänner! 
Christer som köpte boken till sin fru

Men det bästa är förstås om du gör din egen bedömning, det kan du göra genom att provläsa på den här länken.


Tävlingsdags - möjlig vinst nummer 7

På torsdag skickas tävlingsfrågorna ut till alla nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter.

Vinnaren får välja sin vinst - om du vinner kanske du väljer denna vackra blå blomma av Lisbeth Ek?


Tävlingsdags - andra halvlek av möjliga tävlingsvinster!

Vi är nu inne på andra halvan av möjliga tävlingsvinster för tävlingen nästa vecka - en tävling som alla nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter kan vara med i!

Idag ser ni ytterligare två av Lisbeth Eks glassmycken, i olika färger och olika former.

3,5 cm lång, 2 cm bred

3,5 cm lång, 3 cm som bredast

Vilken är din favorit?


Tävlingsdags - möjlig vinst nummer fem!

Här kommer möjlig vinst nummer fem i tävlingen som alla nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter med automatik kommer att bjudas in till! Ännu ett vackert smycke av min kollega Lisbeth Ek:
En blekrosa, glittrande droppe:

Jag fick kommentaren att det var svårt att se på bilderna hur stora smyckena är, så här kommer mått på det här smycket:
3,5 cm som längst och 3 cm som bredast, ca 0,5 cm tjockt.


Tävlingsdags - möjlig vinst nummer fyra!

Alla ni nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter kommer att få delta i en tävling nästa vecka, med anledning av mitt 100:ade inlägg på bloggen.
(Om du inte redan är prenumerant blir du det enkelt till höger här på bloggen).

Här kommer nummer fyra av de priser vinnaren kan välja på:

Jenny, Jenny, min debutroman:

Om den har bland annat följande sagts:

"Jenny, Jenny är en hyllad debut som alla borde känna till"
"Jag blev faktiskt lite besviken när jag insåg att den var slut. Jenny, Jenny är absolut värd att läsa."

"Jag har nu läst ut Jenny, Jenny och när jag väl började läsa den kunde jag inte sluta. Riktigt bra skrivet! Jag tycker du byggt upp dramatiken på ett fängslande sätt med den framtida parallellhistorien som håller läsaren på halster."
Helena, en av mina läsare

Något för dig eller någon av dina vänner? Var då med i tävlingen nästa vecka!


Tävlingsdags - möjlig vinst nummer tre!

I tävlingen som alla mina nyhetsbrevsprenumeranter kan delta i nästa vecka finns det fina priser att välja mellan. Här är möjlig vinst nummer tre, ännu ett blålila smycke skapat av Lisbeth Ek, men med en annan form än det smycke jag visade för två dagar sedan.

Något för dig eller vän? Se till att delta i tävlingen nästa vecka!