After a bit of a false start (we dropped Dadda at the bus stop, but he caught the bus with the stuga key still in his coat pocket, so we ended up chasing the bus into town!), we were going to have a walk this morning, as we had an appointment at the bank this afternoon. We decided to stay locally and investigate the woods and paths around the stuga. I did have the Swedish equivalent of an OS map, but me and maps don’t usually get on very well, so this was taking a bit of a gamble, but off we set. We went up a dirt track that goes along side the stuga, and then eventually hit the trail at the top of the hill. This is quite an extensively pathed area of forest/woodland, due to it being the main focal point for recreation in the area, known as friluftsområde. There is a down hill ski slope in the winter, but around the wooded area there are many tracks that are used for walking, running, orienteering, and in the snow, cross country skiing. It’s even lit in the winter for the dark months so it can be used a lot for cross country skiing. Today we met a lot of runners (well comparably a lot, it wasn’t over run with people as nowhere is, but everyone else we passed was out for a run!). There are lots of different types of paths too, so if you are out pushing a buggy, you can stay on the wider sturdier tracks, or if brave with your map you can disappear deeper into the woods on much smaller paths, or use a combination of the two. We spent a happy 90 minutes doing quite a big loop, keeping it simple, making sure I returned the three children home again safely. The smell of pine was so fragrant it was lovely.
Once we got back I left the children outside in the garden to play, while I made lunch, which after eating we all did a quick hour’s conventional learning, before heading out into town. Dadda and I had an exciting appointment at the bank – you did just read that right! Banks aren’t usually exciting, but here in Sweden on house exchange day, you sit in the estate agents with the vendors (us being the buyers), the estate agent rings the bank, and the money is moved over there and then by the banks. Hence we needed to pop in today to give our identification, sign the house tax papers (like stamp duty, that will also be paid on the exchange day), and make sure we were aware of what was happening (as everything is going on in Swedish around us, and buying a house is daunting enough in your own language, but everyone here is keen to help us through the experience). It was a good appointment as everything is now set to roll on Monday, and it reminded us that the house will be ours in less than 3 days. After that we popped into a bank/insurance company/estate agent combo to arrange our home insurance, and to our surprise came out equipped with a complimentary 20kg fire extinguisher! Everyone has one as houses being wood, have a faster burning capability, but no one told us this was going to happen, so we were a little surprised to go into these premises with nothing other then three children, and come out with three children and a fire extinguisher! We now have to work out where we will keep this, so twin no.1 (Mr “I will press anything that I can”), doesn’t set the thing off, and twin 2 doesn’t use as a defence again twin 1.
With Dadda needing to head back to work for another hour, I took the children off round the corner to see another beach and to have supper with a view, so we could give Dadda a lift home. They have been able to see quite a bit of the area already so I hope they are now getting a taste for the landscape and its beauty. They certainly like playing all over the gigantic rocks that are everywhere. A week on, and whilst we aren’t in our own home yet, I feel we are all settling down a bit into Swedish life. Our little lady has had her first experience of a public drop box (and outdoor loo built over a pit!) and survived this afternoon, and I am now able to chat and let the children actually talk while I am driving (although I still don’t rate the survival of the right hand wing mirror too highly!). Tomorrow sees the departure of our things from our UK home, and I only hope our really bad car parkers of neighbours play ball and keep their cars away for the day so the lorry can get outside the house. Fingers crossed it all fits in the massive lorry beast too…..and then as my cheerful little lady put it to the man in the sports shop this afternoon, “yeah it arrives on Wednesday, but that’s if the boat doesn’t sink”!!!! Along with all that happening in the background, tomorrow mini man 1 also has his first ballet class, so fingers crossed he’s as unphased about the whole language thing as his big sister. He’s only four, and it’s a big ask for him too, but he is keen to “show the lady my pointy toes”, so I’m crossing everything he manages fine. So a few biggies happening tomorrow…….