Monday, April 24, 2006

Dags att grilla! (BBQ time!)

We had our first bit of spring sunshine this weekend so we decided it was time to dust off the barbeque for our first barbeque of the year! True to form though it clouded over and turned positively wintery as soon as the barbeque was lit!!


We recently bought a freezer-full of English sausages from Taylors of Sweden, which is an English butchers in Gothenburg, so we sat in the freezing cold enjoying our barbequed sausages and English Coleman's mustard! Mmmm!

Below: Just how many men does it take to keep a barbeque alight??!



Thursday, April 20, 2006

Notes from a plane!

We had a lovely 5 days at home over Easter, doing very little apart from seeing friends and family and eating lots - perfect! On the plane home I realised I hadn't taken any photos during the whole time at home, so here are some shots from the plane ride back instead!!

Goodbye England...




...over Denmark...

...hello Sweden!

Gothenburg's archipelago

Just coming into Gothenburg.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Glad Påsk!

Easter is a much biggest celebration here than it is at home in England, so I thought I'd share some Swedish Påsk (Easter) traditions with you...

When I first came to Sweden I was confused as to why young girls dressed up as witches at Easter, but the reason is that there is an old superstition which said that witches would fly on their broomsticks to Blåkulla (Blue Mountain), where the devil lived, on Skärtorsdag (Maundy Thursday) to plot their evil doings! Children now dress up as Påskakärring (Easter witches) and visit their neighbours with an Easter letter (usually a drawing or colouring in) in return for sweets. There are often large bonfire and firework celebrations to ward off the witches too!

Many people also decorate their houses with Påskris, which doesn't really have a translation in English, but are birch twigs decorated with brightly coloured fathers. Originally the birch twigs were used to give children and servants a beating on Långfredagen (Good Friday) to remind them of Jesus' suffering on the cross, but thankfully I don't think they do that any more!


In England all of our eggs at Easter are chocolate but here they are beautifully decorated cardboard eggs which are then filled with sweets or chocolate or small gifts. Below are some of the eggs we're taking back home with us this evening - that is if they can survive me picking sweets out of them every 2 seconds!

We filled them with all sorts of Swedish sweets including my favourite - Plopp!

I hope you all have a very Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Keep on running!

We had a lot of rain over the weekend, which has finally washed away the last of the snow and ice, so when Daniel asked me if I wanted to go running earlier I didn't really have an excuse! We've been running on the treadmill at the gym during the Winter but to go running again on real ground was really hard work! We ran a lap of the canal which runs infront of our flat - it was so nice to see this familer route free from snow at last!

Last summer we ran a 12km race called Kraftprovet (The Power Test) which follows a route along by the river and canal, twisting through the forest and over a waterfall, finally coming very steeply up the towpath by the side of the lock system. We completed it in just over an hour, but the Kenyan winner completed it in 36 minutes, so I think we've got a bit more training to do if we want to beat him this year! Below are before and after photos, with our friend Thomas.
Before...

... and after (absolutely exhausted!)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Smörgåstårta



This amazing creation was the Smörgåstårta (sandwich cake) which we ate on Friday night! It is exactly as it sounds and looks - a giant 'sandwich cake' which was made up of layers of prawns, mayonaise, ham, mayonaise, cheese, more mayonaise and egg between slices of bread and then decorated with more prawns, and swirls of cheese and ham!! It is a traditional Swedish party dish and we ate it at a party we held on Friday evening as it was Daniel's last day working at Saab. We bought this Smörgåstårta but if you fancy having a go yourself, there are some recipes here.

Daniel has started his new work contract at Volvo in Gothenburg this morning. It will mean that he'll have to travel down to Gothenburg for 2 months before we move into our new flat there, and then I'll have to travel back to Trollhattan for a month before I finish my teaching contract here and start working in Gothenburg. It's all a bit back to front and will mean a bit of travelling for a while, but it won't be too long before we'll be living and working in Gothenburg properly!