Sunday, 31 March 2013

Sugar rush!

Since the huge Easter eggs the kids got from Mormor yesterday, stuffed with all kinds of toys, Lego and sweets, didn't come from the Easter Bunny - Easter Bunny had to come last night, with more chocolate. The things you do for your kids...

Swedes are the people that eat the most amount of candy in the world - 17kg per person and year! That's more than double the amount of the average person in Europe! Recent numbers also show that during the Easter week, 6000 tons of candy is being consumed in Sweden..!
Well, we certainly have eaten our share of it by now! We soon got chocolate coming out of our ears..!

Konstrundan 2013

Something I had really looked forward to doing this Easter in Sweden was visiting another few artists at the early 'Konstrunda' around Hornborgasjön. We did that three years ago, and I really liked it, so it was with great anticipation we set off yesterday to see what this year offered.

It was just the girls this time, as Lucas preferred to stay at home and chill - and to be honest it certainly didn't hurt for the kids to get a break from each other...
We started out a little bit late in the afternoon after the Easter Parade and lunch break etc, but we still managed to do 10 stops!
You never really know what you get though, the "exhibits" can be very different to what they read in the program, sometimes they are not described accurately or they end up being something you are actually not that interested in. Yesterday was a mix of both for us.

We started by stopping in at the sheep farm again, and Linnea got to meet some little lambs, this one was just over a week old:

This year the 'Konstrundan' had over 40 different exhibits, shops and artists' studios etc to visit, you really need the map to navigate around. Linnea kept us on track from the back seat, letting us know what was next and where to go. She had even scheduled in the fikadax (=coffee stop)!

Each place participating in the 'Konstrundan' had a big sign outside, so you would find it easily. That was an improvement from last time.

Buying hard bread and tea, at "Knäck & Bräck":

Back to the roots again, we did another stop at Mormor's childhood home Backgården, just like last time. Unfortunately noone bothered to come out and talk to us this time.

My favourite stop this time was at this place, Bolum Horisont, where they displayed both garden items, beautiful ceramics, glass and sculptural items and had a lovely coffee shop, where we finally stopped for our "fikadax"!

Then we had renewed energy for the last few stops, before it was time to head home:

We also stopped at:
Ateljé Broddetorparn (No web page)
Ateljé Holgers
Ateljé Gökhem
Gudhems Hjärta

The 13.4 no show

So... I will be a 'no show' for this weeks Games WOD, and thereby not be ranked anymore in the Open this year...
The reason? I simply can't do this WOD; and I know that without even trying.

The 13.4 is a ladder of increasing reps, starting with 3 clean & jerk at 95 lbs (43kg) and 3 toes-to-bar; continuing with 6 reps each, then 9, 12, 15 etc - for 7 minutes.

To start with, I haven't mastered the TTBs just yet, so the max rep I would've been able to get would've been only 3 at the most. But then I can't clean 95lbs and it would've be a real push (excuse the pun) to get it overhead, even once.
Not a WOD designed for me, to say the least...

I can hear you say - why haven't you at least tried??
Well, had I been home in Brunei I would've, for sure! It's always worth a try.
But here logistics are getting in the way. It would've been a 45k drive one-way, to the nearest Box, just to try and maybe get one rep.
The other option would've been to go to the local gym here in town, set up a barbell, hope someone else would be at the gym on Easter Sunday to help filming it, and then do a video submission.

Nah, you know what. I'm defeated. I should never have signed up in the first place.
Reality is - if this had been the first Games WOD, I would've realized already then that I'm nowhere near Games standards...
All I can say is, I aim to be for next year!

Is there a Swedish Easter Bunny?

Linnea is asking a lot about which day it is Easter Bunny comes in Sweden. It is a bit confusing, because normally the Easter Bunny would come on Easter Sunday; but in Sweden the biggest day of Easter is sort of today on Holy Saturday, or Easter "Eve". We Swedes always celebrate the "eves" more.

So this morning when they found a Easter egg each, full of sweets and gifts, they immediately thanked Mormor for it...

... then they asked again, when Easter Bunny is coming?
Aarrgghh, I guess the Easter Bunny will have to hide some chocolate eggs in the garden early tomorrow morning, to make them happy.

The Easter Parade

Today the kids took part again in the Easter Parade. A popular happening every 'Påskafton' (= Easter Eve) here in town.
It's been three years since we were last in Sweden for Easter, and did the parade, but the kids could still use some of the same dress-up things! Although last time the skirt Linnea is wearing reached the ground..!

Lots of people had gathered in town to join the parade. Kids of all ages had dressed up to be 'påskkärringar', 'påskgubbar', Easter bunnies and even chickens!

While we waited we got to listen to this old man playing a keyed fiddle/nyckelharpa (a traditional Swedish instrument). Bless him, he was very cute in his traditional clothing and his hat made out of birch-bark, but the music (well...) was awful...

Finally off they went, with the nyckelharpa-man in the lead, now with a drum! Ha ha!

I guess you can spot who walked first in the parade..?

Luckily they only walked around a very short route in town, because it was so windy that the chill went through the bones! Brrr! In the end they made it back to the stage, where it was time for the prize - Easter candy for all kids!

The Diabolo

Lucas got a diabolo as a gift when we arrived in Sweden. It's been too cold really to go outside and practice, but the other day he couldn't wait any longer for nicer weather, he gave it a whirl anyway.
It's not easy, learning to master the diabolo might take a little bit more practice than he is prepared to put in...

An Easter Feast

Yesterday some of our family on my Mum's side came for a lunch, to celebrate Easter. We dished up a huge Easter buffet with tons of yummy food. Lots of eggs:

'Kavring' and 'gubbröra':

More eggs:

Chicken, herring, omelet, creamed potato, cheese pie, meatballs, sausages...

... and an Easter cake, of course!

A true Easter Feast!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Happy Easter!!!

Naughty and nice

Before we arrived at our playdate yesterday I had a bit of a talk with the kids in the car about my expectations of their behavior.
They must have been listening, because at "fika"-time they sat nicely until our host said "varsågod" (=go ahead). When they were done they first politely asked if they could be excused and then proceeded to take out their empty plates to the kitchen on their way.
Carin was mighty impressed, and even more so later on when then kids without a single complaint or protest happily packed up straight away when I told them it was time to go.

So, at dinner time back at Mormor and Morfar's, I made a point complimenting them thoroughly on their very good behavior earlier. I also told them that Carin had thought they were such good kids; to which Lucas replied really surprised:
-"So she didn't know how naughty we are at home?!"

Friday, 29 March 2013

Buona Pasqua

Today we had a playdate! Or well... I had a date with an old friend of mine from school, who happens to have three kids, so there was certainly a lot of playing going on!
Carin and I went to high school together, then she left for Italy and has lived there for the last 20 years. She is married to an Italian and they have three sons together.

Carin returns to Sweden every year as well, but our visits rarely coincide unfortunately. The last time we saw each other was nearly six years ago, when her eldest was only a couple of months old; so quite a bit has happened since then!

We brought some gifts for the boys, since two of them celebrate their birthdays now in the Easter weekend! The Halvan-books, always a hit! Here's Niccolò, who is just about to turn two years on Saturday:

Carin had brought an Italian Easter cake from home, a traditional "Colomba di Pasqua" (= Easter Dove). Mmm, it was delicious!

Carin's brother and his wife also has three boys, so it was quite a feeding frenzy with all those kids around the table!

Here's Theo, Lucas, Alessio and Riccardo:

It was so nice to see Carin again! I really hope it won't be another six years before we will manage to coordinate our Sweden visits again. Some friends are just gold.

The sounds of technology

Always when you are at someone else's house you have to get used to a lot of new sounds.
In my parent's house, not only does the microwave beep when it's done, but so does the dishwasher! The fridge and the freezer hums loudly and my Dad's computer is set to a very annoying (and loud!) sound that echoes through the house when he receives an email. His other computer has a screensaver, with a clock that strikes (loudly!) every now and then, but never regularly; and Mum uses the "seal" notification for her emails...
Add to that the normal beeps and blips and notifications on our different phones and iPads, and no wonder sometimes it gets a bit much.

The other day there was a loud beep, which none of us really recognized. We looked at each other when we heard it and puzzled asked each other "Is that yours?", but noone wanted to acknowledge it.
My Mum went to investigate, luckily, because outside on the yard was the postman (in his car, they live in the countryside), it was him that had honked the car horn because he had a parcel to deliver!
Ha ha!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Ice skating, take 2

We returned to Lidköping today to try ice skating one more time. Lucas was quite keen, Linnea just tagged along.
Since it's the Easter holidays, there was a lot more people at the rink today! A LOT more! Linnea decided not to go on the ice at first, and I understand her, at times it was a bit scary when the other kids who were playing hockey, came swoshing past super fast! Lucas and I started out by sticking to the side of the rink so we wouldn't get run over:

He soon found his confidence, and it seemed like it finally "clicked" for him, and he skated off, really fast! All of a sudden he was gliding across the ice, like he had done nothing else, a huge improvement from last week.
Linnea decided to get on the ice only when another little girl turned up, and off they went skating together the three of them:

Back and forth across the rink, over and over again:

On the other side of the net, they were playing ice hockey:

Really good fun today, Lucas never wanted to leave - and really wants someone to build an ice rink in Brunei! :)