January 14, 2005

The demise of the stripey socks

Okay I hate to admit it, but that sad day finally has come. My last pair of stripey socks have come to a holey end.

Once upon a time, I boasted the finest selection of long stripey socks the world had ever seen. They were mostly given to me as gifts, and I loved them all dearly. Sadly, moving too much has taken its toll on that wonderland of stripey goodness. The socks have disappeared, maybe one at a time in random washing machines in shared laundries, perhaps left behind in slack last-minute packing efforts, and sometimes (gasp) stolen by my loved ones. Who would have thought such treachery was possible?

I have been replacing them with all black socks, on the premise that all my socks will match. So now I have a drawerful of socks that don't match, but in a much more subtly annoying way.

In other news today, I'm reading my first novel in Swedish. It's a simplified version of a Henning Mankell detective story. "The best Swedish export since flatpack furniture" according to the Guardian. I'm not sure I agree , but I'm enjoying it.

It's the first time for me to experience that reading-for-fun feeling in another language. Do you know the one I mean? Where just for a minute there's another world in your head? A feeling that wasn't there before? It's the strangest feeling to imagine that might be possible for me in Swedish.

To be honest, I had put myself in a box labelled 'not so good with language-learning'. Some people are, y'know, like that person over there who can speak five different languages. Or my dad, who can translate from Latin. But not me.

I didn't realise what I lacked was perserverance. Unfortunately, this applies to my whole life. I've never really been interested in anything if I couldn't become good at it in six months or less.

The other day, one of my teachers gently explained to me that vocabulary acquisition actually takes time. Just time. There is a certain amount that you can force it (okay okay, I admit that I spend most of my day at school with my dictionary in my hand), but the rest of it will only come with usage. Humph.

I'm inspired to actually read a real book (although it might take me months). I've also been meaning to read Pippi Longstocking in Swedish. Pippi Longstocking was my hero when I was little. Not least because she was strong enough to lift her horse over her head. Now Astrid Lindgren is my hero instead. Not only was she writing strong, independent female role models for the kiddies of Sweden, she was also an animal rights activist, *and* she wrote a book about a child sticking a pea up her nose. Goddamn, I hope I grow up to be that cool some day. ;)

PS. Just in case you're thinking, doesn't she know how to spell ' stripy'? I like this way better.

Posted by eithne at January 14, 2005 03:08 PM | TrackBack