So, what do you say huh? After slowly dismantling our lives here in “The land of the Vikings”, it was finally time for us to leave Swedish territory once and for all. And on a fantastic “sunny and blue sky”-day too, for that matter.
Started my last morning here together with my mum, taking the dog for a walk. After breakfast and closing of bags, my oldest brother with family showed up around 11.30 to say their goodbyes before it was time for Tom and me to go to the airport with my mum driving us ❤ ❤ ❤ Love you so so much!!!
The aeroplane left at 14.20 for Iceland and with me crying my eyes out ;(
How is it possible to be so excited, happy and feel totally free to do what ever you want and that the sky’s the limit, while on the other hand feel so very very blue?
Anyway, came to Reykjavik around 17.30 Icelandic time (-2h), really tired and hungry. Checked in at a disgustingly dirty place (how can this place call themselves a guest house?) for our two nights here (why do we almost always go for these horrible accommodations that make my skin crawl, just to save, in this case, some ISK- Icelandic krona?… My God…).
Had a freaking good burger for dinner though, at one of Iceland’s oldest restaurants and then an evening walk before I later died on my pillow…zzz
Today was the day to finish everything off and just go through our packing one last time to see that we had got it all under control. Even if we’ve planned our emigration very well in advance, I got a bit stressed out anyway!
I also had to go and have a final check at all our 23 boxes that we are going to send down to NZ after a few months when we know were our home is going to be… The company organizing this for us wanted an inventory list over the contents of the boxes. Not the most enjoyable thing one can do on a Saturday, but it had to be done and I brought my dear mum with me for some help ❤
After that, we were invited for a tasty Persian lunch with one of my brother’s mother in law Azita and her husband. (They are the friendly people that let us store the boxes in their big house) ❤
Then on to Åkersberga (north of Stockholm) where my grandmother lives in a retirement home, to say my last good byes to her. I got a bit emotional, as my granny (and grandfather when he lived) have been two of the most important people in my life since I was a little girl. It is so hard for me to think that I might never see her again, because of her age (she is 89) and the fact she’s got Parkinsons 😦
And in the evening it got even more emotional when I had to say good bye to some members of the family, after having a nice evening together…
I have so much appreciated these last weeks together with my family and I’m going to miss them like crazy. I hate farewells and even if I’m very excited about me and Tom’s future outside Sweden, I will always have a hole in my heart, not being able to see them when I want. And my home country will always be Sweden, that’s just how it is I’m afraid…
It isn’t the place that I will be missing. As far as I am concerned I can take it or leave it with Stockholm and Sweden. I have lived here for a very long time and have had great moments. These are however evened out by some pretty crap hours as well.
At times I have loved Stockholm’s beauty, the long summer nights that never seem to get dark; capped off with clandestine midnight skinny dipping in the middle of the city, not something you can do in most capital cities.
There in the crystal clear water under Västerbron in the moonlight, I could sometimes feel like I was king of the whole town.
On the other hand I have a vision of a young, desperate, horny me on cold winter nights, with winds biting and slush seeping into my boots. A sad excuse of a man trudging home wearily after once again failing to get laid while missing the last night bus.
Tragic I know.
What I will miss are the people though.
We had a final do at my dad and step mums place with some of our nearest and dearest. I made pizzas, we sang some songs (one of which was recorded for posterity and will, once the person filming it has figured out how to send it to me, be put up here for everyone to admire) and generally enjoyed each others company.
As many times before I ended up in a heated discussion with my dad and my brother which, as many times before, ended with us agreeing to disagree and no grudges harboured. My dad and I are polar opposites when it comes to politics and most other areas of discourse and we have frequently ended up screaming at each other but he never, ever allows disagreement to fester into anything more long term.
In this respect as in many others he is a greater man than I ever will be.
I am in the slightly unusual position of having my family very clearly in two different parts of the world. My mother’s side is in New Zealand and my father’s in Sweden. Consequently I am always away from half of the people that I love and have thus worked out how to go about missing people without feeling that the world is going to come to an end.
I confess though to having had a lump in my throat when I said goodbye to everyone for the last time for god knows how long. For reasons far too tragic and boring to bring up now I am not very good at crying (unless Little House of the Prairie is on the telly) but it was close this time.
We are all getting older and the distances involved are very long. My dad says that he wants to get down to the Antipodes one more time and he is certainly healthy enough to do it but who knows what the world has in store for all of us.
Thanks to all who were there for making this evening a night to remember.
I shall leave you all with the trademark song of the Carrigan family as it is so bloody beautiful:
I had one of my so called Ego days Thursday this week and I just love them! A bit of “ME- time”. You just can’t have enough of them!
Started of at 11 am with a hard spinning course 1.5 h (“Giro 4”, which I’ve done since January) for the very last time. After that a well deserved lunch at restaurant “Bio Rio” ( which also hosts a cinema) in Hornstull/ Stockholm- yummie!
Then I treated myself with manicure and pedicure. And as if that wasn’t enough, I even had body scrub, massage and facial treatment 🙂
It all felt very luxurious and I so deserved it this day!!!
This wonderful day ended up with a beautiful Indian meal in Tensta (near Kista where my mum lives and us too for the moment) together with Tom, mum and my darling little brother, his partner and my “so cute to die for” nephew- LOVE YOU ALL ❤
…and a coffee stop at their home after, one last time with lots of sweets and good talks…
After this hard days work to Formentor, we arrived back to our hotel in Alcudia as early as 3 pm- wo hoo!! Which gave us the chance to relax by the pool for the first time since we came here, get some sun over THE WHOLE BODY and not just bits here and there that cyclists tend to get 🙂 and eating strawberries- simple but nice!
In the evening we met up with one of my spinning leaders, Mari from my gym at home “Friskis & Svettis” with whom I`ve done challenging spin classes. Together with her husband and cycle friends (who were also here for a week of cycling) we had a lovely dinner.
As always we died on the pillow later while back at the hotel again and after packing everything for our Menorca excursion.
One of the pleasures of my existence during the first two thirds of my life in Scandinavia was tottering down to the temple that was Söderstadion to watch the “entertainment” provided by the local football team, Hammarby IF.
It has been what could clichédly be described as a roller coaster ride. From the highs of the early 82 when the team almost went all the way to the lows of the early 90s when they could never seem to get out of the second division for more than one season at a time. The zenith was finally reached in October 2001 when the team, who were almost universally tipped for relegation, capped off a magnificent season by winning the Swedish championship for the first, and so far only, time.
The atmosphere in that wonderful, rickety old stadium was always unique, even during the worst times when only a couple of thousand could be arsed buying tickets, but on that day when Örgryte from Gothenburg were beaten it was absolutely electric. One of those occasions when sport can be an orgasmic experience.
Since that day however my interest has dwindled. I guess nothing could ever have topped that magical time and this has almost certainly been a reason for my loss of passion. But it isn’t only that.
Football has a tendency to encourage some of the worst aspects of human behaviour that I know such as tribalism and hooliganism. The older I have got the more this kind of bullshit irritates me. Also the behaviour of the players, writhing around faking injuries and gesticulating at referees has left an ever increasing bad taste in the mouth.
I have fallen out of love with the watching of football (as opposed to the playing which I love and if the risk of injury was slightly lower would still do regularly) and thus the watching of Hammarby IF.
Give me the honest hard men of rugby with their fans from opposing teams sharing a beer or twelve while watching the game without a hint of rowdiness before the divas of the soccer field and the wankers in the stands.
But for the benefit of closure me and my friend Peter decided to see one last game before I leave.
Everything has changed. Söderstadion is long demolished and instead the team play in a monstrosity called Tele 2 Arena which resembles a space ship incapable of lift off.
The gorgeous smell of new cut grass has been replaced by astroturf which I admit has obvious practical advantages this far north of the equator, but still isn’t a patch on the mud baths of the past.
And as for the game. Well, it was weird. I don’t really know how to describe what I felt. I think the word that gets closest is insipid.
There were 20000 fans in the stadium and what could be described as a reasonable atmosphere, especially as the team won at a canter against a pathetic opponent in Helsingborg.
It just felt so empty. I was detached and unconcerned which is light years from what I went through before. Sure it was nice that they won but in all honesty I really wouldn’t have given a shit if they hadn’t.
Still, it was nice to spend some time with Peter, who I have known for a long time, and will miss dearly once we have gone. And I liked the fact that the referee looked like a wild animal from the Southern African plains when he was running.