Granny turns 89 and a busy week in general!

Ami writes:

Thought it was time to finally start writing on our blog, since it`s only been my lovely husband who has written some beautiful poetic sentences.

This is actually my first post ever, though I’ve never written a blog before, so bear with me ūüôā

It`s busy times now for both of us. Changing lives isn’t the easiest one can do, believe me. It would be enough just moving to another address in Stockholm, help someone else to move, start a new job or whatever, you get the picture…

But this is something totally different. I`m not saying anyone thinks¬†it would be easy, I`m just saying there is so much to do and think of. Everything from selling the flat, quitting our jobs and in my case applying for a residence visa to New Zealand, contacting different authorities and banks, to all the millions of¬†other things concerning the actual trip like booking flight tickets, rental cars and places to stay. I could go on forever…

Therefore it was very nice to be able to take a break last week to celebrate my granny’s 89th birthday.

There was nothing wrong with her mood, she was so happy to see us but sadly though the rest isn’t working so well, like her eye sight, her legs (she’s in a wheel chair) and her memory (Parkinson’s).

Anyhow we had a lovely, cozy early afternoon in our flat together one last time, eating a delicious typical Swedish birthday cake “Princesst√•rta” (sponge, whipped cream, vanilla cream and marzipan) yummy so good… ūüôā

My darling mum and Tom joined us too.

 

Other than that, training, training, training. A bit of work (only one month left- yippee!), packing and packing and too little sleep ūüė¶

But I’m not complaining, seriously, I`m just updating you on my life and what fills it at the moment!

 

And I just realized now that this became a very long first post ever- sorry. I’m going to try to keep it shorter in the future ūüôā

So therefore, bye bye for now!

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Happy retirement, Heavy Tools and Author

Tom writes:

Heavy Tools in the foreground, hogging the limelight as usual, Author more reticent and reflective behind
Heavy Tools in the foreground, hogging the limelight as usual, Author more reticent and reflective behind

After years of sterling service, these fine examples of velocipedic perfection are finally being allowed to enter a form of at least semi retirement.

Acquired by my New Zealand parents in Prague in 2014, these two stalwarts of steel guided them across the whole of northern Europe, through floods and hale storms, all the way to Stockholm.

Not a single mechanical failure, not even a puncture did these two war horses inconvenience their riders with.

Since then they endured, without complaint, being dragged all around Europe on the back of a car so that Ami and I could enjoy the local countryside of the continent in question in a more sedate and physically demanding manner.

I think I can safely say that not many bicycles have seen as much of the world as these two and accordingly their characters have developed.

Heavy Tools with the incredible work rate, the bike who tells all around him “don’t give up, we can make it, trust me”.

Author, the thinker and poet as befits her name, doing the business without grabbing attention, quietly getting on with the job.

I think it is safe to say that these two would never win a Tour de France or an Olympic gold medal. They leave that to the humourless carbon monstrosities who were built for such vulgarity.

But for getting from A to D while allowing you to really enjoy B and C and not just seeing it pass you by like a blur, no better bicycles were ever created.

We took them for a final run from Gryt to Valdemarsvik this weekend, a round trip of about 30 kilometers. As usual they were impeccable as regards to reliability and comfort.

They will now be resting in a quiet cellar in the Swedish countryside, together forever reflecting on a life well lived.

Have a happy retirement Author and Heavy Tools, enjoy the odd trip to the shop or to the beach and thanks for the memories…

Weekend in Gryt

Tom writes:

A few little piccies from Gryt where my Swedish parents have a summer house. It was nice to be there for probably the last time in the foreseeable future.

Gryt is where the red pin thingy is
Gryt is where the red pin thingy is

We spent a weekend there to get away from the stress and the mountain of hard work that is all around us at the moment. We took a long walk and even a bike ride to wile away the hours, fill our lungs with country air and to satisfy our need for physical exercise. We ate locally produced fish and strawberry cheesecake ice cream while sitting around the open fire and very romantic it was too. And bloody freezing as well, those old houses take about a week to warm up in the middle of winter.

Still at least we had each other. ūüôā

 

Bis später

Preparations and book burning

Tom writes:

I felt like a dictator today. Call me Tom Jong Un, Benito or Adolf if you like, I found myself with a huge pile of books and no idea of what I was going to do with them.

What should I do with these?
What should I do with these? Note by the way the perfect symbiosis between wallpaper and trousers.

Moving to another country means one big thing, throwing stuff away.

And man are we doing it!

The poor bastards working at our local rubbish tip are in all probability getting sick of the sight of us trundling up with fresh tonnage of recyclables. There is undoubtedly a certain degree of catharsis attached to the whole thing Рthe feeling of leaving home with a car full of junk and returning with sweet Fanny Adams is a pretty good one. You start to wonder why you started hoarding all the bullshit in the first place.

But books are something else. Aside from the already touched upon dubious political history of literary destruction, there is also a poetic side to it. To start with they smell nice Рfar nicer than my collection of kindle and audio books, while even the shit ones (of which there are many, trust me) have a nostalgic edge to them that I find hard to deny.

There is a very funny and in my opinion quite beautiful Sammy J song called “Delete” where he discusses what will happen the day he dies and his grandchildren sift through his old photos and memorabilia.

Shit, I forgot this was the internet and that I can link you to it so here it is…

I feel a bit the same about these old books. In however many years time when I leave this planet what will people have to remember me by? A few gigs and a porn collection?

Anyway I have given away the ones that people want and have room for but the problem with books and living in a town with a housing shortage is that said room is slightly limited.

So I confess that with a heavy heart I threw far too many of the bloody things away. As they fell into the container I sighed and tried to withhold the beginnings of a tear from forming in my eye.

Christ knows what I am going to do with my old vinyl records.

 

Otherwise things are progressing according to plan. The flat is sold and we (and by “we” I mean Ami who is definitely the locomotive pulling the carriage that is your¬†correspondent) are well and truly on the road to preparing ourselves for the big day of departure in the beginning of May.

It is hard work and not much fun when combining it with having to at least show up for work occasionally while you do it. Work is a total pain in the arse right now and we are both counting the days (26 to be exact at the moment of writing) before we can finally leave the bloody place for good.

The weather is still diabolical and training is still being done indoors most of the time.

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Here we are cycling away, Ami at the local gym spinning like a spider and me at home on the exercise bike while watching cricket, which I must say does make the pain more bearable.

Still spring is just around the corner, hopefully at least, and soon we will be pumping the pedals in the countryside again.

Take care