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Av Gary Fraser - 1 december 2008 21:51

Had a rough day today, so depression food kicked in a little. Had a korv, and a beer, although otherwise kept to the program. Shouldn't affect my weight too much, and by last check I still think I'll be dropping when I weigh in again tomorrow.

Things haven't fallen my way today, as it sometimes happens. I think a big problem with my weight is the fact that I eat when I'm depressed, and I've been depressed a lot lately. I had a 5 day period where everything seemed to be getting better, and the weight fell away like nothing else, and everything was easy, but back to the grind. Tomorrow I have a free day after 8am, so basically going to clean the house, play with the dog when he comes around and sleep, nothing but sleep.

Av Gary Fraser - 1 december 2008 16:04

I'm not quite sure why or how it  happens, but I seem to be a magnet for manipulative and dishonest people.

Again I've allowed myself to be suckered in and am growing to be tired of it. All I want from a person is to be honest, upfront and NO FUCKING BULLSHIT! Is it really so much to ask? I have a sign on me somewhere that says "yes, please take advantage of the fact that I'm easily lured, and will probably sacrifice something close to me just to feel like someone cares about me, so please, come on in, take what you want, and just leave me standing here looking like a fool again"

So, back to my own little shell again, I don't need you, and I don't need anyone, I'm living here on my own, on the other side of the world from anyone who I would call friends or family, and I'm starting to get used to being on my own.

And I don't care if you read this or not. You haven't hurt me, just disappointed me, I had thought and hoped you were someone you weren't

Av Gary Fraser - 30 november 2008 14:04

Well things are progressing well, despite my occasional lapse ;)

After one day, I had dropped a kilo to 89,1. And yesterday I weighed in at 87,4 as the sugar glands clear out. Yesterday I had a lapse, and had a little chocolate while I watched a dvd. Things are on the right track though, and I'm not starving myself, which is good.

Hopefully in the next month or so I can keep dropping the weight.

Av Gary Fraser - 28 november 2008 08:23

Been a busy week as always, strange, but coping on most levels.

Work has calmed down for a week or two, which is nice. it was good to have a day yesterday which I could do a little office work, which was badly required.

Outside of work, things have been going well. I wouldn't describe myself as "seeing someone" yet, but at least I know there's a mutual interest of sorts. Trying to just keep my feet on the ground, and staying relaxed about it all.

Asides from that, not really a lot happening, could possibly buy a real bed soon, which will be awesome :)

Av Gary Fraser - 28 november 2008 08:16

Well, yesterday I started it, two days late, but better late then never. I never have a good first day, so gave in with a small sandwich in the evening, but otherwise, kept to the plans for the day. Began with a meal replacement drink, had a light salad for lunch, and another meal replacement drink for dinner. I didn't have time to weigh myself yesterday, so we will take my beginning weight from today.

Woke up this morning feeling headachy (probably from the lack of sugar) but slept reasonably well for the first time in probably over a week.

 Had thought about uploading a before and after photo, but don't want to scare anyone ;) so will probably just have my "own" before and after photos.

Goal weight: 80 kilo.

Beginning weight: 90.1 kilo 

Weight remaining: 10.1 kilo.

Av Gary Fraser - 25 november 2008 20:11

One aspect of swedish life that I found very difficult to deal with, and even two years later, is the way Swedish schools conduct themselves, especially universities (högskolans). The system that högskolans use here in Sweden is somewhat strange, and quite poorly organised. I guess my experience is limited to Halmstad, which admittedly is ranked as one of the poorest schools in Sweden.

When you arrive at the school, and register, the school is not open very often in the weeks leading up to the first day, so orientating yourself to the school outside of the silly groups that they sort out (of which I didn't fit into any, because I was not taking an entire course, just swedish papers) is near on impossible. Not to mention I only got my letter of acceptance 2 weeks after the course started.

So, with administration horrors aside (and I have heard worse stories), I begin the classes, which were, quite sadly, similar to SFI (Komvux, which is the organisation that takes care of Swedish for Immigrants). Once the alphabet was mastered (by maybe 3 people in the class), did the classes proceed to be slow, and poorly done. Credit to the teacher for keeping it interesting, but with only one class a week, and no following up, until the exam, was it impossible to gauge the progress of the students, to cover problem areas, and to improve the overall learning of the students.

The paper requires two classes every week, one lecture, and one group meeting, where maybe 10 people meet, discuss the classes, with some structure naturally, and this way the students learn more, and can understand the language better.

After passing the first Swedish paper, and missing registration for the second paper, I took the second paper a year later, attended 3 classes, and saw that the process had actually gotten worse, with the teacher cancelling classes because he wanted to go to a fair in northern sweden.

Having watched someone else go through the course system, have I often been bewildered at the strange expectations of some teachers, with criteria often being shifted for every student, or every activity. Information was poorly handed out, along with research projects which fail to develop a students knowledge on a subject adequately. Classes were changed on the morning, sometimes  within an hour of classes due to begin.

Teachers fail to take responsibility for their actions here, and there is very little control being implemented above them. 

Swedish schooling systems, especially here in Halmstad, need to improve, the quality of schooling is letting Swedish people down. The english schooling system, especially at higher levels, is much more structured and better organised here.

Its time Sweden looks outside its own borders and take onboard how things work in other countries....

Av Gary Fraser - 22 november 2008 09:20

Without a home I wander on

Searching for my holy grail

An endless search without succes

My hearts begun to pale

Civilisation passes through the night

As I lie here on this stone floor

Dreaming of your face that day

When you walked right out my door

An oasis that lies ahead

Offers to quench my thirst

When the mirage begins to disappear

The paleness inside is worse

Loneliness has become a friend

The only one I have

The one that can share my pain

While I walk this road I pave.

Av Gary Fraser - 20 november 2008 17:48

Well I guess it is time, a part of this blog is basically just to bitch on what I think is wrong, mostly with Sweden, but even the whole world as a society.

I guess I should begin with the thing that I deal with every day, and it could also be a bit of a controversial subject.

Foreigners, when they come to Sweden are expected to integrate into society, and at least make an effort to pull their own weight. Admittedly, the system lets them down a bit, with dodgy entry schooling, and an underlying current of racism, which exists no matter where you go, makes it difficult to be titled "Swedish".

Coming from a "european" country, I  have no problem looking like a swede/european, therefore, at least in physical appearance, can it be assumed that I can integrate better and be one of the "locals". But to settle in here, can be very difficult, people are not willing to chance on something they don't know. Sure there is interest in my land, and my background, but when it comes to education or life experience, comes  the problems.

But despite these problems, I've managed to get a job, and a good one, by emigrants standards, and I've managed to get a grip on the language within a few years, which, so I'm told, I should be very proud of.

So other foreigners, whats the problem? I've met people who have been here 20-30 years, and only know the very basic words "hit" "Gris?" and a few more, with much worse grammar than even I have (and mine can be pretty bad). Not to mention the cultural difference, that makes them appear very rude in their behaviour, which in turn can be quite hard not to feel offended. So I guess here comes the gripe, if these people can be here for such a long time, why can't they make the effort to learn Swedish? Sure its a difficult language, but having been here for so long, its hard to justify not learning the language. And herein lies the problem

Because these people stick within their communities, and don't venture out to broaden their horizons, they don't integrate into society, and therefore cannot be accepted into society. It is then, that they hold their hands up and say "I can't get a job" or "they hate us foreigners", and wonder why. Those who do venture out generally don't have a problem finding work, albeit that it is generally labouring work, or work requiring very little intellectual ability, or responsibility.

So in reality, its a vicious circle, the swedes don't want the foreigners, and the foreigners don't want to make the effort. So whose job is it to fix it?

Million dollar question.

I guess it needs to begin from when they first step off the ship (metaphorically speaking), if they're going to be accepted by the government, irrelevant of which land they are in, then they must be made to feel welcome, to be given every encouragement to not sit on social security, and to prove that they can bring some form of value to society, other than to just drain away others taxes.

Communities are great, and they are needed. As a New Zealander, I don't get much opportunity to build my own community of people around me, simply due to the lack of numbers of my type of people, both in Halmstad and in Sweden. In my time here, I have met three New Zealanders, and maybe 10 Australians. But for a foreigner to succeed in a new land, they must step outside that community, and drop that reliance on the community to pull them through, and support them. Independance is the key.

So, given that my job, and the nature and location of my job, entails that I will meet many frustrating people, it is to the future I look, where I hope that immigrants will try to blend into society a bit better, without selling out the image of who they are. A universal country, where background doesn't matter, because we all speak the same language, is vital for any country to be successful in the future, where globalisation is going to continue to dominate.


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