Monday, 29 December 2008

Not a salmon in sight

Haha! Not that salmon is bad, but the British Christmas is very different to the Swedish one! I was home in sunny South Wonston (and yes it was actually sunny!) for a week, not long really, but I crammed a lot in. Flew home on the Saturday night and chilled on Sun, before having a Christmas cut (fab alliterative skills) at Tony and Guy, and heading to London for a Christmas catch up (I did it again! I'm so clever) with Sophie and Louise - both of whom seemed really well. Hadn't seen Louise since graduation! Here they are standing under a magnificent tree:

I trailed round the shops in Winch, M&S was especially mental with all those people buying posh Christmas vol au vents, and caught up with the family as much as I could. Christmas Eve was one of the few chances to see a couple of the Spoons, and Lil surpassed herself in giving me a travel Balderdash (which was enjoyed with much hilarity on Christmas day!) and Spongebob Squarepants tree decorations - awesome! Christmas itself was traditionally cosy, with presents in the morning and a slap-up de-lish luncheon to make us all feel satisfactorily stuffed.

Malvern G and her hurty foot!

Paps does the honours

Boxing day at the G's was equally yum, with the added fun of childrens' playgrounds in the morning (where the 'grown-ups' had a blast!) and an insane round of Articulate in the eve. Oh, and the stick game.
All hail the holy helium stick!

A typical family moment

Saw a few more spoons on the Sat morning for a quick brek at Starbucks (gotta make the most of their caramel hot chocs, there are no Starbucks in Sweden :O), before heading back to the land of minus degree temperatures. John had a great surprise for me on Sun, as a final part of my Christmas present. We went go-carting!!! It was terrifying what with certain people crashing into me on more than one occasion (grrr), but we both managed to do our laps in under 60 seconds, and remain in one piece.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Ice Bar contd.

A few more COOL pics from our trip to the ice bar:

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Ice Ice Baby (dum dum dum dede dum dum)

John's Christmas present took place yesterday, and comprised spaghetti bolognese (as in a meal, not just a packet of raw meat and uncooked pasta...) followed by a visit to the Absolut Ice Bar Stockholm! The bar was opened in 2002 and recently expanded in size, now sporting insane ice walls, an ice bar, ice glasses, an ice table and stools, and an ice chandelier. The temperature inside is a rather tingly -5 degrees! But the frightening thing is that's sometimes warmer than outside...brrr. It's definitely a novel experience, and now I've got a taste for the icy chilliness I really want to see what the Ice Hotel up north (where the mountain people live...apparently) is like. Here are a few pics from the 'cool' occasion!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Jul-mas cheer :)

Cannot believe how fast December seems to be flashing by, Christmas is in less than 2 weeks! Well it's a good thing I've done all my xmas shopping then, isn't it hehehe. I braved the crazed hoards of Saturday shoppers today to buy my final few gifts, which I think my dear family members will appreciate for their Swedishness! I'm looking forward to going home next week (20th) and seeing everyone, but I feel lucky to have experienced the Christmassy period in another country for the first time - especially for the glögg and pepparkakor biscuits! This week I met John's grandpa (Morfar) and wife Inger for a Julbord (Christmas table) at a really cosy restaurant in Stockholm. Madde and Ninnie (J's mum) were there as well, and we had a traditional meal of salmon, xmas ham (woo!), herring and meatballs. I had a taste of my first julbord at the pre-school's xmas party last week. It took place at an incredible Versailles-esque venue with a banquet table buffet a mile long, literally! - I have since discovered it's a bad idea to pile your plate with too much food...even if it is all for free...

Sampling glögg (as an aperitif!) at the restaurant

Family photo, and me!

Next to Santa's reindeer
NB oops! I think a few of the pics were too big. Ah well, you can view the full pic by clicking on it.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Välkomna till Sverige!

My very first visitors came at the weekend - woop! Dearest Mamma and Hughman braved the BA flight over here on Friday evening and stayed at the First Amarenten, just a few hundred yards down the road from me. Staying in a hotel was definitely a more comfortable option than sleeping on our sofa! We had a packed itinerary, including going to Old Town to sample the Christmas markets (we had glögg!), shopping in the design stores, visiting Vasamuseet (big wooden ship that sank in the 17thC), looking at weird artwork at the Modernamuseet, and having the most delicious 3 course meal at Den Gyldene Freden - one of the most famous restaurants in Sweden! Overall it was a lovely weekend, and I'm hoping to entertain some more visitors in the New Year hint hint!!

Meatballs at Gyldene Freden!

The Vasa

Changing the guard at the Royal Castle

The Mitchells Sweden-style! The weather was fantastic...