Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 8- The Letter



Previously on PND:

Instalment 1: Introduction

Instalment 2: The First Entries

Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance

Instalment 4: Sex Education

Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition

Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: Steven

Instalment 7: Grad and the Part

Today’s instalment


© Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 7- Grad and the Party



Previously on PND:

Instalment 1: Introduction

Instalment 2: The First Entries

Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance

Instalment 4: Sex Education

Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition

Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: Steven

Instalment 7:

This instalment is enhanced when accompanied by:


© Katarina Thorsen 2018

Fashion blog foreshadowed. @annatfabulous’s journal, 1997.

In celebration of my daughter’s birthday, I will share with you some amazing pages from her 1997 journal (age 12).  They certainly illustrate the shape of things to come.  Fashion, events, life is planned and analyzed and celebrated.  Anna is now founder and editor-in-chief of the online fashion magazine/blog: THE SOCIAL LIFE– where fashion, events, life is planned and analyzed and celebrated.  She was born for this!!!


One of my fave photos of Anna with Joshua J.

Sampling of journal pages 1997-98:

Check out THE SOCIAL LIFE’s review of the new NO DOUBT video

Dream home

Happy birthday, Anna!

July 27, 1985


Part 8 daily journal workshop. SELF-PORTRAIT. HUMAN . #arttherapy




Part 3 HEART





We’ve done a lot of good work in the past week, and through our exercises have addressed our pain and have begun to let go a bit.

Now it’s time to address ourselves.  Let’s stare in the mirror and contemplate our humaness.

Many of us freeze at this point.  “I can’t draw.”  “I hate my face.”   Why are we freezing?  Who are we trying to please?  This journal is ours, and we can do whatever we want in it.  We can be as free as we allow ourselves.  So let’s let go even for just a few minutes and spend some time looking at ourselves and allowing the pencil to move over the page.

For some tips on drawing portraits, go to my PORTRAIT TUTORIAL and GESTURE DRAWING.

Now spend 15 minutes writing about how you feel in this moment after completing this exercise.  We’ll use some of these words tomorrow.

Recall my 1977 Diary:

Perceiving human:

From Brainzooming:

  • Be able to selectively and deliberately turn off what you know when it’s getting in the way. You can learn to do this by getting good at forgetting (when you need to), disorienting your own perspective, and soliciting ideas from newbies who aren’t shackled with your level of expertise.
  • Immerse yourself in a whole array of unfamiliar experiences  you can draw upon when you’re brainstorming and looking for fresh ideas.
  • Fight the temptation toward premature evaluation! Protect fresh thinking (your own and others’) from being savaged (by you and others) before it has even had a chance at being considered.


Gather some animal pics.  About 5 of them.

Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Final part October-December (age 15)

Grade 10

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

For August 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 8 August- Maud, Moving

For September 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 9 September- Canada

Part of note from Maud:

… I think your student photo is really cute.  You don’t have a big nose!!!  Maybe it just looks like that in certain angles?  Be happy for that.  Nothing helps me, no matter what angle I sit.  I am glad the operation went well!  Lucky, lucky, lucky…. Tumor.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.  Please don’t… ah… please don’t get another tumor because then I will lose my spirit.  I have been so worried!

October 2

Oh, oh, oh.  I have had so much to do.  I haven’t had any time to write in you.  Now I have some time, so I will try to catch up.  Sorry.  So much has happened.  Yes, it feels like we never spent 2 years in Sweden.  I have a million letters to write, lots of homework, friends, I dance a lot.  I almost don’t have time to walk poor Milton.  I have found a wonderful path behind our house to walk him on.  What luck!

We live at 516 East Braemar in North Vancouver.  The house is wonderful.  Not finished yet (Anders room and the garden).  Everyone has his or her own room, TV room, basement, living room, big kitchen, balcony, double carport, 3 bathrooms (with baths!), dishwasher, washer/dryer, cablevision.  Carpeting wall to wall.  The house is brown.  I love it!

I told you I wrote Peo.  I apologized to him for all sorts of things, like being shy and boring.  I told him a lot and asked him how the USA trip was.  All of a sudden I got a letter addressed to ME from PEO.  He was so nice, and told me my letter was not at all boring and that he was also shy and he longs to get back to the USA and to visit Canada.  He wants to visit and he ended the letter with “write soon.”  I have written back.  I am so happy.  I love you, Peo!

Oh, Star Wars.  I LOVE that film.  I have seen it twice now and it is just as exciting.  I also watched a program on how they make the film.  Wonderful!  I would love to work in that field when I grow up.

About Anna Wyman’s:  I was going to start at Vancouver Ballet School but it was too far to get there.  Margareta suggested we look at Anna Wyman Dance Theatre and Studio of Dance Arts in West Vancouver.  We called and I got a test lesson.  They placed me in the Intermediate-Advanced level.  My schedule: 9 hours a week

Monday 8-9:30 Ballet

Wednesday 6:30-7:30 Pointe

Wednesday 7:30-9:00 Jazz

Thursday 5-6:30 Modern

Thursday 6:30-8 Ballet

Saturday 9-11 AM Ballet

I have four different teachers.

Jazz and Modern are really fun.  Different and relaxed.  Everyone here is very talented and very flexible.  I had a hard time at the beginning but I am catching up.

The Ceccheti technique is similar but faster.

High school is fun.  Everyone knows everyone and they are not as serious as Swedes and not as fast paced.  I have done almost all the academics already except for Socials Studies and English.  My locker number is 7.  My combination is 51-14-59.  Had a rough time at the start but it is going much better.  (I have to take Milton out for a walk.  Will write more later).

Extra note from Maud in her letter:

Secret letter:  Extra note.  It’s too bad Catharina didn’t take you seriously.  But I hope you get Steven’s address.  Of course I want you and I to tell each other everything.  We can write these secret notes every time.  Or what do you think?  I agree with everything you wrote.  About love and such.  One is so influenced by TV, magazines etc. just like you write.  You know about that stuff that I wrote about… hmm… it is so hard to make contact with the one you like.  Have you ever thought about how easy it is to say to someone: I hate you!  But one doesn’t dare say… I love you.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  Now I don’t know what else to write.


December 16

The end of my diary is near and I was supposed to write every day.  But didn’t have time.  Christmas is soon here and school and ballet take up most of my schedule.

Kathy and I are “boy crazy.”  It’s quite terrible.  One takes it too much to heart.  I really wish something would happen.  That some guy would approach me and ask me to be his friend.  I don’t want to be considered a square.  Please, let something happen.  Sometimes it borders on silly.  It’s taking over.  One thinks about it all the time- LOVE.  Oh, dear.

Peo and I never talked to each other when we saw each other in person in Sweden this past year.  Oh, I regret it so.  I wrote to him and told him everything.  I wrote him from the hospital after they shaved my hair before the operation.  I was crying and it felt good to write to him.  To my surprise he has written back.  He is for real.  He is the boy I have always wanted.  I can “speak” to him.  He is funny.  We send each other pictures and he sent me a great one from when he was younger.  I have it on my mirror.  He really wants to come to here this summer.  If he does, I think a little flower might blossom.  Please let it.  I just want someone to care for.  But why does it have to be a boyfriend?  It’s strange.  It’s like you need to prove something.  That you are not boring and unlovable.  But Peo and I are friends.  Maybe a little more?

December 24

Christmas Eve.  My presents:

–       Stereo

–       Tennis socks

–       Scarf

–       Suede mittens

–       Curling iron

–       Soapstone

–       Canvas

–       Brushes

–       A large tube of white oil paint

–       Holly Hobbie stationary

–       “Charlie” makeup, talcum powder and perfume

–       “Kissing Potion” lip-gloss

–       Stuffed animal dog

–       Fozzie Bear stuffed animal

–       Ludwig book

–       Holly Hobbie calendar

–       Copper watering can

–       Watch

–       Aries mug

–       Ballet poster

–       Ballerina novel part 1 and 2

–       Golden pig

–       Gnome doll

–       Napkin ring

December 26

Yesterday we were at the Ericson’s and the Burchardt’s were there.  Three boys about my age.  There was Johan- who was actually quite funny.  It started with him sitting beside me at the dinner table.  Since the seats weren’t prearranged, I was quite happy!  What luck!  We didn’t say anything to each other but I felt something inside me.  He is in Grade 11.

Johan drove Anders home to Rick’s place and when he came back, he sat down beside me to watch TV.  Wow!  Karin teased me about that, but I didn’t mind.

Magnus, Fredrik Burchardt, Peter and Johan played ping-pong and Johan had never played before.  He always sent a glance my way through his cute long bangs and smiled with his small eyes. [Eeew]  I got all warm inside.  Then he sat by the fireplace and talked to my Fredrik about movies.  Fredrik asked Jonas if he had seen “It’s Alive.”  And I said I had seen it.  He turned to me and we started talking about the film.

I played ping-pong with Karin and he came up to me and said, “Hey, I’ll be on your team.”  Wow!  (Again)  We played for a while and then we all went to Karin’s room.  Poor Karin.  Fredrik B. took down all her gymnastics medals and put them on my Fredrik.  Johan was in the middle of all the chaos talking etc.  I was reading Archie and he tried to grab it from me, so I threw it behind the bed.  But he grabbed my arm and tried to get the comic before I had a chance to throw it.  It felt so strange when our hands met.  Just like in the movies.  When we were heading home, he stared at me as I put on my boots.

Before that my Fredrik and Johan had a Swedish swearword duel.  He went to his car to head home.  When I passed by the car to go to ours, I said to him in Swedish “damn kid” (sorry, it is terrible to swear).  He didn’t know the Swedish word or he had forgotten to use it in his duel, so he laughed.  Then that was the end, as we went home.  His phone number is 926—–.  So?!  I mean, why do I feel this way?  I hope he likes me.  He drank what seemed like 10 beers at the dinner but he was nice anyway.


Photo by Fredrik Thorsen, 2005

This post dedicated to my brothers.  Sometimes you have to look back in order to move forward.  Love you.

Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 9 September (age 15): Canada, @Mortified

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

For August 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 8 August- Maud, Moving

September 6

We have lived at the hotel for 1 1/2 weeks.  It has a room, kitchen, TV, and the world’s warmest pool.  I have a cold from the pool.  Our car is really big.  Station wagon.  It has all the buttons and features.  Power windows, seats, locks, back door and everything.  It is beige and is a Buick.  I like it but at times it’s a little trouble.  Milton is happy anyway.  Yes, that’s right.  Milton survived the journey well.  But, boy, it was tough.  There was a mix up at the airport and we had to wait for several hours.

We found our house the day after we arrived.  It is brand new and we can’t move in until Friday.  The furniture isn’t here yet and the house isn’t even finished.  But we made it this far.  We can make it a bit more.  The house has 4 bedrooms, a rec room, 2 fireplaces, 5 entrances, big living room, 3 bathrooms, big kitchen, large balcony, 2 levels, and a double carport.  It is a brown house with thick green carpets.

[We owned the house for 27 years. A lot of blood, sweat, tears and laughter in that wonderful old house]

I wrote a long letter to Peo.  I hope he answers.

I asked Catharina for Steven’s address.

I called Mrs. V.  She said a teacher from England is teaching at the dance school now.  She will test me next week to see what level I am.  Then I will start dancing downtown which will be great.  I talked to Kerry V. and she says that she is tall now.  She asked me if I wanted to go to the disco.  I said no thanks right away.  Yuck!  I wonder how the dancers are at the school.  I don’t think there is any special dance I have to know- though I have always studied the Ceccetti style and Mrs. V. uses the RAD syllabus.  Mrs. V. went to England today.  I am supposed to call Kerry on Thursday to see what time I should be there.  It will be exciting.

I saw Dana today.  She is boy crazy.  Her girlfriend, Pat W., was along.  They only care about what they are wearing.  And boys.  They didn’t talk to me.  Just “do you remember this?” and “do you remember that?”  Blah.  But I have Kathy.  Lucky.  I have been in touch with her and we are friends.  She will go with me to school tomorrow.  She will help me if there is trouble.  I have bought school supplies.  I forgot to get runners.  But I don’t think there will be PE on the first day.  My stomach is churning.  But it will be OK.  Good luck, me!

Fredrik has started to play soccer.  He is really good.  I would love to play but where would I find the time?  I can play with Fredrik.

I went to see Star Wars.  It is the world’s greatest film.  It’s impossible to explain.  I am in love with it.  I want to see it again and again and again.

Now I have to take a bath.  Tomorrow school.  I am a little nervous.  But who cares!?

Maud hasn’t answered my letter yet.  Maybe it hasn’t even arrived yet.

… I just got interrupted by the world’s largest spider that came crawling by…  anyway, good night.  I will write tomorrow.

September 9

Yes, as I wrote, we went to see Star Wars.  It is so well done.  I am going to buy the record, poster and book.  I almost think it is better than Bugsy Malone.  It is so good, it’s inexplicable.  There are butterflies in my tummy when I think about it.  I went a little crazy for Luke Skywalker.  He was so nice.  We also saw “The Spy Who Loved Me.”  Also really well done.  The best James Bond film yet.  But he always has a girl with him.  It gets a little much.

Mom has sprained her ankle something awful.  Her foot is all black and blue but is getting better.  I feel sorry for Mom.  She has to take care of all of us, the house, and now she has sprained her ankle on top of it all.

Milton has fallen in love with Kathy’s dog, Sarge.  She is so nice, and likes to lick you in the face and all that.  Milton played with her full out.  He got a little carried away.  Kathy and I are best friends but in a way I wish we could talk more deeply like we did in letters.  Maybe we are both too shy.  I hope it is just like this in the beginning.  I think Milton got fleas from Sarge.  Today he was covered in them.  We bought shampoo and shampooed him thoroughly and then used a flea comb.  Also bought the best fleas collar we could get.

I called Kerry to arrange a test class and she had forgotten to book a time.  She tells me she goes to North Vancouver High School because all the boys there.  How silly.  Disgusting.  She told me Sonja goes to Balmoral too.  I will have to try to find her.  Wonder what she looks like.  I don’t know what grade she is in.  I have met the new Swedish girl Pia, and she is so cute.  She has the world’s longest hair.  I would like to talk to her, but I don’t dare.  Now I have to say good night.  Tomorrow I will write all about school.  Not too bad.  Good night.

Maud writes:

Dear Katarina,

Oh, how I have longed for a letter from you.  It arrived yesterday.  I am glad you liked the presents.  I miss you very, very much.  We all do here at home.  I am glad that the trip went well.  Too bad it was so long though… Now as I write this, I wonder if you think I am exaggerating but you are the world’s best, cutest, nicest, most talented, most best FRIEND!  I hope everyone in your family is doing well. 

The “dancing girls” will continue even if it feels empty without you. 

I have bought Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons.  It’s quite good.  But I haven’t found the cassette that you had.  You ask if I am coming next year?  What a question!  Of course I am coming.  I think I will start packing soon because I can hardly wait. 

I miss you terribly.  Write soon, please.  

I got really nice presents for my birthday.  I got pink/white jewelry box, with pink satin and white pearls.  Really nice.  Money, cards, wishes, etc. and a porcelain ballerina (I think you’ve seen them.  I am going to start collecting them).  A white satin box, comb, brush, mirror, my month stone (Jade), sweater, pink socks, your ballerina etc.  Uh… I have actually… eh… gone and fallen… oh, eh, hmm… Yes, anyway… in love.  Unfortunately, so to speak.  Who?  Well, a boy in my school but how that will turn out, you’ll have to find out in the next letter.  I think.  Who cares?  I do!  Maud.  Sorry I had to fall in love.  Sorry.


MORTIFIED: ANGST WRITTEN http://www.getmortified.com/


Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 8 August (age 15): Maud, moving to Canada

This post dedicated to my mother, Karin, who suffered so much loss, but lived and loved so fiercely.

I miss my two favorite women, Helga and my beautiful mom.

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

August 1

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.

August 7

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.

August 14

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.

August 15

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


August 16

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.

August 18

Maud writes:

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.]

August 19

Maud writes:

Hey Katarina!  

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!

August 21

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.]

August 24

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.

Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 7 July (age 15): Summer, potato nose

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

July 1

I have written a letter to the elderly lady, Elna Järnebrand. And I painted a little picture for her.  I told you I save all pictures of ballet that I can find.  I hope she sends me a picture.  That sounds kind of selfish.  Shame on me.  I hope she likes the painting.

I am rather tired of the train.  Rather?  Much!  The stations go by: Rönninge, Tumba, Tullinge, Huddinge, Stuvsta, Älvsjö, Stockholms Söder, and then Stockholms Central.  The train continues on to Märsta.  It’s enough to drive you nuts.  But it is a good system with the monthly card and all.  But it gets rather tedious.

Another day has gone by.  It doesn’t seem like summer at all.  It just rains and rains.  And I get more and more pale and soon we’ll be wearing hats and mittens again.

I want to gain strength in my legs so that I can extend them high.  Today we were horses and that was fun.

I wonder if there is anyone out there that thinks I am cute and who feels the same way about me as I do about Steven.  I wonder how all this will play out in Canada.

July 2

Björn Borg won Wimbledon today against Jim Connors.  I wanted Björn to win the whole time.  Yesterday was the semi-finals and Björn had a rough time.  I put my hands together in prayer and whispered “Björn, win” and looked at him the whole time and then it went better and he won!  I did the same thing today when he struggled and it went better and he won!  Then I felt sorry for Jim Connors. I think he looks so good when he plays tennis.  In the paper they did a caricature of him with a large nose.  Silly.  I wonder if I really helped Björn.  It worked for Björn and it worked for Ingemar Stenmark.  Next time Björn plays I will do the same thing.  Also when Connors plays.  But not if he is playing against Björn.  I have gotten totally interested in tennis.

Mom, Dad and I were in town today shopping and a car full of guys pulled up.  They were staring at me quite a bit.  I wondered why.  Then, darn it, I saw that Lars B. was in the car.  He laughed and waved at me and I smiled back.  He stared at me the whole time as they drove away.  I wonder if they thought I was cute.  In a way, I hope so.  Sounds silly.  I called Catharina.  She is going to Germany in 3 weeks.  Tomorrow I will jog.  I will!  I have decided.  I am too fat.  I feel fat fat fat.

July 3

Tomorrow I am going to Morfar’s funeral.  He will be cremated.  I wonder what it will be like.  I will bring a flower.  Nilla is going too.  I would never have dared until Mom convinced me to go.  Now I have to stop.  Good Night!

PS.  Peo Hallgren was my biggest love when we lived in Sweden when I was younger.  I always fought with Anki about him.  But I don’t dare to talk to him now about love.  He is so funny.  He is always up to mischief.  I wonder if he likes me.  He may like Ann-Christine more, because she is more outgoing.  He and I used to be pen pals and ended our letters with kisses.  I am going to send him a letter when we move and see if he sends anything back.  I hope so.  Oh, Peo.  I love you.

July 4

We are leaving soon.  How will it be?

Now I am back [from the funeral].  It was strange, creepy and wonderful at the same time.  The priest was female and she wore a cape.  She mumbled some psalms in the beginning.  Then she really got into it.  We laid roses on the coffin.  I placed a bouquet on it.  We had to sing.  Nilla and I couldn’t keep from laughing.  Terrible.  Mom and Siv laughed too.  It looked like we were crying.  Brolle and Dad were serious.  I admired them for that.  Now Morfar will be cremated.  We will take him up north later on for burial of the ashes.  Rest in peace.

July 5

Today we had pointe class.  It was really hard.  I felt dumb.  Not dumb.  Bad.  I am not talented enough to do deboullés and balance and all that.  There is a girl I am enthralled with.  Her name is Ewa W. and she is in Eva and Lotta’s class.  She is very talented and sure of herself.  She attends Ellen Rasch’s school.  She has such a presence.  Ellen has arranged a job for her at Oscar’s.  I will not be jealous.  She has danced a lot longer than me.  This is my sixth year.  Tomorrow I will try harder.

I never swear.  In the last while, I have started saying “darn.”  I don’t think that is so bad.  I can say swear words to myself.  They are only words.  But still.  Today I actually said that Fredrik was “pissed off” because I didn’t make him an ice cream cone.  I said that to Majlis.  I am so ashamed.  It just leaked out.  But it isn’t that bad.  They are only words.  Who cares?  Me!  Oh well.  I think it will be quite a while before I swear in English.  Those words are so gross.   [Well, that sure changed.]

July 6

I don’t dare to go to a school dance, as I can’t dance.  How stupid I am!  Of course I can dance!  Easy as pie.  But I can’t relax.  I wonder if a guy will like me.  It seems like that is the only thing I think about.  I want to try to get high marks at school.  I will try hard.  I wonder if I am gifted as a dancer.

July 7

I didn’t get to dance en pointe today.  My knee was hurting me.  The teacher will help me tomorrow.  I hope.  She told me you have to have your knee lined up with your toes, or else it will cause damage.  It was a bad day: first the pointe guard fell off.  Then my heel elastic broke.  I put a rubber band around my foot and it snapped.  Then the blister on my big toe broke.  And then the knee hurt.  No wonder I couldn’t take part in the class!  Before I left she said, “Hope your knee feels better tomorrow.”  I hope so.  I want to be able to extend my leg high in developpé.  Good night.

July 10

We were at Skärgården today.  Nåttarö Island.  Orwald’s have rented a cabin there.  Fredrik will stay with them for 2 weeks.  It is glorious there.  There are no cars there.  The store is a little cottage.  The water is clear.  You get there by boat from Nynäshamn.  It takes 35 minutes.  Fredrik called tonight and he is having a good time.  He misses us a little bit.  I want to go there and visit him.

I am awaiting a letter from Steven.  I hope he got the letter.  It would be so great if he wrote to me.  I should call his bother Thomas to get his address.  Do I dare?  I should dare, as I will never see him again.  Fredrik teases me about Steven.  I guess that is fair as I dream about Steven every night.  Not dream… think.  And I don’t have any defense against Fredrik’s teasing.  But there is Agnetha.  Fredrik has a crush on her.  Wanted to get a picture of her.  So cute.  I dream that I will meet Steven at a basketball tournament in Vancouver and we meet and click click click and all that jazz.  Oh well.  Good night.

July 12

Didn’t write yesterday as I had a headache and had to miss ballet class, even though it was supposed to be the last day.  I have bought Ann Parson a troll candle and I made her a card.  I hope she likes it.  Today Maud and I were in Gamla Stan.  We walked and walked and walked.  I bought a little midsummer pole, a Holly Hobbie memo pad, and an address book.  It looks like you, diary, but pink.  I have to ask Parson for her address tomorrow.  I am in the mood to dance.

Yesterday, Maud was here and we walked all day in the forest with Milton.  We sat on a cliff and had a picnic, while Milton ran around loose.  It was wonderful.  I have gotten quite tanned.  Maud gave me a lovely bracelet.  Looks like an ID bracelet.  It says “Katarina” on it, and has a pink rose on it.  Maud has one too.  It means friendship.  I am so happy.

Every night, before I head to sleep, I think about Steven.  Steven, Steven, the whole time.  I am tragically in love?  I look down his street when I walk by even though I know he is in the USA.  I hope he got my letter.  The day before we move, I will go to his brother and ask for his address.

July 13

The last day of ballet.  I talked a little to Parson.  She gave me her address.  “Thank you for working so hard,” she said before I left.  I have gotten a Swedish dialect.  Not when I talk to myself though.  I suppose it’s kind of cute.  I am taking a summer course for two weeks with Joelle Mazett.  She is French.

Tomorrow our house will be listed for sale in the local paper.  We leave either the 23rd or 24th of August.

I will call Aija and ask her to apologize to everyone at school for my shyness.

July 15

Late Thursday, Queen Silvia was taken to the hospital.  It’s a princess!  I am so glad.  The paper had predicted a boy.  So there.  I attended Silvia’s wedding.  She was so beautiful.  I wonder what the princess will be called.  They are already back at the castle.  I thought you had to stay at the hospital at least a few days.  There will be no public pictures of the princess for 10 days.  Just found out her name- Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree.

Last night I couldn’t sleep.  I was awake the whole night.  I love to sketch, so I stayed up and sketched Archie.  I have a headache every day.  A little one always in the background.  And today I had a talk with myself.  I am scared that the tumor is cancerous, but I don’t think it is, as then it would be growing faster.  It’s probably a lymph gland.

Dad just got back from Scotland.  He gave me a beautiful big doll, a Westie figure, and a cloth with a Scottie and a Westie on it.  Wonderful!  We are going to buy a Scottie!

July 18 “Fredrik Dagen” 

Today Maud and I were in the city.  We walked and walked and walked.  I bought a necklace, velvet ribbon, and a watch.  I have cut my bangs.  Much better.  30 kronor!  I bought a ballet poster.  Really nice.  It just cost 3 kronor.  I have to have velvet ribbon to tie my hair up, because my hair is so worn out.  Gunilla and Annika work in a jeans store.  We visited them.  They are so nice.  I bought jeans there today.  Tomorrow I will jog with Milton.  

July 21

It’s terrible.  Horrible.  I just saw an image on TV of a poor poor cat with something connected to its head and it looked terrified and didn’t know what to do with itself.  STOP ANIMAL RESEARCH NOW!  The poor poor animals.  They can’t escape from the horrible humans.  We have no right to take a living creature that can’t make its own decisions and do what we want to them.  The humans should experiment on themselves.  If that doesn’t work- tough luck!  People are so idiotic and gross and the most terrible creatures ever created.  People have no right to be on the planet.  They only ruin things.  The animals have the right.  Stupid humans.  I HATE THEM!  They also decide how dogs should look.  The dogs are bred so that their eyes pop out, get infections, can’t breath etc.  God, we are dumb.

I have to calm down now.  Candy has to be kept away from me!  It’s driving me crazy!  I am drowning in it!  I am sitting and writing this right now with a candy in my mouth.  I will throw it out now!  But candy can be good now and then… ha ha.

It’s just raining and raining again.  I hope it gets a little better so that I can maintain my tan before we move to Canada.

July 26

All I do is wait for a letter from Steven.  But he isn’t thinking about me.  I dreamt that Marianne got one from him so I thought I would get one the next day.  I couldn’t wait.  I think a lot about him.  Can’t stop.  I dream about him visiting Vancouver, contacting Linda about where I live and surprising me there.  Oh wow!  I am a little dumb.  But hey, I have a right to feel.  I don’t think I am good looking.  I am ugly, ugly.  Sometimes I think I look alright, but my nose.  It is so big.  I don’t like it.

I don’t like M.’s dad.  Never have.  It’s like Milton’s feelings about certain people- a sixth sense.  I don’t know why I feel this way.  He always has to show off and… yes… he is so silly.  He always stares in that way, you know.  And makes a scene.  I hope M. doesn’t like her dad.  My dad is so nice.  And my mom.  M.’s mom and my mom are actually quite similar.  But our fathers are as different as can be.  Her dad is strict.  And he always wants things clean and tidy.

We have started pantomiming a lot.  More than dancing.  Soon the second summer course starts.  And Maud and I are in the same class.  I hope we will make it on time as the subway leaves at 8:10 AM in the morning.  We’ll see.  I am sure it will be fine.  I don’t like the subway.  Blah.

July 27

I wish I could earn some money.  But it is too late now to get a summer job.  I bought dog shampoo today.  It reminds me of my work experience at the dog kennel last year.  I want to write a book about ballet.  I feel like doing research and things like that.  I will read my French magazine so that I can practice my French.

I got a really nice coat yesterday.  I need to get jeans.  I just buy and buy and buy.  I have strong guilt feelings.

July 29

Yesterday we were in town shopping.  All of a sudden, unexpectantly, someone said hi to me.  It was Mikael A.  He has such a nice and kind face.  I said hi back very naturally.  It felt good for once to not be tense and for him to have said it first.  I didn’t notice him at first so he really meant it; otherwise they usually avoid me so that they don’t have to say hi.

I have bought stovepipe pants with pockets on the side.  They suit my new coat very much.

Boy, it is a sin to be as ugly as I am.  When I look in the mirror, I practice what I should look like when I laugh, etc. without looking ugly.  I hate it when I am natural and then see myself in the mirror and see the world’s largest nose that would break the world record for the largest potato.

Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 6 June (age 15): Graduation

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

June 6

Today is Fredrik’s birthday.

I bought him a tackle and a large cardboard perch that he can hang from the ceiling.  He says he has finally grown out of the pee and poo stage.  He is going to have a masquerade party next Saturday.  He wants to dress up as a drunk old man and he will borrow my inflatable champagne bottle.  But only if I get to dress him up.  At first he didn’t want to invite any girls but then he sat down and had a “think.”  And he changed his mind.  He is so nice.  We always horse around but I suppose that is meant to be.  He is obsessed with fishing.  And he likes pop music and things like that.  He likes the records that Anders plays.  At first, I didn’t, but now I do too.  But not that kind of screechy electric guitar music.  It pierces the ears and sounds like a dentist drill.  I like Boney M. and Queen.  But most of all, I like Swan Lake.  I can sit for hours and hours and dream.

I have never wanted to be a ballerina as much as now.  I have been to ballet during spring break- 3 to 5 hours a day.  Last Friday- 6 hours.  We are practicing our dances and were going to perform on Thursday and Maud said we could perform at Anlan in Huddinge.  But that didn’t work out.  No, that did not work out.  And she will absolutely not perform at her school.  I would perform at Rosenborgsskolan but we have no stage.  Maud is so silly because when we practice and someone comes in, she stops and says she can’t continue.  And when we dance for our friends she always has to talk and explain.  Why not just stay silent and dance?  Then the dance would be a lot better.

Now I have to stop because I have to color the poster for Hyllman.  We have a professional day today.  I had all last week off school.  I wonder if someone has read you.  I have read the book that Majlis wrote Anders.  Hope he doesn’t know that.

June 8

Yesterday I was totally surprised.

June 10

About the other day.  Catharina called me and asked if I wanted to come to her house.  To eat sandwiches and drink tea.  Gitte, Lena, and Marianne were there too.  What a house she has!  3 levels.  Ground floor: 3 rooms, and sauna.  2nd level: kitchen, living room, porch, and entrance.  3rd level: 3 bedrooms and a den.  They live right by the forest.  It’s a townhouse.  But it seems like a mansion.  We had fun.  Danced.  Watched TV.  I had my new vest and pants.  Pink.  I think it’s a great outfit.  But the new cloth leaks dye.  But Mom cleaned them and they got better.

On Thursday, the teachers played soccer against the students.  There was a penalty shot and Catharina got to do it.  It went in!  I really was happy.  Gitte played too.  And Steven.  I was jealous when Gitte got to wear Steven’s jacket to cover her red shirt.

We were invited home to our teacher.  She has two kids and a husband with a beard.  She is so nice to her kids.  They have a lot of toys and she does all that psychology stuff you are supposed to do with little children.  She has a large aquarium that is really clean.  And beautiful.  We played in her house, the whole class.  I gave her the poster that everyone had signed.  We got cake.  She has 11 rooms in her house.  She said we have to come and visit her during summer holidays.

Before I rode to her house on my bike with Gitte, Lena, Catharina and Marianne, I went to town with Catharina and Marianne to look at shoes.  We looked around a little bit and I found some black ones I think are cute.  We went home to Catharina and ate sandwiches and drank milk.

June 10 GRAD

In the morning, I got ready and walked to the kiosk.  I met Steven and Thomas.  They were on their way to Lars B. (Bolle).  They asked me if I wanted to come along.  OK.  Bolle lives in an ugly house.  But.  We went into the garden to take pictures.  We looked so funny in our hats.  I looked like a Carl Larsson painting.  Bolle put his arm on my shoulders when we took pictures.  Yuck.  They smoked cigars.

We walked towards Östertälje and met some others from our class.  It was great with all the hats.  Everyone stared.  We walked to the park to meet the rest of the class.  Then we walked to the school.  We were a big success. We were the only ones with hats.  Ulla H. got one too.

My homeroom teacher, Ulla H., Class 8:3 (75-76) and 9:3 (76-77), writes:

Grad ceremonies, Grade 9, Rosenborgsskolan.  It has been really nice to get to know you, Katarina, during these past 2 years.  Good luck in your future endeavors.  Ulla H.

Catharina gave Affe a hug and a rose.  That was funny.  Everyone was dressed up.  Peter had champagne along and sprayed it everywhere.  We sang.  Got our report cards.  B average.  I lost points in music.  How maddening.  Hugged the teacher and said goodbye to Rosenborgsskolan.  I had a lump in my throat.  I never thought I would have that.  Tell you more tomorrow.  Summer holidays!

(Fredrik is going to have a costume party tomorrow)

June 12

The weather is like it was pre-ordered.  Cold school weeks replaced with warm and sunny summer holidays.  I am by the lake.  I am finally getting a tan.  Anyway, after school last Friday, 12 of us walked to town.  We had on our hats and everyone stared and congratulated us on our graduation.  We went to Pizzeria Milano and I ordered a 1/4 pizza and gave the rest to Per-Arne.  He gave me a balloon.  I have taken a bunch of photos.  I have to take a break.  We are heading home.  I never have time to write in you.

Tomorrow, ballet.  I will try to write on the train.  But there are so many people.  Good night!  Let me be a ballerina!

June 13

Now I will continue writing about Friday. We were in the local paper but I didn’t get in the picture.

News clipping from our Grade 9 grad.  Steven is on the left. 

June 15

Today we find out if we are going to move or not.  I want to move.  I really want to meet a boy there that likes me.  It would be ideal if he were a dancer.  He would preferably be an athlete.

Now I have to concentrate.  Back to last Friday:  I had fun.  12 of us walked to town and everyone stared.  We ate pizza.  I don’t like pizza but I was almost forced, as it was grad time.  But I already wrote about that.  Anyways, after the pizzeria, we went into the department store, Domus, and bought a bunch of balloons.  That’s when Per-Arne gave me one.  He wanted to pay for my pizza, but I told him he didn’t have to.

Gunnar was having a party that night, but I did not want to go.  Catharina couldn’t go because she was competing, and there would just be a bunch of drunkards anyway.  Marianne, Lena and Gitte told me I should go, and they aren’t drinkers.  But I didn’t know.  Gitte called me that evening and told me they had bought pop and we could all bike together.  I gave in.  We met at Lena’s house.  We got there early.  So we hid in the forest in front of Gunnars’ house.  He drove by on a tractor to pick some people up.  We laughed a lot.

We went into his house and hid the pop.  We sat in the living room and laughed.  We went up to Gunnars’ room.  Bolle was already there, piss drunk, and going on and on how nice I looked in my blue dress.  “Why aren’t you wearing it now?”  I wonder what he would have done if I had been wearing it.

Later, we were offered beer.  I did not want any but the others accepted.  I started to get anxious.  After awhile, everyone was getting drunk, except for Gunnar, Christer P. and Steven, and me, of course.  It was so boring and awful.  Everyone sitting around, drunk, and me in the middle of it all.

The party at Gunnar’s.

Couldn’t talk to anyone.  Thomas H. put his arm around Lena and she put her arm around him.  Gross.  I tried to find Gunnar to tell him I was going home.  But I couldn’t find him, so I just went home.  But know what?  Steven knocked on the window and waved goodbye.  He must have understood my need to leave.  He is leaving for the USA on Saturday.

Secret:  I would like so much to say goodbye to him in person.  But how?  Just go there?  I want so much to hug him goodbye.  Now, no one… NO ONE is allowed to read this.  I wish he would come here to say goodbye to me

I have a new dance teacher.  Her name is Ann Parson.  I am taking a summer course with her.  She speaks American English.  She has so much feeling.  She is not at all boring like Lillemor and she always does different things.  She has such an imagination.  Put away plates, tell stories, throw Frisbee, catch a football, blow with a straw into a coca-cola bottle.  Every step refers to something in reality.  I will learn a lot from her.

June 16

Tomorrow is the last day before Steven leaves.  I have to get his address in USA.  I will have to put a little letter in his mailbox.

We have decided on Vancouver!  I have been longing and longing. Now that we finally made the decision, I feel strange.  Like I’ve changed my mind.  But we will get a better life, and Kathy and I can be friends again.  I hope her dog, Sarge, and Milton will get along.  I would preferably like to go to Balmoral.

I hope it goes well for Milton on the plane.  Poor thing.  I will never abandon him, like we did with Tippy.  Poor Tippy.  Today, I rode my bike with Milton.  Kari rode by and rang his bell.  Totally unexpected.  I am so glad.  Fredrik is alone at home in the morning.  Poor thing.

June 17

Steven D.

Maud writes:

Today I am visiting you again.  We left a little note for a certain someone.  Hmmm…  When we were heading into the city, a Mercedes full of Middle Eastern men honked at us.  Help!  We went home again.  But now we are going to do pantomimes.  Bye bye – Maud

I did it.  I wrote a letter to Steven.  I put it in his mailbox a few hours ago.  But it wasn’t as romantic as I would have liked it to be.  If it had been, he probably would have thought I was nuts.  Wonder if he has found it.  What if his brother, Thomas, reads it first?  Darn it.  He can’t do that.  Steven maybe even won’t get a chance to read it.  He is leaving tomorrow.  I told Maud about the letter.  We rode to Skimmelvägen 2 and put it in his mailbox.

Maud and I were going to go to the craft store but didn’t have time.  Fredrik has a little hot rod bike.  It’s great.  Tomorrow we are heading to the summerhouse.

I didn’t get a hug from Steven after all.  Pity.


Yes, we are going to move.

We have finally made the decision.  Dad says we will give it all we’ve got when we make this move work.  Dad is going to get a big car.  Mom is getting a little car.  Even Anders is getting a car.  I hope Majlis comes with us to Canada.  She is so nice.  You feel good when you are with her.

I wonder if Steven had time to read the letter.  I hope so.  I hope he didn’t leave on Saturday, but waited till Monday.  I came up with the right time to hug him.  It should have when he knocked on the window after the party.  Why do I have to come up with that so late?

I dreamt about Steven last night.  The whole class was at the summerhouse.  I was going to head home.  It kind of looked like the actual summerhouse.  When I was leaving, I stood on a chair to call Anders.  Anders arrived and he and Steven shook hands.  Then Steven pulled me into him.  In front of everyone.  He whispered in my ear.  My throat swelled up with tears.  What a dream.  If only it were true.

[Years later, in 1984, I ran into Steven in Stockholm.  He HAD read the letter.  He saw us put it in the mailbox, as he was right down the street at the time.  He had run after me, and was going to give me a hug, but Maud and I were riding away so fast, probably in a cloud of dust and giggles- we didn’t hear him calling after us!  He was a UN peacekeeper in 1984 and much shorter than I remembered.  And I was the bold one this time- hugging him and admitting all my follies and shyness]

The summerhouse is so nice.  But it would be nice if it had electricity.  Then it would be easier to stay here longer.  It’s hard coming here late at night and to have to find candles, light lanterns, and get water from the well.  And the outhouse is so far away.  But I love the summerhouse and now we have sold her.  It’s so sad to think that others will be living here.  We have had her for so long.  But now we must leave.  The lake, the forest, the moose.  Goodbye beautiful summerhouse.  You have given me so many beautiful memories.  I hope to return one day.  Goodbye.

June 20

Today at ballet, Ann Parson helped me a lot and talked to me.  She said “good girl” when she showed positioning.  It is so fun to dance for her. She talks to us as equals- like we are real dancers.  With steady jobs.  We dancers…  When we stand on stage…  We are artists…  We make images of that we are not…  (e.g. To fly)  In the studio she says- downstage and upstage.  She is fantastic.  She curtsies so beautifully at the end of the class. Pauleena, who tried in to the Opera Ballet at the same time as me, is also in the summer course.  She was accepted on a 6-week trial at the Opera Ballet.

I want to buy the film of our ballet year-end but I don’t really dare to ask Mom, as it is quite expensive.  Fredrik borrowed 20 kronor from Charlie, his classmate, last year.  Today Charlie wants it back.  Poor Fredrik.  He hadn’t dared to tell Mom all year that he had borrowed the money.  But he got the money from her now.  Now it sounds like I have strict parents.  Not in the least.  They are the world’s nicest.

I got a letter from the elderly lady on the Paris bus trip.  She sent along a handmade tablecloth she had made.  Wonderful!  We have a lampshade that is similar.  I will paint her a little painting.

June 21

I got a long letter from Kathy. We are already best friends.  Someone I can be with 100% of the time.  Ann Parson said “good girl” the whole day today, and people asked if I am with the Opera Ballet.

I just called Mom.  Grandpa (Morfar) died this morning.  I can’t believe that.  Maybe it’s for the best.  He had terrible asthma and his bones are, I mean were (gulp), very stiff and painful.  And since we are moving, he won’t have to miss us.  Goodbye Morfar.  I hope you will be happy in heaven.  I believe in heaven.  I always have.

June 23

Forgot to write yesterday.  Just a second- I just have to put on my pajamas- there, now I am done.  Sorry.  I still haven’t explained our issue with Middle Eastern young men (not women).  Maud and I call them “Black Ands.”  First we called them bad spirits- “onda andar.” Then we called them “black spirits.”  And we mixed it together to “black ands.”  We don’t hate them, but they creep us out terribly.  Yes, I sound racist.  I can’t judge everyone for the actions of a few.  But every young Assyrian man we have met behaves that way.  Stares, tags along after you, and acts creepy.  Teases us, etc.  They say Sweden should be kind to them, but what are they doing to us?  Two of them followed Maud and Marie.  They grabbed the girls and picked them up in the air.  Blah!

I went to ballet today and rode the train with Majlis.  Anders had written her a letter that I had to deliver.  And she wrote a letter back that I had to give to him.

I was at Maud’s today.  Hard.  It was hot.  I was tired after ballet.  Maud wanted to go to the city.  I didn’t dare to say that I was too tired.  I got such a headache.  It was so hot.  She didn’t find anything.  Useless trip.  She easily loses her temper.  But I LOVE her.

June 25

We celebrated Midsummer yesterday.  The whole family went to S. (except Anders who was with Majlis).  Milton stayed home because it was too hot.  We ate dinner at O.’s.  B. wasn’t there.  They said he was out for a walk.

After dinner, we headed to a park but we were late as usual.  They had already raised the May Pole.  We went to Gamla Stan.  We went to Stor Torget and the market.  But the market was closed.  So we did a lot of walking this Midsummer.

When we got home to the O.’s, B. was home.  He was acting strangely.  He seemed drunk.  T. told us that B. comes home late at night, drunk.  I noticed B. was drunk.  Poor T., S. and N.  He walked around talking gibberish about flowers etc.  Poor Mom and S.  It must be embarrassing.  He doesn’t seem to consider the family.  I was scared.  Dad held my hand and squeezed it, and told me not to be scared.  I felt safe.

I feel ashamed and sad.  My [ ] has a drinking problem. Fredrik asked me privately later if B. was going with us to Skärgården.  I said no.  I have never seen Fredrik so relieved.  I think it is so terrible.  I will try not to go to O.’s place for a while.  That sounds insane.  They are my [ ] after all.  I don’t dare face it.  It has made such a big impact on me that I will never forget.

We were at Malmsjö Badet yesterday.  That’s when I found out that Fredrik also thinks that Middle Eastern men are creepy.  I told him that Maud and I call them “black ands.”  He started using the term too.

Today Majlis was here for dinner.  When I was supposed to get her and Anders to let them know dinner was ready, I heard kiss-kiss from behind closed doors.  So I didn’t dare to disturb.  Tomorrow is ballet.

June 28

Today I asked Ann Parson if she knows of any good dance schools in Vancouver.  She is going to give me her address in New York.  That way she can ask her friends in New York if they know.  I also talked to Lillemor.

I feel like Anders did last year.  That Mom and Dad think I am lazy.  They say, “What are we supposed to do?  Be home, so we can drive you somewhere?”  I don’t know how to explain it to them.  I am tired.  The weather is bad.  It doesn’t feel like summer holidays.  Then they would sigh over me even more.  I don’t dare to tell them that I am tired of coming home and cleaning up after Fredrik, and nag him, clean his room, and pick up after Anders and Fredrik.  Can’t they do it themselves?  I want to have more time to go for walks with Milton, and to paint.  Even if the weather is bad.  Then I would have more energy.  I want to communicate this.  When mom comes home, and I am lying down, relaxing after dance class and cleaning up after the boys, she says, “You seem so lazy.  You should walk Milton while you are off school.”  Now that Anders isn’t depressed anymore, I don’t want to act all depressed.  Fredrik is so darn lazy.  He always has to be contrary.  I have to put up with it.  I want everyone to be happy.  I don’t want to be lazy.  I want to work hard in school.  Have high marks.  Dance a lot.  A lot of ballet.

June 30

Now everything is good again!  I told Mom that it is hard work to pick up after Fredrik and Anders and she had a talk with them, and things are better.  I was grumpy because I had PMS.  It’s ridiculous that you get grumpy just because of that.  Oh well.  Can’t help it.

Today I took an extra class with Ann Parson- en pointe.  Only adults are in the class.  But I will attend anyway.  I have to get faster and get better balance.  I watched the advanced group.  I fell in love with a girl in the class.  She seems very shy.  She has gorgeous long legs and beautiful arms.  I think my legs are too short.  And I am bow-legged.  It drives me crazy.  And I have a bad balance and I have to be able to hold an extension for longer.  I have to train, train, and train.  Now that ballet is ending, I have to jog.  I want to maintain my fitness level.

I have bought a UCLA sweater- yellow with blue letters.  I am going to buy blue jeans and blue ADIDAS shoes.  Very Swedish.  I wonder what it will be like when we head to Canada?  Exciting but scary.  I want to be a ballerina so badly once I am over there.  Let my legs be strong.  I, I, I… want, want, want, so much.

Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 5 May (age 15): Paris

May 14

Our trip to Paris:

Södertälje to Helsingborg

The Helsingborgs hotel is called “Stads Motell.”  There are many TV’s outside of the room and one inside the room.  We are traveling (Mom, me, Aunt Siv and cousin Gunilla) together on a bus trip. Our room number: 109.  Orwald’s: 108.  We have a colour TV.  We bought food from a convenience store and ate in our room.  I watched Nadia Comaneci.  She didn’t win.  The bus trip to Helsingborg was really long.  I saw a windmill.  

May 15

In the bus in front of us, there is a man who looks like Hitchcock.  We are having a great time.  Dad came home today.  Too bad we missed him.

Helsingborg to Helsingör to Köpenhamn to Germany to Arnhem-Velp Crest Hotel.

Bought souvenirs. Expensive souvenirs: wind mills, cigar for Dad, stickers, small wooden shoe ship for Fredrik, Dutch cookie jar for mom.  German mouse and pincushion for me.  Stole a small stainless steel creamer from a German restaurant because of the rude service.  Watched German TV.  Didn’t understand a thing.  4 channels. Drove by a concentration camp in Holland.

We were on the ferry for an hour.  A lot of people and a nice restaurant.  Had ground beef patties.  Excellent!

Old lady by herself on the bus.  Really cute.  She always wears blue and buys postcards all the time.

Nilla and I have nicknames for everyone on the bus:


Dandruff Man

The Old Lady

The Lady with the red-blue glasses

She with the Bun

The Owl

The Chauffeur

The Leader

May 16

Holland to Brussels

Unknown soldiers grave.  Nuclear power plants.  The central square in Brussels.  The peeing boy.  The restaurant, the chicken, pineapple.  NATO headquarters.  Comic of Mickey Mouse- in French.

To Paris

Sightseeing Paris by night.  Consulate restaurant.  Singer.  Bought a record.  Eiffel Tower.  Arc de Triumphe. Tasted wine in Montmartre.  Gross!  Church.  Dark.  And cold. View over Paris.  Gorgeous.  Fountain by the Eiffel Tower.  Sacre Coeur.  The Consulate.  Got a red ribbon.  She with the Bun got a little drunk.  Started to sing and waltz.

May 17

Sightseeing Paris by day.  Winery.  Madeline Church. Caves St. Michelle.  Place de la Concorde.  Eiffel Tower.  Notre Dame.  Rennes Saint Placide.  Rue de Rennes.  Notre Dame.  So beautiful.  Restaurant.  Vegetables.  Schnitzel.  Winery.  Dome of the Invalid.  Wine did not taste good.  It stung the nose.  Perfume store.  Bought Marie Antoinette doll.  Bought wine and baguettes for the hotel room.  Wrote 9 postcards.  Dogs run loose.  Worries me.  Looked at dance shops.  Bought a ballet leotard.  With skirt.  I am having a good time.  Mom too.  I am so glad for that.

May 18

Louvre 10 AM.  Ate at a wonderful restaurant.  So nice.  Saw the Mona Lisa.  It has been stolen 3 times.  Guarded now with marble, glass, alarm and guard.  People were sketching from the masters.  People from art schools.  The Venus de Milo.  So beautiful.  One sculpture without head.  Wings.  Didn’t get to see Degas.  But mom, sweet mom, bought me a little copy- La Classe de Danse.  Mom also bought a little painting for herself.  I bought a Mona Lisa card.  Will sketch her.  Trip on the Sens. Bought light blue dress.  109 francs.  Got 9 francs off.  The boat.  Under 26 bridges.  Bought a key chain.  The guide spoke a weird combo of Swedish and English.  Ate French Fries and baguettes in the room.

Mom and I at Hotel Migny in Paris.

The Old Lady: she is so cute.  On May 17, she took the subway all by herself and had a great time.  Everyone offered help.  Meanwhile, the four of us walked hand in hand and didn’t dare to do a thing.  She is so energetic.  She runs and skips and is interested in everything.  I want to be like that when I grow old. 

May 19

Versailles 9 AM.  Drove through the Bois de Boulogne to Versailles Castle.  Very large and many, many people.  Lovely but each room is pretty much the same.  Big garden.  Several kilometers.  Forgot to go up the Eiffel Tower but did visit there.  Shopped for the rest of the day.  Very tiring.  Bought a wallet, necklace.  Went on the subway.  Easy to find your way around.  Strange machines that suck up the tickets.  Long tunnels underground.  No drunk old men.  Went to a bar and drank Pepsi.  Paris’ most famous café.  Very hot.  Ate baguettes and drank juice.  I ordered wine on my own.

May 20

Started the morning with breakfast.  Tired of baguettes.  Traveled to Champagne wineries.  Stopped at Mercier Champagne makers.  Rode a train through the underground vaults.  Got to taste.  Not very good.  Burns the stomach.  Got an inflatable Champagne bottle.  Traveled to Reims.  Stopped and looked at France’s largest cathedral.  Bought post cards.  Then traveled towards Belgium.  The bus planned on making it to a gas station in Belgium where it is cheaper to buy gas.  Didn’t make it.  Sat in the bus 8 HOURS!  The pump was broken.  People from the local town came and picked us up and drove us to Grand Hotel.  No bath.  Haven’t had a bath in 5 days.

May 21

Went for a walk in the village.  Cute small streets.  The bus arrived at 7 AM.  We thought it was leaving at 10 AM and we didn’t get a wake up call.  So we got ready in a hurry.  Björn said we were going to try to make it to Helsingborg tonight.  But everyone protested.  Everyone was too tired.  So he arranged for a hotel.  Gorgeous.  With bath, kitchen, sofa, balcony, all the fixings.  And a view over the ocean.  But we just had it for one night.  Before that we traveled through Hamburg.  I like Paris better.  Hamburg is modern with lots of nightlife. All the men on the bus went into one of those clubs… you know the kind.  A couple of men in the city started whistling and yelling after us.  We hurried along.

May 22

Today I bought two small cat figures at a rail station in Hamburg.  We woke up before wake up call this morning.  A lot easier after having had a bath.  Our beds folded down from the wall like a Barbie house.  Ate breakfast.  The bus didn’t start!  I thought we would be here one more night.  But they worked on it and we made it to the ferry.  Just in time.  Bought Dutch licorice.  One to Nilla, Tomme, Aija, Eva, Fredrik, Anders and me.  Really good.  But you get thirsty.  Now we are traveling to Denmark.  The trip is almost over.  It will be nice to get home.  Thought we’d never make it.  But we got home at 11:30.  So nice.  Milton.  Cute Milton was happier than ever.

What I bought on the Paris trip:

Marie Antoinette Doll

Belgian Doll

Two cats

Eiffel Tower

German mouse

Key chain



Mona Lisa post card



Ballet leotard

French magazine

German magazine

Inflatable champagne bottle

May 23

Stayed home today.  Sore throat and tired.  Presents from Dad from his trip to Canada: Nadia sweatshirt.  Rudolf Nureyev book.  Canada sweater.  Ludwig Coloring Book.  Like a dream.  The Nureyev book is as thick as a mountain.

The Nadia sweatshirt is beautiful.  If I had three wishes- they would be:

1. To be as good as Nadia in all events. 

2. To be a ballerina.

3. [I forgot to write a third wish]

I feel sorry for Nadia.  She lost and was also disqualified when she went out of bounds.  Romania and Soviets always competing.  The power ruins everything.  Nadia, I wish I were a perfect ballerina.

May 27

I have sent Steven a card.  He and I talk more often now.  I actually sat with him on the bus on the way home.  We talked a lot and I waited for him to get his bike and he rode slowly while I walked beside him.  And he waved at me when Marianne, Catharina and I were walking home from town.  And in PE he watched my belly as I did arm lifts.  And he asks me all the time about America and schools and such.  He says he may visit me because he is going to USA to play basketball and study.  He is really nice.  I have also started talking to Mikael Andersson and Per-Arne.  And I can speak up in class without feeling stupid.

The whole class went camping.  They will be biking and camping for 4 days.  I wanted to but not.  I don’t dare even though I am not so scared anymore.  Ballet prevents me from going, which I am very proud of.  I think I am supposed to go to school but Mom says I may as well stay home.  I am going to train.  Ride to the lake with Milton.  Ballet.  Suntan.  I hope the weather will be sunny.  I have drawn a large poster for school, which I can paint during the week.  I will write letters and choreograph.

We got to borrow room C at Balettakademien.  Eva, Charlotte, Marie, Katarina, Anna, Maud, Anna-Carin and I are in the group.  I have learned character dance.  It is really fun.  I got to borrow a pair of shoes from Eva.  They are wonderful to dance in though they do hurt a bit.  We want to perform for the elderly and for grade 4/5’s.  That will be fun.

We got our Visa for Canada.  Now we have to find a house we like.  I want to find the best ballet school in Vancouver.  And I want to audition for the National Ballet of Canada.  Then maybe I could meet Rudolf.

There is only 2 weeks left of school.  I have survived two years at Rosenborgsskolan.  It was hell.  Milton, ballet, Mom, Dad, Anders and Fredrik have helped me.  I am lucky.  Now that I have only 1 week left with my Grade 9 class, I dare to talk to them.  Typical.  But better late than never!

May 29

Now it is Sunday.  And it is Mother’s day.  But it seems strange.  There has been nothing abut it in the papers.  And just a little in the stores.  Annika was the only one to give Siv a present.  And we were rather mixed up here this morning.  I didn’t know whether I should give Mom the glasses I bought her.  But I did.  And Dad got Mom a brass planter that hangs from the ceiling.  Mom and Dad seem mad at each other.  But I suppose they have the right, as we all get mad from time to time.  Mom visited Grandpa today and he was happy about that.  He can sit up in his chair and he likes the physiotherapist.  He seems to be getting better.  I am so glad.  Tomorrow there is a holiday.  Mom and I are going to the castle.  And we will tour the inside.  I hope we visit Grandpa.  Dad and Fredrik will go fishing.

I have written out a schedule for myself about how or what I should eat and when and how to train.  For example, biking, dancing, jogging etc.  I want to be in top form when the school class gets back from camping.  I don’t want them to come back bragging.  I want to be suntanned and I want to stop biting my nails.  I have made a whole binder of the Paris trip.  I want to start taking photos with my camera.  I want to go up the mountain with Maud and take pictures of us as angels.  I want to start dancing more than classical ballet now.  It is fun to discover new things.  Shirley MacClaine is going back to corps (gypsy) dancing.  She considers it the most fun.

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

This post is dedicated to my friend, Julia Kozlov, who embodies my love of all that is Russian- dance, literature, poetry, art…

Photo by Conrad Brown

Here is Julia in Grade 4:

From Julia re the 1977 diary:

I have greatly enjoyed reading your diary entries – what a beautiful youth you had – just as beautiful as your adulthood. I didn’t know you were Swedish and lived in Stockholm – amazing. Such great culture in Sweden and they sure are strict about their artistic schools! Anyway – amazing diary entries…