Friday, 31 December 2010

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

On this New Year's Day, I feel very much like my grandmother. I am wearing large silver earrings, a black dress that she gave me (after discovering that she didn't quite fit into it), and my mother's Taylor of London perfume, which smells exactly like the rose oil bottle my grandmother gave me a few years ago. (As sparsely as I use perfume, it it ran out a few months ago. I had every intention to buy some more, but I now I have no need to as my mother relinquished it to me, claiming it was too strong for her. The perfectly clear perfume comes in a tall, slender bottle with Taylor of London written in black lettering across the top. A simple and unpretentious design.)

I even have red hair like my grandmother. Today, as it is New Year's Day, I washed and dried it, and pinned it back on one side. My grandmother has always had shocking red hair, and even now she dyes it to keep it a vibrant colour, and she likes to keep it in a messy bun with a painted snap of some sort. She is a great collector of odds and ends. Her house is filled with leopard-printed chairs, tables, cloths, scarfs, soap dishes, and curtains; her garage is a makeshift loppis (fleamarket) which she opens every Saturday during the summer. Granted, she doesn't make much--she probably breaks even, as she so enjoys the company of people who stop to look that she will invite them in for fika--that is, coffee and a piece of cake or a cookie.) Like any Swede, she has always enjoyed traveling and has visited the customary Norway, Denmark, and Finland, but also Spain, Turkey, Greece, Singapore (thanks to our family), Indonesia, and Finland. She married her second husband in the Swedish Embassy in Thailand. She is one of the more curious and exotic members of our family.

Can I say that I am infinitely proud of my family? They are all wonderful people. My brother and sister are good-looking and well-dressed. My brother is a musical genius, picking up instruments left and right. My sister burns with a passion for the lost and needy. Social injustice pricks her soft heart. My parents have traveled all over the world. Like superheroes, they cross oceans to save souls and deliver food and clothing to the less fortunate. My uncle is an optician--you can't really argue with that now, can you?

And thus, with thoughts of my family in mind, the year has come to an end. I sit on my bed and listen to the faint booms of firecrackers. Tommy Körberg--forever fixed in my mind as Lill-Klippen in Ronja Rövardotter, but more universally known in Sweden as a famous singer--plays in the background on the television.

I wonder what this next year will bring. Many changes, I suppose. But all good ones.

Peace to all on this most fine night.