Here is a pic of me preparing stock for the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar. If you are in Melbourne the first weekend of December, happens every year, do come to the Swedish Church on 21 St George’s Road in Toorak. It is the old Governor’s mansion which was bought by the Swedish Church in 1956. Absolutely exquisite.
(photo Lisa Palm, http://www.svenskakyrkan.se)
I will be there with a lot of other stall holders. Scandinavian food, Danish design, Finnish axes, reindeer hides, Ilse Jacobssen raingear, textiles, clothing, stationary, singing and dancing (!), you name it. Scandinavian Work Wear is usually there too. Handcarved wooden spoons. Norwegian jumpers, kid’s stuff, Sami jewellery. Christmas decorations aplenty. It is a perfect opportunity to do the Christmas shopping, or maybe just come to see the Lucia and her entourage singing. The what? Never mind, just accept it as traditional. Pippi might be there too. The bazaar is always busy, regardless of weather. You can also win amazing things, like maybe a Hurtigruten cruise or a Volvo Supercar package. If you are not in Melbourne, don’t worry. There are similar bazaars happening at Swedish churches all over the world before Christmas, just check it out online.
Sat 4/12 10-5pm
Sun 5/12 10.30-4pm
To properly get into the spirit of the thing, here is a guide to how to be Swedish for the day:
Look as tall as you can, s t r e t c h. Say ”Ja, ja” to anything agreeable (especially when buying my hats, obviously) and ”Nej tack” when you don’t want any more tacks. Kidding, it means No thanks. Never to be used when buying hats, thank-you-very-much. You can also try a jaunty ”Hej!” when you meet people. Inhaling sharply, kind of like a shush in reverse, means you are agreeing and following the conversation. So if you start the conversation with a ”hej”, then inhale sharply whenever it seems to be your turn to say something, then say ”hej” again and leave, I think you might get away with it. Being blonde is not a requirement, many Swedes aren’t. Unless you are a child, in which case your hair is likely to be totally white until you grow up. Wear clogs. You can buy them at the bazaar, in case you have none. You can’t buy these, because they are my old well-worn ones, but you can get a brand new pair.
Eat caviar straight from the tube. Actually, what we call kaviar is a mixture of cod roe, tomato puree and potato mixed up and put in a tube, we have it on sandwiches. Try it. Great with hardboiled eggs, or tomato, or on cottage cheese. Light candles for every meal, breakfast included.
If you have recently come from Sweden, you are likely to be very tanned as Swedes like to sunbathe. You can also tell if someone is a coastal Swede by their reaction to the monkey knot key rings we make. They are made from rope impregnated with Stockholm pine tar, bought from Alvangen Rope Museum outside Gothenburg. Smells divine, and sometimes when coastal Swedes smell them they get a far away dreamy look in their eyes, glazing over, as they are magically transported to happy days at a summerhouse somewhere.