Strange Shores #2

Lady Fi and trusty hound, Oscar

Lady Fi and trusty hound, Oscar

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.

circus_of_the_streets_big_topmedAlso 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.

istockphoto_1798341-big-clown-shoesOh – 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.

Happy reading!

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33 thoughts on “Strange Shores #2

  1. Thanks Lady Fi for such a marvellous job on the Carnival. I know for sure that you’ve put a lot of work into it, and from the results I can see that it was well worth it.

    So let’s hear a big round of applause for the head clown, or shouldn’t that really be Ringmaster?

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  2. Oh it’s so nice to finally see you!!! You look so nice, nice to have a face to go with the words!!! And your sweet four legged friend…what in the world is in his mouth? Looks like a chicken but I am hoping I’m wrong about that….hahahaha….

    lots of neat blogs to visit- this is cool….

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  3. Amy: LOL! He’s got one of my gloves in his mouth, the little monkey!

    PaddyK: I mentioned you twice… and now I’m mentioning you again! 😉

    Sir Pe: Well, that would be Ringmistress – but that sounds kind of kinky…

    Maryam: You’re welcome.

    Chris: Oh my! Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE!

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  4. Hi LadyFi, not just repaying your visit to my blog out of blogger’s courtesy, but much enjoyed a quick read of this post. My son with family live in southern Stockholm (was there at New Year) and it is always interesting to visit another expat’s blog, in particular if you comment on Swedish society and its peculiar habits. I’ll be back.

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  5. Thanks for the link ladyfi. I honestly never knew about those hook thingies to pull yourself out of the water. Do they actually work? Can your brain function in such cold temperatures?

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  6. Lady Fi, this is GREAT! I will post a link to this in my blog today! :o) Thank you so much for this wonderful entry and for helping all “us Expats in Scandinavia” get a little more connected to the world!

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  7. Wish it was Lacey: just you wait until Lady Fi tells the story of when she did go through the ice, then you’ll see why she never goes on it without the necessary life-saving equipment!

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  8. You really did a great job of bringing everyone into your story. I feel a little “foreign” back in Europe after 25 years away. like I don’t really belong in any particular country, since I can adapt to so many.

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  9. Yes-I’m another ‘you do look like Diane Keaton’ person.

    I know what you mean about the choice in the supermarkets when you go back to the UK. I don’t know how I ever managed to choose from such a vast selection all those years. It’s too much choice really.

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  10. Dear Friends: Diane Keaton? Where did ya’ll get that from? People told me I looked like Vanessa Redgrave, then that woman in Born Free, and now Diane Keaton… definitely the best choice, though. Well, apart from the sad fact that I am gradually turning into my father! 🙂

    And yes Po: many a person has been saved by those little knife thingies around the neck apparently.

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  11. love the photo. However I cant , for the life of me, think I would ever acclamitise to such snow. i live in sunny cape town and my winters are wet and icy but not snowy. snow would finish me off completetly

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  12. Fantastic carnival. Fantastic photo. For a moment you almost make me miss gothenborg and then I remember and then I am happy I can just visit you without the snow, the cold or the herring.

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  13. Dark choc: wet and icy is much colder than snow!

    Alice: I’m sending the snow your way.. not sure if it can make it all the way to Singapore though…

    La Belette: It’s much damper and colder in Gothenburg… This is definitely a herring-free zone. LOL!

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