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Ask me anything   About Me   My London   My Paris   

A Swede who grew up in England and studied in America for uni but spent the 2012-2013 academic year studying art history in Paris and now is back in London. It's confusing. Recounting my adventures here, there and everywhere with a photo a day.
My mother thinks I'm funny.

twitter.com/LetsGoArctic:

    30/09/2014
Being born a white woman, I am extremely fortunate and cursed at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman and being able to express myself in my clothing, being open about taking care of my looks and not always havinf to be the tough one. But being a woman means being scrutinised for my looks, being perceived as weak and losing chances of a career if I seem more interested in children than my boss.
Yesterday I went with my Tuesday girls to a talk about women in the art world, hosted by the Contemporary Art Society and the Fawcett Womens Group which was exciting, empowering and so depressing at the same time. The amount of women and their chances in success diminish significantly with age it seems in the art world and as a young woman, this is terrifying. 
I want to be successful in my job and continue to work in the arts throughout my life but I see even in my own job the struggles working mothers face. The prospects are daunting and more so when you see the statistics where men dominated the top even when more women go into the field.
The talk was invigorating and got all of us talking after as I think we all had something to say, but it has forced me to reflect on what battles I will be fighting im the future.

    30/09/2014
    Being born a white woman, I am extremely fortunate and cursed at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman and being able to express myself in my clothing, being open about taking care of my looks and not always havinf to be the tough one. But being a woman means being scrutinised for my looks, being perceived as weak and losing chances of a career if I seem more interested in children than my boss.
    Yesterday I went with my Tuesday girls to a talk about women in the art world, hosted by the Contemporary Art Society and the Fawcett Womens Group which was exciting, empowering and so depressing at the same time. The amount of women and their chances in success diminish significantly with age it seems in the art world and as a young woman, this is terrifying.
    I want to be successful in my job and continue to work in the arts throughout my life but I see even in my own job the struggles working mothers face. The prospects are daunting and more so when you see the statistics where men dominated the top even when more women go into the field.

    The talk was invigorating and got all of us talking after as I think we all had something to say, but it has forced me to reflect on what battles I will be fighting im the future.
    — 18 hours ago

    #art  #art world  #feminism  #women  #rights  #gender dynamics  #gender ratios 
    29/09/2014
When I went to Chelsea during my foundation year, one of my tutors told me to go and take pictures of people walking to work in the City in the morning as it would help me get a real sense of what living in London was like. I never did as she had suggested getting up at 5 am  in the morning to do it but I did sit hours on end at Paddington and just stare as hoards of people would pass me, every minute replaced by a new hoard that was coming from a different train and rushing as if they would die if they didn’t to get to the Underground, to work, onward with their lives. They never wanted to be at Paddington and you better be out of the way or you would be pushed to the side as they hurried on their way, only to do it again the same day.
Today, I had a very interesting experience crossing the Thames and entering into the City to walk home. The hoards were there, although in not as thick throngs as they are at Paddington in the mornings, but this time they are all hurrying to the train stations and underground stations on their way home, desperate to leave the glass fortresses that are their places of work. As I was going in the opposite direction, it felt like being a fish swimming upstream, at times I would just have to stop and stand still until someone made way for me to walk the opposite direction as them and at other times, I would walk behind someone else walking the same way with the occasional person running into me, assuming that only one person (and not a shorter person following them) would want to enter the city. It was a really weird sensation. 
I think I’m glad I didn’t wake up to see the city workers get to work in the morning, but in many ways, I am curious now what it is like.

    29/09/2014

    When I went to Chelsea during my foundation year, one of my tutors told me to go and take pictures of people walking to work in the City in the morning as it would help me get a real sense of what living in London was like. I never did as she had suggested getting up at 5 am  in the morning to do it but I did sit hours on end at Paddington and just stare as hoards of people would pass me, every minute replaced by a new hoard that was coming from a different train and rushing as if they would die if they didn’t to get to the Underground, to work, onward with their lives. They never wanted to be at Paddington and you better be out of the way or you would be pushed to the side as they hurried on their way, only to do it again the same day.

    Today, I had a very interesting experience crossing the Thames and entering into the City to walk home. The hoards were there, although in not as thick throngs as they are at Paddington in the mornings, but this time they are all hurrying to the train stations and underground stations on their way home, desperate to leave the glass fortresses that are their places of work. As I was going in the opposite direction, it felt like being a fish swimming upstream, at times I would just have to stop and stand still until someone made way for me to walk the opposite direction as them and at other times, I would walk behind someone else walking the same way with the occasional person running into me, assuming that only one person (and not a shorter person following them) would want to enter the city. It was a really weird sensation. 

    I think I’m glad I didn’t wake up to see the city workers get to work in the morning, but in many ways, I am curious now what it is like.

    — 2 days ago

    #The City  #London  #City life  #Reflection  #Masses of people 

    28/09/2014

    Caroline made chocolate biskvier whilst I stared out to the sky, mostly confused and tired all day, still recovering from the fever. 

    — 2 days ago

    #Chocolate  #Home  #Sick  #Cake  #Yum 
    27/08/2014
Surprise present from #Birchbox ! It definitely made my day, mostly since I lay most of the day in bed with a fever and what I’ve had to realise as an adult is that being sick is both very frustrating and very boring. Everything I wanted to do, I couldn’t do and it wasted my Saturday.
I guess the light at the end of the tunnel was that my mother came home from Sweden Saturday night so I had a nice evening with her.

    27/08/2014

    Surprise present from #Birchbox ! It definitely made my day, mostly since I lay most of the day in bed with a fever and what I’ve had to realise as an adult is that being sick is both very frustrating and very boring. Everything I wanted to do, I couldn’t do and it wasted my Saturday.

    I guess the light at the end of the tunnel was that my mother came home from Sweden Saturday night so I had a nice evening with her.

    — 2 days ago

    #Birchbox  #Present  #Surprise  #Mother  #Coming home  #Sick  #Fever  #Ill 

    25/09/2014

    My first Tufts alumni dinner. It is always a bit awkward to meet a lot of strangers for the first time, especially in a loud environment but it also felt very comforting to meet people who are in a way like me, because they went to my university. It was a bit odd to be with American expats when I haven’t really spoken to Americans in England since coming back (every Northern European turns out to be Canadian). But I am glad to meet more people to expand my network. The craziest part of my night was the fact that one of the other alumns turned out to be my neighbour!

    — 5 days ago

    #tufts  #alumni  #newly graduated  #weird  #meeting new people 

    26/09/2014

    London Art Book Fair. The best part of my job is the exciting things that are always happening in the gallery and this week is no different with the opening of the London Art Book Fair. There were quite a few art types around (and artists) but the best were the beautiful books and works of art on sale. I wanted so much, but since I can’t afford it, I resisted. Next time.

    — 5 days ago

    #art book fair  #london art book fair  #art books  #art gallery  #gallery 
    24/09/2014
Today when it came time to leave work and everyone else was turning off their computers, I didn’t want to leave. I felt I had too much left to do, but I ended going too. It forced me to think about something I’ve read about before but never really thought about: “work-life balance.” 
At university, work-life balance doesn’t really exist because student life include work through extra-curriculars, you end up working all hours to finish your homework and your social life is linked with your working world. Personally, I thought I had a decent work-life balance since I never let my work interfere with my sleep but otherwise, I would work any other time of the day and I could be social at any time of the day too.
When I started working almost four months ago, I suddenly had to adjust to the “9 to 5” (actually 9:30 to 5:45 for me) life where the only time I work is in those hours and when I go home, work ends. I know a lot of people might continue working even after they’ve gotten home, but for me, many of the things I do or need I can only get at work. It took me three months to figure out how to get my work calendar on my phone and my work email still doesn’t work, meaning that it is safe to say that when I go home, I don’t have to think about work.
This can be a little frustrating, however, when, like right now, I feel that I have too many things to do and can’t possibly complete it during the working day. I want to work longer hours because what is at stake is my ability to be a good employee and ultimately help the organisation move forward. I am suddenly understanding the people who spend all their time working.
Walking home today I recognised another element in my wanting to work more and to have less of life - I live alone and I’ve suddenly got a lot of time on my hands. At university I was occupied with extracurriculars, friends who lived within walking distance and a boyfriend. Every evening I go home right now, I can do whatever I want with my time whether it is read or paint or vegetate watching videos online. That free time is daunting because I feel like I don’t want to waste it but at the same time, I’m tired from working and all I want to do is nothing. I still have a social life, but it’s less than university because everyone else has jobs and schedules and other things. I’m no longer signed up for a weekly club meeting (I did consider volunteering but as my job requires working at events in the evenings sometimes, I don’t want to commit to anything either).
The other thing about this freedom is that it makes me uncomfortable because I feel like I should be building the skills I will need in the future to be successful during all this free time, whether it is later become head of a department or start my own start-up. I should be doing something because when I am older, I will not have this freedom of time. But without knowing for certain what I will do in the future, how can I build the skills needed and how do I know that I’m not wasting my time? I am almost incapacitated from this fear which in itself is ridiculous, I’m not doing anything useful anyway with my time.
Having a life is actually more difficult than it initially seemed.

    24/09/2014

    Today when it came time to leave work and everyone else was turning off their computers, I didn’t want to leave. I felt I had too much left to do, but I ended going too. It forced me to think about something I’ve read about before but never really thought about: “work-life balance.” 

    At university, work-life balance doesn’t really exist because student life include work through extra-curriculars, you end up working all hours to finish your homework and your social life is linked with your working world. Personally, I thought I had a decent work-life balance since I never let my work interfere with my sleep but otherwise, I would work any other time of the day and I could be social at any time of the day too.

    When I started working almost four months ago, I suddenly had to adjust to the “9 to 5” (actually 9:30 to 5:45 for me) life where the only time I work is in those hours and when I go home, work ends. I know a lot of people might continue working even after they’ve gotten home, but for me, many of the things I do or need I can only get at work. It took me three months to figure out how to get my work calendar on my phone and my work email still doesn’t work, meaning that it is safe to say that when I go home, I don’t have to think about work.

    This can be a little frustrating, however, when, like right now, I feel that I have too many things to do and can’t possibly complete it during the working day. I want to work longer hours because what is at stake is my ability to be a good employee and ultimately help the organisation move forward. I am suddenly understanding the people who spend all their time working.

    Walking home today I recognised another element in my wanting to work more and to have less of life - I live alone and I’ve suddenly got a lot of time on my hands. At university I was occupied with extracurriculars, friends who lived within walking distance and a boyfriend. Every evening I go home right now, I can do whatever I want with my time whether it is read or paint or vegetate watching videos online. That free time is daunting because I feel like I don’t want to waste it but at the same time, I’m tired from working and all I want to do is nothing. I still have a social life, but it’s less than university because everyone else has jobs and schedules and other things. I’m no longer signed up for a weekly club meeting (I did consider volunteering but as my job requires working at events in the evenings sometimes, I don’t want to commit to anything either).

    The other thing about this freedom is that it makes me uncomfortable because I feel like I should be building the skills I will need in the future to be successful during all this free time, whether it is later become head of a department or start my own start-up. I should be doing something because when I am older, I will not have this freedom of time. But without knowing for certain what I will do in the future, how can I build the skills needed and how do I know that I’m not wasting my time? I am almost incapacitated from this fear which in itself is ridiculous, I’m not doing anything useful anyway with my time.

    Having a life is actually more difficult than it initially seemed.

    — 1 week ago with 1 note

    #work/life balance  #work/life  #Twenties  #twentysomething  #young  #fresh out of college  #first job  #learning  #thoughts  #fear 
    23/09/2014
Sian showing us the amazing hat she knitted.

    23/09/2014

    Sian showing us the amazing hat she knitted.

    — 1 week ago

    #Friends  #Crafts  #Knitting 
    22/09/2014
Today, I literally hobbled home. Why, you may ask? Because of my damn shoes that gave me blisters all over my feet. The reason? Well, they aren’t broken in yet. The shoes aren’t that special. They’re just a basic pair of ballet flats. From experience, shoes like that last maximum a year if you wear them everyday and to be honest, they aren’t extraordinary looking so no one would notice the difference between these specific shoes and the next pair of ballet flats. Yet, for shoeland, these shoes have lasted extraordinarily long because of a very simple reason: they hurt everytime I wear them so I never wear them.
This morning, I decided to have the bright idea that I should wear them work to finally break them in. I figured that I don’t walk around that much at work so I wouldn’t come home with painful blisters. What I had forgotten about was a trainee field trip to the Tower Hamlet Archives, which naturally meant walking. Within the first hour of wearing the shoes, my feet were already hurting. I have not been a happy bunny since. To be fair, I’ve done my best to keep walking anyway throughout the day, going out for my daily lunchtime walk with my colleagues where they buy lunch (I always bring mine), going (running) to the post office after work before they closed and going up and down throughout the building. However, these shoes will have to wait another year until they come out again.
As for everything else, visiting the Archives was amazing, much more exciting than I was expecting. What I thought it would be was a dull tour and a visit to where all the extra special things were kept in a cooler room. What I didn’t expect was that we would be allowed to handle old materials, including photographs, marriage certificate, old records and maps of the local area. Since I live and work here, it was exciting to see what different parts of the borough used to be as well as find my street on old maps. One map from the 1850s stated that my area was “Extremely poor: vicious, criminal” and we paged through old newspaper articles about Jack the Ripper. It was actually super fascinating.

    22/09/2014

    Today, I literally hobbled home. Why, you may ask? Because of my damn shoes that gave me blisters all over my feet. The reason? Well, they aren’t broken in yet. The shoes aren’t that special. They’re just a basic pair of ballet flats. From experience, shoes like that last maximum a year if you wear them everyday and to be honest, they aren’t extraordinary looking so no one would notice the difference between these specific shoes and the next pair of ballet flats. Yet, for shoeland, these shoes have lasted extraordinarily long because of a very simple reason: they hurt everytime I wear them so I never wear them.

    This morning, I decided to have the bright idea that I should wear them work to finally break them in. I figured that I don’t walk around that much at work so I wouldn’t come home with painful blisters. What I had forgotten about was a trainee field trip to the Tower Hamlet Archives, which naturally meant walking. Within the first hour of wearing the shoes, my feet were already hurting. I have not been a happy bunny since. To be fair, I’ve done my best to keep walking anyway throughout the day, going out for my daily lunchtime walk with my colleagues where they buy lunch (I always bring mine), going (running) to the post office after work before they closed and going up and down throughout the building. However, these shoes will have to wait another year until they come out again.

    As for everything else, visiting the Archives was amazing, much more exciting than I was expecting. What I thought it would be was a dull tour and a visit to where all the extra special things were kept in a cooler room. What I didn’t expect was that we would be allowed to handle old materials, including photographs, marriage certificate, old records and maps of the local area. Since I live and work here, it was exciting to see what different parts of the borough used to be as well as find my street on old maps. One map from the 1850s stated that my area was “Extremely poor: vicious, criminal” and we paged through old newspaper articles about Jack the Ripper. It was actually super fascinating.

    — 1 week ago

    #tower hamlets  #London  #East End  #Whitechapel  #Aldgate  #Walking  #New shoes  #Painful 
    21/09/2014
Being young and poor does force you to think about how you spend your money. It turns out that when you stop eating meat and processed food, my weekly food bill is much smaller, but going completely vegan makes it a bit more expensive. Drinking alcohol has been massively reduced, especially big nights out, since it does cost a lot, but having dinner parties is often cheaper than going out for a completely drinks, so my social life hasn’t stopped (again, no meat saves money). Then there is the question of what are the essentials? I mean, what is essential essential? My smartphone needs internet, so whilst I don’t spend hours on end talking on the phone, I had to pick a plan that included enough internet (although, this is England and not America so I’m only paying £12 a month). I consider when I travel but generally, I don’t have a huge choice about the cost of the train ride home every weekend or when I take the tube to meet a friend or go to a work event. Something I have avoided paying, however, is not something I feel that most people of my generation would compromise for - the internet.
The reason I have not paid for internet until today (so I am super excited to have it!) is because I have tried to avoid all fix costs that I can until I know how realistically I really spend my money. It turns out that I have more room in my budget than I thought since I eat less and go out less than I had initially estimated (to be perfectly fair, I was expected to have a huge depression at this point and would need to be social to get out of it and would probably eat my sadness away).
But, you’re probably thinking how did I live 3 1/2 MONTHS without internet. Well, that’s a little bit of lie, I did have internet, but a terrible, unreliable one that involved using free wifi that was highly unreliable. In the end, I caved and decided that I would in fact get a contract and get wifi. But it’s been an interesting lesson learning about what I really need in life.

    21/09/2014

    Being young and poor does force you to think about how you spend your money. It turns out that when you stop eating meat and processed food, my weekly food bill is much smaller, but going completely vegan makes it a bit more expensive. Drinking alcohol has been massively reduced, especially big nights out, since it does cost a lot, but having dinner parties is often cheaper than going out for a completely drinks, so my social life hasn’t stopped (again, no meat saves money). Then there is the question of what are the essentials? I mean, what is essential essential? My smartphone needs internet, so whilst I don’t spend hours on end talking on the phone, I had to pick a plan that included enough internet (although, this is England and not America so I’m only paying £12 a month). I consider when I travel but generally, I don’t have a huge choice about the cost of the train ride home every weekend or when I take the tube to meet a friend or go to a work event. Something I have avoided paying, however, is not something I feel that most people of my generation would compromise for - the internet.

    The reason I have not paid for internet until today (so I am super excited to have it!) is because I have tried to avoid all fix costs that I can until I know how realistically I really spend my money. It turns out that I have more room in my budget than I thought since I eat less and go out less than I had initially estimated (to be perfectly fair, I was expected to have a huge depression at this point and would need to be social to get out of it and would probably eat my sadness away).

    But, you’re probably thinking how did I live 3 1/2 MONTHS without internet. Well, that’s a little bit of lie, I did have internet, but a terrible, unreliable one that involved using free wifi that was highly unreliable. In the end, I caved and decided that I would in fact get a contract and get wifi. But it’s been an interesting lesson learning about what I really need in life.

    — 1 week ago

    #Technology  #Life  #20s  #Twenties  #Tight budget  #Saving money 
    20/09/2014
Pie aisle. Only in England.
Being home for the weekend means that I can finally catch up with my mountains of laundry. Isn’t adult life exciting?

    20/09/2014

    Pie aisle. Only in England.

    Being home for the weekend means that I can finally catch up with my mountains of laundry. Isn’t adult life exciting?

    — 1 week ago

    #Adult  #Adult life  #Laundry  #Weekend 
    19/09/2014
Every Friday, I take what feels like the longest journey on Earth to travel from Liverpool Street to Windsor with two changes (underground to train, train to train) in between. It’s always stressful to travel that distance as it’s a minimum of an hour and half journey but on Friday evenings it’s particularly stressful since everyone wants to get home ASAP. 
Funnily enough, leaving Liverpool Street around 6 pm is the least stressful option, even if that means that I don’t get home until 8 pm, because there are less people on the normally overcrowded trains (thanks First Great Western for not having bigger and more trains) and for some reason, every time I’ve arrived at 4 or 5 pm at Paddington, all trains have been cancelled with no word why. Travelling is stressful enough, but it’s nice to know I have a less stressful time to travel. 

    19/09/2014

    Every Friday, I take what feels like the longest journey on Earth to travel from Liverpool Street to Windsor with two changes (underground to train, train to train) in between. It’s always stressful to travel that distance as it’s a minimum of an hour and half journey but on Friday evenings it’s particularly stressful since everyone wants to get home ASAP. 

    Funnily enough, leaving Liverpool Street around 6 pm is the least stressful option, even if that means that I don’t get home until 8 pm, because there are less people on the normally overcrowded trains (thanks First Great Western for not having bigger and more trains) and for some reason, every time I’ve arrived at 4 or 5 pm at Paddington, all trains have been cancelled with no word why. Travelling is stressful enough, but it’s nice to know I have a less stressful time to travel. 

    — 1 week ago

    #London  #Travel  #Stress  #Trains  #Going home  #First Great Western  #Paddington  #Slough 

    18/09/2014

    It’s been quite a (privileged) week for me with another patron event, this time a studio visit to Random International. To say that I am lucky is to understate it. You may know Random International from such works as the Rain Room (google it, if you seriously don’t know it), Swarm and Mirrors. Random was created by three designers who met at university in London who have moved over from the boundary of design to art through their visually appealing and technically intensive works. Their works are fun, thoughtful and engaging, so to be able to talk them about their process was just phenomenal. We ended up staying two and half hours, so to say that it was fascinating and informative is an understatement. I am very luckily indeed.

    — 1 week ago

    #Art  #Art world  #Studio visit  #Design  #Art/Design  #Random International  #London 
    17/09/2014
One of my favourite parts of my job are the patron events that allow me to do things that I would love to do in my free time too. This time it was a tour of a company’s art collection in their offices - it was quite a treat to see the world of this highly successful company and their absolutely gorgeous offices. The art director has been selective in the works she buys, in particular collecting RA school graduates, which whilst I am not collecting currently, made me consider looking at their graduates next year for collecting art. The work in this photograph is not what you would expect - I thought it was a big abstract painting but it is in fact a photograph that has been manipulated. As well, the interior design was beautiful and innovative. I could happily live there.

    17/09/2014

    One of my favourite parts of my job are the patron events that allow me to do things that I would love to do in my free time too. This time it was a tour of a company’s art collection in their offices - it was quite a treat to see the world of this highly successful company and their absolutely gorgeous offices. The art director has been selective in the works she buys, in particular collecting RA school graduates, which whilst I am not collecting currently, made me consider looking at their graduates next year for collecting art. The work in this photograph is not what you would expect - I thought it was a big abstract painting but it is in fact a photograph that has been manipulated. As well, the interior design was beautiful and innovative. I could happily live there.

    — 1 week ago

    #Art  #Art collection  #Collection  #Collecting  #Art world  #Tour  #Event  #Viewing  #Corporate 
    16/09/2014
Sandie, the Fundraising Fellow, has an accepted a position elsewhere and so has sadly left the gallery. Whilst this is very sad as she has made an incredible contribution to our team, it is exciting for her. So, of course, we had to have leaving drinks, this time at the Southbank Centre with a beautiful sunset over the Thames and a nice big area of grass on the garden-bar for our large group. It was a fun evening and I finally got to meet my predecessor, Lorna, who everyone has always told me is amazing. She’s nice too, which is always nice.

    16/09/2014

    Sandie, the Fundraising Fellow, has an accepted a position elsewhere and so has sadly left the gallery. Whilst this is very sad as she has made an incredible contribution to our team, it is exciting for her. So, of course, we had to have leaving drinks, this time at the Southbank Centre with a beautiful sunset over the Thames and a nice big area of grass on the garden-bar for our large group. It was a fun evening and I finally got to meet my predecessor, Lorna, who everyone has always told me is amazing. She’s nice too, which is always nice.

    — 1 week ago

    #Leaving drinks  #Goodbyes  #Southbank  #London  #Sunset  #Big Ben  #Millenium Wheel