Welcome to the second Strange Shores Carnival, brought to you today by head clown Lady Fi, and her furry sidekick Oscar (who has got my glove in his mouth)!
Little could I have imagined it – if you had told me 13 years ago – that I would find myself consigned to living in the countryside outside Stockholm in that snowy land called Sweden.
Well, I’ve been here 12 years now and find nothing strange about having to take 15 minutes to get dressed in a number of bulky layers just to go out in the winter.
Wearing luminous red ice picks around my neck is second nature too when going out onto the frozen lake, on whose shores we live. (You use these ice pick thingies to try and haul yourself out if the ice should crack and you find yourself fighting for your life in an icy hole!)
After such a long time in Sweden, I feel more and more like an ex-pat every time I go ‘home’ to England to visit the family. I feel partly advanced: “What? Don’t you have underfloor heating? Showers that work when you flush the loo? Triple glazing?” and partly country hick: “Goodness me! Look at the size and choice and variety of all the foods available at the supermarkets!” It would seem that I’ve got a foot in both cultures but am mistress of none.
My fellow clown conspirator, Paddy K, has also been in Sweden a long time. But he’s more of a chic urban yuppie, especially when it comes to the knotty problem of what to do with your leftover Christmas trees. However, no matter where you live in Sweden, the big brother state is always looking out for your interests: making sure we do not drink too much or earn too much, for example. Paddy explores this and the mystery of licence plates in Dodgy Numbers.
Also in the Big Top today, we are joined by two gorgeous tightrope walkers from the USA who live in our neighbouring country Norway. (No need to mention the fact that Norway used to be a part of Sweden. I mentioned this once, but I think I got away with it!) Amy over at Eventryhus gives us her view of being an American in Norway and looks at Norwegianness. And I’m totally in love with where she lives with masses of snow and some beautiful dogs. And then we have the inimitable American in Norway who lets us know what Norwegians thinks of America – it’s quite an eye-opener!
Kelli is our Texan juggler, balancing the need for some good ole Cajun cooking with the rather more conservative cuisine of Denmark. She sums up her first three months in Denmark rather well. Read and enjoy! I know I did! Also in Denmark, Patti looks at that well-known phenomenon of the shopping trolley that just won’t go in a straight line.
Next up is the dazzling Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. A South African living in Germany, she turns her attention to the German obsession with beer, pork and fests! Talking of South African ex-pats, we have the hilarious Po (the sea monkey not the panda), who has moved to my homeland of England and is doing her best to blow it up with the help of test tubes… Here’s her view of Smallish Brittin – read and weep with laughter! And because she moved over to the UK, this Brit moved over to her old home country of South Africa… Confused? Me too! And you’ll be even more so when you read 6000 miles from civilization’s thoughts on a mysterious statue that appeared out of nowhere on the cliffs of nowhere.
For our grand finale today, we have three lovely lithe acrobats. The poetic and amusing Louise from Carmine Superiore thnks she is describing her son’s visit to the dentist – but in fact her post just about sums up my dental phobia! Then we have the wonderful Braja, our very own Yogi, who lives in India. Ever wanted to know the truth about Yogis? Well, here’s your chance to find out! When she’s not being a Yogi, she’s out rescuing baby cows and snapping wonderful pictures of them. Last but not least, let’s turn the spotlight to My Marrakesh, where Maryam creates things of joy and beauty. When she’s not busy trying to get her hotel into order, she pauses to take superb photos and act as Cupid for a love-struck couple.
Oh – I nearly forgot! If you want to find out more about the exotic cold and my painful adventures in Northern Sweden, then you can check this humble clown’s post: Crying out loud.
I apologize if you wanted to participate this time round, but are not mentioned. But it’s time to dismantle the big top and wipe off the grease paint in the comfort of my private circus caravan. This post will be up for a couple of days so that you can come back and enjoy the various circus acts on show.