Went to Riga. Came home

I've been going to Riga almost every year since 2016 (pandemic excluded). The first time I hoped for a sense of inherited belonging, that I'd feel at home in my ancestral city. It wasn't without disappointment that I realised that I'm not Latvian, but Swedish-Latvian, and don't belong in Riga, but belong where I create... Continue Reading →

Thursday 05 May, evening. Visit from a traveller

A travelling craftsman is staying in my house while they work at a fair nearby. We share stories in the evenings over food and wine, and discuss the state of the world over tea and chocolate. The traveller is from an Eastern European country which gets headlines in the west for its far-right, pro-Putin ideology,... Continue Reading →

Cambridge for Ukraine

Today I went on a march for peace for and solidarity with Ukraine. It was organised by Ukrainian scholars and members of the public with the intention of raising awareness of the severity of the conflict, and collecting funds for the aid effort. It was a sunny day and felt great to be out. My... Continue Reading →

Tuesday 19 January 2022. Evening

I'm thinking of moving to the coast. It might be remote and isolated from everything and everyone I know, but maybe I'll meet someone. Make a friend. Even if it's just myself. Or the sea. But maybe it's not right, I'm not sure. Sweden is upping its defence presence on the island of Gotland, in... Continue Reading →

Thursday 7 February 2019. Night

There are certain things I know about myself: My surname means branches. My family comes from Latvia, but I was born and raised in Sweden. The family is build up of five brothers, and their families. I want to be a writer. My mother and father love me, and will always be there for me.... Continue Reading →

Unity

The minutes are ticking closer to the vote in the House of Commons on the Withdrawal Agreement for the UK's terms on exiting the European Union, also known as the Brexit vote. The result is already predicted; it's the aftermath of that which will potentially enormous consequences for the people living in these isles, myself... Continue Reading →

Latvia 2018 – Five

18 November 2018. Independence Day The air in Riga is cold this time, I wear winter boots and my breath fogs. But the atmosphere is still warm and celebratory. Just like in July, when I was last here, the small city is busy with people who have come home, back or away to celebrate an... Continue Reading →

Thursday 15 November 2018. Midday

Last night I went to a concert organised by the Latvian Embassy to the United Kingdom, in celebration of Latvia's 100th anniversary as a nation. Six Latvian musicians played pieces by Vītols, Rachmaninov, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Vasks; one Russian, two Germans, and two Latvians. In the interval speech, the representative from the Embassy, dressed in... Continue Reading →

Sunday 4 November 2018. Late morning

My cousin died just over a month after my breakup. I hardly knew her, and she didn't know I was writing about our family, about our origin. She was our grandmother's first grandchild, and the first to follow her into death. My ambition for my book about Latvia was high. I wanted to create something... Continue Reading →

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