As I’m writing this it’s exactly one month since my birthday and although it ended up a little different from what I had planned it was a pretty good day. I originally wanted to spend the day in London going to the British Museum and my favourite bookshops but when I woke up that morning the now infamous Beast from the East was still hitting all over England and they were sending out warnings telling people to avoid using trains.
I woke up this morning to a flurry of snowflakes falling from the sky, so I thought it was the right day to publish a short piece of writing I wrote earlier this month on how I feel about winter. I was inspired to write it after I got prints back from the photo lab with photographs from my first ever roll of Foma Retropan black and white film. I took them in January when I went home to see my family and most of the roll I shot around our cabin in Sweden and on a walk in the surrounding landscape down by Järnavik, a beautiful stretch of Swedish archipelago that I’m very fond of.
I’ve just come back to England after a short, spontaneous holiday in Denmark. I had a few days off and there was a January sale on flights, so I grabbed the chance to go home and cuddle with the cat for a little bit.
For a few years now I have been walking around with an idea for a photo project that I planned to someday do at home. I would photograph the places I used to inhabit, the street where I grew up, the tunnel systems I used to travel through, my old school and the lake where I used to meet my friends. The project would be about photographing all the places that have now become memories, places that I only visit rather than live in. It was also the plan that these photos would sit next to photos of the streets and neighbourhoods I used to inhabit when I lived in London. A juxtaposition of those two cities that made me as a person.
I have been thinking a lot about Nordic literature lately. Maybe it’s because of the season but at this time of year all I want to do is hibernate, get the knitted socks out, drink hot chocolate and cosy up with an old favourite classic or a suitably melancholic Scandi book. Maybe it’s simply because the cold and the darkness here in winter reminds me of home, so I want to read books that can take me there while I’m here in England. Either way I think that stories from the Nordic countries are just the perfect thing to read at this time of year.