My name is Maria Smedstad, I work as a freelance writer and cartoonist from my home in Wiltshire and I am Swedish.

My family moved to England when I was fourteen, undoubtedly the most traumatic thing to have happened to me at that age, when my ambitions centred around writing difficult Sci-Fi and the desire to be able to wear a real bra one day. Swapping one language and culture for another was not part of the plan.

Luckily, lots of good came from it, for example it has provided years of fodder for my job as a columnist for Scan Magazine, where my monthly articles explore just this – what life is like in the UK as a foreigner.

This blog will feature some of these articles, in no particular order. I hope you will enjoy them.