Where even 7yos know that Vampires live. Mostly because of Let The Right One In, set here. Much of it was filmed in the far north for reliability of snow during filming, but the housing and jungle gym is spot on.
Friends back in Scotland have been happily pointing out 53 Reasons Living In Edinburgh Ruins You For Life. And while some of these are true, and Edinburgh is thoroughly wonderful (I lived in and around it for 25 years), I disagree with the premise that it ruins you for life. Perhaps if you stay in the UK, but not if you’re subsequently living in Stockholm.
So we moved here in January and since March I have been learning Swedish.
It is a wonderful opportunity to learn a new language but what I didn’t realise is that Swedish would break my typing. What on earth do I mean? Well, I pride myself in not making many typos. If I do I spot them, sometimes ‘feel them’ as I type knowing I have made a mistake in the sentence I am on and know to go back and change ‘hte’ to ‘the’ again. (A common typo for me pre-swedish.)
Now, however I have three extra vowels to fit into that qwerty keyboard. It is not like in French or German (correct me if I am wrong) where there are still 26 letters in the alphabet and some have accents, umlauts etc added to the letter. No, here in Sweden, there are three extra vowels, making the Swedish alphabet 29 letters long with 9 vowels. (They sneak ‘y’ into the vowel category.) in a Swedish dictionary after ‘z’ there are three more letters – å, ä and ö.
On a keyboard it means squeezing those three vowels in just to the left of the usual letters. Look…
So what impact does this have? Well it means that my natural home position for my fingers now has to move to the left very slightly and my right little finger now has lots more work to do. And my touch-typing is knackered. Everything I type has to be corrected. I have tried switching back to the normal keyboard and that doesn’t help either as my brain knows I have to move my hands a little.
I am assuming, over time, I will re-learn but untoö then I will continue to male mistaked all over the place on the slightly narrower kets.
As we’ve written before, being so close to Mälaren is wonderful – it makes for a lovely afternoon walk down to the shore, even in the depths of winter.
What we didn’t realise in the cold, dark days is what a wonderful place it is for beaches and swimming, and equally so, on the other side of the city centre that is theoretically the Baltic Sea.
(Sidenote: did you know that the Baltic is technically a Mediterranean sea? And because its connection to the wider oceans is so narrow, it’s both much less salty – so it freezes more easily than most – and hardly tidal at all).
And so it is – particularly when you’re out with Secondus – that you suddenly get an impromptu paddling session. Which turns into an impromptu swimming session. So now we always take towels, goggles and swimming costumes with us, even if say going to Tekniska Museet.
Right in the city centre, but you’d never know it from the peacefulness of the scene.
Note the city centre buildings right behind him.
Durgården Impromptu Swim session. That’s technically the Baltic there.
Jumping for Joy
Completely. Empty. Imagine a beach like this on Windermere on a sunny weekend afternoon…
Diving Dock, about 100m out in the lake.
Jumping for Joy
Another awful day of rotten weather.
Relatively busy, but still very peaceful and calm. Everyone just getting on with relaxing.
The lovely thing is that it’s all very chilled, all very quiet. Kids are left to just potter and run about, which they do without particularly disturbing anyone. The main reason for this is that it’s not too busy. You can always find a good space to sit in. And it’s utterly safe, both in water terms and personal safety. The water is cool, not cold (easily warm enough to swim in, and refreshing on a hot day), and is pretty shallow for quiet some way out.
There are BBQ pits, no-one will hassle you if you bring your own disposable one, as long as you do dispose of it, and there are special bins to do just that.
There are no huge sets of “THOU SHALT NOT HAVE FUN” rules beyond Swedish norms about recycling. No parents inflicting oil slicks of suncream on their pale blue offspring. No fences or opening times or lifeguards.
It’s all a relaxed, inside/outside atmosphere, and lovely and warm.
What kind of a summer has it been?
This is max temperature, inside and out. I suspect the sensor is in the sun for part of the day, but even so!
It seems that almost all our neighbours have boats.
We’re about 5 minutes’ walk from Mälaren, and we also have a huge archipelago of 28000 islands starting at the city centre sprinkled with holiday cottages and real homes. So my boss has a boat. And so does his boss. They both live out in the archipelago. But so does one of my colleagues. It’s just a regular thing.
But it’s still a surprise to us, compared to equivalent water distance in Scotland, where only the uber-privileged would have them.
A few weeks ago, we had our regular company meeting, but instead of it being in the office, it was over dinner out in the archipelago. And we travelled there by boat. Specifically the boats of my boss and his boss. Continue reading Boat Culture→
Today Orla and I ran (walked) a 5k where people willingly threw huge amounts of colour bombs (cornflower plus dyes) at us. It was amazing.
You don’t really need me to tell you much about it as the pictures will tell you all you need to know.
Pre-race – look how clean we are:
Clean before the race
Before the race started the DJ turned up the music, threw out some colour bombs and the colouring began:
It all begins
Who can I pink next?
Yay – I can make a cloud of pink
Ready to race:
Throughout the race there were colour station where you were bombarded with just one colour. By the time we reached purple we were on our own and Orla, being a little ahead, had a station to herself and had a personal bombing. Fortunately Martin was also there and captured a lot of it:
Reaching the finish line was a great feeling, knowing we had done it.
Afterwards there was more colour bombing and lots of photo taking. And to finish things off a cold beer.
All in all a fabulous day and I can’t wait until the next one. Which is in August – who is coming?