Time Lost

I feel like life is moving at a grueling pace some days, and other days seem to go on forever. No, that’s not quite it. While at work, the day never seems to end, but because I’m so tired my spare time is over in a snooze (quite literally). Suddenly another week has passed, and I still haven’t accomplished anything.

My tiredness seem to have gotten worse again. Maybe it’s the time of year. Everything is darker. Colder.

I force myself out of bed in the morning, I go to work, I make it through the day… Then I get home and I struggle to stay awake. Most days I don’t manage, and I end up sleeping for a couple of hours. Precious hours when I should be doing other things, but I just can’t keep my eyes open.

tired-cat

On a positive note, it’s only three more weeks of school until the Christmas holiday. Two glorious weeks off!

I went to the hospital a week ago for a blood draw. Never been fond of needles, but as long as I don’t look I’m fine. This time I jumped when the nurse jabbed me, and she said “you’ve obviously had a bad experience”. My last experience was the daily blood draw they did in the hospital last summer when I had that surgery that went so very, very wrong. When my veins kept blowing from the blood draw and IV, and my arm looked like I’d joined the local Fight Club.

That little comment from the nurse was all that was needed to bring it all back, and to my mortification I broke into tears. She was very understanding though, just got me a few tissues and let me have a few minutes before calling the next patient. I never expected to have that kind of reaction, since I’ve always managed my blood draws okay in the past, despite the fear of needles.

Another positive note, turns out my values are all fine. No more monthly injections! The mal-absorption issue seems to have sorted itself out. Go me!

go-me

Lastly, I’ve started another blog. I know. I know. I’m like a serial blogger. Not in that I write lots of blog posts (I wish!), but in that I keep making new ones. It’s supposed to be focused a bit more on my writing, because I felt like the title of this blog might put some people off. I don’t know. Maybe the blog addict in me just wanted another blog. I could just put everything on that one, but I suspect no one’s really interested in my random ramblings. (Not that I think they’re particularly interested in my writing and rambling about that, really.) I just like to keep my ramblings for posterity, or something. It’s quite nice to be able to go back 10 years through my blog posts and see what I’ve been up to. It’s like an online journal/diary.

If anyone wants to check it out, it’s http://thestrugglingwriter.com and I even made it a Facebook page. Because… I could? It’s nice for posting random pictures and things that don’t deserve its own post.

Okay, that’s enough rambling for today.

It’s November already?

I feel like I blinked, and suddenly it’s November. Wasn’t it August like, last week?

We had our half-term holiday just over a week ago, and I went to Sweden for a few days to attend my newest niece’s naming ceremony. It was a nice few days, and the first time I visited my sister in her new flat. They live nearly five hours from my home town (where I usually go when visiting Sweden since the majority of my family is there), so I didn’t get to see everyone. Still, I was lucky that a lot of my family actually was down for the ceremony as well.

olivia-foot

The ceremony was lovely, with my sister and her partner reading parents’ vows for their child, and my sister singing a song. There was a spread of food and lots of cheesecake and mud cake. Very delicious!

Since I stayed there a few days before the ceremony I also got to hang out with my sister for a few days, which was really nice.

olivia-hands

Now I’m looking forward to Christmas, which this year will be celebrated in Sweden. The boyfriend and I have an agreement to celebrate every other year in Sweden and the UK respectively. So this year we’re both going to celebrate at my mom’s. My sister is doing every other year as well (partner’s family in their town vs at mom’s), and we’ve arranged it so that we do the same year at mom’s. Should be quite a few of us this year!

One Year

I can’t believe that today it’s been a whole year since I arrived in England in my new flat, to finally live with the boyfriend after surviving years of a long distance relationship.

On the whole, I think that we’ve managed quite well. I was definitely a bit worried when first moving, since it’s always different meeting someone for limited amounts of time, compared to actually living together. It probably helps that we’re both fairly laid back kind of people, so we’ve not really had any big issues to deal with.

My biggest issue has probably been missing my family, especially the little ones. Sometimes feeling lonely with no friends in a new country. Still, I don’t regret moving, because I get to be with the love of my life.

1-year

Amusement Park

Viggo turned five while I was in Sweden, and for his birthday present I gave him a day at the amusement park in Gothenburg. I suspect that he liked his gift, because this was the face he had when we first went in.

viggo-isak

My mom and one of my brothers went with us as well. The weather was good for most of it, with just a spot of rain at one point. Viggo dares to go on nearly anything that he’s allowed to go on, including things that go very high and triggers my fear of heights. Something that he does not care about.

We had a great day though, and I’m kind of hoping to make it a yearly tradition to go to the amusement park when I’m in Sweden during the summer.

On the flume ride!

On the flume ride!

Waving!

Waving!

Pool Time in Sweden

My first day back in Sweden my brother was working, so I took the kids to my aunt’s place and we had a swim in the pool. Viggo, the nephew, is never difficult to convince to go for a swim, but my niece, Moa is a bit more trouble.

She sat on the side of the pool for quite a long time, refusing to dip anything more than her feet, until finally I took her into the water. She immediately screamed to go back to the stairs to sit down, so I brought her back. A few seconds later she yells “more!” and lunges herself at me. We did that a few more times until she was happy to stay in the water.

We had a lot of fun!

moa-pool moa-viggo-pool pool viggo-pool viggo-pool2

Our Garden

We still have a lot of work to do in our back garden, but in preparation for my family arriving we did get ourselves a nice, new table and chairs. We also replaced the old canopy on the gazebo, since it was getting quite bad.

I think it’s looking much better now!

garden

The back part of the garden still needs to be dug up and fenced in. We’re also planning to turn the furthest part of it into a parking space, so that we can park off the road. It’s moving along very slowly though, but hopefully we’ll eventually get there. You can tell from the next photo that there’s a lot of weeds, big weeds(!) in the back part of the garden that need to be dealt with.

garden-table

Durlston Country Park

One of the days we went to Durlston Country Park, it’s a nature reserve and park that stretches along the coast and they used to have quarries there for limestone in the past. We walked a path along the sea side, saw the lighthouse (of which I didn’t get any good photos) and then had lunch at their restaurant.

I tried Dorset Apple Cake (since we live in Dorset), and it was nice. I’m not sure what’s different to regular apple cake though, since to me they all tend to just be apple cake.

durlston-country-park

There’s also a 40-ton globe made of limestone on the grounds, engraved with the world map (as it was in the 19th century). It was a nice visit, with a lovely walk along the coast, but also somewhat terrifying for someone with a fear of heights, since you walk quite close to the edge. Like most of the English south coast, the cliffs are quite steep, so you want to watch your step!

durlston-2

Beach + Swanage

I took my mom, my brother and Bailey to the beach one day. As it turned out, it was a nudist beach… But at least it wasn’t as packed as the other ones? Have to look at these things from the bright side! And there was no requirement to not wear clothes yourself (like I’ve seen on some beach in Spain), as you approach you just get a warning sign that naturists may be seen.

A wild nudist appears.

Every time I see that sign, that’s what I think. Pokemon has damaged me, and I don’t even play it.

Anyway, we still had a good time at the beach. My mom and I even managed to take a swim in the ocean. It wasn’t exactly warm, but we managed to do it by going in very slowly, getting used to it a little bit at a time. A more brave person may have just run in and done it quickly, but I am not that person.

Bailey enjoying the water.

Bailey enjoying the water.

We didn’t stay as long on the beach as I think we would have liked, since my brother wasn’t really enjoying it and we felt bad. Bailey had fun though, until we were told that he had to be on a lead, which I didn’t know, so he’d been running around until then. Apparently it was because it was “so busy”. Compared to the beach in the town centre, I wouldn’t have called it busy, but I guess it was too busy to have him loose.

Bailey showing off the beach view.

Bailey showing off the beach view.

And yes, the man in the background is most likely nude. Fortunately the photo is too pixelated to tell.

After the beach, we continued onto Swanage, a little beach town nestled in a cove. We didn’t have enough change for the parking meter to stay for more than an hour, which was a shame. (Planning, not my forte!) We sat at a little beach bar and had a milkshake, enjoying the view.

Best banana milkshake in a while.

Best banana milkshake in a while.

Tank Museum + Durdle Door

My 18 year old brother is a big fan of tanks. (I know, that was my reaction too.) Anyway, apparently barely¬†an hour from where I live there’s a tank museum. Not just a tank museum, but The Tank Museum. It’s the largest tank museum in the world, and the third largest museum of armoured vehicles. Fancy that.

Considering these facts, there was nothing to it. We had to make the drive to the tank museum. I’ll be honest, it’s not my cup of tea. It did have some interesting bits though, it does actually trace the history of tanks which was fascinating to see. You can see how they idea started and how they then perfected it through the years. The first tanks used so much petrol that you wonder if it was possible for them go get anywhere. Where did they store it?

My brother and a tank.

My brother and the tank from the movie Fury.

But I digress. There were a lot of tanks. A. lot. of. tanks.

The museum is in the Bovington Camp which trains most of the armed forces in armoured vehicles. So, while driving there, you came across road warning signs that you were approaching a “Tank crossing”. I wish I’d taken a photo. Even more fun, was the random signs that said “Warning. Sudden Gunfire.”

Just for fun, before leaving the museum we put my brother (and myself) in an armored vehicle ride around the grounds. It was incredibly noise and shaky. I can’t imagine being someone that had to spend hours in one of those vehicles.

tank-museum

The plan was that after the museum we’d travel the extra fifteen minutes to go down to Durdle Door, but the museum took a bit longer than we’d expected, so by the time we reached Durdle Door the weather had taken a turn for the worse and it was starting to get dark.

As the rain was starting to come down, my mom and I walked down to the view point and took a picture, then hurried back up the hill again. So, our afternoon with picnic at Durdle Door ended up just being a picture. Also, the path to go up and down is very, very steep. I took a picture of it, but I honestly don’t think it shows how bad it is. By the time we reached the top again my thighs were hurting!

The last bit is the worst, and I don't think you can see it from this angle.

The last bit is the worst, and I don’t think you can see it from this angle.

I’d love to go back again one day when I have more time and can actually go down to the beach and stay for a while. The trek back up again might not be as bad if you didn’t just walk down as well. The incline is so bad you can actually feel it in your knees going down.

At least I got my photo of Durdle Door!

At least I got my photo of Durdle Door!

You can’t actually tell from the photos, but it was actually raining at this point. Not properly coming down yet, but enough to make us quite chilled.

Afternoon Tea

My mom wanted to start the holiday in “an English way”, so we went to a traditional English Tea at one of the hotels in town. The weather was great, sunny and hot – which was nice, until we sat down to tea and realised it was indoors with no air conditioning. We thought we might melt (and some of the cakes nearly did!), but it was still a lovely experience and something I wouldn’t mind doing again.

afternoon-tea

For those that don’t know, afternoon tea is usually served with tea (though you can get coffee these days) and a three tier plate with finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of small cakes.

It’s extremely filling! So if you ever go, make sure you’re properly hungry!

I’m sure different places have different amounts of food, but where we went they definitely weren’t stingy with their selection. We got to choose two flavours for our finger sandwiches each (and I think we got like four each, which felt like a lot at the time), and then you had two scones per person rather than one (and with scones you get jam and clotted cream). Finally they had a selection of four little cakes.

In the end I think I only had one scone and half of each of the cakes, maybe three finger sandwiches. I was stuffed! Definitely worth your money!

We also walked around in the town centere, and I showed them the beach (which was packed due to the heat). I’m terrible at remembering to take photos, so I have very few in all fairness. I’m a bad blogger that way. I know the “big blogs” show lots of photos all the time. That’s just never going to happen here.

The way Bournemouth is laid out, the town centre with all the shops is not far from the beach. You basically can go shopping, then you take a stroll through the Lower Gardens and voila – you’re at the beach!

lower-gardens

The Lower Gardens are quite popular a place for people to go for a picnic or just hanging out. There are apparently Central and Upper Gardens as well, but I’ve only ever walked through the Lower, while the others continue further up through town.

That was our first day.