sverige i juli

Blandat Sverigejox har vi som sagt redan hunnit med sedan vi flyttade hit! Samma kväll vi flyttade in i lägenheten åkte vi och badade. Jag har ett grovt underskott på sommarbad eftersom jag bodde i England hela förra sommaren och halva denna. Och Daniel är ju aldrig den som är den, så när vi burit klart och ätit pizza och allt det där föreslog han kvällsdopp. Hurra! De andra åkte hem men Liam och jag följde gärna med.

Så himla ljuvligt var det.

Och så var jag och åt långlunch med min bror, som var i stan. Mycket bra att hinna ses, det har ju inte blivit något med det på länge.

Liam och jag kvällspromenerade på Liseberg bara för att vi kan - vi bor så nära att det vore dumt att inte ha säsongskort. Så lyxigt!

Liam sköt med luftgevär och vann en liten bäver som bor på vårt fönsterbräde nu. <3

En annan kväll var vi hemma hos Anna på middag. Mitt sociala behov känns nästan outtömligt och jag är så glad, så glad att folk släpper in mig igen nu när jag varit borta så länge.

Sedan fyllde detta snyggo år!

Vi firade på Ölkompaniet.

Svensk sommarkväll va.

Youngblood Brass Band | Brooklyn

plans, part III

Liam and I are in Sweden! We have a weird, worn down, huge apartment in Göteborg (the rose garden in the photo is very close to where we live so I consider it my own garden now, hehe) for the next year (more on this place later, I'm sure) and are currently navigating small hills of cardboard boxes in the lounge and Liam's office (kitchen and bedroom are beginning to look liveable though). Liam's working remotely at his old job, and I'm in the midst of preparing for the autumn semester to start at all of my different gigs. We have fun autumn plans - teaching both blues and balboa together, for example - and have already been out swimming in a lake and been to Liseberg and spent a week in the mountains (and a week in Herräng, as you saw). Liam's Swedish is cuter than ever and life is, on the whole, looking up.

Manchester was exciting, and also hard. I feel very stupid and naïve to have thought that I could just land somewhere without a plan of what I was actually going to, well, do. I know I am the kind of person who gets more done when there's a lot to do, whereas too many empty days in a row just gets me stuck in inertia, staring into space ... So the truth is that I didn't really do much with my time there, and that is entirely my fault. People have said that it takes at least a year to create a new life in a new city, and I only gave six months. But I've learned from it, and will do a lot of things differently next time.

Also, can't even tell you how wonderful it is to be speaking my own language on a daily basis again. Sure, my English is fine, I have a decent English-sounding accent and all that, but honestly? That's just caused me more problems! In several instances, people have misunderstood my wording of something, thinking I meant something I didn't. I wish people would remember that English is not my native languague. I wish people would cut me some slack. I think they would have, if I had put on my fake Swenglish accent. Instead, now, people have expected my English to be perfect, and for me to understand the very very fine nuances of English communication - something I'm very far from. It's been completely exhausting.

Me coming to stay in Liam's home country added extra anxiety for him, too; feeling like he was responsible for my happiness, telling himself subconsciously that he had to take care of me. We both feel it will be very healthy for this relationship to be on my home turf for a while, so that he can relax and be taken care of, and I can pull the heavier load regarding both administrative stuff and emotional support. I look forward to it very much.

Also, here's a selfie with a glacier in the background! Because how awesome is that?

Lake Street Dive | Walking On Broken Glass

herräng 2019

TL;DR Balboa week was amazing, I loved it, and didn't want it to end.

I didn't think I'd say what I'm about to say now, but: my week in Herräng this year was wonderful. I thought I had booked to many things this summer, I thought it would just feel stressful, I thought Herräng would be yet another of the many events lately that have made me feel like a shit dancer, made me feel redundant and invisible, and added to my dance crisis ... But that didn't happen.

Bless balboa week, bless Herräng week 1. That combination was perfection for me right now. The classes were brilliant. Such great material, some of it very challenging and some of it a comforting feeling of "I've done this before! This isn't too hard!". And the level in my class was so high! Most of the leads were an absolute joy to dance with.

But the socials were the best bit. The big ballroom was decicated to fast swing, so all balboa for me (I had ONE lindy dance the entire weekend - tack Tobias. :)). I loooved the music, I loved having all the space, but most of all, I loved that there wasn't the usual insane surplus of follows. Ten of fifteen follows extra per night maybe - it was, comparatively, heavenly. And I got to dance almost as much as I wanted. How often does that happen?

People had warned me that there would be fewer people than normal, going week 1 compared to any other week. There certainly were fewer people, and I was so grateful for that. On Friday, which was the last night of our week, a lot of people who were coming for week 2 were already there, as it was the start of the weekend. The dance floor was crowded - and the walls lined three people deep with follows. I was sad, I felt like my Herräng experience of the past week had been taken from me! But as soon as the band finished, most people left and I had a few blissful hours, back in the lovely balboa week feeling. Both Liam and I were, in fact, so in love with balboa after this week that we immediately started looking for more balboa events to go to. :)

Nine photos from my week:

I just wish we could have stayed longer.

joelle & ed

Liam's sister Joelle got married to her Ed two days ago, and it was an absolutely lovely day. I know, I know - I'm a sucker for weddings, whether I'm working or not, and I know not everyone is as into them as I am, but when they are done well - like this one, which was a manifestation of love in everything from the readings during the ceremony to the decorations at the venue - I just melt. Not to mention the added excitement of it being a UK wedding, with all their interesting differences compared to most Swedish weddings I've been to!

So anyway, since I wasn't working at this one, and they asked us not to take photos during the ceremony, I have just a few photos from the rest of the day to show you. Here they are:

The beautiful bride and groom.


The photographs took a while - as they do when there are many constellations of people to capture - and Liam was in more of them than me, of course, so I asked him if he'd like some tea. You should have seen his face light up! :) On the way from the bar (where you can obviously get a good cup of English Breakfast) at least five different people looked longingly at the teapot and asked me where I got the tea. Ha! I just can't get over how tea is actually a thing here, and not an exaggerated stereotype. :)

The groomsmen! I love this shot. And I only staged it a tiny bit - five of them were already hanging out there waiting, while the official photographer took photos of the bridesmaids - and I saw them and asked Liam and Stephen to join them so I could get this shot. (And then the official photographer crept up behind me and stole my shot! Ha!)


This here man is the love of my life, did you know?

Lipstick removal. :)

One of the groomsmen took these for us with my camera. Thanks Jack! I really appreciate it.

Anne, looking gorgeous as always.

I did consider borrowing the bouquet, taking a selfie of me and Liam with it, and posting it to social media, clearly stating in the caption that we were at someone else's wedding, and waiting to see how many would assume we had got married judging just by the photo, without reading the text. But I thought better of it in the end. :)

There were trees!!!

So much attention and care in all these details!

Rose hand lettered and designed these displays - my favourite parts of the decorations.

Dessert was my favourite part of dinner. It was very noms.

We went out on the terrace (which otherwise unfortunately needed to be avioded due to smokers) specifically so I could take a photo of Liam's beautiful groomsman gift (a concept new to me). Ed picked out different cufflinks for all his groomsmen and these are so incredibly Liam with his fascination for how everything mechanical works and moves, I'm very impressed with Ed's choice.

There was a pick and mix buffet! Ah yiss.

Cake cutting and all that!

The first dance was absolutely beautiful.

Family hug.

After this I put down my camera and just enjoyed the rest of the party. I had a great day; thanks, Joelle and Ed, for having me! I wish you all the happiness and many exciting adventures together!

Also ... look what I have!!! Liam's aunt Maggie gave me a fascinator!!! You see, hats and fascinators are what UK weddings mean to people in Sweden. It was the first reaction of many of my friends: "You're going to a wedding in England? Do you get to wear a hat?!?!". But Liam said that people wouldn't wear hats at this wedding, so I didn't get one! And then, obviously all of his millions of aunts showed up with fascinators! I was gravely disappointed. Until Maggie said that she most likely wouldn't wear hers again, and just gave it to me! I will never go to a wedding again in ANY country without a fascinator. Best thing ever. (I was later told that I put it on facing the wrong way, but it was actually an English lady who helped me so I don't care. :))

George Ezra | Hold My Girl