I’m sat here at the kitchen table with the rain cracking against the windows like stones. This time last week we had snow. I miss it. I miss it terribly. I don’t know what November is doing, or where it is going so fast. When I look outside it’s difficult to see where the tree tops end and the sky begins. I love this early darkness, it makes up for today’s lack of snow. A little bit at least. Out of the corner of my eye I can see the books I collected from the library today stacked on the floor on the hall – novels, collections of short stories, photography manuals, a memoir in the shape of a comic, an account of a failed polar exploration. I was so hungry at the library. I couldn’t leave a book behind.
I’ve just eaten two pepparkakor, one in the shape of a fir tree, the other in the shape of a heart. I didn’t look into the tub when I fished them out. Pepparkakor are the taste of winter, they’ve always been the taste of winter. I’ve finished my fifth cup of tea and am craving another one. I need it hot, strong, sweet. The past week and a bit has forced us to endure challenges which have gathered up and used my strength, Sebastian’s strength, Little Tyra’s strength. But we’ve also experienced some wonderful changes. The other day we welcomed Wolfbane and Boney – two feline ladies in their prime – into our home. I’ve lived around animals my whole life, but have always, unfairly I suppose, favoured dogs over cats. I never expected that this winter I would bond with two beautiful felines, but it’s happened. Wolfbane, the older of the two comes and sits on the table where I work, and I run my fingers through her fur and nudge her head with my own. Often she’ll settle herself down and fall asleep, softening my heart. Nearly every night since she arrived here Boney has been bedding down with me, purring loud en0ugh to wake the dead.
Talking of sleep. I’m wondering now what time I ought to go to bed. I’m not used to wondering that anymore. I’m not used to needing to be somewhere. Early tomorrow morning I’m starting the Swedish For Immigrants course or SFI. I’m nervous. On Tuesday I’ll meet with the Dr who put me back on my medication in September. We’ll discuss increasing the dosage. I’m hoping for an increase. I’m my best self on a higher dosage. Then, on Wednesday Sebastian and I will travel across the North Sea, and he’ll meet my family for the very first time. I haven’t seen them since March and am yearning for their affection, for their closeness, for their laughter in my ears. Not long to wait now.
On a different note, I established a website for my photography. Sweden has been so influential in my development as a photographer and much of what you will find at the website has been featured here. Heck, look at that. I called myself a photographer! I’m slowly getting used to having the words ‘I am a photographer’ in my mouth.