UN Studio’s research into climate zones and energy benchmarks. “The goal of this research was to develop a clean energy and self-sustained building which can be operated without support of the power grid or auxiliary batteries in the European Union.” This building was completed in Greece, and unfortunately is still quite costly. It works best when being off-grid is a total requirement.
These diagrams indicate fairly succinctly the practical + theoretical agenda and related design disciplines for UNstudio. It’s also interesting to see their continued fascination with the trefoil motif from the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
Reading the Swedish— much better this time around.
So busy this spring!
Well I haven’t updated in a long time, mostly because I have been so busy! I was studying like mad for my last Swedish for Immigrants test and then I had the craziest of crazy things happen to me where I got called into an interview that I wasn’t expecting at all! Then there was Easter, having people over for dinner, an art tour, dog-walking, a bit of proofreading work, and starting up my serious running training again.
Wow. It’s been a blur. And I am not complaining one bit.
So, the results of the SFI test were that I received a C on the test and a B in the class. This feels pretty good. I know that my weakest area is speaking and the test confirmed it. I had perfect in both reading portions, I missed a couple in hearing, and received a B and a C on the essays. The talking portion I received a C and a D. My personal speaking topic was HARD. “How can one create a good working environment?” I mean, isn’t that on the verge of being a philosophical question? I suppose that means one can speak a long time about it. Luckily for me, it was only 4 minutes, and the judges asked questions so it was more of a conversation.
Onwards and forwards with that!
As for the interview, it is for an architecture firm in Malmö that is interested in advancing their capabilities in green building. The interview was a good conversation and I am looking forward to our next meeting where we will discuss things a bit more. Even though the interview was in English I was pretty nervous before it. Both the interviewers were quite nice and I soon felt at ease. We’ll see what happens! If it doesn’t work out I am signed up to continue Swedish classes.
Easter! So it was Easter a couple weeks back, and wow have I never been more relaxed about a holiday before. We had friends over the evening before, and the plan was to just get up whenever we felt like it on Easter Sunday. As Swedes are predominantly a secular culture— meaning they view religion as superstition— there was no worrying about going to church, looking pretty, spending money on a new Easter dress, or any of that MESS that I usually associate Easter with. It was, instead, completely relaxed and happy. I baked cinnamon rolls and made fruit bowls for us. We took a extremely lazy two hour walk around the neighborhood and through the park, taking in the nature and the quaint architecture.
We did spend part of the Easter weekend with Mats family going on Konstrunden or an art/gallery roadtrip of sorts. This year they decided to do the trip in Northwest Skåne, rather than in Osterlen, which is where the watercolor artists we love so much live. However, we were still able to see an AMAZING British ex-pat watercolorist by the name of Elizabeth Tyler. Check out her work— simply amazing stuff!
In the meantime Mats and I have been planning the details of our vacation. We’ve been saving for this and we’re extremely excited about it. We’re going to Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia! We’re only staying in Singapore during two extremely long lay-overs from Thailand to Cambodia but it will be enough to go outside and take in the city! I must admit I am overwhelmed by the idea of this vacation, but its going to be an experience. I am most excited by the idea of Singapore and the blending of cultures there (and the food!!!!), followed closely by Cambodia’s history and beautiful temples. I am not so excited about the touristy crazy parts of Thailand, but I know it is definitely part of the experience. Plus the beaches are BEAUTIFUL. Ah, it’s going to be lovely. And crazy. And awesome.
More updates to come soon. As for now I feel I am just taking the time to do things I haven’t had time for— like run, and do art, and just relax. It feels pretty amazing I have to say. Gotta take it when you have it.
Silly Swedish Fact o’ the Day
Varför säger man “puss och kram” och inte “kram och puss”? Därför att det finns en söt liten fras “Puss och kram, vi ses på stan!”
I’ve been thinking more and more about the idea of where my family is from and why they decided to immigrate. Today I have been totally absorbed in reading history about the places where I believe my great great grandparents are from.
I’ve always know that their background was Russian, given that my dad grew up celebrating Russian Orthodox holidays and his grandmother baked them Paska Bread on Easter. The other thing that I knew is that they were chased out of Russia due to religious beliefs and they settled somewhere in the mountains. I have always heard that they lived in Czechoslovakia, so in that case it means they were most likely in Slovakia. While i was reading I also found out that a number of religious groups moved from Russia to Romania as well, which also has a vast area of mountains.
So I have been reading about Russian, Slovakian, Romanian, and Czech history this morning. Depending on where they settled, it could have been for any number of reasons. They could have been members of a cult(!) that was severely looked down upon in Russia (the group that settled in Romania), or they could have been part of the old Religion that differed slightly from Orthodox in values.
What seems to make sense is that yes, they settled in Slovakia owing to a belief in the older religion. They then were scared by the build-up of revolutions in all of the countries surrounding Slovakia, and decided to move since war was imminent. This makes sense since my great grandfather was born in 1906 in New York state.
What I am wondering now is how they felt about being Russian. Were they proud of their old country, were they ashamed of it, were they disappointed in it? Did they speak English with the Slovaks? Did they adopt the local language? Was Russian close enough so they didn’t have to switch at all? What would they think about my emigration to Sweden— especially since Sweden has always been at odds against Russia. Would they think that it is just a continuation of the pattern that they started? Did the pattern start only with them? Have we always moved around to where the grass seems greener or safer?
I am beginning to wonder how knowing snippets of their stories have impacted my life. Great grandfather spoke Russian and English and his wife that he met and married in the US spoke English and Gaelic. Is this why I don’t mind learning Swedish? Is it programmed in my heritage that one must learn another language— especially of the person you settle down with? It seems so. And it is also practical as well.
Im going to start doing some more research to find out exactly why they moved from Russia and from whereabouts. In the meantime, I started thinking about my last name (which is British in origin). I’ve always heard that it means “Where the deer play”. Now this definitely could be true, but if one looks at it from a Swedish and Old Norse perspective, it means ‘Deer Village’. Which makes me laugh, but I still like it :)