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ingebjorg9: (At the Harbour)
Thursday, December 24th, 2015 10:14 pm
 Just in time for Christmas I've finally been able to update my long-running fanfic The Assignment, which I promise I am going to finish soon.  As always, comments are welcome.

Read on FFN

Read on AO3
ingebjorg9: (Default)
Monday, December 21st, 2015 08:22 pm
 Ok, about to get a little personal here.  Also I've blatantly stolen the title from the lyrics of a Faithless track.  Sorry.

I've been kind of absent from online life for a few months now.  Although I doubt many people have noticed, I've noticed.  The last few months have been stressful and difficult and it's been a case of functioning on reduced power emotionally, because I've been feeling depressed and exhausted and there just has not been enough gas in the tank to keep up with everything.  I've missed having the energy and will to go online and read and write about my favourite things.  The fact that I'm back doing it again is a little bit encouraging to me, as it seems I have at least some of my energy back.

Of course, it has been Nordic subjects that have brought me back to my blogs, especially my interest in Wallander.  Henning Mankell's death has been a huge blow – although I never knew him personally, he was one of my few heroes, and was a remarkable person.  We likely would still have had the Nordic noir genre without him, but how would it have looked without his creation Wallander?  In his memory I've started reading the whole series again, and continuing watching the films as I was before my apparent mood disorder interrupted me.  And this is probably where I begin to get back to whatever version of normality I came from.  It's also not the first time.

Fandom was initially an exciting voyage of discovery for me. Wallander introduced me to a new world that I had never considered before, and I was keen to learn as much as possible about my new favourite subject.  Shortly afterwards, however, I entered a difficult, stressful spell in my life, which ended in me uprooting and moving 300-odd miles.  Although it only lasted a few months, while it was going on it felt overwhelming and neverending.  To get through it, I hid myself in books until I had worked my way through most of the Wallander series, several of Henning Mankell's other books, and at least half a dozen other Nordic detective novels including Martin Beck, Van Veeteren and Mari Jungstedt's Inspector Knutas.  I also collected the Wallander DVDs, and watched them, wishing for escape from the interminable rain of Glasgow to the wide open spaces of Skåne (where it also rains rather a lot, I'm told).  Although I've never admitted it before, it wasn't family, friends, faith, my partner or medicine that got me through, it was a group of fictional police detectives from Skåne.

I know that sounds incredibly shallow, but it was either that or nothing, so I clung onto it and came out the other side.  In a crisis, it's really important to have at least one thing that encourages you and makes you feel better.  And yup, I guess for me that's Kurt Wallander.  And I think that not only is this because of how he was written and created by Henning Mankell, but also because of the way Krister Henriksson interprets him on the screen – reassuring, trustworthy, but infinitely human.

So once again I've found myself on a rough road.  This time I've actually asked for help and will be seeing a counsellor to help me work out my difficulties.  I have loving and supportive friends around me, which makes a big difference.  But when I need it, I also have my love of Scandinavian crime fiction to help me escape.  And I have writing.  Without oversharing or bitching too much, maybe writing occasional posts about how life is going might help.

Whatever I end up doing, it's good that with the help of the people and things I love I can actually see some light at the end of the tunnel again.
ingebjorg9: (Krister)
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 12:00 pm
It was late 2009 when I accidentally stumbled across Wallander late one night.  I think it was a Thursday, and I had just got home after another long day at the coal face and was channel surfing, looking for something worth watching until bedtime.  I landed on BBC Four - or it may well have been BBC Two, it's not really important now.  What is important is that I didn't immediately switch away from whatever channel it was.  I stopped and watched, and listened to the dialogue in Swedish, and read the subtitles, and stared at Ola Rapace's face and thought "Mmm..."

Once I got over my initial confusion (Wallander?  Isn't that the thing that Kenneth Branagh's in??) I was really enthralled with what I saw.  The characters were compelling, the scenery was amazing, the Swedish dialogue was enjoyable to listen to and - most importantly - the acting was very, very good.  It was very easy to get hooked, initially on Ola Rapace's portrayal of Stefan, then also on Krister Henriksson as Kurt, Johanna Sällström as Linda, and from there the original Wallander books and some of Henning Mankell's other writings and...  Well, you get the idea.

The major problem, however, was that there was NO fandom.  I went looking for information on the actors and characters (for instance I searched for pictures of Ola, tried to find out what else Krister and Johanna had been in, and searched for filming locations that I recognised from the episodes) and came up with very little in English.  And of course, most of the "Wallander" links and all of the fanfic I came across was for the Branagh version - most of it heavily featuring Tom Hiddleston as "Magnus".  Bleh.

Several years later things have improved somewhat, due to more recognition of Krister's portrayal of Kurt and the general surge of enthusiasm for all things Nordic Noir.  However, Swedish Wallander still remains a tiny fandom, even in comparison with British Wallander - which is still full of breathless fangirling over Tom Hiddleston as "Magnus".  Bleh.  And apart from my own love and enthusiasm for Swedish Wallander, it's this that fuels much of what I post online.  I post the kind of things I would have liked to find when I first started out in fandom, because I want it to be easier for other new fans than it was for me.  I share links and post screencaps, and look for news about Krister and the other actors because something as good as this deserves to be shared and be better known!  And every so often I find another like-minded fan, and then things don't seem quite as lonely :)

So what have I got so far?

Wallander-related posts on Tumblr
My collection of episode screencaps
Vagebond's Movie Screenshot collection (scroll down the list for the first 11 Wallander episodes)

In the Footsteps of Wallander official guide to locations

Wallander fanfic not including "Magnus"

There could be a lot more here, and when I have time I'm going to put together a master list of Wallander-related links. In the meantime, if anyone out there has anything to add, please please please drop me a line!!
ingebjorg9: (The bad dreams all go away with you)
Monday, June 30th, 2014 11:15 pm
I got back from my second trip to Ystad just over a month ago, and have been working my way through the four billion photos I took, as well as catching up with stuff online.  Once again I have to say that Ystad is one of the most ridiculously beautiful places on earth.  Its existence more than makes up for the existence of places like Cumbernauld and Hemel Hempstead.  The more time I spend there, the more I fall in love with it <3


Not only is it pretty, but it has a long and interesting history, lots of very attractive old buildings, and of course the Wallander connection!


Skåne as a whole is just so damn pretty that it's impossible not to fall in love with the place anyway, but if you're familiar with the Wallander books and films you can barely turn a corner or go up a street without seeing something familiar.  For me, this translates into a lot of squeeing, but also a lot of more quiet appreciation.  And even if (heaven forbid!) you ignore the Wallander connection, there is still something deeply magical about Ystad, especially on a summer evening after sunset, when dusk is gathering over the quiet (or sometimes not so quiet), atmospheric streets.  There's a special charm about this place, which still has a night watchman to keep guard over the town every night, and where you'll find some of the most picture-perfect streets in Scandinavia.  There's something inherently loveable about Ystad, and about Skåne.


I miss it so much already, but already have plans to go back(!) and blogging about it on Tumblr is helping with the inevitable Fernweh** that always strikes after a trip like this.  I'm also working on what is going to be a pretty huge post, to create a Wallander fan's guide to Ystad.  Now, I know one of these already exists, thanks to the Ystads Kommun website, but there are quite a few filming locations that it doesn't include that I managed to track down, and I also think it'll be fun to put something together from a fan's perspective :)


* Ystad, my Beloved
** A German word-concept referring to what would pretty much be the opposite of homesickness.  Literally translating to "away ache", it implies a deep and passionate longing to be somewhere far away.  Cue Homer Simpson: "Those Germans have a word for everything!"  (And actually I think they probably do!)
ingebjorg9: (Ola Rapace)
Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 12:34 pm
I updated The Assignment.  Yay!

Read on FFN

Read on AO3
ingebjorg9: (Champ)
Sunday, July 14th, 2013 10:11 pm
In my last post I wrote about how Kurt Wallander is my hero.  However, I have another, real-life, hero, and exactly a week ago today he walked out on Centre Court at Wimbledon and won the men's singles - the first time a British man has done this since 1936.  He is of course Andy Murray.

2012 2013
From tears to triumph: what a difference a year makes

Probably everyone remembers Andy's tears on losing the 2012 final to Roger Federer.  It was a moment that was hard to take, both for Andy and for those watching him, but it was a major turning point.  Up until 2012, the Andy Murray we saw out there on the court still had something of the look of a boy to him: very talented and hardworking, but prone to adolescent moments where he would make mistakes or lose heart.  Since last year's Wimbledon final, all that has changed.  This year it was the man Andy Murray who took to the court.

In every game he played during this year's tournament, he came out looking like he belonged there.  He was determined, he was strong and he never lost heart, even during some difficult games during the second week.  His performance in the final itself was immense, battling against a resilient Novak Djokovic in stiflingly hot conditions.  Even though Djokovic kept coming back at him, Andy outplayed him, displaying the skill, courage and strength of a true champion.

Things I will never get tired of, no.1

There's so much to like and admire about Andy.  As well as having the raw talent to be a great tennis player, he works so hard to maintain his skills and fitness.  He's one of the most determined people I've ever seen, and his coach Ivan Lendl has helped him channel the immense reserves of mental strength and courage that have always been there.  With his big heart and will to succeed he shows what you can achieve, even though life may kick you in the teeth, and this year he was ready for whatever got thrown at him.  As a fellow Scot, but more importantly as a fan, I'm so proud of everything that he's achieved.


Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and that man's name is Andy Murray.
ingebjorg9: (The bad dreams all go away with you)
Sunday, May 19th, 2013 12:27 am
Okay.  This is probably going to sound strange, but hear me out here.  I don't have many heroes, and over the years their already small number has steadily diminished, but when I was thinking about this a couple of months ago it dawned on me.  To the extent that a fictional person can be your hero, Kurt Wallander is mine.

To anyone not familiar with either the Wallander books or the adaptations this probably does sound weird, and would definitely have sounded odd to me four or five years ago.  However, on reading the books and seeing Krister Henriksson's beautifully nuanced portrayal of Wallander, I've come to know and love the character, and to learn a lot from him.  There's a lot to admire about him:

  • Courage - in spite of all the dangers he chooses to face in The Dogs of Riga, he admits that he doesn't consider himself a brave man, and is frequently afraid.  Yet this is surely the definition of true courage: not a lack of fear, but the ability to act in spite of fear, and even though he doesn't seem to realise it Wallander has great reserves of courage.

  • Humanity - he makes mistakes, gets things wrong, annoys or angers people, and yet is still able to do what he does.  There are few duller and more alienating things in fiction than the boring invincible hero, but Wallander is neither boring or invincible, but a very believable human being.  One that we can relate to more, perhaps, than his more eyecatching younger colleagues, and who is able to relate to the people that he deals with in his work.

  • Empathy - The White Lioness and Sidetracked show how very deeply Wallander feels for the people he has to deal with, as do films such as The Darkness and The Cellist, where he does everything he can to help and get justice for the victims.

  • Determination to do the right thing - basically the driving force behind a lot of what he does.  Wallander hates the idea of injustice and will sometimes go to great lengths to get the right person behind bars.  Just ask Louise Selander.

Wallander is, of course, far from perfect, but his flaws and failings make him more relatable, more human.  The fact that he struggles, that he doesn't get everything right, is actually quite comforting in a way.  He may be Sweden's best crimefighting brain, but he's not perfect, and nor is he expected to be.  There's hope for us all, and I only hope that I deal with the challenges in my own life with the same sort of courage and humanity that he shows.

On top of this, though, I just like the guy.  Of all the fictional characters I've ever come across, he's probably the one I like the most, and that counts for an awful lot.  He's so well-written (and portrayed) that sometimes he almost seems real:- in fact, if you go to Ystad he does seem like a very real and important presence there.  And if Ewa-Gun Westford can claim him as her soulmate and best friend, then I can claim him as my hero.  He may be fictional, but he's added more to my life than I could probably put into words here.

Teh awesum

^And frankly, who wouldn't want this awesomeness in their life? :)
ingebjorg9: (The bad dreams all go away with you)
Monday, May 13th, 2013 09:17 pm
I may have posted previously here and on Tumblr (rather profusely) about Krister Henriksson's performance of Doktor Glas in London.  In total, I went to see it three times, including opening night, one evening sometime in the middle of the run, and closing night two days ago.  And I have loved it every time.

Each time I saw it, I was hugely impressed with Krister's acting range and his ability to create different characters with subtlety and sensitivity.  He's magnificent on stage, and has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand.  He's also really good at comedy. Doktor Glas is a pretty dark work, but it nevertheless has a lot of humour in it, and Krister knows exactly how to get a laugh out of the audience at the right time.  He really is a joy to watch, and his voice... if it's possible to fall in love with somebody's voice, then I'm definitely in love with Krister's :)

I'm really going to miss this show, because it's been a joy having it - and its star - in London.  I do hope that it gets another run sometime.  It would also be really great to see Krister in something else in the West End.  I believe he's expressed an interest in King Lear.  Now that would be interesting!  I was also lucky enough to see the Nordic Noir Film Club's screening of the The Troubled Man, at which Krister did a very interesting Q & A session.  It was fascinating to hear what he had to say.  In person he's very funny and charming, and speaks very movingly about Johanna Sällström as well.  Altogether, I think London loved him.  It would be lovely to see more of him in the future!

After the final performance of Doktor Glas, I did the fangirl at the stage door thing again and waited for a final chance to see him.  While a few of us were waiting, watching the Ben Whishaw fangirls waiting at the Coward Theatre opposite, a couple of ladies, who I think were American tourists, passed us.  One asked the other who we were waiting for, so her friend asked me.
"Krister Henriksson," I said.
"Krister Henriksson."
"Kris-ter Hen-riks-son?  Sorry, I've never heard of him.  Or her."
As they walked away I tried not to burst out laughing.  What got me wasn't just the way she pronounced Krister's name like Mr Burns saying "re-cy-cling?" (from the Simpsons The Old Man and the Lisa, very funny episode!) but also the "or her" bit.  I suppose I could have said "Wallander", but I'm not sure they would have heard of him either.  Oh well.

Anyway, I got to meet Krister again.  Definitely worth waiting for (I have to say I would wait all day for Krister!) as once again he was lovely in person.  He spent a long time talking to the people who waited for him and having photos taken, and was just friendly and funny and awesome.  What a guy ♥

I almost never post pictures of myself on the internet, but I couldn't resist this one of me with Krister.  I'm giggling like a loon, which is probably why he's smiling at me :-D

*Happy sigh*
As we Scots say, Haste ye back, Krister! :)
ingebjorg9: (Ola Rapace)
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 10:42 pm
At long, long last I've posted the next chapter of The Assignment, which I have been working on for I don't know how long.

Read on FFN

Read on AO3

I'm also planning on updating my Martin Beck fic in the near future, and just trying harder to get The Assignment finished.  I hate leaving stories hanging for too long!
ingebjorg9: (Kurt Wallander)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 09:35 pm
 I've posted on a couple of comms now, to spread the word about the awesomeness of Wallander!

Pitch on Fandom of One

Fandom pimp on Small Fandoms Fest

And at some point I'm going to get some fanfic written.  If only there were 26 hours in a day!