Well dust down your memories and perk up your curiosity, it’s time for another instalment in the adventure that is very much more than twomonthsingothenburg.
Firstly, please admire the incredible card found by my sister-in-law. What a beautiful image to have with me as I arrive in the cold and dark winter for some more exploring of the unknown…
Well, if you cast back your minds four months, I was leaving my little beautiful studio (home sweet home IV) at the end of my beautiful summer. I said goodbye to all my newly-favourite haunts, stored my bike, packed my bags and departed.
But already, the thoughts of returning were stirring and I had begun to realise that Gothenburg adventure I (although it was actually II, but that is another story), was only a beginning… Before you could say ‘en kop te och en kanelbulle’*, I had applied for another two month residency for the winter.
Now, all this was a bit giddy and uncertain. I was not really sure if I was ready for more time; I was not sure that it was a good idea to spend the winter in a place known for being rainy, cold and dark. But something deeper than uncertainty, something more persistent and more fierce was poking at my heart and so, when the residency was granted, I gathered up my courage and spirit of adventure and here I am.
What will it be like, I wonder, to spend two months here, devoted to creativity, to writing, to exploring and to wonder?
Well! First of all, snowy! Yippee! I am one of the world’s biggest fans of snow. Despite Gothenburg being really not that much colder than the UK (due to the Gulf Stream), a flurry of snow had descended just in time to cover everything in white for my arrival and to make it seem more than ever like a magical land. Fortunately my expeditionary preparations had included things like checking the weather forecast, a stern talk to myself that I would need thermals, the first time ever purchase of snow boots and the sacrificial packing of mostly practical warm things (boots, coats, bike helmet) to the detriment of more beautiful things (like another pair of trousers, my favourite cardigan, my ballet shoes and most painfully, enough books – although I did manage to fit in my white sequinned tea cosy). Straight away it’s been so beautiful to walk in the snowy landscape, looking at cosily lit homes and spectral trees silhouetted against the winter light.
But what, I hear you ask, will I be doing here?
Well the simplest answer is that I am planning to continue writing my novel and to see where my writing takes me. Alongside that I want to soak up all the richness of spending time with a wide variety of incredible artists from nearby in Sweden and a steady stream of visiting artists from across the world. As someone who feels like a beginner in the creative world, every small conversation and fleeting insight feels profound and full of wonder. It is an incredible privilege to be here and an important counterpoint to my more intense schedule of business and academic work.
However, on the note of academic work, I also want to explore a conference paper for a forthcoming conference on creativity. This feels like the perfect place to consider the proposal.
And as usual, I want to allow myself to unfold and be a deeper version of myself. This was an incredible experience in my summer residency and I have a feeling that the winter too contains its own kind of unfolding.
So the bike is back, and I hope like this picture suggests to also increase in love and in the experience of love while I am here, and to spread some of that via this blog to enrich and encourage your own creative journeys wherever you are… I hope you enjoy it and feel free to send your comments!
Before I go though, top five moments so far:
* Realising that the snow near the airport was actually continuing into the city and in fact it really was properly snowy! Delightful!
* Meeting Mona for the key and feeling immediately and wonderfully welcome;
* Stepping my foot inside the studio to find that really, nothing had changed – it was beautiful, spacious, peaceful, clean and (very important…) warm;
* Seeing my beautiful bike again! Hooray for my beautiful bike!
* Finding a new café en route to pick up my bike with perfect tea and kanelbulle and sitting outside with it for a few moments of snowy wonder.
So happy evening wherever you are and I hope you enjoy some more adventures from Gothenburg…