Tuesday, January 08, 2008

How was Christmas?

Some of my readers might remember that I had a big birthday just before Christmas, so we set off as soon as we possibly could. As so many times before we stopped over in Bremen. I had booked a table in a very nice restaurant we had visited before, or at least I thought I had. When we arrived at L’Oliva it seemed to be very full, and low and behold, there was no booking in our name. But it was my 60th birthday! The staff were incredibly understanding and helpful, apologising many times. They asked if it would be OK to sit in the Hilton bar area, since they were joined by the hip so to speak, and they would serve us food from their kitchen. Yes, please.

We had a complimentary glass of Sekt to begin with, extremely good service and finally a complimentary, extra dessert as well, see below. So, if you are in Bremen and you fancy a high quality meal, I can strongly recommend L’Oliva in the town centre.

When we got to Sweden the following afternoon I celebrated with my family and was lucky enough to get, among other things, a Liverpool shirt with my name and two-digit birth year on the back. I don’t know when to wear it, but maybe the team will play better if I wear it while watching them play on the telly?

A superb meal was finished off with a beautiful, home-made cake. Thanks Mrs S!

Then the great anticipation set in. Little Amanda could not wait to get her Christmas hat on first thing in the morning.

As always on a Swedish Christmas table you will find not only the big ham, but also an assortment of “sill”, herring to you, in a variety of flavours. Yummy!

Then the big moment came when Father Christmas knocked on the door, asking if there were any "good" children. He did not bother with the other two or three generations, we are just expected to behave, or does he think we are all naughty?. Anyway, he was carrying his traditional sack with some of the pressies…

… but most of them were already displayed under and around the Christmas tree, making up a true mountain.

Everybody enjoyed the long day of eating, talking, watching TV and some more eating. Towards the end we all felt a bit like this floppy Santa hat.

But the following day Amanda had plenty of time to play with her new toys.

Her only problem was to fit them all in her big case on the plane back to Stockholm a couple of days later. She did manage, because here she is in her new, snuggly coat on her way to do some more shopping in the sales with mum and dad.

Now I have to cure my bad cold, which has prevented me from posting on this blog since we got back. I do not recommend meeting up with old friends for a day’s chat when one’s vocal cords are already affected. I sound like Joe Cocker!


Eric Valentine said...

Welcome home Swen, A Happy New Year to you and your family.

I can see by the pictures and with your explanation of happenings, that you had a very enjoyable visit with lots of fun. It's good to see you back safe & sound.

Lots of chicken soup & you will be as right as rain in a jiffy my friend. Good to see you. :)

Lynda said...

What a lovely Christmas!! And many happy returns for the BIG 6-0!! I love the photo of the little moppet in her Christmas hat... how exciting. And I adore herring. Had my first one at Oktober fest many many years ago and have never looked back. My mother-in-law does a huge tub of Herring Salad each Xmas that takes 2 days to make with many hours of finely chopping etc... delicious. It has taken me 20 years, but I think I have snaffled her recipe now.
Happy New Year

swenglishexpat said...

Eric, thanks for your 'welcome back'. It feels like I have been away ages! Cold is getting better slowly, despite the lack of chicken soup! ;-)

Lynda, so you like herring. It's one of those love or hate things. I could eat it all day! But I'm afraid they were all ready-made.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I found your blog through Carol of Northwest Ladybug, and I'm so glad I did! We've had many exchange students over the years and it was lovely to see a Swedish Christmas. We're off soon to see our "daughter" in Stockholm, our "son" in Denmark and another "daughter" in NorthRheinWestfalen! So it was great fun to see all this. Happy New Year!

swenglishexpat said...

Jen, even more of a coincidence, my sister used to be an exchange student in Merrill, Michigan in the early sixties! How about that? Hope your trip to Europe was as interesting as you expected.

CanadianSwiss said...

Nice to have you back! Happy New Year to you, too!

It seems like the flu is going around right now. They're already talking about an epidemic in Switzerland that will reach its peak in about 2-3 weeks. I had it already, and I hope not to get it again! We would have made a great Cocker/Cockeress team last week ;)

swenglishexpat said...

CS, it IS nice to be back. Colds and flu seems to be everywhere. Just spoke to a friend in France, and they both had nasty colds, coughing away like mad! Let's hope for better health, more light and even better blogging! :-)