Friday The 13th In Sweden

It has been a (wonderfully) mad few weeks! I’ve started writing for the brilliant website BabyGaga , have been leaving the house at the crack of dawn for SFI five days a week and I’ve taken up cross stitch. (Addicted and can’t stop. Send help. Not really. I love it.)

My Friday the 13th started off particularly unlucky. I’m especially superstitious…most of us English are, so I didn’t expect much else. I don’t think the Swedes take today particularly seriously though. They’re far too progressive and level headed. In England we still have something a bit Middle Ages with our thinking.

I managed to get about an hours sleep last night because one of the cats is in heat, and the other one has sickness and diarrhea. Then my rucksack opened itself up on my way to school and I nearly lost everything to the slush. I also ended up being fifteen minutes late to class, then did spectacularly bad with my work, ballsing up things which I knew, and repeatedly asking my lovely and especially patient teacher questions in English instead of in Swedish…like I’m supposed to do.

However! Today did have its positives. Here they are.

During my SFI class I learned the word ‘skrock’ which means ‘superstition’ in Swedish.Immediately I thought to myself ‘cross stitching that when I get home!’ Learning this new word improved my mood ten fold, and I found myself scouring the English/Swedish Ordbook during the break for other weird words that I could stitch.

When I got home I sat down and did my cross stitch. I should have been working solidly on articles due in this weekend, but I needed some me time after the monumental stress of the morning. So I spent an hour or so crafting and then, very gently, getting the sleeping cat’s tail to lay artfully across my finished piece. Instagram demands this artiness. She wasn’t particularly happy about this however, even in her sleep.

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I added an Algiz rune to my cross stitch, which, when inverted means ‘hidden danger, taboo, warning…’ Quite suitable I think for today. Friday the 13th also held significance for the vikings. 12 gods were feasting in Valhalla when in walked a 13th, uninvited guest…the mischievous Loki who arranged for Hodor to kill Balder the Beautiful with a mistletoe tipped arrow.

This evening I heard a bird calling from the forest. No idea what I was hearing (okay, my first thought was EAGLE! Which was silly. I’ve seen National Geographic. I know an eagle doesn’t sound like that.) I hurled the door open and recorded the sound with my phone and promptly uploaded it onto Facebook and Instagram.

Coming from the forest…does anyone know what sort of bird this is?

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Within about five minutes, the web and its people had gifted me with an answer…what I was hearing was a tawny owl (even better than an eagle!), specifically a territorial female owl. Apparently they get like that in winter. Apparently it is the males which make the ho-hoo calls and the females make the ke-wick noises I was hearing. Thanking the universe for letting me off ‘lightly’ this Friday 13th and for giving me some light relief at the end of bloody long day.

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