The Frozen North…..

Well, we’re back ‘home’ in Sweden. Some pix today of J and the animals in the garden!
Rocky’s first nose out of the house, puzzled by the snow-cover, perhaps:
Rocky’s first venture out into the snowy wastes with Charlie goading him on:
Jack snuffling through the snow:

Charlie off hunting:

J relaxing with a book on the porch:

J shovelling snow on our arrival, carving a path to the door of the house:

Been weeks since I’ve been on here but we’ve been stuck in the UK (Kent) with virtually no internet access. In addition, Charlie was freaked out by traffic noise (trains/railway at bottom of friend’s garden) and Rocky refused to go outside for six weeks! Now, however, we are back in Sweden, where the temps are mostly above freezing during the hours of daylight – and sunny and pleasant, to boot – but dip below zero overnight: last night registered minus ten. Not too bad, all in all.

J had a bombshell in January when, having resigned from her job, she was expecting her pension to come through in accordance with the written projections provided by the NHS pensions authority. This was due at the beginning of January and was based on her taking early retirement (6 months ahead of normal). Instead, towards the end of the month, with money dwindling fast and no pension payment received, she phoned them to be told that she was ineligible for early retirement due to a rule change in 2000.
As a result, we had to up sticks from Spain and return to the UK to try to sort out the mess! An incredible fiasco with nobody – employer or NHS – prepared to either apologise or accept responsibility for the incorrect advice/info provided. So, after much head-scratching, we decided to come back to Sweden. We are trying to rent out our Spanish place as a summer holiday let. So far, this looks promising and may provide much needed income to top-up our meagre resources when J finally gets her pension entitlement in July!!
I managed to get Rocky a Pet Passport in Spain, so he came with us. I don’t think he enjoyed the journey, though! We drove from Andalucia to Santander where we caught a ferry back to Portsmouth. After a night with an old friend in Sussex, we drove to another friend’s place in Kent, where we stayed for about six weeks or so.

On Thursday last, we crossed from Dover to Dunkerque by ferry followed by a long drive, spread over two days, with hotel stops overnight, through France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and, finally, Sweden. A 1500 mile drive.

The journey in poor quality pix:

A public bath in central Dunkerque:

Dunkerque Harbour/Marina, Central town:

Hotel car park, Germany:
Road bridge Germany/Ferman Bucht:


Helsingfors harbour, Denmark:

Helsingborg Harbour, Sweden:

Northern Sweden, near Sundsvall, the snow begins!:
Helsingfors Castle, Denmark:
A German Autobahn sign. What more need be said?!:
In truth, ’tis good to be back. Although some things about Sweden drive us nuts, it’s a beautiful, wild and challenging place to live. We’re hoping to catch the Aurora this week as the conditions are favourable. So, wish us luck…..

About yractual

A former lawyer and national daily journalist, now a freelance music journalist, with moves bewteen Spain, Sweden, France and who knows where next! A Scot by birth and inclination. Lover of acoustic ragtime-blues guitar and ukulele. Work with music titles across three continents.
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2 Responses to The Frozen North…..

  1. Whoa! That's some drive.Thanks for the kind offer – Raja – can't get film for that type any more. But many thanks for thinking of meAndrea

  2. gz says:

    I wondered why we hadn't heard from you for a while.You would have though that J would have been informed of any regulation changes. Having the goalposts moved is no fun- just had mine moved 18 months or just turns everything upside-down..again.Hope you re-acclimatise ok!

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