1st Dec 2019
I was working between 7am and 5pm. I did forget some things during the morning care of the woman I work with, but it was nothing serious. Unfortunately she did not eat much of the breakfast. Maybe it was for she is not used to my way to prepare it. Maybe it was just for, she really was not very hungry. She cannot tell me. I dressed her for a walk outside and the shopping, we had to made that day. It took nearly an hour to get her ready.
First we visited the market-place, where the school for culture hade a Christmas play. It was a little strange with witches, but also the well-known Santa Claus and his wife (in Sweden there is a whole family of Santas). Though we did not stay for long.
We continued to a grocery shop and were shopping, what was on the list, amoung this was also a candle with dates – like an advent calendar, but that we did not find in this grocery shop. Luckily I found one in another shop. I had to think hard, where it may be possible to buy such a candle in our little town. By the way, it is hard to push the wheelchair up, when using the tunnel under the railway, but it is the only way to come to the center. It is even harder to go downwards with the wheelchair, though I backed with the wheelchair all the way done, that I won’t loose the grip around the handles or have to run with the wheelchair. On one side of the tunnel I can use the elevator of the railway station, which makes it much easier for me.
When we were back at the house, where her apartment is, I could not get the special elevator for wheelchairs and walkers work. I made some calls and at least I have got contact with my colleague, who told me, that it is only possible to open the stage of the elevator, when the elevator is at the lowest point of the stairs. At the apartment again, I first undressed her the warm clothes. Afterwards I tried to give her lunch, but it seemed, she had difficulties to swallow and was very close to throw up. Though she only had an energy drink.
After work I was going directly to the Sunday dance at our dance club, but I left during the rest, because I was so tired after the long working day. I had a snack at home and was going to bed soon.
2nd Dec 2019
I awoke around 8:30am, but was still tired. Anyway I was writing a memo for the day before for further need (for my blog) and started reading then. It took time for me to have my breakfast and do other things, than reading. Finally around high noon I sew the first to pockets at my new advents calendar – I wrote about it at the end of November. Furthermore I made a part of my laundry and put it on my try-rack. This was all for this day.
3rd Dec 2019
It was cold this day again, we had -8°C in the morning and it became not much warmer during the day. Therefore I did not go shopping before 4pm. That is the varmest time of the days here during winter time.
I had not finished pocket 2 of min advents calendar, though I finished it this day and also put pocket 3 on the calendar. In addition to that I called our help service for seniors, called “Fixer-Malte” and asked for another appointment as well as I called my employer for correction of my hours at work. They had registered one hour too much. During this call I also asked, if I will get my first paycheck before Christmas and got a positive answer. I was told, that I will get 7,000 SEK this month, which I was surprised about, because I had not worked for so many hours during the month of November. She answered, that I had been working for it. I never was waiting for this amount, what was good, I could see later.
I made my usual shopping at the supermarket, but using my spikes under my shoes, because it was still very slippery on the side walks. In the evening I tastet the Christmas chocklad and the Brie cheese, before I started cooking dinner. I try not to take of the chocklad and food I have bought for upcoming days, but I cannot help it. I always do.
4th Dec 2019
I started this day by sending an email to my girlfriend Erika and wished her happy birthday. I had got a cold – I sneeze a lot. I bought online Christmas gifts for my son Samuel and my grandchildren. For Samuel I ordered a book and for both my grandchildren I ordered a table soccer play. They did get it together, because they wished it. I asked the companies to send the gifts directly to Samuels address, because we will not see each other on Christmas Eve, the afternoon we give the Christmas gifts here in Sweden.
In the afternoon I was to the pharmacy. My dermatologist had a new prescription for me. I also sewed a new pocket for my advent calendar.
5th Dec 2019
I had an appointment with my dentist in Stockholm. For the time and money I need to go there, I also planned to run other errands. The train I had planned to go with and had bought the ticket for, was cancelled. The next one was around 20 minuts later. Luckily my ticket was valid for that next train. I started with the company, where I had bought my hearing aids. I needed a spare part and got it. It was for free, because it still was under warrenty. I took the opportunity and asked, if I can leave my old hearing aids there – for giving to people in undeveloped countries and was happy, because they did take them, even I was told, that they maybe are too old for reuse. Even the hearing aids itselves are in a good condition, there might not be the software for it anymore. I hope, there still is the needed software. The hearing aids are only six or seven years old.
At the dentist, it was not much done. My gum is still bleeding, where the teeth were removed, therefore the dentist told me, that I cannot take the medicine, which I had got prescriped of my dermatologist. It is dangerous and also the medicine is very dangerous, if one takes too much, one can die. I asked him for a cost estimation for my lower gum, but he told me, he cannot give me one at the moment, because he do not know, which dental material I tolerate. I have got a new appointment for him as well for his wife, which is working with alternative medicine.
I took the first possible train home, ate something and was going to my dance class. As usual I had fun at the dance class.
6th Dec 2019
I had to take a blood test for the new medicine, though I was going to the hospital without eating breakfast. Luckily it is only a 10 minutes walk away. Back at home I made a new liter of almond drink and soaked cashew nuts. I will try to make vegan Brie cheese.
Now it was time for the climate strike. I was there for two hours and was getting really cold. Though, back at home, I had a tea and did place me on my coach with a warm wrap. I started reading paper called “hem och hyra” (home and rent). It is the paper of our tenant compound. I fell asleep, but continued with the paper, when I was awake again. I also played an online quiz by facebook with the boyfriend of my daughter. It was him, who had invited me.
My health was not on top this day, because I had cramps in my legs during the entire day and also get blisters in my mouth again. It may be because of the medicine, my dentist told me, not to take anymore. I was grateful to him.
7th Dec 2019
It was time to crush the cashew nuts in the food processor and form round “cheeses”. It was enough for four of them in the size of small round camemberts. Afterwards I did care about my laundry and ironed a part of it. I also cut out three more pockets to my advent calendar. I am behind and did not finish more than the fifth pocket. It takes time to sew by hand. Furthermore I cooked a broccoli pie, to take with me in the evening to our dance club’s Christmas party, which took place from 6pm to 10pm.
I was dressed as Santa Claus’ wife. I still have that apron from my time, when I was working in Ireland. The party started with mingle and a quiz. The quiz was about songs. I did only know two of them, but our group won and by that I did get to know, that all the around twenty songs where Christmas songs. Afterwards it was dance. There were more women and men as usual and we were divided in two groups. I managed to dance most of the time.
On my way home I saw on my smartphone, that my son Marcus tried to contact me. I rembered at that moment, that we should have talked by Skype with each other and got bad conscience.
8th Dec 2019
This day I skyped with my son Marcus and, of course, apologized. I cared about my cashew brie cheese and was to bed early.
9th Dec 2019
I awoke around 2:30am and was using Duolingo (a website for learning languages), hoping to become tired soon again. It did not help.
Later that day I sewed another pocked for my advent calendar. I also got a message, that my Christmas gift from a twitter user was on its way. That is a really good story. It started with a German woman I am following on twitter. She had the idea, to make Christmas gifts to each other of things, we do not use anymore. For that she introduced the #wish2hand (the 2 is for second). There were people wishing things and other people offering things. I had asked my son for a negative scanner, but he was thinking about to give me money for a part of the rent of a car, with which I will pick up my children in Scania for Christmas. Though I tried with twitter by using that hashtag above. I didn’t expect to get one and also wrote, that I only would like to borrow one. I would have had bad conscience to ask for one for free. I was very surprised, when I get an offer and the owner also was willing to send it to me, even I am not living in Germany anymore. When I had got the parcel I got a message, that it is a lend forever! Though, when I have scanned my negatives, I will offer it again. This was my best Christmas gift ever, because of the way I have got it.
10th Dec 2019
I had help of Fixar Malte again. I also thought, my dermatologist would call that morning, but I was remembering the wrong week.
I used Duolingo again, I did it every day, since I started with it this winter time. Furthermore I was on twitter again – I usual use twitter once a day.
On the way to the grocery shop I entered a gas station, which also has cars for rent. I prebooked a car for weekend prices. The first time was from 20th to 22nd December and the second time was from 27th to 29th Dec. Back with my groceries I took a new walk and was to the pharmacy in the center of our town. I had to go there for refreshing my cholera vaccine. It has to be done every second year. I tried to get it in the pharmacy close to the supermarket, but was told, that I need a prescription from a doctor, if I do not go to authorized stuff. I did not know that, because I always have been to a vaccination company. The pharmacy in the center has such an authorized stuff every Tuesday. Therefore I was going there. I continued to the grocery shop, where my parcel was waiting for me and picked it up.
I was late to my class about climate change, because there were so many people in the queue for parcels (sending and picking up). Back at home I installed the software for the negative scanner, but it was not working. I tried with different kinds of software. The first was on the CD, which followed with the scanner, the other I found at the company’s website, which produce the scanners. When nothing helped, I mailed the company, asking for the correct software.
11th Dec 2019
In the morning I already had got the answer from the scanner company. They wrote, that there is software for up to Windows 7. The scanner is an older one and it is not possible to run it with Windows 10, which I have on my laptop.
This day I also updated my blog a little. I finished the month of November 2019.
12th Dec 2019
It was +3°C and raining. I decided to stay at home during the rain and baked a special kind of buns. One of the ingredients is saffron. They also have a special shape and are called “lussebullar” in Swedish, which means Lucia buns. I think I wrote before, that we celebrate the Italian holy Lucia on 13th December each year, but I think it is more a party for the light coming back – the days will become longer soon and has pagan roots.
In the afternoon I was out and bought mulled wine, because for Lucia it is usual to drink the mulled wine with the Lucia buns. I bought non alcoholic mulled wine and also a Christmas card for my only living aunt. She never used a computer or smartphone, though I have to send her a card.
Back at home I cooked the dinner, started with the menu for Christmas and read some vegan recipes in a cookbook of mine. It was hard to find real vegan recipes, most of them were only vegetarian.
13th Dec 2019
I was booked for working the next morning until afternoon, but was called by my employer for working a whole day. Though I was only climate striking between 12pm until 1pm. I had to pick up the key to the woman’s apartment I work with, which I did on my way home. I have had Lucia buns with me, because I hoped I could get some more people attending the climate strike. I had announced on Facebook, that I will give a Lucia bun to everyone, who join the climate strike this day. Unfortunately, no new one where coming. Though we only were Irene and I. Fortunately Irene was continuing the strike until 2pm, our usual time.
I was a little early at work, but the transportation service for the woman I work with were late. Her mother was arriving before the transportation service. She declared, that it was her, asking for that I will work with her daughter the entire day and night. It is hard for the daughter to go to sleep and have one helper and awake the other morning and another helper is taking care of her, because she is used to, that there is always the same person in the evening and the following morning.
I had talked with my colleagues before about the meals, because all food, which has to be cooked, is in the freezer and it is not so easy to thaw it in time for the meals. This day the mother did tell me, what I should cook and I did it – even it was from the freezer, but it was easy to handle, because it was fish, which had to be boiled. Furthermore I cooked green peas (even they frozen, but there is no problem with frozen vegetables). I also had to cook an egg sauce. When I did pick the egg out of the freezer, it was gliding through my hands, falling on the floor and broke. The mother was still there and she told me, to take a spoon and spoon the egg up and use it another day for scrambled eggs. I was very surprised about it, because she herself looks clean and neat.
The mother left before the meal and I did throw away the egg after the meal. I cannot overcome to use food, which had been on the floor. The rest of the afternoon and the evening was as usual, that means, that the woman I work for was watching DVDs on TV. She loves Alice in Wonderland and other stories for children. I did not get much sleep that night, I was afraid, there would something happen to the woman.
14th Dec 2019
I was up at 7am, the woman awoke around 8am. Vi finished with all the necessary around 10am and left the apartment around 10:30am. I had to go with her to another place, from where we had to go by bus with other disabled people. The woman had been signed up for a Christmas lunch. I found the place quite easily, but was not sure, I was at the correct place. Though I was asking at a home for disabled and elderly people. A man with a walker did show me the correct spot. I was surprised and, of course, happy about his kindness. The problem for me was, that I did not know, that there are two homes for disabled and elderly people wall to wall. We were in good time at the correct place.
The organizer did know my woman and did help her up the stairs into the bus. Another man was helping him, though I did not need to care about the most difficult part of the journey. I was sitting on the outside on the seat, that I was sure, she won’t fall off the seat – even we used the seatbelts, of course. Before we entered the bus, I had to pay for the dinner for the woman – of her money, of course. First I was told, that my employer already had paid for her, but I had been very well instructed of her mother and could explain, that the amount from my employer was paid for me and my woman had still to pay. All went well and we could enjoy the Christmas lunch once we arrived at the restaurant Hjälmaregården.
We had to be back at the bus in time, but we were late, because we were the last one for the handicap WC. There was only one handicap WC at the restaurant – as usual, but there were some people using wheelchairs and others using walkers.
I have given the woman, I work for, the chance to choose the food she will eat herself – to some degree. You have to know, that such a lunch has a big smorgasbord (buffet). At restaurants there is more to choose as at home. There were different tables for cold and warm meals, for fish, meat, cheese and dessert. There were also tables with cakes and sweets. We started with fish as usual. I had to mash all the food, because she only swallow, she does not chew the food. I always have to do that for her. I felt sorry for her, because I had to mix all the different kinds of fish food with the potatoes and later the meat and sausage with potatoes and vegetables. She ate with god appetite. Finally she had chosen ginger bread and cakes. When I mashed the ginger bread for her – with milk, she did not eat anymore. Maybe because it no longer had the shape it has had before, maybe she was full. She cannot tell me. I managed to eat a little as well, but most of the time I was busy with helping her.
I had been told, that the bus, back in Katrineholm, will let us out close to the place, where the woman is living, but that was wrong. We had to go the whole way back even it was raining, which we were coming in the morning, though we were a little late for the next helper taking over and go with her to a Christmas concert. I did take care about the tools I have had with us and hanged the bed linen, which I had used during the night – I had washed it in the morning, but the washing machine was still working, when we left in the morning. The other helper and the woman, as well as I, left the apartment at the same time.
I was very tired when I left back the key for the apartment and on my way home. I just had a snack before I was going to bed. I actually made some exercise on Duolingo, but fell asleep meanwhile.
15th Dec 2019
I awoke around 8am as usual, but have had a dream about my dead grandmother. To forget the scary dream I started with Duolingo. A while afterwards I had breakfast.
When I was on the Internet, I hoped my son Marcus was on Skype, but he was not. Though I sent en email to him, explaining, that I had been too tired the evening before for talking via Skype with him. In the afternoon I started to update my blog, but it was very difficult. The site was very slow. I do not know if it was my laptop, the Internet provider or the host of my blog. Anyway it was better, when I had restarted the laptop. Therefore I think it was a problem with my laptop. It is more than five years old – maybe seven or eight. I do not really remember. It gets too warm easily and crashes. I have a lot of problems with it and I am very careful about to save copies on an extern hard drive.
16th Dec 2019
I visited the local tenant compound. Unfortunately I lost my copper strap from Mexico on the way there or at the compound’s place. We were looking for it at the compound as well as I was looking for it on my way home, but the result was negative. I was very unhappy about it.
This was the last day of my free pass for the health authority. Though I was to the pharmacy to buy all of the medicine from the prescriptions I was allowed to. I still had to pay for it, but not so much as usual. I also had a call from my employer regarding to the extra hours, when I accompanied the woman, I work for, to the Christmas lunch. I was told, that I had to leave as soon as I had left the woman to my colleague, but she would make an exception and pay me for the half hour extra – even only this time.
My son Marcus emailed me, telling me, that he will not get any help anymore and that he has no right to stay at the place he is living now. Though I tried to write an email to his “good man” (he helps Marcus mostly with the economy), but the email addresses I had of him, were not in use anymore. Though I tried to call this man and I was lucky, he still had the same phone number. He explained to me, that he had been talking with Marcus and that Marcus must got it wrong. It was only about, that he should be more active. I informed Marcus about it and asked him, to tell them, how his disability is working in his case – and I think, that is usual. People with Aspergers syndrom, usually are not very active.
I also wrote the Christmas card, I had bought before, for my aunt.
17th Dec 2019
The first that I did in the morning was to send an email to my son Marcus. It was his birthday. Usually I visit him at his birthday, but this year, I will see him some days later.
I should have worked for two hours, but I have had diarrhea. I called my employer. I also declined to work 27th Dec, because my children still will be with me.
18th Dec 2019
I booked an appointment at a private polyclinic. It is an online clinic, but I thought the first meeting would be in real. When I got the confirmation for my booking, I read, that even this first will be online. I had chosen a day, when I have to be in Stockholm for meeting my dentist, though I had to cancel the appointment. I tried by their chat, but I was hold there for over an hour after the initial help. The errand was never finished. Luckily I found a possibility to change the time for appointment. I canceled the appointment and made a new one. By that I also got another doctor, an endocrinolog. I hope the appointment will work better and the doctor be great. I signed up with that polyclinic for getting better help with my missing thyroid. I think a lot of my health problems are related to it.
I also tried to call my dermatologist, because I have got an reaction of the test, which was done in November. Unfortunately it was already too late, it is only possible to call weekdays between 8am and 10am – on Fridays only between 8am and 9am.
I planned to have seven kinds of cookies for Christmas, as it is usual here in Sweden. I was late with it. I only had one kind of it so far. Now I was baking all the other kinds.
I was to bed 10:30pm, but used Duolingo for a while before I fell asleep.
19th Dec 2019
I cleaned my apartment. It was well needed after baking cookies and for Christmas.
I have problems with the tip of my tongue again. The tip of my tongue hurts a lot, even when I am not eating anything. I think it is my fault, because I forget a couple of times my medicine for my stomage.
20th Dec 2019
I went to the gas station, picking up the rented car at 9am. I was eager not to miss time, therefore I had my little backpack already with me. I was driving directly to Malmö, to my son Daniel, but had two rests on the way. On one hand side, it is too far to drive all the 500+ kms without a rest and on the other hand side, I cannot drive in almost five hours without using a toilet. I arrived around 4pm at Daniels home and called him, that I arrived, because he asked me for it. He was not ready to go, he had to take a shower. I was waiting on a parking space very close to the house with his apartment. Just when I thought to buy a parking ticket, he was looking for me.
We were going by car to a shopping center not far away. There is free parking, during ones shopping. Daniel asked me to go there, because he had not bought any Christmas gifts, but want to. We usually do not give Christmas gifts or birthday presents to each other, but this time it was different. In between the shopping we had a meal at an Indian restaurant, called “Indian Curry”. Daniel would like to eat there and I tried to make the best of it. Though I asked, before I ordered, if the food is spicy and if I can get it less spicy. They told me, they will not made the food spicy for me. Therefore we ordered a vegan deal of the day each. Unfortunately the meal still was too hot for me. When I was asking for yoghurt, the owner promised me a meal, which is not spicy at all – and he managed it. It was not the same, but it was good. I was surprised and happy about this good service.
I had to give Daniel tips for the Christmas gifts and was allowed to choose my own gift ;-). We were going home to him and I had to find a parking space for the car. I had to park on the street, but found a place not very far away. Even it is street parking, there is a parking fee to pay. Unfortunately I did not see, that the parking from Friday evenings to Monday mornings is for free. Unfortunately I did not realize it, but after I had bought a ticket. I could not see at the ticket machine, for how long I could stay there for 10 SEK, though I bought a ticket for 13 SEK. I emptied the car and had the cover of the trunk open, though everyone could see it is nothing in there. I do not like to park a car in that area, because some years ago, when I still was working in Hamburg and had an own car, someone had broken into my car and stolen a suitcase and a bag. I know that was my fault, but before the incident I thought, that the area was safe.
Before we were going to bed, we did wrap the gifts, but there was not enough of paper for my Christmas gift. I was sleeping on Daniels couch in the living room, but had to vacuum-clean it first, because of all the hair, the cat had lost there.
21st Dec 2019
We managed to go further around 9am. We now were on the way to Helsingborg, where my son Marcus is living. By the way, Daniel had his cat – in a cage and all the necessary utensils with him, which were needed for the cat, though it took a lot of space.
Even we were leaving in time in Malmö, we were late for Marcus. I had asked Daniel to send a message about it, though Marcus would not become worried. All went well and Marcus was waiting for us. He had four big bags and a table ice hockey game as well as a plastic bag with food. I was not happy about all that stuff, but did allow him to take all with him after I had messaged my daughter Maria and asked her, how much luggage she has. She send a photo of it and because I know her bags and backpacks I understood, that we will manage to take all the things with us. By the way, I had rent a small combi, which was a good decision. A full combi would have been even better, but also more expensive to rent.
Marcus had to visit a pharmacy before we finally could leave Helsingborg. He also did withdraw money from an ATM. He has his own way and he will have even money for different purposes. It tooks a while until he had withdrawn all the money wished. We became really late by that and my hope to reach Axwall (close to Skövde) before dark, where my daughter is studying, was not possible anymore. I do neither really like to drive in the dark nor on winter roads. Luckily it was some degrees warm and there were neither snow nor ice on the roads.
We took a rest in Mölndal, not far away from Gothenburg. We was looking for a Max restaurant, because they have a lot to choose of vegetarian and vegan meals. Both Marcus and Daniel are ovo-lacto-vegetarians and I try to become a vegan. Just now I am an ovo-vegetarian. Unfortunately the closest by Max restaurant was in the centre of Mölndal, Google told us. That was not a problem, because the car had a gps and also Daniel and I have Google maps on our smartphones. We found a car park, but there were no ticket machine, when we were entering. We parked and were looking for, if we need a parking disk. I found out, that I had to download an app, called “Easy Park”. Despite the name, it was quite complicated to use it, especially by the different car parks around. Anyway I managed it.
Daniel was the first one, finishing his meal. He was going back to the car, because of his cat. When Marcus and I were ready to go, I thought, it will not be a problem to find our way back to the car park, but it was not. From this side it did not look like, like it did, when we left the car park. We had to call Daniel for meeting us and I was very surprised, that he did found it all alone. Marcus was close to panic. I tried to calm him down. All was well again, when Daniel helped us to find our way back to the car.
A couple of hours later – and after we crossed Gothenburg at the outskirt and could see the tivoli “Liseberg”, we arrived at the school in Axvall. We had to call Maria, to find her. She was meeting us and ask me, if she was allowed to drive the car to her apartment. She had tried to take the driver’s licens, but did not manage it so far. Actually it is not the easiest to take a driver’s license in Malmö, where she usually lives. Anyway I told her, if it was my car, she would be allowed, but now I declined. There was another reason, which I did not tell her. I had adjusted the car, so it fits me and we had to change that, if she would drive the 300 or 400 meters to her apartment.
Maria had packed all the things, she would take with her. She did neither have very much nor very big luggage and we did put that also into the trunk, but one bag was on the floor in front of the middle of the backseat. The cat did not need space for his feet, he was anyway in the cage. We had a little rest at Maria’s for the cat.
At 9pm we arrived at my apartment and were lucky, that we got a parking space in front of the house. We also have street parking here, but it is for free 24/7. Furthermore here I do not need to worry about, that the car will be damaged, stolen or similar. When we had taken in all luggage including the cat, Marcus was eager to give me an advents calendar with chocolate. I had to open all the unused doors and eat the chocolate, but I shared with the others. I do not really like light chocolate anymore. It is just too sweet. He also gave Maria late gifts for her birthday – vegetarian food like a vegetarian blue cheese. Maria is an LCHF user ;-).
22nd Dec 2019
Four adults in a one-room-apartment takes time for breakfast and especially in the bathroom. My main room nearly looked like a camp. Maria and I were sharing my couch, Marcus was using my bed and Daniel a mattress on the floor. I only have three different covers and four pillows, but I have some small pillows for the couch as well. Though I used the poncho I once bought in Mexico and a thin plaid. For the ones, who needed two pillows, they had to use a little one from the couch as well. During daytime it was different, I put the covers etc in the couch box and on the bed, the mattress in my walk-in-wardrobe and so I did even with the backpacks etc of my children.
Unfortunately Marcus, who is the biggest one of us, broke the toilet. Actually it was never really fastened in the floor. Therefore it broke, when he was sitting on it. Also the porcelain was breaking down. Anyway it was still possible to use it – by all the holidays it was not possible to reach the janitors, but finally I used their website to inform them about my toalet as well as two more fails. The one is the open space mellan a contact and the tiling in the bathroom and the other is, that a little part of cement was falling down from the wall behind the radiator in the main room. That radiator is nearly 3 m long and that part, which was falling down, was sitting in the middle of it and the radiator was fastened in it. Now the radiator is no longer fastened in the middle, only at the left and right sides.
Around noon all of us were going by car to the supermarket. I had decided to take my three children with me, though they could choose their Christmas food – especially because the different kind of food they are eating. The supermarket became the last shop we visited that day, because my kids were looking for different things and Maria wished to buy Christmas gifts for us. We visited three different shops and Marcus, Daniel and I got to choose our Christmas gifts, while we helped Maria to choose Christmas gifts for Samuel and his sons. At the supermarket it was not so easy as I had thought, because my kids were not prepared to choose and it was especially difficult for Maria to make the decisions right away. Marcus had told me from the beginning, that he will give me 400 SEK for the food for the week he is visiting me. He did give me the money before we reached the cashier. We had chosen a lot of food and I did understand, that I will have to pay a, for me, high amount for it. I did neither ask my children for partial payment of the rent for the car nor for the gasoline, though I now did ask Maria and Daniel to help with an amount for the food. Daniel did pay all what he had picked at the supermarket as an own customer and Maria did leave an amount to me afterwards.
I think, they were very surprised, when I told them, that the car rent for two weekends including the gasoline was for around 6,000 SEK (around 570 EUR or 631 USD) and that I only could afford it, because I had got an extra job as well as I have got some more old-age pension from Malta this month. The great thing is, that I get Christmas and holiday pays from Malta, even it is not very much, but each time around twice as much as I usually receive for a month and this amount added to the monthly amount. I was thinking about, that it may be the same, if I will get every month a little more, but I actually concluded, that it is better to have it this way. Neither from Ireland, Germany or Sweden I do get any extra for Christmas or in June, but in the start or middle of December the Irish pension authority pays the rest amount for the year – always in time before Christmas. Only the German pension is coming as usual in December, just the last bank day. For the moment, with my extra expenses for the dentist and the dermatologist incl. the medicines, I would like to have that pension a couple of days earlier, though I could be sure, that I can transfer this amount on my Swedish account in time, before I have to pay my rent. By the way, here in Sweden the pension is usually paid the 18th and 19th of every month, depending on ones birthday. The housing benefit is paid together with it. It saves me from the stress.
Back at home it was time for dinner. Afterwards I was leaving back the car. I had to leave it back before 9am the next morning, but I prefered to leave it in the evening, though I could sleep a little longer in the morning. The last three days have been tiring. Daniel was following me, because he was looking for cat food in cans. His cat was not eating and he hoped, it would help him not to starve. We had to go to the supermarket for the cat food.
It was after midnight, before we were going to bed.
23rd Dec 2019
Some days ago, I had discovered, that I have got rashes by the allergy test. It was coming late, of course, but the rashes were two squares on my back in the area, where the test was done. I could not see it, but in the mirror and it was too hard to take a photo of it, but today I asked my children for help. Though you can see the result here:
We were eating breakfast around 10am, then I had to follow Marcus to a pharmacy as well as we were going to the grocery shop to buy more milk. We did choose to shop in the centrum of Katrineholm, that Marcus could see it.
Back at home it soon was teatime, followed by putting the Christmas tree in the main room and decorated it. It is usual in Sweden to do this the day before Christmas Eve. We call the day “little Christmas Eve” (in Swedish: lillejulafton – jag just read on the Internet, that lillejulafton originally comes from Scania with influence from Denmark och lillejulafton and similar words not always mean the day before Christmas Eve, but I know it this way both from Scania, Smaland and Ostergotland.)
In the evening we did play board games. Daniel had bought a board game called “Ticket to ride” (but the older version), when he bought Christmas gifts, though we played that all evening. It was fun.
24th Dec 2019
In contrast to the Swedish traditions, I had to made some laundry in the morning and also some cleaning. Maria and Daniel did wrap their Christmas gifts. Here in Sweden Christmas Eve is celebrated the whole day. Already in the morning we wish our neighbors, friends and members of the family “God Jul”, what means “Merry Christmas” – as long as we meet them, e.g. in the stairwell or in the street. We are not active looking for them or calling them.
In contrast to the Swedish traditions, we did hot have Christmas dinner in the afternoon and we did not watch Donald Duck at the tv, which is the most loved tv viewing on Christmas Eve. Even it is called Donald Duck, there are more Disney movies shown in this program. It lasts for an hour. Directly after this program Swedes usually have their Christmas dinner – a smorgasbord (buffet), during the Christmas holidays called “julbord” (jul = Christmas) or, when they have small children, who are not able to stay awake late, they are handing out the Christmas gifts directly after the program.
We did hand out the Christmas gifts to each other after teatime with Lucia buns and seven kinds of cookies. Later, in the evening, we had our julbord with vegan ham and vegan sausages, vegan balls etc. All food and drink was vegan, even Maria ate of all of it. It was Marcus, who had bought the vegan ham and vegan “roast biff”. Myself I think, if one is vegan, one should create its own dishes and not try to copy ham and biff. Nowadays there are so many vegan recipes! Unfortunately I did not take any photo to show you our vegan julbord.
When we were satisfied by the meal and had put the rest of the julbord in the fridge again, we started playing the board game “Ticket to ride” again. It became late this evening as well.
25th Dec 2019
Around noon my son Samuel and grandson Leon arrived. They were coming by train, after they left the car at the nearest train station for them. My daughter in law and the other grandson, Vincent, stayed at home, because Vincent was not feeling well. I did get a Christmas gift, which Leon gave to me. It was a ceiling rail for my lamp in the kitchen. Samuel also did put it up. It was among my wishes, I named to him, when he was asking me, because my table is extentable and when it is extented, the lamp was hanging over the person, who sat closest to the wall.
Around 2pm we had julbord again, but this time we also had some things Samuel did attach, e.g. pickled herring, but also special good jam. We vegetarians did not eat of the fish, of course. I did take a photo for the family album. I had asked before, if I was allowed to take a photo with my all of them, but they denied. They do not like to be photographed.
Samuel and Leon left already at 4:30pm for the train. Daniel and I were following them to the train station, though we got some exercise. Back at home I had to made all of the dishes. I love my dishwasher!
In the evening we did drink mulled vine and watched videos.
26th Dec 2019
This day did not happen anything special. We still ate of the julbord and was playing the board game “Ticket to ride” as well. By the weather (grey and quite cold and rough) we were not happy to leave my cosy apartment.
27th Dec 2019
It was the last day together in Katrineholm. I had booked the second weekend car from this day and we were going to Julita manor (I wrote about it in June and/or July. I also addes photos), because I was eager to show my children some of the beauties in Södermanland, the county, Katrineholm is a part of.
We actually were on our way around 11am, still early enough to see the place in daylight. By car it takes 20 to 30 minutes by car to go there. When we arrived, Maria needed a toilet. She was not willing to go behind a bush. Unfortunately, even the park is open all year around, the toilets are not. They are only open, when you have to pay an entrance fee and there are workers onside. With other words, out of season, there is no entrance fee, but no service either. We did not stay for a long time. I tried to tell them of the knowledge I have got last summer about the manor and surroundings. It did not seem, they were interested in it. – On our way home, we stayed at a car park with facilities.
Back at my home, we played different board games as well as the icehockey game, Marcus have had with him. Naturally we had meals as well. At teatime we again had seven kinds of cookies and Lucia buns – like all the Christmas days as well. All shops were open again, though Daniel and me were going to a shop for lamps, toasters etc and other electric items and bought a new cable for my pedant in the main room, because the boys had told me, that I cannot have the jointed cable I have now. I did tell them, that “Fixer-Malte” did not say that to me, even he is attached to the fire fighters. Anyway I understood, that it would be better to have only one cable all the way. Back at home Daniel also swaped the cables.
28th Dec 2019
All of us were up early in the morning. I decided the evening before, that we have to leave at 9am, though I do not need to drive during the dark. Unfortunately and because of I had to manag the picnic, we should have with us, Anyway, this morning all of them did help with the dishes and similar actions. I was the last one ready and not ready in time. We started from my home at 10am instead. Before we left, Daniel did put back the pendant in my main room.
I had not really driven for a whole hour, when Maria had to use a toilet. I was leaving the motorway, we just had entered in the hope to find a toilet at a gas station or somewhere else. We didsee a shop, of which we know, they have toilets, but could not imagine how to go there. I turned around and was going back to the motorway. The next exit was the right one. It was an exit for a big shopping centre and a lot of shops outside it as well. I left Maria at the entrance of the shopping centre and was then driving around to find a car par, what was not very hard to find. There was not fee to pay within three hours. I did use the toilet as well, just preventing another soon stop.
The next stop we made outside Gränna. I know that car park from my first trip to Malmö. There is no restaurant, no gas station, nothing, but tables and benches and the toilets, which can be used for free. It is a very clean park. We did not leave the car, when we ate of our lunch bag, because the weather was cold and wet as usual. I had to take another stop close to Värnamo, because I got a little tired. Even this car park I did know from the time before I traveled to Malmö. This carpark is similar to the one outside Gränna, but even bigger.
We arrived in Helsinborg about 3pm and it was already getting dark. Marcus needed to buy some food for the next few days, which was soon done at a supermarket. We left him at his home, but did not stay there, we continued directly to Malmö, where I first left Daniel. When we were around Lund, it had become totally dark. I found a street parking close to Daniel’s apartment. Anyway Maria and I stayed with him for a couple of hours, because Maria would not enter her home – she rents a room of her boyfriend, before her boyfriend was at home.
Daniel did not find the cans with the cat food and I promised him, to look for it, when I am at home again. He followed us, when we were going (by car, of course) to Marias home and arrived there about 8pm. Daniel and Maria did order pizzas, meanwhile I was looking for a parking space. I had seen one, which I had not taken. Maria had told me, that there may be one closer to her home. There was not! Back at the first space, it became just occupied, when I was close, but there was another car driving away and I did get a nice, big space – even I had to back into it, which was no problem for me.
By the way, I heard Daniel and Maria talking about my driving during the ride. They said, as they often do, that I am a bad driver, this time they also said, that it is not right, that one, when have taken a driver’s license, have it for the entire life. I think, they should not be so critical about my driving. I know, I have problems with holding a steady speed and I would have liked a cruise control in the car, but I never have had a serious accident, but once, when another driver bumped into my car from the back – he was driving too fast and could not stop in time, when I stopped in front of a red traffic light. I usually neither even scratch the cars I am driving nor do I drive too fast. I always respect the road signs. Though I do not like that they tell me, that I am not a good driver.
At Maria and her boyfriends home, we did play the “Ticket to ride” board game again. Maria’s boyfriend wished to cuddle with Maria, but after a while, he joined us. Daniel left as late as 11pm and we were going to bed immediately afterwards. I was sleeping in Maria’s room.
29th Dec 2019
I had to drive home all the way this day, though I was up before 8am and left at 9am. Maria’s boyfriend was taking a shower at the time I left, though I did not wait for him and Maria told me, that I am in a hurry as well as there is no reason to be. I answered her, that I would like to come home before the dark. She actually should know that now.
The state of the road was as good as the other days, when I was driving the rented car. Though it was an easy drive, but I had to go and pee early after I had left Malmö. I stopped in Lungby, there were a small snack bar with a toilet. I also bought a Hamburger and a cup of coffee. I filled the coffee in my Thermos and just ate some chews of the Hamburger, saving the rest for a car park later on. I have had a packed breakfast in the morning, but I was not really satisfied afterwards.
I did not make a break outside Gränna, but outside Värnamo and the last break I had at that shopping centre, we had our first break the day before. Leaving after the last break, it was totally dark, but I only had 40 km more to go. Unfortunately there is no motorway to go and there is a lot of forest around the road. There are even less cars, of course, but the road has mostly only one file. Anyway I made it home without any problem, but I was tired.
I did park the car in front of my door and decided to clean the car inside the next morning, because I had to leave it before 9am. There were no really any dirt, but there might have been som cat hair. I sent sms to my children, that I was at home and all went well. I was looking for the cans with cat food in all corners of my apartment, but did not find it. Instead I found the cat brush and an attachment to a cat toy. I took care about covers, pillows and the bed linen before I had sandwiches as my evening meal.
I was on the Internet. I ordered a parka, which was for sale. I chose size 42/44. There was an announcement, that only a few were left in this size, but when I got the order confirmation, it was for size 34/36. Though I sent an email and a message from their platform, that the order confirmation is wrong and I am not interested in a parka in size 34/36 respectively that I regret my order, refering to the law, that I have two weeks to do so.
I was to bed around 11pm and had put the alarm clock for 7am next day.
30th Dec 2019
It is the last bank day this year and I was checking my account for my pension from Germany several times. After 8am, it was shown on my foreign account. Immediately I transfered most of it to my Swedish account, hoping, that it will be fast enough for my rent being drawn – I have agreed to direct debit with the my landlord.
Afterwards I vacuum cleaned the back seat of the rented car and was then driving to the rental company and leaving it back. The gasoline this time was for nearly 1,000 SEK (95 EUR or 105 USD). I think I have driven around 1,100 km. I do not know, if that is a high consumption, as well as I do not remember the price of the gasoline. On the Internet it is stated that the price is 16.43 SEK this day. Though it should have been around 60 liters I have used. Actually that would be less than 6 l/100 km. I think, that is a good value. I actually was surprised, that I did not have to fill the tank during the rides.
I did clean a part of the apartment and also made my laundry – bed linen and two big table clothes, in the common laundry room. I also washed my towels by the washing machine in my apartment. I did put them in the dryer as well.
Futhermore I did make new oat, almond and coconut drink. I run out of it during Christmas and did not care about it during the holidays. I even send a message to my son Samuel about New Years Eve, New Year and the 2nd Jan, because I have an appointment at my dentist that day.
When I finished all of my laundry for the day, I had dinner followed by cozy hours before I was going to bed.
31st Dec 2019
I did forget to clean the rest of my apartment, but made some more laundry. I did not leave any dirty clothes for the New Year ;-). Meanwhile the washing machine was working, I prepared for two nights off home.
My train left in time at 12:50pm, but arrived late at the destination Södertälja-Syd, where my son usual picks me up, so he did today. The reason for the late arrival where unauthorized people on the tracks. It did not matter, that I was late by the train, Samuel was late as well. He just arrived by car, when I was leaving the train.
I had a tin box Oreo with me – the one we did not eat during the Christmas holidays. I know, that my daughter in law as well as my grandson Leon are very keen in these cookies. Though I decided, it would be a good gift for the whole family. I hoped, I will get the tin box back, but did not say anything about it.
We had snacks (the Swedish “fika”) around 2pm and the Oreo tin box was opened. What a disappointment! There were only a few rolls Oreo in there. Ok, there were different tastes/fillings, but I had expected the tin full with Oreo, without extra package. Anyway, we tasted all kinds of it during this and the following day. The kids actually emptied the tin and hid different packages ;-). My daughter in law dit tell my son to take the empty box to the recycling. That was the moment, when I could ask her for the box, without any shame. Now I use it for one of the seven kinds of cookies.
The dinner was around 8pm. We had meatballs, though everyone can eat of it, even the children, which are not eating biff yet. My son and I did made the cooking. His wife did help as well – at the end of the work. She had actually been at work for half the day. Even the mother of her did help us. She cannot help it, she always have to help. Samuel did the meatballs, but was asking me about the seasoning. E.g. he asked me, how many salt he had to use. I actually cannot tell anyone how much salt to use for one kg minced meat, I have it in my “fingers”, though I had to look it up in a cookbook. I told him, to take less salt, than it was stated in the cookbook, because it seemed very much too me. So he did, but it was still a little too much.
At the swap of the year, we were looking at the fireworks from the close and not so close neighbors. We saved the climate by not having our own fireworks. In addition to that, the Swedish law about using fireworks became harder during the last year. Now permits from the municipality as well as special training are required for the use of rockets with control stick. Anyway there were a lot of fireworks of just this kind in the sky. Afterwards we did bump with Processo. Soon we were going to bed.
If you even will follow me during the new decade, please click on Sweden 2020.