Sunday, January 26, 2020

Lundsätter 2020

This is how I left Lundsätter a couple of days after new year when we flew back to Düsseldorf. I like to leave it as tidy as I can and I put the chairs on top of the tables because my dad is very nice and letting his robot vacuum to work in our part a few times before we come back. This time I also removed curtains upstairs because one big project this year is to change our big beautiful windows to other more modern windows which will be easier to open and also energy classed. The one we have now is very old, the frame is falling apart and last summer it is a small crack in the glass. What I realized when removing the curtains is that I the room feels so different naked and gives a great open feeling. With the new windows I can leave it like this because I have ordered built in blinds. Blinds or curtains are necessary because it gets very warm in the summer when the sun is strong but also with Swedish light summer nights it is hard to sleep without.
Hopefully we will have the new windows installed before we come for Easter.
Other than the windows we have just installed a heat pump at my dad's side and no other big plans this year. Although painting the big roof covering one patio needs to be done and will be a pretty hard job. Question is if I should paint it white or same red as the house - that decision I will do this summer. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Christmas markets around Düsseldorf

Before leaving Christmas behind and focusing on this year I have to write this post about all the Christmas markets in and around Düsseldorf that I visited this year. Apart from that the weather more felt like March in December the Christmas spirit came early thanks to all the traditional German Christmas markets. The Christmas markets were set up well in time for first of Advent and was opened everyday up until Christmas. Festive lights, decorations, cosy wooden stalls with all sorts of things were sold. Handmade German ornaments and decorations ( a lot of made in China ornaments too) local specialities such as traditionally decorated gingerbread cookies. The classic hot beverage Glühwein was served in many stals and often served in a special designed mug. Bratwurst, crepes and other on the go food sold everywhere. In most markets you can also find a stage where Christmas songs were performed and where St Nicholas came to greet the children etc. In Düsseldorf they also had an ice-skating rink set-up in the main square by Köningsallee infront of Galeria Kaufhof. And with the view over Rhein in Altstadt close to the Schlossturn a big Ferris wheel was set up. 

Me and Mila headed out on the first weekend and walked Nordstrasse which had mainly Glühwein, roasted almonds and bratwurst stands. We tried skewer with strawberries dipped in milk chocolate, oh yes very yummy. We continued walking through Hofgarten to down-town Düsseldorf and got a glimps of all the stands there. Düsseldorf down-town has Christmas markets spread out a bit from Köningsallee and Kö-Bogen and a lot of stalls on the walking street Flinger Strasse in Altstadt down to Rathaus and Burghaus.

My uncle Christer came down to Germnay to see us the second week of December and we had a chance both to check the market down-town on a Thursday when it was very few people but also on a super busy Saturday. We even went on the big wheel which has a great view over Rhein and Altstadt.

Also to visit the market in the evening gives a lot of festive spirit with all the lights and drink a few hot Glühweins.

I have also visited:
Kaiserwerth ( our local centrum 10 min from home) has a very cute little Christmas market
Ratingen ( Neighbor town to Düsseldorf and only 10 minutes away from where we live)

All in all I have never had the chance nor the interest to visit so many Christmas markets ever before, but while living in Germany I can't avoid them during December so I am instead embracing them..

Düsseldorf the big Christmas tree outside the Rathaus

one of many Glühwein stand at Altstadt 

Roasted almonds and decorated Christmas cookies 

A rainy Tuesday I had a mug of Glühwein In Altstadt with Rose-Marie and Nadia and rest of the new German class 

Uncle Christer came and checked out the Christmas market in Düsseldorf 
The wheel

Me, Mila and Christer went in the wheel on beautiful sunny December Saturday 

A rainy day me, Filip and Rose-Marie checked out the market in Ratingen (a city right next to Düsseldorf) 

Traditional Nutcracker figure in a large format in Ratingen

Friday, January 10, 2020

Happy New year 2020

A new year is here. The year 2020 is here. A new exciting year that I am hoping will be filled with fun and happiness. This will be my 10th year I am writing my blog on and off and it is a great place to keep memories, stories and experiences. It is fun now to have 10 years worth of memories in texts, illustrations and photos in one place. This year I have the ambition to write more frequent because my writing process flows better and it is much more fun if I do it more often and also because it is such blessing to experience living in an other country and country and I want to keep my thoughts and experiences and share them. Lets aim to do an update once per week and see how that goes. 

What hopes and expectations I have for 2020 
- That my family and friends are blessed to stay healthy and happy
- To explore more places in the area around Düsseldorf - we have many cool places both in Germany but also in France, Holland and Belgium to check out which is only a few hours away in the car
- To stop thinking so much about things which I can't change, not to think everything is my fault, not to care too much what other people think and to leave things behind and not go over it over and over
- To read all the great books which I have bought in order to be allowed to by more books
- Just do things which I feel like doing instead of think so much why I am doing it or what is the point of doing it (hahhaaa god I am complicated...)
- Enjoy my time and all my experiences and not all the time feel guilty that I should do more and that I need to have a 9-17 job to be a full good person. Even though I have earned more this year on my new hobby of trading stocks then what I would have made if I was working full time as a teacher, I am still picking on myself for not working.. Instead this year I need to fully enjoy that I have the luxury at the moment to learn a new language ( god damn it soon I will be on a semi fluent level!!) live in a new country, have a lot of time with my family without feeling stressed, spend every school-break doing fun things with the kids, collect international experiences through this expat life, keep drawing and writing so that maybe I can hold that book I am dreaming of making in my hand one day, enjoy the city, nature and museum while other people work and I can drink a pilsner or a glas of wine for lunch with a great friend if I want to.
- I am so happy that I have managed to find a horse in a great stable close to where we live to help with and also I am hoping to find a pony that Mila can help with at the same stable as it really gives us a lot of good energy.
- Me and Loren to do something by ourselves more often then once or twice per year. So I guess this means that I need to find a great german speaking young babysitter who also can help Mila with reading German
- To at least take 10 000 steps per day
- To keep up with biking more then I use the car

Well there it is my humble wishes for 2020 

Happy New Year picture from Team Nikolovski! We celebrated at Lundsätter with my dad, Tang, Uncle Christer, my brother Pontus and his sin Charlie. Great mix of food on my dad's side. 

We celebrated the new year with sparkler, Champagne and watching the stars which so strong and clear can be seen out here in the forest a few hours before 12.  We also got Loren to burn his socks in the fire, why because they were broken and also just to do something out of the box
During the last day of the year me and Mila went to the stable and had a nice hack in the sun with friends 

And Filip got to hang out with his cousin Charlie and uncle Pontus

We also made a fire during the afternoon up in the forrest and grilled marshmallows. Uncle Christer drove us in the trailer behind his quadbike and organized the fire 

Being in the nature is the shit !