H.E.A.T at Rockbåten, photo by Pär Altan

fredag 26 december 2014

and then we celebrated Christmas Day in Gavle

On our way

China but in Sweden, Dragon gate, on the way to Gavle

The following morning at 0830 we left for Christmas celebration in Gavle. We haven't been there for a while and this time both Jonas, Emil and Mandy joined which was very nice :-)
Meanwhile Danniel was so nice to look after Pinglan. Big thanks Danniel!
My sister Helen's dog Pinglan who we "dog sit" since they are in Dubai for the holidays

 The further north we came the more snow it was and also colder. By the time we reached Gavle we had -14 C and the coldest was -16C. That is cold and I do understand Sandy loving the California climate :-) Wouldn't mind that myself.
Back to Gavle where there also were a lot of snow. When you walked there was this lovely creak, which I do like. It's far better than the icy streets we often have here in the Stockholm region.
In Gunillas living room

Gunilla in front of the fire place

Anyway we first visited Gunilla and Per in their new house which was so nice and totally perfectly decorated. I loved it. We had some coffee, ham sandwich and of course safron buns.
Then we went over to Staffan and Lena's house where Linnea (sadly with a bad cold) Henrik and Amanda and Oscar were. Later Gunilla and Klara joined and we sat down and chatted before the preparation for the Christmas Day linner (lunch/dinner) started. 
Everything was so good, we had lots of laughter and talk. Alway a pleasure to come and meet the grown up children and grandchildren.
Having fun

Mandy, Lena and Staffan

Lunch and Klara wanted to be in the photo :-)

The table is set

Waiting to get the "at table" order ;-)

We drove back later in the evening and today on Boxing Day we are having a sunny, cold day here. Just finished lunch and now we will relax and enjoy the holiday.

To all of you reading this - I hope you're having a relaxed and good holiday together with your loved ones. If you can't be with them - like I can't be with my American family - keep them in your heart and thoughts which I do.

onsdag 24 december 2014

Christmas Eve in photos :-)

Christmas lunch has started, they boys are home

Some of the food, the cold dishes which we start with

Emil is happy after eating all the good food :-) 

Hasse behind lit candles and with the Christmas tree behind

Everyone concentrates on the food

Jonas is playing Christmas carols for us

And then it was time for Disney hour and now Mandy has joined us :-)

Relaxing and cozy watching Disney

Baloo from the Djungle book

Me happy to have everyone home

Mandy my beautiful daughter in law (not yet married but still)

måndag 15 december 2014

Oh my God

The Christmas smorgasbord

I just realized I haven't written anything since November 23!
But I can tell you I haven't been lazy but there has been so much going on that I haven't had the strength to write.

I had meetings that week and I was supposed to be at a conference hotel for lunch that Friday but I was to tired I had to cancel it. So instead I baked safron buns (!) and made chocolate troufles with ginger. 

The ferry
On December 1 it was Staffan's birthday (Hasse's oldest son) and I worked and worked at my job. Thursday I and Hasse were supposed to go to the theatre and see Come again Charlie, which was one of my birthday presents - thank you Pär and Brita. But Hasse wasn't feeling well so instead I asked Linnea, my bonus grand daughter if she wanted to go and she was very happy that I asked. We had a really good time and the play, which was a comedy, was funny but also with a message which made you laugh and then stop. It was about the situation that is in many countries today especially in Europe I think  where dark forces are coming up sprung from the politics of nazis. Here in Sweden for instance the party, Sweden democrats, has caused a goverment crisis and we are to have an extra election in March next year. They don't want any immigrants but only Swedes. They say that judes and sami are not Swedes (!) I hope they do get less votes next year but you never know. The same thing is happening all over Europe right now.
Hasse in our lovely suite
But the play was funny thoughtful.

Next day it was time for the Royal Opera and Madame Butterfly by Puccini. I haven't seen that opera in decades and it was truly an experience. I just love the music. Miss Saigon, the musical, is based on the same story as this opera. An american marries a japanese and she has a baby that he doesn't know of. He goes back to America and marries an American woman and they come back and found out about his son and take him from Butterfly to give him a better life in America. Butterfly commits harikiri and that's the end of the opera. Not a very uplifting story but then again almost all operas ends with death.

Last week work on Monday and Tuesday and then a Christmas concert with my two favorites, Peter Johansson and Matilda Grün. Christmas hasn't started until I've seen them :-)
Matilda Grün - beautiful and so nice

And yes, she's having a baby boy in March :-)

Funny when we the audience learnt and danced square dance :-)

Peter and Matilda - cousins and incredibly talanted!

The day after which was Nobel day I took the day off work! Hasse and I watched the Nobel prize both in Norway and in Stockholm on TV. I really liked the choice of peace prize winners this year.
Very well deserved to both of them. Hasse and I always eat "Nobel dinner" which means I make something extra and I did that this year as well.

The next day which was Thursday we had our traditional Christmas party at the Rheumatic association but before that a meeting in the planning committe (for next year's big event). We also plan the Christmas party, the food etc. Very nice, good food and so nice to meet everyone working in the county associations.

Me at the hotel restaurant
Dessert and candy a must on the Christmas smorgasbord
Hasse at the table
Friday me and Hasse went to our favorite hotel Elite Marina Tower, thank you Helen, for Christmas smorgasbord. We had a wonderful big suite overlooking the water, Stockholm skyline and the harbor. The food was so so good. The only downside was that we really can't eat that much. Some people can eat so much and take again and again and again. We can't! But it was good and we were moderate measured which was good. After a wonderful breakfast on Saturday we went home, this was Lucia, and I once again baked safron buns! Yesterday I rested :-)

And today it's on again. Work, home, work, home and on Wednesday work and then I go to see my doctor Christer and on Friday it's Christmas dinner with my work. That is we cook dinner, 6 courses, and then we eat it :-)

söndag 23 november 2014

November 23

 OMG I just saw I haven't written anything since November 11. Bad Mia ;-)

Lights at Kungsgatan, Stockholm
I can just say that my days and weeks are so full now that when I have some moments I just want to sit down and do nothing. At most I write short on FB or Instagram but not anything else. I know, if I go in here every day it wouldn't be that much to write but I am so so tired nowadays.
Sisters on the balcony of our hotel room
I think you would be too if you lived in Sweden. This November has been the darkest ever! I'm not sure but I think we have seen the sun maybe a couple of hours the whole month. It's not even very light but kind of dusk all day. And this makes you even more tired.
I am longing for next weekend when we can light all the advent lights. In fact there was a ceremony yesterday in Stockholm where they lit 700 000 lights in Stockholm.

Birgit Bidder in concert
Back to the last weeks event. As I wrote last I was to go on a concert at Sodra teatern where Anna or Birgit Bidder, which is her artist name, was performing. She had written all the music, she played the piano, she sang and she had a chamber orchestra with her on stage (big one). She is so supertalanted, the concert was great. Sold out house and a total success. I'm so happy for her and proud!

Birgit Bidder
The next day was a meeting day. First budget then board meeting. It wasn't the best of meetings, the board meeting, I mean. I was totally down-and-out afterwards. We are having a big event next year which I and my group of 4 is planning. We were totally pressed down with pessimism and the attitude that it's to big, too much and that we can't handle it. That is so sad :-( I had second thoughts and talked to the others in my group but they were all like, let's do it, let's show them. And they are even more ON now in a way. 
After that meeting I was so upset, sad, angry so I took time-out. I didn't went on Facebook, didn't sheck my mails and did nothing until Sunday afternoon. Then I went to my "greatgranddaughter's" children's party. She turned 2. It was nice to meet her and her parents who I hadn't seen since the wedding.
Freya opening presents on her 2 year birthday
Then work again and on Wednesday I was invited to the Swedish Postcode lottery head office in Stockholm. I was to be interviewed together with their "face" in TV, Richard. He hosts the TV-show called the Postcode millionaire and also have the shows where they give away the big money.
It is kind of funny because when I won the one who came and gave me the check was a rock artist, drummer in the band The Poodles, who know Jonas. They have toured together. Now I met Richard who has been a pupil of Hasse's at the Fire Acadamy at Arlanda. Small world :-)
He is super nice and very cute. We sat and talked (was interviewed) for over 2 hours and during that time they treated us with lunch.
Me and Rickard and the check that wasn't mine unfortunately
 The people at the Postcode lottery, everyone, was super nice. Several of them came and congratulated me to the win. Some of them had been in Väsby during the filming but there were so many then that I couldn't remember all :-)
This is taken when I won. Quite a different sum :-)
Next day (Thursday) I was in Norrtälje visiting my good friend Anne for treatment, lunch, lots of chat and laughter. I'm so happy she's in my life and she's such a good friend.
My beautiful little sister

Me at the restaurant

The view from our balcony and the American flag
Then on Friday it was time for my 60's birthday present from my sis Helen. She had planned it all! First I had 2 hours at a day SPA with facial treatment and manicure (first in my life). Then I checked in a the luxurious hotel Diplomat at Strandvagen in Stockholm. We had a gorgeous room overlooking the boats, the sea and Grona Lund (the amusement park) and with a little balcony.

Our hotelroom
 After settling in I went to meet Helen who had been on her SPA treatment meanwhile. Then we went to dinner at Prinsen which is a restaurant established in 1897. Delicious food and perfect service.

After that gorgeous food, lots of chat and catching up we walked back to our hotel where we, "party girls" had a night in watching Idol ;-) before we went to sleep. A good lie-in-bed Saturday morning with chat followed by breakfast ended a wonderful time with my sister. A big THANK YOU Helen. 

I love you

Today is just relaxing before next week starts. I hope you all are having a good weekend

tisdag 11 november 2014

Work, work, work and a bit of pleasure :-)

The living room with work- and relax area
Me and my collegues hard at work

This weekend me and my 3 collegues in the working committé at the Rheumatic association had a conference at the Elite Marina Tower hotel here in Stockholm.

We decided that time is never enough to do what we need to do which, at this instant, was to plan 2015 and furthermore make a 5-year plan.
Another collegue joined us for a couple of hours to help out
We had booked a suite with connecting bedrooms which turned out to be great (and cheaper than if we would have rented a conference room instead). Now we had a big "living room" with a working area with table, flipboard, pens and so on. This meant we could be very effective and we just left to have dinner, breakfast and lunch. Otherwise we stayed in the suite. Then at night we could hang in the sofa area of the room, tired and just laying there before going to bed. 
We got so much done! And we did all, and a bit more, than we had planned for.

My friend Ingvor at dinner, the chef's in the background
Tired and relaxed after a hard days work

Sunday we left at around 11.30AM. It was Father's Day here in Sweden and all the boys were to come for dinner. So away I went and on my way home I bought all the things needed for dinner.
It was so nice to have them all home again. Nowadays it's rare that they can come at the same time :-)

Father and sons
I made fillet of beef and pork, potatoe gratin with Wasterbotten cheese on top, sauce bearnaise and sallat. Very nice if I may say so myself. For dessert we had a blue (!) cake and coffee.
Jonas playing for Daddy

Jonas played the piano for Hasse just because Hasse wanted him to. So, so nice. We also got to hear a few demos of new songs they are working on.
H.E.A.T poster
 In just 2 weeks H.E.A.T will be out on the road again touring Europe. They won't be back until December 20, just in time for Christmas.
Birgit Biddder

 Tomorrow I'm going on one of my birthday presents namely a concert with Birgit Bidder at Sodra teatern (South theatre). Birgit aka Anna has composed the music, hired the theatre, sings, plays and have an orchestra on stage, all this by herself. I'm so looking forward to this. It was her gift to me :-) Helen is coming with me.

That's it for me now. Take care and be kind to one another!