Welcome back to myself

Almost 10 years ago I received this blog as a gift from a friend, a very thoughtful gift for someone that loves to both travel and write!  However, somewhere along the road the trips became more numerous than the time available to write about them and the more time that passed after a trip the higher the barrier to get the entry done became.

A few entries to come:

Montréal:  I returned to visit my friend Julie (trip from hell with cancelled connections and bagage delay). Visited the Botanical garden and a cosy town close by.

Nice:  in 2004 I spent thirteen weeks here learning French, this summer I was back for a few days walking down memory lane. So many old favorites revisited (if you go: DO NOT MISS Marc Chagall’s museum, suggest you visit it in the afternoon as the sun is then illuminating the canvases)

Prague: 2 years ago I visited this little pearl. Absolutely adored the city and look forward to giving you a few useful tips if you plan to go there!

Berlin: Spent a few days here this summer with my dad, revisited some old favorites, but also found new ones! A walk along the canal from the Haupt banhof to Hackescher Markt for example, with all the outdoor servings along the way. 😉

Krakow:  Earlier this fall I was  back here with my family, this time we made excursions to important sites outside of the city: the salt mine & the camps from the second world war.

Looking forward to tell you more about these trips!

Baptism of auntie’s little prince

Saturday morning I got on a train heading towards the west coast and around three in the afternoon I arrived in Hällevadsholm, the small metropole in which my grand father lives. Me and my cousin Sandra were both spending the night there and in order to celebrate this special occassion we had decided to cook for our grand father and his “girlfriend”, curious as we were to who this mysterious woman was that had turned our grand father into something that very much ressembled a teenager in love. When our grand father talked about this woman he went on and on about what a down to earth and hard working woman she is and how her time spent working on the farm has left traces. However, none of this was visible to me or Sandra, instead we met a very healthy and youthful 76 year-old whom, and this was obvious to both me and Sandra, had our grand father spellbound. It was so nice to see him glow when he looked at her!

The next day it was time for my nephew’s baptism, something that took place in Uddevalla and was attended by the closest relatives, which means about 20 people were there… The ceremony was pretty short and William behaved well through the whole thing. All the screaming came afterwards as you can see on the photo, although to be honest, this was one of few times that he cried this sunday in the beginning of december.

Welcome to the world William.

After years of lobbying I can finally add the title “Aunt” to my CV. 🙂

At 01.09am on the 13th of october 2009, Mr William Drottz saw his first beam of light as he exited the safety of his mother’s womb and entered the world outside. He measured 52 cm and weighed 3470grams, a little miracle to say the least. 🙂

Welcome nephew, I’m sure you and I will have a lot of fun together in the years to come.

There’s is just one word to describe the sentiment: LOVE.

Autumn has arrived.

I’ve felt a bit tired lately so when I seemed to be the only one planning on going to the office today I decided to do as the others: work from home. Finished a bit earlier than a normal friday and took the bus out to IKEA where I bought some candlesticks, flower pots and other “homey”-stuff to make my apartment an even nicer place to spend the long, cold winter months a head. Must say I succeeded pretty well 🙂 I’m quite happy with the result.

Just kind of left the purchases in the hall before running out again to go get some candy to celebrate the weekend, on my way to the supermarket I decided it was a good day for a little bit of Lille nostalgia in the form of Mouton Cadet, however, the Systembolag in my area didn’t seem to agree with this plan: they didn’t have the wine in their range of french wines. So, I picked up another bottle in stead, got my candy and returned home to my little apartment. I unpacked my IKEA-stuff, lit all the candles in the room, heated up the left overs from the day before, poured myself a glass of wine and sat down in front of the tv for some good Idol-entertainment.

I guess the news of the day isn’t really my cozy apartment though but the fact that Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize. I don’t really know what to say about it. I think he has good intentions, I just hope that he can follow through on them as well. Having good intentions is not enough to make him worthy the prize, no matter how sympathetic he seems.

Love /M

A lovely weekend in Göteborg

The other week it was time for THE budget meeting in Göteborg, something that proved to be quite a nerve thrilling experience. However, I am glad to say that I survived it, as did the business area manager of my region. It looked bad for a while when the figures just wouldn’t add up, but in the end it all fell into place.

The reward of the the day was a very successful night out with my darlings. We started out with some free food and cheap drinks at Berså, working up the right mood before heading over to Palace where the main event of the night was to take place: a nostalgic return to the 90ies in the form of a Rock show with Arvingarna. Both me and Charlotte had spent most of our youths being in love with one or another of the band members so the expectations were high. However, to our great disappointment it turned out that we were 24 hours too late for!!! Arvingarna had been there the day before!! Imagine our disappointment! So, after having been very happy about getting in at all to a place referred to as Jurassic Park we found ourselves leaving it again after five minutes giggling like school girls about our own lack of luck.

We didn’t let this little obstacle keep us from making the most of our evening though so in stead of rocking the night away with Arvingarna we headed over to Excet for some strawberry dacquiris and innocent flirting with the door man. Having started at six we were good to go home at two again, happy about the evening which ended well despite the unfortunate mistake at Palace.

Saturday morning I picked up some bananas, nutella and strawberries and took a tram to Charlotte and Linus’ place where a lovely brunch was served. Yummiiiiieeeee! Felt like I was rolling out of their apartment a few hours later. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and after having sent an impulsuve text message I found myself going for a walk around Delsjön with an old acquaintance. Delsjön is paradise on earthm a beautiful place! The company was, as I said, an old acquaintance whom I hadn’t seen for quite a while and decided not to see for quite a while again, the 3 hours walking were well spent though. 🙂

I finished off the weekend in Göteborg the only way a weekend in Göteborg can be finished if wanting to be ranked as a success: I had brunch at Soho, probably the best brunch in town! Caught up with Miriam, an old co-worker from my days as an IKEA employee. It’s always nice to see her! I might not have stayed long at IKEA, but I have a feeling me and Miriam will last a lot longer 🙂

that’s it for now folks 🙂

Summer vacation – 2009

Swedish summers are known to be short, and this one was no exception! I left Stockholm on the 10th of july for a three week holiday on the west coast and now I am already on my way back to the east coast.

It has been a great vacation in many ways, with a lot of nice experiences. The first weekend I went out partying with my cousin in Kungshamn on the day of arrival and we had a blast. On the second day there was a nice family reunuion at my dad’s house with all the siblings and boyfriends and girlfriends, all in all we were 11 of us enjoying a very tasty sea food dinner on the balcony. I ended up going out with my sister and one of my brothers and got home pretty late. On the sunday there was an outdoor concert at Sea Lodge which was VERY enjoyable! Great music and great atmosphere, I could tell it would be a great summer!

The second weekend meant: bachelorette party! I was a bit nervous before hand as I thought the day might be too relaxed. The bride to be has been pretty nervous about the bachelorette party and so I thought maybe she would be disappointed about none of the “embarrassing” stuff that she had pictured coming true. However, after a rocky start with locked doors ruining our kidnapping plans, getting lost on our way to the first stop and being forgotten by the silver smiths the day turned out quite the success where the bride to be got to be a model for a day, design her own silver jewelery and dance the night away at an australian bar before returning home to her worried husband to be after 22 hours on the road.

The third weekend was the weekend of the wedding, which also turned out quite the success! The bride and groom had a great time, as had I and the grooms younger brother. The memories from that weekend are repeatedly bringing a smile to my face and will keep doing so for some time yet I think. An unforgettable event! It was my fourth wedding in three years and they have all been extremely funny parties, can’t wait for the next one!!

The fourth and last weekend of this year’s summer holiday was spent at my dad’s house where I was accompanied by three friends of mine: Sara, Johanna and Charlotte. The four of us rocked! We went out partying until four in the morning both friday and saturday. The first night out we found ourselves dancing pretty much next to the Swedish Prince, the second night he was not to be seen but the place was packed anyways so it was probably for the best that he was not there.

At the moment I am on the train heading back to the capital and back to my apartment. I’m really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again after three weeks on the road.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to making this summer unforgetable!

Strömstadmilen 2009 – Girlpower

The weekend that passes was spent in Strömstad. I took the train home friday morning and worked during the journey. On arrival I joined my mum and her boyfriend for a boat ride and this years first swim in the ocean. A great welcoming to the west coast!

The reason for this quick visit at home was that my mum and her boyfriend started a new tradition last year when it came to Christmas presents: in stead of spending their money buying things none of us really needed they decided to spend the money on a family day consisting of the participation in the local event Strömstadmilen (a 10km run) followed by a family dinner in their garden and the time for this was now here.

As I said the tradition started last year and I remember the run that year as one of the worst rounds I have ever experienced in my running “career”. I was completely wiped out when I crossed the finish line, actually I was completely out of strenght already after 3km and had it not been for me being extremely stubborn I would have given up long before I crossed the finish line. Due to this I was a lot more humble this year than last year and decided to play it cool. The temperature measured 30degrees celsius and there was hardly no wind so the conditions were pretty extreme and made me even more careful with not emptying my energy reserves too early.

I was forced to let my brother get a head start and saw him increase the distance between us already after the first 100m, after 1 km I was passed by my mother’s boyfriend and after 3km my friend Patrik passed me as well. I was once again the last one. Just like last year. No fun at all. However, this year I felt a lot more in control of the situation and managed to keep a good speed!

Just before starting the second lap I passed my mum’s boyfriend, he had had to see himself beaten by the heat and so dropped out of the race. 500m a head of him I passed Patrik who was walking while emptying a glass of water, I couldn’t resist the urge of calling out “You’d better not walk for too long or you’ll never catch up with me again….” Him and me have been teasing each other quite a lot before the race and it was great to see him so tired 🙂 After yet another kilometer I was surprised to see that my brother was suddenly by my side! And he was tired! A lot more tired than me so I left him behind and continued my journed towards the finish line, which I reached feeling a lot better than I had the year before. I finished in 53min, an improvement of 12 minutes compared to the year before and 2 minutes before my brother. What a great day. 🙂

The swedish medical system at its best…

Before my move to Stockholm earlier this year I went to get a prescription renewed at the doctor. Once there I decided to ask him for an allergy test as well as I have been planning to have one done for some years now without managing to actually get my ass over to the hospital. I have experienced allergic reactions since I was thirteen and it has always been during a specific period of time each summer, however, I have never gotten it black on white exactly what causes these allergic reactions, something I figured it was time to find out.

To my utmost surprise I got to go to the lab right away and have the test carried out and I left just minutes after with the information that my results would be in within a week or two. I was surprised at how smooth it had all gone! However, weeks became months and the doctor was never heard from again. In May I started a new job as a controller at a healthcare company in Stockholm that, amongst other things, test for allergies and so it happened that I was offered to have one done during a visit to one of our labs. I got my result just hours after handing over my blood test and it showed an allergy to grass.

After this day I decided to make a new attempt of getting in touch with my doctor back home in order to find out whether or not the test that I took in january showed the same result as the one taken in May. After some calls I finally got to speak to a human being, a nurse at the local health care centre. She sounded very surprised when I told her about not having heard back about my test taken in January and so she promised to inform the doctor in charge. Just days later the letter arrived at my door.

When reading the paper sent to me by the doctor I was stunned! Had it not been for the fact that I have spent the passed few weeks going through the different analysis carried out by our lab instruments the information on the piece of paper that reached me today might as well have been written in greek! And I must say that the hand written comment left by the doctor did not make it any better. Jotted down in barely readable text stood the words “The tests show an oversensitivity, in other words: you are allergic! Regards, XX”. I mean, come on, THAT is no news! I already knew I was allergic, I didn’t need a blood test to figure that out. The question was WHAT I was allergic to, and that was not something this doctor pointed out, or even attempted to find out with his test. What a joke!

So, first thing tomorrow: calling up the doctor asking him what the h**l his letter was all about!

October in June

Looking out my window it is hard to imagine it being the middle of june. It’s gray, windy and rainy which makes it more natural to think that it’s in the middle of october rather than the weekend before midsummer. The only good thing about the weather is that my allergy is kept at a distance.

I was expecting to have a friend here for the weekend but she cancelled on me last minute so after weeks of various visits I suddenly found myself stranded. Being new in a city the security net for situations like this is not that well developed. Especially not when the weekend alone coincides with my cousin having her grand mother here, Alex having his parents visiting and Linus working on his final thesis.

However, friday night I had dinner with my cousin and her grand mother at a restaurant called Italiano, situated at Nybrogatan. We had dinner there at my cousin’s birthday too and I remembered the food to be very tasty but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed this time. It was pretty tasteless really. The chocolate cake I had for dessert was NOT tasteless though, it was yummie! Got back home pretty early and had time to do the laundry before going to bed. What kind of a friday night is that for a single girl in a big city..!?

Saturday was walking day. Did some exploring on Söder Mälarstrand and walked down to Medborgarplatsen before heading back home to watch a movie. In the evening I went out for dinner with Linus who had taken some time off from his thesis with the words “I have to eat either way so might as well do it together”. After dinner I met up with Alex at a friend of his for a relaxed house warming party. Got home around 2.30 after a very nice evening!

Today I started with breakfast in bed in front of the tv and with my lap top in my knee. After a couple of hours in that position I put on my running gear and did 10k in pouring rain. Coming back from that I had a shower and then curled up in bed watching a movie, and I think that’s about all I will do for the rest of this rainy day too. Kind of nice actually.

Family visits

Three weekends in a row I’ve had my family come visit. First out was my mum and her boyfriend. They had a day of sightseeing in Stockholm while I was at work and then we had one day together at Skansen, a famous park here in the city. The weather wasn’t exactly at its best but we did at least manage to avoid the rain. There was a food market at Sergels these days with food from all over the world and I was happy to speak french with some sales men. Having my mum and her boyfriend here meant having access to a car that could fit a sofa in the back so one night me and Jan went out and purchased one for me and it made such a difference! Suddenly it felt more like an apartment and not just a student dorm.

The weekend following the visit of my mum it was time for my youngest brother and his wife to spend some days in Stockholm. They could not have picked a better weekend to come, the sun was shining and it was around 25 degrees at least! So nice! We spent all saturday strolling in the city and in the evening I had a party at my place which turned out quite the success. Sunday was about as relaxed as saturday had been and then they returned back to the west coast.

Last weekend my dad and his wife were here with me and that also turned out a very cosy weekend, even if it was once again a little bit too cold and grey. We went to IKEA both friday night and saturday morning and got stuff for my apartment which my dad then spent some time putting together saturday evening. During the day we had lunch in the city with my cousin before walking through the old city having ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. Bought thai food here outside my house and ate in front of the tv watching the qualification game for the world cup between Denmark and Sweden. Unfortunately it was a game we lost. I must say that it was pretty fun to walk around the city centre of the swedish capital on our national holiday seeing more Danes than Swedes!