Saturday, 7 February 2009

Pre-Christmas, Christmas, Post-Christmas

Finally... I know we have been really poor lately at updating the blog. The run up to Christmas was really busy with Jenny's parents being here, apart from it being a generally busy time of year. And then our computer broke, but now everything is working again so thought I would post some pictures.

So i guess this first post will generally be a few pics of life in oxford before Christmas and then Sweden with the family. And we will subsequently post pictures of our amazing skiing trip in Courchevel and finally some pictures of our trip to Berlin. So please, sit back and enjoy.

So here is our Christmas tree. It was pretty huge and required some trimming. We bought from a hardware store (B and Q). And there is a long and mildly interesting story about the kerfuffle involved in getting to our house. But here it is.

Also all these pictures are courtesy of the lovely new camera Jen's parents gave us for Christmas. We were convinced our old camera was broken (it now turns out it wasn't). Along with the 4 Bannons they also gave us Rock Band. Potentially one of the most fun games on the planet. Have not met anybody who doesn't like it. So here we are with our friends playing. We also got some great 80s glasses for the complete home rocker look.

Jenny also had exams etc... which she did really well on. And to celebrate she bought matching rings with her I.R. buddy dan. Who is also in the picture below (and yes, I am sporting a hobo chic beard).

Now we move on to the wastelands of the north, where the only solace from the cold weather can be found at a korv kiosk (hotdog stand). Definitely one of my favourite foods. Here is the familia waiting for their korv.

We also went for loads of walks when we were in Sweden, which was actually really lovely. Braving the cold was well worth it to enjoy the few hours of daylight we got each day. It was also really cold (-15 Celsius) and it snowed on Christmas eve making it very picturesque.

This was taken at the lake which was starting to freeze.

These next set of pics are from Christmas Eve. This is us getting ready and again trying on the 80s glasses. We went to the Church at Aliske (where Jenny and I got married) for the Christmas service. My dad is a church warden there so we had to help light candles and hand out hymnals. The girls got the easy job of lighting the chandeliers. I, however, had to risk frost bite and oncoming traffic to light the torches that would light the small road leading the church. It looked very beautiful in the end but couldn't take any pictures as I had no feeling left in my hands.

Eventually Christmas day arrived. Everyone is of course looking very smart (i don't think I changed out of my pajamas all day).

And here we are playing with our presents. Vivi and I got radio controlled helicopters (definitely in the top 5 Christmas presents of 08). Vivi also got guitar hero (in the same genre as rockband) with two guitars, hours of fun.

The temptation is now to show you all the nature shots we took. Some of them are truly fantastic, but we will save you the majority of them and show you some highlights. Better yet, why not go to Sweden in the winter and see for yourself.

Jenny was also pretty excited about skiing and here she is trying out her outfit for the first time.
We also went to stockholm and got incontrovertible proof that swedish MacDonalds are only staffed by blond girls?!?
This is us preparing for New Years. We went to this amazing fireworks shop located in the basement of house in the middle of Sunnersta. We then fired them off in the middle of our street along with our other neighbours, was a very nice atmosphere (until we accidentally fired some at our neighbours house) with everyone getting involved and there were some impressive fireworks as well.
Then one day we decided to go for an outing to a nearby lake which was frozen. We made a fire and grilled some sausages and had some hot chocolate. Then we walked across the lake. Got a bit hairy at one point when we could see the water lapping over the ice and heard cracking noises.

Then finally on the last day before we went to Courchevel we decided to go down to the lake where we have pictures of us sailing in the summer, but was now completely frozen. We went out for a walk and saw lots of skaters and these boats with skate-like runners attached to them, sailing on the ice. Apparently quite a lot of people fell through the ice that day, but we were ok. This ice was really smooth and you could almost see the water underneath it. The views, however, were fantastic.

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