All posts by Martin

Gröna Linje Hyperlapse

This is my daily commute on the Tunnelbana’s Green Line, taken one sunny morning in late October, starting at the very end of the line and continuing until the line heads underground at Thorildsplan.

Of particular interest are:

Where even 7yos know that Vampires live. Mostly because of Let The Right One In, set here. Much of it was filmed in the far north for reliability of snow during filming, but the housing and jungle gym is spot on.
Crossing over this arm of Mälaren fills me with joy every time I do it. The view southward is even more lovely but hard to capture from the train. On this particular day, it was a mirror.

Continue reading Gröna Linje Hyperlapse

Kämpa sexistisk reklam

Subway ad:
Anti Sexist Ad

Rough translation:

Black Board

You’re standing there, being fed messages about everything that’s wrong with your body

White Board

This space is usually filled with a picture of a sexualised woman.

Sexist ads make women feel bad and want to change their bodies. That’s an impediment to equality. Together, we can reclaim the space.

Are you with us? Take pictures of sexist ads, tag with #complain and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to report them.

Isn’t that just fabulous?

Edinburgh and Stockholm

Friends back in Scotland have been happily pointing out 53 Reasons Living In Edinburgh Ruins You For Life. And while some of these are true, and Edinburgh is thoroughly wonderful (I lived in and around it for 25 years), I disagree with the premise that it ruins you for life. Perhaps if you stay in the UK, but not if you’re subsequently living in Stockholm.

And so, in response, I give you… Continue reading Edinburgh and Stockholm

Lake Life

As we’ve written before, being so close to Mälaren is wonderful – it makes for a lovely afternoon walk down to the shore, even in the depths of winter.

What we didn’t realise in the cold, dark days is what a wonderful place it is for beaches and swimming, and equally so, on the other side of the city centre that is theoretically the Baltic Sea.

(Sidenote: did you know that the Baltic is technically a Mediterranean sea? And because its connection to the wider oceans is so narrow, it’s both much less salty – so it freezes more easily than most – and hardly tidal at all).

And so it is – particularly when you’re out with Secondus – that you suddenly get an impromptu paddling session. Which turns into an impromptu swimming session. So now we always take towels, goggles and swimming costumes with us, even if say going to Tekniska Museet.


Right in the city centre, but you’d never know it from the peacefulness of the scene.


Hässelby Strand

The lovely thing is that it’s all very chilled, all very quiet. Kids are left to just potter and run about, which they do without particularly disturbing anyone. The main reason for this is that it’s not too busy. You can always find a good space to sit in. And it’s utterly safe, both in water terms and personal safety. The water is cool, not cold (easily warm enough to swim in, and refreshing on a hot day), and is pretty shallow for quiet some way out.

There are BBQ pits, no-one will hassle you if you bring your own disposable one, as long as you do dispose of it, and there are special bins to do just that.

In Sweden, even BBQs get recycled
In Sweden, even BBQs get recycled

There are no huge sets of “THOU SHALT NOT HAVE FUN” rules beyond Swedish norms about recycling. No parents inflicting oil slicks of suncream on their pale blue offspring. No fences or opening times or lifeguards.

It’s all a relaxed, inside/outside atmosphere, and lovely and warm.

What kind of a summer has it been?

Continue reading Lake Life

Boat Culture

It seems that almost all our neighbours have boats.

We’re about 5 minutes’ walk from Mälaren, and we also have a huge archipelago of 28000 islands starting at the city centre sprinkled with holiday cottages and real homes. So my boss has a boat. And so does his boss. They both live out in the archipelago. But so does one of my colleagues. It’s just a regular thing.

But it’s still a surprise to us, compared to equivalent water distance in Scotland, where only the uber-privileged would have them.

A few weeks ago, we had our regular company meeting, but instead of it being in the office, it was over dinner out in the archipelago. And we travelled there by boat. Specifically the boats of my boss and his boss.
Continue reading Boat Culture

EU Elections

The last few weeks have been a little bit odd.

For the first time since I was 18, I have failed to vote in an election.

And it’s not down to eligibility: as EU citizens, we’re perfectly entitled to vote in EU (and local) elections in Sweden. We’re also – I think – eligible to vote at our old UK address. For the latter, as we’ve removed ourselves from the UK body politic, it didn’t feel right continuing to vote there. This is also why I won’t be voting in September’s Independence Referendum even though it’s something I’ve been passionate about for 25 years and more.

Given how I’ve argued for political engagement and using the hard won right to vote for a long time, it seems a bit odd not using it. But I didn’t feel like I had a firm enough grasp on Swedish political realities to cast an informed vote. I did however keep an interested eye on the electoral posters that went up around the city, and found some views that would certainly have an impact on my likelihood to vote for/against the party in question.

First thing that struck me: there’s a lot more positive rhetoric for Europe here than in the UK, where it’s more a case of how strongly to word the anti-EU-rhetoric. And it didn’t seem to have an obvious left/right division.
Continue reading EU Elections