Summer’s Christmas Eve

Midsummer – a tradition and a long weekend in Sweden after or on the 21st of June, the longest day of the year.

Originally I was supposed to travel this weekend, but life had other plans. I stayed home instead and didn’t go to the country side either, since the weather wasn’t that great (or – typical for Midsummer, in other words).

A lot of free time all of a sudden! Luxury! Lots of it spent on the Brit’s Brexit decision yesterday, but that is another story.

I started yesterday with a run around town of about 5k.
During that run I realised how similar Midsummer in Sweden is to Christmas in Sweden. Just warmer, although not necessarily. There have been years with the same temperature like 7 plus on both, Christmas Eve and Midsummer Eve. Greener, though, and definitely loads of light obviously.

Anyway, the town was empty. Silent and empty, just like after 3pm on Christmas Eve, when everybody watches Donald Duck. I saw the occasional group of family members meeting and greeting, with bags containing small gifts and definitely some beer and wine. But that was it. And the situation didn’t change much during the day. A very small amount of traffic. Few people about.
Thinking about it, during the entire eight years I  have been living in Sweden, I always spent Midsummer somewhere else. Either travelling, or with family and friends, or at least on the country side where it is quiet anyway.

So it took me eight years to realise how very similar these two feasts actually are. Apart from the amount of light and green in nature. It is even largely the same sort of food, you knew that, didn’t you?

Well, I continue enjoying my nice, quiet and relaxing long weekend in Norrköping then.

Wishing you a good one! ūüôā

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Christmas Eve 2015

This year, we decided very early in autumn to stay at home in Norrköping during Christmas.

We also decided to follow the tradition of our friend Anneli, the tradition of walking the streets of one’s town on Christmas Eve, after 3pm. At 3pm, most of the people are at home, watching the traditional show with Donald Duck & friends.

Sooo… the streets are empty! While Anneli was enjoying Stockholm at that time, we were walking through Norrk√∂ping.

See a selection of the pictures taken in the album  Christmas Eve 2015 .

Happy New Year to all of you!! 

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Soon first Advent!

Incredible how fast this year went. Again. Just in time I managed to fix the traditional German Stollen. Although this one needs to rest a week in a cold room before reaching its full flavour. It is one of these types of bakery that get better the longer they can rest. It is totally o.k. to consume the last piece in early January. Not sure about bought Stollen, though, if that applies there, too. Tip: Have it in the evening with a sip of your favourite Whisky, Talisker for example fits well. Or, have it as a part of your breakfast with a bit of butter on your slice. Or just have it with your afternoon tea or coffee. Anyway, enjoy!

Happy 1st Advent!

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Winter and Christmas Lunch Impressions

Postage is pants!

Finally! No more Christmas Shopping and even the packets are sent since yesterday. By snail mail. But do not ask me how much it did cost to get a few presents home to the loved ones… With Swedish Snail Mail it is as expensive as with the English one – leaving Germany almost looking like¬†a cheap option, even if my family does not share that view on Deutsche Post rates (yet).

One Euro is right now worth around 10 Swedish Krona. So when you compare the postage costs then you get the picture…

I had 6 packets, two of them weighing between 2 and 3kg, the others between 1 and 2kg… and I paid in total around 115 Euro in postage. That is almost¬†two thirds¬†of the value of the presents sent… sigh.

My feeling is that the Snail Mail makes the profit of the entire year around Christmas time. And if they complain that they are not profitable, well, then I suggest that they should look at revising their operations. Good task for 2009, isn’t it?

Anyway – you can also have some fun at the post offices here. When¬†I left my packet at the post place of our local ICA supermarket, the young lady asked me “Can you help me, please? Great Britain, is that in Europe? Excuse me, but I am so bad with this.” …. hmmmm…

That comment could ask for another blog post actually, but let’s leave it here and – let’s enjoy the small things in life ūüėČ

Now is the time for cookies, candles and cuddles

Looking outside, it started to snow a bit Рstill a bit thin regarding the snow flakes but it is cold enough for it to stay. When I left for my tram this morning the big tree in front of Norrköpings Konstmuseum just got decorated with lights. Yep, Christmas time is again approaching with big steps and again this takes one by surprise, like in all the previous years!

That means that I will sit down this weekend and see which Christmas presents for friends and family I already have and which ones still need to be prepared or bought – and then sent so that Snail Mail has a chance to deliver the goodies in time.

Yes, and then there is this huge traditional thing of baking cookies! A tradition I did not follow through for the last five years because there was always something else that was “more important” to do… But this year there actually will be the smell of nice and fine bakery in the air ūüôā Also the candles will be taken out and one actually can enjoy some nice and cuddly winter evenings now. Great.

Have a nice weekend everyone!