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Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

Last night a Swedish prince was born! Hooray! He is third in the line of succession after his mother, Crown Princess Victoria, and his sister, princess Estelle.

It’s a baby, and they’re not all that fun, but what is fun are names! The King announced that he shall be called Oscar Carl Olof. Carl after our King Carl Gustaf, and Olof after his other grandfather. 

I had two out of three right, but I thought they’d spring some surprise on us for the first name, like they did with Estelle (sounds like an escort). My bet was on Eugene after this guy, or Hubertus after this guy. I’m very pleased with Oscar 😊

Of course, now Oscar will become the most popular name for boys again, but that’s okay because we’ve already decided on a different name (if we get a boy). 

The Royal family on the way home from the hospital đŸ‘‘đŸŒđŸ‡žđŸ‡Ș

 

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There’s much to be done to spruce up this place, but given the view – let’s just say it has potential! September 21st it’s ours!

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I promised you some pictures, and here’s a link to our photographer’s blog. She’s put some up there, and I’ll be sure to post some more once we’re back from Scotland!

Link to photos

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PS. It was magical!

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Happy New Year!

We’ve spent the last 10 days on the Swedish island Gotland, and we’re here for a few more. Both Christmas and New Year’s were thus quite relaxed and low-key, as we had no one to go, or come, visit.

Only A, myself and my parents were here for New Year’s Eve so it was a nice relaxing dinner where we struggled to stay awake until midnight… We made it though! And then we headed straight to bed and all slept until almost 10 am. Crazy. That never happens!

Yesterday we went for a walk for some much needed exercise, and to check out the new year here in FĂ„rösund. When we arrived on December 23rd we had to spend a good 30 mins shovelling snow away from the driveway in strong winds and -5 C temperatures – hard to believe when you see the pictures I took yesterday, eh? Quite dark and dreary. We’ve seen lots of rain after Christmas. I hate rain.

My hopes and wishes for 2013 is that all goes well in the preparations for our wedding, that I pass my course (work related) with flying colours, and that we perhaps can start a family. Preferrably in larger accommodations… If all those were to come true, 2013 really would be the year “it all will happen”. Here’s hoping!

What are your hopes and dreams for 2013? I sure hope they all come true!

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It’s that time of the year again – time to dress up in white and carry lit candles in your hair. What I’m on about? Lucia of course! You can read about it in some of my posts from previous years (Lucia and the third of advent, What is that? Is that Genghis?!?), or just watch this informative clip about the Swedish tradition:

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“Brace yourselves. Winter is coming”. Is what someone ought to have told us last week, because – BAAM!! – here it is. On Friday morning as I left home in my 6 am cab I was greeted by a beautiful layer of snow. By the evening, when I arrived back home from Gothenburg, rather delayed i might add, there was a lot more snow on the ground. And that’s when the temperature started dropping. On Saturday I had my long-johns on for the annual Christmas market, and on Sunday – whoa! – temperatures dropped below -10 C.

Gorgeous view on my way to work on Tuesday morning. But cold, -13 C, 8 F.

Gorgeous view on my way to work on Tuesday morning. But cold, -13 C, 8 F…

However the really heavy snowfall didn’t start until yesterday evening. A and I were slip-sliding around on the city streets, and ended up catching the bus instead of the quicker tube just so we could skip 100 metres of the walk home. But this morning, oh boy, talk about waking up to a winter wonderland! The snow has been dumping down all day, the airports are closed, buses aren’t running, the tube is irregular – the system is almost entirely shut down. And you know what? I LOVE IT!!!

It’s so awesome to get a reminder that we’re really not in control of anything, at least not when it matters. Nature runs this ship, called Earth.

The view from my office window - notice the woman, bottom left, shovelling to get her car out? She'd been at it for an hour...

The view from my office window – notice the woman, bottom left, shovelling to get her car out? She’d been at it for an hour…

Walking home was a bit of an adventure. I didn’t walk the whole way (thank God), but figured I might as well hit some shops and give the snow plows a chance to catch up. The shops were deserted – it was like I was the last person in town – woohoo!

Almost home! On top of the hedge you can see how much snow we've had - today! And the bikers...see them? Crazy!

Almost home! On top of the hedge you can see how much snow we’ve had – today! And the bikers…see them? Crazy!

Down below are some more pictures of Stockholm in it’s beautiful brand new white coat!

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ABBA is the best-known popular music band from Sweden, and probably the only one that ranks among the best-known in the world. Well, there’s more to Swedish music than ABBA, let me tell you.

I’m currently in love with two bands. And, unusually enough, they’re both Swedish. One band I wrote about just a week ago – First Aid Kit. I’d heard about them from friends, but didn’t really “get” how fantastically awesome they are until I saw them on the TV show “Skavlan” in February. Watch/listen to the clip below and you’ll see why. The song is called Emmylou (and remains my favourite):

How amazing are those voices, eh?! You can read more about them, and – if you’re lucky – see if they’re coming on tour in your city/country anytime soon on their website. The concert last weekend was spectacular, it’s rare that a band is even better live than on their CD!

Okay, so that’s my first suggestion for you to check out – First Aid Kit. Next up is Mando Diao. Not to be mixed up with Manu Chao 😉

I remember hearing about them years ago when I was living abroad, but I never really started listening to them “properly”. Not until now. Embarrassingly enough (at least that’s how A feels) we “discovered” them through Skavlan on TV as well. Usually they’re an alternative rock band, but now they’ve put music to ten poems by Swedish poet Gustaf Fröding. The album, which was released Oct. 31st, is called Infruset. Here’s the first single from the album, StrövtĂ„g i hembygden:

I realize most of you don’t understand Swedish, but just listen! Isn’t it just beautiful?!

Well, that’s my contribution for today. You know what’ll be playing in my headphones tomorrow!

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While we’re on the topic of weddings, Royal or not, here’s a picture from the wedding we went to last weekend.

My beautiful “baby sister” Cecilia and her husband Johan.

My gorgeous little Cecilia – whom I pushed around in my doll pram in the summer of 1984 – married her best friend Johan in Danmark Church outside Uppsala, an hour north of Stockholm.

We had such a good time; the weather might have been terrible, but everything else was just wonderful. The people, the food, the band – everything!

The Terander Clan was there in full force (we’re considered family), and A and I even made a weekend out of it and spent the night at a hotel in Uppsala.

The Terander Clan (minus sister who took the photo).

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You’ll never believe this! I went to Brussels for a meeting Tuesday afternoon, and last night I was on the plane back home. I try and fly Brussels Airlines coming home, as they land at Bromma Airport, a mere 10 min taxi ride from home.

So there I am, in seat 2A, behind a jew with an elaborately crocheted kippah (red, green and yellow, circular pattern with a star in the middle), wondering why they never said “boarding completed” when no one was boarding. Getting slightly annoyed over the delay.

Then, finally, two people got on, a man and a woman, in their 40’s. They sit down in 2D and E, but only briefly, then the woman moves to 1D and he to 2D. Ok, now I’m wondering what the heck they’re doing, because row 1 is the only Business Class row on the flight.

And that’s when I see it. Who’s seated in 1A. It’s………..the Queen! The holy Royal, mother of Victoria herself! Queen Silvia of Sweden!

Queen Silvia of Sweden

W o w! I mean, wow!!! The Queen! Three metres away from me! For two hours! This even beats that time in the 90’s when she and the King cut in line and rode on the skilift in front of me in Åre.

I wonder what she was doing in Brussels? It’s honestly never occurred to me that they’d fly with us mortals. I guess I’ve always just assumed they have a plane of their own. My bad. She can’t have been on any major official business, because she wasn’t all done up. Wearing a white blouse and a pink knitted sweater, and in her hair she had the kind of hair clip I use when I have a shower and don’t want to get my hair wet!

She was reading a book, don’t know which, but she kept a pen in hand, for underlining, so I guess it wasn’t fiction.

She was served her meal on real china, but that was probably just because she was in Business Class, couldn’t tell as the guy in front of me, the only other passenger in BC, got what looked like a pizza carton. Upon closer inspection (of the reflection in the window) I saw it was a Kosher meal – it said so in capitals on the top. I have no idea what it included. No pizza though!

Our beautiful Queen!

I guess it’s not so strange she flies to Bromma come to think of it – it’s about as far to their palace from there as it is to mine 🙂

A colleague of mine came up and chatted for a bit, standing in the aisle, and the guards/keepers or whatever they are were clearly suspicious and uncomfortable with it.

I wonder what it must be like, living her life. Can’t be fun. She looked lonely, if anything. Especially when getting off the plane. It was like a scene out of a movie: it was a brisk -8 C, there was a light snowfall, and a sleek black car was pulled up next to the plane, and there she was – the first one off the plane, walking down the rackety stairs, into the beams from the waiting car, just a lonely silhouette walking into the light.

And that was that – my “meeting” with the Queen!

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This past weekend I had the great joy of attending one of my best friend’s wedding – Johan married his Lina, and their son Oskar was baptized at the same time. The wedding was held up north, in Hudiksvall, Lina’s hometown.

A, Alex and I drove up in the morning, and arrived to Alex’s hotel in town in time to get ready there before heading to the church. A gorgeous, big, white church from as long ago as the 12th century – HĂ€lsingtuna kyrka. I don’t know when I last sat on the right side of the church (the groom’s side), but I felt right at home among Johan’s family and friends!

It turned out Lina comes from a very musical family, and I was very surprised when she – the bride – grabbed the mic to sing to Johan at the altar! (Johan was surprised too, I should add ;)). Very cool. Oh! I almost forgot – their son, Oskar, was baptized just after the wedding ceremony, and all the nieces and nephews got to come up to the priest and help out – adorable!

Newlyweds in happy Hudik!

After the ceremony we had wedding cake in the parish house, before the bride and groom drove off in a Chevy Impala, decked out with balloons and a “Just married” sign. We too drove the 20 km to the Heritage farmstead (?) in GammelstrĂ€ng, just on the shore of Lake Norrdellen – just beautiful! We quickly put up our tent, and yes – there were plenty of other people camping, I’ll have you know – bride and groom included! – and headed for the bubbles.

The reception was held in an old barn – brilliant!, and of course there was a seating chart, games, speeches, singing, fantastic food, amaaaazing lemon cheesecake before the dancing started. It was such a good day/night, and Lina was so beautiful – it was all just perfect. Well, maybe not the weather, but at least it didn’t rain. The following day we were all invited to brunch at Lina’s parents place, and again the food was great, as well as the company. Thank you ever so much for a fantastic weekend Johan & Lina – I/we hope you enjoy your present!

It was truly a beautiful wedding, and it gave me many ideas for, if ever, you know… 😉

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