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!

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

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.

Far Away

Living far away from your family isn’t easy at the best of times, so when I got a message last week that my grandma had been taken to the hospital, I was definitely struggling. I wanted very badly to be there for her, able to visit her in the hospital and help out in any way I can. Neither of which is possible when you’re in another country.

She was taken to the hospital last Wednesday morning, and ended up having emergency surgery that afternoon. After that she’s been struggling with an infection, but from what I’m hearing she’s on the mend, and they’re hoping to send her home next week. (With some assistance in the home, since she won’t be able to do everything for a while yet.)

When something like this happens you feel very powerless when you’re far away. It’s made me miss my family extra much, and I can’t wait until end of July when I go home to see them. Especially my grandma, who I will be hugging extra hard.

In Sweden

I don’t have a lot to write at the moment, since I’m mainly enjoying my time back home (excluding the cold, of course). Feels like there’s a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it – trying to get to see everyone as much as possible.

My old boss has asked me to drop by and help her with some statistics that I did for her last year as well. Not sure when I’ll have the time for that… But she gave me a good reference for my job (I think?!), so I kinda feel like I owe her.

Today my mom had me over for dinner, and they made me a mini-Christmas dinner, since I was in the UK for Christmas. Yummy!

xmaslunch

Other than that, I’ve done some shopping. Found two dresses for two weddings I’m attending this Spring, as well as a pair of comfortable shoes for work.

My niece and nephew have been over a few times, and they’re so cute. I wanted to take a picture of them, and my niece immediately started making funny faces and poses.

My camera takes really bad quality pictures sometimes...

My camera takes really bad quality pictures sometimes…

Earlier in the week I visited a friend to see her for lunch, and to do our Christmas gift exchange. I gave her a coffee cup that said “You’re my person” (a quote from Grey’s Anatomy), and some English chocolates. She gave me this…

monopoly

I think she won. Her gift for me was way cooler!

A Very Long Time

My brother recently sent me this little video clip. I realise that a lot of you who read this don’t understand Swedish, but it’s of my nephew saying how him and Moa (my niece) will miss Bailey (my dog) for a very long time.

The word he keeps repeating is “long”.

Adorable.

 

You can tell that he’s in the middle of dinner from the amount of ketchup on his shirt and face!

Oh, and I asked about the gash above his eye. I wondered if he’d run into a wall or something. Apparently, Viggo’s story is that his toy car Lightning McQueen jumped up and hit him very hard.

Because I guess that’s what toy cars do?

Dad’s Birthday Gift

I never know what to get my dad for his birthday, but this year I found the perfect gift:

dave-grohl

I thought the t-shirt was really funny – and he’s a Foo Fighters fan! So, hopefully he likes it!

Cute Kids

I sent my niece and nephew a Christmas card each, as a fun thing. Originally I was only going to send the four year old, cause I wasn’t sure if the two year old would care – but it seemed mean to send one and not the other since they live together.

Anyway, they loved them. And Viggo immediately said to his mom to take a photo of him and the card to send to me. He’s so adorable.

He loves the Avengers - mostly the Hulk and Iron Man.

He loves the Avengers – mostly the Hulk and Iron Man.

 

moa-card

She tried taking one of Moa, but the little one doesn’t quite have the posing thing down yet. (It was a Frozen card… because why not?)

Vanished

I may have briefly vanished for a few days. It’s because I ended up taking a last-minute trip to my dad’s for four days. Originally I hadn’t planned to, but my brother and I decided to go up and see them since I’ll be leaving soon, and it will be awhile before I get the chance again.

It was nice to see everyone and get to say good bye.

While there we also visited one of my sisters, her fiance and their little kid William. He’s only 2,5 months younger than my niece, so it’s fun to compare them. Sadly we couldn’t bring Moa this trip, but Viggo came along. It was very cute when Viggo bent down and gave William a big kiss!

I’m a baddie though and didn’t take a single photo. Shame on me!