Monday, 1 September 2014

More Scandi Drama

crimes of passion 1

Did anyone else watch the latest BBC4 Eurocrime offering to hit our screens this weekend? “Crimes of Passion” is another Scandinavian offering, set in the 1950s.

The series based on Maria Lang’s crime novels is set in the magic beauty of Bergslagen, a genuinely Swedish environment – and the period clothes and furnishings are beautifully done.

The blurb says “In six episodes, we meet Puck and Einar [aka Eje] Bure along with police superintendent Christer Wijk in their quest to catch the killer. The murderer is always “one of us” and the murder plots are crimes of passion. Each episode is a classic whodunnit where we follow the lives and fortunes of interesting characters in an exciting thriller filled with love, sex, intrigue, betrayal, secrets, lies, and death.”

I wasn’t too sure – I found it all to be quite slow moving – there were lots of gaps between the – subtitled – Swedish dialogue [this proved useful as I was trying to hem something whilst watching!] The body count was high. Episode 1 was in classic Christie style – houseparty on an island, a murder, and the only boat to the mainland is out of action. But the main protagonist, Puck was an interesting character.

I shall watch the rest of the series before I make up my mind.

IMG_2953No bodies or murder in my other Scandinavian literatuire this week. I have been reading stories from this book to my new class. The five year olds are loving it.

Mrs. Pepperpot, is a little old lady who lives in a cottage in the Norwegian countryside together with her husband.  has a secret - she occasionally shrinks to the size of a pepperpot!

However, she always manages to cope with the tricky situations that she finds herself in, at least partially thanks to the fact that upon shrinking she also gains the ability to understand and talk to all animals. Alf Proysen began writing these stories 60 years ago [in Norwegian, she is called Teskjekjerringa, the teaspoon lady]


It occurred to me whilst on holiday that my new class may not know what a pepperpot is, so I picked up this little wooden gen for 50p in a CS in Norfolk. It is just the right size to pass round the class and be held in little hands.

I was telling one of the stories on Thursday when a colleague came into the classroom. Afterwards she made a brilliant suggestion

“You should dress up your pepperpot to look like Mrs P” she said.

You know me – that was far too good an idea to ignore. So I set to work. I began with a circle of pink fabric which I hemmed and put elastic round the edge. This covered the top of the pot, to make the head, rather like a mob cap. Then I made a simple dress, opening all down the back – and stitched that to the bottom of the head. I sewed arms to the dress, and ribbon ties.  embroidered a face onto the head and sewed on some brown wool to make hair – including a little bun on the back. It is very easy to slip Mrs Pepperpot on and off the wooden form.


Here’s a view from below, showing the head ‘hole’


Her cheeks are a little bit hamster-like! But the overall effect is just about right.

Next week’s stories will have an added dimension. The five minutes of story at the end of the day is such a lovely time with the class.


  1. The children you teach are very lucky -but I think that encouraging them is a pleasure to you as well. It is fantastic when children can be helped into the joy of reading

  2. Just love your Mrs Pepperpot, I remember reading the stories aloud years ago, they are magical & enthralling. How lovely to have the pepperpot & the dressed version to bring it all alive for your pupils. I'm sure they will love it.
    I also watched the Crime drama & enjoyed the costumes & backdrop, I was also grateful for the slow subtitles as I was knitting and counting the stitches which make the lacy pattern of a baby blanket - don't want to spot a mistake a few rows further on so being able to visually check the pattern was useful. I will watch the next ones too. Have a good day,
    Vee x

  3. Love Mrs Pepperpot! The EFG and I just watched a BBC drama over 6 episodes on Netflix called Top of the Lake, which was set in New Zealand, and filmed through a weird grey filter, but was, after the first slow episode, rather gripping! In the end, I was glad that there were only the 6 episodes, because I wanted to know whodunnit!

    1. I saw the first Top Of The Lake, and found it rather slow too - and I am afraid I did not persevere! Maybe they will repeat it on BBC sometime

  4. I used to love Mrs Pepperpot stories too! And it's a great idea to demonstrate to the children what a pepperpot is - I suspect many would have no idea!
    We watched Crimes of Passion - quite enjoyed it, and liked Puck's character too. There was, as you say, a high body count - almost as many as in Oxford when Morse was doing his thing!
    Could I just mention a Giveaway I'm hosting at in case any of your readers would like to pop over and enter. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for reminding us about the giveaway!!

  5. You are the best teacher EVER! How cute! The littles won't forget that sweet Norwegian tale!

  6. Scenery and clothes were nice - as was Christer - other than that, it was take it or leave it for me, I'm afraid! Love Mrs. Pepperpot. x


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