Brand Scandi spotting – an occasional series (no.2)

Following on from Brand Scandi – an occasional series (part 1).

I find it interesting to spot products clearly stylised around the Scandinavian/Nordic “brand”.

Here is a Nordic-themed stationery range at Paperchase (spotted September 2015). It seems to be borrowing heavily from Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights. The main consistent image seems to be bears – there are bear-printed gloves, plates, hot water bottle covers, etc. Bears aren’t so common in Denmark so I think in this case ‘Nordic’ refers to the far, far North (hints of Sami/Lapland in some of the patterns, perhaps?), maybe even Greenland. Lots of references to the outdoors too with the leaf patterns and subheading “into the wild”. Notice it’s called Nordic Nights – a nod to Nordic Noir and related dark imagery no doubt.

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I’m keen on looking at the history of people’s perception of Denmark and Danishness in the UK. Commodities and their perceived high quality – think bacon and butter – are regularly occurring positive ‘memes’. Here is Lidl imitating Lurpak, for example:

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In doing so, Lidl is using the positive associations consumers have with Lurpak to sell its own product. I particularly like the name “Danpak” – a blatant appropriation of the Danish butter brand which actually alludes to its Danishness even more than the original brand’s name. Lidl sells all over Europe, so it seems Denmark’s good reputation for butter stretches farther than just with British consumers.

I’ll keep an eye out for more Scandi style stuff!

24 Weeks and a Positive Mindset

Throughout the PhD process there are various significant time markers: the end of first month, a few months in talking about your first proper written work in a supervision meeting, the Upgrade, attending and presenting at your first conference, and the end of the 3 full years’ of funding will be one too – gulp! When I started, my daughter (‘the baby’ of this blog’s title) was just under a year old. She is now approaching 3 (latterly renamed ‘the toddler’!).

The big reveal...

The big reveal…

I am pregnant. 24 weeks – over halfway to baby 2! My life has been temporarily overwhelmed by nausea accompanied by occasional puking from week 6 to week 19. Three months. This has been less than fun. And, of course, exhausting. It has really hampered my own (perceived?) progress with my work, too. But some positives about what I have achieved while feeling so physically crap…

While I’ve been pregnant, I have been to Denmark twice (once for a research trip as described in my last post, and once to observe part of the inaugural literary translators’ summer school). In August I presented at a conference in Sweden on Nordic Literature – my first international conference.

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I have also presented at a university departmental research day, attended literary translation workshops and related events on a single day at the British Library, taught a university ‘widening participation’ session for year 8 school pupils on translation and Danish culture, attended supervision meetings with both supervisors having also prepared written work in advance, met with other students to chat studies and plans, done even more corpus research (I keep dipping in and finding more books!), and written a full draft chapter to be submitted for a conference publication this Autumn. This week I’m participating in a conference on small nation literatures in Bristol.

While I’ve been pregnant, we have successfully toilet trained the toddler (actually, she needed very little ‘training’, thankfully!), discussed plans for Tooting Baby with its founder/owner (I’m the web admin keeping content up-to-date), stayed with my parents in my hometown for a couple of weeks, planned birthday parties for me and my daughter in the Autumn, planned maternity leave dates and related antenatal and postnatal minutiae, and met with friends and kept up with general life stuff while trying to fit in sleep, puking, and PhD-ing!

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I’m out of the worst of the fug of early pregnancy now, resulting in renewed energy and motivation – whoop! – but unfortunately the scary realisation that I only have three months left before maternity leave and a To Do list expanding with my bump!