Saturday, August 29, 2015

A reply from Vattenfall

Regular readers may remember that we found the power off at our house when we arrived in June. With Tony's help, we found it was a faulty meter from Vattenfall, our electricity provider.

Sooz took careful note of all the food that had been ruined, and we calculated our loss was about 1300 kronor. We sent along our information to Vattenfall for compensation.

I heard back recently, and it appears our work to document our loss wasn't necessary. The Swedish power regulations set out rules for compensation for a power cut. Our power was out for 10 days, which means we are due a payment of 10,600 kronor!

That will cover our lost food and inconvenience quite nicely.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Transition again

It's been over a year and a half since I left my job of 30 years. I have been looking for new employment since then, although it's probably more accurate to say that, by now, I've become more of a retiree than a job-seeker.

I can't really complain so far. It's been different and fun to have no demands on my time, to travel and read and do a bit of volunteering. I could easily see myself remaining a man of leisure.

However, I've had a job opportunity that is just too fantastic to pass up. So... in the next few weeks, Sooz, Ollie, and I will be packing up our life in Texas, and moving back to London!

We are going to live right in the city; our life in the UK the last time around was west of London, outside the M25. Living an urban life will be very different than our time in the suburbs of Texas and Surrey, not to mention the island life in Aspö.

A great advantage of being in the UK is that we'll be much closer to our Swedish home. I won't be able to spend 3 weeks at a time, as we have been doing these past summers, but it will be much easier to take shorter and more frequent trips.

I promise not to clog the blog with English content, but soon enough, we'll be Europeans again!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kalles Kaviar

I read an amusing article in the New York Times about an ad campaign for Kalles Kaviar.

Kalles is essentially cod roe in a toothpaste tube. It's one of those foods that is specific to Swedish culture.

It's taste, especially to non-Swedes, is also unique. This is the idea behind the ad campaign, in which earnest Swedes offer Kalles to people all around the world.

The ads are pretty funny, so be sure to read the article, or visit Kalles YouTube channel. You'll thank me later!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Swedish wine??

The Guardian ran an article recently about the nascent Swedish wine industry. Thanks to longer growing seasons, southern Sweden is becoming a viable area for viniculture.

A number of wineries have grown up in Skåne over the past years, joining the list of non-traditional wine growing areas.

English wine, for example, has moved from a curiosity to a £100 million industry. It's not just quantity, it's quality, too. English wines are starting to win awards, much like California wines did 40 years ago.

The Swedish wine industry has a way to go, both in the fields, and also administratively. Dealing with the Systembolaget won't be easy, I'm sure. But I hope one day to buy a bottle (or box) of Swedish wine to enjoy at our Swedish home.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bungenas on Gotland

The New York Times recently ran a charming travel article about a recent resort on the island of Gotland.

A decommissioned military site on the Bungenas peninsula opened a coffee shop in 2008, and over the years, a fine restaurant and a small hotel has been added.

Much of the charm of Bungenas is its effort to maintain the rustic nature of the area. Cars aren't allowed past the main gate, for example, and dinner is served communally.

It looks like a great place to visit. Perhaps we'll make it to Gotland one day to take a look.