So. Swedish winter.
Wintry. Dark. Not as dark as in most of Sweden, of course (we are right in the south, on about the same latitude as Edinburgh). But still unbelievable dreary for much of it. Around the 21st of December, that most dismal of days, the light was creeping into view at around 9:30AM and disappearing again by 2:30PM. We started to feel like moles, fuzzy during the day but unable to sleep soundly at night.
January, then, was a godsend. As I've written about already, it was cold. Really, properly cold. With about 10 cm of snow (bucket loads more up north, apparently) and crisp blue skies.
And February? Well. We've tried to head out whenever possible, through breaks in the drizzle and sick bugs.
Somebody turned three! He is doing so well, I'm pleased to say. Volatile, stubborn and cheeky, as freshly-minted three-year-olds are wont to be, but also carefree, happy and really funny.
My little sanctuary, which is just as well because as a work-from-home mum I spend 90% of my time in it! A slightly impersonal rental it will always be, but we all feel at home and I can work comfortably when I need to. Four boxes left to unpack, which is clear progress on the seven from the last update. A few more flowers and indoor plant friends, to help us while away the time until the outdoors wakes up again.
As of 1st January I officially landed in Sweden, in that I kissed the Italian tax authorities goodbye with a flounce and a wave. Starting again here - getting residency, access to social services, registering as self-employed, opening a bank account - has taken WAY longer than we expected it would. I've lost count of the number of circles I've been sent in, and at one point I even started to miss the Italian's cavalier attitude to rules; when everyone knows they don't work, everyone tends to be a little more flexible of mind, a little more willing to apply "creativity". In Sweden, however, the rules DO work, which is great when you're in the system. It's getting there that has been the tricky part. I've tried to stay calm about it because as an EU citizen with a working partner and a roof over my head I can hardly complain, but I will still be glad when I am finally in a position to invoice my clients for all the work I have simply continued to do!
Mr P&P has been very busy, applying for funding and moving labs and generally being so helpful his colleagues give him chocolate cake (well one did, but it was the day before the Bean's birthday and he had requested... a chocolate cake! Win!)
Not bad, not bad at all, especially considering the level of hibernation and insularity that Swedish winter seems to bring with it. There have been a few do's at Mr. P&P's work that we were all invited to and which have been a lot of fun. Like, curling!
There was also one "drink whisky in the office kitchen until midnight" occassion. As you do (the Bean and I weren't invited to that, funnily enough).
About a month ago I plucked up all the courage I could muster and attended an Instameet for crafters.
Six months in. I think we're doing alright, really. I'm looking forward to more sunlight though.