The plan for the first day here, had been to get me to the tax office in the town down the road, to register me. It would then put me on the system, so that in a few weeks it would produce a personal number for me (allowing me to gain access to things such as a bank account, medical care, and with the registering of the children, schools etc). However, being on my knees with tiredness last night, and not managing to get the children into bed until after 9pm (with such an early start too), we decided to scrap that plan! We are about 15 minutes drive from where Dadda works, staying in a Swedish stuga (cottage), but too far for him to walk to a bus stop. As we are a one car family now, we’ll be relying on the good public transport system for Dadda to get to work. So our stuga is situated in the vicinity of a bus stop, which means that I’ll then be able to use the car. So the original plan would have meant, getting the children up and dressed pronto to get Dadda down to the bus stop for work. I didn’t think I had it in me, or that the children needed that to kick off their day, after travelling the day before, so we agreed Dadda would take the car, we’d stay based at the stuga exploring the huge garden, and I’d tackle the tax office another day. Plus, having driven the car to try and get used to left hand drive, right hand side of the road, and a different car yesterday evening, I was ready for an excuse not to drive today (not sure how long the right side of a our car will last without a scrape!). So, the children managed to sleep in until 0730 and then there was no rush over getting up or eating breakfast (although we did get a bit of maths and English squeezed in for our little lady!).
Our stuga has a lovely big garden (fairly standard in Sweden!), complete with rocks, woods, and hidden secret paths. The children were so keen to explore last night, but I was so keen to get them into bed!! So, today was their chance. They’ve been climbing huge boulders, running the length of the large lawn, hunting for sticks on the woods verge, and eating apples straight from one of the many apple trees in the garden. I’m not sure why no one has climbed the trees – maybe too busy out there. One thing we noticed straight away when we drove from the airport was that Sweden’s autumn was more advanced than ours in the UK. The leaves are already a rainbow of colours, and even blowing off the trees. The fruit seems to be riper on the trees, and the temperature has definitely dropped faster than at home. I am looking forward to living somewhere where we will hopefully be able to enjoy four distinct seasons!
One of the things (amongst many) I need to learn about living here, is the system for household rubbish. We’ve already learnt through our home buying process, that the Swede’s are very on top of sorting out their rubbish. This is rather complicated coming from a country where there is very little in comparison that goes into recycling, and a lot into landfill. However, organising our rubbish collection service for our new home, we soon learnt that the more you sort, the less your’re charged for garbage collection (and significantly too, but then you are lugging a lot of it to the refuse centre yourself!). I’ve had to learn fast, starting here at the stuga, and despite the comprehensive guide, I still have an array of items to double check with Dadda on his return home from work! There is “compostable” kitchen refuse, which is ANY food waste, or flowers and potted soil etc. Then there is combustible waste, which is waste they burn (nappies, washcloths, toothbrushes, Swedish snuff (!), wooden hangers, plastic flower pots, books, cat sand, crisp bags etc). Then there is the rubbish that heads to landfill (ceramic pots, window panes, razor blades, eye glasses etc). Then the rest is all separated for recycling properly, rather than being bunged all together, so you need to find separate places to put hard plastics, metals (from aluminium foil to tin cans), electrical, paper packaging, and then newspapers and waste papers! When we move into our new home, I’m going to have to get a system going or else our whole kitchen floor space will be taken up with different types of bins!! Then there are the children to teach….that could be interesting!!!