Duolingo

While on vacation in the UK, my brother who lives there, told us about the app/website Duolingo, which he’s using to refresh his French. Me and my daughter Alma downloaded the app, and I got started on German, and Alma on Spanish. We were hooked.

Then we came home, and my son was so eager to download the app onto the kids IPad that we barely got the luggage inside the front door before he had the IPad in hand, demanding help.

He started off with Italian, and man, it’s amazing to see. He asked me if I’d help him, and while I told him the truth that his Italian surely was way better than mine after a day with the language course, he crawled up beside me in the sofa. And while I couldn’t actually help him in any way, I could provide some moral support and also get totally amazed.

20140731-225836-82716075.jpg

20140731-225836-82716374.jpg

Then today he decided he wanted to learn German instead (after telling me and his father that he want’s to go to Germany for the fall break! Last year we did India, this year he want’s Germany.), so he switched language in the app and set off to gather points in the morning. I could hear the German phrases coming from the vicinity of the kitchen table, but then all of a sudden there was some Spanish as well… turns out my husband also got curious enough to download the app and start a Spanish course.

Have to say thanks to my brother for setting us all off on a wild dash for improved language-skills!

Being a glorious day, we all went to the deep sea swimming-place and were away all day, with my sons best friend tagging along as well. But when we got home, guess what happened? My son and his best friend curled up on the sofa, and immediately started to practice their German. AND their English, which is an added bonus!

We’re Swedish but the app works with English as the base language so here were these two 10-year old boys discussing German and English verbs, nouns, spelling, grammar, scoring points as they went along.

Absolutely fascinating to witness – talk about there being a lot of joy in learning! Or rather, there sure can be a lot of joy in learning. And that’s the way it should be, in my view. Do you agree or disagree with that?

Crawl

My daughter Alma taught me to crawl a few summers ago. I’ve always lived being in (and mostly under) water, but just never got the hang of the breathing part of crawling. Hence I managed one maybe two breaths before I sort of drowned.

But then Alma taught me and since then I’ve been practicing more and more. I remember in the beginning when I first swam in a 50 meter long indoor pool. That was a stretch, just managing even one length of that was almost more than I could manage. Because while I no longer ‘drowned’ my breathing and crawling technique was far from perfect and I got so tired so quickly.

But I persevered. Did 25 me a h of breast stroke x 2, back stroke, crawl. Repeat x 10. Then slowly the percentage of crawl increased and since at least 2 years I’ve been able to do a full kilometer of crawl. It’s great because I avoid the crick in my neck that breast stroke give me.

20140729-160901-58141705.jpg

Just did one km at Segevångsbadet in Malmö, a nice slow swim to get some relief from the almost tropical heat of southern Sweden. All the while my son and his best friend were having fun jumping in the pool. Summer at its best!

20140729-161004-58204782.jpg

Strange world

Sitting at Stansted Airport waiting for a delayed flight, headed for Copenhagen. Have spent a lovely week in England, mainly in Ely and the Peak District, both of which I definitely recommend.

But airports sure are strange worlds… They remind me of huge ant hills, or bee hives. People going in hordes along specific routes, stressed out, carrying so much luggage. Some eager, perhaps going for a holiday. Some travel-weary and homeward bound. Some have family and friends to travel with, others might be leaving them behind, or are headed for a longed after reunion.

20140728-154913-56953642.jpg

The noise and constant movement here is a stress to my system, I can feel myself gearing up internally, trying to cope with it all. Kids screaming, people talking, walking, running to catch a flight…

Our flight is even more delayed and I vow to myself to go with the flow of it. That’s the only sensible thing to do, and it will be most beneficial for me. We’ll all get home, sooner or later. In due time.

But it sure is a strange world, isn’t it?

All of me

A hauntingly beautiful song by John Legend that enforces my promise to myself to be me all the way, giving myself and the world all of me:

 

 

”All Of Me”

[Verse 1:]
What would I do without your smart mouth?
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
You’ve got my head spinning, no kidding, I can’t pin you down
What’s going on in that beautiful mind
I’m on your magical mystery ride
And I’m so dizzy, don’t know what hit me, but I’ll be alright

[Pre-Chorus:]
My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

[Chorus:]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

[Verse 2:]
How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every mood
You’re my downfall, you’re my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can’t stop singing, it’s ringing, in my head for you

[Pre-Chorus:]
My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

[Chorus:]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

[Bridge:]
Give me all of you
Cards on the table, we’re both showing hearts
Risking it all, though it’s hard

[Chorus:]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

Namnändelsen A

20140710-103609-38169662.jpgLigger på britsen hos sjukgymnasten och blir (aku)punkterad. 20 minuter av stilla tid, med mobilen i tryggt förvar på besöksstolen ett par meter bort. Ganska skönt har jag insett. Perfekt sätt att varva ner. Och att låta tankarna flyga helt fritt. Denna gången landade de i namnändelsen A. Låg och funderade över alla flicknamn som slutar på A. Helena. Alma. Gunilla. Stina. Katja. Maria. Laila. Eva. Sara. Annika. Finns så många exempel. Sen började jag fundera över pojknamn som slutar på A. Och kom bara på ett enda namn. Ola. Hjärnan spann igenom namn på namn, men jag hittade inget annat exempel än Ola.

Anders
Benjamin
Carl
David
Emil
Fredrik
Göran
Hans
Ivar
Jonatan
Klas
Lars
Måns
Niklas
Ola
Peter
Quintus
Rasmus
Sture
Tomas
Ulf
Vidar
Wilhelm
Xerxes
Yngve
Zlatan
Åke
Ä???
Örjan

Att jag inte kommer på något pojknamn som börjar på Ä, det är väl lite underligt det med. Visst måste det finnas ett sånt också? Men baske mig om jag kommer på ett endaste pojknamn till som slutar på A. Nog måtte det väl finnas?

Börjar fundera över namn som både pojkar och flickor kan ha, men Maria är för mig ett flicknamn. Men nu kom jag på ett till namn. Noa finns ju också! Men inte kan det väl vara så att det endast finns två namn? Jag utmanar dig att motbevisa min bristande pojknamn-som-slutar-på-a-kunskap. Jag utlovar en gåva till alla som skriver in ett (nytt) pojknamn som slutar på A i kommentarerna nedan! Ola och Noa är de två jag kommit på hittills. Vilka fler finns?