A while back I wrote this post about it closing in to three years since we left Sweden. To honour that 3 year mark, I wanted to check what I’ve been doing the last three Novembers.
This is our last year in Sweden. The year itself was quite amazing and filled with moments I’ll forever treasure, like our wedding, or our trip to Ethiopia. Or the pieces of cake and bubbly we enjoyed when landing the job in Ghana. In November we were in full swing with move preparations. I stopped working mid way through November. Whenever we weren’t packing, checking on our visa or other practical stuff, we spent time with our friends and family.
Like here. Based on the pictures I saved, there were a bunch of hangouts with my parents, my brothers and my niece and nephew. Like here when they spent a wee while checking out an old photo album.
There was also time for fun and games. A week or so before I left my job I borrowed the work Wii a night and we played and played. It was crazy popular.
Always time for dancing!
Since we would celebrate Christmas in Ghana, we had a mini Christmas celebration with my family. We did everything we usually do: set the table nicely, drink wine, do a puzzle and eat chinese food.
My sister in law puzzling away!
In the middle of the mini xmas we found some peace and quiet. This month was so, so, so crazy and stressed and it was so needed.
My dad is the best cook! He’s in charge of making that fabulous Chinese dish every year. Although, come to think of it, I think I’ve had it for the very last time. I’ve been a pescetarian for the last 15 years, but last year I stopped eating fish as well. Uh oh! Oh well. I’ll survive.
The breakfast the morning after fake Christmas. There’s something about Swedish brekkies that I miss immensely. Everyone sitting around the table, going to get something else, pondering a part of the newspaper, muttering a sentence every now and then.
We tried to get as many cuddles as we could from our cats. In this picture, Ella. <3
I also scheduled in one of our famous sibling beers. When I lived in Sweden we used to do them fairly regularly and oh my they were the best. Sure I met up with my brothers at family events, but getting to hang out with them all on our own wasn’t all that common. So we started this tradition which was amazing. We had so much fun.
This our last sibling beer (we haven’t had one since! I’m now trying to schedule on for Xmas, I totally need that) was held at the incredibly kitschy bar Peppar in Stockholm. I love that place. I supped on a daiquiri.
November also included a party. It was Ylwas birthday, and that needed celebrating. We enjoyed punch which wasn’t heated, only stored in a big pot. It was a lot of punch, okay?
Here’s Ylwa herself!
It was a fab party with quizzes, delish food and overall amazing fun. What I’ll remember most is kind of captured in this picture though. The last half hour or so a couple of us were sitting on the kitchen floor. I have no idea what we were talking about but I remember not being able to stop laughing.
We’d almost been a full year in Ghana. We were getting used to it all, but at the same time it was starting to get to us.
My parents came and visited us in November. Dad had already visited us once before (and would come one more time before we left) and was kind of in his essence here. Mum avoids cameras like the plague, so no pictures of her. We left Accra and headed off to Akosombo. The water you see behind Daddy-o is a big dam. It’s one of the biggest in the world if I remember correctly (and I’m too lazy to google it now)
Driving and driving
I miss the lush look of mango trees. I also miss the big, fresh mangoes. I’ve never had such good mangoes ever, before or after.
We made a friend.
Me and dad at our local Indian restaurant. Not that you can see that we’re at a restaurant but we are. We went there at least once a week and I miss it like crazy. Such good food! Such amazing service. Plus, so close to home. It was a win, win, win situation.
One long weekend we headed west. On our way to our destination we stopped at the Elmina Fort for a tour. The colours of the fort was beautiful against the blues of he sea and the sky, but the history of the place was just dreadful. Walking around it, visiting slave dungeons was quite an emotional experience. Even though we were in the same place, saw the same things, it was hard to envision just how bad it might have been.
View from the fort. This was very similar to the view of the point of no return.
We got back in the car and ventured further. This was the goal: a beach resort about 7 hours drive from home. It was absolutely beautiful.
Say hi to our friends! One day, in the water just outside the house we were staying in a bunch of turtles hung out. They were coming up every now and then for some air, and they stayed there for a few hours. It was definitely one of the animal experience highlights of my life.
Dad looking for turtles.
After my parents left, we had an engagement party to attend. I have no idea why this is the only picture i had, but hey, I probably had too much fun to bother snapping pictures.
First out, sorry about the quality of these pictures. I had lost the battery to my SLR and didn’t get a new one until about 7 months later. I know! That’s a seriously long time.
We were in Melbourne as of two months and loving it so far.
The weather was getting warmer and we had several picnics in parks. Like here in Fawkner park where we watched a game of cricket for quite some time. It did not make sense to us.
On Melbourne Cup day we headed to the zoo and found a bunch of butterflies.
We started to get our house in a wee bit of order. It would take another 6 months or so before it started feeling homely though. Bonus info: in that glass on the left hand side is the first spider I ever caught in Australia. It was tiny as you can see.
We went out for arepas one day. Sooo delicious. Note to self: need to go back and eat this again soon.
I went on loads of walks. As soon as I needed to get something I made sure to walk there. The more the better.
I also started cooking. I’ve cooked more since coming to Australia than I have in all of my life before that, combined. I was obsessed with dumplings a wee while. They soon got replaced by fresh spring rolls. After that I widened my repertoire, but now that I’m working more properly again, it’s slowly getting back to normal. I love the fact that I feel much more comfortable in the kitchen.
This looks freaky, but it really isn’t. This is what Peter did the first 10 months in the house when his key didn’t work on the front door (only the back). This way I knew it was him and no one else that was knocking on the door. I did the same thing whenever I wanted him to come and open. Doing it felt very endearing, but like this caught on film seems quite creepy…
Three countries in three years. Although we’re still in Melbourne and things haven’t changed all that much since last year, I feel a bit excited about what comes next. Before leaving Sweden it felt like almost an impossible project to move somewhere else. Now that we’ve moved to two different countries, I feel kind of invincible.
If anything is possible (and it absolutely is!), what would you want to do?