We’re in April and spring is in the air. Sort of. Here, at least, the weather is still undecided and keeps switching from warm, sunny days to windy, wet ones.
These two months were pretty calm, although I have slowly eased back into my studies mode. Which means that I have now started my postgraduate life! ☺️
- Getting accepted into post-grad – I am now an M.A. Italian student! 🎓
- Celebrating with Matt and the dogs – his birthday, Valentine’s and Rowley’s gotcha day 🐶
- Fredrik Backman – he breaks and mends my heart with his stories 💙
- Planning the future with Matt 💖
- Wind and rain (and random crazy storms) – I’m officially tired of the wintry weather! 😩
- Dash having us all worried one evening – thankfully it was nothing serious 🙏
Doggie Diaries 🐶
- Rowley’s gotcha day was on 17th February. Although we didn’t do anything special, it was important to remember the day that made our family of four complete! 🎉
- A couple of weeks ago, Dash fell sick right after our evening walk. When he wouldn’t stop puking, we had to take him to a clinic, and since we don’t have a car, we had to call for an ambulance. Thankfully, it was nothing serious; either a virus or a reaction to something he ate. The next day he was already his usual self.
- Aside from that, it was a month of lazy days on the couch, cuddling and playing. My favourite moments?
- When Rowley gets all excited and playful, and he jumps on us for kisses. If I stop patting him, he starts growling and barking, demanding attention. So cute!
- Sometimes, when Dash lays next to me, half on my lap, he suddenly looks up and stares at me with big eyes. It’s like he’s staring right into my soul. I get confused because I keep wondering what he’s trying to tell me. He makes me melt.
What I’ve been watching
- Movies: Just six films in two months.
- Late 2018 releases: We started to catch up with some big releases from the past months. First one was Creed II, the second film from the Rocky spin-off series. It was good, but predictable and a bit clichéd, though that’s no surprise. Then, I finally watched Bohemian Rhapsody. I really liked it, though I suspect that it’s Queen’s music that makes it so good, not the story as such. Good to see that Rami Malek has come a long way!
- Dante’s Inferno: After attending a talk about the Inferno a few weeks ago, I went back home to watch this animated film based on a video game. Matt really likes this movie but, as a non-gamer who studied Dante academically, I can’t say the same, haha! Way too bloody.
- Swedish films: I watched Becoming Astrid, based on Astrid Lindgren’s early life before she became a famous author. I’m not that familiar with her works, although I did grow up watching the Pippi Longstocking TV series, but anyhow, the film gives an idea of what inspired her. I also saw an 80’s film, the Oscar-nominated My Life as a Dog, which I thought was eccentric, but fun. Last but not least, Border. I’ve been waiting for this film for months. This was Sweden’s submission for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars; unfortunately, it didn’t make it to the final list of nominees. It’s based on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In). I liked the film, especially the scenes set in the forest. However, there were some small changes to the plot and to one character in particular which made me prefer Lindqvist’s story over the movie. Still, it’s beautiful to watch, and I recommend it.
- TV: Once again, I watched more TV: eight series, one special, and four documentaries!
- Netflix drama: First up was You, a thriller about a stalker-bookshop manager that can also be interpreted as a dark satire on rom-coms. It’s disturbing, but following the story from the bad guy’s POV almost makes you root for him (he still is abominable, and his actions can never be justified). Oh, but I loved all the bookish references! Then we watched Russian Doll, released in February, where the protagonist keeps dying and coming back to life to relive her last hours. It’s a weird, elaborate show full of deep philosophical musings, interlaced with dark humour, and it has an outstanding soundtrack list. I loved it! In March, Ricky Gervais’s new work, After Life, came out. It didn’t disappoint: it’s Gervais’s darkest humour so far, but it’s so touching, even more than Derek (read my review), without it being sappy.
- Big Mouth – My Furry Valentine: This Valentine’s special was released on Netflix a week before that feast. It didn’t disappoint, simply hilarious. Can’t wait for the new season!
- Historical drama: We caught up with Season 2 of Sweden’s Vår tid är nu, and it just keeps getting better and better. This season was set in 1950’s Stockholm and what I liked best was the subplot concerning Italian immigrants. Then we also caught up with Season 3 of Victoria, currently being broadcast on ITV, but strangely, having aired some weeks before in the US. My love for this series is still strong!
- Swedish supernatural & noir: Black Lake, a horror/thriller, turned out to be a huge disappointment: everything was so clichéd and predictable and not scary at all. Jordskott, a fantasy/crime series, is a strange story. The fantasy elements were hard to understand. Season 2 was actually better, though. Still, I’m afraid the Swedes have a lot to work on to improve in the horror/fantasy genre. Thankfully, after these two shows, we also discovered an awesome noir, Before We Die. It deviated from the usual crime stories as it deals more with internal police affairs, with investigators competing or working against each other while trying to catch biker gangs and Croatian mafia guys red-handed. I do hope they will continue this series.
- Documentaries: Netflix released two cool sports-related documentaries in March. One of them was Formula 1: Drive to Survive, based on last year’s season. It’s honestly more exciting than watching the actual races, but it kind of rekindled my love for this sport. The second one was Losers which, as the title implies, focuses on sportspersons who weren’t exactly brilliant champions. We also watched the much-discussed Leaving Neverland, and I have no words to express… just shocking. The last documentary was Trump: An American Dream, and I was impressed by how balanced it was: he wasn’t praised to the skies, but he wasn’t bashed either.
What I’ve been reading
- Us Against You: I finished Fredrik Backman’s sequel to Beartown. It’s as good as the first book, I just can’t choose between them. So. Many. Feelings! Apparently, Backman intends to write a third book in the series but has no idea when (meanwhile, he’s releasing another comedy this month, in Sweden).
- Swedish lifestyle: For Valentine’s, Matt gave me The Little Book of Fika, which took me only around half an hour to read (the last half was just recipes). I also read Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living, which had lots of valuable information about life in that country. It made me nostalgic, I really miss Sweden.
- Currently reading: I started Richard Adams’ Watership Down several weeks ago and I kind of regret it because now I’ve started to focus on academic reading and kind of forgot about it. I’ll do my best to finish it soon.
- A month ago I managed one single post inspired by my increased TV-watching, and that’s just it.
- At least I’m not quitting the blog. I paid up the hosting for another year, so I hope I’ll push myself harder and make it worth it (because it got even more expensive!).
- Meanwhile, Scrabbled Rambles is 3 years old!