The lost art of writing

I can’t remember when I last received a handwritten letter. On real paper, written in ballpoint pen, or even better, fountain pen, delivered in an envelope with a handwritten address on it. It must have been at least two decades ago. But I do remember the feelings that such a letter could evoke. The delicious […]

Is it a goose?

Svanshals is a little village in the middle of the Swedish countryside. The name literally means “Swan neck”. Not a fancy name if you ask me, but I am sure that whoever came up with the idea of embellishing the cross on its church with a swan never imagined the following conversation: Have you seen […]

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

How language can change your personality
The extent to which a person has mastered another language can have a significant impact on the image other people have of him or her. I never really thought about that until I moved from Holland to Sweden many years ago. The only skills I had in my backpack were the linguistic basics I had […]

Husband for hire

Last week, strolling down the street, I saw an interesting example of wrap advertising. “Rent a Husband” was the amusing message emblazoned on a car that passed by. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. My mind started picturing all the apparent advantages of such a service. Can you imagine being married just when it […]

Doll doctor

I only heard this term for the first time in my life a week ago. I didn’t play with dolls when I was a little girl and I had no idea that you could actually take them to a “real” doctor. I was visiting the charming city of Vadstena with a good friend of mine […]