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Posts Tagged ‘Karlskrona’

I’ve been busy lately. Crazy busy. No energy left for anything but work. Ridiculous. The last few weeks I’ve been “on the road” – first an agricultural fair, and then the politicians week. Before that A and I went to visit his family and hometown, Karlskrona, over Midsummer.

I’m going to try and give you a bit of a recap – in pictures. Here it goes…

Decked out for Midsummer – wreath in my hair, strawberry in my mouth!

One of many traditions for Midsummer is for girls to wear flower wreaths in their hair. I’m not sure why, but there it is – my first one since I was a kid!

In Karlskrona they have a huge annual fair called Lövmarknaden the day before Midsummer that cover the whole town square, and they actually make and sell wreaths there.

Most of them were mixed flowers and birch leaves, but they also had these, made solely out of corn flowers, and I simply couldn’t pass it up!

This here next picture shows you the fair itself, Lövmarknaden as seen from the famous ice-cream parlor, Glassiären.
 
Naturally we also stopped in for ice-cream, truth be told though – it was pretty awful… It left the tongue feeling strangely dry and powdery.
 

Lövmarknaden, the annual Midsummer fair in Karlskrona.

Karlskrona is actually a very beautiful city! It’s built on 30 islands (Stockholm’s only built on 14!), and outside the city lies the archipelago, the most southern of the Swedish archipelagos. Here’s a video that shows the city, from Visit karlskrona.
 
The city was founded in 1680 when the Royal Swedish Navy was relocated from the Stockholm area to the Trossö island which had up until then been used chiefly for farming and grazing. At the time Sweden was the dominant military power in the Baltic sea region, but needed a better strategic location against Denmark, since southern parts of Sweden had been conquered only a few decades ago. The Swedish fleet tended to get stuck in the ice during winter while located to Stockholm and was therefore moved south. The city name means Karl’s Crown in honour of King Karl XI of Sweden. (Thank you Wikipedia!).

Our stand at the fair Borgeby Fältdagar.

After Midsummer we hurried home so I could head straight back south again, but this time for work.

It was time for the annual agricultural fair Borgeby Fältdagar. It’s a fun and popular fair, held outdoors, that shows “real” farming. Even city kids like myself can appreciate it 🙂

That first full, 10 hour, day really wears you out though – man my feet hurt!

The two little boys, Lowe and Viggo, had left me a present in bed… Too cute!

Next up on the summer tour was a visit to the north eastern part of Skåne to see my friends and their little twin boys. I only get to see them once a year, and it’s so much fun to see how they’ve grown (Lowe had grown a full 2 inches in the last month! Blimey…).

Whenever I get to their house I fully relax – it’s so peaceful! Well, the boys make a racket, but thy’re only 4 years old, so that’s to be expected.

I worked one day when I was there, but we also had time to go on an ice-cream hunt, and for a lovely walk yo and around the palace Krapperup before I had to head back home (I saw tennis legends Björn Borg and Jonas Björkman at the airport!). Dinner on Friday night was, true to the stereotype, tacos 🙂

Beefsteak Dinner at AG’s.

Saturday night dinner was something else though! A had made a table reservation for us at AG’s, a meat lover’s haven, where they were “clearing out” their meat fridge before closing for the summer. It was…awesome!

First we were served a selection of starters, oysters and such. After that the feast commenced: meat was brought in on platters, potato wedges in a bowl and the mandatory bearnaise sauce. Plates, but no cutlery.

That’s right – no cutlery. We all had an apron on, but we ate with our fingers! Messy and glorious 🙂 After I don’t know how much meat, the meal was rounded off with chocolate cake and cream (we got spoons for this!). Hello food coma!

It was a fun and great evening, and I hope we try and make it a tradition! (Although…hang on. I think we may be busy that day next year – hint hint).

Visby ringmur, The City Wall of Visby

After a full 25 hours at home, I then flew to Gotland where it was time for the annual “politicians week“. Over 1 700 seminars were arranged for the week, and another new record – 400 seminars taking place at the very same hour!

It was the first time my work arranged our own seminar, and we’d put a great many hours of planning, writing, stressing etc over it. Thankfully it turned out quite well – we had some 30 people in the audience, and yesterday there was a clip on the news relating to our seminar and the report we presented there, so – woohoo! Don’t know that we’ll do it again though, perhaps we’ll just settle for attending other seminars and making our “presence” known 😉

Myself and my two adorable nieces Joanna and Greta!

I returned from Visby on Thursday afternoon, very tired after two very long and busy weeks. In fact, I was so tired my boss ordered me to leave work early on Friday afternoon…

I happily did, as we had to clean house and prepare for Saturday’s guests. My very good friends Patrik and Seng who I’ve known since we all studied at UBC are up visiting from Sydney with their daughter. It was fantastic to see them again after a year and a half. That’s most definitely the biggest bummer about having travelled so much – most of my friends live in far away places 😦

My sister and her girls (and later also her hubby) also came over, and we had a lovely visit outside in the sun, over a bbq with home made cupcakes , and finished off with strawberries – yum!

A is in London making legendary new aquaintances! Photo courtesy of Martin Bundock.

Last, but not least, in this long update of my goings-on, is this…

As you’ve read, I’ve been away a lot with work lately, barely seeing A. I like my job, but let’s face it – I’ve been to agri fairs etc.

Well, yesterday A set off on a work trip to…London, where he has to try and work his Nike Fuel band, and go to…parties! With DJs! And as if that isn’t enough, today, at a press event he met…Carl Lewis!!! The LEGEND!

Life. Is. Unfair.

And at least I’ve been a good (let’s be honest – perfect) fiancee and called him every night from my work trips, but has he called me? Even once?!

I think we all know the answer to that. Sigh.

Soooo…what have you all been up to?!

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Hi, remember me?! If not, totally understandable – I’ve been (very) absent. But I’m back!

Christmas was lovely, though A thought he’d starve to death one day, and die from eating too much the next. New Years was spent down south, in his home town Karlskrona. It was also nice, but I still have some – idiotic – issues with that place, so I’m just as happy coming back home again. It’ll get better with time, I’m sure.

We had a fabulous long weekend in London before Christmas, and the travelling will continue this year – even more – it’s like I’m returning to my old self, constantly on my way somewhere. Woohoo!

First up is a weekend XC-skiing in Orsa, just like the past two years. Hopefully I’ll see something this year…

A month later we’re heading to the Big Apple – New York City! I’m not quite sure how that came about, but A and I had collected enough bonus points with Star Alliance to get one ticket for free, so we (mainly A!) thought “what the heck” and booked it. Woot woot! How cool’s that?! Such a spontaneous booking, but it’s going to be fantastic 🙂

Ten days after returning from NYC we’re going to the Swedish island of Gotland, where my parents just bought a sharehold (?) (a house owned with others, they get to use it 10 weeks per year). We’ll be there for a long weekend, working two days from there instead of the office.

And just now we booked our summer holiday in…CANADA!!! My favourite country of all times. We’re doing a road-trip from Edmonton to Vancouver, from prairie to the Pacific. It’s going to be legendary!

If anyone has any tips to share on either of those destinations, please let me know!

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I returned from my “training camp” at Gran Canaria (GC) in the wee hours of Thursday last week. Today I’ve arrived back from Brussels where I spent the night, and in between there A and I have spent two nights down south, in his hometown. I’ve covered a lot of ground in the past week. And now I’m knackered. It’s as if the three weeks of “relaxation” never happened! Fascinating.

Before I set off for GC I went to see a new doctor for a second opinion of my knee issues etc. She had X-rays taken of my knee, and I went to get the results on Friday morning. My physiotherapist had gotten me thinking that perhaps it was actually a problem with the meniscus or something, seeing as I didn’t get at all better during my training. Sadly, it was not. Instead I can now add Osteoarthritis to my list of diagnosed conditions 😦 Life is unfair.

After getting this blow, we decided the knee should be drained (as usual), to relieve the pressure. But something went seriously wrong. It’s usually not painful at all. Well, a normal person would find it painful, but I’m so used to it, and know what a relief it is after, so I almost like it. However, I did not enjoy this. I don’t know what happened, and neither did the doctor, but she must’ve been messing with a nerve inside the knee somehow – I just screamed. Right out loud. And my eyes were like fountains. It was instant, the pain that is. The procedure lasted at least a minute, throughout which I continued screaming, and the poor Doc panicked more and more. Unfortunately she couldn’t get to the “pockets” of fluid, so she had to withdraw and enter the knee from the other side as well. By then I was almost hyper ventilating and expecting the worst, but it went well and she drained the knee of 45 ml of excess fluid. Good lord – some morning.

A few hours after my visit to the hospital we set off for Karlskrona – a beautiful town in the south of Sweden, and one that I will come to spend more time in than I’d ever have guessed one year ago. Like I mentioned, it’s A’s hometown. Just how beautiful can it be? This beautiful:

We spent a week there in the summer, but this time we were southbound to celebrate A’s dad’s 60th Birthday. I think I’ve mentioned earlier that I’ve actually known A’s dad for a few years (maybe even as many as four), and therefore it was really great to get to meet his side of the family, his siblings etc. It was especially fun to see their faces when I told them that I in fact knew him before I knew A, and I believe their approval of me grew even stronger when they realized I in fact work with him – their brother. 🙂 Or at least that’s how I’d like to think it went down.

At the party I was called a “playmate”/toy by one older man, and a guy (my age) who I’ve met several times before said he hoped for my sake the glasses I was wearing weren’t mine. Well, thanks a lot buddy. Asswife. He’s a singer (and a good one at that), but he instantly lost himself a future gig upon uttering those words…

It was a good weekend, but far too short and busy for the, in total, 1100 km we drove for it. Next time we’ll stay a few days longer, over New Year’s, which I hope we’re spending with A’s best friend and his family. We stayed at their lovely new home when we were down, and I hope to do it again!

And now…I’ve spent the last two days in Brussels. No rest for the wicked, eh? I’ve been there for a full-day meeting, that started at 9 am this morning. That’s a too early start for me to make it there the same day (first flight’s at 7 am, getting me to central Brussels at 10 am), so I have to fly the day before and stay over. Bummer. But I get to have breakfast at my favourite place – Tout Bon at Place de Luxembourg – and feel the international atmosphere as well as buy chocolate. And lots of it. Today, about EUR 70 worth…oops. Most at Neuhaus, as usual.

Mm...the best breakfast there is! Can't wait to take A here.

I haven’t been here since February, as two of our meetings were moved forward to dates I wasn’t able to go, so it’s a real treat to be back! It’s such a beautiful city, but in a great way. People were quite rude last night though, and that was a bit unexpected, so I still wasn’t thrilled. Until I got to my hotel which had been renovated since I was last there – very nice!

The City Hall (?) at Grand Place in Brussels

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