Monday, 18 May 2015

Town of beginnings and ends, best friends and Swedish treats

I am in one of my hometowns, I have three in total, but this is the town where it all began; where I began; where I was born; and where my mother, sister and son were born. This is also where my grandparents died, except for my granddad who is still alive; and where my dad died. So to me this is where life begins and life ends. Even though I was born here, I didn't grow up here. I grew up in the town where my mother, sister and youngest brother live, where I was a couple of days ago; and I spent 19 years of my life in a third town before moving to Spain. That's where I'm going in a couple of days, where I have most of my friends and my other brother. But if I had to choose one of these three towns as my hometown it would be this. I have parts of me here that I don't have anywhere else. I have pieces of my heart here more than anywhere else in the world. No matter where the wind blows me this is the geographical place I would call home the most. But, since I don't have to choose all three of these towns are my hometowns, and now I have a fourth in the town where I now live.

Anyway, I came here on Saturday with my sister and our mum. We started out by dropping mum off at her brother's house, and my sister and I went to see our granddad, our dad's dad, our farfar. In Swedish we have different names for our maternal and paternal parents. Mormor is mother's mother (mors mor, literally meaning mother's mother), farmor is father's mother (fars mor), morfar is mother's father (mors far) and farfar is father's father (fars far). So, we still have our farfar with us. He is a proper sweetheart, and one of the kindest and funniest people one could ever meet. It sometimes breaks my heart being so far away from him, and I know it breaks his too, but I have to live my life and I know he is happy that I am finally happy. I love seeing him, though. He was my hero when I was a kid, and the first person who ever nicknamed me.

After seeing him we went to the graveyard to pay our respect to our farmor, and our dad. Of course, we don't think they are actually there but it's still nice to go there and say hi sometimes. Our dad doesn't actually have a grave, he wanted to be spread by the wind and that's where it was done.

We then went back to my uncle's house to celebrate his wife's birthday. She actually has the same name as I do, both first and last name, but we don't have the same middle names. One of my cousins and his girlfriend showed up as well and we were treated with Smörgåstårta. Smörgåstårta is a sandwich made like a cake with several layers filled with spreadable sandwich toppings, and topped with non-spreadable sandwich toppings, and you cut it like you cut a cake. It is a delicious Swedish treat!

After a couple of hours of fun family teasing and laughter I was dropped off at my best friends place. This friend, J, and I go back 25 years. We've sometimes had years in between contact, and yet it has always felt like it was only a few days or weeks ago since we last saw each other. This time it had only been a few months, though, since I was here in January. Still, it is always love when we see each other.

Last time I was here I introduced her to Home Free, and even though she is not a hard core Fry like I am she really likes them; and as part of the Paying It Forward mentality among the Home Free's Home Fries I will take her with me to a show in the UK in January. I can't think of anything more exciting than to see the Guys for the first time with her. I'm hoping my sister will join us as well. That would be even better! I can't wait for January to come!

Sunday was a lazy day with nothing planned, It was raining and cold, winter degrees and weather for me, so we decided on a film day where I introduced her to Pitch Perfect, and Magic Mike. We had crisps (chips for you US peeps) and dip for both lunch and dinner. Swedish crisps are THE best! And we had sweets and chocolate pudding. It was yummy! Swedish treats are amazing!

Today is a new day, and it will take me down memory lane, but more about that in a couple of days!

Today's video choice is a Home Free original, Any Way The Wind Blows. This has been one of my favourites since the first time I heard it. This is kind of how I have lived my life, I've gone where wind has taken me. And it's also how my dad's life ended, he went anywhere the wind took him.

Have a great day!


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Mixed up bags, love and laugther

The first two days of my trip were great! But, it started out a bit stressful and it could have ended fairly bad, but luckily, thanks to some very nice and caring strangers, it didn't.

Here's what happened; 
I had a big suitcase to drop off before going through security check yesterday morning. My flight was due to leave at 6.30 am, boarding was closing at 6 and I arrived at the airport around 5 am. Plenty of time to drop the bag off, get through security, buy a cup of coffee and find my gate. At least it should have been plenty of time, but when I dropped off the bag it was about 2,5 kg overweight. So, I had to move things over to my hand luggage, which had plenty of weight left to use, but not much room in it. Not thinking straight I didn't think of the fact that I actually had a proper cabin bag packed in my big suitcase as I will need it to bring things back home with me. Anyway, I had finally squeezed as much as I possibly could into my hand luggage, and the weight on the big suitcase was fine. So, I dropped the bag off, and I saw the girl at the check-in desk put the bag ticket on it. Everything was cool and I walked my way through the terminal, and almost all the way through the next terminal and I was almost at the security check when some people caught my attention. These strangers told me that there was something wrong with my bag. Obviously I had no idea what they were talking about, but they went on to explaining that my bag had been taken off the belt after I had left, they described it and told me that I'd better go back there to check on it. So I did, and they were right! My bag was standing on the side of the belt and the girl asked me were the ticket for the bag was, I told her that she had put it on the bag, and she started to discuss something with a couple of other staff members. They printed out a new ticket for the bag, put it back up on the belt and all was good. When walking back to the security check the strangers that had been so kind to actually go look for me to let me know about my bag found me again, and they told me that when I had seen the girl put the ticket on my bag the first time it had actually been one their bag's ticket, and they had spotted the mistake. I thanked them and rushed on. It was now about 20 minutes til boarding and I still wasn't through security. And with a hand luggage that was filled with electronic things that I had to take out of the bag, and the bag now being even more stuffed due to the overweight, it took some time. But, I did make it, but didn't have time to get my coffee. But, wow, that was a bit more exciting than I expected. Or wished for! Now, I could only hope that my bag would actually arrive as it should too. 

The flight itself was completely uneventful, I watched a few episodes of One Tree Hill, and some Home Free Videos (I am one of those people that get to try out YouTube's new features of add-free videos and downloading videos for a trial period, and it's great), and we landed 20 minutes ahead of time. My bag was one of the first arriving on the belt. Phew! We made it!!

My sister and our mum were waiting for me and we drove straight home to one of my aunts and her husband. Surprising us by being there was my cousin A, his daughter and her boyfriend. My cousin A and I were very close growing up and we had no idea he was going to be there. It had been almost 10 years since I'd seen my aunt and uncle, and about 5,5 years since I'd seen my cousin. A while later my other aunt, her husband and their eldest and youngest sons showed up. The eldest one is also my godson, and I had not seen him in 25 years, he was only 2 the last time we met. The youngest of the two I had never met before and he is almost 21. It was almost 10 years since I'd seen this aunt too, and her husband probably almost 18 years. But, you know, it's funny, because it was almost like we meet on a regular bases. We had so much fun and we laughed a lot, and I am so happy for my family and the fact that we have so much love for each other even after years and years without contact. Thank you to all of you for making my life better! 

Next stop was going to the town where my sister, my mum and my youngest brother live, the town I grew up in. I went to see my brother and his two elder sons very briefly. His wife and their new born son weren't at home. And then I went to my sister's and got to see her sons and husband too. It is always very nice to be here with them. 

The rest of the day was quiet, and I had an early night after a very long, but very amazing day. 

That was yesterday, today was a day of no real plans, one of two on my trip. I slept in a bit, and then had a nice lazy morning with my sister chatting before we went to meet up with our mum again. We took a walk to my mum's husband's grave and then we went for a coffee and a chat in the centre. 

In the afternoon I went to my brother's again and I got to meet my newest nephew for the first time! Such an adorable little boy. I got sit with him in my arms for hours, and I fed him and he fell asleep and slept comfortably there. And I am in love! This was one of the reasons for making my trip now, to see him when he was still a newborn. He's just over a month old. So precious. All my nephews and my niece are, of course! I've now got 6 nephews and 1 niece. 

The evening was spent watching telly and chatting with my sister and her family.

And now it's time to sleep, it's 1.30 am and I've got another long day ahead of me tomorrow with more family and also friends to meet. Different town, different people. And I'm loving it! I will tell you all about it on Sunday in my next post. 

Oh, and I want to share a video with you. This is Home Free's latest video, and it feels like it fits perfectly into my life on this trip. This video is made with Lego, and it is brilliant. There are even tiny little Lego Home Free Guys, and a cute story line, and you can actually read the emotions of the Lego couple in the video. Weird, I know, but it's really cute. Also, cousin A had a huge Lego collection when we were kids that later became my brothers', so it fits. 

Here's Crazy Life, the title track from Home Free's debut album. 

Enjoy and I'll see you soon!


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Mia Ringsparr's Gluten Free Crackers

Ok, so you can only get these crackers in Australia at the moment, but I'm hoping this will change because they are absolutely amazing.

These crackers are made from seeds, herbs and salt, and nothing else, this makes them gluten free, low carb, low fat, dairy free, and free any kind of chemicals used in so many foods today. Talk about healthy!!

They are tasty, crunchy, full of flavour and they are addictive. Trust me! Once you've had them you'll want more. And they are made by my cousin Mia Ringsparr. I am so proud of her!

Of course, I don't live in Australia, but I have had her crackers, and I have shared these crackers with some of my friends. Everybody loves them!

Mia Ringsparr's Gluten Free Crackers

They have now earned a spot in Anthill Magazine's yearly awards program SMART 100, as one of the smartest and best innovations in Australia in the last year. It is a huge deal, and an honour to be even considered as one of the top 100, but of course, I would like these crackers available in other countries, and so I'd like them to win.

So, I'm asking you all to please help out on this, by following THIS LINK and leave a comment, share it on facebook, tweet it, and do it more than once! After the 22nd of May, the judges will count the points and rule a winner.

Thank you!


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

What's going on?

So, I've not posted anything for a while. Sometimes that will happen. It's due to life, or rather lack of inspiration, and it's OK. Know, that I will always come back, because, hey, I love blogging and writing. It's a part of who I am.

Speaking of writing, I have been working a bit on my book. Not a lot, but it's moving forward and that's the important thing. I get excited when I think about it! It makes me smile!

What else have I been doing? I've been completely sucked into One Tree Hill, the series. I used to watch it back in the days when it first started, and for a while now I have been thinking about re-watching it and follow it through until the end. I think I stopped watching it somewhere around the shift between season 3 and 4. So, about a week ago I started from the very beginning, and I am seriously hooked. I have to force myself to shut it off at nights because otherwise I wouldn't get any sleep at all, which actually happened the night between last Saturday and Sunday. Didn't even close my eyes. I didn't even get tired. It kind of reminds me of the first few months after I found Home Free.

Speaking of Home Free; they had their last show of the Spring Tour Tour the other night, and they are now on a short break. During the summer they will do some shows, one being their debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. For those of you that don't know what that is, it's the show that made country music famous, this is where every country musician dream about playing/singing. It is a great honour and recognition to get to perform there. A milestone worthy them, I'd say. They will also hit the studio to record their next album which is due sometime late summer/early fall. Hopefully they will have time to record some more videos for YouTube as well. And, BIG NEWS;


I am so excited I can cry! At this point all we know is that they will be coming the UK in January of next year, no dates or places are known yet. We don't know if they will come only to the UK, for one show only, or if they will do several shows in the UK only, or tour more countries. But, at this point, who cares!? I will be there, no matter what! Nothing and nobody will be able to keep me away! As many shows in as many countries as possible is what I am aiming for.

So, what's next in my life? I am getting ready for a trip to Sweden! I am working tomorrow, and early Thursday morning I am off, arriving around 11 am in Sweden. I have the whole trip planned, except for one or two of the ten days I'm there for. I will be meeting up with a lot of family and friends, some that I saw when I was there in January, some I haven't seen in 10 years, others I haven't seen in 25 years and others yet I have actually never seen, like my new little nephew that was born early April. There will be birthdays to celebrate in more than one place, and I will also spend some time sorting through what stuff I have left in Sweden. Most of it is after my dad. He died only a few months before I moved to Spain, and I kept a lot of things that I didn't really need to keep, because it was too hard to get rid of them. So, I will throw a lot away, see if there's anything I can sell or give away, bring some of it with me back here, and hopefully be left with nothing more than my dad's drawer desk. It will be ten days filled with love, laughter and tears. I am sure I will miss my dad when I go through his things. The last evening is the Eurovision Song Contest, hopefully Sweden and Måns will make it to the finals because I am planning to watch it with my sister. This was an event that my dad enjoyed watching with us, but it will be the first time in a long time that my sister and I will be watching it together.

Here's some other fun news; I plan on taking you with me on my trip. I will post updates as often as I can, it might not be every day, but close to it.

Since I'm in some ways will get thrown back in time on my trip this video and song fits perfectly. Story of My Life, by One Direction, but, of course, brilliantly covered by Home Free. Enjoy!

I hope to see you on my trip!


Sunday, 3 May 2015

Music Sunday

Wow, time sure flies quickly! I can hardly believe it's Sunday again, already! I know I've been really bad at posting the last few weeks, I've been lacking a bit in inspiration, but it will turn around soon enough.

Usually on Sundays I post something other than Home Free, but today will be different as I'd like to say something about their latest video, Mom.


Also, today is Mother's Day here in Spain, so it's suitable. My Mom is in Sweden, and Mother's Day is still a few weeks away there, but, hey, I'm a Mom and I'm in Spain so it fits like hand in glove, don't you think!

This song is a cover of Garth Brooks song (2014), which was a cover of a Bonnie Tyler song (2013), which she actually heard someone sing somewhere in Nashville. The song is written by Wynn Varble and Don Sampson. (source; Wikipedia)

So, this is to all Moms out there. I hope you have tissues ready, 'cause it's another weeper.