Wednesday, 20 February 2013

I just can’t wait to be king

Last weekend we had a fantastic time. Not only did we get lovely weather in Manchester (no rain at all!) but we also had a visit from my sister and her new(ish) husband. We had arranged this visit months ago when we bought tickets to go and see the super smash hit musical the Lion King at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. When buying the tickets last summer it felt like the day would never come. At first I wasn't that bothered about going to see the Lion King, as it was never one of my favourite Disney films (FYI, Aladdin is my favourite). But, having seen the musical version of Beauty and the Beast a few years ago, which is still one of the best shows I have ever seen, I thought I would give it a try. I wasn't disappointed!

The whole show from start to finish was completely magical. The way they had translated the animals into a combination of both puppets and humans was fantastic. Their eye for detail and the amount of animals featured in the starting scene was absolutely incredible. It's easy to see why it has become so popular. I would have to say the puppets and costumes were my favourite element of the show. However, the fact that I wasn't a huge fan of the film really added to the whole experience. I hadn't seen the film since I was little so found myself on the edge of my seat (not remembering the story and what was going to happen next). More importantly, during the bits that I could remember, I couldn't have dreamed up how they could possible recreate it for a live stage show, but they did it successfully in every scene. I would highly recommend it to everyone. I will certainly be going to see it again when it comes back to Manchester. I was unable to take any photographs during the show for fear of being strongly told off/chucked out of the theatre, but here is a Youtube video which shows how fantastic it is, much better than I could write about it. Enjoy!

Sunday, 10 February 2013


Since September I have been studying towards a Masters in Digital Library Science from the University of Borås. As part of the course I have to go to a study week once a year in Borås. Last week was my first time there so I thought I would write a post about some of the bits of my week that don't involve boring library things that no-one wants to read about.

Borås is a small town that used to be where a lot of the Swedish textile industry was based. It is around an hour by bus from Göteborg. One of the Swedish students on my course reckons that Borås is known for being one of the most boring towns in Sweden, so hold on to your hats, this blog post is going to be absolutely thrilling.

There are loads of sculptures and things around Borås. Some of them are quite nice, some of them are a bit baffling though.

I have no idea who this chap is or what he is doing submerged up to his shoulders in the water. There is also a giant Pinocchio statue in the town somewhere too. The word on the street is that one of the first people to illustrate the book was born somewhere near Borås, but I haven't done any actual research into whether this is true or not.

You might be surprised to learn that Swedish people are incredibly fond of pizza. There are pizza restaurants absolutely everywhere and the Swedes have put their own twist on them. For example, the kebab pizza is a particular Swedish delicacy. I had an amazing kebab pizza from a place called Funky Town and it looked like this:

The swirly stuff on top is Kebabsås, which was incredible. The kebab meat wasn't like the gross donner meat you get over here and actually resembled meat! I am going to try and make one of these at home at some point I think! Other Swedish special pizza toppings include banana and curry and banana and pineapple. Hmm. Not sure about that.

On Shrove Tuesday, while we're tucking into our pancakes, the Swedes are eating semla. Instead of pancake day they have 'Fat Tuesday', and they eat loads of these. A semla is a kind of bun that is flavoured with cardamom and the top scooped out and filled with whipped cream and almond paste. I enjoyed the bun and the cream element, but the almond paste grossed me out a bit. I'm not a particular fan of almond flavoured things, but in paste form it isn't very tasty. It didn't ruin the whole experience for me but I think I might prefer the Finnish version, which has jam in it instead of the almond paste.

One thing I like about Sweden is their very blunt warning signs. When I visited Stockholm I remembered seeing these amazing signs in elevators, warning against the risk of getting killed in a horrifying way if you take a wheelie bin in with you. I also enjoyed this sign warning against thin ice, which looks like some kind of lady of the lake style apparition trying to claw its way out of the water.

I think that is enough low quality images for one blog post! Maybe some time next week I will try and make a Swedish kebabpizza and post the results on here. Talk to me about Sweden! What are your favourite Swedish things?

Hej då!