My First Ukulele Composition

After spending quality time this weekend with the ukulele, I was ready to start the week having learnt a new song, the Spiderman theme music from the original cartoon series. It wasn’t a difficult tune (the lyrics took a while to get right), but there were some nice chords, sounding similar to something that Cornelius Vreeswijk might have penned.

Fuelled with enthusiasm, I arrived at school early this morning and came up with the beginning of an untitled children’s song. By the end of the day it had become a two verse, one minute ditty now known as The L/eg/g Song. Because the risk was big that I would forget some of it by tomorrow, I videod myself playing the song. The benefit of this is not only a personal one, but in the future my children will have a film of my doing something creative, and I am sure it will mean as much to them as it means to me to have actually made up a song.

It was many years ago I last composed anything, and at that time it involved computers, synths and other electronic bits and pieces. Now I am completely unplugged, just a man and a uke. This simplification of technology may well see a number of new songs being produced in the near future.

Laughing my Arse Off – A Taste Of Metaphors

Oh, I am on a roll tonight: three Metaphors before I’ve even started.

I’ve been reading a few books about language and linguistics recently. I’ve vaguely contemplated a stand-up comedy routine using the subjects – a few ideas have popped into my head – but I don’t think the world is ready for it. Unless comedy is broad enough to cover the unfunny, that is. But I do have a joke. Well, more of a witticism:

I hate metaphors: they get on my nerves.

While the tumbleweed rolls past, I just found out that there are many forms of metaphor. There’s the active metaphor, the complex, compound, dead, dying (of course), and so on, until everyone falls asleep (oops, another metaphor, probably the dead variant).
Not many people care about them, though, and understandably so. But it makes me happy. Except when it comes to metaphors. Grrrrr.

Spotlight Continues

It’s been “official” for a a few weeks already, but today it was made even more real: I’ll be co-author of another English school textbook.

I was at a meeting this morning with the book publishers, Natur och Kultur, to meet a couple of teachers helping us complete the workbook to accompany Spotlight 5. The textbook is ready to print, and Fiona and I (being the authors) will soon take a look at the workbook, editing it as necessary.

We were also there to discuss Spotlight 6. We’ve come up with a few ideas for characters, and the grammar we wish to take up. This time we’ll have about a year to complete the book, unlike Spotlight 5, which was finished in a mere 6 months. Our editor said that we performed an impossible task, taking half a year to do what we did. An exaggeration, but nonetheless appreciated.

So, once again I am to undertake a challenging, but extremely rewarding, task. The enormity of what I am doing has kind of sunk in, yet it is still madness that I, of humble origins and no proper education, have been given this job.

We Are Newsworthy

Well, it took forty years, but I finally got myself in one of the national newspapers. Best of all, I did it without sadistically murdering someone and eating their pubic-hair, which appears to be an increasingly easy way into the headlines nowadays.

Nope. Jo, Freya and I got into the DN Sunday supplement for just being, really, though more specifically for being vegan. But don’t let the Sunday supplement suffix fool you, my non-existent readers; the DN is a newspaper of distinction here in Sweden, equivalent to The Times, Telegraph or the slightly inferior Guardian. And although the Sundayness of it implies a jauntier, lifestyle feel, one should still consider it a worthy contribution to the journalistic world.

Lotten, our neighbour and (after her decision to base an article on us) admirer good friend wrote an article about four families and their different ways of saving the planet. Not that I’d ever seen myself in the same light that some do Superman, and I would never vocally make such claims, though it is of course well-deserved (if not a bit embarrassing) to receive such accolade from the rest of society. I would obviously not even try to compare our “work” with the great names (like Gandhi), though unlike Gandhi we continue our fight without the fame-game he and his ego were involved in. No, we are more comparable with the likes of the Nobel Prize winners (which Gandhi has never won, by the way), I would say, than to the star-struck elite who go on and on like a broken record about their “plight”.

The article did a very good job of making us (and thereby vegans) look normal, approachable and a little bit cool. I’d had a good idea of what I wanted to get across, which, despite the lack of column space, I think we manged to do quite well. Anyway, hats off to Lotten, who did a splendid job.