Saturday, 20 June 2009

June is for the students

Those of us from places far away, or at least from the other side of the Swedish border are generally amazed by the truckloads of graduation high school students driving around the streets singing, shouting and honking their pleasure. With music blasting from speakers, champagne, wine and beer flowing and birch branches decorating the truck, these youth embrace their coming of age, the boys in their suits and the girls in their skimpy white dresses.

June is much like the November I remember as a student - a mixture of final exams and papers to be submitted, interwoven with sunshine, parties, outings and celebration. A cruel kind of mix - especially after a long Swedish winter. Who can sit inside and study when the sun is shining so warmly? Still, they manage to get through it with the end of school looming in the distance, the carrot is the summer holidays that await.

For those in the younger years June is so much more than classes and I found that many of the classes I should have been teaching were cancelled to make way for the school play, swimming lessons and school trips.

From the end of May until the second week of June we see a string of student graduations and school-breakups, starting with the year 12s. By the second week of June school is officially out and everyone is done with their break-up parties, concerts and speeches, just in time for Midsommar. This year as they days and truck-loads of students rolled down I couldn't help but feel for them as they rain poured down on them, day after day.

Even our own day-care break-up was drenched in rain requiring the execution of plan B - the inside picnic. The plan and the history is that the 6 year olds lead the procession from daycare, through the park to where the parents await with a big picnic. Four days of rain put an end to that and the last minute plan meant that the procession went from one end of daycare to the other where the parents awaited,
all crammed into a couple of tiny rooms.
An anti-climax but what can you do? Summer in Sweden!! The kids didn't seem too perturbed by it, even if it meant they couldn't run around on the grass like they usually do.My own graduation girl had her last day of daycare, school and Grade 1 await in August and she can hardly wait.

Den blomstertid nu kommer or The summer days of beauty are here.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Live In Sweden is "Live"

Well I guess I can't put it off any longer - friends are starting to discover it for themselves!
Live In Sweden is finally live!!

I took the password off on Sweden's national day, I figured that was as good a day as any. And each year when we celebrate the coming of Sweden as a nation, I will be able to crack open the champagne and celebrate Live In Sweden!

In true Swedish style the site has been born - understated, un-promoted and uncelebrated - I will save all that for later.

Someone said to me today that I must be feeling proud - actually I'm cringing at the thought that people are looking at it - far too much left to be done for my liking! Even a simple blogpost is a scary moment - drawing attention to the site when there is so, so, so much left to be done. I'm not halfway there yet - but here it is - for all to see.

Live In Sweden has been a long time coming. It goes back to the dream I once had for the Southern Cross Club, to the vision I had almost four years ago, and to the years of thinking, planning and writing. It is a compilation of knowledge, of experience and of research. It is a vision and a dream I have been fortunate enough to finally realise!

May it have a long and prosperous future and inform, inspire, encourage and support those considering or actually moving to Sweden, as well as those already here and in need of support.