Friday, October 16, 2009

Ice cream and beauty

I don't really understand what's going on, but I've been here a month now, and I've been so busy almost every second. And almost always doing fun stuff. But my blogging has suffered as you've probably noticed.

The weather is mostly wonderful as well. The day before yesterday I could walk around in a T-shirt, and I sat on a bench by the ocean eating an ice cream (which wasn't particularly tasty).

I've been to the hospital to meet my doctor (not that I was sick, only to get acquainted), so now I'm enrolled with the NHS. Feels good. I've also open a bank account and joined a football team. Joined and joined, I've played one game. We'll see if I stay with it. It was great fun, but my poor body aches now.

I'm still not all settle, even though I feel like I lived here all my life or something. The one thing missing is a Scottish mobile phone. Maybe I'll get one today. Otherwise I've done pretty much all that I've been meaning to do.

There's a lot of film pf course, watching it, reading about it, writing about it. But there hasn't been all that much talking about it, and I like that. My friends here at Deans Court are devoted to other subjects, like radar, Jane Austen, birds, philosophy or biology, and I prefer to talk about these things. There's enough film in my life anyway. We've covered many important topics at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The concept of self and whether or not there's truth in beauty and art (well, we even discussed whether or not there is such a thing as beauty.) I argue that there's no objective truth to beauty and art, but some argued that there is a kind of psychological truth to it. I do argue there's such a thing as beauty, but that different people have different ideas about what is beautiful. Then I got tangled up in an argument for the existence of beauty which was depressingly close to one of those silly arguments for the existence of God (arguments which are all very unsustainable). I have to do better than that, but I was caught off guard, it's my only defence.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


I was supposed to be at a jazz concert now but that didn't really pan out. Instead I'm home, eating chocolate and drinking tea. Organic.

Today was an exemplary day. For the first time since I moved her I felt like I really knew what I was doing, no longer feeling like a fugitive, no longer ambling around. I've developed a routine, I've got connections, I've got a Costa Coffee Club card or whatever and I've got ideas. It's all coming together.

And every time I walk through town I ever so often stop and wonder at the beauty of it.

I'm in control.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Ocean and Carolina

Yesterday I did my first field trip and went to Dundee, the nearest town. Not much of a town, but with a well equipped Borders bookstore. Bought five books, The Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (short stories by one of my favourite writers), Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (a novel), Ascent by Jed Mercurio (part novel, part historical fact), God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (on religion, or rather, Hitchens' attack on religion) and The Daily Druckerby Peter Drucker (about management). Ascent was an impulse, but the others were books I've been meaning to get for some time now but haven't for various reasons. But now the gloves are off. My three years in St Andrews will not only be spent on film, but on all the things that interest me. The aim is to expand all my intellectual horizons. (And besides, I got a 20% student discount.)

But I also found the time for an evening celebrating the Bengal film tradition, with wine, dance and a screening of Satyajit Ray's film Devi (1960).

And I bought the weekend's issue of The Guardian, which I will sink my teeth into now. The luxury of living in Britain.

Another luxury is living next to the ocean. I've been going there every evening, when it's dark and quiet, and I stand there and listen to the waves, all alone. It's a wonderful feeling, very relaxing. Soothing. This time I went right after I'd chatted with Carolina. Now that's a way of ending your day!

The photos are from Deans Court where I live. The garden, and the door from the garden to my house.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wine tasting

Day three in St Andrews and I spend a lot of time shopping, and making friends with Ph.D. students and shop keepers. There's so much to think about, for example all the stuff you need to buy when you're supposed to live here for three years. The basic things such as soap, a tea mug, washing up liquid and such. I'm now the proud owner of a University of St Andrews' mug.

When bonding with fellow students it's very practical that I can almost always say, when someone tells me where he/she's from, "ah yes, I've done a film festival there". It's a good conversation starter.

It's been a lot of administrative activities these first days, including getting a doctor at a local clinic. Not that I'm sick, but it is mandatory, in case I should get sick in the future (I don't suppose I can expect to stay out of germs way for three years).

Tomorrow is the last day of this kind of practicalities I believe, after that I can focus on the job at hand. And the first task is to come up with a new, catchy title for my thesis. Any suggestions? I was rather thinking about "Knight of Hearts - a re-evaluation of the work of Hasse Ekman" but it has a whiff of pretentiousness about it so maybe not. Will sleep on it.

(Yes, there was a wine tasting of sorts at Deans Court today. Deans Court is where I live, pictures will follow.)

St Andrews

I've finally landed in St Andrews and my life as a Ph.D. student has begun. Much to tell, but also in much need of sleep. Silly time to start writing. More will follow tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quiet please, I'm quite pleased

I've finally managed to relax. These last three days have been rather good, and not at all stressful. And I see no reason why I won't stay that way until I go. I've slept good as well.

The time of goodbyes has arrived. Susanna, Maia, Sofia B, Sofia C (my cousin), Emilia, Celia, one after the other I've had to part with. And there will be more to come next week. There will also be more writing, as I will have more time.

But now some kind of sandwich. The hunger is insistent.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The September Issue

I don't know if you've noticed but it's much easier to post stuff on your blog if you're internet connection is working. Like I didn't have enough things to worry about as it is!

And by the way, Grace Coddington is my new role model.

OK, back to preparations for the big move.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Birthday Boy

I've had so much to do lately I feel like my body is on the verge of collapse! But even so I had a very nice birthday today. In all the confusion I had totally forgotten about my old tradition of watching a film by Clint Eastwood I've never seen before as a birthday present to myself. When it struck me it was a bit late to do anything about it. Also, I have seen all of Eastwood's films except Bird (1988), which isn't available here. But I'll get it in a couple of weeks when in St Andrews.

Once I wrote a lot about politics on this blog, but it was quite a while since now. I wonder why. Probably because I'm so fed up with most of what goes around in the world. But I read an article in last week's issue of The Economist about cooperation and cross border teambuilding in the countries that were once Yugoslavia. That was a piece of optimistic news which made me surprisingly happy.

Now, I will end this birthday with some ice cream and, well, maybe an episode of Friends, an old one. Just for me, me and my ice cream. And my thanks to Lisa and Annelie for making this such a lovely day.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I should of course have posted some photos of Filmhuset. But here are some. I took them last week.

It's late in the evening, hence nobody around.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The house of films

I've now only one month left until I move to Scotland and only one week left at work. The first part is thrilling; the second part is weird and sad. I love my job, and as I've been studying and working at Filmhuset, the Swedish Film Institute's main building in Stockholm, since 1993, it's been like a second home for me for 16 years. That's my whole adult life (so far). Today I've been taking photographs of the building, feeling a bit blue. Yes, it's more than just friends and family I'm going to miss, that's for sure. In all its ugliness, this is a dear old place.