…until the family is off for a short vacation in the Champagne area of France. And lucky me….it’s the second time we’re off. Last weekend was spent in Lille :). In the meantime the last week in pictures…

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Circus one evening

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I tried to join in

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jumping up and down like a buffoon

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appearing after the vanishing act

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birthday boy encore

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surprise dessert

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girl about town in Lille

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not my best moment, having spent the weekend ill in a hotel room, but nevertheless La Table just outside Lille was a real treat

I opened my laptop as soon as the alarm started its usual wine. In fact it was half closed after falling asleep to a documentary on the Zodiac. Trawling through the news was an uneventful affair. As a swede I was yet again reminded of the fake news Trump is spreading about the so called terror attack the other day in Sweden (I make a mental note not to become too blasé with this most unfit president of all times….after all, it’s not too difficult to make comparison to the 1920’s Germany and Austria…..who thought that madman would become Reich Chancellor?).

Despite note to self, I navigate away from news and to the Guardian’s Culture section. It gives an account of the making of The Crying Game. I never saw it, but I do recall (IMHO) one of Boy George finest pieces with the same title. I believe it was part of the soundtrack. After reading the article, I realise why…it has all the ingredients for something spectacular…sex, violence, terrorism and gay love. How did I miss it?

Possibly because the film is made in 1992 and I was merely 16 at the time. So I make another mental note to watch it tonight…..and download that song from Spotify. Classics never go out of time…

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two years before Pulp Fiction. I can’t help but wondering if Quentin Tarantino drew some inspiration for his legendary movie poster

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Joely richardson vs Uma Thurman….you decide 😉

My not so little boy anymore is turning 8 today. Happy Birthday Sebastian! It’s a pleasure seeing you grow and thrive. Thank you for a memorable birthday celebration this morning xxx

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birthday wakeup!

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surprise!

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Lots of presents…

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big sis is helping out

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birthday boy is looking so smart 🙂

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birthday celebrations started already yesterday at La Cucina di Georgia 

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and a cake at the after school (small mistake…..should have been blue ;).

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….and gifts for the class mates

The weekends are increasingly looking a lot like the previous ones. Just another shade of grey so to say, or in this case white as it’s snowing profusely outside and I am not in a mood to venture out. Besides, an hour’s workout with Jeremy yesterday, feels like I’ve been in a train crash….albeit a pleasurable train crash at that ;).

So the idea is working on bits and bobs that simply didn’t get finished when I closed off yesterday. Tonight we’re having dinner with the Victoria and her beau.

“Mum, as long as it has chicken and rice.”

Quick calculation.. “I might have a pack of curry in the house”

“Deal!”

I wish negotiating dinner was always this easy.

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the other day at Landgoed Groenendal…before I started my diet and training regime in earnest

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The little man has made a habit out of making the bed before reading and watching Netflix’ a Serie of Unfortunate Events

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Fortunately there is enough space in bed all the cuddly toys has received their assigned position

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Last Bear gets the Place of Honour 

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The other week Sebastian treated his class to cordial and cookies, next week for his birthday we have goodie bags and cake on the menu

A few years back you had a gig for Barnes & Noble, setting up their content channels in Scandinavia. It saw you travelling to the Nordics on a regular basis giving opportunity to re-discover some old pearls like Fem Sma Hus and Gyllene Freden. Cafe Opera and Stureplan also saw frequent visits. You regularly get the question if you would ever consider moving back to Sweden, but as much as you love the country you am afraid you have changed too much to ever be able to assimilate. Or perhaps it’s the other way around… Sweden changed in ways you would have a hard time finding acceptance with (the example of the Moderates flirtation with the far right Sweden Democrate party is a hard one to swallow). It’s an uneasy truth.

You see, it’s always easier to adapt to a foreign situation, culture or organisation, the reason being you are the forever outsider and underdog. So you are expected to think, do and be different (unless you encounter the more and more prevalent opinions such as “take a inburgeringscursus (naturalisation course) or leave”). Invariably you shrug to such imbecile comments. Naturalisation or not, paying taxes and supporting a country’s economy ranks rather high IYHO.

But for now…you are back in the Old City of Stockholm. Memories, sweet memories…

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Sebastian had a day-off from school, so despite chilly weather and a persistent cold, we headed into Amsterdam for lunch and a visit to the zoo. Perhaps not the best time of the year to visit Artis, but it was a wonderful treat nevertheless. Especially the aquarium and the butterfly pavilion – pure colour explosions and feasts for the eye.

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A super family day out despite feeling rather fluish

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plenty of lizards

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and tropical flora

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we met this playful seal which kept showing his party tricks

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sharks and stingrays

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Sebastian looking for Nemo

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corals and fish…

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…in stunning colours (spot the purple fish!)

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monkey island with my own little monkey

It’s Saturday morning, deadly quiet with the exception of the occasional bird twitter – yes the original twitter, before the word became synonymous with a tech giant, mass communication by celebrities and terrorist groups alike…and the new POTUS. As most people with a healthy interest in the change of tides in the political landscape, I start and end the day with various reactions to travel bans, union taming and marble busts that have either been removed or re-appeared in the White House. Soon to be reminded it is #fakenews. I ponder on this new term of the year. It replaced Post-truth as the word du jour (note this is not a fact, but a subjective opinion based on personal data points), and is now used so frequently that it seems to be included in every speech by the new POTUS (for clarification, he who shall not be named). Needless to say his capricious and autocratic domination of global politics is spreading with equal speed to private tête-à-tête’s as to various dinner table conversations. No single occasion is immune.

Thus cocktails are sprinkled with this political venom, but as cocktails do, fortunately manage to lift the moods which otherwise may have turned somber. I end the evening at Restaurant Landgoed Groenendaal over a sumptuous dinner. The company, myself included, manage to stay clear of the topic, until a heated discussion ensues at the neighboring table threatening an otherwise low-key atmosphere. As the evening is drawing to a close I head home for a much needed sleep. But not before watching Hollande raising concerns on the UK-US recent dalliance. To be continued…

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Friday afternoon at the Amsterdam Art Otel

Not yet a month into the new year, yet it feels like an eternity. We are hit with new earth shattering political headlines every morning, to the extent that what is the point of brewing the coffee? It will grow cold anyways before I’ve gone through the news and the numerous opinion pieces. It’s time for a change in routine. I am still pondering on what that change will be, in contrast to the new POTUS, I don’t take decisions on a whim. Even if they only affect myself.

But this is not a political piece (I’m terribly bad at them anyways), and more to do with what’s on my mind this Sunday morning. Yesterday whilst at the gym, I decided once and for all to cut all the unhealthy eating and sugar and turn to a much stricter diet. I resolutely kicked off with great gusto, having just two boiled eggs and asparagus for dinner. It did the trick and one day into my healthy eating regime I have lost 1kg, with another 8 to go. Be prepared for going to bed hungry dear!

I have started my action lists and kanban boards. Focus is key. I went through another diary of mine from a few years back. I quickly realised I’d achieved almost half of the goals, but only last year. Curious, but perhaps not surprising. There were a few change agents that rendered this feat possible.

Change agents… for better or worse, are indeed curious things. The key is to realise them as moments in time opportune to capitalise on. So is 2017. So let’s make the best of it! Let’s indeed not waste another precious moment.

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the world is your oyster