Author: Agneta von Koskull

Living with Her Ladyship

Issue 4/2003 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the memoir of a Helsinki childhood, Från Twenty Gold till Kent (‘From Twenty Gold to Kent’, Schildts, 2003). Introduction by Pia Ingström

My hair was dark and stuck up from my skull like little nails. My face was furrowed with red, my throat was wrinkled and I didn’t even have a pretty navel. This was because Daddy had to knot my umbilical cord himself while the obstetrician was busy on the ground floor with an appendix.

‘She looks like a forty-year-old errand-boy from the newspaper’s office: Daddy announced.

Mummy said she hoped I would soon change and have a long neck.

At Apollogatan street we took the lift up to the third floor where my sisters were waiting with the new nanny. They had no chance to welcome me with singing as they’d planned because both Renata and Catherine had colds. Nobody was going to be allowed to breathe anywhere near me, Mummy and Nanny were entirely agreed on that. More…