Moleskine Weekly Planner

Categories Style

School and university has just started back home in Sweden and it’s just around the corner here for us in the UK. Flora asked me the other day if I knew any good planners that weren’t too expensive but also not the cheap kind with the metal spiral spine. I replied quickly with a link and said, “look no further”.

I’ve used the Moleskine Weekly Planner since January 2014 and I could not see myself using another one. It’s compact (a bit slimmer than the regular A5 paper), comes in different colours, sizes (pocket, the one I have and a larger that’s close to an A4) and you can choose between hard and soft cover. At the back, as with all traditional Moleskines, there’s a little pocket where you can put important notes such as receipts, post stamps, a small photograph of someone you like, you name it.

My one is the traditional black with a soft cover. What’s great about the Moleskine Weekly Planner is that I have the days on the left side, including an empty bit at the top which I usually use when it’s something that I have all week (like that I’m in Stockholm that week), and just normal ruled lines on the right side. It’s great because I usually don’t need to write a lot on each specific day, but rather lists and reminders that cover the whole week. Sometimes it’s not enough though but I just put some extra post-it notes on that page if I’ve run out of space.

The Moleskine Weekly Planner can be bought both with 12 months, running January to December (the ones I have) but also with 18 months, running from July one year to December the next, which makes it perfect for when you go back to school, university of work. They also do monthly planners and daily, and I might give the daily one a try for 2018 as hopefully with whatever I’m doing after graduation, it will cover a full page for each day.

So hot tip for everyone – the only planner you’ll ever need!

 

Pia x

An update

Categories Life

Hello everyone, I’ve neglected this space for the past months due to being, for once, quite busy. I wanted to see as many friends as possible when I was in Stockholm and simply didn’t time to sit down and write a blog post. I also went over to my parents’ summer house in Stockholm’s archipelago for a few days of sun, cliffs, food and reading those books I’ve been meaning to read.

When August started, I flew back to England to move into my new house, had the most stressful IKEA experience ever and then two days later, I started my internship at a production company in central London. For two weeks, I commuted 2×2 hours/day and mostly sat by a computer for all of those days. Which was an experience itself and after that I realise how hard the transition from university to real professional work is going to be.

I finished on Friday, went straight to celebrate my friend’s KJ’s 20th birthday before going home and finally being able to properly sleep without having to worry about anything. I did nothing yesterday except reading blogs, screen shopping for clothes I can’t afford and watched a film, which felt incredible. When I had my internship, I had to leave my house at 07:45 and didn’t get home until maybe 19:00-19:30 due to trains being extremely late, and by the time I got home I was too tired to do anything except have dinner and chat a bit with my housemate Emma before it was time for bed.

I’ve only been here for about 16 days, but I’m actually already going back to Stockholm in like 12 days to go to a music festival, Popaganda, visit the Swedish film institute to do research for my dissertation, see some friends at Lund’s university before going to Copenhagen and do more research at the Danish film institute. And when I get back again, uni is just around the corner and I’m back to full-time studying, this time for THIRD year. Quite daunting as it’s not only the fact that time has gone so fast, but that my dissertation is due at the end of November and I’m going to be completely done with a degree by June. Can I stay in education forever?

Pia x

Summer term 2017

Categories Life, Photos

Snaps from second year’s summer term, 2017.

(it seems like drunk me = my finger blocks the photo) (took me ages to write that sentence without it sounding R-rated and it still is that, lowkey)

When are we going to stop seeing farmers as racists?

Categories Films & books

In Wiktor Ericsson’s feature film debut, Jordgubbslandet (2017, English title: Strawberry days), the harsh reality of Eastern Europeans coming over to Swedish farms to pick berries and fruit comes to light. We follow 15-year old Wojtek (Staszek Cywka) who comes to work in a strawberry field in southern Sweden with his parents. Immediately we understand that Wojtek and his parents, alongside the other Polish workers at the field, aren’t treated with the same respect as if the workers were from a western European country. Director Ericsson highlights this issue when Wojtek begins a romance with the farmer’s daughter, Annelie (Nelly Axelsson).

Early in the film, Annelie’s father remarks how “you can’t trust those people”, meaning the Polish workers, and Wojtek’s mother calls the Swedes “peasants” – the divide between them is clear from the start. Following a Hollywood-esque pattern of a teenage romance, the two teenagers must meet in secrecy and around others they pretend they don’t know of each other’s existence.

The film is visually stunning and uses the natural light and beautiful landscape of Sweden to its advantage, much like how Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s Hjartasteinn (2017, English title: Heartstone) captures the Icelandic nature. But there is something about Jordgubbslandet that doesn’t feel right.

Every Swede in the film, except Annelie, are two things: 1. white Swedish farmers, and 2. racist. The adults are depicted with solely capitalistic goals who refuses to call an ambulance when Wojtek’s mother falls ill on the field, and the teenagers drive cars decorated with the Confederate flag and give the impression that they’re too lazy to have any ambitions. They follow their parents’ footsteps by being just as horrible to the Eastern European guest workers and Annelie seems to be the only one who’s not running around shouting slurs.

There’s a common misconception that farmers are racists. Not just in Sweden or Scandinavia, but throughout Europe and Northern America. They are constantly described by the media as uneducated working class people who just want to point to the easiest target as the root of economic downfalls. This is most notably during general elections when racist and fascist parties take place in parliaments over the world and it’s those racist farmers that we are to blame.

This is, of course, ludicrous as we can just point towards top business people and high-income politicians who can just as well be racist. But instead, they are seen as “charity lovers” – their racism isn’t about beating up Polish workers but seeing immigrants as a charity. Whilst the Sámi people are far from immigrants, quite the opposite, it’s notable in Amanda Kernell’s film Sameblod (2016, English title: Sami Blood), of how the white Swedes see the Sámi people as something you have to take care of and nurture, similar to a helpless child.

Throughout the entire film, the farmers are nothing but extremely racist. Not one of the characters develop or change their standpoint – even Annelie, whilst welcoming Wojtek to her, avoids him when they are with others, as she fears what will happen to her if they find out that she’s with a Polish boy. Unknowingly, she is active in her actions, actions that feed racism.

I  do believe that there are farmers who neglect workers’ rights and see Polish people as scum, but I  doubt that all farmers, who hire Eastern Europeans to pick their strawberries and cucumbers, are this racist. And the reality is far from what’s depicted in this film.

I am not from the countryside. My closest connection with a strawberry farm has been when I’ve gone there with my parents and cousins to the self-picking fields as a kid. But I refuse to believe that all people on the countryside are uneducated and lazy racists. The depiction of the Swedes, however important and thoughtful it may have been from the director’s side, is false. It’s just as false and degrading as saying that all immigrants are terrorists. As opposed to the issue of every man being part of a structural system that feeds the patriarchy and misogyny, farmers are not part of a structural system that feeds racism. And I am extremely disappointed that this is the way that they are depicted in a film that’s being praised to the sky.

Nevertheless, the film is an important film. With the rise of racism, fascism and the issues between the farmer and guest worker relationship, Jordgubbslandet is a film that must be watched. But we must look at it with a critical eye and we must stop seeing all farmers as racist.