Stockholm’s syndrome (1)

Some months ago, just out of the blue, I took a flight to Copenhagen. The idea was to visit friends in Malmö and Stockholm. I had never been in Sweden. As a short summer break from the heat wave in London seemed like a perfectly good idea.

Is funny how we accumulate stereotypes and preconceived ideas about places (and about people too, this being worse I believe). I just didn’t know lots about Sweden, but somehow years of being exposed to IKEA furniture, TV shows like The Bridge (amazing noir crime show to binge watch in a cold weekend) and all sort of silly clichés, one arrives to the place and believes in some sort of deja vu feeling.

I was joking with one of my friends here that I was disappointed of not seeing snow. The same as most of Europe those last weeks, Sweden has been under a heat wave that made all green things look faded and yellow. And my short time in Malmö felt like any other summer place in Spain or Portugal. I walked along the beach and it’s pier feeling like nothing at all I had previously thought. Some very interesting architecture in there, from old town houses to the futuristic Santiago Calatrava’s “Turning Torso” building. I liked Malmö lots, in some ways it reminded me to Cambridge, maybe just because it looks very bike and family friendly. And with a nice beach! But still, the bleak cinematography from that TV show appeared in flashes in my head and I wonder how it really would be living in winter here.

Here are some pictures from Malmo. I will post Stockholm one’s later. By the way, check my prints page, I’m updating it with links where you can order prints of various sizes of some of my pictures. If it happens that you’d like prints of any other pictures in this blog, let me now, I will make them available you, no matter where you are. 🙂

Wales, or the next place I would like to live in..

Ok, maybe not yet, but I really liked it. I’m sure rental prices here are way cheaper than in London… I went here last week, with my daughter, like some other nice trips around UK we’ve done in the past. I thought at first about a sunny place but my daughter loved the idea of a road trip and visit towns with colourful houses. So we stayed in Tenby, a little coastal town in the south of the country, with very colourful houses indeed. Now it was very quite, and I guess in summer it gets full of people. It seemed very oriented towards tourism, full of shops and places to eat, most of them open even now in February. We also went to the small village of Rhossili, with its amazing beach, and St Davis, apparently the smallest city in UK. It has a cathedral where I believe all the inhabitants of the city could enter at once. I’d like to visit the north part of the country sometime in summer, with warmer weather possibly. Oh, I can see myself working from a place with those sea views…  🙂

London winter fair (2), or belated new year’s musings…

Here goes a small gallery of pictures I took a bit more than a year ago, in winter wonderland fair, here in London. I’ve been already a few times here, my daughter enjoys it, and we like to do a bit of ice skating. Well, she does it, I just slide carefully on the ice and so far, I have never broken a bone. I wanted these ones in black and white, just for a change. Previously I did others in colour. This one is also from that place that day.

I read now the thoughts I had at that time, last year, and somehow, I feel nothing has changed too much. I can even say, some things just keep repeating. Again, I will soon start a new job. A job that will encourage some new ways of working for me. I’m really looking forward to it. Again, I thought that someone I cared about would want to follow me. Actually, we followed each other, to the middle of nowhere, but soon afterwards whatever was what we had in common seemed to disappear behind a wall of misunderstandings.

One thing I will avoid for now is moving from my place in London, even if at times, I have mixed feelings about what exactly am I doing here. This I hope will be a constant for long time. As other people and things, that are also constants in my life. 🙂

Israel (3), or the old city of Jerusalem

Big gallery of pictures taken in Jerusalem, some months ago. The weather was a bit colder than expected. Coming from the lower parts of the country (literally, the lowest, the dead sea), it felt a bit chillier here. I was cloudy and rainy at times. Not too different from the weather in UK!

The old city feels chaotic. Crowded of people of all places and faiths, tourists and locals, people from everywhere gather here for different reasons. The biggest one is the religious for sure, but some people like me were just following a friend that wanted to come here. And I was curious about the place too. Even if you don’t feel like talking to your imaginary friends, this place is really special. There is this feeling of historic vertigo, willing to explore every corner, danger, and fascination, all at the same time. And at some point too, tiredness. It’s really easy to get lost in the labyrinthic narrow alleyways of this old place. At times the gps in your mobile doesn’t seem to work, and all you want is a pomegranate juice and rest in one of the hundreds of tiny shops where they prepare it right in front of you. Speaking of shops, it was surprising to me the amount of them. Before coming here I thought about this place to be like a preserved piece of time from millennia ago, for all the religions that find a meaning here, etc.. and yes of course, it is that, but it is also a gigantic bazaar where you can find souvenirs of all kinds, all sorts of food, barber shops, even photography studios!

But nothing really happened during the time spent there. Security more proper of an airport it seemed to me. It all felt safe enough, although a bit tense at times. That was the part that felt dangerous and paranoid to me. The situation here is known by everyone to be complicated, to say the least. In every corner you could find armed men and woman, asking for identifications, metal detector arcs to enter in some areas, CCTV cameras staring at everything and everyone, and depending on your religious/ethnic background you are not allowed to enter certain parts of the city.

One day was enough, although I reckon that this place deserves more time, a second opportunity to appreciate better things missed.