snow, swing and whiskey

One week ago, I woke up in Edinburgh with this view from the window.

Liam and I were there for University of Swing, and I was so delighted by the snow and these buildings that I had to stop on the way to class and take pictures despite already being a little late ... I just couldn't not.

I had such a lovely weekend. I took classes as a lead and MY GOD do I have some thoughts on that! I'll save them for a longer post later, but let me just say, I'm NEVER taking classes as a follow again. So many revelations. In the evenings, I had some fabulous dances with some lovely people, made finals in both the lindy mix & match and in the solo jazz and actually placed third in the mix & match, with Adam as my smooth, musical, responsive partner! So much fun.

Best bit about the comps though? The feeling I had after both the prelims and the finals. After the solo jazz prelims, I said to Liam: "I did so well! I did amazingly well! That was my best! I don't care if I make finals!" And I really meant it. And then, after the finals: "I don't care if I place! That was so much fun!" (Well, it was fun until they played Jumpin' at the Woodside and I wanted to kill someone.) I'm not disappointed at all with not placing in the solo jazz; I'm really happy that I placed in the mix & match, but that wasn't the point. Having fun and dancing, that was the point. Can you believe it? I never thought I'd get here. I want to pursue always feeling that way about comps.

This is the only photo of dancing I took the entire weekend (as it's nice to get a break from that when I'm not working), but it's a good one, as it shows a little bit of my favourite part of any dance event ever: when it gets late and quieter, and there's space on the dancefloor, and I'm comfortably tired and giddy and everything is light.

And the music to the above photo and feelings was a perfect DJ set by Vincent.

- - -

On the Sunday, I had a dash of that disgusting PMS, which once again snuck up on me from behind and turned me into a crying mess huddled in a corner of the venue, feeling homesick and lost. (Obviously I didn't know at that time that it was PMS - I never realise while it's happening - I think it's all real and that I'll never be happy again). But Liam took care of me and I was okay after a while.

Extra shoutouts to Rob for asking me to dance and giving me super fun, super connected dances just when I needed it the most! (NB: I had stopped crying at that point. It would have been weird if he had seen me in my crying mess form and just asked me to dance, not asked how I was doing ... :))

Sunday after party at a whiskey bar! What else. It's Scotland, after all.

I had beautiful, interesting conversations with Cat and Liam.

This is mine and Liam's fabulous host, Frida. Thanks for having us, Frida! It was perfect staying with you!

When the whiskey bar closed at 1, we moved on to a pub across the road for some more drinks. I was pretty much asleep at that point, after a long and intense weekend the tiredness caught up with me, and it was the perfect ending to this lovely event.

Close To Me | the Cure

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Min sista fredag i Göteborg började med frukost i timmar hos Anna. Relationer där man får fylla på och fylla på och känna sig lättare där man går därifrån, vilken lyx.

Senare samma kväll blev det mer Anna, för hon och Elin spelade feministimpro med sin improduo Nobody's Fault But Mine.

Dessa brutalt starka genier man har till vänner, man kan knappt greppa att folk gör så himla coola grejer som jag får gå och titta på.

Och sedan tog jag mig upp till Guldheden för blues night med Christoffer Johansson.

Och jag visste det inte, men det var precis vad jag behövde. Det var helt fullt med folk, och så mjukt och varmt att få knyta ihop mig med min gamla bluesscen, min egen bluesscen, den som är mitt hem, trots att jag farit och flugit så mycket på senare. Det var ju här allt började. Det som mitt liv mestadels består av nu.

Det här skarpa vårljuset är svårt att fotografera och svårt att göra rättvisa, tycker jag, men såhär såg det ut utanför Stadsbiblioteket.

Och så träffade jag detta snyggo för skill share - jag gav henne sånglektioner och hon gav mig lindylektioner. Topp!

Jag hann med två besök på Berzelii Choklad under mina veckor i Göteborg. Det var så mycket att processa och så många nya insikter, som sagt; jag arbetar bäst med mina tankar med en kopp choklad här.

Dessutom: träffade min psykolog, träffade min sångpedagog/ mentor, ledde min popkör i åtta timmar, hade några sångelever, hade en balboa/ röst-skill share med Oskar, var på helkroppsmassage, hängde hemma med mina föräldrar, repade med en ny vokalkvartett som jag tror kommer bli något fint, och repade två gånger med the Sky is Crying (och lade till flera nya låtar till vår repertoar - jag ser så mycket fram emot att spela dem i Köpenhamn till helgen!).

Så ja, det var två veckor av mycket. Det var perfekt, precis vad jag behövde och ville ha.

Talking Heads | This Must Be the Place

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More Sweden time! Also, party time! Kyle had a party, and I had my first semla of the season (well, I had a half, because I shared it with Lisa). Such delicious.

This is how happy the host was to be photographed ...

He isn't always as uncooperative, thankfully.

These cute people were there too!

The following week, I basically spent catching up with my friends, which felt like a wonderful luxury:
I had dinner with Johanna.

I had an afternoon fika with Kyle (because while parties are great, they are rarely optimal for seriuos catching up).

I went to a pub quiz with 3/4 of my quiz team. This is how we felt about our performance that specific night ...

... and this is how we feel about quizzing together in general. :)

And I went for dinner with Pernilla - but first a stop at Science Fiction-bokhandeln, to stroll along shelves after shelves of wonderful games I want to own (and play).

We went to Yammy and had fabulous food.

And then I walked towards the train stop in the rain and thought about how strange my love for this city is. I know a lot of other people find it boring, too small or ugly or they just can't stand the weather. But to me, it's everything I want. (Except I had to fall in love with an Englishman, so now it's not everything I want anymore. Sigh!)

Susan Egan | I Won't Say I'm In Love from Hercules

hemma i göteborg del 1

I've been to Sweden for two weeks. Originally it was only going to be a long weekend (I had a workshop with my choir), but then Liam was going to travel for work for almost two weeks, so I decided to get myself some more Sweden time. It's been wonderfully intense and rich, and I feel like I come back to the UK with a suitcase full of insights and persepctive. I might write about some of it here in a bit, but right now I just want to share some photos.

Obviously started my time in Sweden with a long walk with Johan and Gabriel.

Then I went to this the beautifullest of beautiful places - the city library.

And borrowed five books. I already knew that there was no chance I'd read five books in two weeks. But I've really missed my library, and I feel so at home here, and books are so pretty and alluring - I couldn't help myself. Just having a stack of freshly picked books at home makes me happy. I ended up reading two of them. (Carry On - would def recommend, especially to Harry Potter fans as it is fanfiction, and Big Magic - would recommend it to most people who aren't already me, but it was a boring read since most of it isn't news to me, and the things that were new I don't agree with.)

Had breakfast in Utby with these two absolute gems. Good god it's good to spend time around people who know me.

And that same evening I continued doing just that, but with different people:

Because Anna were part of a show at 2Lång and we were all there to enjoy her genius. It was such a great evening, and just what I needed to fill me up.

These were just my first two days in Sweden. More to come!

Sting & Jimmy Nail | What Have We Got?