This post dedicated to my mother, Karin, who suffered so much loss, but lived and loved so fiercely.
My Diary, 1977 SÖDERTÄLJE– translated from Swedish, word for word, unabridged, sic, ad nauseum
Recall first post: My Diary 1977
For January 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 1, January
For February 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 2 February
For March 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 3, March
For April 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 4, April- The Audition
For May 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 5 May- Paris
For June 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 6 June- Graduation
For July 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 7 July- Summer
Maud called today and asked if I want to go with her family on a trip to Gränna, Småland. I want to see Gränna and I want to be with Maud as much as possible before we leave so I said yes. Mom thinks that would be fine, as the moving company comes on Friday.
I have started to take down pictures off the wall. It is sad. I am starting to be worried about school over there. I mostly want to go to Balmoral because there I don’t need to worry, as I know people. Anyway. I am a little worried about Maud’s dad’s driving. But they have managed all these years, so it should be OK. Maud and I will sleep in the attic room at the hotel by ourselves. That will be fun.
[I have no memory of this trip, so I suspect it never happened.]
I remember an incident. Affe C. asked me in class if I was moving back to Canada and Steven answered for me. Wow! Does that mean anything? I hope so! I haven’t gotten a letter from him yet so I will call his brother the day before we leave to ask him. I wonder if there is a mail strike in Canada… it would be catastrophic.
It’s Dad’s birthday tomorrow. I bought him a clay picture with Slussbron on it. 40 kronor from both Fredrik and me. Mom bought him a necklace with an “R” pendant and Anders bought him the “Warning: Children” record. I think they are all very nice presents.
Tomorrow the rest of the furniture will be packed up. The house is starting to feel rather empty. No curtains and we have to lie on the floor to watch TV. Tomorrow night I have to sleep on the floor. Milton is nervous and angry because they are taking his house. He doesn’t understand what is happening. We bought his cage for the plane ride. I have been worried about how it will be for him. But the cage is large. We put him in it at night so that he can get used to it. In the beginning, he was all quiet. Then he started to whine. We let him out when he whines but we have to start making him sleep in it all night so he gets into the habit of it. I am glad he won’t be in quarantine. I think it is terrible there.
Today we were at Grönalund. Mamma, Pappa, Fredrik and me. We had lots of fun. But the money just pours out. I bought a poster with Swan Lake on it and it has my name on the roster as Prima Ballerina. It’s really nice. 9:75 kronor. Fredrik bought a “Wanted- Dead or Alive” poster with his name on it. Maud said I should have bought her a poster. That was a little pushy. She was grumpy today. When I asked her if she would like to go to Cupido with me, she said, “Maybe we should meet there,” like she was trying to avoid me.
I hope we find a really nice house.
I have started to sketch ballerinas in a different way. With ink. And I sketch the whole face now. It’s working out. I am Queen Silvia crazy. I have bought a magazine about her. I draw her. It’s fun, I think.
I write in such a boring way. I can’t write about love, as there is nothing to write about. I have to get Thomas’ phone number, so that I can get Steven’s address. It can’t be all that bad. I keep going on and on about this. Can’t stop.
I haven’t written in a while. So much has happened. Dad had his birthday. I bought him a clay painting as you know. Sivan has also had a birthday. Nilla, Brolle, Mom and I were at Morfar’s funeral. I have met a bunch of relatives. The funeral was overwhelming. Morfar was in a little urn. We had to walk along a plank to lay flowers beside the urn. When Nilla walked she almost fell. I was hysterical and started to laugh uncontrollably, but quietly. Nilla too. I didn’t stumble, luckily.
I saw my great aunts. Helma has grown so old. Helga is so nice. And she is my favorite. She gave me a lovely rag rug in pink and light blue.
We might meet up with her next week.
[My great aunt Helga was a mother for my Mom. My grandmother died suddenly when I was only 2. I can only imagine the loss my Mom must have felt as she was very close to her mother. Helga became our maternal grandmother. She gave me great love, great advice and was an inspiration. She never married. She lived stubbornly, intelligently and independently. I light a candle for her and my grandmother, Stina, and my female ancestors every day.]
We have a week left in Sweden.
Anders has had his birthday. I gave him a wallet that he can attach to his belt. He also got 100 kronor bill, a gold necklace, a bone from Milton, a mirror and a gold pendant from Majlis. They had a party for him last Saturday night at Göran’s. Anders got a great nightgown on which they had embroidered Anders Fan Club. Really nice. When Anders and Majlis were here today, they locked themselves in his room. I heard them fooling around in there when I was watching TV. Majlis just called and her voice was all hoarse. I wonder what’s up. I hope nothing is wrong because she sounds like she had been crying. He is talking to her right now. I am wondering and wondering.
I have to brush my teeth and put on my PJ’s. I hear Anders is laughing now. Whew! Anders is so nice. I was downtown with him and Majlis and I sat on his knee on the bus, as it was too crowded.
I feel so little and bloated and not 15. But in a way, it doesn’t matter. I am going to be ambitious in Canada. Write good reports. Be interested. Not so shy. I can even get my driver’s license next year. I will try. I want to start playing tennis and I want to dance every day. How fun it will be. I am really in the mood to work with something. And I want to perform and be discovered. To have many friends. I want to show Milton. I hope it all works out like I want it to. But now I have to sleep. I will finish writing tomorrow. Then I will have danced for Joelle Mazett. She is strict. Maud has gotten some reprimands. But it feels good to dance. I would like to do what Nils-Åke Häggbom does- dance 10 hours a day. How fabulous that would be.
It isn’t nice to dance for Joelle because she doesn’t see me. I can stand right under her nose without her noticing me. She doesn’t correct me. Doesn’t say “good girl.” She has teacher’s pets. I think that is irritating. She is strict and often gets mad at Maud. Ann Parson is the best teacher I have ever had. She doesn’t just focus on the technical. Lillemor had cut her hair. It’s shocking. And not exactly attractive.
Friday will be my last day at Balettakademien. Weird.
When I saw Mikael that time, something inside me exploded. I wonder what it is, and I think about it a lot.
I get so much money from Mom and Dad, it’s terrible. I bought a new cost. 98 kronor on sale (regularly 298). Tomorrow I am buying jeans.
I got a great letter from Kathy today. Many things. She is so nice. We are going to be good friends and she agrees with me on a lot of things including Steven.
I write rather dully don’t I? But I don’t know how I can make things sound more exciting.
I got a letter from Maud today. She sent along a photo of her at age 1.
Maud writes: Since it is soon time to bid you farewell, we will have to savour each day that remains. It is a nightmare to know I will not see you for at least a year! How will I stand it? If you have a prescription for this malady, please call 08/7– 2- 9-. To my best friend from Maud
How can I forget something so important! Ellen Rasch observed me in class yesterday! Firstly, Aeron observed. Then I saw a woman in the door with him. I asked Maud who it was and she said that it was Ellen Rasch! How wonderful! In Canada I will try to get into the best dance school they have. I am writing this on the train. Soon I am going to dance for Joelle. She is like Lillemor. But Lillemor noticed me more. Joelle has teacher’s pets. The teachers I have had: Mrs. Vanneck, Lillemor, Ann Parson, and Joelle Mazett. I have auditioned for the Opera Ballet. I have met Gösta Svalberg and 19 other dancers and teachers. I have met Anneli Alhanko and Per Arthur Segerström.
Dear Katarina, Between us ballerinas, it feels quite depressing during these last few days before you leave. Or what do you think? I am going to create a little bon voyage dance for you! To Romeo and Juliet. We’ll have to hope that I have time to show it to you. I think the last day will be one big lake. As I am writing this, the most sentimental and sad music is playing in the background. It’s hard not to cry. I wonder what kind of dancers we will become? I think you will be a ballerina in Toronto. And me? A stage janitor at the Opera Ballet. Or what do you think? No matter, that is a question for the future. I want you to say hi to your family for me. I don’t think I will write anymore right now, because it feels quite hopeless.
From your best friend, forever. Maud
[An envelope inside this letter is labeled “extra note- secret letter. Show no one.” A smaller envelope lies inside labeled “very secret extra note. Show no one.” But alas, that envelope is now empty and I cannot recall the contents.]
On Sunday, I was thinking that you, Gisela, Helen and I could be together is the morning and then you and I take the afternoon to ourselves as it will be the last hours we spend together for at least a year. I already can’t wait for next summer, but it is a long ways away. And maybe by that time you may think I am dumb and I may think you are strange. Blah! It can’t turn out that way! I guess I would have to bring a present, as you will have turned 16 by then. We’ll have to send cassettes to each other, and presents etc. That might be really fun. But not as fun as seeing you in person at least 3 times a week as we have been doing. What day is your birthday? I actually forgot. Mine is August 28, but you probably know that already. You have a better memory than I do.
Yesterday, my dad didn’t feel very well. So I guess it isn’t just me that has been feeling bad. Lucky you who will be spared “Black Ands” when you move! I will probably be stalked by them my whole life! Who cares? I do! Goodbye, Love, Maud. PS. I will miss you too!
Oh, oh, oh. It’s been a long time since I wrote. It’s been very hectic, but I haven’t had that much to do, so I don’t have a good excuse. Joelle got a lot better as a teacher. I got to stand in the front row and even became one of the teacher’s pets. I had fun. And on the last day she hugged me. She is actually quite nice once you get to know her.
Milton was at the vet’s and luckily he did not have tooth decay. He got sleeping medication for the plane ride. It works well. He sleeps well and seems so calm. I don’t have to worry that he will be uncomfortable. Milton met his brother, Oskar, who is owned by Sivan’s brother. Catastrophe! @#%&@##* They didn’t like each other at all. Oskar was nice but Milton was so angry! I took a bunch of photos because it may be the last time they see each other. Oskar had gotten a burn when their tent went up in flames at a camping trip, but he a recuperated well.
Yesterday, I said goodbye to Maud. The tears ran. It was very sad and overwhelming.
[Maud got me through the roughest times in Sweden as she allowed herself to be innocent as well, in a land that tended to skip over that stage of development. Our private world was one of pink angels and magical powers. And her friendship remains one of my deepest.]
We are actually sitting on CP AIR now. We have reached the halfway point. It seems like we have only been flying a half hour. Last night I opened the presents I got from Maud. I already have an address book that looks like you, Diary. Now I have the cutest poetry book as well. I have always wanted to have a little poetry book.
Tom cried (trying not to show us) when we left yesterday. Poor thing.
We got up at 5 AM this morning. Milton was quite alert so I ran around with him for a while at the airport. We gave him the sleeping medication and he fell asleep right away. He slept all the way to Amsterdam. Mom and Dad took him out for a walk there. He didn’t want to go back into the cage, but he got more medication. I don’t know how he is dong now. I hope he is sleeping. Poor thing. He doesn’t know what is happening. But it will soon be over. Now they are going to serve drinks and then dinner. I don’t know if I want any but I will take it anyway.
There is the world’s grumpiest stewardess on board. Poor Fredrik was ordering orange juice and just because he didn’t say please, this woman gave him the dirtiest look, and didn’t bring him a drink. Idiot, stupid woman. I’d like to wring her neck.
A few hours have passed. We were going to watch “The Eagle has Landed” on the plane, but typically, the movie projector isn’t working.
I called Catharina and said goodbye from Arlanda. Two to three hours left. A man told us that they moved Milton to the front half of the plane where it was warmer. I will write at the hotel. I will call Kathy.
Vancouver, here we come.