Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Are you sure you want to learn...

When I saw this on Twitter (I'm a fan of Itchy Feet), I was like, oh gosh, that's so what I'm getting when I tell people I'm learning Swedish.

I was flying Finnair just a week ago returning from Sweden to Singapore. Every time the Finnish announcements came on, I was so happy. It's such a beautiful language. I thought, there and then, I wanted to learn Finnish. I have this fascination with every language I encountered. I can't wait for the moment when I'm rich enough to retire and just spend the rest of my days focusing on learning languages until the day I die. Meanwhile while I'm still relatively poor, I'll continue with my current linguistic pursuits...

Here's another super cute one:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mapping Experiences, by Jim Kalbach

As a program manager, I'm obsessed with two things: thinking and processes. And then I found this book, Mapping Experiences, by Jim Kalbach.

This book is about possibilities and I'm super excited how it'll help me expand my thinking.

Although I'm not a designer or a product manager or a brand manager or a marketing specialist, this book is very appealing to me because it's about diagrams. Diagrams, as we know, are key tools that span fields of practice such as customer experience (CX) management, service design, or user experience (UX) design. This book, as explained by Kalbach, is about a process of mapping that is independent of specific fields. Perfect!

Reading across different disciplines has always been something I love doing, because it gives me the satisfaction of seeing things in a new perspective or adopting a new approach towards problem-solving. I'd love to dig right in into this book and see how I can apply it in my work and also my personal projects, especially in languages.Who knows, one day, I may even work with a team of designers or UX/CX managers!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Super Quick Post-Holiday Updates

After I returned from Sweden from the year-end holidays, I've done several things that have caused a little bit of problem back home in Singapore. One of them is my Internet connectivity. While still in Sweden, I've bravely canceled my home broadband subscription thinking that my new 'unlimited' mobile data plan will kick in nicely.

So that brings me to the second thing that has caused a little bit of a problem when I got home in Singapore: I ported from Starhub to Singtel, but what could go wrong with that, right? Turns out that something could always go wrong. My Starhub line was a prepaid, so Singtel couldn't port it over.

So now that I'm home in the sunny (and rainy) Singapore, I didn't have home Internet connection and I didn't have the unlimited data plan either. Four days later this problem was solved.

I had been so caught up with a three-day intensive workshop of something HUGE at work, I didn't have time to even think about Swedish, except for making sure I didn't lose my Duolingo daily streak. I have not lost my streak, thank God.

All my (new year) stars are finally aligned once again.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

My Daily Reading Goal with A Little Mouse Named Kalle Mus

One of the items on my weekly goal for learning Swedish is daily reading. At my level of proficiency, I have selected a fun children's book titled 365 korta godnattsagor för hela året (365 Short Bedtime Stories for the Whole Year). I bought the book at Akademibokhandeln, my favorite bookshop in Sweden!

I'll be hanging out with Kalle (the mouse), Hoppsan (the rabbit), Plums (the frog) and Mulle (the mole) for a whole year from 1st January to 31st December. They are four friends who are always having fun together and I'm excited to be following them on their daily adventures!

In addition to the wonderful little guys, there also many interesting and crazy adults who live in the small village of the forest. Check out borgmästare (Mayor) Uggla who is nuts about buns, Ida Igelkott the champion baker, Herr Knapps the tailor, and many more.

I ended 2017 with Kalle Mus and his friends, and start from the beginning on 1 January 2018. Happy reading!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Åh, nej! No more pages left!

I ran out of pages on my Simon's Cat notebook and had to deploy the spreadsheet. MS Excel to the rescue! Thank you, Microsoft.

Click on the image to enlarge.

I think I must be dreaming when I wrote the date on my notebook... (see tweet below)

Finally, I have new stock of notebooks coming soon and this time I'm trying the Five Star Advance Spiral Notebook. I've heard so many good things about the Five Star range and I can't wait to try them!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Book Review: Spring fort, Pytte! by Ingrid Flygare

Today, I've finished reading Spring fort, Pytte! by Ingrid Flygare. Three days ago, I've read Du är bäst, Pytte! also by the same author. Both books were borrowed from the Huskvarna bibliotek.

Spring fort, Pytte! (Run fast, Pytte!) is a story about being the smallest and overcoming fear. Pytte is a 4-year-old Shetland pony. He lives at the Granbacken stable with three other horses named Sonja, Jumper, and Attila. They are very supportive of each other and have so much fun together.

In this story, to save his friend, Pytte has to brave the dark and scary forest to get to the veterinarian who is on the other side of their Granbacken stable. One of the horses, Jumper, has eaten some bad hay and is experiencing colic. None of the humans are around so the horses are now desperate to get help. Being the smallest of the four horses, Pytte is the only who can get out of the paddock.

Pytte the brave little pony volunteers himself and off he goes into the forest. What did Pytte find in there? Did he manage to save Jumper? One must read the book to find out!

The narration of the audio edition by Ida Dåverstam is wonderful! I was listening to the audio edition while flipping through the pages. Ingrid Flygare illustrated the book herself and the pictures are delightful.

Spring, Pytte!
Number of Pages: 32
Readers: 3 to 6 years old

 Here's the previous one that I've read. 
Du är bäst, Pytte!
Number of Pages: 32
Readers: 3 to 6 years old

I heard about the book from Sveriges Radio on the Barnradion channel. I downloaded the audio from Sveriges Radio (they're free!) for all the four books in the series. The other three books in the series are:
1. Du är för liten, Pytte!
2. Du är bäst, Pytte!
3. En ny kompis, Pytte!

Source: Sveriges Radio

Monday, January 01, 2018

Hello 2018!

One of the best ways to start a brand new year is by spreading book love. I received some awesome books from an awesome Swedish friend who can also cook up a storm. SUPER! (I will let the Twitter posts below speak for themselves...)

I wish everyone a very happy (bookish) new year!