My wonderful week with wonderful people

Though there are things I really should put some effort into doing, (like writing my report to the Swedish Centre Party) I instead choose to spend an hour or so by the computer, because I really want to publish my pictures and tell you about all the fantastic people I met during my stay in London. 
Though my English is a bit rusty and far from perfect, I have promised my British friends to occasionally blog in English, so that they can follow. It is of course no trouble at all, quite the opposite, I assure you! Writing in English also gives me plenty of opportunities to practise my written English, which also has the nice side effect that I obviously will get less rusty and gradually get better at it. 
However, I will have to ask you all to kindly overlook my grammatical, linguistical and spelling errors. Now I'll I pluck up courage and by start writing exposing some of my linguistical shortcomings.
Pleeeease put your kindest and most merciful reading glasses on!  
Here we go!

This is Daniel and Karen Brown. Wonderful generous and lovely people!!! They let me stay at their house and also fed me through the week that I stayed there. I don't think I ever met such nice people before in my life. So warm and welcoming, so friendly, so easy to talk to and to get along with.  

These are their equally lovely and charming daugters - Kathleen, Ruth and Ester. 
Such wonderful, considerate, intelligent and wellbehaved girls. 

One of the lovely daughters actually gave up her room for me to stay in. That was so generous of her! I tried my best to keep my things to one side of the room, so that she should be able to play there, but I'm not sure I succeeded. Anyhow neither she nor her sisters complained though I can understand that having strangers living in your room and your home must be inconveniant and awkward.
I slept like a log under her warm and cosy covers in pink and green, and when I woke up in the morning next to the huge window, I had the most marvellous view over their garden. I lay awake and watched the trees, listened to birds and saw the sun come up. Absolutely lovely!  

Daniel's wonderful and charming wife Karen. One of the most pleasant, likeable and winning persons I've ever met. A truly wonderful person!!  

Daniel texting Bob in the early morning as we were getting ready to leave.
We always left at what Daniel called Bob o'clock which was at 8. We delievered leaflets for a few hours and then they let me off at Neasden HQ, so that I could go out with another team, while they concentrated on doing "councillor things".
Unfortunately I don't have any picture of Bob, which is a shame because he too is such a wonderful, generous and nice person. He put a lot of  time and effort into patiently explaining things to me that I otherwise would have had trouble understanding. I would have loved to introduce him to you, but somehow I forgot to make use of my camera during this week -- very uncharacteristic of me, I know, but I guess I was so preoccupied with what we were doing, that some of the days I just forgot I had it... Maybe Daniel has a picture he can mail me..? I'll ask him and if so, I'll put it here as soon as I get it.   

As soon as Daniel had read this, he immediately sent me a picture of Bob. Thanks a million, Daniel! That's so good and nice of you. 
So this is dear Bob: 


As I said, I would so have liked to have pictures from when Daniel, Bob and I were out delivering, but due to my abscent-mindedness that is not the case. And this is a nice picture of Bob showing his friendly smile and kind eyes.

This is Pete in Neasden HQ. He's one of the first I had contact with before arriving to London. Having his cell phone number on a piece of paper in my pocket made me feel less scared when I very late in the evening started my journey by Easy-bus from Stansted to London. He had kindly offered me that I could call him at any time if I needed help or directions. Luckily I never had to because I somehow managed to get on the very last replacement bus, which took me straight to Preston Road where Daniel had got out of bed to meet me at half past 1 in the morning.

Boy, was I surprised when I finally met Pete on Monday morning!
I had pictured him (why I don't know) as middle aged, stout and grizzled, which he obviously is not
A very pleasant, kind, and most knowledgeable and competent young man!

Behind him on the wall are samples of Lib Dems' leaflets.

Sarah Teather -- Brent's candidate for parliament. She won her seat with great marginal.

The English voting system is weird and nothing like the one we have here in Sweden. Voting for the party you like is not always an option...

... by doing just that you might favour a party you definately don't want to win. A completely inconceivable and stupid system!  

I do hope that Nick Clegg manages to change the voting system, so that future elections will be more fair and just.

Neasden HQ --- A very nice and pleasant young woman whose name I have unfortunately forgotten.

Jack Elliot Beck -- one of the three candidates in Dollis Hill.
I spent quite a lot of time with him and the rest of his team and I must say that they were a terrific team! Funny, generous, considerate and nice to work with. I'd love go back and work with them again in the next election!!  

This is perhaps a better picture of Jack...   :o)

Javaid Ashraf -- one of the other two candidates in the great Dollis Hill Team.

And Alec, whose full name is Alexander Victor Castle. Isn't that a lovely powerful and strong name for a British councillor?

Here Alec spots something further down the street.... it's the Conservative party's candidates. 

They came over to us by the car and chatted for a while. Very friendly and nice people. As one of them said:
- There's no point in not getting acquainted or being un-friendly to one another, since we all will be spending Thursday night together. 
That remark I think shows insight and openness. They reached out a hand... Might also be that they foresaw the outcome of the general election... i.e. they knew that a fruitful cooperation only would be possible if both sides make an effort and try their best to get along. No matter what, I think highly of them for their attempt to make friends. 

Their candidate for parliament, Sachin Rajput. A very nice and friendly chap. 

They kindly posed for me to take their picture. They also tried to get one of their cell phone cameras to work -- they wanted me to take their picture with it -- but with no luck or success. I'll try to find an e-mail addresse to one of them, so that I can mail my picture to them instead.

HQ in Willesdeen on the day of the election -- Thursday 6th of May 2010. Everybody's very busy and there are tons of things to do. Many of the campaigne workers have been out delivering "good morning leaflets" since half past 4 in the morning without a proper breakfast and are running on mere adrenaline. This is truly sincere and devoted campaigne work from which we Swedes have a great deal to learn. 

This nice young woman can also be seen infront of the stage in Brent Town Hall as they declare the winners in the election. (See the clip from youtube I embedded in "En fullständigt underbar, rolig och lärorik vecka".)

Boxes, material, leaflets and things everywhere in the office... but it is a very well organized chaos.

... as you can see also downstairs is crammed with boxes...

A nice and friendly volunteer having a break in HQ while picking up a new stack of leaflets to deliver.

- Now, this is something for you to take a picture of! she laughed and showed me a text on her bundle.

And she's right! This is something that volunteers or campaigne workers in Sweden never meet, since our mail boxes are attached to poles out by the street and not in the doors -- except for flats, but then they are placed a good 60-70 cm up from the floor and with a hinged metall shield covering it on the inside, so that dogs can't reach the postmen's fingers.  

I was both told about and shown evidence of dogs having bitten volunteers and campaigne workers' fingers. Luckily I had no such mishap while delivering leaflets... Mind you, when I think about it, I was actually attacked by a Rotweiler when I was out with Bedri and Richard. It was a most frightful and horrible experience!! The dog was unleached and the owner, whom I could not see, was in his driveway washing his car. I could see the dog spot me from more than three houses away and I could see that its posture changed... it lowered its head and kind of arched its back at the same time as it slowly drew nearer me. I thought that if I just did not make eye contact, it would leave me alone, so I continued walking along the street. All of sudden I could hear the huge dog's claws getting started against the pavement and from the corner of my eye I saw it coming with its upper lip lifted and heard its deep bark. As the enormous dog charged at me I screamed at the top of my lungs and prepared for the pain with the stack of leaflets raised in a vain attempt to protect my head... but by a miracle its owner heard my scream and called for the dog, which had the result that its charge was disrupted. It therefore just charged, barked and jumped at me -- it didn't bite me, thank God, but my knees were weak all afternoon after that, and it took a good half hour for my hands to stop shaking. I have never before seen such a big dog's teeth at such a close range and I will remember the smell of its breath for a very long time.  The owner assured me that she was actually very nice and would never have bitten me, but I am far from convinced...

But now, lets forget about charging dogs and concentrate on something nicer...

... like Louis.... a truly special person! Kind, warm hearted, nice, friendly...

... funny, humorous, witty, humble, respectful...

... easy to talk to, generous, helpful....

... and as you can see much more handsome and good looking than Richard Gere, even though his cap made a mess of his hair and he hasn't shaved. Louis is one of the volunteers that helped the Dollis Hill Team and I very much enjoyed working with him.  

Friendly and homourus Alec together with the rest of the Dollis Hill team at the café next door to HQ as we're having a break with a bite to eat.

And Javaid enjoying his toast...  Javaid is a handsome, clever and witty young man with an extremely good sence of right and wrong. I so admire his moral and his brave way of standing up for what's good and right. He'll go far this nice young man, I assure you!  

At the next table in this small and cosy café sat Jack, his girlfriend Marissa from Germany...

... a nice young man called Dimitrie...

... Jack's friendly father whose name I have unfortunately forgotten...

... and a brilliant and witty young woman whose name I just can not remember right now.

This team -- the Dollis Hill Team -- consists from truly wonderful, special, brilliant, caring, considerate, witty and nice people!! I so much enjoyed working with them and if I could do it all over again I would! But then I would of course change it so that I spent much more time with them!  

The polling station from the outside. They would not let me take a picture inside -- not even from the door. The lady in charge shooed me away like I was a stray dog in her garden.
I followed Alec there to help an old woman who needed a little assistance in getting there and also to place her vote. It looked pretty much like in a Swedish polling station, but the screens/shields were the other way -- here they were placed so that everyone could see the voting person's back and possibly also peek over that person's shoulder. In Sweden they are put so that the voter goes in behind it. Also the ballot papers were different; all parties were represented on the same ballot paper, which is not the case in Sweden where every party has its own ballot paper.

This is the identity pin/badge that got me in to Brent Town Hall at the night of the election.
I don't know how many Swedes that can pride themselves with having been present at the British Election Night, but I'm sure it can't be that many... I for one was truly honored and happy to be there.  
And not only was I allowed in, I also got to participate as a counter for Lib Dems, and that was really really something. It was so exciting, so funny and so interesting!!!
And there was someone, not present, that I would have wanted to share this with and talk to about this, but sadly there was no time or opportunity to do so.... Hopefully he'll read this and know that he was in my thoughts all night.

This picture is taken by one of the photographers in Town Hall -- after the deterrent experience at the polling station I dared not take my camera inside, but the nice photographer sent me a picture instead.
Here I am with Richard and Bedri -- now both councillors in their ward Welsh Harp.
Richard is a wonderful, kind, interesting and knowledgeable person whom I very much enjoyed working with and talking to. I am so glad that he won his seat as a councillor!!! He truly deserves it!!

Thanks a million all of you!! You were all truly amazing and made my visit wonderful and unforgetable!

And at last, but absolutely not least, a greeting from the leader of my party - The Centre party of Sweden - and vice president of Sweden Maud Olofsson to Nick Clegg and all Lib Dems.

I tried to show it in the Lib Dems' room at Town Hall, but the sound wouldn't come out right. Instead I publish it here, so that everyone of you get a chance to see it.
I am very proud of Maud and all the things she has achieved during her time in the Swedish government. She is a truly amazing woman with astonishing political skills and knowledge. A very impressive lady with great charisma!

Daniel, Bob, Dollis Hill Team and Louis -- I am so very greatful to have been given the opportunity to get to know you and spend time with you! You all have a very special place in my heart!!

Postat av: Jesper

Det finns ju även något som heter Google translate :)

2010-05-14 @ 11:02:00
Postat av: Faduma

Hello there! Thank you so much for your lovely comments and I'm glad you enjoyed your time with the team.

All the best,


2010-06-10 @ 21:05:50
Postat av: Mamsen

Oh, HI Faduma!!! I wasn't aware that any of you folks read my blog. Though I'm of course extremely pleased to find that you do!!! :o)

Yes I totally loved working with you and spending my week with you all!

It would be great to stay in touch and possibly see you when I get to London next time. Or have you as guests here in Sweden! :D

Please forward my e-mail addresse to the others! :o)

Warm hugs to you all!!

2010-06-11 @ 00:18:40

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