When my husband and I went to Sweden I was charmed by their currency, the Swedish krona.

One, women are on it. On a common note. I love you Sacagawea coin, but I’m not about to use you, darling. Their currency was colourful and had character. I find US money bland and not exactly friendly to visually impaired people. (This 99% Invisible piece on US paper money is worth a read/listen.)

Anyway, what struck me most was the back of the 20 krona. A red-capped boy riding a goose.

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I couldn’t not look that up. I found out it was from the stories of Selma Lagerlöf. (The woman on the front on the bill.) Specifically, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils published in 1907. Of course, I found it, read it, and loved it. As I understand it’s on par with Alice in Wonderland in Swedish cultural consciousness.

Lagerlöf stealthily teaches kids about Swedish geography through Nils’ escapades. He’s a young boy that is cruel to animals (red flag anyone?). He gets turned into a tomte. (He’s tiny now.) So he has to relearn how to interact with his surroundings and the animals he once tortured. Those animals that could squish him if they wished.

There’s a lot of melancholy scenes and awareness of the sometimes immense loneliness life brings. That felt refreshing to read.

I’ve been away with Christmas madness and a trip to beautiful Virginia. And I’m working on a few projects so I wanted to do a more visual post. Enjoy.

Boris Diodorov

Boris Diodorov

Boris Diodorov

Boris Diodorov

Boris Diodorov

Boris Diodorov

Anton Pieck

Anton Pieck

Mary Hamilton Frye

Mary Hamilton Frye

Jon Goodel

Jon Goodel

Sweden’s currency has changed drastically since our trip just a few short years ago. They’re even thinking of switching to e-currency. But I’m so pleased it allowed me to discover The Wonderful Adventures of Nils.

Want to read it, too?

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