A new car

On Tuesday we finally got our new car. It’s a Renault Zoe, a small electric car. We ordered it in the beginning of April after we had an accident with our Škoda and it had to be scrapped. It took some time for it to be delivered, but it was worth the wait and we had another car (a Renault Kadjar) from the dealer until it arrived.

Here is a picture of the car (sorry for the quality of the picture):

Picture of the new car

Here is a picture of the loaner:

Picutre of the car we loaned

Here is a picture of the damage on the Škoda, it wasn’t a bad accident, airbags didn’t deploy, but the insurance company rather traded in the car then letting us fix it:

Picture of the crashed car

Golden Fun

We have finally bought a new car. It is really difficult to buy a car, first we had a budget, then there was a thought of what kind of car we wanted, then we started looking at ads. There are so many cars out there matching our criteria. We had to look at some cars.

If you want the quick version, just scroll to the end of the post, there is some good portion of rambling in the middle.

So, the new car should not be too old, we had a limit of how much we could put, and preferably not driven that far. That makes a tricky combination. We looked at Hyundais, first. Then we realised we didn’t want something as wind sensitive as the Yellow Danger. There are some other models there too. We also looked at VW-Polo and Golf and siblings from Seat and Skoda. Na, either they were Stone Age (or at least from the previous millennium) or they had been driving something like 300 000 km. At this point we realised we need to broaden our search and start actually looking at cars not only browsing ads.

So Susanna’s parents came to take care of our kids and we went for a tour de used-car-dealers. At the first place we had a rather shocking encounter with a Hyundai Getz, (I think it was), not that old, just not taken care of. There we also saw a Ford Focus that kind of opened our eyes to the Fords. The second place was closed (or just not answering the phone), the third place had grass growing out of the car so we decided that we didn’t really think that was proper treatment for a car to be sold.

After a much needed lunch we continued up the coast to look at some other cars. Two Hyundai Accent were the lures. We took one for a test drive. Not our car. And it wasn’t that nice either. We looked at some Fords again, but neither one of them was better than the one in the morning.

Off to the next place. We were greeted by an eager salesman (probably the owner of the place). After letting him know what we wanted he started showing us cars. It was a bit confusing at first; he was showing all kind of cars kind of at once. But we wanted to look closer at a few of them. Here we first came in touch with the French cars. We realised that a Citroën C4 wasn’t our cup of tea, centre speedometers should be banned. The C3 wasn’t that nice and lacked some features, I was really hoping for car with cruise-control. We looked at some Opels here too but they were a bit over our budget.

A Renault Mégane was a nice surprise tough. Coming in a bit below our budget it caught our eyes. So we asked for a test-drive. It was a pleasant surprise. Quiet, smooth and comfortable. We really liked it. Still we weren’t convinced. Renault isn’t a brand we were familiar with. It had some things that needed tending but that wasn’t a problem the salesman said, they would fix it.

Off to the next place, the last place in our tour. Here we had high hopes. Boy did they fail. The cars were in lesser shape than at the previous place and seemingly higher in price. We didn’t even test-drive any car there.

On the way home Susanna researched a bit about Renaults. The gathered info convinced us that a Renault could actually be a feasible choice for us. We still liked the Ford Focus though. Back home we did some background check on the most interesting cars we had looked at. 7 owners on both the Ford from the morning and the Mégane. But wait; the first owner of the Mégane was a car rental company. So that’s why it was so cheap. Some more research on owning a former rental crossed that car off our list. Now we were back to the Ford Focus. It had been rolling a bit far so we decided to look at some more.

As we didn’t want to ask someone to watch our kids again Markus and I drove to Kristianstad to check out some Fords we had seen ads for. The first one was sold. Going to the next one. At first it looked okay, but a closer look revealed rust, and plenty of it. It was actually more rusty than the Yellow Danger. And that isn’t a good sign for a car almost 4 years younger. It had some parts almost falling off. We still took it for a test-drive. It didn’t feel good either and made some funny noises.

Disappointed we looked around in the store. There was a Renault Mégane there too. It looked really nice. So we took a closer look. I asked if we could take it for a test-drive. It felt good. We looked at it, no rust to be found except for a bit on the break disks in the back. (One of them needs replacement in a not too distant future). Just below our budget but without winter tires. Winter tires could be included though. So we went home thinking this might be the car. Back home we did the background check. Only one user and nothing other showing up.

So, today (Monday) we went back there to buy it. Susanna hadn’t seen it before but she liked it too. Here it is, the Golden Fun. A bit bigger than needed, but it could double as family car in case we need to. Now I only have to install a phone-holder.

Golden Fun, Renault Mégane Combi

Here is a picture of the car.

We already made use of the fact that we have two cars again. Susanna went shopping while I picked up our daughter from a friend.

The Yellow Danger is doomed

Today I handed over the keys of the Yellow danger to the mechanic getting it scrapped. Sadly it’s too expensive to repair any more.

It is always hard to let go of things for me, somehow cars more so than other things. I think it has to do with all the memories I have with them. I really liked this one; it was charming in some strange kind of way. And it needed some planning to not block everybody on the motorway while overtaking.

We have repaired it a few times, but this time it was just too expensive to be feasible. Still it has been a cheap car doing a good job getting us to work and back.

The brakes have made strange noises for some time, so I decided to change them, I had ordered the parts and just about when I got the message that they arrived Susanna called me telling me she had a problem, the car just wouldn’t go forward anymore. So we had to get a tow truck to get the car to a mechanic. It wasn’t just the brakes but also some other parts that had to be replaced to get the car moving again, all in all it would have come to just below 2½ times the price we paid for the car to fix it. Sometimes one has to realise one’s defeat.

Here is one of the last pictures of the car.

Yellow Danger doomed

And here is the first good one I have from it.

Yellow Danger as "new"

Getting things done

 

Now I’ve been home for one month. Time has gone really fast. It’s already October. And the weather has been on my side. Plenty of days with sunshine and some kind of warm feeling in the air. So much that my daughter has asked me if we could go swimming a few times. Today I was actually contemplating it after my digging up the garden session. Didn’t happen though. We did go for a walk as family in the afternoon. It is really nice doing that. In Norway they call it “gå på tur” (walk a “tour”) and it’s all about getting out in the nature. Today we went west from our place along the shore of Ringsjön. It was a bit tricky the last bit.

Here are some pictures from the walk:

The end in the shrubs

This was as the path we chose. No, it’s not really a visible path. Didn’t get much further than this.

Low water levels

Due to the low water level the shore was further out (behind the reed) leaving us fairly dry on our walk.

Western Ringsjön

A view of western Ringsjön, most of these rocks are below water normally.

I have been doing a few projects around the house. I mentioned the digging of the garden before, but there is pruning of trees too, fixing some shelfs for our books and ground painting the playhouse. Pruning the bushes in front of the house was very satisfying. The result is clearly visible.

Busch before and after

Not all projects went the way I wanted them to: I wanted to take care of some rust on our car, but as I started up the grinding tool it died on me. And it was brand new. So no fixing of car was possible and that frustrated me a bit. So I “grabbed” my family and we dragged our canoe to the lake and we made our first (very short) canoe trip. It was a bit windy and our son was tired so we didn’t get that far out.

Our canoe

The canoe after the trip. I have to remember to take a picture with us in it next time we do this.

Western Ringsjön after canoeing

We only stayed inside the rocks visible in the picture; the waves were a bit high for us canoeing amateurs.

 

Yellow Danger

We are now the not so proud owners of the Yellow Danger. If you haven’t guessed it yet; it’s a new car.

We need a second car as we move to our house as it takes too long to take the bus to the station (and the bus only goes every now and then) making the commute to work just annoying. So we decided we buy a small cheap car that would take me the short trip (about 10 kilometres) to the station. We looked at a few ads. And last Tuesday I went to a dealer and bought a cheap little thing.

We are now the owners of a yellow Hyundai Atos from 2001. Yellow Danger is its name. (Gula faran in Swedish). It isn’t the nicest car there is. (I do like the fact that it is yellow though). It has some parts missing. (Nothing important I hope). It has an electrical motor pre-heater, which is good for starting the car in the winter. Not much else is electric in the car (kind of Stone Age but less things that can break). It has some dents, but they are “fixed”.

I think it will do fine taking me to the train. I won’t need a super wide parking space and it won’t use much petrol either. I don’t think we’ll drive far with the car, I sure hope we don’t have to, it’s just not as good on the motorway as our Škoda and its steering is made for city driving.

Here is a picture of the car type. (Not the one but a similar one with a few less dents).Yellow Danger

Skåne here we are!

We did it. Or maybe we are doing it. We have gotten all our stuff to the new place, but we still have to make the place liveable. Thanks to my parents in law where we all slept good last night. Susanna and our daughter slept the night before that at their place too and might sleep another night, while I did sleep in the cupboard the first night after I drove down the car from Stockholm. I chose that room as it is the only room without windows and I didn’t feel like putting up blinds in the middle of the night.

But first let me take it from the start.

On Monday we had our last guests at our old place, after they left we really started dismantling the place (We had done some of it before but were far from done). We had planned it this way as we had decided to have a company help us with the packing and moving.

On Tuesday we dismantled the rest of the things we could get done. We also got rid of all the things we didn’t want to keep. It all took a lot longer than we thought, but at three in the morning we were done so far that they could pack up the rest the day after.

On Wednesday three packers came and boxed up our place. We tried to keep out of the way and started to dismantle the furniture that they emptied. We had a fairly calm day this way, Susanna was mainly taking care of our daughter outside and we had all our meals outside too as it wasn’t really possible to be in the apartment during their packing. After they were done I joined Susanna and our daughter at the beach, meeting with a good friend of ours.

In the eventing we went back to the chaos and took care of the last things that had to be done before the move.

On Thursday we moved. Susanna and our daughter left early on a plane to Skåne to prepare a few things in the apartment and I stayed behind to oversee the loading and cleaning.

The truck came early and they started filling it up. With all our stuff. We have a lot of stuff. We have too much stuff. The stuff didn’t fit in the truck. Not so fun. But the moving company said they could get another truck (small one) and fit the rest. Now we know how much stuff we have, 67 cubic meters. This is exactly the amount that one other firm thought we have in their bid. When we got that bid we didn’t believe it. How can three people have that much stuff? Good we did some cleaning out before, otherwise we would have had even more. We’ll have to continue cleaning out stuff after this.

While they were fetching the other truck I had lunch with my mother. That was really nice. She took me to a good Italian place just by her work. It was a good break.

As I came back the cleaning was on hold as they needed to get out the last things from the apartment to get it done. I packed up the things I was to take in the car and had some nice talks with the neighbours. I’ll miss the neighbours, they were nice people.

At five in the afternoon the last things were loaded and the cleaning was done. I checked the cleaning and after about one hour I was on my way.

Driving is fun and went smooth; I arrived at home (yes this is home now) a few minutes after midnight. After unpacking the car and winding down a bit I slept well, for the first time in our new home.

On Friday the trucks arrived and they started filling up the place. I only had to direct them where to put things. At noon Susanna joined us and at two they had unloaded everything. We had some lunch, I had some rest and we put the bed together before we left for my parents in law.

Today we slept in. We will go back to the place later and I will stay there overnight trying to fix as much as possible so that we all can stay there from Sunday on.

A little vacation

The last couple of days we have been to Åland. For you who don’t know, Åland is an archipelago and region of Finland that is situated between mainland Finland and Sweden.

We felt like we needed to get some break from our moving business. And as a cruise and visit to Åland is a bit trickier from Skåne we decided it was time to go there.

We enjoyed two 5½ hour cruises, on the way there with a huge breakfast and on the way back with the buffet. Our daughter enjoyed the playroom and the ocean of balls.

We spent two nights and one day on the island, seeing some sights and enjoying the beach in Mariehamn. We also pampered ourselves with good food and massages.

Here are a few pictures from the trip:

Åland 1Our daughter’s first time on a big ship. And the staple of Roslagskulla church, just across the road where I went to kindergarten.

Åland 2

We went to the open air museum of Jan Karlsgården. The swallows were not shy at all.

Åland 3

The flag (Åland has its own) and a few of the other things we did and saw.

Åland 4

On the way back. Our car parked on the car deck. One of the places we went to, to watch the big boat as kids, just a few kilometres from where I grew up. The modern skyline of Kista. Our daughter getting to sleep after a long day. On such a day it mus t be wonderful to be on a boat like the little sailboat we met.

We bought a car.

One more thing has come to place in the process of moving. We bought a car. A Skoda Octavia Combi 2.0 FSI.

I think it will serve us well. It is always a risky thing buying a car and we will probably know the result in a few years but now we have it and are happy about it.

Here is a picture of it. (Name is still not decided).

The Skoda Octavia

Picture by the previous owner.

What about this moving business?

As you might have seen, we will be moving to Skåne before the end of July. That is a big change for me. I have all my adult life lived in Stockholm (and Solna, but that was even closer to downtown Stockholm than where we live now). Before that I grew up close to Stockholm, coming here when I was 3½ years old.

Stockholm is my home. I know the city fairly well after 5 years of working as a bus driver. The last couple of years I have been less and less in the downtown area though. I started working in Solna in 2008, making in unnecessary to go into the downtown area to get to work. As Susanna and me hooked up there were even less trips into town, as I didn’t meet with friends in town as much as before. Now that I have a kid it’s only on special occasions that I actually get into the centre, like tomorrow when there is a wedding we will go to. Living in the western suburbs is easy; there are very few everyday things that can’t be done here.

I do have a lot of friends here. I will miss them all. Some of them more than others. I think that will be the biggest change. Up until now the friends that moved away were in some way just leaving my life. If I didn’t make an effort or they didn’t do it either they would just drift away into the one card a year type of friends. I don’t want it to be like that, but somehow when you have a family it’s a lot easier to stay in touch with the people you regularly meet anyway.

Now we will be the ones moving away. It’s a different feeling. For me anyway. For the friends that stay behind probably not. I will try to make an effort to stay in touch. We will have a guestroom so if you pass Höör you can stay the night. (Just let us know a few days ahead so that not all of our friends show up on the 17th October). We will try to meet with as many of you as possible before we leave but everything went kind of fast so there is not that much time and we do need to pack and organise our things too. (This time we’ll try to get rid of some stuff that we definitely won’t need).

There are a few other things I will miss leaving Stockholm.

The water: I think this is Stockholm’s best feature. Just like today when I went on a bike ride with my daughter to Drottningholm to have an ice cream. The water makes it all so much nicer.

Our view: We just have a lovely view where we live. The place we are moving to doesn’t have a view. We don’t know where we will live later; maybe there will be a view there. We just don’t know.

Our apartment: It’s really nice.

My parents: They are still living here. And who knows if we ever will convince them of following our footsteps to the south?

Our church: The church I have been a part of since 1996 or was it 1997? I started doing sound in 1999 and am still doing it. It has been a second home for me and it contains many of my friends and memories.

All the places with memories: There are so many places with memories here. Sure, some of them are bad and I won’t mind not seeing these places as much, but there are so many good memories that are connected to places here. And when I see a Bus nr 4 I just remember how it was driving down Odengatan early in the morning, as most people still slept. Or when I pass Tranebergsbron and I remember the first of November when it became so slippery that people pushed the cars over the top one by one. (Sure some people don’t have that as a good memory I guess). When I jog down Bergslagsvägen I remember the times I drove to my friends at Tempus for some games of just fellowship. Or when I pass Tomteboda I remember the sunrises over Stockholm that were so beautiful after a late night of work or partying.

Memories, of the bus, the sunrise, the water, the car and TranebergsbronI will come back to Stockholm every now and then for sure. As long as my parents live here probably often. It will not be the same thing though.

I will get new memories. There will be new things that I love about the place I live. (Just check in the old part of my blog).

Now I have got start sorting out old broken shoes. I shall not move broken shoes!

Finally I’m done with the pictures of 2012

I have finally finished 2012, that is organising the pictures of the year. (This time I did it before I filed my tax-report).

Here is a short preview:

Many pictures of our daughter:

Our daughter

A few from my trips:

Malmoe

A few from our trips:

Copenhagen

And some other more random pictures:

Bicyling

Enjoy: wolfmaier.se/2012/2012%20in%20pictures/

Happy Birthday Ellinor!

Today is your first birthday, you might not think so much about it, but you have lived in this world for one year now.

One day you will understand the fuzz about it and enjoy the special things we do for you on your birthday. You might even understand this text if we do some things right. Today you just enjoyed the cake, pancake cake with raspberry jam, strawberries, chocolate and whipped cream, the new toys and your parent attention.

It feels like yesterday, the day when you came. It was a beautiful day, a bit strange, maybe because of the fatigue. I just loved you the moment I saw you, just like I love you today.

At first I didn’t know what to do. I was scared. But then, when I could hold you to my chest all that disappeared. Today a year later you are greater than ever. Now you walk, enjoy food and like moving things to new spots.

I’m so happy you take us on this journey. I couldn’t imagine half the things I have seen happening this year. Some were hard, some fun and some just plain. Still even the plain things are special.

I’m so happy when I get home and I hear your voice, “papapapapa”. When you give things to me, even if it’s a half eaten piece of pasta.

Here are some memories:

When you just were born.

Enjoying our first trip together.

Visiting our relatives in Germany.

Sitting in the bicycle trailer

Eating your birthday cake.

Opening your birthday gift.

And some film too:

A small film form you when you were one half year old.

A film of you walking over to your wagon.

I’m so looking forward to being your dad for many years to come and for the time we get together when I’m home taking care of you that starts soon.

Oh the joy of a beamer!

This week we are in Germany, visiting my relatives and showing Ellinor off. We arrived in Lorch (a small town about 40 km east of Stuttgart) already on Saturday but since it’s easier to rent a car on a weekday we waited till today to do so.

I had booked a car in the VW Passat size. One never knows what kind of car that will be. Last time I booked a car with proximally this size, a Chrysler Sebring we got a Dodge Journey with the smallest motor possible.

This time I hoped it would be a bit more the same size and comfort.

When I got the key I liked what I saw. It had the BMW logo on it. Not too bad for a VW. In the car-park an X1 waited for me. This is the smallest SUV from BMW but still roomy enough for us.

First I tried the backseat making sure that there would be enough space for Susanna and Ellinor. It felt okay. Getting in and adjusting everything was easy.

Driving away was nice too. Just out of the airport on to the Autobahn overtaking a few trucks, looking down on the speedometer, ups, 170 km/h. No feeling of speed in the car, I have to be careful not to drive too fast on the smaller roads.

Susanna was happy about it too, trying the backseat on the way to the store and to the dinner. Most of all she enjoyed the fact that it had Darmstadt plates, as she had stayed there when she first came to Germany.

On the way back from the dinner Ellinor fell asleep, I think she likes the car too.