Thursday, December 26, 2013

What is "mellendags" in French?

Tried loading photos of our Xmas dinner (massive chapon - a turkey-sized rooster, slightly modified when young to make easier to manage & less gamey-tasting), but we're still on pay-per-mb-broadband chips, so ... later.

But it's the 26th; the house feels more like a home, and has a xmas tree us congested folk can almost smell. Setting up electronics tonight, see if all is well post-move.

We've got the bank account and ordered both internet and a washer/dryer "combo", and anticipate resuming more normalcy (including calls home) this weekend!

Hit the local laundromat today - expensive, but necessary. And a lovely lady made friends with Sebastian and Oliver.

Been getting some cards from friends/family, thanks a ton.

Glad mellendags - days between Jul and the new year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pressing On

Left Sweden on the 13th, nine days ago. We have a functional room for the boys, our bed is together (tho still living from travel bags), the porn star room light has been dealt with, yet the living room continues to have a startling box:person ratio. Raining now, a good day for indoor projects.

Including ponderings like: if Nordic skiing is merely skiing in Sweden, what's a French press called in Paris?

Thanks to Elena's colleague we've found a local Ikea (but with somewhat more French food!) and filled our livingroom with flat pack (apartment has zero built-in storage).

Two days till Noël though, so hopefully the next note will include a mention of successful tree hunt.

Off to investigate local holiday markets as the cordless screwdriver recharges...

Friday, December 20, 2013


We've surmounted another giant in our path: the French bank account. After which we immediately signed up for the really important home utilities, like ... internet

So maybe my next post will have photos.

Still surrounded by boxes, but I stashed two dozen in storage "cav" (... as in wee cavern?) today.

The boys remain amazingly patient, but Oliver is showing signs of wear. He wants a functional place, likely one where we don't eat microwave dinners in the boys room.

Tomorrow - Ikea, round 1. And maybe Darty for the washing machine (but more likely the laundromat).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Maps - A Recap

In Liège tonight, will be in Paris tomorrow. Here's a road trip recap:

View Driving directions to Issy-les-Moulineaux, France in a larger map

Seems the truck with our belongings arrives early on the 17th, feeling chuffed about timing.

Some trip highlights... snowed 20 cm just before we left Uppsala, here's O exploring:

Crown Movers - legendary heros:

Never ending packing job (kitchen):

205 boxes later, flat is better for dancing:

And here we are at dagis, Lucia morning, Oliver and his buddy Algot climbing their slide after teh early Lucia ceremony:

Getting caught up on the traditional Advent Lego calendar:

Ferry crossing:

Germany -- Vestas wind vanes (just keeping with the blog theme):

Explaining cyclocross to the family on our night in Belgium:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

On The Road

And so - in the tradition of all road trips - we left later, arrived later, and had slightly worse weather than ideal. But - we made Lund.

Last night Oliver has found a way to keep Sebastian entertained:

Since this is our last morning in Sweden for a while, a recap of our last three years in Uppsala:
  • moved five times the first 20 months (then bought a flat) (to be precise, the right to live in a BRF)
  • got married
  • had two boys
  • learned a little svenska
  • I work (still) for an excellent Swedish consulting company
  • learned to ski a little better (and Jeff completed the 90k Swedish classic race in Dalarna)
  • learned open-water ice skating
  • started thinking of fuel efficiency in volume-per-distance (liter per mil) instead of mpg (miles per US gallon)
  • +Elena - more to add?
  • Ah, importantly, learned the excellent Swedish healthcare system -- which our boy Oliver will use again this morning as one of his eyes looks a little infected...  
With that, time to get on the road to the local vårdcentral, then cross that famous bridge.

See you in Germany!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


So 'windmill number 1' has been defeated and the apartment is mostly empty. The movers -- who may have under-estimated our book count by a few cubic meters -- got 'er done in a nine hour day. We nearly filled this truck (this is mid-day as you can see by fact there's sunlight):


Contrast that with his here -- August 2010, leaving Munich for Sweden:

How does that happen? In three years?

Ah. Kids. Right. Well, at least one of them eats sushi.

So tomorrow off to the office and a little cleaning, visit last few friends, then Friday we hit the road right after Oliver's Luciatåg. Will publish a map soon if I can get around to it, let friends follow our progress to France. Roughly the plan is to arrive at the new apartment on the 17th when our movers arrive so we don't find 37 cubic meters of boxes in front of our new apartment building...

Monday, December 9, 2013

They Might Be Giants...

So this blog starts with a move - our relocation from Sweden to France. Add to that my weakness for allegory and you've got some obvious targets for jousting.

In Sweden we live on Väderkvarnsgatan -- when shopping for our flat I google-translated the name (fodder for fun) and ever since we've lived on "weather crusher street". Of course väder = weather, or wind; kvarn is a mill; and gatan is the street, apparently this was the edge of town, where the windmills once stood. Now it's nearly downtown, and an easy walk to the central station (for commuter trains to Stockholm).

In France we've been connected with a rental in a lovely town just off the Paris ring called Issy-les-Moulineaux. Yep, there it is again, moulin in French is a mill (most often drive by wind, sometimes water).

Now - the naturally-occurring Quixote reference, tilting at giants, isn't one I'm encouraging for its negative aspects. We do have big goals - ambitions even - dreams which brought us to Europe a few years ago and which have evolved into our young family (four of us now) and two pretty cool careers. We may not be young, but I don't think we're quite as fanciful as I remember Quixote being, riding his horse (was it a mule?) facing backwards. I really must read the book again, make sure it's not a cautionary tale.

Simply, this is a place to get back in touch with friends, keep family updated with our ridiculousness, and help me process and keep track of the big events.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Is this thing on?

Been ages since I've touch keyboard to blogger, but family and friends have asked for a little account of our bravery moving to France from Sweden.

This happens next week: roughly, movers on Wednesday, new tenants in Thursday, and we're off Friday after Oliver's Luciatåg. Roughly. How to get from here to there -- with a 2-year old and a 2+-month old -- is the adventure.

That's enough for a first post (then back to insurance inventory!), and a reminder of what we were doing on Christmas 2012: