My Baltic adventure ended a week ago today as I stepped off the Tallink-Silja Festival and back onto Swedish shores. But new adventures are always awaiting and it was with a spring in my step
My Baltic adventure ended a week ago today as I stepped off the Tallink-Silja Festival and back onto Swedish shores. But new adventures are always awaiting and it was with a spring in my step that I headed to what will be my new home until April.
Since my arrival in Västerås 4 months ago we have been staying at the gorgeous city apartment that belongs to Nicklas’ parents whilst they have been residing at their cute summer house by the lake (quite a common thing to do in Sweden). Normally they would come back to their apartment in October when the weather starts to get cold but this year they very kindly allowed us to stay in their apartment until we found something else to rent – not an easy feat in Sweden it turns out! I felt increasingly guilty during their visits to the apartment over the past few weeks to take more warm clothes and bedding back with them as the weather has been regularly dipping below zero. I am very happy to hand back their apartment, although I will miss the beautiful view over the city from the 14th floor, so that they are able to spend their evenings in comfort and warmth.
Our new apartment is only a short term lease whilst the owner is in Thailand for the Swedish winter but it suits us perfectly as we do not yet know what our plans are for next year. It is close to the train station -which is fantastic for my long commute – spacious, and a reasonable price. Apart from some pretty dodgy dominatrix pictures in the kitchen, of all places, it is a fantastic find. This apartment will be the 16th house that I have lived in. Remarkably most of these houses have been in the past 15 years as I lived in the same house until I was 16.
I have lived in some pretty cool houses: as a student I lived in a basement flat affectionately nicknamed the ‘Mouse Hole’; during my PGCE I lived in a 2 floor flat over a shop – it had a spiral staircase and you could climb out of the bathroom window and run across the roofs of all the shops down the High Street; my flat in Tokyo seemed to be made entirely of paper screens that could be removed to make one huge room; Abbey Road had a huge roaring log fire and the best landlady you could hope for (thanks Est); and my house in Vietnam was truly amazing – Nguyen Huu Canh had 6 floors, 4 en-suite bedrooms, a 5th bathroom in the kitchen and two rooftop terraces. One of the terraces was only used by the maids. I told you that the place was amazing!
Despite all of these houses (and many more) there are two that I think of most fondly. The one in Coventry where I spent the first 16 years of my life and which I still regularly dream about even now. The second is the beautiful red and white stone building overlooking the sea in Welsh Ogmore where my parents live, which even though I haven’t lived there for 10 years I still call my real home. I love my nomadic life and can’t see that changing but I do think there is something very special about a family home, somewhere that you can always come back to and a place that is always full of love and laughter.
One of the best things about being in your own place is entertaining friends and I’m hoping to be able to do that. The apartment has a HUGE flatscreen TV (Swedes seem to be more into the big TV set than Brits – or they just have more money) and a fabulously comfy sofa – perfect for DVDs, there is a large dining table – brilliant for dinner parties, and a spare bedroom for those who just want a bit of a holiday in Sweden. I hope that friends and family do come over to visit but remember, we’re only here until April – after that you have to get a hotel!!
See you soon?
This post is dedicated to my parents for giving me the best family home that anybody could ever hope for.