2016 Midyear W&G Envelope Exchange - Letter and info
Jessica
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Örebro
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This geeklist is created to help the lovely person who is assigned to put together an envelope for me for the Midyear W&G Envelope Exchange 2016.

Registration Closed - 2nd Mid year W&G International Envelope Exchange 2016
https://boardgamegeek.com/geekexchange/281

Also: What did you get from our 2nd Women & Gaming Mid Year Envelope Exchange 2016

"send a padded envelope filled with any goodies to your intended target.
Examples from previous years include: postcards, letters describing hometowns, homemade items, foodstuffs from home country, recipes, games, games related gifts, magnets, keychains or knack knacks from local regions etc."


--------------------------------

Greetings!

I don't know if this is the first time you stumble upon my name or if you've seen me around before. But I want to start out with telling you I'm known to be a little here and there and to much... You will most likely get long answers from me and I'm not strange to doing odd or fun missions and tasks...

As you can understand this will not be a short letter but on the other hand it might save you some time so you don't have to research everything else I've done here on the Geek... Some of the information from my profile-presentation is included here but not all of it.

The items below will cover some things you might want to know about me. I did a similar one as a Letter to Santa for the Secret Santa-exchange last year but this is an updated (and hence more correct) version so there is no need spending time reading that geeklist given most of the information there can be found here too.

Feel free to contact me with questions or tasks if you feel like it. Either write me a message from the wgsanta-account or comment on this geeklist and I'll put up my answers here.

/jessica
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1. Board Game: Above and Below [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:231] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Board Game: Above and Below
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Sometimes, just getting through the day is enough.Microbadge: Pay it ForwardMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 5 Year Geek Veteran
Background

This soon to be fourty* year old female once was an adventurous kid with a big interest of exploring new things (not only dungeons with monsters in them). I started with boardgames, sat at a computer at the age of four and I followed things up with RPGs when I was six (you didn't read wrong - it says 6...).

I was a boyish girl - always preferred playing with boys and had a hard time making friends due to my unusual and limited interests. I spent my childhood reading books and playing games and wasn't interested in the things the girls spent their time with. For a long time I felt alienated and was convinced I ought to have been born a boy and was just born in the wrong body. I tried being interested in the things the girls were but it just wasn't for me...

I of course tried and spent time on PBMs, conventions, fanzines and all those other related things but found my next BIG thing when I tried LARP as a sixteen year old. For a long time that was my main interest and all the other games came second. LARP gave me a chance to explore my identity more than RPGs had and it made me more certain of my female identity even though I still lacked a lot of skills when it came to understanding other people.

During one of those LARPs I met a man, fell in love and a couple of years later we got married. LARPs was put aside for other games that he liked more and I was back to boardgames and RPGs again.

Nine and a half years ago we had a beautiful baby boy that we named Victor. Happiness ought to have been total but it wasn't. I hadn't even left the hospital before he asked for a divorce which I gladly granted him when I finally realised what had been going on the last 10 years of my life and how destructive the relationship had been.

After that breakup my life has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs, above and below. I have since been diagnosed with PTSD, Aspergers Syndrome and Depression and even though I'm better I'm still on the sick-list. Every day is still a battle but I'm working on it and the geek has been a great help when it comes to regaining my confidence and self esteem. I'm still a bit shy with the posting though even though I'm getting better at it.

My son Victor and my interest in games is what makes my life work. At the moment boardgames is the main area of interest when it comes to games. I'm still putting time on LARPS (I'm one of the organizers of Vinterland next year) and RPGs - just not as much.


* My birthday is the 9th of July so technically I could be 40 when the envelope arrives given we are supposed to send it so it arrives before the 15th of July...
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2. Board Game: Bright Future [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:6929]
Board Game: Bright Future
Jessica
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Örebro
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Family

My parens and siblings lives a couple of hours ride from where I live so I don't see them more than once or twice each year. So family-life for me is basically the time every other week when my son lives with me. He is the treasure of my life and what makes me strive towards a brighter future. I wish I had a partner to share my life with but my focus has been on healing so I haven't really taken the time to look for someone.

I played games with my family growing up so it feels like a natural thing to bring up my son the same way. My son isn't a big boardgame fan - he prefers computer games - but he plays with me at times and supports me investing in more games.

Quote:
Usually very specifically too. Like the other day when I was browsing the rules-file for Outlive:

- Mom. We need that game!
- But you don't even know what it is about...
- I don't care - we need it! It is beautiful mum. That picture there... (points at the background-picture for the Convoy board) they ought to make that as a poster so we can frame it and have it on our living room wall!

You've probably noticed the long list of video games that I own (I even logged our steam-wishlist). Do not be mislead to believe that means that I play a lot of video games. I used to play a lot but now we only have one computer with a Windows-operative on it in the household and it is not mine. The rated games are the ones I play (or played) and the others are for my son (or received within a bundle - we haven't really tried all of them).

From gallery of busdjur


When my son doesn't play computer games he is usually building things with Lego, reading books or watching youtube-videos. He is a big fan of monsters (especially zombies), Super Mario (even though we never owned a Nintendo), Star Wars and My little Pony (pinky pie). He is also a big fan of tasting candy from around the world so if anything sweet or light chocolaty would end up in the package he'd be more than happy... Feel free to include him in your thoughts if you have an idea but don't feel obliged to do so.

You might have seen pictures of a cat among my photos too - they are of Diva. She doesn't live with us anymore (it turned out both me and my son are allergic to cats) but we do like them.
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3. Board Game: The Big Book of Madness [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:802]
Board Game: The Big Book of Madness
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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The thinking girl

Beyond my gaming interest I like to learn things. I watch, read and go detective on things to find clues about mysteries and try to solve problems. For me it is a strategy which helps me handle my shortcomings in the communication-area and also used for mischiefs and pranks.

The nickname I use here (Busdjur) comes from combining two Swedish words (bus = mischief/trick/prank and djur=animal). It is a nickname that was given to me by my friends after a couple of surprise-parties around fifteen years ago and it is so often used that I have friends constantly forgetting my real name because they never call me anything else than busdjur.
I'm not doing any evil pranks - always nice things to make other people happy and put a golden edge on their days. So I'm usually consulted for finding the perfect gift for someone and responsible for the ideas for surprise-parties and bridal showers.

I read a lot and my reading is extensive (more than 100 books every year) and some people say I have enough books to start my own library. My bookshelves are filled with Science fiction, fantasy, detective stories, paranormal romance and military themed books. Audio-books is a good way to keep the costs down so I go through a couple of those too.
I really like when I stumble on books with games in them (people playing, references too them and such) so if you have suggestions on good things to read I'd gladly hear them.

I love to play games that forces me to think ahead and solve things even though exploring and clue-solving excites me more than pure puzzles. This also makes me interested in strategic and tactical games and I love trying to figure out the optimal way to use the resources and workers in games.
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4. Board Game: A Bridge Too Far: Operation Market Garden [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:9216]
Board Game: A Bridge Too Far: Operation Market Garden
Jessica
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Örebro
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The military girl

I've had an interest in war-games, soldiers, weapons and things military for a long time and I looked longingly, dreamt secretly and thought about it but I never really gotten involved in it for real.
I wasn't fit to join the army (afraid of things going bang as I am) so I never even tried out for it.
My tries to get involved in wargames at conventions in my youth didn't go that well so I gave it up.
And my sons father didn't think wargames or things military was suiting for a girl so during our time together he made me sell my uniforms, give away my books and abandoned it all.
Now when I decide for myself again I'm kind of reclaiming that interest...

My biggest project in the military area at the moment is the International Four Day Marches in Nijmegen (Netherlands) this summer. It is a 4x40km long march on historical grounds (the area for Operation Market Garden and A bridge to far) and I'm participating in it as a member of the Swedish Armed Forces delegation. This means that I am expected to fulfil the march as a military participant and in military uniform.
I've participated in this march twice before - once as a bicycle orderly (for which I got the orderly medal) and once as a walker. Due to injuries I wasn't able to fulfil more than three days of the march and was forbidden a new try last year. The competition for a place in the delegation was extremly hard this year so I'm honoured to have a place in it - especially given this is also the 100 year anniversary of the March.

Beyond that I'm a military volunteer (which is what grants me a place in the delegation) and I try to do my duty for my country in other ways than as a soldier. I also participate in charity for our veterans a couple of times every year.

From gallery of busdjur


I read a lot on the military theme (especially modern warfare) and several books about uniforms, tanks and survival skills can be found in my bookshelf. I have a small collection of military items (mostly patches) that I intend to increase given time too.

I'm not all experienced in the wargaming field yet but I'm slowly trying it out to figure out what aspects I like and not.
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5. Board Game: Zombie 15' [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1511]
Board Game: Zombie 15'
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Sometimes, just getting through the day is enough.Microbadge: Pay it ForwardMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 5 Year Geek Veteran
The monster-loving girl

My son isn't the only one in the family with a thing for Zombies and other kinds of monsters. When I was younger I had a big collection of dragon figurines, I watched every fantasy- and horror-movie I had a chance to (preferring the exaggerated zombie-movies) and quickly finished all books with supernatural elements that my school-library could offer.

My bookshelf contains a lot of books with supernatural beings in them; vampires, werewolves, dragons, demons, zombies and other undead and so on and so forth. But the lighter side with faerie people, mermaids, angels and similar ones fascinate me just as much (even though I've found there not being nearly as many books containing them).

I combined this love of monsters going to a Zombie survival-course with my son last year. Not that I believe zombies to be a real threat but it was a fun way combining my survivalist-interest with my interest in the supernatural.

From gallery of busdjur


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6. Board Game: Heroes Wanted [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2020] [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Board Game: Heroes Wanted
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Sometimes, just getting through the day is enough.Microbadge: Pay it ForwardMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 5 Year Geek Veteran
The nostalgic fan-girl

Reading books, comics and watching a lot of TV-series I've become a bit of a fan-girl. If I like something I tend to get all excited with everything connected to it and there are a lot of fan-items in my home.

I have a thing for Superheroes and read and watch whatever I stumble upon. Batman has become somewhat of a thing after a "pink" nightdress I bought for a party (I don't like pink and avoid it whenever I can but this one had a Batman-logo on it).

From gallery of busdjur


I like science fiction so Firefly, Dune, Star Wars and Doctor Who are fan-areas (Star trek is still growing on me). My son hasn't shown any interest in Firefly, Dune or Star trek yet but the others he shares with me.
It doesn't matter if it is a postapocalyptic setting or a hightech one - I like them all.

I love fantasy and especially when those elements are put in another setting than the "classic" medieval-ish one. But I also fondly enjoy reading and watching historical things - either fictional versions of it or more documentary ones.

I'm also very nostalgic. Games and things from when I grew up are lights in the dark for me and brings back memories of times when I was happy. So retro computergame-things (tetris, pacman and stuff like that) are cherished. The current trend of releasing games and items connected to the eighties and nineties (a period I have many childhood memories from) is really digging holes in my wallet...
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7. Board Game: The Ravens of Thri Sahashri [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1601]
Board Game: The Ravens of Thri Sahashri
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Sometimes, just getting through the day is enough.Microbadge: Pay it ForwardMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 5 Year Geek Veteran
The lolita fashion girl

I didn't have much interest in trying to be feminine or female coded when I was younger. I never learned how to use makeup, high heels or dresses. When discovering lolita fashion a couple of years ago that changed... (not the high heels though - they are not a part of lolita fashion).

From gallery of busdjur


I'm still not a fan of pink but suddenly all things with bows, frills and lace thrills me. I choose colour rather than black and I'm finding myself trying to learn how to use makeup, making female hairdos and wearing dresses and skirts a lot more often than before. I love the whole thing dressing like a little princess, school girl uniforms and other sweet lolita-forms. I even experiment with steampunk and military versions. But I'm not stuck on the Japanese fashion (as lolita and j-fashion) - I look longingly at all traditional Asian clothing even though I never had the chance of trying them. heart

One of the problems when it comes to Asian clothing is that I'm not petite. Standing 176 cm tall and big in size when it comes to width too getting hold of clothes that fit me is really hard (custom size is my go to). But I have a few lolita outfits in my wardrobe and I use them for tea parties, lolita meets and at times at conventions.

The tea-drinking however did not come with this interest. I've been a tea-drinker since my teens and can drink tea at any time during the day. I often wonder if there is a hole in my tea-bowl (0,6 litre so it is more of a bowl than a cup) given how many times each day I have to refill it due to it being out of tea. I never learned to appreciate smoked, white or red teas but I gladly drinks anything else when it comes to tea.
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8. Board Game: Lost Woods [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:6349]
Board Game: Lost Woods
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Sometimes, just getting through the day is enough.Microbadge: Pay it ForwardMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 5 Year Geek Veteran
My current game collection

I had a big game shelf once but due to crossroads in my life (moving, breakups, unemployment and a break-in) it has been reduced and was almost non-existing for a very long time since I didn't have the resources to start rebuilding it. And when I finally did I went about it totally wrong...

In its current form my game shelf mostly contains games that could be played with my son (I am a mother so that has been a priority) and easy to play party-games (many of them gifts and I get bored with them quickly). I have a few more mainstream board game titles and gateway games that my friends really like but the more complicated once that I'm thrilled about are seldom successes at our gaming table.

The people I play with most are not big fans or abstracts, strategy-heavy games or actually any game forcing you to think. They find them hard or strange or just don't get engaged in them so for a long time I stopped buying them. What was the use in getting games that never got played?!?

My membership on the Geek has opened my eyes a lot for all the possibilities out there and I feel that my focus has been moving more and more towards getting games that I'd like to play. It is not my job to offer a gameshelf that pleases everybody else - my gameshelf should be filled with games I like and that I want to play. Unil very recently I wasn't aware in what degree I bought games to please others...

When I started doing something about my game shelf I also discovered crowdfunding and specifically Kickstarter. I like the thought of taking part of something new and supporting peoples dreams so I really fell for the concept - especially since it gives me the chance of getting hold of unusual games and other items. I write "the chance of" since I see it more as a place to support things and taking a chance rather than a place to buy things (even though I tend to look on their ability to deliver before pledging).

I keep a geeklist for the games I find on Kickstarter that I really feel I want to own but due to unemployment I usually don't afford to invest in more than a few of them (listed as preordered in my collection). My profile of projects backed on kickstarter looks longer due to several small support-pledges of a dollar or three to keep in the loop on what happens with them and not all of them end up on my wishlist either.

I'm not one of those who needs everything new and shiny - I have several used items in my collection and gladly take care of someone elses old things as long as they have all parts needed. Second hand is good both for the environment and the wallet and even though it is many times out of necessity I've realised it has become a way of living and even if I had the chance I'd probably continue appreciating the values of old and used things.
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9. Board Game: Among the Stars [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:571] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Board Game: Among the Stars
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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Microbadge: 1 Player Guild - Together We Game AloneMicrobadge: Sometimes, just getting through the day is enough.Microbadge: Pay it ForwardMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 5 Year Geek Veteran
Gaming dreams and preferences

I play for fun. Not that I always look for laughter (I can be dead serious too if needed) but I don't think winning or loosing is all that important. A game that is hard to beat doesn't put me off - it usually triggers me to try even harder to beat it. So to me it doesn't matter if the game is competitive or cooperative and I can enjoy the possibility of traitors, trickery and bluffing too. Given the problems with getting people to play what I like to play however I'm looking more and more on games that offers solitaire play.

I'm still working on my skills when it comes to strategy, tactics and deckbuilding and I'm getting better at it. I've learned to cope with the bidding-mechanic but games with politics or sport-themes still seldom end up on my list.

Odd themes is a nice touch (I'm still looking for the game where I'll be saving/kidnapping the dragon, killing the treasure or collecting a heap of princesses). I also enjoy board games with an RPG-touch since I like taking on a role of someone else. Twists and turns when it comes to game mechanics and plotlines are also really nice so puzzle games where I need some detective skills are good too. Worker placement seems to be a safe bet too.

I can just as easily fall madly in love with a really simple game just because it's full of beautiful fairies, zombies, vampires, jedis, cute monsters, dirty post-apocalyptic soldiers or heavy tanks. Or Batman! heart
And I usually tend to go for the eye-pleasing games(especially if I haven't tried them before).

If I find good components for it I tend to replace ugly markers and traditional pawns (especially the in my eyes extremely ugly peg pawns) just to have a game that looks eye-pleasing. It might take time to find something that fits the theme but if I like the game I think it is worth it. I'm not really a meeple-fan either so I tend to go for other solutions or miniatures (I'm not good at painting them but if they aren't cool enough I try)

I would love inserts for game I own, I try to sleeve cards if it works with storage and collect promos and special material whenever I can.

I don't own that many dice (a light green frosted set from Chessex) and I want to grow that collection. I've been throwing longing looks on doublesix and triplefour-dices but keep putting it off all the time.

Some day in the future (after I invested in a windows-computer) I intend to get myself a printer. There are a lot of really nice PnPs and fan-made material for games I already own available out there that I'd love to have. I think printed versions of solo-rules for games I own would be a nicer thing than handwritter notes or reading from a screen too. I've collected interesting projects I've found in yet another geeklist (When I get a printer...) and they are listed in my collection on the "Want in trade"-list. Given I don't see that printer-investment happening any time soon anything from that list would be a highly prized gift.
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10. Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1408]
Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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Shipping and other good things to know about Taxes & Import duties

Normally, everything from OUTSIDE EU is subject to import tax and/or duty. The VAT (Value added tax) is usually 25% (books 6%) and in addition one may have to pay a handling fee as well, usually around 100SEK (~15USD). This means that a $70 game could cost the receiver another $30 or more. My experience is that packages marked as gifts or worth less than $40 usually slips through without extra costs. This means that the envelope shouldn't be at risk but I though it could be good to know.

I've seen that different participants choose different solutions for how they send their padded envelopes. A small game shipped locally and just a minimal envelope posted to save on shipping doesn't seem to be unusual. If you feel you want/need to get hold of something locally for me check for information about local stores in the header for this geeklist:
2016 Secret Soloist Wishlist.
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11. Board Game: Project Dreamscape [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:5621]
Board Game: Project Dreamscape
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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I think I'll stop the "letter" here before it gets way to long... I don't have the time writing a book or three about me... And I need this to be done before the exchange is over too...

I'm hoping this will give you an idea of who I am so that you can find something to put in there that you think I will enjoy. Don't forget that this project isn't only about getting to know your target - it is also about your target getting to know a bit about you. I for one would love it if you shared something in the envelope about you and what you like...

Feel free to ask question, give me tasks or what you think would be a good thing for me. I'm up for the challenge.

jessica



Edit to change board game so I don't use the same one twice...
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12. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:89] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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wgsanta wrote:
Feasgar math Jessica,

How are you doing?

I loved your letter! It's gorgeous and gives a lot of information. It also gives me inspiration.

But first things first, just to be practical;
do you mind to receive a second-hand (but in more than excellent state) game? Not saying it will be a part of the exchange, but it just could be. It expands the options

(oh, by the by, it's probably easiest to answer on your profile ór your geeklist/letter)

Bidh mi 'gad fhaicinn,

WG Summer Santa
Oh! Letter from WG Summer Santa! *happy as a kid on Christmas*

Hey... Wait a minute... I recognize that - I've heard that - I know how that sounds... Why do I know how that sounds?
*Jessica goes detective trying to figure out how she can recognize that*

Swedish? No!
English? No!
German? No!
Spanish? No!
Russian? No!
Breton? No!
Other Celtic language? Maybe...

*Fetches binder for that almost forgotten oriental course in Celtic languages she went to at the University almost 20 years ago and turns pages frantically...*
(google is cheating after all).
Apparently not that much written about the example-phrases used during the course...
*blames herself for not being a better student and also for losing the study-material she had for Manx-Gaelic which with her luck his will probably turn out to be due to her Santa having exceptional detective-skills in digging up information online*
I got unfocused and started to think about other things related to Celtic languages and that specific area of the world - like the two language courses I went to in the southern parts of England in my teens and the TV-series Outlander (Diana Gabaldons) and if there is a new episode yet...

*around here is when Jessicas curiosity and frustration got the best of her so she googled it (found it to be Scottish Gaelic) and then she was all happy for a while thinking even more about those fun Celtic studies from her youth, the Scottish Garelochhead 2 Day Marches (she had friends participating) and Castles and more Outlander.*

Then I remembered there were questions to be answered too...

Tha mi toilichte ur coinneachadh WG Summer Santa! Tha gu math.
(Pleased to meet you WG Summer Santa! I am well!)

Thank you for bringing nice memories to life again!

I wouldn't mind receiving a second-hand item - most of my possessions are!

And just so you know:
Tha mo bhàta-foluaimein loma-làn easgannan!
( or as we would say: Min svävare är full med ålar! )

Take care!

jessica
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13. Board Game: Asgard's Chosen [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:8229]
Board Game: Asgard's Chosen
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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New letter from my Summer Claus...

wgsanta wrote:
"When the Lord of the Njars, Nidud, heard
That Völund sat in Wolfdale alone,
He sent warriors forth: white their shield-bosses
In the waning moon, and their mail glittered."

I understand you live nearby a beautiful castle, Örebro Slott. If it's not to expensive, I would love you to take us, the ladies from BGG, on a virtual tour through the castle. If it is, then just maybe some pictures from the outside and the surroundings? Show us the beautiful city and country in which you live!

warm regards,

Summer Claus
Dear Summer Claus!

I've read most of what I know about my Viking-heritage in my own language which means the Swedish terms are usually used for our translations of the old Poetic Edda. I hadn't even heard the term Njars before - we know them as Nerikingar. I guess part of that is due to me reading most about it when younger and back then I lived outside Uppsala and in the region of the Swedes (not to be confused with swedes/rutagabas) or Svear as we call them in Swedish (Old English name is Sweones).

I would have liked to take some photos and show you around inside that castle but taking photos isn't allowed (and that rule sadly applies to many tourist-attractions here in Sweden). They usually tell visitors it is due to the items being light-sensitive and to avoid problems all ways to take photos are forbidden. However (after working at the local museum) I know that most of it is due to security. Using replicas of things isn't unusual to protect the more valuable items stored elsewhere but the security is usually a mess when half of the items shown are loans from museums and private collectors dictating how the items are allowed to be used/shown/photographed and which security-measures must be taken. I'm just happy they allow visitors - not all of the Swedish castles do.

Örebro slott might be old in existence but it has been built upon, renovated and redecorated a lot of times during the years and it is far from the castle it once were and noting on the inside of the castle remains in the original form. It is an obvious thing to visit if one is in Örebro but it isn't my favourite castle...

Around year 1400 (side-view):
External image


During the 17th century (backside-view):
External image


The 21st century (backside-view):
External image


During next week I will take a walk downtown, take a few mobile-photos and try to put together a little tour of my city and tell you a bit more about the country I live in.

jessica
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14. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:141]
Board Game: Nations
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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Örebro and it's surroundings...

Kilsbergen and Bergslagsleden
Kilsbergen is a low mountainous ridge that separates Närke from Värmland and Västmanland. It is the southernmost extension of the taiga in Scandinavia and shows a flora and fauna that are unusual for the latitude. There are several skiing and hiking facilities in Kilsbergen.
Kilsbergen is especially known for its elk population. It was awarded the 1998 Elk Protection medal by Hans Hoffberg in 1993 and these magnificent beasts continue to thrive in the area.
Around here the elks aren't what makes the place famous - it is the beautiful nature and the work done to ensure safe hiking with marking out several shorter hiking routes. Together they form the 280km long route called Bergslagsleden (consisting of 17 shorter ones) which is one of the longest hiking routes in Sweden.
This photo is taken not far from the end of one of those routes - at a small lake called Falkasjön.

From gallery of busdjur


Svampen
Svampen (the mushroom) is a water-tower in the northern parts of Örebro. It is 58 m high and contains 9 million litres of water.
From gallery of busdjur


I've never really understood the fascination of the shape of the tower (there are other water-towers with similar shape) but for those who aren't afraid of heights there is a nice café on top with a great view of Örebro and its surroundings...
From gallery of busdjur


Örebro Slott
In the middle of Örebro one can find a castle fortification called Örebro Slott. They are not really sure how old the oldest parts of it is but they know the first defence tower was built during the 14th century. Since then it has been built upon, rebuilt and added to until it got the shape it has today.
Most of the expansions of it was made during the reign of the royal family Vasa with a final rebuild around 1900. The last one was a try to recreate the former renaissance castle but with several misinterpretations of old material it was more of a late 19th century-dream of what it might have looked like than an actual recreation of it (as an example the whole thing was once covered with white plastering).

From gallery of busdjur


Several internal redecorations has also made a huge impact on the look of the castle. Many of the internal rooms are decorated in early 20th century style and a renovation during the 1990s made some even more modern.
The worst part of all these redecorations is that most of the rooms showed are guesses.

A part of the castle is housing the current county governor and when the royal family visits they are also housed in the castle. Otherwise it is open for the general public with exhibitions and guided tours at times and part of it is used for conferences, art, music and food. During summer the tourist information usually has an office there too.

From gallery of busdjur


From gallery of busdjur

(On the left side you can see Ridddarborgen in the background)

From gallery of busdjur


From gallery of busdjur


Riddarborgen
Name translated would be something like "the Knight stronghold".

Örebro has a lot of beautiful buildings (most 19th century though due to two big city fires - 1843 and 1853 - destroying most of the central parts of the city). This one feels like a castle to so I've always been very fond of it.

Riddarborgen was build 1891 and has taken its inspiration from medieval gothic castles. Once this historic address contained a dye house rebuilt to work a tannery but those were deconstructed to make room for this building.
A famous Swedish author (Hjamlar Bergman) lived here for a while and for several years it was the home office for our local newspaper. Three years ago however the newspaper moved out and this great building is now used as an hotel (Clarion Collection Hotel Borgen).

From gallery of busdjur


OpenART

Every other year Örebro is the host of something called OpenART - a 12 week long art exhibition open for everyone (no fees) and placed in the city center. Last year was the fifth edition of it and it has grown to be Scandinavia's biggest public art biennial.

If you thought art was boring - think again. OpenART tends to turn every head with its funny, strange and unexpected art and challenges the whole concept of what should be viewed as art. Usually also including art which allows interaction from the audience - like thing you can walk through or climb on. Pictures from 2015 - includes actual size "melting" cars hung on our shopping mall and oversized rubber boots

Popcorn from 2015
From gallery of busdjur


From gallery of busdjur


Every year the county has bought at least one of the exhibited artworks for continued display in the city center. The popcorns was the thing bought from last year and it has been moved to the park besides the castle. The time before that they bought a big rubber duck standing in the middle of a fountain.

Rubber duck 2013
From gallery of busdjur


Some more examples of things exhibited during OpenART:

The most impressive ones from 2011:
From gallery of busdjur


From gallery of busdjur


From gallery of busdjur


I also have fond memories of:

External image


External image


---------------------------

More to come...
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15. Board Game: Kabuki [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:13919]
Board Game: Kabuki
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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My days are just rushing by and before I'm even done with the last task of my WG Summer Santa I get another letter..

WG Santa wrote:
Bäste Jessica,

Jag skulle vara tacksam om/ifall ni kunde answer some (personal) questions

You could answer them via this message, in your profile or on your geeklist.

1. What gives you peace? Where do you find your happy place?
2. What is your size in (lolita) clothing?
3. What are your favorite colors?

Jag ser fram emot att höra från er snart,

WG Summer Santa

Dear WG Summer Santa!

I'm still working on the sightseeing-part. I think I've gotten all the photos needed - now I just need to brush up on my own knowledge of all those nice places too... blush
But I'll need to push that one off until tomorrow - it is way past bedtime now...

Thank you for the lovely gesture of writing parts of the letter in Swedish. heart

1. I'd say under a nice warm blanket in the sofa with a good book and a big bowl of tea... At the moment (with me spending at least 20 hours a week on my feet training for that military march) I'd say tea and reading combined with a foot bath (a thing that I usually don't do but that feels really nice for aching feet).

2. Sizes are really hard given there are a lot of different standards used and I'm both taller (176cm) and wider than the traditional petite lolita so I get most of my lolita-clothes custom made.
I've bought a couple of dresses size 2L that fit while others in the same size from the same company didn't due to model of dress (the biggest issues are usually to small armholes, waist below bust ending up on the bust instead and to short length on dresses and skirts). I will send a mail tomorrow with my measurements in case you'll need them for something (I don't want it to be common knowledge).

3. My favourites when it comes to colours are deep green, deep red and black.

When it comes to military colouring/camouflage my favourite is the pattern and colouring called Woodland:
External image


Live long and prosper!

jessica
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16. Board Game: Colt Express: North Pole Station [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Board Game: Colt Express: North Pole Station
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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New letter from Summer Santa...

Quote:
Dear Jessica,

I just posted your package and found out I forgot something. See this as a teaser for the gift

From gallery of wgsanta


From gallery of wgsanta


warm regards,

WG Summer Santa
I can't help but think my Santa is up to some kind of mischief. I imagine them being used for some kind of mission or there being a puzzle to be solved somehow...
Or Santa just has a big heart given I know my son would be all over something like that (teasing me for not being as good a builder as he is of course).

So the envelope is on its way from the North Pole... or wherever Summer Santa has its residence... It will probably take a while for the envelope to arrive but I can't help feeling excited...
And anxious...


Warning! emotional anxiety-rant below... I needed to write it down - if emotional material bothers you stop reading here and know that I will like my gift even though gifts as a concept stirs bad memories.



My Summer Santa has been great and I'm sure I love it whatever it is but a stream of voices and memories rushes through my head. Mine and others..

"You don't deserve this."
"Others deserve it more."
"I am unworthy."
"Someone else sacrificed things so you could have this".
"What if I don't like it?"
"It was really expensive so you better like it"*
"I don't deserve this"
"You owe me".

I grew up in a poor family. My mother sold of her family heirlooms (in secret she thought but we knew) to make sure we could pay our bills and had food on the table. Birthdays was days you got things you needed - often things long overdue. I remember bracing myself every time I got a gift - prepared to try to keep the smile up, look happy and say thank you for yet another thing I didn't want... I always worked hard to try to compensate my siblings for those unwanted gifts and make sure they got something they actually wanted. I learned - give what you can but expect nothing in return.

My sons father used the guilt I felt when people spent money on things for me to make me feel in debt. After a couple of years a conversation could go like this:
- I want to go to the movies.
- Find someone else to go with - I can't afford to join you.
- But I'll pay. Consider it a treat.
Later..
- I want to have sex
- I don't feel like it
- But... I paid for the movie... You owe me!
I learned that every effort and every gift I got came with a hidden price tag. If I said no I was told I was rude, ungrateful and selfish. If I said yes I was in debt... The gifts I gave and the efforts I did however was never good enough..

I'm working hard trying to change that thought-pattern (the Geek has been a great help) but I still have a long way to go. I know my Summer Santa will not demand any favours in return for this gift (my obligation is to my target and I knew what was expected of me before entering the exchange). Still the feelings unfairly rush over me.

It will work out just fine. I will cry happy tears... I will cherish my gift because it is mine and it was given willingly. Nobody was forced to take part in the exchange. I've fulfilled my obligations and deserve it.
I will most likely feel guilty but there isn't anything I can do about that.
Now I just need to wait...
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17. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:529]
Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Jessica
Sweden
Örebro
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The postman rang my door some hours back and delivered a beautiful package from the Netherlands...

From gallery of busdjur


It took me a few hours before I dared open the package...
Actually as soon as my son knew of its existence there was no stopping it... He opened it! Tucked the box together again, handed it over to me and told me I had to open it myself... "Now!"... because he wanted to know more about what was in it...

I asked him if I would cry - he said yes.
I asked him if it would make me happy - he said yes.
So I opened it...

From gallery of busdjur


I cried...

From gallery of busdjur


...and it was happy tears...

From gallery of busdjur


...and my son got busy before I even unpacked everything...

From gallery of busdjur


...because it contained so very much...

From gallery of busdjur


...and I love all of it!!! heart

--------------

Someone...

The wonderful
Rue Sailmana
Netherlands
Eindhoven
Noord-Brabant
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decided to go all out and overdo it...
inspired by my extensive letter...
and my upcoming birthday...

I'm overwhelmed and moved to tears!

-------------

The first thing I picked up was this wonderfull dress...

From gallery of busdjur


all fairy-like and decorated with flowers.

From gallery of busdjur


A postcard/letter-box..

From gallery of busdjur


containing several postcards on which she'd written me a lovely letter.

From gallery of busdjur


Three puzzles for my son.

From gallery of busdjur

(and a fuzzy Super Mario which I haven't been allowed to touch since he knew it was for him and ran away with it)

Two beautiful metal boxes with art from the Netherlands
and below them a crocheted belt for the dress.

From gallery of busdjur


And some nice treats too.

From gallery of busdjur


I've tried Stroop Wafles (or something similar) before - when I visited the Netherlands and it is one of the treats I look forward to eating again. And this is just another awesome thing about this. Because I've been in the Netherlands two times and it was so cool to have a "Summer Santa" living there - especially given I'm going back there a month from now....

Rue didn't stop there...

She included a game too... An "as new" copy of Escape: The Curse of the Temple, including the Doomed-promo and the meeples pimped with the Kickstarter Adventurer Stickers.

From gallery of busdjur


Aren't they gorgeous?!?

It didn't take many minutes before my son was in his room with Mario and I was playing games...

From gallery of busdjur


heart I feel spoiled, blessed, unworthy, overwhelmed but most of all Happy! meeple heart
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