Amanda is a conversational trainer and she offers “Skype-fika”, which is an opportunity to get to practice improvised conversation with a native Swede. She grew up in Sweden in a small town called Lindesberg, though she has roots in Stockholm and in Jukkasjärvi (where the famous Ice Hotel is located). She now lives in Exeter in the U.K. Beyond having Skype-fika with people from all the corners of the world, she currently works for a travel company, and also works with ceramics and art. She and her wife have two dogs, a hamster and a big stash of yarn since they are both avid knitters.
Here are 10 quick questions for Amanda.
- Which Swedish storybook/cartoon character turns you on the most?
Pippi Långstrump! I love her total non-concern about convention and her hedonistic happy-go-lucky attitude. It’s very inspiring!
- Can you play any instruments?
I sure can. I’m really good at playing the flute traverse! I can also play a bit of bodhran drum and African drums. I can also do ‘kulning’, the traditional Swedish herding call – though that’s not exactly an instrument. Unless you count your voice as being one =)
- What was your favourite TV show when growing up?
- Midsummer, Lucia or Christmas?
Midsummer definitely. It feels so magical, there is just something about in the air during that time of the year.
- How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
Eeeh, five years maybe? I’m not that bothered with shoes so I tend to just have a few that I wear until they fall apart and I am forced to buy new ones.
- What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
I’m pretty open with all my weirdness so there isn’t anything I’m afraid to share, haha. However, I am a total Pokémon nerd, and currently I am enjoying catching them all in Pokémon Moon which my wife gave me for my birthday (23rd December). I have loved Pokémon since I first discovered the games when I was 12 years old and have played the games one after another…
- What is the oldest thing in your fridge?
No idea, we love food in our household so things tend to get eaten. The oldest thing is probably the garlic, but that will also soon be used up.
- What Swedish food do you never want to live without?
Salt liqourice! I love ‘Turkisk Peppar’.
- What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
That’s probably playing Pokémon. And it’s not just that I play the games, I know so much about the game world and the different pokémon you can catch. I know which generation the creatures are from, what they evolve into, what type they are…
- Do you have any strange phobias?
Not really. The worst fear I have is going on planes and boats I think. Especially boats. They might sink!
- Favourite Swedish saying?
‘Ingen fara på taket’ (no danger on the roof), and my own ‘Kom igen, det blir kul!’ (come on, it’ll be fun!).
- What are three things still left on your bucket list?
Learn leather mask making. Get another tattoo, this one along my spine. Buy a borzoi (a beautiful large sight hound dog breed)
To book a Skype-fika with Amanda, go to the booking system and select “Skype-fika” and then “Amanda” as your trainer.
Jessica is a conversational trainer here at Swedish Made Easy. She offers “Skype-fika”, which is an opportunity to get to practice improvised conversation with a native Swede. Jessica is born and bred in Stockholm but has roots in Austria. She is married and has one child. She has always been interested in people and communication and various contexts, perhaps since she has three fluent languages under her belt. When she worked as an ambassador for “The Swedish Number“, she spoke to people from all over the world, which she found fascinating and fun. She has lived abroad, both in Germany and Austria, through different periods in her life. Jessica works in finance in the entertainment industry for a company in Stockholm (SoFo), and prefer to visit cities and beaches to soak up some sun when she can.
Here are 10 quick questions for Jessica.
1.Which Swedish storybook/cartoon character turns you on the most?
Birka Borkason when I was a child.
2. Can you play any instruments?
Played the Clarinet for 3 years.
3. What was your favourite TV show when growing up?
4. Midsummer, Lucia or Christmas?
5. What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
I don’t kiss and tell 😉
6. What Swedish food do you never want to live without?
7. What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
I don’t know if it’s nerdy but I clean and organise a lot.
8. Do you have any strange phobias?
9. Favourite Swedish saying?
“Det man inte har i huvudet får man ha i benen”
10. What are three things still left on your bucket list?
So so much!!!
To book a Skype-fika with Jessica, go to the booking system and select “Skype-fika” and then “Jessica” as your trainer.
Skype-fika seems to be a sought after service here at Swedish Made Easy! So much so, that we now introduce another conversational trainer: Amanda. She will be available to book for some Skype-fika (conversational training).
Skype-fika does not include specific grammar training, but it is a chance to increase your confidence in speaking, by speaking with a native Swede, who will of course help you with new words, correct pronunciation and grammar glitches. You should be on at least B1-level to do conversational practice with Amanda. You book her through the booking system.
Here are a few words from Amanda:
My name is Amanda, and I offer Skype-fika; conversational training. I grew up in Sweden in a small town called Lindesberg, though I have my roots in Stockholm and in Jukkasjärvi. I live in Exeter in the U.K now since a couple of years back, and I lived in Colchester when I was studying at university. I have always had a great interest in and passion for language and literature, and I have a BA in both Creative Writing and Literature. I currently work for a travel company called Risskov, and I also work with ceramics and art. My wife and I also have two crazy happy dogs, a hamster and a big stash of yarn since we are both avid knitters. I love talking to people about anything and everything, and I can’t wait to have a chat with you at a fika! Because of my flexible schedule, I’ll be offering fika almost all times of the day.
Jag heter Amanda, och jag erbjuder Skype-fika; konversationsträning. Jag är uppvuxen i Sverige i en liten stad som heter Lindesberg, fast jag har mina rötter i Stockholm och Jukkasjärvi. Nu bor jag i Exeter i England sedan ett par år tillbaka, och jag bodde i Colchester medan jag pluggade på universitetet. Jag har alltid haft ett stort intresse och passion för språk och litteratur, och jag har universitetsexamen i både Creative Writing och litteraturvetenskap. Just nu jobbar jag för ett resebolag som heter Risskov, och jag jobbar också med keramik och konst. Min fru och jag har två galna glada hundar, en hamster och ett stort lager garn eftersom vi båda älskar att sticka. Jag älskar att prata med folk om allt och inget, och jag ser verkligen fram emot att prata med dig över en fika! Tack vare mitt flexibla schema, så kommer jag erbjuda fika nästan alla tider under dagen.
Have you tried semlor? It’s that time of year again! Tomorrow Tuesday is the day of the Semla. Semlor (plural, semla in singular) are cardamom-scented-cream-and-almond-paste-filled-buns commonly available from the official end of the Christmas season (tjugondag Knut on January 13th) until Easter although originally they were only eaten every Tuesday from Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) until Easter. Nowadays, well… let’s say we eat them a bit more often during this period of the year.
Here is my recipe for semlor
- 75 gram smör
- 2,5 dl mjölk
- 25 gram jäst
- 2 krm salt
- 0,5 dl socker
- 1 tsk stött kardemumma
- 8 dl vetemjöl (ca 500 gram)
- 1 ägg till pensling
Fyllning till semlorna:
- 200 gram mandelmassa eller marsipan
- 1 dl grädde eller mjölk att ha i mandelmassan
- 3 dl vispgrädde att vispa
- 0,5 dl florsocker att pudra semlorna med
Gör så här:
1. Mal kardemumman
2. Aktivera jästen (om du behöver – gör som det står på jästpaketet). Blanda ihop mjöl, socker, salt, och kardemumma. Tillsätt mjölk, jäst, och smält smör.
3. Blanda till en deg. Låt degen jäsa i 45 min, under en handduk.
4. Dela degen i 12 delar. Baka ut till små runda bullar. Lägg bullarna på bakplåtspapper. Låt bullarna jäsa i 30 min, under en handduk.
5. Sätt ugnen på 220 grader. Rör ihop ett ägg, och pensla ägg-mixen på bullarna. Grädda bullarna i ugnen i ca 8 minuter, tills de fått en gyllenbrun färg.
6. Under tiden, riv marsipanen. Tillsätt 1 dl mjölk eller grädde. Låt mixen stå ett tag.
7. Ta ut bullarna ur ugnen, låt dem svalna under en handduk.
8. Skär ut locket på bullarna, och skrapa ut smulorna inuti. Tillsätt smulorna i marsipan-mixen.
9. Lägg i marsipan-mixen i bullarna.
10. Vispa lite grädde, och lägg grädden på marsipan-mixen. Lägg sedan locket på, och pudra lite med florsocker. Tadaaa! Klart!
Or you could just buy some semla in any café in Sweden, or maybe at Scandinavian Kitchen in London if you are there?
Want some tips on where to go for a drink in Stockholm? The following list includes 10 bars, courtesy of The Local: http://www.thelocal.se/20150429/ten-unmissable-outdoor-bars-in-stockholm
Here is a real treat, the first full Pippi movie!
Also, allow me to introduce my very own late mormor (grandmother), first appearing at 42:45 in an olive green dress, and then later at 50:47 being pulled to the ground by Pippi herself.
Jag saknar dig mormor. I miss you grandma.
Every 4th Thursday of the month, I will be posting blogs on Nordic Spotlight – a really nice US-based website that works with spreading awareness of Scandinavian culture (music, fashion, art, food, language).
Here is my first introductory posting.