Category Archives: moving

Unpacking At Last

At last! Our removals have arrived!

The van with 2 guys pitched up last Saturday evening. Now our house is set a wee bit back from the road, with a drive. This caused a fair amount of teeth sucking about how they were to get the stuff up to us, as the 2 trailer lorry (of which we were about 1/4) wasn’t going to get reversed up or down the drive. Fortunately, we didn’t really bring any furniture as most of ours was IKEA, and what’s the point of paying to ship IKEA furniture here? Unless you’re planning to take it to the forest and return it to the wild. So 90%+ of our delivery was boxes, which they could carry one at a time up the drive.

Sunday was a mandatory rest day for the guys, so they parked up just along the road for the day – to the bemusement of the neighbours. And at 8am on Monday morning, they started carting boxes and dumping them in the garage. Since then, we’ve been progressively carting them out of the garage and unpacking them, and finding homes for the content.

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Achievements Unlocked

Having a week of achievements.

I finally made it along to IKEA and bought all the things. My lovely colleagues back in Scotland had given me an IKEA voucher as a leaving gift and it was time to spend it. I would have loved to have bought one amazing thing and say that that was what I bought but actually we needed lots of little things.

So thank you guys, you helped me buy… Slats for DD’s bed, a coat hanging thing for DD, a clothes hanging for Martin, a duvet cover for DD, a sheet for DD, an angle-poise desklamp, a new light fitting for the office, door signs for DS2, lovely glasses and mugs, straws, paper, pens, scissors and of course the essential tea lights. We still have some things left to buy, mainly big things (a bed, a sofa-bed and some bookcases) but I think we are almost there.

We are still waiting for delivery of our containers, so we are living minimally. It is mostly okay until you think where is… and realise it is somewhere between Scotland and Sweden. Very frustrating. I arrived with two skirts and one pair of jeans. Manageable I thought.. But I simply cannot find the jeans. They have vanished. So I have had to go to H&M to stock up on clothes to accommodate my ever expanding waist line. (More on that another time.)

PersonalNummer Registration

Today we took the kids out of school for the day and visited the tax office. Forms were filled in, boxes ticked, passports, marriage certificate, employment contract and birth certificates copied. This is all so we can get our personnelnummers. This number is key to Swedish life. It is a bit of a cross between your NHS number and your NI number and it used for everything… Opening bank accounts, applying for a travel pass, applying for child allowance, health care, dental care, buying a mobile phone, applying for membership of the library or the local sports club, getting an IKEA family card… Seriously this number is used all of the time. We still have another 3-4 week wait before we finally get them. Then Martin and I can apply for ID cards so we won’t need our passports on us.

After that we went to the shop to stock up on food and milk. We seem to be going through gallons at the moment. Considering getting a cow! Home for lunch. After lunch I explored the chimney and found the evasive flap and its handle. It is extremely stiff though so will have to get Martin to look at it. I can totally see how the house filled with smoke. The hole is tiny without the flap being open!

Then, while I was on a roll, I looked at the downstairs TV. It claims to have two HDMI inputs but in reality it only has one. So I have unplugged the Apple TV, for now, and plugged in the XBox. Cue, happy boys!

The other thing that happened today is I picked up a parcel containing 15 UK to EU plug converters. We had two with us and I looked at them at the airport and they were £25 each! I bought some off UK Ebay for about that for 15 including shipping. So now we can plug in all the things.

Things still to achieve

  • Register with midwife (did I tell you that bit?)
  • Get DS1 into school – ongoing….
  • Test the sauna – although I will only be able to watch
  • Find a good knit night – I have three to test next week 😉

Continue reading Achievements Unlocked

Svenska Vänner: Telecoms Advice Wanted

Dear friends and fellow geeks

I’m looking for some experience and advice for a home broadband and TV provider.

Here’s what I’m looking for (essentially matching what we had in the UK but with more speed!)

  1. Good speed – 100Mbit/s is apparently supported at our address in both directions
  2. No port blocking or policy restrictions — I run a server for various bits and bobs including email
  3. Ideally, a fixed (or very slow changing) IP address
  4. Either a NAT router/modem that I can log into and disable DHCP (as Bad Things happen when my server isn’t providing DHCP), or a simple ethernet out where I can use my Airport Extreme as the router. Either way, I want to have the LAN network running the range with no device restrictions (as we have a constellation of devices to connect) and all external traffic directed to the server.
  5. First FaceTime Session
    First FaceTime Session
    Not at all worried about Voice Telephony – we use mobiles and various video conferencing services (Google Hangouts, Apple FaceTime and Skype) rather than have a house voice number.
  6. TV package that has some UK/English language channels, and definitely GoT!

I believe we have both ADSL and Fiber to the house.

Things I have learned since moving to Sweden

It is Friday and I emigrated to Sweden on Monday. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster since then with the children leading the way as we find our feet in the local area and in the school system. We still have a huge way to go in finding our place but for now I am thrilled with how far we have come.

It has been interesting, however, and I have definitely learned some things about Swedish life. So now for your viewing pleasure, some of my observations:

    • It is illegal to park on the wrong side of the street. I.e. Facing the traffic. You must face the same way if stopping at the edge of a road.
    • The Swedes leave their Christmas lights up until the end of January. It makes the streets really pretty. All those lovely lights reflecting on the snow.
    • Christmas lights are all white/pale yellow. None of this brightly coloured trashy nonsense the UK seems to have developed. So much prettier.
    • Children play out in the snow, every day. Back in Scotland a snowy day was deemed to be unsuitable for outdoor play in case the children should slip and hurt themselves. Bless. What nonsense.
    • Your rubbish gets weighed.
    • The majority of Swedes speak beautiful English. It is embarrassing really.
    • All children ice-skate. DD starts next week! They are using the local football pitch which has been soaked in water and left to freeze. Awesome.
    • On our street you are not allowed to park your car on the road on a Friday as that is the day the gritter/snow plough comes down.


Apposite Quotes for the Road Ahead

The next year (and the next month in particular) are pretty damned scary. So many of the norms we’ve grown up with will be challenged and reset. We’ll become functionally illiterate for a while, and entirely blind to everything on the news for the first time in 35 years.

I’m normally pretty cynical about inspiring quotes, but these seemed very appropriate to the journey we’re about to embark on.

Continue reading Apposite Quotes for the Road Ahead