“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes….”


God Jul…aaaaah Swedish Kebabs…

Swedish New YearHow can you describe our 10 days in Sweden? We basically ate and ate and drank and played 500 and ate some more. Good times really. Our friends Pete and Kate kindly hosted us over Christmas and we had a wonderful cultural experience. Matt almost swears he can speak Swedish now, he actually is pretty good and understands about 70percent of what is going on. We arrived pretty exhausted after packing up the house and due to the long dark evenings we managed to fit in about 12hours sleep a night, bit like going into hybernation.

On Christmas evening the snow flakes came down and we enjoyed about 70cm of snow. It really brighted up the place and created a lot more fun and games (Matt invented a new game which involves throwing a snow ball at Pete and almost breaking his leg). Evertime we got into the car we had to scrape and brush it down, we had to shovel the snow, sweep it, brush it off our feet…really high maintenance living really. But still wonderful…Christmas is really designed for winter…well our traditions are at least.

We bought some small fire works and with the rest of Ljungby contibuted to the 360degree firework display that brought us into the 2006 (no fire restrictions to worry about). The local counsel has the right idea just legalise fireworks then you don’t have to pay for a public display. And the Ljungby locals spent alot of money on fireworks between them.

After 10 days of relaxing and some post-Christmas-sale shopping we packed our bags and waved Pete, Kate and Olivia off as we were wisked away on the 5.36am Swedish trains. Swedish trains are great!

The day was long, Lgungby to Copenhagen, Copenhagen to Stansted (London), Stansted to Heathrow, 9 hours waiting for check in to open and trying to reclaim some tax,…duty free shopping at Heathrow (our credit card didn’t see that coming and my long time dream to own a Swatch watch was fullfiled), then Heathrow to Bangkok….where it is hight time that Matt does some blogging.

On the high seas….

EdinburghMatt’s impression of the deep fried Mars bar was that it wasn’t worth waiting 10 years for…but maybe we just went to the wrong shop. Our whirlwind visit of Edinburgh was enough to make us feel as though we would like to go back there on day, but not enough time to check out all the trourist must see places. Matt, the star he is booked a hotel 5 minutes walk from the train station, so on Thursday we packed our gear…trying to protect all the grog and pressies that we brought for our friends in Sweden… and jumped on the 10am train to New Castle.

From New Castle we jumped on a DFDS boat to Gothenburg, via Kristiansand (Norway). Matt and I almost killed ourselves carting all the alcohol that Pete and Kate asked for, the taxes in Sweden almost work as well as prohibition…we felt like we were smuggling grog in across the sea border. The “cruise” was great fun…we dined in a swish restraunt…where we couldn’t understand anything on the menu although it was written in English, we saw dancing girls (and a boy), listened to the easy listening, underinspired rock group and did the whole titanic thing (Matt: “I am king of the world”). It was a beautiful experience sailing into Gothenburg, which is a much bigger city than I expected, with big bridges and a built up shoreline on both sides of the river. It was a bit unnerving that it was pitch black at 3.30pm when we arrived…and frezing cold. Not really sure how much daylight to expect…we are travelling south now, so hopefully there will be some improvement.

Tomorrow we start the Christmas celebrations, Swedish style. May everyone have a wonderful Christmas and take joy in the fact that “Man shall live forever more, because of Christmas day”. God Bless you all. Matt: “Bah Humbug”!

In brief…

I think that we have lost the routine of blogging…so a bit of a catch up is in order….

Please excuse any typos, I am currently doing battle with a German keyboard.

Elk FarmA quick recap of the last month…there was a fantastic weekend (4 days) in Sweden with our friends Pete, Kate and Olivia. We shopped in Malmo, went to a Swedish surprise party and visited an Alk park. Enjoyed a BBQ and learnt a new board game…it was a fantastic relaxing time and great to be hanging out with old friends.

We have also had some visiters staying with us in Bedford which has also broken up the manotonoy of life a bit. Matt´s brother Simon stayed with us for a week, we managed to cram a road trip into that also – to South Hampton (the Launching place of the Titanic), visiting Oxford briefly to have dinner at the Eagle and Child (Tolkien and CS Lewis´ old watering hole), saw an Abby and a couple of castles and visited Stone Henge all in one weekend!

Castle ruin (started out as a Roman fort)We then had some other visitors from Oz, Richard Carron (Tommy´s little brother) and his friend Julie. They made good use of the Thames Link and travelled to London everyday to take in the sites. Which reminds us we should venture to London some day 🙂

Last weekend Matt and I packed the car and made our way down to dover to catch the Ferry to France. We travelled for about 11 hours reaching Antwerp and our beautiful four star hotel. My husband is such a bargin shopper! It took us a while to wind our way to the “tourist” sites in Antwerp but when we got there we were glad we stayed the distance…it is a pretty little city. We then headed off to Eindhoven, where we caught up with the Piening clan and spent a few day visiting the sites of significance to the Piening family. Phillips pretty much own that town. It was hard to find a building without Phillips written on it. We also crammed a road trip to Western Belgium into to our four days. Belgium waffles are great!!!

As we set off again our car was a little fuller, with Liz and Simon crammed in the back with all our gear – Metro Rover what a car. The German auto barns are fast and furious. We had a brief stop in Colone – visiting the Dom (and walking the 500 steps to the spire), and Liz initiated me into the H&M stores.

Our next stop Frankfurt swept us off our feet as we landed there in the middle of a huge festival. All the museums were discounted for the festival and the river bank was a sea of people, market stalls, live music, out door bars and plenty of German food (which is apparently more than sausages). The boys caught a plane the next day to London and Liz and I continue on with our German roadtrip.

That is a whirlwind catch-up and here is my obligatory promise to update the site more often…which I actually think might happen as I am back on the road again. Send Matty emails because he is probably lonley home alone…hey why not even give him a call!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes….”

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