Dance!

I used to love going dancing (and I´m sure I would again), and here is a delightful series about the history of dance, from a British perspective perhaps, that really brings out the enthusiasm and exuberance of its presenter Lucy Morsley, who teams up with British dance legend Len Goodman. You can find episode 1 and episode 2 on youtube. I really enjoyed this!

“You´re supposed to be an academic!” says Len as she hops about…  😀

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“Food in England”, by Dorothy Hartley

I just found this amazing film about a book and a woman I am dying to dive into further – once I got my next exams nailed, that is – and I have to share it with you. The film is presented by Lucy Worsley, is of slightly crappy technical quality, but no matter, I enjoyed it anyway.

The book has, apparently, never been out of print since it came out in 1954, and – to my great joy – it is also on Kindle. You can also find an article by Lucy Worsley on Hartley in the Guardian, and enjoy some of her smashing illustrations with the help of old Google.

I am definitely going to try cooking a whole three-course meal in a pot, as they do on the canalboat. That is just my kind of cooking, it makes me giddy just to think of it. Though I may, like Lucy, pass on the brawn (which is traditional Christmas food in Sweden, but never on my table…).

I hope you come to like Hartley, too. In a way, very English, but also, not far removed from how cooking would have been done all over Europe in the times she researched. The more I go into traditional cooking from the corners of the world where I feel a certain right of domicile, like Slavish cooking, Swedish cooking, German cooking, I see so much connection, also to the English cooking I have come to love.

Lucia

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Last Sunday, I went for fika downtown, on Lucia day. My friend and I were pleasantly surprised to be entertained by a very good good a cappella group doing a folksy Lucia performance. The candles were all real and slightly dangerous looking, both in Lucia’s hair and in her hands. I had no camera and no choice but to make a quick sketch. Wish I could have sketched how it sounded, too!

Sketching at the museum

An exhibition on TB; spitting flasks, very scary-looking syringes and tongs - I don´t want to think about what they might have done with those....
An exhibition on TB; spitting flasks, very scary-looking syringes and tongs – I don´t want to think about what they might have done with those….

I was dying to go out sketching, but the weather is foul, it is dark (today the sun comes up at 09:45 and goes down again at 13:06) most of the day and sketching from the computer, which I did a lot of last year, is soooo boring. Inspired by other sketchers in northern countries, like Larry D Marshall in Quebec, I decided to go to the regional museum to sketch. I ended up going alone and spent three hours there, and just as well since company – unless it´s another sketcher – makes for little drawing.

After walking there I needed a cup of tea and was pleasantly surprised to see what a makeover the café had been given! I tried to make a sketch doing it justice, but failed miserably and became un-infatuated with pencil in the process. I sketched with ballpoint pens the rest of the afternoon.

The regional museum café.
The regional museum café. I need to practice more perspective!
An old snowmobile from the early 60´s.
An old snowmobile from the early 60´s. They have evolved since.
An 18th Century chair, owned by a vicar in Kalix.
An 18th Century chair, owned by a vicar in Kalix.
Not sure why this guy was on display, but I really like his face, which was on a huge display!
A face from the exhibition “Things of the year” where 12 people are exhibited alongside 12 objects. Mattias is connected to a razor blade sharpener.

Salisbury Cathedral

IMGP0212I had long been wanting to visit Salisbury. This was a very good year to do so, with the 800 year celebrations of the Magna Charta; Salisbury Cathedral is in possession of one of the four original documents, which was a treat to see! The cathedral build was begun in 1220, and I guess a cathedral is never really finished; much work has been made on the tower as late as the 1990´s. We had to go up there, naturally, where one could see far and wide. They have an amazing website, in case you are interested.

Salisbury Cathedral has the largest and most open close of all cathedrals in England -or so we were told. Certainly, it was impossible to get as good a view of the cathedral in York, with the town right next to it.
Salisbury Cathedral has the largest and most open close of all cathedrals in England – or so we were told. Certainly, it was impossible to get as good a view of the cathedral in York, with the town right next to it. This is one of the entrances.
The large, beautiful lawn has lots of artwork on display.
The large, beautiful lawn has lots of artwork on display.

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There were lots of graffiti, old and new.
There were lots of graffiti, old and new.

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All the faces are unique. Who were these people?
There were generations of reinforcements in the tower, it was pretty easy to see where the Victorians had been at it, with huge iron bars.
There were generations of reinforcements in the tower; it was pretty easy to see where the Victorians had been at it, with huge iron bars.
Compared to other old towers we have climbed, the stairs were comfortable and new. No old, narrow stone stairways!
Compared to other old towers we have climbed, the stairs were comfortable and new. No old, narrow stone stairways!
Lots of steeplejacks have made their marks on the walls of the tower.
Lots of steeplejacks have made their marks on the walls of the tower.
These are some of the names of people who contributed with funds to save the tower, at one time at considerable risk of collapsing.
These are some of the names of people who contributed with funds to save the tower, at one time at considerable risk of collapsing.

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Some of the logs in this building are over 1000 years old!
Some of the logs in this building are over 1000 years old!
The view north.
The view north.
In front of the café, you can see the marks in the ground where the old belltower used to stand; it was demolished in the 18th Century.
In front of the café, you can see the marks in the ground where the old belltower used to stand; it was demolished in the 18th Century.

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Far away, one could even see Old Sarum, where the first cathedral stood. I´ll show you in a later post.
Far away, one could even see Old Sarum, where the first cathedral stood. I´ll show you in a later post.
We were not allowed out in one direction because peregrine falcons were nesting there. I was lucky enough to get a snap!
We were not allowed out in one direction because peregrine falcons were nesting there. I was lucky enough to get a snap!

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I can get quite entranced by details like this.
I can get quite entranced by details like this.
This figure seemed quite modern to me.
This figure seemed quite modern to me.
Another shot of the falcon from the ground.
Another shot of the falcon from the ground.
And the entire (well most of it) cathedral from below. A truly amazing place.
And the entire (well most of it) cathedral from below. A truly amazing place.
And the husband´s 180 degree view of the chapter house, where the Magna Charta was on display in the little tent. You can see me on the far right.... and if you click on the photo, you can see it in more detail.
And the husband´s 180 degree view of the chapter house, where the Magna Charta was on display in the little tent. You can see me on the far right…. and if you click on the photo, you can see it in more detail.

I confess, there is much, much more to this place that I just can´t show without becoming very, very tedious: a fabulous café inside the cathedral as well as one outside in the close, a fascinating old clock (that does not show the time, oddly enough), cloisters, artworks, and so many things we didn´t even have time to see. If you ever go to England, forget London, spend a few days in Salisbury instead…

Academic Ceremony

20151115_125037I didn’t go last year, but now I felt quite in the mood again; being back at the university may have something to do with it. I missed the lecture of this year’s honorary doctor of philosophy, Katarina Kieri, who is one of the best and most versatile Swedish authors, being both poet and novelist, writing as interestingly for children, young adults, and grown-ups. I have not read enough by her. As far as I can I can tell, she is not translated to English. I did think they would have filmed the lecture, as they did with Benny Andersson, and others, but apparently not.  🙁

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Empty stage, pre-ceremony.

Three of my teachers were graduated to PhDs, along with many others. New professors were also installed. I drew during the almost four hour long ceremony, which made it feel a lot faster. Unusually, a lot of children had been brought along, and a few of them were quite disturbing. Really, this kind of ceremony is no place for kids. I think some people were quite miffed about it.

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My biggest challenge is getting all the people the right size. The stewardesse in the back is not that huge in reality…
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I may repost these if I find the time to paint the dresses, which were some lovely colours.

I was lucky to be seated with the nicest, most interesting group of people at dinner (ok, have to brag a bit, sat next to the former county governor 😀 ). The food was unusually good, we were not disturbed with entertainment or speeches during the main course, and the musical features were outstanding. Really, it was probably, as a whole,  one of the best shows the university has put on, and I was lucky enough to be invited.

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The music was, as usual, top quality!

Of course, there were much dancing afterwards, unrestrained by dress suits and folk costumes and… – no, I personally was terribly restrained by my high heels (what was I thinking?), lasting only two dances and loosing all feeling in my toes. And don´t get me started on the pain I still have in dem legs… I consider myself lucky not to have broken the scaphoid bone when the heel caught in the skirt hem and I tumbled down the stairs (no kidding)!

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I am linking up this Tuesday with Bleubeard & Elisabeth for T, even though my own beaverage is slightly more fancy this time. Elisabeth´s theme is compassion and the horrid events in Paris last Friday, and for certain, that put a damper on the celebrations at our end, too. Still, people were happy about their achievements, and I reflected on how many of the new PhDs and professors had Arabic names, Slav names, Spanish names, German names, French names, Chinese names, and names I can´t even guess where they´re from. Our university is truly international, everyone is working together and dancing together, and that makes me very proud.

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Lovelocks

Foto0040I couldn´t believe my eyes one afternoon, when I walked across the railway viaduct into town; there were three lovelocks on the bridge railing! Luleå isn´t exactly Paris or Florence or even Lucerne (where I spotted a few). And this isn´t a bridge over water, either, which I think holds some symbolic significance. But perhaps these couples thought Luleå is special, perhaps they parted by train (temporarily, I hope, Charles and Adam – which was the only couple´s names I could make out – and that your love is still strong and true).

I was inspired to step off the viaduct and draw it. I was quite surprised at how long that viaduct is, but then I am often surprised at the scale and proportion of things I think I am familiar with. When you look at things closely, they sometimes reveal themselves as not what you thought they were.

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Afternoon Tea, the ultimate version

Foto0002 (4)One of the most elegant teas one can imagine having, must be, I’m sure, at the Pump Room in Bath. At least for us regular folk, as the Pump Room is elegant, but does not require its guests to be. It is a bit of a tourist trap, as you come out of the Roman Baths (what a great museum that is! more on that at a later date), but so what? We are tourists, after all, and at least one of us knows her Austen back and forth. We inquired after Afternoon Tea, which is quite a meal, and returned later in the afternoon for it, after having checked out how the Georgians lived at the Royal Crescent No 1.

Elegant living at the Royal Crescent.
Elegant living at the Royal Crescent.
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There was live entertainment at the end of the room, a pianist, a violinist, and a cellist filling the air with lovely music.
You start from below with the sandwiches, then have the scones with clotted cream and jam, and congratulations to you if you have any more room for the sweets on top! We prefer Assam tea with that.
You start from below with the sandwiches, then have the scones with clotted cream and jam, and congratulations to you if you have any more room for the sweets on top! We prefer Assam tea with that.
A painting by John Sanders, showing what an assembly at the Pum Rooms might have looked iike a few years before Jane Austen lived here.
A painting by John Sanders, showing what an assembly at the Pump Rooms might have looked like a few years before Jane Austen lived here.
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The Pump Room entrance.

We only had a day in Bath, and I think you need two or three for the entire Bath experience (the Assembly Rooms, the Fashion Museum, the Jane Austen Museum, the Abbey Tower tour), but for me, this time, the Baths, the No 1, and tea at the Pump Room was entirely adequate. We also took a turn in the Parade gardens, walked across Pulteney Bridge, and even had time for a shared plate of local delicacies at the Roman Baths Kitchen before we headed back to the station.

I am linking this post to the T Tuesday Party at Elisabeth & Bluebeard’s. Happy T-Day!

An attempt at drawing the Pulteney Bridge. Not very accurate, I'm afraid.
An attempt at drawing the Pulteney Bridge. Not very accurate, I’m afraid.
The river Avon again. Not sure it is exactly the same one as before...
The river Avon again. Not sure it is exactly the same one as before…

“Svenska tecknare före Svenska tecknare” by Ludvig Rasmusson

(= Swedish illustrators before Swedish Illustrators)

Studio_20150527_002339This book was published in 1995 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The association of Swedish illustrators and grapic designers. It is a history of Swedish illustration before the association was founded, and it has a really interesting bit about Carl Larsson, whose work I have blogged before. Larsson came from a poor family and he financed his studies at the Art academy by doing newspaper illustrations:

Oscar II, suffering king.
Oscar II, suffering king.

“I drew for, among others, New Illustrated Magazine. It sent me here and there, mostly to inaugurations of railway stations where there were the same ceremonies with different town councillors, different county governors and different triumphal arches, but two participants were always the same: the King and I. I remember well King Oscar´s slightly suffering smile when our eyes would meet again and again.” (my quick&dirty translation)

Studio_20150527_002301Larsson also made illustrations for books. He was popular because he was fast and reliable, but also because his drawings were creative and humorous, with a lively and fresh feel to them.

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