Tag: Life In Sweden

Rural Life In Sweden – Farming In The Archipelago

Rural life in Sweden is beautiful, and living here has given us different opportunities.  We have made some lovely new friends since moving here, and one of those owns the sheep farm on our little island.  Being a small island, he welcomes people into his barn, especially children, to get up close to the animals.  The children’s daycare even takes walks round there for the little ones to see the sheep!  However, the animals are not there all year round, only from late October to early May.  The rest of the year they are out grazing, and they have a very interesting way of getting to and from their grazing land, which is not an uncommon method here.  You see, rural life in Sweden involves living around the archipelago, and incorporating that into your daily living.  In this post I want to share with you the incredible beauty, effort, and uniqueness that rural life in Sweden holds for some.

It may sound harsh to be bringing the animals back to the barn to be kept indoors all winter, but with temperatures soon set to plummet it will be the most comfortable place for them.  Farms with cows do the same thing, and when the cows are released from their barn in the spring time, this has become a big event. They come out jumping like spring lambs!  Our island’s sheep are very well cared for with lots of space in their barn, they even have their own twinkling fairy lights to brighten up the long dark winter 🙂

Rural life in Sweden requires some ingenuity with your thinking and operations to run life.  Farming the sheep is no different.  We are on a small island in our archipelago, with limited grazing areas, so for 6 months of the year they live on a nearby uninhabited island, happily roaming free, and grazing away the beautiful Swedish summer.  So, twice a year there is a military-style operation planned to transport them via…..boat!  I am really lucky in that I have now been able to tag along both taking them out in the spring, and bringing them home in the late autumn.  It is such a wonderful experience.  To be out on the water, on and off the boat all day. To be able to be on an island where there is nothing but nature, sheep, calm, and tranquillity. To be in the beautiful outdoors, and to see the wonderful hard work that man, lady, and dogs put into getting these sheep moved around the archipelago.  Yes, do not underestimate the work of the beautiful collies.  They have a vast area to herd the sheep around. They need to make sure no one is left behind, and they herd the sheep around areas of trees, rocky boulders, and all the other obstacles Swedish nature throws at them!  I hope from my story in pictures below, you can appreciate the effort it takes, as well as the beauty of rural life in Sweden.  Enjoy 🙂

The morning was so calm with no wind for a change

The boat is like a flat moving animal enclosure on the sea

As we approach, three Collies start trembling in anticipation of their job to do as they spy their targets

The boat awaits for the sheep to be herded up and loaded on. It takes many trips back and forth to complete the move of the flock.

Here come the sheep……

Well done doggies and people, job done!

 

Homeward bound

I hope you have enjoyed learning about this adventure and if you enjoy the images from Sweden don’t forget to head over to our Instagram for lots more from this beautiful country.Rural Life In Sweden - Farming In The Archipelago, Farming in Sweden, Swedish farming, living in Sweden, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

Life In Sweden – 2 Years On

The 5th October marks 2 years since we arrived, joined Dadda, and started our life in Sweden…it has gone crazy fast and I can’t believe we have already been here that long.  Our little people are starting to be not so little anymore, and all three have now started school here.  I have previously reflected back at the 6 month point and I also evaluated life after being here for 1 year.  This year I thought I would do something a little different, and rather than write the whole post from my perspective, I thought I would do a little interview with all the family members and see what they had to say about our life here in Sweden.  I asked each family member (including myself) 5 questions.  Please bear in mind our double trouble are still only 6 so their outlook on life is very different (but nevertheless just as important) from us other three 🙂

1.  What do you like about life in Sweden?

Twin 2:  I like having a bigger garden, all the snow, playing on the big swing at school (play equipment in schools in the UK is rare), and having grandparents to stay with us for many days instead of a few hours.

Twin 1:  Less school, lots of snow, I can climb trees at school (this was certainly not allowed at our daughter’s school in the UK), and there are lots more types of mushrooms growing.

Little lady:  Our bigger garden, wearing her own clothes to school, more freedom and independence (she is able to go out on her own with her friends here (with all the safety measures in place, but we would never have considered this yet in the UK) campfires and fire pits, and there are lots of different food celebration days (for example chocolate ballswaffle day, and cinnamon bun day).

Dadda:  It is more peaceful and calm here (less people really help!), and people are just more generally laid back about life on the whole.

Mamma:  I am so happy with the schooling ethos, the accessibility to nature and allemansrätten, the slower pace of life, having four proper seasons in a year, being amongst such welcoming people, much less traffic, and our lovely wooden home.

2.  What Do You Find Hard About Life In Sweden?

Twin 1:  Eeeeeerrrmmmmm……..

Twin 2:  *silence while the brain ticks over with no result*

Little Lady:  Having less friends.  There are less people on the island so I have less amount of friends and it is because my class is much smaller too, so there are less people to be friends with.

Dadda:  Learning Swedish is very hard….finding the time and energy around full time work and having three children.

Mamma:  I am finding teaching myself the language very difficult.  SFI (the free language course available to attend) is not so accessible when you are chasing after three children and the first finish school at midday, and you are trying to grow a little business of your own.  Progress is happening (I just need to keep thinking we didn’t have any words when we arrived and now we can hold a simple conversation….well either that or people are very good at bluffing!).  I miss having support….support of those who really know you and your children, especially when going through the tougher times with three children or even just needing to take a break from them for an evening.  Everyday tasks can also take a lot more effort…for example booking a doctor’s appointment through the automated system is a total nightmare for me to navigate, or just simple things like understanding a letter to pay a bill.

3.  What Do You Miss About The UK?

Twin 2:  English sausages!!

Twin 1:  Pirate park (a park near where we used to live), Grandparents, my old room, and Smiggle (a very expensive but lovely children’s stationary shop….and my wallet does not miss it!!).

Little lady:  Family and friends.  She has perhaps been the most affected of all 5 of us by the move and her friendships becoming long distance.  We have been very fortunate in that people have visited us and we do a lot of FaceTime, but when she feels low it does hit her very hard. She has no one who has known her for years to vent to.  She is making some lovely friends here, and now language doesn’t hold her back, she is happier to socialise more and more with them.

Dadda:  Accessibility to alcohol (the nearest place is a 20 minute drive and it is all in special state run shops here), our old VW van (we so wanted to bring it with us, but being right hand drive it was just impractical as would have cost so much in the long run.  But it did make such a difference to daily living as a family of 5).  Family and friends.

Mamma:  As well as family and friends I really miss prawn cocktail crisps, spray polish, Marmite (which people ship out to us!), and popping to the local garage to pick up a bottle of red wine for the evening.

What Would You Change If You Could?

Twin 2:  I would get a dog….

Twin 1:  Eeerrrmmmm…..

Little lady:  I wish we could have brought our van….she is now squished in the middle of her twins car seats in the back of a Volvo….she had space in the van around her to bring the 377 things out a little girl needs with her for a quick 5 minute drive.

Dadda:  More time and energy to learn Swedish.

Mamma:  Brought our van…..I miss the ease of it to throw three children into the back, as well as everything a family of five needs for its outdoor lifestyle in the boot (not to mention being able to change children in it during very cold, snowy, or rainy weather so easily!!).  I would have also tried to start learning Swedish before arriving in an ideal world….as it was we only had 4 weeks notice Dadda was leaving the UK, and then I was left looking after 3 children and packing for an international move on my own!

Does Life In Sweden Get The Thumbs Up Or The Thumbs Down?

Twin 2:  Thumbs up

Twin 1:  Thumbs up

Little Lady:  Thumbs in the middle

Dadda:  Thumbs up

Mamma:  Thumbs up

I hope you have enjoyed seeing how we are all finding life in Sweden two years on now.  Overall we would all say we are happy and settled with life in Sweden, and of course there will always be things we miss about the UK, but all 5 of us unanimously think of Sweden as our home.  When we travel back to the UK to see family and friends we don’t say we are going home, that is when we return back to Sweden.  Of course it isn’t or hasn’t all been plain sailing.  We have all had our emotional ups and downs, and sometimes a very good hard cry (I’m not sure Dadda has participated in one of those yet, but there is still time!), and especially for our little lady expat grief is something that crops up when she is having low moments.  If you fancy life in Sweden, want to move abroad, or have moved abroad, and have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me either through the comments or my email, or if you can offer any advice to us too!!  Follow us on Instagram to see more photos of life in Sweden and living the outdoors lifestyle here with three children in tow.

Life In Sweden 2 Years on, living in Sweden, Sweden, Living abroad, expat, expat living, Scandinavia, moving abroad, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

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