Life

Directing class and London

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On Thursday, I had Directing for Screen Fiction class from 10:00-18:00 (I have more hours in a single day than what my friends’ have during an entire week) and we were divided into groups to go out and do  a one-shot exercise. I had the luck to be with Jake, Hollie, and Gemma, who are also all on my screenwriting course, and we literally spent the last four hours that day to just play around with the camera. It’s kinda funny how this is my actual degree, that instead of reading for most of my time, I get to do proper hands-on practical work.

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On Saturday evening, Flora called me to catch up as we hadn’t seen each other for a couple of days (which is so weird because when we lived in the corridor last year, we saw each other about 90% of our waking time), and asked me if I wanted to go to the Imperial War Museum the next day. So yesterday, Flora, Mary, Jess and I took the train into London and learnt about wars. It’s very interesting for Mary (who’s from America) and me, to see how the Brits look upon the two world wars. Especially for me, as Sweden wasn’t explicitly in the war (even though we kinda were). We also saw an on-going exhibition about Ebola and ISIS, which we’d been really excited about but then it was kind of disappointing. I highly recommend the museum though because there’s a lot to see and it’s very interactive. Plus, free entry!

Weekend tunes

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Happy weekend! The week felt so long as I had assignments for every day this week, but somehow it still went pretty quick. The weather has gone over to the part where it’s triple jumper weather in the morning, but t-shirt weather by noon, and it annoys me as I can’t plan my outfits.

I had a lie in today before getting up and having a fairly stable breakfast by lunchtime. I did adult stuff such as doing my laundry and tidied up my room a bit. Since then I’ve been basically non-stop reading most of my required reading for next week and had a little think about next week’s screenwriting class assignment. We’re supposed to “stalk” (my professor’s use of word, although he changed it to “watch”) a random person on the street and then make up a story about their lives and write it like a biography. As Egham isn’t the most exciting place and I’ve drawn a lot of ideas from people I’ve seen whilst riding the Stockholm underground, I might go to London for a day trip of people watching.

During my a bit too long breaks in between reading, I did a few quick doodles whilst listening to Petit Biscuit (what is that name even) – I highly recommend the songs Sunset Lover and Memories. Other good songs I’ve been listening to lately is The Weeknd’s new song Starboy, Natalie by Milk & Bone, and LUV by  Tory Lanez.

Somehow, I’ve slowly started to get into the study mode that second year requires of me and I’m actually really excited about all the projects we’re going this year. Hope you all are having a great weekend!

 

Pia x

October

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October arrived, spreading a damp chill over the grounds and into the castle. Madam Pomfrey, the nurse, was kept busy by a sudden spate of colds among the staff and students. Raindrops the size of bullets thundered on the castle windows for days on end; the lake rose, the flower beds turned into muddy streams, and Hagrid’s pumpkins swelled to the size of garden sheds.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), J.K. Rowling

We’re in the last quarter of the year and whilst the sun makes some appearances, it’s rather chilly here. This morning I didn’t get out of bed until 09:30 as everything outside my thick duvet felt like the Arctic. I had to hastily get my stuff together and get on my bike to make it to my 10am lecture. I’m wearing my new black turtleneck I bought from Monki last week to keep warm, and by lunch time and the sun was out, it was rather nice to sit outside and work on my presentation for the Women’s Cinema course.

I spent almost the entire day yesterday studying as I have assignments for every day this week, taking only a slight break to meet up with friends at the pub for some food. (and obviously going over to their’s for a cup of tea and a catch up) My weekly planner is full of uni work this month, and I still ask myself why I’m studying 150% (more about that later). But I honestly couldn’t be happier to be at uni.

Pia x

Shott party

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My house had a rather nice Shott party to celebrate us moving into our little house at no 73, and just generally back to uni. We’d bought 15 strings of fairy lights in pink, blue and yellow and colourful shot glasses, and our playlist had everything from Zara Larsson, The xx, trap music and k-pop. Only three people vomited and it was either in the bathrooms or outside, and my friend made out with my friend’s friend in my bedroom with everyone watching (like you used to do back when you were 13) so I feel it was pretty good. The weather is shit right now, with the rain pouring down every now and then. I hope  you all have a good weekend and hopefully sunnier.

 

Pia x

& other places to go

Hello lovelies, it’s been few couple of days. Second year has started and it feels like I’m already behind. Everyone’s been slightly stressed over the amount of reading we have to do, so today a bunch of us went to London to get some things for our house party on Friday and just generally having a day trip away from Egham. We bought more fairy lights than we could carry because they were ridiculously cheap (£1.50!), that we’re going to hang up in the back yard and hopefully people will actually be able to see each other’s faces after the sun’s set.

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As most of us only had breakfast before leaving, we went onto a small street off Tottenham Court Road, and into the pan-Asian restaurant East Street.  With lots of signs and anime being projected onto the brick wall, the service was great and you got a really good meal for around a tenner. Highly recommend!

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After feeling full and happy, we went into one of my favourite stores, & other stories. They had a sink where you could try out their different hand and body wash, which all smelt divine and I wanted to buy them all. I love how light, crisp and simple the store is, and obviously the clothes are so incredibly nice. I didn’t buy anything but instead bought another turtle neck and a t-shirt from Monki where I saw my friends and ex-college classmates on the wall, all cool in Monki clothing.

The sun had almost set when we left Monki and we took the tube to Waterloo and back to Egham, where tea and the Great British Bake Off was waiting. It’s just past 23:00 now and I’m having my first directing class tomorrow at 10, which I’m both nervous and excited about. Fingers crossed that I’m not going to fuck up!

 

Pia x

The first day of university

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A year has gone by since I started university here in England. It took me two weeks to clear out most of my room back in Stockholm and pack up my life in two suitcases and a sports bag, and I had cried the night before I left when I was at the pub with my friends. I was nervous, of course, moving to a new country where you don’t know a single soul is daunting, but my excitement for getting away from Sweden and finally going off to study film production topped my nervosity.

I still remember the outfit I had picked for the move in day; my black long sleeved turtleneck I had bought for a fiver at the secondhand shop Emmaus, my black wide trousers from Zara and black low Dr. Martens (I heavily regret this – it was about 25 degrees and blazing sun that day). I wanted to show up in clothes that I knew I would wear for the rest of the year, and not some “very planned outfit you only wear on the first day” kind of outfit. I unpacked most of my stuff before walking down the corridor to see everyone else move in, and I went into the biggest room in the corridor and told the girl there to fuck off because she had such a large room.

It’s funny, because they always say that the people you meet the first day/week, are not going to be the people you spend the rest of your year, and definitely not the upcoming years. The girl I told to fuck off was Flora, the girl who I went to the welcome talk with and dinner that night, is one of my best friends now. And most of the people we had pre-drinks with that first week, are the people I call my closest friends now. My first day, week, month and year at uni couldn’t have gone any better.

Yesterday was the first day we officially became second years. Jess, the girl who lived next door to me in the corridor, who was at pre-drinks the first night, who now lives in the room next to me in our house, and a best friend, said she felt like an alcoholic as we bought three bottles of wine and a liter of vodka each (two bottles of wine and  half a bottle of vodka are already gone after the first night so we’re probably doing another Tesco trip tomorrow). We went to Flora’s house before going out the first time this year, with basically the same people as we had on that very first week a year ago. And whilst the night wasn’t the greatest, it’s fucking amazing to be back with my friends here again.

Pia x

A list

… about work, studying and the future

 

1. What did you want to be as a kid?
A professional chef with my own TV programme – cooking shows was what I watched between the age of 3 to 9 –, and an architect because I loved The Sims more than food back then.

2. What did you want to be as a teenager?
I had a slight dream of becoming a war photographer because I feel that it’s one of the most important jobs and a very unappreciated one, but otherwise writer and working with advocating education, something I still aim to do some day.

3. What were you best and worst subjects in school?
Best: Maths (can you believe it), social science subjects (so politics, history and religion), art and English. Worst: Physics, chemistry and biology. Which is funny as I was really good at maths.

4. What was your very first paid job?
I used to babysit my cousin’s son from when I was 16 maybe? But otherwise, the play I wrote back in 2013 when I was 17.

5. What other jobs have you had?
I went on to do more babysitting for another family, a recruiter for UNHCR (not the greatest job, but I quite enjoyed it because of my colleagues), shop assistant in a bookshop, and I’m currently working as a catering assistant. (with a pay lower than what you give a 16-year-old in Sweden)

6. Your strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths: I’m quite organised even though it may not look like it, and when I get into a project, I really invest myself into it. Weaknesses: Cooking under pressure and getting up in the mornings.

7. Something you’re really proud of?
That I wrote a whole play whilst being at my lowest points in my life. Even though it got cancelled after eight months of production, I’m still proud of it and myself, because I proved to myself that I’m good enough, and maybe even more.

8. Something you would like to work with for a short while?
I would love to work with an art magazine or something. I was on the editorial board for my school magazine when I was 18, and it was such a great experience. Or design the fake flats in IKEA.

9. Jobs that you would be really bad at?
My current job, which is making baguettes and sandwiches. I can’t work with food under pressure and I’m total shit at cutting the sandwiches nicely. Other jobs I can’t see myself doing is everything that has to do with science and numbers.

10. What is the best thing about your degree? (BA Film, Television & Digital Production)
That I’m literally given all the tools to go out and do films on my free time. (which at this point, I haven’t really gotten into it, but I’m hoping to do it this and next year) We are free to borrow equipment and have access to powerful editing programmes 24/7. But also that I do feel it’s fairly free. Yes, we do get set assignments with different themes and such we need to follow, but when you look at the finished products, you see how different everyone’s is. We do have more freedom with our work than we think we do.

11. What are your plans after graduation?
It’s still far away, almost two years from now. I’m planning to stay here in London, and obviously, I would love to be a trainee at a film production company, or at least something with film. I would also like to really put time into writing on the side, so I sometime in the future, maybe, can do just that. But I’m also kind of drawn to the idea of going on a food trip? Like, go travelling for three months and learn how to cook in different parts of the world.

12. What are your hopes and dreams for your life in twenty years?
Having a job that I love, a family, and preferably a summer house by the sea in Stockholm’s archipelago.

 

Pia x

 

The last of summer

Hi lovelies, it’s been a while. Almost all of my friends have moved back to our little town we call home, only Laura who’s left and she’s coming tomorrow evening. I’ve been busy with catching up with my friends, working, and passively aggressively dealt with dirty dishes and overfull bins that haven’t been emptied – all that’s a part of the student life. My housemates and I have also made an event for our housewarming party we’re having in two weeks.

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I’ve bought a pair of speakers off Amazon as they were on sale (£33 instead of £89!) and one of the songs I’ve been listening to a lot is Zara Larsson’s new, Ain’t My Fault. Will definitely be this autumn’s hit, you know where you heard it first xxx. (also look how fucking hot Zara looks, wow, Swedes, remember that tiny girl who sang My Heart Will Go On? just WOW)

It’s been really hot these last couple of days, with yesterday being over 30 degrees (!!!). THIRTY degrees in September in England, that’s complete madness. Like, I do really like the heat and stuff, being from Sweden and all, but I do look forward to when it gets a bit more chilly and I can wear my black coat without being drenched in sweat.

I’m working tomorrow and Friday, which is a pain in the arse because I have to leave home at 07:50 to get to work on time. But Fresher’s Week start on Saturday and that’s basically going to be 2 weeks straight of partying and a maybe some lectures if my hungoverness can cope with that. (kidding, of course I’m going, I’m honestly so pumped for second year!) Plus, my IKEA order arrives tomorrow, so I’ll finally have a proper desk, a clothes rail (I’ve even bought a 90p screwdriver for this special occasion), hangers and some other stuff. The desk I have now looks like something from the 90s, (probably is) but the ugly kind, and I’m constantly worried that my (super ugly) wardrobe is going to fall down if I hang something in there as it’s not attached to the wall.

It’s not even 22:00 and I’m already looking forward to Friday at 15:20 when I get off from work. Even though I have work, I’m going to try and enjoy and do as much as possible these couple of days before uni work really hits me and I’m sitting in the library at 4am with an essay due at 9am. Hope you’re all having a great mid-September!

Pia x

Bye loneliness

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Hello babes, I’ve finally finished the full-time working at the café I work at, and I’m currently enjoying day 2 out of 5 (!five!) days off! I celebrated it on the Friday by having Mollie over for dinner and then Emma showed up after work and they both stayed here for a while. After having a proper lie-in yesterday, I woke up to the weather being absolutely tremendous and the house being colder than a Swedish summer house. It just poured down for most of the day, and I just shut my blinds and watched Netflix in bed with my extra thick and soft socks.

Today I went up a bit earlier because Thea is coming back from Romania – byebye loneliness! She and KJ (one of my housemates) are proper neat people (they shared a room back in the Founders’ corridor and every time you walked in, it was completely spotless), so I’ve spent the day cleaning up all my mess and hopefully they’ll approve. My other housemates Becca and Jess are moving in tomorrow and on Wednesday respectively, so it’s goodbye to me being able to walk around naked whenever and wherever in the house, or playing loud 80s disco music at 2am. But it’s going to be good to have everyone back (my other friends from the corridor, who live in another house, are coming back during the weekend/just after the weekend), it’s been quite lonely here with only my work to keep me occupied.

The summer has gone so incredibly fast, something I didn’t believe it would when I flew back to Stockholm, crying because I didn’t know if I could do it. University is such an incredible experience, and I understand now when people say that the people you meet at university, are the ones that will be with you the longest. However, I do believe – or at least hope! – that my incredible friends I met at upper secondary school will be with me too. It’s weird that for the past year, I’ve only met them a handful of times, but every time we see each other, it’s like no time has passed at all. It’s incredible how we can message, phone and video call people from across the world with just a click, it really does make distance feel less sad.

I’ve been telling myself to get to Tesco for the past hour before they close to pick up some veg for tonight’s dinner with Thea and KJ, so I better go now! Hope you all are having a great September weekend!

Pia x

Hello September

A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform packed with people. A sign overhead said Hogwarts Express, eleven O’clock. Harry looked behind him and saw a wrought-iron archway where the barrier had been, with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it, He had done it.

Smoke from the engine drifted over the heads of the chattering crowd, while cats of every color wound here and there between their legs. Owls hooted to one another in a disgruntled sort of way over the babble and the scraping of heavy trunks.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), J.K. Rowling

First of September is here, and the Hogwarts Express is once again leaving without me. Suddenly we’re in the ninth month of 2016 and summer is coming to an end. Schools in the UK are starting next week, whilst Swedish schools have already been in session for the past two weeks. My friends studying at Swedish universities have already had their fresher’s week with the first lectures starting earlier this week. I am yet to start; my fresher’s week doesn’t start until the 17th with my first lecture as late as the 26th. But luckily, my friends start to come back this upcoming week, with the first one to come back Sunday.

It’s amazing and even a bit scary, that it’s all gone so fast. Just a year ago, I was trying to see my friends for the final times back in Stockholm whilst stressing about what to bring with me, and the “oh my god, I have to sort out and pay for my own insurance!” stress. (I just recently paid for the next 12 months of insurance – same amount as two months’ worth of food)

Tomorrow is the last day of my full-time working life, and from now on I’ll only be working Thursdays and Fridays. Even though it means less money, I’m honestly so happy because I’m not prepared for this 5 days a week in a row and waking up at 7am. I’m not really sure how I’m going to be able to cope with that after graduation and basically forty years onwards. I’ll probably just end up going to university for the rest of my life.

The best thing thought about living in England is that summer seems to stay on a bit longer here than back in Sweden. (or at least my definition of summer, a Brit would probably say that autumn is coming soon) Even though my friends and I don’t live in our castle anymore, and are split up in different houses, we’ve still promised to lay on the grass in the quad, so I’m hoping for some sunny days after the lectures have started.

I hope you’re all having a great first of September, no matter if you’re in school, a lecture, at work, or just enjoying the last days of the holidays.

Pia x