Strange beasts and mysterious voyages

I don’t believe I mentioned last week that a reason I was getting all het up about Swedish grammar was that there was a test this Wednesday. Fortunately perhaps it wasn’t until the break between the 1st and 2nd part of the test that I found out that the result of the test decides whether or not we would pass on to the next level. I had been quite sufficiently stressed prior to that, though as our teacher had been able to tell us after a preparatory test what we needed to focus on, I knew when the time came to sit down that I had studied as much as I could.
I don’t yet have the result for the 2nd part, the written section which I am most concerned about, but I did get the result for the reading and comprehension section yesterday. 100% seems a satisfactory result, and the first time I’ve got that score in anything for a very long time. I also found out a lot more about the founder and founding of Ikea, which was a bonus.

A brief fall of snow

A brief fall of snow

Other than studying, last weekend we visited the Natural History Museum with a new friend of ours, which was great fun to explore. Among the mola mola and aye-ayes were enormous rooms of birds (we had wandered down one long corridor only to turn a corner and find another of identical size, almost losing the will to be curious about birds in the process), a scale model of an orca (huge!), a wombat (or should I say, vombat) and a flodhäst, which literally translates as river horse. For those who know a bit of Greek or know random trivia, you’ll probably have guessed what it was.
After which we headed to an Iranian restaurant and ate and chatted and whiled away the last hours of weekend sunlight.

An aye-aye, looking even more alien in the flesh, so to speak

An aye-aye, looking even more alien in the flesh, so to speak

I may also have got my foot in the door at an independent school. So far I’m going to be sitting in on classes and getting to know how the teachers and lessons work, and then potentially be a relief teacher. After that, who knows? I am rather excited by the idea that the school is based on feminist principles – oh Sweden!

That is unfortunately about all I have to report this week, as I have to get on with packing for a flight this afternoon. Where to, you ask? I don’t actually know yet. It’s a joint birthday present for myself and my partner which he has organised, and as it was a secret in the beginning it has stayed that way, despite moments of wanting to do away with the suspense. As of 4 this afternoon I’ll know, and so all I can promise is that in a week there’ll be a longer post, full of adventures and apparently weather over 15C (!!!), so until then I hope you have a great week.

When in Sweden…

Last weekend I tried skiing for the first time, however unless there is an event for slowly sliding backwards down a snowy slope while saying ‘Oh dear’, I fear I won’t be participating in the winter Olympics this year.

I’ve long entertained romantic images of myself gliding easy across snowdrifts, looking around at trees and stunning vistas and have been looking forward to trying it out while we’re here in Scandinavia. My partner was even more enthused, having been snowboarding before and eager to try again, so when he found a ski park not far from Göteborg, the plan was set.
We headed off with two friends, bright and early, though were discouraged by the recent rain and the iciness of the snow that remained. On our arrival we found that the snow had been iced over and was very slippery, and as we waited for the park to open we weighed our options. There were no lessons available and these weren’t the ideal conditions, but nothing it seemed could prevent my partner from unleashing himself upon the slopes. His first attempt on the little slope was, well, his first attempt, but eventually he set off up the bigger slopes and was soon gliding happily down, hardly ever on his back.

Ready to hit the slopes

Ready to hit the slopes

Meanwhile I decided to have a go and got myself decked out skiing gear and had my first try and skiing. Not quite graceful gliding, but after much concentration and effort I did manage to move forward. One of the friends who had come with us joined me and we set to, slowly climbing the little slope and then trying to work out how to stop or turn as we sped down again. By observing others (mostly around the age of 5 in our area) I worked out the basics, but each attempt at stopping or slowing down resulting in shooting off to the left. An attempt from the pinnacle of the little slope resulted in sliding into a pole and gradually making my way down while trying not to go tearing off into the lifts.
At the end of the day, though, much progress had been made from knowing nothing, though a descent from the taller slope was still out of the question. Next time I would like to try cross-country skiing, which I imagine would involve fewer slopes. Also lessons.

Study can be fun

Study can be fun

Other than adventures in the snow, this last week has been primarily focussed on preparing for a Swedish test on Wednesday, and another next Wednesday. This week’s was in preparation for the other which is much more important, and to show us and the teacher what we need to be focussing on. For me it was mostly writing. It seems sort of odd to me now as I happily type away that stringing words together is such a struggle, but someone the rules don’t seem to penetrate. What I need to do, I think, is divorce the forming sentences from all English grammar and think only in term of Swedish.
Subjekt – Verb – Objekt.
Q-ord – Verb – Subject – V2 – Objekt.
Adverbial – Verb – Subjekt – V2 – Objekt.
Infinitiv efter hjalpverb.
Still they are rules, floating above the forming ideas, not implanted yet. More practice is needed. Perhaps I should write an update in svenska någon tid? För en publik av en.

Getting there!

Getting there!

On the subject of writing I have also managed recently to finish a short story, the first one I’ve finished in over a year. Yay! It is currently being read out at the finest writing centre in the world (who me, biased?) by an obliging friend and getting good reviews and critiques. Which makes the distance between Göteborg and Greenmount Hill seem not so vast.