Monday, March 27, 2017


This weekend we decided to take the high-speed train 45 minutes south to Örnsköldsvik. The trip alone fulfilled a long standing wish of two young boys to not only watch the trains at the station but actually travelling on one. Considering the hyper mobility of Eddie’s first two years, it is of course a bit funny to think how stationary our lives have become since then, at least with regard to the boys. Unlike Umeå, Örnsköldsvik felt very maritime with heritage harbour cranes but at the same time also alpine with its maddening downtown ski jumping ramp.
Once back in Umeå on Sunday afternoon, it was finally time for my long-awaited talk on nuclear and climate realism at Bildmuseet. To my great surprise, it turned out completely non-hostile and fruitful, almost to an extent that I am beginning to think that nuclear energy may not be entirely impossible to talk about after all.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Antipodean Beerenauslese

Today, my wine journey took an unexpected turn as I picked up a pinot gris from the South Island without noticing a subtle “late picked” on the label. With pronounced botrytis influence, the wine was an absolute mismatch to my truffle mushroom pasta but heavenly delightful later with an improvised cheese plate (with was really improvised considering that it featured Billinge).

Earlier today I met my new thesis students for the first time. In line with tradition, the topics this time are very broad, reaching from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to the governance of elderly care in Scandinavia. While it may be the most challenging course to teach since I never really know what to expect, it is by far the most rewarding for precisely the same reason as I have to get up to speed with a range of new subjects every semester which effectively prevents any stagnation.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Australian cotton seeds

The other night when flipping old travel magazines, Australia suddenly came back to me. With my application to the Swedish Research Council finally behind me, I am able take a moment to follow up with some poetry that has been aging in my bookshelf for almost a decade now.

My body wants
the long way back
just to find lost land
rehearsing what it will be –
unexpected flowerings
locked tight in seeds.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

River Ume

With William still insisting on getting up before five, finding activities in the mornings can sometimes be a bit of challenge. Today, I took him for a long walk with the stroller down to the river Ume, just in time for the supermarket with our "post office" to open so I could pick up a collection of short stories that I had ordered.

For some reason, I have come to live much of my life in places that perhaps may look like coastal cities on a map but in which the sea is actually somewhere else, dozens of kilometres away, leaving me strangely unsatisfied. I guess growing up in Kalmar spoilt me with its open horizons.

This part of the river is dominated by a white cable-stayed bridge which leads out the airport and, with it, the “external world” as a philosopher would call it. All these continuities and discontinuities.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


In general, I am a great fan of the Swedish alcohol monopoly Systembolaget. Recently, they have started to import small quantities of fine wines or, as it is known in Swedish, “småpartier”. Transient as life itself, this means that if you find something you really like, it is unlikely that it will still be there the next time you make it to the store. Today, I found a 2007 half bottle of Fontalloro by Fèlsina which was simply divine. Fèlsina is a family wine estate situated at the southeast edge of the Chianti Classico appellation and after an afternoon of snow racing and wild pirates, a single glass was more than enough to blur all boundaries between the past, the present and the future.

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Sunday, March 05, 2017

Awash in sunshine