I have briefly returned to the UK, to celebrate my father's 65th birthday. I arrived in the UK on Friday at 21.45 BST, 2 hours later than scheduled. First the flight was delayed in Stockholm, then we faced further delays before finally landing at London Gatwick. We were so delayed that there was no-one at the gate in London to drive out the tunnel-link to the plane, so that we could all disembark. We had to wait while they found someone. I think my sister describes an event like this as being sent to "fail-jail".
My brother met me at the airport and drove us both back home. Dad was really surprised to see me as we had kept my trip a secret. Saturday was a nice day of chilling out at home, before we went out to dinner at a lovely oriental buffet, which had food from China, Malaysia and Thailand. Delicious, and very entertaining to see my father try to eat with chopsticks.
I brought a few tastes of Sweden home with me, but only a few as I didn't want to over do it and I'm still working out what the tastes of Sweden are! (No rude comments please.) In the end I decided on a large tube of Kalles Kaviar, two jars of ABBA Sill and an Elk Salami. No one's tried the salami yet... I think I may have to lead the way on that one. I get the feeling my family think it's a joke. Every time I explain to someone that I brought home Moose, they think I mean mousse.
Yesterday I baked a chicken and bacon pie for dinner. In the evening I went with my brother and sister to visit my aunt and uncle who live in the next village. We took a box of old photos and memoirs that my Grandma left behind when she died (about 15 years ago now I think) and went through them. My sister is taking some time to research the family tree, as a hobby rather than a lifetime commitment. It was really interesting to hear stories about people I never even knew existed, and to share memories of our childhood. We ended up staying until quite late, without noticing the time. I was so pleased to get to see my aunt and uncle (and both my cousins who were home) before going back to Sweden on Wednesday. I laughed so much as we recounted old memories and heard new stories. I laughed so hard I think I burned enough calories to earn an extra cinnamon-roll next time I have fika.
Today my brother, sister and I went out for lunch, followed by a trip to the cinema to see Toy Story 3D. For lunch I had...you guessed it: Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas. Inspired by all the memory-sharing last night, I am going to delve into the family photo case this evening and dig out some memories and photos. Tomorrow I think I am going to one of the nearby cities to do a little shopping with my brother. Wednesday is the end of my stay, and I will be returning to Sweden via London Gatwick. I have a meeting for my new job on Friday 3rd, and will officially begin teaching on Saturday 4th September. Wish me luck!