After losing my Duolingo streak & most of my motivation over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to get myself back on track.

And in my search for something new, I came across the Tinycards website.


I only tested out the first set of Swedish cards, but it seems promising so far. It reminds me of the Memrise Duolingo course, but I’m much more fond of Tinycards’ design.

Hopefully it’ll help kick start things again 🙂

Ett nytt år

Gott nytt år! Ja, jag vet att det är februari… men min sista post var i början av december. Dags att komma ikapp!

(Trodde att jag kunde försöka skriva på svenska igen. Forgive any mistakes!)


J och jag hade en trevlig jul i England. Vi åt julmiddag på en pub med min familj och hans föräldrar, som kom på besök. De var bara här för ungefär en vecka men vi hade kul iallafall! Vi hade ett väldigt stort julträd som heter Norman (eftersom “han” var ett Nordmann träd – very original, I know) och vi gjorde alla som man gör på jul – Christmas crackers, Christmas songs, Christmas hats… fortsätta ad infinitum. Men vad jag gillade mest av allt var att J var där 🙂

But, alas, all good things must come to an end. Så gick han hem och gick jag tillbaka till universitetet. Jag är i mitt andra år nu – bara två eller tre månader kvar! Då ska jag åker till Sverige igen (if everything goes okay with my exams – fingers crossed!).

Men när jag tänker på det… jag känner mig lite osäker. Det är svårt när man tillbringar så mycket tid borta från hemmet – jag vill vara med J men jag vill också vara med min familj. Jag oroar mig om dem alltid, speciellt sedan min moster dog plotsligt ett år sen. (Tack så mycket, anxiety). Jag oroar mig också om hur jag kommer att hitta en jobb i Sverige, hur jag kommer att behöva vara modiga och prata svenska. Vad ska vi göra när J går på universitet? Vad ska hända med Brexit? The list goes on…

Men det är inte ett bra sätt att leva! Jag måste lära mig att “let it go”. Jag vet att LDRs är sällan lätt och jag älskar han för mycket för att ge upp. After all, det är Sverige, inte Australien – bara en två timmars flygning!

Man måste titta på den ljusa sidan. 🙂

And on that note… jag är äntligen på nivå tjugo på Duolingo! Endast fem nivåer kvar – och jag har nästan avslutat trädet. Efter nästan tre år har jag lärt mig allt jag kan lära från Duo. Dags att hitta något nytt!


Tills nästa gång. Önskar alla en glad 2017! 🙂

Fortfarande här!

I changed my blog URL recently, which opened up a whole can of confusion. I think I’ve sorted it all out, but here’s hoping you can still see my posts.

If you can, hej igen! Jag hoppas att det går bra för dig.  🙂

Jag försökte prata svenska med J i förrgår men det gick inte så bra. Jag var jättenervös. Igen. Jag trodde att jag hade kommit över det – tydligen inte! Och jag har fortfarande svårt att skriva. Jag kan inte hitta orden!

There’s so much I’m still struggling to wrap my head around. One big issue at the moment is grammar: specifically, word order in subordinate clauses. Is it kan inte eller inte kan??? Whilst a lot of other stuff has started to come intuitively, my brain stubbornly refuses to absorb that. Think less sponge, more concrete block. I have to drill, and drill, and drill…

However – there is some good news. I’ve made it all the way to level 19 on Duolingo! It didn’t seem to take very long at all (most likely because I was refreshing the entire skill tree). Not long now before we hit the fabled 25!


Nivå arton (och mer framsteg!)

Jag har gjort ganska stora framsteg under de senaste dagarna.

Nu är jag på nivå arton på Duolingo!


I had to spend a loooot of time regolding everything since all my skills decayed over the summer, but I’m finally back on track!

To celebrate, I decided to spend some lingots on a quiz just to see where I was at…

quiz 19-10.png

And that’s up from 3.22 about 5 months ago! I’ve only a few more skills left to go before I reach the end of the course, so perhaps I’m not as far off 5.00 as I thought!

*happy dances into the distance*



Hej! Long time no see.

I had planned to post some stuff over the summer but, as usual, time got the better of me. And all of a sudden it’s almost October. It’s all been a bit of a blur.

I’m now back at university, two days into my 2nd year. It’s a little bit of a shock to the system but I’m hoping I’ll survive. After all, if I manage to get through the next few months, it’s only one more lap to graduation!

This summer I spent three months in Sweden, and it marked quite a few firsts. I attended my first ever wedding, went travelling in a ‘husbil’ and did the stereotypical run-from-the-sauna-into-the-ocean (which was great fun – once I got over the visceral horror of seeing J’s family naked).

But the best thing of all? Jag pratade svenska! Inte hela tiden, men J och jag pratade med varandra på svenska en eller två gånger. Det kändes konstigt att göra det – och inte bara för mig! J sa också att han var lite obekvämt eftersom vi brukar prata engelska och han tyckte att det var lite pinsamt. Jag förstod inte varför – åtminstone var det lättare för honom! Men jag var glad i alla fall. Finally, we’re over the barrier!

It’s been a few months since I properly studied Swedish, though. I’ve let Duolingo and other things slide as of late, so while I understand a lot more than I used to, I definitely need to go over the grammatical side of things again. (Hopefully I didn’t botch that last paragraph up too much!)

So I’ll keep on going. Until Christmas break, until the months fly by again.

Here’s to next summer!  🙂


Elva dagar

I was basking in the glow of my newly earned freedom when it hit me.

Exams over! No more classes until September! And eleven days until I go to–

Wait. What?

Eleven days. A week a bit until I fly to Sweden and I haven’t even started thinking about what I need yet, yet alone started packing. Help.

Nivå sjutton


Nu är jag på nivå sjutton! (The one I still can’t pronounce. Stupid “sj” sound.)

I’m one-and-a-bit skills from the final checkpoint, and then there’s 19 more to go after that to finish the entire Duolingo Swedish tree. But I’m in no rush. Slow and steady wins the race, after all.

I feel like I’ve come a long way these past few months. Of course, I’m still making endless mistakes, but I’m thinking up words that I didn’t even know I knew and understanding conversations (both written and spoken!) above and beyond what I’d ever expected – it’s odd, but it’s amazing. I might still be on shaky ground, but how great is it that I’ve gotten this far on my own?

Onwards and upwards!

Not 19


This sign has been popping up all over the place this past week. Just an advertisement, but one that has stuck out to me since the first glance.

Because I’m not 19 forever. That date is the day after my 20th birthday.

I’m not sure how I feel about being in the final hours of my ‘teens’. I certainly don’t consider myself a teenager anymore, but I don’t exactly feel like a tjugoåring either. My twenties were always these abstract, distant years where I’d get married, have kids and all that fun stuff. But it really isn’t abstract anymore. The years I always mentioned in passing are as close to me now as 2009 is away from us. It feels like they’re almost in arms reach. And that’s kind of scary.

But at least there’s a silver lining: now I’m officially “adulting”, people might actually start to take me seriously. One can always dream!



I stumbled across this photo just now, tucked away under masses of folders, files and sub-directories. And I can’t stop looking at it.

A sunset in January. Late afternoon, up on the moors, high above the city lights. Me, the breeze, and the two people who brighten my world.

Knowing that one of those people would be leaving me soon, I remember wanting to cling onto the moment so desperately. So I took out my phone.

And there it was. Love.

Perhaps just a single, serene second of it, but love all the same.


Day 11: Mer framsteg!

Nyligen har jag varit lite tyst. Probably because every time I’ve gone to write something here, I’ve ended up writing it on italki instead. The allure of corrections and feedback is just too great, it seems!

Men jag vill skriva här också, så nu är jag tillbaka. Hej! Hur är läget?

I’ve got a few things I want to get down. Most I’ve already covered in my notebook, but I thought it might be good to write a bit in English as well. It’s still a lot easier to convey my thoughts in my native language, after all!

One big thing that’s happened in the last few days: I finally spoke! And it only took, y’know, almost two years. I still haven’t had a conversation per se, but I said a few sentences to J on Skype (after twenty minutes of hysterical sobbing I finally broke through the wall of anxiety) and then later on – in the middle of the night – I recorded myself speaking for a whole nine minutes. That might sound a little redundant, but I was talking as though I was speaking to him, and I emailed it to him the next morning.

When he called me yesterday before we went to sleep, he said that he’d listened to it. He said he was really proud of me and surprised at how good my spoken Swedish is – apparently I pronounced everything correctly and he understood me perfectly, which I really wasn’t expecting to hear. I only did a few things wrong (e.g. saying “ingenting” instead of  “ingen”, “kommer att inte” instead of “kommer inte att”), but honestly, I was aware of most of my mistakes as soon as I made them! So it wasn’t bad at all. I was really surprised at myself. And happy, of course. Even if J thinks I’m silly for being so anxious about it in the first place. 🙂

13023615_10206622395899672_306746170_n-smallAlso, I got this great new Swedish workbook in the post today. It was only published last year – which is a massive step up from my previous go-to book, which was written in 1984. This one’s called Swedish Tutor and it’s got all sorts of exercises for writing and reading all the way up to B2 level! I haven’t used it much yet, but it looks really promising. I’ll stick a picture up for anyone who might be interested.

So that’s that. I have a lot of stuff to do in the next few weeks, but once my exams are finished, that’s it! The first year of university, done. And then I’ll be able to see J again.

Vi hörs sen!


Day 10: Framsteg

Hej! Jag vill skriva igen idag, men jag tänker att jag ska försöka skriva på svenska. Kanske med lite “swenglish”… men det är bättre än ingenting! Jag hoppas att ni kan förstå mig.

Jag har lärt mig svenska nu (off and on) för nästan två år. Jag är inte så bra som jag hoppades jag skulle vara by now, men jag är bättre än jag var.

För att öva min svenska, använder jag Duolingo varje dag – eller åtminstone när jag minns att göra det – och jag brukar snacka med andra som studerar språket. (Jag är för rädd för att actually prata, så jag skriva bara.) Jag har använt andra program som Rosetta Stone och Memrise, men inte så mycket. Jag har också flera study böcker och jag lyssnar på svensk musik – min favorit band är Kent (och särskilt deras låt, Svart Snö, eftersom jag tycker att det är lätt att sjunga med). 🎵

Jag tror att jag har gjort mycket framsteg i sista månader, åtminstone med vocabulary och nya phrases. Mitt problem är att jag tycker att gramatiken är svårt och jag kan inte prata eftersom jag är så rädd för att göra misstag. Jag är inte ensam på det, det vet jag… but it’s a challenge for me to even write this, let along open my mouth and speak!

Men en lite bra nyheter: nu är jag nivå sexton på Duolingo! Och jag tog en svenska proficiency test nyligen (här) and scored 47 out of 70. Det gjorde mig lycklig! Now I just need to spend some lingots on another Duolingo quiz and see if I’ve improved there in the last four months too.

Ha det bra! Vi ses. 🙂

P.S. As always, corrections are welcome – but please be nice. Jag försöker!

I lost count, as I often do.

For days on end, I’ve looked down at my keyboard, splaying my fingers over the keys, finding nothing. I don’t know if this is how I’ve always been, but I know it’s been this way for a long time.

My mind is a whirlpool of words, sounds and colours that move at such an incalculable speed that I cannot make head nor tails of them. What ifs and whys batter at the hatches as all my thoughts fight for an escape, wanting so desperately to be expressed but unable to stop twisting and writhing long enough for me to take a look at them.

I used to write stories. I used to keep a journal. I don’t know what I thought of that at the time, but looking back at those pages now is like looking through a window at myself. And I miss the ease of which I found those words.

But I’m not going to force myself. Not every day is happy, after all (as much as people like to tell me they should be). I’ll write when the words come.


Day 9: Retrospection

In the midst of a few very busy days, I found myself thinking back to a quieter time. Specifically to a very warm afternoon last summer, when we had a picnic out on the archipelago.


I really hope I can have a day like this again in a few months. 🙂 #100happydays

Day 7: Fun with Frogs

Today I started work on my latest uni assignment. Since I’m studying games development, this involves coding a basic game in C++ and writing a report on it.

Why the odd title, you ask? Well, the game we have to make is a 3D take on the 1981 arcade game “Frogger”. It’s actually going to look a little like the Crossy Road app, if you’ve ever played that! (Though not half as pretty).

So I spent a few hours this afternoon slaving away at my keyboard… and finally, I got everything set up! The scene is there, the cars are moving, the frogs… aren’t. Yet.

I’ve still got all the hard stuff ahead of me, but what I have done works. And that, at least, is worth being a little happy about. 🙂 #100happydays

Day 4, 5, 6…

I know, I know. Three days? Oh well. Let’s carry on anyway!

I’ve been feeling rather introspective this week. Going through my pictures earlier, I stumbled across this sunset:


I remember the exact day this was taken. Not today, but back in early October, mere days after my aunt passed away. Her life was cut short in a matter of weeks.

It was an absolutely breathtaking end to a heartbreaking week.

And as I looked at that view, I felt peace for the first time. The sky had cleared. The sun had come out. I felt like she knew we were watching.

She’d never wanted any of us to be sad.

Seeing this again reminds me that there’s beauty all around us.

Look upwards. Look outwards. #100happydays

Day 3: On The Road

9dab00e5647c9726528e18420c727f62aac05f666ce3e22cf4c97c19758dde3f (3)Today’s #100happydays moment wasn’t actually mine, but J’s instead.

After months of waiting for his learner’s permit, he finally went out on the road! He got the hang of it pretty quickly – and he didn’t crash, which is always a plus. Not long now until he’ll be able to show me how to drive on the other side of the road. 🙂

Day 2: Kind Words and Junk Food

Hej! Rushing in here at almost midnight to write today’s #100happydays post.

Thursday, Feb 4th. What has made me smile today?

1. It’s my day off! I have no classes or lectures on Thursdays, and this was the first week in a while where I had very little work to finish either. So I whiled away my time playing an MMORPG with J, which was nice. 🙂

2. Kind words, both here on my blog and in real life. You just can’t beat knowing that somewhere out there, someone cares.

3. I ate a burger. And I highly recommend it to you, dear reader. Considering I live off powdered soup and tea made with milk that is continuously threatening to sour most of the week (three cheers for student life), it was a taste sensation!

And now, off to whatever tomorrow brings.

Day 1: Starting Over

Since this is as good a time as any, I’m going to start my #100happydays all over again.

I got 19 days into it last, last summer (nearly 2 years ago?!) before arriving in Sweden led me to distraction. So let’s try to do a little better this time!

It’s Wednesday 3rd February 2016. Today’s happy moment is a teeny tiny achievement in the grand scheme of things, but I’m happy I managed to push through my reluctance.12659849_10206072134543482_272002215_n2

J and I communicate almost exclusively in English, as I knew no Swedish at all when we met. And after 3 years, something like that is pretty difficult to shift.

But even baby steps can cover enough distance if you persist! 💪