Another end-of-term dance class demonstration.

Adrian reading “Captain Underpants”. The book has butt jokes, people running around in their underpants, and a time machine made out of a portaloo. Absolutely perfect for a seven-year-old.

Beading. The dominant theme right now is Minecraft.

A selection of English words and phrases that Adrian has learned and practiced via Minecraft:
Zombie pigman

This is the last week at Ingrid’s dance school, so parents are welcome to watch the last lesson.

I am trying (and failing) to buy winter boots. The old ones were worn to shreds (literally) and there was no rescuing them.
Tall boots are in fashion, but only for fashion, not for function. There are plenty of tall boots to be had if you are primarily looking to show off your long skinny legs. But tall, warm boots are apparently not in fashion at all. An the few that I found are all made for skinny legs. Which I don’t have. I can pull the zipper two-thirds of the way up, and no further.

I have some muscle but it’s not like I have a super athlete’s body. I wonder what the really strong women wear. Not boots, apparently.

(PS: I did find a pair in the end, with laces, so they fit snugly all the way!)

Central Stockholm used to feel so familiar, but after years of working outside the city centre, I now feel like a tourist there.

A rare thing happened: I read a Swedish book that I really liked. That is worth a book review post, even though most of you reading this probably don’t care about Swedish books.

The title, “Ordbrodösen”, means “word embroiderer”. Females from a special family in rural Sweden have the power to control and influence others using their written words. Girls get their power when they turn eighteen. Alba, a girl from the magical family, turns eighteen and goes through her induction ceremony, but for some reason her power doesn’t work.

As she tries to understand what is going on, dark secrets start leaking out from previously hidden corners of the family history. And before you know it, Alba is racing to find a lost/hidden relative, before other people find him and, ehm, get rid of him.

I like the magic in this book, because it is so low-key and un-fantastical. It has some interesting limitations and implications. And in a way it is like a weird kind of programming.

The tone of the book is also everyday and un-fantastical, which makes the story feel quite normal and believable. There is a lot of detail that makes each scene feel real and almost palpable, as if I was there.

The mystery aspect of the story is well handled: we get hints and clues at an appropriate pace, there is a thrilling final “battle” and the secrets ultimately revealed are suitably astonishing.

Like many fantasy books I read and like, this one is probably aimed at young adults. On the plus side, this means it is relatively brief (as opposed to the thirteen-book mammoth series that some more grown-up fantasy works grow into). On the minus side, it feels a bit lightweight in a way I cannot exactly define.

Sudden snowfall brought happy kids (sled transport to and from school!) and hungry birds.

Ingrid gave super relaxing, gentle back rubs to me and Adrian.

Beading is back in fashion. Almost every day, Adrian brings home some new creation from school, and he makes more at home during weekends. Mostly Minecraft-themed objects.

The buckets of beads at school are mostly full of happy colours that kids are expected to like – pink, yellow, light green – and there is a permanent shortage of black, white, gray, brown etc. I actually went shopping for beads in darker and duller colours that I could then donate to the school. The next day the table was full of beaded black monsters etc.