Saturday, November 26, 2016


It's time for my traditional Thanksgiving address. Our holiday was a bit unusual this year; we were gifted theatre tickets for Thanksgiving night, so we moved our dinner to the Wednesday. We were joined by Tim's girlfriend, Ashleigh, who was staying with us while she attended courses in London. Sooz made a lovely artisanal chicken along with all the trimmings. Grant had his own holiday with friends in Boston; apparently he was in charge of the bird itself. He certainly doesn't get any of those cooking skills from me!

And as is traditional, we celebrate the anniversary of Ollie's back surgery, which was 8 Thanksgivings ago. I'll say the same thing as I do every year: he's getting a bit older and slower, but he's still a happy and charming dog whom we all love very much.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


When we lived in Sweden those many years ago, Sooz worked for almost two years for a Swedish company.

We were struck recently that she may be eligible for a state pension because of her contributions during her employment.

It took some doing to figure everything out. As a non-resident, we had to file a request through the UK to apply to Sweden on our behalf.

After a bit of back and forth, we received word from the pensionsmyndigheten that Sooz was indeed eligible for part of the state pension payments. Effective today, she will receive a monthly payment.

It's not much, perhaps a bit of a subsidy for box wines, but it is something towards our Swedish retirement!

Saturday, November 12, 2016


November 7

November 8

November 9

November 10
November 12

There was a record-breaking snowfall in Stockholm this week, 39 centimeters (15 inches) to be exact.  There's more snow in the capital today than there is in Lapland!

Both Marcia and Olle reported terrible conditions on the roads. This is far earlier than usual for the Stockholm area.

I took a few webcam snapshots over the past few days. Aspö is beautiful in the snow.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Learning Swedish

Sooz is continuing her language studies at the University of Westminster. She is well into the intermediate courses and has been a diligent student.

Unlike all of her classmates, she doesn't have a Swedish partner (at least not yet!). Her opportunities to practice her Swedish at home are therefore limited.

We have a Sonos speaker in the kitchen these days and have programmed Swedish radio for listening practice. Sooz also gets Swedish news alerts on her iPad.

I found recently that Swedish state radio operates a service for beginning Swedish speakers. A website and daily podcast is in simpler Swedish, and it also focuses on topics of interest to new Swedes.

Sooz gives it a listen from time to time and it is very well done. If you're learning or practicing your Swedish, it is an excellent resource.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

October weather

Here's the Aspö end of month  weather review.

The downward temperature trend shouldn't be surprising given the shortening days.

There was quite a bit of rain at the end of the month. Given that our water comes from our well, I'm a big supporter of winter rains!

It was also quite windy. Our house is pretty well sheltered, so to see a 18mph gust means it was damned windy at the shore.

Remember real-time info of the conditions at the stuga can be found on the Mapatmo weather map.