Hear the Silence

helenjul2

Yes, I am still alive. My internet, however, is not.

I would have loved to inform you about how our first Lucia concert went and how I stood at the Swedish Church’s Christmas Market for hours selling Nordic-Talker-devotional-objects to Germans. (What is the deal with the German obsession with elks? Because you can hardly call that love anymore, it is real obsession. They don’t want to buy reindeer ornaments; it must absolutely be an elk.) The masses of people coming towards me to my sales table were a never-ending flow. 25 000 people come through our little church on the Christmas Market weekends. Twenty-five-thousand!

 

The church basement has turned into an ICA...

The church basement has turned into an ICA…

People EVERYWHERE, sense of expectation hanging in the air. (Get the ABBA quote?)

People EVERYWHERE, sense of expectation hanging in the air. (Get the ABBA quote?)

If my internet was working, maybe I would even have found the time to tell you about how I went to a non-Swedish-café! But alas, my internet ceased to function on Friday and my incompetent service provider Tele2 (never sign a contract with them regardless of how much you love Frank the sheep!) cannot tell me when it will work again. “Are we talking hours, days or weeks?” I inquired. “I cannot tell you”, the hotline guy replied. Seriously?!

Now I am also drowning in work and have to go to the dentist so you will just have to, hmm, read Ingrid’s blog and watch my activities on television. The NDR, North Germany’s biggest broadcasting station, attended both of our concerts (!) and aired one report already, another one (where you should actually see me, too) is to follow on November 28th at 6.15 pm – mark your calendars!

Hör tystnaden (Hear the silence) is one of my favorite Luciasongs. We don’t sing it, but I thought it was an appropriate title given the blog silence.

I sell elks and Dala horses even to underage Germans. My apron and the Dala horse brooch that I got from Andrea give me Swedish authority.

I have no remorse: I sell elks and Dala horses even to underage Germans. My apron and the Dala horse brooch that I got from Andrea give me Swedish authority.

Helen wants a farmer

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You know the show “Bauer sucht Frau”/”Bonder söker fru”/Farmer wants a wife”? Today, I reenacted this tv programme in one way or another and titled my work day, “Helen wants a farmer”, or maybe rather, Helen hunts journalists specialised in farming. Together with my coworker, I was at a huge fair for agriculture in Hanover for a client. Everytime I do jobs like that I am surprised how standing and talking can be so extremely exhausting. My coworker informed me that 5 hours of standing up is like an hour of jogging. That explains a lot.

We completed a quite successful day on which I, apart from doing my job, also met calves, saw the creme de la creme of agri-business (for once it was useful to have grown up next to companies like Big Dutchman and Grimme) and learned that farmers with checked shirts can be categorized as follows: the larger the squares, the less hectar he owns. That is why I paid more attention to the farmers with the smallest squares on their bodies.

There were also amazingly many children there as well as quite some teenagers. I suppose they are all heirs to large farms? My coworker and I had considered staying late to attend the “Young Farmers’ Party” to find above mentoned farmers network more for our client, but we decided against it after all: Tomorrow is not only a regular work day but also the first Lucia appearance of my choir!

Lucia times

This week, we started singing Lucia songs in the choir. You might think it is early to start singing Christmas songs (Lucia is an advent tradition), but really it is only four weeks to our first concert.

I really like the Lucia tradition. Last year I made it to six concerts in 40 hours. The Swedish choir in Hamburg sings Lucia every year so many choir singers are very experienced with the songs. When our choir leader asked us to start off with “Sankta Lucia”, we all sang along and suddenly, I got such an extreme Christmas feeling that I started looking for snow to fall outside. (And right now, sometimes, temperatures still range at 20 degrees!) Music and certain songs always put me right back to the time they belong in. When I hear Värmlandsvisan, pictures of Spring Ball 2013 pop up in my head, when someone plays Händerna mot himlen, I am back on my way to work in Stockholm 2012. And “Nur noch kurz die Welt retten” puts me back into my Bremen apartment.

We are singing seven Lucia concerts during two weekends. Yesterday, our choir leader said IKEA had asked if we could sing two more at their store on the day we already sing three concerts in the church. I said I’m in. Because it is my mission in life to bring Lucia to everyone! 😉

Do you want to come? I think you should:

I want to you come for your own sake because you need to experience this.

I want to you come for your own sake because you need to experience this.