Day 21 – 24 / My Advent Calendar 2013

I know, I failed completely in posting my advent calendar all the way to Christmas. I had planned to be all proper and schedule posts, but you know, life happened. Every time I travel I think I can squeeze in loads of stuff to do, but still have time to do some work and blogging. Well, that’s never possible. I should have learnt by now. Anyway. I’ll do the last few days in one long post instead. Here we go.



Political position / Day 21

I wish I were more political. I always do. I don’t know if you remember (or even read) my post back in September when I vowed to become more political. Well it’s clear I failed. There are certain things that have gotten to me this year. Most of all the whole shebang about boat refugees in Australia. It’s such a disgrace. I cannot ever fathom how people can be so uncompassionate. I barely know where to start.

In addition, I’m as far away from being a Tony Abbott fan as I possibly could be. It’s all so frustrating not being able to vote in the country I live in. I can have an opinion, but have no possibility to affect it. I’m not saying I should have that right, it’s just a wee bit frustrating.

Blog crush / Day 22

I went to my RSS reader to get inspiration and got caught up in reading the 50+ posts from the last few days and completely forgot what I was looking for. Uh oh. Anyway. I follow way too many blogs. I don’t want to exclude a single one from my list, but it takes up more time in my day keeping myself up to date than I’d like.

As I have plenty there are several blogs I adore. But there’s one in particular that always stands out. I’m sorry all y’all English speakers out there – it’s in Swedish. But it might be worth to Google Translate this one because it’s just that good.

Nina Åkestam

On a side note; I went to the same high school as Nina, but I was a year ahead. It was a particularly small school so chances are I ran into her quite a bit. But as my memory is absolutely awful, I can barely remember even my classmates. Oh well.


Do this better 2014 than 2013 / Day 23

Take care of myself. July – October this year I was feeling so good. I worked out regularly, I cooked good (and delicious) food and I felt I had some sort of balance. I want to do that again. Not for a short while, I want a lifestyle change. No, I need one.


This is what I think Christmas eve 2014 will look like / Day 24

I expected Christmas Eve (which is when we celebrate) to be fairly laid back and calm. My family isn’t all that excited about the prospect of Christmas. We’re mostly munching on good food that require limited preparations, sipping on a glass of wine and laying a puzzle. We did do the lot of that on Christmas Day, but Christmas Eve was busy, tiring and fairly stressful. Next year I plan to stay somewhere warm on a beach. Ohmy.

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

The best friend event / Day 20 / My Advent Calendar 2013

I thought this was going to be easy, because I keep on coming back to Angela & Iulian’s house party. But then there was the Color Run, and then Thanksgiving. Not to mention the about zillion brunches over the last few months. They have all been great and it’s way too hard to pick one.

But since the house party came first, I’ll have to stick to that one. I think of it and my heart aches just a wee bit, every time I hear the Chvrches song. It’s a great feeling.

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

What I want for Christmas / Day 19 / My Advent Calendar 2013

This is the year that I have started to love snapping pictures. Sure, I’ve liked it before but this year, it’s gone a bit mental. In a good way. If I could dream big I’d want a new fancy camera, a full frame one, like a Canon EOS 5d Mark II. But that’s way too pricey. I’ll settle for a new lens. Like this one.

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

My birthday / Day 18 / My Advent Calendar 2013


I turned 30 this year. The big 3-0 had not really scared me, and I have no problem being over 30. On the other hand, I was a bit nervous about my birthday party. We didn’t know that many people in Melbourne yet, would my party be okay?

In the end I couldn’t have asked for a better celebration. It came in 3 parts. First a week before my birthday my parents and Peter brought me to Queensland and Townsville for some birthday scuba diving. My first scuba diving experience ever. It was terrific!

The Saturday day after my birthday I had a party in our house. It wasn’t a big one, because hey, we didn’t know that many people, but it was sweet. About 15 people gathered and we ate, talked and hung out in the backyard until late.

About a week after my birthday we had a short visit in Sweden. We spent a few days up north to attend a funeral, and then we had 23 hours in Stockholm before heading back. So I sent out a message to friends in Stockholm that I’d spend that night at a bar and whoever wanted to come and meet us would just rock up. That night about 30 people showed up, and I managed to meet another 10 or so during the day. It was a continuous train of people and it was like a never ending love bombing. Intense, but amazing.

Next birthday won’t be as fancy, but hey, I’m sure it’ll be great too.


This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

Best travel memory / Day 17 / My Advent Calendar 2013


In early June we went to Japan. For Peter it was a dream journey but for me it wasn’t. Not to say that I wasn’t excited about going there, I was, but it wasn’t somewhere I’ve been wanting to go for the last 20 years.

For me the best travel experiences happen when my expectations are nil. I don’t expect to do anything specific, or see anything touristy, I just go somewhere to be.

One day we went to Nakameguro. We had googled ‘top hipster areas in Tokyo’ in the hope of finding a cute place with loads of cafés, shops and bars to walk around in, and this one was part of that list. I can’t say Nakameguro is filled with that, it’s fairly queit, but every block or so there’s a really cute store, café or something. And all of this settled around a canal. The place itself was great, but the best part was this little café we found. First of all, it was called ‘Malmö’ (which is a city in Sweden), so of course we had to go in. It was a café/bookshop/bar and we hung out there in sagging old sofas, reading books and sipping on what could be the greatest mojito I’ve ever had.

It was a moment of peace and quiet and it was absolutely beautiful.

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

My job 2013 / Day 16 / My Advent Calendar 2013

131211_WorkThis has been a tumultuous year workwise. When we left Ghana back in 2012, I had consciously not lined another gig up, I really needed a break. I had worked way too much at that job and the one before, and I needed to somehow reset my systems.

I started applying for jobs in January. I wasn’t very active, to be honest, because we had loads of visitors that needed some attention, as well as I had some freelancing projects that filled my time between them.

In March I started thinking about actually freelancing for real. It scared me but I registered for an ABN number just the same. I didn’t start working properly though, and the ABN number certificate just lay there on my desk, doing nothing.

Up until the middle of winter. I don’t know what hit me, but I felt it was time. Time to do it proper. And in the next few months, I started putting out quotes, getting my portfolio site up and running and populated, I created my own graphic profile and I met with an accountant. A month or so later I moved into the shared office, which was a great improvement on avoiding procrastination.

I’m still not up to full time work, but hell, I don’t want to have a full time work. And I can start to see the ripples of contacts and previously delivered projects. Slowly I’m getting to where I want to be, on my own terms, doing things that I’m proud of and enjoy creating. I you would have asked me a year ago, I would never have said I’d be where I’m at now, but I’m so happy I took the leap and went for it. I’m thankful for it every single day.

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

The worst thing(s) about Peter / Day 15 / My Advent Calendar 2013

131211_TopPaddock-4Writing this post is equal parts easy and really hard. Easy because if you’ve been in love with someone for over 7 years, lived with them for over 6 years you get close and you find certain things that annoy you. They’re not particularly big things (after all, 7,5 years later I’m still in love, still happy with him and utterly enjoy spending time with him), but hey, you notice.

Like the way he trails off when you’re having conversations and you have to start all over on that sentence for the 20th time. Or when he promises to do something (like buying shampoo kthxbai or weeding) and it doesn’t happen for weeks. Or that his go-to option when it’s his turn to make dinner is to order nachos. Think I’m sissying out with too much small stuff? Oh well. Let’s go with something that bothers me more then.

We worked together in Ghana. We’re not going to do that again, that’s for certain. At the time I thought it went quite okay, but that wasn’t a feeling that was mutual. He hated it. And I get it, I’m quite a bossy person. And this is where we clashed, and still do whenever we try to work together. I hate, no hate, having to explain things more than once. I give instructions, have a conversation, and a day later I assume that the person I talked to will remember. Well this never happens and it drives me insane and I get completely worked up, grumpy and angry, which simply makes everything worse. This continues and just spirals from there. It’s not a good thing. Thankfully it was easy to solve: we no longer work together.

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

Share a memory of feeling loved / Day 14 / My Advent Calendar 2013

131211_Brollop1 131211_Brollop3 131211_Brollop4

Yeah, you guessed it. I’m sappy (we’re in the middle of a string of frigging sappy advent posts). If you don’t like it, just ignore this okay? And I’ll keep it short, just in case.

I didn’t expect my wedding day to be all that different from any other days. I mean, it’s just a day like anyone else. And it was, but just so much better. It was a day of continuous love bombing from everyone, hugs and kisses, the perfect tipsyness from early to late, the afternoon hangout in the hotel room, the speeches (which I can’t remember now).

Afterwards, you don’t remember if any details were off, if the colour of my belt matched Peter’s tie (it did) or if the food was exactly right. Not that I cared about that beforehand, but still. Afterwards you simply remember the feeling of being surrounded by loads of people who love you. And that’s a pretty great feeling.

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

The best thing(s) about Peter / Day 13 / My Advent Calendar 2013

131211_Brollop-PeterThere are so many that I really don’t know where to start. Seriously. I had a string of really (I mean really) bad relationships before I met Peter, and somehow I always assumed that that’s what a relationship should be like. Something should always be wrong, nagging you, annoying you to pieces, but you couldn’t really get anything better.

I was wrong, I was so wrong. Peter is the kindest, most caring and sweet person I’ve ever encountered. He supports me when I need it and challenges me when I wuss out. He makes the worst jokes but he always makes me laugh and has this talent of making me feel like a thousand bucks.

He is the best travel company out there. Walking around neighbourhoods in a city we’ve never been to before, holding hands, talking about petty, small things, or the big questions in life, peeking over railings, slipping in a silly joke, he simply just matches me.

Best thing of it all. He loves me. And no, it’s not that he just loves me, he makes me really feel that he loves me. I never doubt that a second, not when we’re grumpy or fighting or apart. Never. I’ve never felt as good as I do when he’s around. Even when he isn’t, just the thought of him gives me a warm feeling in my stomach. 

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.

Share a memory of feeling lonely / Day 12 / My Advent Calendar 2013


Self portrait from around 2003

This should be easy, there’s plenty to choose from. I wasn’t the happiest person between the ages of about 12-23. Actually, I was a bit of a mess and I felt lonely pretty much all the time. I have always been surrounded by loads of people, it was never that, it was more of a mental aloneness.

I’ve been trying to finish this post for several hours now. I think, trying really hard to remember one specific time, and I can’t. I simply can’t. I suppose there were moments, but if I don’t remember them, I won’t try to drag them up. I’m not there anymore, I’m not going to reminisce about things past that weren’t great. I’ve done my therapy, I’m over all that. I’m a new person. Someone who knows that even though she moves to a new continent without knowing a single person, it’ll all be fine. And sure there were bad days during this last year (more earlier in the year than later), but I can’t pinpoint a single one now. They were more frustration than loneliness. Frustration that getting a circle of friends doesn’t happen faster, that no job simply landed in my lap (as it has always done. Yes I’m spoilt) and that I never got enough time to do what I really wanted (as we had so many visitors).

But you know what? That’s pretty darn good. Not really feeling lonely for I don’t know, 7 years now? I think I’ll keep at it for at least another 50 years.

This is part of a series of posts leading up to christmas day. See the original list here, and all posts in the category here.