|Sweden in Colour from 1956|
|Strange photo (mine) of lovely book pages, looks as though I took it in front of a roaring fire.|
I'm just so touched by Chrissie's kindness. She sent a great letter with the books about her time as a nanny/au pair in Stockholm just after she left school. I won't forget the image she painted of herself in her floor-length red PVC raincoat and black boots -- fantastic. Like me, she loved the city and soaked up as much of it as she could, leaving her with a lifelong affection for the place. I think we both feel very drawn to Sweden and it has 'clicked' with us in a way that other places, although fantastic, just don't necessarily. When I left school I spent a year in Paris as an au pair and, like Chrissie, explored every corner of the city. I was going to study French at University on my return, so the whole experience stood me in very good stead, but I don't have the passion for Paris and France that I now have for Stockholm and Sweden. Similarly, I've been to New York twice (years ago, for work), but didn't catch the NYC bug (except in vintage postcard form).
And, this week, still more Sweden came through the letterbox as I had managed to track down the film version of books 1 and 2, which was made in Swedish in 1971 (starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann) and then re-edited and dubbed into English for the American market. It is only available on VHS and is really rare. When I unpacked the video, I discovered it was infested with bugs and larvae! I didn't stop to see if they were alive or dead but ran to the loo to brush them off and flush them away. I've also bought the sequel, The New Land, from the same seller, so I will be full of trepidation when that one arrives. I imagine these videos have been stored in a garage for forty years or something, hence the miniature hitchhikers.
|still from The Emigrants|
|another still of stony Småland|