Orsii in graduation gown

My friends, last week it finally happened! 20 days away from my 9 year anniversary in the UK I was awarded an MA Degree with distinction in Music Industries!

Orsii Graduation Selfie

I’m gonna be honest, not having been to my BA graduation, I didn’t even give the event much thought! I just assumed it would be like any other day but with me wearing a funny outfit for a few hours. But I was so wrong!

Orsii on stage graduation

Sitting in that big symphony hall and seeing all the people in different robes up on stage made me realise what an incredible achievement it actually was!

Orsii Thumbs Up! Graduation

I don’t big myself up very often, but DAMN! I am so proud of myself and genuinely impressed with the hard work and dedication that I invested over three years (whilst working full time) so I could get this MA degree.

I’ve never really seen myself as a “smart person”, so I can honestly say that I exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations with it all, and it came as a very happy surprise that I was awarded a distinction, because I wasn’t expecting it!

Mum & Orsii Graduation

I can’t thank my professors and lecturers enough for encouraging me and believing in me when my low self-esteem got the better of me!

Especially Dubber and Professor Wall – who right from the beginning saw something in me that I’m only really starting to discover now.

Sam & Orsii Graduation

I did this degree not because I thought it would result in a better job or more money, but because I am genuinely interested and passionate about my field of work.

And I can’t even begin to describe how proud and happy it makes me feel that for once in my life, I feel like I have contributed something of substance (even if it’s very small in the grand scheme of things) to that field and found a place where I feel that I belong.

So what you reckon? A PhD next…? ;)

This past weekend it was time to celebrate Midsummer again – a Swedish holiday and a new tradition to celebrate it together for my close group of friends (last years celebrations skipped the blog for some reason, but they looked a bit like this!)

After hosting the celebrations in London in 2013, we decided to take the party up to Aberdeen this year, visiting our good friend Martin who lives there.

Gin & Tonic at Gatwick

For me the party got started at Gatwick airport where I had two double gin & tonics in order to calm my nerves about the flight (I am a bit of a scared flyer).

Dave and Neil arriving in Aberdeen

I met up with my two good friends Dave and Neil at the airport, and we made our way into Aberdeen together to meet up with the rest of the crew. We dumped our bags and Martin took us to some cocktail bars in the city.

Cata

Ina and Martin

Dave and Neil

To make things fair we decided to pay one round each – which resulted in six rounds in total – with the last two ending up being a bottle of champagne between us and some super strong cocktail to finish the night off.

Celebrations

Dave, Cata and Martin sipping on Champagne

Neil, Ina and Orsi sipping on champagne

Having been forced to leave the first place in a hurry because they had to close, it was a welcomed surprise to have the whole back of a bar, including the dancefloor, all to ourselves as it resulted in lots of dancing and singing – just the way it should be!

Dave, Cata and Martin cocktail bar

Neil, Cata, Ina and Orsi Cocktail bar

Safe to say that we felt pretty rough the next day and it didn’t look like our official midsummer celebrations would live up to last years madness. After having some breakfast I opted for staying in bed for an extra 3 hours because my stomach and head just didn’t feel right.

The girls went over to Martins apartment to start preparing the food for the evening celebrations and I eventually joined them around 3pm.

Ina and Cata

Neil

Traditional Swedish Midsummer food

Martin really came through with the traditional food and drinks, and with a little bit of Cata’s help with food shopping and making meatballs and beetroot salad – we ended up with loads of amazing Swedish food and drinks.

Midsummer dinner ready

Starting from the left on the picture above, we had:

Gravad Lax (Dill-cured Salmon), Lemon Wedges, Gravlax Sås (Dill-cured Salmon Sauce), Rökt Lax (Smoked Salmon), Homemade Swedish Meatballs, New Potatoes with Dill and Butter, Homemade Beetroot Salad, Midsummer Herring, Tomatoes & Cucumber and Sour Cream with Chives.

Martin pouring the akvavit

A plate of midsummer

Midsummer Dinner

Martin had gotten hold of some Akvavit and Gammel Dansk for traditional Swedish shots, Dave brought some Jägermeiste,r and Cata and Martin had bought plenty of beers, cider and a big bottle of Gin the day before the rest of us arrived in Aberdeen to keep us going all night.

So even though none of us felt like drinking or thought we would when we started the day hungover, the good food, good company and a round of charades after dinner somehow helped us ease into it again.

Cata and Martin singing

Cata and Martin

Cata, Dave and Orsi LOL

Dave and Orsi
We ended up playing this hilarious game where you’re in two teams and write down around 20-25 different artists on pieces of paper for the opposite team.

Then you have one person per team per round singing songs from artists that he or she randomly picks out from a hat and in 60 seconds the rest of the team members need to guess as many artists as possible and get a score for each correct one.

The losing team for each round had to take a shot and more you lost, the drunker you got. It was boys vs girls and sadly the girls were not very good at the beginning of the night, but we got better as the boys got more drunk ;)

Neil and Martin

Orsi and Cata

It was SO MUCH FUN!! And I don’t know how, but we managed to get through ALL BOOZE apart from the beers and half the Gammel Dansk.

An amazing effort considering I was pretty sure the night would end up being a somewhat mediocre evening due to everybody being so tired to begin with.

Orsi, Ina and Dave very hungover

Silliest photo ever

Hangover Selfie

We were even worse for wear the next day, but we somehow still managed to cook up a lovely fry up and clean the entire apartment that we had rented. Of course it started raining as soon as we left the flat, so we decided to go and do some indoor activities – ie go bowling!

We went to Codona’s amusement park just by the beach in Aberdeen and after bowling for about 2 hours, Martin drove Ina to the airport and the rest of us decided to explore the amusement park a bit better.

Ferris Wheel Aberdeen

Cata and Dave on Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel view

Ferris Wheel Selfie

We went on the Ferris wheel and I was super scared every loop going upwards. Not sure what it is with me and heights, but I just don’t like situations where I feel like Im dangling in the air with no real control (I know, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s just the way it is).

Rollercoaster

Orsi and Dave on rollercoaster
Then Cata convinced us to go on this mini rollercoaster called The Crazy Train – I wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea to do this when we were all so hungover, but I am so happy we did!

I ended up in a proper laughing fit throughout the entire ride and was laughing so much I was crying. So much fun!!

Then the rain came back and we ended up having a takeaway pizza before headingout  to the airport to take our flight back to London.

Aberdeen Airport

It was such a fun weekend and a great reminder that I am incredibly fortunate to have such amazing friends.

The one thing I took away from Aberdeen was that it is very grey and rather depressing, not sure how Martin stands it!

Can’t wait for next year now as rumour has it that we might be celebrating Midsummer in Singapore (!!).