5 years passed just like that.

Last Saturday our daughter had her fifth birthday. It was a nice summer day this time, good for us as we had her kindergarten class over for a party in the afternoon.

It’s amazing how fast time flies. It feels like it wasn’t that long ago we were at the hospital in Stockholm enjoying our little miracle. Now she is so big, knows so many things and is learning and becoming more independent every day. That day back then was a nice day too. It wasn’t as warm as now though.

Evening bicycling

Here are some of the neighbourhood kids bicycling along the lake. (Ours is the one with the flag).

That leads me to my next rambling, on Sunday we went to the beach. It isn’t quite common to go to the beach to enjoy the sun and the sea mid-September here in Sweden. This year it is possible though. (It was even warmer today). The water was a bit chilly but in the sun it was nice and even when a cloud (there were a few sadly) covered it, it was still nice enough not to drape oneself in towels or clothes like so many times during Swedish summers.

Reap what you sow.

I just have to tell you about our garden. We had a bit more time to put into it because I was at home with the kids. So we got it looking really good.

Our Garden

Now we are earning the reward for the hard work. Today we gathered all this food in our garden. (Sure the work effort to get plums isn’t that much, basically just gathering them before they all fall to the ground).

The harvest

Today we collected squash, plums, blackberries, beetroots, two kinds of onions, potatoes, parsley, dill and carrots. It’s such a joy to have all these good things to gather in the garden.

How can dinner be anything other than good?

The food

Sorry I started eating before I took the picture, it was just so good. Almost everything came from our garden, just the meet and the small stuff you can’t see isn’t home grown.

 

Bird-feeder

We have a bird feeder in our apple tree next to our house. Today I decided to look a little more careful to see what kind of birds there are. Here are my findings, with translations to Swedish and German. I didn’t get all of them on photo, I wasn’t thinking about taking pictures first, here the ones that did end up on camera:

Goldfinch Steglits Stieglitz

Goldfinch

This morning I first saw this little bird at our feeder, probably the reason I’m writing this blog post.

Nuthatch Nötväcka Kleiber

NuthatchHere the Goldfinch has gotten company by a much more common visitor at the feeder. (I’m sorry for the dark pictures, not so easy to get them right they really move fast.

Great tit Talgoxe Kohlmeise

Great tit

This is the most common bird at our feeder, here one is picking up seeds from the ground.

F 2016-01-20-14-20-48

Here it is competing with the Gold Finch.

Great tit liftoff

And a lucky shot of one just after lift-off.

Common blackbird Koltrast Amsel

Common blackbird I love this bird for their songs in spring and early summertime. Here it looked a bit cold. There are not that many of them here, but they are coming regularly.

Blue tit Blåmes Blaumeise

F 2016-01-20-14-22-40

This small bird is also fairly common and normally one of the first to come to the feeder.

Marsh tit Entita Sumpfmeise

Marsh tit

I’m not entirely sure I’m right with this one; it could also be a Willow tit (Talltita Weidenmeise). This is in my guess the smallest bird we have here.

Here a list of birds I didn’t get pictures of:

Magpie Skata Elster

Jackdaw Kaja Dohle, I’m usually trying to chase them away, as they empty the feeder within minutes.

House sparrow Gråsparv Haussperling

There are also Pheasant Fasan Fasan visiting the feeder, but I haven’t seen it today. I did see the tracks though. We also found tracks from European rabbit Europeisk kanin Wildkaninchen by the feeder. I followed the tracks around our place and it seems they do not live in the pile of rocks we have but somewhere else, probably closer to the lake.

 

Winter is here

Yesterday it started snowing while we were driving to Malmö. As we went back the roads had transformed to a slippery white adventure. Lucky us we had put on the winter tires in the morning. (Na, I had checked the weather report and it said something about snow coming).

I just love snow. It makes life just a little bit better. Especially in November as it is so dark otherwise.

Our daughter and I made a snow-family the first night:Snowfamily

A close up of the snow-lamp in the background:

Snow-light

Today was filled with outdoor activities. First of all had the driveway to be cleared from snow. That took a while, luckily I wasn’t alone on that. Here is the before:

Snowed in car

And this was the result:

Cleared front yard

Our house looks so nice in the snow.

Our house in snow

You might notice something different in the picture, last weekend we had great help from a friend of ours and Johannes parents taking down the birch-tree just next to the house.

Here it is after it was cut down:

The fallen birch

And here is the house from the field without the tree:

Our house from the field

Thank you so much for all the help.

I’ve also been doing things with the play-house, first I made all the corner-boards, but they still have to be painted in this picture:

The play-house

To paint them I moved them into the shed:

Helping hand

I had great help holding the boards and tools from my son. Now some of them are back up, but as I can’t paint them all at once and now the cold came there are still some waiting to get done.

As the snow stayed I also built a snow-igloo for our daughter this afternoon. It’s kind of hard work playing in the snow. Here she sits inside enjoying the candle I put in as light:

Snow-igloo

That’s all for now; Enjoy the snow and drive safe.

Wildlife is cruel

One night we forgot to close the screen doors of our outdoor room. As we had been eating in there before we got a little friend helping us to clean up the floor. It was really effective. (Our son is good at eating but he is throwing the leftovers on the floor when he is done, I guess that’s normal for a one year old).

Hedgehog in our outdoor room

I really like the hedgehogs; they are nice animals, to look at from a distance. Don’t want to pluck out spikes after touching them.

Our cats are really nice ones. If I sit on the couch watching television they always come and get cosy. They are still a bit scared of our kids and I think that might be wise if you don’t want your tail to be pulled, especially when it comes to our son. They have decided that the couch is their favourite spot, most of the time (as long as the kids aren’t too close) you’ll find them like this.

Milo and Siam in the couch

When our son is sleeping they actually come and lay beside him sometimes. That is nice. They are gone faster than a lightning when he wakes up though.

They are really good hunters too. They from time to time (now a bit more seldom) come with “gifts” for us. Most of the rodents they catch they eat themselves. But they are a bit picky sometimes, leaving some intestines on the rug as a not so pleasant surprise walking to the shower in the dark in the mornings. Just the other day, (or maybe a week ago) they had left somethings that looked like intestines again, but this time it was no less than 6 mouse foetuses, four of which still in the uterus. I don’t know why they didn’t eat that, but as my brother has had a similar experience before it might be intentional.

They really are a threat to the small animals around our house. We like them to kill the rodents, but sometimes they kill small birds too (and a rabbit) and that isn’t really as nice. My brother saw Siam catch a bird that was trapped in our outdoor room. I just saw him walk away with the bird in his mouth. There still was one other bird in the outdoor room, panicking of course, so I opened a window and let it out before it would have been the next victim of the feline killing machines.

Inauguration of the balcony

We have now lived in our house for more than one and a half year. The house has a nice balcony on the west side with a beautiful view of the fields and woods (and lake if you know where to look) around our house. Already when we bought it we saw the potential of calm evenings on the balcony just sitting, chatting and having a nice glass of wine.

Tonight we finally did it. And for the occasion we used the Schorndorfer sparkling wine we got from our relatives during our summer Germany tour. It was just as nice as we thought it would be. (And we can sit there without a baby monitor as the window to the bedroom is not too far away and open so we hear them that way).

This is just one of the things that start coming into order now. Until this summer we have had a bit of chaos in the house and garden but now things are starting to come together. Books have been organised (there are probably more than thousand to sort out) into some kind of order, plans for the garden are made, windows are being fixed, tiles on the roof that were broken been replaced and many more things. Sure some of the fixing will never end but it has started.

The reason we inaugurated the balcony now was that one thing on our list was to clean off the moss from it and impregnate it with new oil was done this week and now it is a much nicer place. And that the kids went to bed early enough for us not to be dead tired.

This place is just such a great place to live. This year we are enjoying the fruits (so far strawberries, cherries, blackberries and plums, later apples) and some vegetables too (radishes, tomatoes, broad beans, potatoes and some red onions). The children have plenty of outdoor space to play, with our sandbox, the swings and the small children’s house that is under construction but well playable. We even got a hammock, but I’ve got to repair it now as it was old and the strings broke after a few uses.

Here are some pictures forms our place:

Our yard with the vegetable garden on the left

Our garden, with the fence to keep out rabbits and dears on the left.

Playhouse, hammock and sandbox

The playhouse, hammock and sand box, chill and fun for parents and kids.Our green island with our house on the left

This green island is our home; the house is just about visible on the left.

Lakeside sunset

short walk from our place you get to the lake, were sunsets like this one can be enjoyed (or swimming and canoeing weather dependent).

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all!

I know Easter is almost over but this year I’ve been busy not sitting at the computer more than short bits. The weather was some kind of typical April weather with sun, rain, hail and thunder.

My parents were here and my dad made some pictures of the highlights that I like to share:

We burnt the branches and twigs from our property. As the darkness fell the fire was really beautiful, and the full moon made it less dark.

The fire in the night with moon

On Easter Sunday our daughter and I prepared the Easter eggs.

Prepairing Easter-eggs

Later that day we had the egg-hunt in the garden. To find them there was some climbing involved.

Daughter on the rocks finding an egg

The new wheelbarrow was a great success. Now she can help when we have to move things around the property.

Trying the new wheelbarrow on our front lawn

Summer is a short thing,

even if it’s eight weeks long.

Collage with picutres of the Summer of 2014

Somehow this summer has passed really fast. Sure summer isn’t really over yet but as I this week started work after the vacation/parental leave it somehow feels like it. It has been an exciting summer. So many things have happened. Still it also has been a slow summer, not doing even one overnight trip, only staying at home. (Except for the few nights when we were at the hospital for Gabriel’s birth in the beginning).

Ah, there you have the name of our son too: Gabriel. We had a hard time to decide, so it ended with us drawing sticks. We had two names, equally nice, but both of us had a different one as favourite. But if we get another son some day we have a name for him.

Most of the summer has been about taking care of our kids and getting food on the table. A few other things have been made though.

I fixed the lawn-tractor. It wasn’t that hard and now cutting the grass isn’t hard labour but fun labour. I think I’m becoming more of a mechanic as I live here, I kind of like fixings things.

I built some mosquito-nets for our bedroom and work-room and with the help of dad the guest room too. (My parents wanted to sleep there and it was warm so a mosquito-net was not a luxury). The one for the work-room I like the most, as it is a door.

We have made it to the beach twice. Once as a family and once with my parents but without Susanna and our son as a day on the beach isn’t the best thing for a new-born. We did go for a swim in our local lake a few times too, it’s just a five minutes’ walk so it really isn’t a big deal.

Our garden isn’t really giving that much produce, we haven’t really taken care of it as we should. But still; we have potatoes; we will have carrots and some beans. Three of our apple-trees have apples, so we will have apples too, (actually I baked an apple-cake with apples from one of the trees yesterday that we had at work today). Our blackberry-bush is having plenty of berries and they ripen over a long time, it now has given us a few portions with ice-cream and a pie, but there is much more on the bush. The only downside with the blackberries is that they have so many thorns and that makes picking them a bit painful. (We haven’t taken care of it the right way this spring).

We have spent some time with family and relatives. My parents have visited twice, Susanna’s a few more times, and we visited Susanna’s parents too (Susanna and the kids stayed over there one night even). We had a few friends visiting, been to the zoo in Höör with friends and have visited friends for a few hours, so it has been things going on even if we had to time it with our sons feeding, leaving us less punctual than usual.

Now I’m back at work. This first week has been calm, as most people still are on vacation. It is fun though; I’m working on a project where I will simulate railway traffic and I really enjoy that.

Now it’s weekend!

 

Poff is due soon

In the beginning of the year I wrote about the fact that we are expecting our second child. This time the working name is Poff. Poff is due on the 8th of June, or at least somewhere around that day.

Last Wednesday we went to a second ultrasound. We have a few of those booked due to the fact that Susanna has gotten pregnancy diabetes again. She had it while we were waiting for our daughter too. This time, as we live in a different part of Sweden now, they tested her much earlier for diabetes. Susanna wants to have the child at a certain hospital. So she made up her mind to treat her diabetes with food, rather than with insulin. The hospital where she wants to have our baby doesn’t take women that are treated with insulin.

So now she is eating a very strict diet, basically a LCHF diet. It’s hard. Especially at the holidays like Christmas and Easter right now. She can’t really eat any of the sweet stuff. And she doesn’t. I’m so proud of her.

It does rub of at me too. Most days she doesn’t make different food for me. I don’t mind it at all. I do miss the pasta and rice, but it’s not hard like I expected it. And it does me good.

Here is a picture of Poff:

Three pictures of Poff

We are now really getting our house in order. During the last week I have started putting up our paintings on the walls. We haven’t had them up since we left Stockholm. (Okay, we had a few up where there already were nails on the walls in Höör but most of them were stacked away). The house becomes so much more homey with paintings.

The garden is also getting into place. A few weeks ago my parents were here and they helped me build a sandbox for our daughter. The sand we had delivered. It came in a really old truck.

The sand truck:

The preperation, the sandbox, the sandtruch and the filling of the sandbox

I have also been digging up a little garden. I don’t know if we will grow much this year. I have started some tomatoes; they will be a bit late though. Susanna wants to grow a few more vegetables. One day in the future we hope to have most of our vegetables during the summer from our garden. That was one of the reasons that we wanted a big plot like we have.

The trees are now starting to get leafs. We have one little tree just by our house that blossomed with small white flowers. We are not quite sure what kind of tree it is but it has long pointy thorns too. Most trees on our plot are birches; we do have a few apple trees, a bunch of cherry trees some beeches, a chestnut tree, some oak trees and some shrubs we don’t really know what they are yet. Oh, and we do have two small spruce trees, they will become Christmas trees as they don’t really fit on our plot.

I’m so happy we have this place. I really love working in the garden. I love hearing all the birds in the morning, especially when I go for my morning run. I love the sunsets from our balcony. The fireplace in the living room. My lovely wife, our daughter and Poff that soon will join us.

We have some wildlife here too. Most are rabbits and moles. We do have a lot of birds. The pheasants are strutting around. Kites roaming the sky in search for some small rodent. Gees living on the field. All the small birds that live around the house. One morning as I ran my round a badger crossed my path. And last weekend, as Susanna and I went to bed far too late we saw deer buck just outside the window. We have rabbits too, but I’m more ambivalent about them as they might make it hard to grow our vegetables.

The full moon the other night: The moon up in the sky, and on the way down

 

We found our house

Last Wednesday we signed a contract to our new home. It’s a little house in the village of Gamla Bo, just south of Ringsjön in Skåne. That is just about 10 kilometres south of where we live now.

We will have access to the place by December 2nd but we haven’t decided on when we move yet. We will have our flat until the end of January, so there won’t be any rush.

There are still some small hurdles to pass. On Tuesday we will have the house checked by a professional to give an opinion on what flaws there are to the house. We will also check the water to see if we have to connect it to the public water supply as it has a well now and it could be contaminated. (The previous owner thought the water was fine though so we hope it is).

The house is situated on an almost 3000 square meters plot of land with a driveway, a bunch of trees (some of them are fruit trees) on a grass lawn and a garage/shed. The shed part has to get its roof fixed; the rest is okay as it is. Surrounding the plot are fields belonging to a local farmer, though he doesn’t farm any more, but he cuts the grass there.

The house

It’s about 100 meters to the lake. We will have a guestroom, if we use the rooms the way we think now. There are trees in perfect distance for a hammock, space for growing some vegetables. Maybe some chicken?

The house doesn’t have a basement. I don’t mind that. It uses the ground for heating and has a little fire place too. There is a balcony on the second floor and an outdoor room in the back, with a nice view of the field and the evening sun.

Detail of the house

Somehow it’s scary to buy a house. There are so many things to think about. I hope we have thought about most of them.

There are budgets to make, maintenance lists to create and plenty of new things to take care of that one doesn’t have to do when renting an apartment. Both of us grew up in houses. But we didn’t have the responsibility of taking care of them back then. The practical things I have seen. The paperwork I haven’t.

We will have to get one more car too. That is a bit of a bummer. And we just can’t afford an electric one like I would like to. (That would be perfect, commuting by electrical car). Now it has to be a small (but still 4 doors) thing with low fuel consumption. And cheap. Not too old. Did I mention cheap? I will use that go get to the train station, either in Eslöv (probably not as there are too few parking lots there), Stehag (even less probable as there are just a handful of parking lots there and only the local trains stop there) or Höör.

I have started to make a model in SketchUp of the house. It makes planning and moving in easier. I still lack some measurements so I will try to get them on Tuesday.

All the pictures are courtesy of Våningen och Villan, the real-estate agent helping in selling the house. http://www.vaningen.se/

The art of settling

We have now lived here in Höör over one month. Time has gone really fast. We have had plenty to do. But now things are getting to some kind of normal. And then it all will change again when I start working in three weeks from now.

The apartment is getting into shape. We only have a dozen of boxes left to unpack and they are mainly things that belong into our children’s room. (That room also houses all the empty boxes, 179 so far). That doesn’t mean that the room is not used yet, our daughter uses it all the time as we have made her a little desk there where she can paint. We also put most of her toys in the room, leaving the rest of the apartment less of a mess.

Susanna is getting into her “new” job, just the way it was planned. The days are not that much longer than in Stockholm, though she starts earlier to get home in time for dinner. Traveling by train is also much more pleasant for her than traveling by underground. We visited her at her job once and had lunch at the Malmö festival.

Living in a small town so far has had mostly pros:

  • There is walking distance to most places.
  • If it isn’t walking distance it’s only a short bicycle ride away.
  • Traffic isn’t too heavy for using the bicycle.
  • People are friendly. (Not that we have met all but the ones we met were).

Living in Höör gives a few extra pros:

  • It’s close to my parents in law.
  • It’s close to Malmö and Denmark.
  • It has a zoo. (We haven’t been there yet though).
  • It has a butcher. Meet just tastes better from a butcher than from a supermarket.
  • It has a few lakes to swim in that are within bicycle range.
  • It has beaches (nice sandy ones) within one hour by car, in two directions so one can chose depending on which one might have the warmer water.

There are some cons to though:

  • It’s far from my parents.
  • The place we live in doesn’t have that nice a view like we had in our place in Blackeberg.
  • I won’t be able to take the bicycle to work.
  • It’s far from many of our friends.

We have also started with looking for a more permanent place again. So far we have looked at five (if you read this after Sunday afternoon six). We now have plenty of time to find the right place. But it is so hard. One place hade everything but was located too far out so that we would have to take the car for 10 minutes just to get to the closest store. Even the closest bus stop was three kilometres away. One other place had a beautiful garden. Just a little bit too beautiful, we don’t need a garden that takes all our free time to take care of. We want one that is practical and where we can grow our vegetables and have some chicken in the future. Basically a big grass lawn with a few trees would be perfect, not an intricate sculptured garden with bushes, ponds and flowerbeds that want plenty of attention to not look unkept.

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.

The move in pictures.

Wednesday:

Packing the place.Packing the place.

Our daughter helping us.

Our daughter helping us.

Thursday:

Furniture ready to be loaded.

Furniture ready to be loaded.

Furniture ready to be loaded.

Boxes everywhere.

Our daughter still sound asleep.

Our daughter still sound asleep.

 

Loading has started, rooms are emptying.

The truck being filled up.

The truck being filled up.

The truck

The truck.

Friday:

The first things are unloaded.

The first things are unloaded.

Box-room, this room now is all filled up with boxes.

Box-room, this room now is all filled up with boxes.

The flowers were placed and watered, they really needed water.

The flowers were placed and watered, they really needed water.

We rebuilt our bed.

We rebuilt our bed.

 

I’m going to miss the old folks

As you know we are moving soon. There are many things I’m going to miss leaving Blackebergs Gårdsväg, most of which I have thought about for a while now.

Today as I was walking over to our storage (it’s two houses down the road), I heard an old woman sing. I heard another old woman laugh. I heard one old man call for his caretakers and one doing (very loud) small talk with a relative (I suppose, I didn’t hear the other person, it might even have been on the phone).

What I didn’t hear was the regular moaning and screaming for help that we also hear from time to time. Living here has given me a window into the horrors of being old and dement. Hearing old people scream because they don’t recognise the people that try to help them is heart breaking. Why I didn’t hear this on my walk this morning I don’t know, maybe the warm weather also makes the old people happy.

Now that I have been at home with our daughter I have seen more of the old people. During the day some of them are taken out for a walk or a roll. (Most of them are in wheelchairs). Some of them really enjoyed talking to us. Others are just sitting outside in the garden, saying hi and looking happy as we reply.

It has been special living next to this huge house full with old people during last period in life. I heard from one of the staff that most of them living there only live there a few months or less before they die. That is how it is in a home for people that need care at the end of their life.

The old folks home

Here you can see the house behind our house and on the right of Susanna.

I’ll miss you. Not like your relatives will, but as a stranger who you smiled at and whose daughter you made laugh.

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!

12 houses

We have been in Skåne again. This time we had one major task, find a home.

I haven’t written about this here before: We have decided to move to the south. We have always had a long term plan of owning a house. In Stockholm houses are really expensive. Too expensive for the life we want to live. So we figured out that to own a house we need to find a better way. As we have family in Skåne (Susanna’s parents live here) we thought it would be a good idea to move here. One other thing that makes Skåne a good place to move to is that it’s possible to work there in the professions we have. The move should be made before our daughter would start school.

Last year we visited my aunt. Her husband said one thing that made us think. Start with your dream now. Don’t wait, start now with something simple and work your way up to what you want. In waiting you only loose time. We thought about how this would apply to us: We probably should start to rethink the time frame. During the Christmas-holiday we had time to think. We decided that we should change our time frame a bit. Now the goal is to move to Skåne by the end of August.

This means:

We need jobs in Skåne. (We are working on that).

We need a place to live in Skåne. This is why we went down here this time.

We have during the last week looked at 12 different houses. It’s hard work looking at houses. We have been so fortunate that Susanna’s parents have a good hand with our daughter so they have looked after her the days we had many houses to look at.

After looking at 12 houses we do better know what we want. Five of the houses were really interesting. None of them had all the things we want, but that might be impossible as we have a budget to stick to. Most of them were okay places, but just not for us.

We looked at one house were we would have been owners of 30 meters of E6. (It was hardly a place to bring up kids, living at the edge of heavy traffic). The house wasn’t that nice either.

We looked at one other house where after walking up the stairs I decided it wasn’t really a good idea to be two people on the stairs.

We looked at an odd house in the middle of the forest that really more looked like a big tent and it was filled with cats, (I counted 5 I think), the only thing missing was the crazy cat lady.

We looked at a small house that had a nice plot of land by Rönneå, just that the house was not really a place for a family and needed a lot of work.

We looked at a house with more birdcages than Skansen. It had a pool and I think it was four ponds. The plot was over landscaped, it was nice and all, but just too much.

We looked at a really beautiful house that had a too small plot.

We looked at a simple house that needed plenty of work and was only heated with wood.

Then we looked at five houses that were more interesting.

One nice one with a view of Denmark. It wasn’t possible to see the water between though. It had the rooms we need, a bit small plot, but it will be easy to rent land from the surrounding farmers as they have land that is difficult to use for them. The current owners do this as they have horses.

One small one with a lovely plot of land.

One that we looked at already in January. It was a well-built house, using very little energy. The plot was half in a nature reserve and half outside. Parts of the house had barely been used.

One that was super-cosy. It was small on paper, but the layout was really smart, making it one of the bigger houses despite the numbers. It also had a lovely plot of land. It was just a bit far off, actually in the same neighbourhood as the tent.

And one with a winter lake view. It had a fine but messy piece of land and the house had high ceilings and plenty of bathrooms. And it had rhododendrons. Big rhododendrons, as big as on Roan Mountain, just not as many. Here it would be possible to go swimming, as Ringsjön is close.

Now we have to figure out what we want. When we have our jobs secured we will go on and make an offer, so we have to look at some of the houses again, with help of people that know more of houses than we. I’ll keep you posted…

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/

Some different life

 

So, now I’ve been home with our daughter for one and a half week. I’m starting to get a hold of things. I’m starting to understand the work involved in entertaining a kid all day. I’m having a hard time thinking of easy and good food, but thanks to some of my readers I still have a few ideas that I can use.

One thing I’m realising is that no day is like the other. One day I’m getting all the signals right and I don’t have to change one used diaper. Other days I’m missing all of them. (She has been using the potty a long time, but for safe we use diapers too). Some days I can eat in peace with her enjoying her food at a comfortable pace without too much a mess, other days she just throws things around, leaving me cleaning the floor, table, three chairs (including hers), wall, windows and sofa. I always have to clean her, sometimes less, sometimes more, then I just put her into the shower.

It is amazing how she has become so much more attached to me. She now comes over to me and wants to be lifted up while I’m cooking even when Susanna is at home. That didn’t happen before. I’m getting stronger in my left arm; it’s kind of tricky to cook with only the right arm free, but doing it with the left is even trickier. I do have to put her down for some task and she does somehow understand it too, but as soon as I’m done with the thing that made me put her down in the first place she’s back between my legs almost trying to climb up.

I thought the hardest thing would be not meeting people all day. And I think it is. I’m trying to get out every day, some days for some shopping, others for some activity (we have her swimming once a week now), or just to go to the playground or to the open preschool. Later, when Susanna is working full time I will come and visit her at work too.

Sleep is a bit of a problem still. I can get her to sleep, but it requires a long walk or bicycle tour. I have to time it right and have to be on the move for at least half an hour. Then she maybe sleeps for one hour, but if I stop it’s not sure that she continues to sleep. Twice she did sleep a while after I got home, but every other time she woke up.

This last weekend was beautiful, so we had a little walk around our house:

Beautiful weekend

As I was writing Susanna was looking at some toy-car-thingy: http://www.swingcar.se/ (She didn’t look at that page I’m sure of, because I couldn’t fine the film she was looking at there. It had a song as soundtrack; see film below; which made me remember a walk I made midsummer 2004. I made a walk in my neighbourhood that night, thinking of how my life was. Back then I was just doing the last parts of my master-thesis. This was a period in my life when I had lost myself. I felt like I wanted to run from everything. I was thinking I should move to a new place and start over. I just knew I wouldn’t get rid of the feeling anyway. It felt hopeless. Still I had many things I was really happy about. I had a few good friends and I really looked forward to visit my brother later that summer.

 

Here are a few pictures from that walk:

Midsummer walk 2004

After looking at those pictures I started looking at other old pictures. O have I changed. I showed some of them to Susanna, I think she is really happy I have changed. I’m happy too. I found myself again. Now I have a happy family and the feeling of wanting to run from it all just doesn’t come anymore. I live so much more right here, right now. I think that’s the only way of living taking care of a child.

Some more music reference there if you want:

Our rocking daughter

I just have to share this:

First time Susanna sat her there she did this, now I finally managed to get it on film.

Today Susanna was away for almost five hours, that’s a new record for being away from our daughter for her. I met up with Susanna at her work and biked home with our daughter. We had a great time, but once every now and then she was longing for her mother.

Soon it’s my turn to take care of her all day, just one more month.

 

Weekend of doing

Yesterday I woke up at about eight. And I went up right away. Our daughter was awake and needed to go to the pot. So I told Susanna I could do it, I didn’t feel like sleeping anyway.

(All this is not something I usually like to do on a Saturday morning. I love to sleep in, maybe to ten if possible and then take a slow day).

As I prepared for breakfast, that included taking care of Friday’s dishes due to Friday night laziness I got the urge to bake. But I did have a few more things on my to-do list for the day. I have had this urge a few times the last weeks but I felt this could be the day I actually did it.

So I grabbed the day the best way I could. I started cleaning a bit in the apartment. My part of cleaning the apartment is the bathroom. I don’t like vacuuming and Susanna doesn’t really care for cleaning the bathroom so that comes naturally. (I am the one cleaning the windows too, but that hasn’t happened for more than a year, maybe if I get one more weekend of doing I start with that).

When I was done with that I went shopping. One needs yeast to bake buns.

I started the grill and put Susanna in charge of it, leaving her and our daughter out in the nice weather while I prepared the rest and started baking.

Lunch was good. After lunch I brought down the little tub for our daughter to bath in. She loves bathing!

A friend came over and the buns got ready as I took care of some laundry. Somehow having cloth-diapers result in plenty of laundry.

At this point I felt I was done with the day. We had fresh buns for dinner that was really nice. After dinner our friend left and I just took it easy. As I was sitting in front of the TV in the evening during Susanna’s try to get our daughter to sleep I remembered the flowers so I watered them.

Later Susanna and I watched the first part of a film together. We’ll watch the second half some other day.

Susanna didn’t understand where all my energy came from. Neither do I. Some days are just like that. I wake up and think; “today I’ll do this and that” and I just do it. Most days I just think it, but some days I actually do them. Saturday was a perfect example of that.

Days like that are rare. I did really enjoy it. I did some fun things too. Like baking or playing with our daughter in the water. But the enjoyment came for the entire thing not just the fun things.

Today was busy too. I had sound at church; I start before eight with switching the system on and before I shut it down again it normally is about three thirty in the afternoon. Today we had a toddler’s picnic afterwards. I wasn’t home until just before six.

At that point I was tired. I dozed off in the sofa in front of the TV.

I don’t know what triggers this kind of energy that made me do all these things. I wish I did, because I need to be more effective in my everyday life. If I had weekends like this one every weekend we could look out our windows without thinking about the fact that they are in desperate need of cleaning. There wouldn’t be any shirts hanging in the hall waiting for me to iron them. I would have sold my collection of Donald Duck books a long time ago (the Swedish version). And many other things I need to do.

I will try to rest on the Sundays that I don’t have sound though. I believe that resting is very important. But maybe resting is not just the absent of doing things but the doing of something else. Maybe I find out this week that I really need some rest now. (I do sit in front of a computer all day at work maybe that is resting too).

2011 in pictures

It’s about time. I finally got my picture-documentation of 2011 ready.

It was a year with many things happening but not as many pictures taken. Still I have managed to put together a little resume like the previous years.

A little preview:

From winter,

from trips,

a few trains,

and of course us.

Here comes the link to the page: 2011 in pictures

Enjoy!

Music

Today as I came home Susanna and Ellinor went for a walk, leaving me to make dinner. It was time for chicken.

As I stood in the kitchen I realised that I hadn’t listened to music in a long time. Not in a real way, just putting on something I like and turning it up. Now with the family on a walk I decided to do so.

I put “Mind the gap” by Scooter on and played it as loud as one can in a house with apartments. (Sorry neighbours if it was a bit too loud). How liberating it is to dance together dinner instead of just cooking it.

Just before Susanna came home the CD (yes I listen to CDs still) came to an end and I put on “Dream wide awake” by Omnimotion, something more appropriate for dinner. (And something Susanna doesn’t mind listening to as we not entirely share the same taste in music).

Sitting there at the dinner table with Ellinor and Susanna made me just realise how much I miss music. There have been times in my life when I listened to music almost all the time. Then there have been times when the music has been silenced. Lately it has been very little of listening to music.

At work I have moved out into the open office. Sitting there I have not had the possibility to listen to music, especially when I’m not super busy, not to miss out on opportunities to hear conversations where I might find something extra to do or just the fact that I look really busy with headphones on making it harder for other people to ask me for help. So not much music there.

At home Susanna doesn’t listen to much music and neither do I. Most of the times I want to listen to music that she doesn’t really like. I can listen to her music, but it’s not really my favourite.

In this moment of realisation I felt so much joy. Music does that to me. Articulates feelings. The joy of having such a good life.

  • Susanna as my wife, I couldn’t find a better one!
  • Ellinor my daughter, she is just so adorable. (And really good at eating her roasted oat flour porridge with mashed fruit).
  • The beautiful place we live in.
  • Great dinner (if I may say so myself).
  • A good beer. (Old Spreckled Hen one of my absolute favourites)

And many more things that just make my life great.

It is in moments like these that music is just right.

 

Just one more thing:

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite Stockholm 2011 building: Here is the link

Just do it!