Saturday, January 2, 2010
God jul 2009 och gott nytt år 2010
Joe had his (hopefully) final final exam starting at 08.00 on the morning of 19 december, which you may notice is a Saturday. It was quite cold, completely dark, ice-covered, and starting to snow as I waved goodbye to him from our tiny balkong; unlike most of his previous exams, he had no adventures with flat tires.
As some of you already know, we have been cat sitting for a professor that I know who went back to the States for a couple of weeks. The cat's name is Max, only six months old, and he's quite amiable most of the time and a real charmer when he wants to be. We plan to use him to try to lure Joe's niece into taking notice of us during a Skype call soon (she never has before, but we have it on good authority that she likes to Skype with cats).
On juldagen, the upstairs neighbor has decided to make a few hundred American-style pancakes for his birthday party (in January), and rather early in the morning he came down to get Joe to try a few to check for quality. Joe came back downstairs with a plateful of them, and the yummy smell woke me up. The neighbor himself came down for a visit in the early afternoon, and we had a nice fika including strong coffee and cookies and various treats, none of which really seemed to sober him up completely. For dinner we had julskinka which is really tasty. Joe headed to bed early, while I stayed up to Skype home and say hello and Merry Christmas to everyone.
We had a cold snap in the week before jul (around -16C during the day), but then it warmed up and was grey and rainy on jul itself, and we didn't go out, unlike last year. But there have been some beautiful days since then, and we've taken a couple long walks through the fields and woods around our place. Today, for instance, we had some really interesting atmospheric conditions, with mostly clear skies but a continual light fall of snow flakes, which gave us a sun pillar and a snöbåge, which I don't remember ever seeing before. Plenty of other people were out walking, kids were playing in the snow, and everyone who had skies was out and about on them; very cheering and festive. Just to show two seasons of the same place, I sat in the same place as I did for that lovely weekend of reading last summer; here's the pictures contrasting then and now.
We spent New Year's Eve in the company of our Swiss friends G. and D. This party included two Swiss, two Amis, one Dane, one Swede, one Canuck, and one Spaniard who more or less confessed that he found Sweden a little cold this time of year. Just like last year, there were plenty of local fireworks to keep me happy, and their second-floor apartment is nicely situated for seeing the official fireworks display at the castle. There were also lots of Chinese lanterns, which really did have us thinking about UFOs. We spent the night at their place, and breakfasted on pannetone and Bloody Marys, a very pleasant start to the New Year.
Hälsingar från Sverige, and best wishes to everyone for 2010.