Sunday, August 23, 2009

More friends, and a new license

Thursday was Svejk day. Soldaten Svejk has somehow turned into my inofficial office when in Stockholm. This time, Åsa, Susann and Margareta joined me, all friends form Jeruasalem. Femke came by later on as well, as did Björn, a paraglider. He seemed to enjoy joining my company of four cute girls.

In the weekend, we stayed in Krister's fantastic apartment in Gamla Stan, while he was in Göteborg. This time, we met mutual friends from around the world. We had dinner with Peter, an old University friend of Femke, and his sisters. They arranged a little tacos party in his apartment on Kungsholmen. Nice!

Saturday, we met up with Anna, another one of our dear friends from Jerusalem. We had a beer in the sun just by the water at Slussen. Unfortunately, I didn't feel well and had to go home. I tell you, it takes a lot for me to say no to a drink with two blonds on a terrace, I was really feeling very ill.
Later on, Lotta joined the girls (we have a lot of Swedish friends we got to know in Jerusalem) which I also missed :-(.

Luckily, I felt much better Sunday morning, when I went up early to go paragliding. Finally, I had the chance to take a towing licence, something I needed to be able to take the next, much more inportant paragliding licence.
Robert picked me up, and kindly borrowed me one of his gliders. We drove out to Härkeberga, outside Enköping, and what a lovely place.. A real idyllic Swedish summer landscape, with an old barn, green fields and swaying golden corn, forests and cliffs, some water passing by and even cute sheep. Lovely!
Björn and Fredrik showed me the inns and outs of tow-starting with a paraglider and then up it went, a number of times. So now I am a tow pilot as well :-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Friends, clients and the Parliament

This week, I am spending in Stockholm. I try to go here every time I am in Sweden to meet my clients and the ever-increasing group of friends that live here.

I started with staying at Micke’s place, which is always fun. We met in Cairo 1992 and since then, he has come to visit me wherever I have been living in the world.

I also had the opportunity to have lunch with Peter, my old boss at UVM, and having drinks with paraglider friends, not to mention dinner and beer with Krister, Dag and Anne. Anne was my bodyguard in Kosovo, kind of, and Krister and Dag are friends from University. The same day, I visited Maxson and his Maria in their new home. It wasn't only the home that was new, they also had a new baby, Nelly, only three weeks old. Tiny!

Then, Femke came to Stockholm for a conference, and I helped her out with photos. She works for AWEPA, facilitating the development of African Parliaments and Parliamentarians with the help of Parliamentarians from different European Parliaments, This time, they cooperated with the Swedish Parliament, and that was also the location for the conference.

After the conference, I joined Femke and her colleagues for a drink at the Ice bar, then Belgian beer at Pressklubben. A very nice evening together with four lovely women :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dutch emigrants and cute cows

The last few days I have had the pleasure of visiting my Mother in Tyringe, Sweden. While here, I also visited a Dutch family for a story. It’s the result of a funny coincidence – when Femke and me were out biking in Friesland in Northern Netherlands for another story we stopped at a farmer’s cheese shop. It turned out that it was run by the family Hogendoorn, who were surprised to hear that I am Swedish – they had just sold there Dutch farm and were moving to a new farm in Sweden within weeks.

Today, I visited the Hogendoorns at their new farm in North-eastern Skåne. After three months in Sweden, they are slowly settling in. From having 80 cows, cheese manufacturing and a cheese shop, they have now shifted gears to having 220 cows. My visit will result in a story for the Swedish magazine Allas veckotidning.

You will find the photos from my visit at the Hogendoorns here.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sailing in Bohuslän

First week of August 2009, I went sailing in the beautiful archipelago of Bohuslän on the Swedish West Coast. With me was my beloved Femke and friends Rut & Sander.

It rained the first three days, but then came sunshine and tropical heat. Unfortuantely, we had weak winds all week, but we still managed to do some sailing. And we met friends Lotta & Per and Morgan on the way.
Not to mention that we saw lots of seals, a few porpoises, a mink swimming between two islands, a rare Atlantic bird (I think it was a storm petrel) and a fish with its fin poking through the surface - I believe it to be a Sun Fish (mola mola).

You will find lots more photos here.