Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Summer in mind

It is now time to start getting into the summer frame of mind. It is a week until I fly home, for the first time in almost 2 years.

So many things that I had forgotten about start to flood into my head, not least of all the summer heat. Still, I can't wait.

I look outside the window at one last glimpse of snow, at least for now. I am not sure when I will next be in Sweden or Europe for a Norhtern winter.

Carlton Draught on tap, Corona stubbies, BBQ's and one-dayers on TV is a little over a week away. Can not get too excited yet as I want to enjoy the time left here.

I will really miss Sof and her family who have been so kind to me, but I have comfort in the fact that it is only going to be 4 weeks until she joins me in Oz.

Friday, 1 January 2010

The year that was

2009 was full of ups and downs for me, well us really. It started with our best housemates moving out and the less than desireable ones moving in. Altough at first they were not a problem for anybody.

Soon after came the back injury that plagued the first half of a troubled cricket season. We had been promoted from the previous year and were clearly not good enough to be playing in the top league in Sussex. The sciatica also meant I couldn't sit at the desk at work for a couple of weeks.

With the sciatica subsiding and my form on the pitch starting to turn around, we had our first win for the season which we celebrated in fine fashion. It was the highlight of our season and probably for some of the guys in the team who don't have much in their lives besides cricket, the highlight of their year.

After the high of a victory, a couple of weeks later I sustained a broken hand whilst playing. Evidently, cricket balls can do some damage to bones if they hit them wrong. I fractured the outside of my hand in 4 places and it was off to see the surgeon. The surgeon basically left the decision to operate and repair it up to me so I decided it wasn't worth it.

A trip to Sweden in July/August recharged the batteries, although it also marked the end of my job at the bank due to cutbacks. I figured though at the time that it wasn't really a big deal and that I would get another job pretty quickly once I got back to England. (I was pretty wrong there)

With the pressure mounting on finding another job, I was financially forced to go back to playing cricket even when my hand was not fully recovered. It made the last few games at the club a chore as I couldn't enjoy the games like I used to because I felt restricted. PLaying cricket one-handed, not that easy or that fun.

A friend from Australia arrived to live in Brighton in September, which was really good for my state of mind. I was a little homesick and having Ports there, and his mate from his band once I met him made it a lot better. The last few months there would have been unbearable had I not had the boys to catch up for a coffee (and a cigarette) with.

We had another highlight in November when Sofie's visa to Australia was approved, and this came as a bit of a shock to us. Normally the process is a lot longer than we experienced, but we were very prepared and sent in everything and more that they required. With the previous luck that we had during the year it was a massive shock. But a welcomed one.

After leaving Brighton in December, a white Christmas followed when celbrating it in Sweden. It has been enjoyable here, albeit a little mad with the new puppy, but I wouldn't change it for the world. New Years brought The Fugitive on TV followed by midnight fireworks in -9 cold.

Next stop, home in mid-January.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Pictures from Stockholm

Here are a few pictures from the snow covered Stockholm.

Friday, 18 December 2009

White Out

Well, after rounding out our time in Brighton and somehow packing almost an entire room into 60kgs of luggage, we made it to Sweden without too many problems. We were delayed by a about 2 hours due to the snowfall in Copenhagen, but otherwise we have been pretty lucky. It has been snowing back in England and luckily we were not due to leave today, otherwise we would have had difficulty leaving due to Englands transport system shutting down whenever it snows a few inches.

Here in Sweden however, yesterday there was about 10 centimetres of snowfall and it was business as usual. Today, while I haven't seen a car go past all day everyone appears to be at work. There is about 40-50 centimetres by the looks of things out the window but in reality it is probably more like 30. Still, for my eyes, we may as well be buried in it.

It hasn't stopped snowing since I first looked outside at about 9am. Time to clear the snow from the driveway shortly, it should be fun.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

One Last Week

One last week of an uncomfortable living environment. The last few weeks have gone by really quickly it seems. I think we are pretty well organised and ready to move. Mentally, I have been ready to get out of this house for a few months. One last week of insanity.

One last week of worrying whether or not we should send more stuff to Australia or Sweden or whether to chance the suitcases being over the weight limit. Another two packages will be sent to Australia today, hopefully, and then we should be fairly close to being sorted.

One last week of seeing some friends. Maybe for the last time ever. I certainly hope not, but you never know when I may see some of the people I have met here again. There are a few who are planning a visit to Australia and I will hopefully be able to catch up with some when we travel back to Sweden to visit.

One last week of this chapter in our lives. A new chapter is only a week away, and that is something to really look forward to.

Monday, 7 December 2009

A little piece of home away from home.

It is nice to see that the English here like to remind themselves that they made Australia what it

is today. This is on one set of gates just outside Buckingham Palace.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Road Block

We thought it would be a good idea to check and see if all of the stuff we own can fit into the suitcases and carry-on bags we have. Bad idea. Tears, frustration and the realisation that we can not afford to keep everything that we want is taking its toll.

We discovered that we are going to have to send several packages to both Sweden and Australia if we are going to keep everything we want, however, neither of us has any where enough money to be able to accomplish this. We have already donated so much of our stuff, books, clothing, bedding and house hold items and we still have too much. We are both at a loss as to what to do.

There are some difficult decisions to be made over the next couple of days regarding some of our stuff, hopefully we make the right choices.