You know, turning 31 is considerably less traumatic than turning 30. Going from being a 20-something to 30 felt like such a huge step, but now that it’s done it’s like, well, done. I’m going to assume the next age crisis won’t come until I’m turning 40.

But I have to tell you about my birthday, because it was fantastic!

Markus had told me in advance that he had planned something for the evening, but he wouldn’t tell me what. Up until I left work on Tuesday, I had no idea what we were doing. And I love surprises!

First stop: pub dinner

The Bishop’s Arms is arguably the best pub/restaurant in town, they serve real nice food and have pretty much any beer you can think of, and that’s where we headed for dinner. I had an amazing club sandwich served with french fries, salad, coleslaw and aioli. My stomach is still stuffed…

My birthday 2014 - dinner

Second stop: the great shopping challenge

There was an event in town that night called the “Inspiration Evening”. It was like an indoor faire with a bar, fashion shows, lotteries, and a bunch of other events.

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I’m a big fan of the MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online and spend more time than I’d like to admit playing it. I think I’ve talked about it before.

When it comes to MMORPG’s I’m an altoholic, I love making characters and always end up having a whole bunch of them. Some I play more than others, of course. Like Tallind, the elf Guardian from Lindon:

Imaginary Karni - elf watercolour drawing

Tallind is my main character. Guardians are the tank class of LOTRO, with heavy armour and insane defense. She doesn’t dish out as much damage as Champions and Captains, but on the other hand she’s damn near impossible to kill, and that’s kind of what I like about her. There’s something so satisfying about jumping fearlessly into a horde of enemies and be able to keep them all in check, despite being severely outnumbered.

“Come at me orcs!” :rock:

Imaginary Karin - LOTRO characters drawing

Tallind, Rothryn and Nimmaer.

Rothryn is a woman (human) Hunter from Rohan, which basically means she’s an archer and use a lot of traps and sneaky stuff.

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It seems we only got about 2 months of winter this year… January and February were cold and snowy, just like they should be, but now it’s warm again. It’s been above freezing for over a week, and most of the snow has turned to slush and ice again. This is just wrong.

January 2014

Took this a few weeks ago, on one of the few nice days this winter.

I know I talk about the weather a lot, but I’m afraid you’ll have to live with it. Thing is, the weather isn’t just smalltalk to me, it’s actually really important.

First thing in the morning, after putting on my glasses, I look out the window to check what mother nature is serving today. Partially because the climate dictates what clothes I can wear, which roads will be safe or unsafe to drive, and which paths in the forest will be walkable, but also because it’s important to me to feel connected to nature and the changing of the seasons.

My mum is an urban soul who dream about life in a big city, but my father and my grandparents are/were outdoorsy people who made sure I was taught to love and respect nature.

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WARNING: This post contains romantic drivel. Don’t read if heartbroken or otherwise have an aversion to lovey-dovey crap.

Friday was Valentine’s Day, but it’s not really celebrated here, so never mind that. Today, however, is much more special – it’s mine and Markus’ engagement day! On this day, two years ago, I asked him to marry me, and got a “yes” in return.

In honor of this day I’m going to tell you how we met:

In the spring of 2006 I had, on little more than a whim, applied for an education program called “Interactive Media Design”. It wasn’t university, just some post-secondary program, but it sounded interesting enough in the brochure. Mostly I just needed something to do with my life, and when you live in a country with free education you might as well take advantage of it. So I applied, and got accepted, and in August that same year I found myself in a classroom at the local campus.

When I arrived on this first day the classroom door stood open, so I walked in and took a seat. I was the first to arrive, which allowed me to study my new classmates as they came dropping in.

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As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always dreamt of having my own library. Imagine having a whole room with walls clad in bookcases, where the scent of paper fills your lungs as soon as you enter, and all the books are yours.

It’s a beautiful dream, but in reality I don’t actually have room for a library.

All I got is one cluttered bookcase with books crammed together and on top of each other.

Too bad I suck at borrowing from the library… I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but every time (every. single. time.) I borrow something form the library I end up completely forgetting about it until like 3 months later. By then it’s not only embarrassing to return it, I also have to pay an overdue fee.

But I still want to read, and this Christmas I was handed a solution: my very first e-reader!

Imaginary Karin - Kindle Paperwhite

It’s a Kindle Paperwhite, and I got it from Markus. (Last time we moved he cursed loudly and fully over the heavy book boxes, he’s very much in favour of the idea of digital books…)

We don’t officially have Amazon in Sweden, but you can still order a Kindle and set up an account.

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