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… 😀
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!
Bleubeard & Elisabeth are working on a South American project, which reminded me of this great film from Disney, that we had when I was a child. At that time, Swedish television (all two channels) weren´t exactly spoiling us with cartoons, and my parents buying a VCR was the most amazing thing. I saw this film so many times, I know it all by heart. Some fifteen years ago, I bought it on video in Spain, and once in a while it´s handy when we have children in the house. Of course, now almost everything can be found on youtube.
This is the entire South America tour with Donald & Friends, but my favourite is the last episode where José and Donald “does the town”. Enjoy!
I usually don’t listen all that much to music these days. This last week, however, I have attempted to exorcise “dem Bones”, which stuck unusually hard to my poor brain. I had the good fortune to find this album on youtube, the second I ever bought, I think, after the Star Wars album (I only felt the need to buy a recordplayer after hearing the mighty music of John Williams; that and seeing humongous starships; especially the starships).
Unfortunately, I lost this album years ago. I could never find it on Spotify, but here it is, still a great listening experience – or am I just being nostalgic? I do remember, at 13, wanting to grow up looking just like Freda Payne on that cover photo, so elegant and cool! Still do, but I’m more realistic about my coolness potential these days! 😀 (I thought I had a fair chance turning out like that, since she resembles my mother quite a bit. Dem genes, huh…)
Friday evening I collapsed in front of youtube and as happens when one does, one link leads to another, and I was brought back to what? 1987-88-something? sometime in that neighbourhood. Paul Simon was coming to Stockholm with the Graceland tour and we were there; we were there! I was deliriously happy and it felt like history was changing. I fell in love with the Ladysmith Black Mambazo with the white shoes, Hugh Masekela´s trumpet, Miriam Makeba`s voice, and Paul Simon really taking a step back at his own concert, letting these wonderful musicians shine and be glorious. The best of times, the best. (The video is not from Stockholm, but from that same tour, I think.)
I am linking up with Bleubeard & Elisabeth and the T for Tuesday gang today, presenting you with my normal cup of tea that I have with the husband every evening (although that pink cream tart is not everyday fare). The cups are Rörstrand´s Swedish Grace (wish I could afford that whole service, it´s glorious), and the teapot is an old café pot – just right for two cups and a little bit more – I found at a local fleamarket once. Our standard tea is PG Tips, which has a lot of Assam in it and makes a strong brew! Happy T-Day!
It has been a week of celebrations: first our national holiday and then all the graduations from the Swedish equivalent to high school. Swedes are notoriously bad at celebrating the nation; we haven´t really had a national holiday until a few years ago, and to get it we lost Whit Monday, which some are still bitter about. It´s not that we don´t like our country, really, we think we live in the most splendid country in the world. We just don´t like to point out the obvious, and anyway, it might sound boastful, which it is not a virtue in this country to be. Also, the national anthem, which refers to the days when Sweden was “great” in the 17th Century and fought, killed, pillaged and generally were being bastards down on the continent, can feel a bit embarrassing. There are still countries where they refer to prison bars as “Swedish curtains”. Quite a lot of people feel we should change the lyrics. Others say we should be more like the Norwegians, who go crazy with joy on their national holiday, forgetting perhaps that the Norwegians celebrate being liberated from Swedish oppression…
Balloons and streamers in the colours of the Swedish flag are more used for high school graduations which is the coming of age celebration in a young person´s life, and I bet more Swedes know the words to Studentsången (= the Student Song) than to the national anthem. The Student Song was composed by Prince Gustaf to words written by Herman Sätherberg, and it proved surprisingly difficult to find a good performance of it on youtube (the most outstanding was by a Norwegian choir and I just couldn´t post that after writing the above). This is from Walpurgis Night celebrations at Umeå university a few years ago. The students singing are wearing the traditional student hat, which in the old days (when people wouldn´t go out the door without wearing a hat) were worn every day by young men studying at university.
Sjung om studentens lyckliga dar / låtom oss fröjdas i ungdomens vår / än klappar hjärtat med friska slag / och den ljusnande framtid är vår / inga stormar än i våra sinnen bo / hoppet är vår vän och vi dess löften tro / när vi knyta förbund i den lund / där de härliga lagrarna gro / där de härliga lagrarna gro, hurra!
Sing about the student´s happy days / let us be joyful in the spring of youth / still our hearts have healthy beats / and the bright future is ours / no storms dwell in our minds / hope is our friend and we trust its promises / when we make our alliance in the grove / where the wonderful laurels grow / where the wonderful laurels grow, hurray! (my quick&dirty translation)
Sometimes, I just lazy-surf (that´s a Swedish word: slösurfa) the web and find surprising stuff. Like this, The Swedish Army Music Ensemble playing a hit by Swedish House Mafia for the King´s birthday:
The other day we were watching one of our favourite artists, Max Raabe, and his Palast Orchester. I was attempting to sketch, but found it hard and felt a bit wanting in my abilities. Half an hour into the show, the husband says (with the authority of someone who knows a thing or two about media production in general): “Who the heck made this production? I feel seasick. They stay no more than a couple of seconds on every shot.” After that I put the pen down and picked up my knitting instead!