Sunday, 30 December 2007

Board games

Christmas is the time for board games; imagine the happy family sitting around the table playing games and having a jolly time. Almost too sweet, so offset it with a some glasses of G&T to take away the worst sweetness.

We have a new board game in the family, called Retro. Its similar to Trivial Pursuit but the categories are decades: 1950s to 1990s. It also asks you to draw up lists of a common topic and you get points if you list the same answer - so you need to guess what your parents think is the most boring kids TV program ever, or the world's most famous nose (where I said Barry Manilow and my parents Olof Palme, I should know better but there you go.)

Good, wholesome fun for the whole family, excluding anyone born in 00's - which is good. Lets exclude them and give them something to aim for; when they have read up enough on the history of the last 50 years they can join in and we can laugh at their lack of knowledge of e.g shoulder pads.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Lady of Leisure

So far this week I have been visiting my sister and her family, being fed and entertained out in the sticks where they live. Today I am meeting Eva at a cafe in town, for some gossiping and information sharing activities. After that I am meeting J to do some shopping with and then out for dinner with J and K.

Tomorrow I am heading out to suburbia to see A and A after which I have no further plans but am sure something will come up.

It is a hard life but someone has to do it.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Family fun

EL and I invented a new game last night. Go to a nice bar, order whatever cocktails you fancy and then try and work out how to make it at home.

We are going to spend Christmas trying to replicate their Hot Mint Toddy and the Ginger and Rum tea. Should be fun.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Michael Caine

JD and I both woke up at 6 today, not because we had to but because we are both heading off today. So of course we had lots of to do's in our head that we needed to deal with rather than sleeping that extra hour.

Not that we got up, instead we spent an hour lying in bed chatting. Which was very nice until we got onto the topic of Michael Caine, who was a guest at Parkinson the other night. He said he has done more than 100 films in his life, 39 since he retired. So the quiz for the day is - name 10 films with Michael Caine - no cheating looking it up on the internet.

We got to 8, then had to run downstairs, go on the internet and spent 15 minutes saying "oh that one, of course!"

Try it, fun fun fun for the whole family.

Sunday, 16 December 2007


Woke JD with breakfast in bed, beef sausages with scrambled eggs, coffee and pomegranet juice. Needed him up and atom so he could help me rip out the kitchen. It is now done. Reccon DIY is best done on a hangover.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Something crept into my mouth and died there

Last night we had our Christmas party, at Metropole, the Southern FM disco. It started bad and got worse before we all got drunk enough not to notice and started having fun.

The venue was a massive room filled with round table, most of them with wine bottles on but not ours, our beloved employer had decided the food and venue was enough of a treat for us so vino we had to buy ourselves. This would ahve been ok if 1) the plonk they sold for £15 a bottle hadnt been from Tescos bargain bucket section and 2) if the serving staff had been at least somewhat competet. As it was I ordered the first two bottles, waiting 10 min at the bar for the 8 staff to deal with the 6 customers. Later Mikey went up and ordered more, tried using his card (they had a machine) only to discover the slightly less than clever staff hadn't plugged it in, so they ran off with his card somewhere else. He did get it back.

The starter took about 45 minute to come out, in drips and drabs, the main took about the same and it became obvious there was no plan or structure to the service, two out of 10 on our table got food quite promptly but the remaining 8 were left waiting for an extra 15 minutes. Maybe a ploy to make sure someone on each table had food so we all kept the hope up?

Food was not good, but luckily by now our tastebuds had been killed off by the cheap plonk.

Finally dancing started and we boogied til 1 when we got kicked out.

Oh and there was a photographer there who took group photos you could then buy for £10 (with part of the fee going to charity, I reccon about 5p). This was quite amusing when you saw the girls in too short skirts and too high heels posing and poting. Especially the girl who decided to kick her leg up showing us all her nice underwear and everything else a g string doesnt cover.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Christmas wish list

What do you want for Christmas? Malin asked me to make a list, cause she had been asked in turn. I think you should write one too.

I want:
  • a builder offer that is reasonable for the kitchen, scheduled for Jan and given to me by end tomorrow
  • an urge to do sport, so I will start running, selecting active holiday and search for new hobbies involving excertion
  • Glogg, spritglogg ideally, Blossa obviously
  • that JD gets a weeks extension in Bas Vegas so he doesnt come home moping for a week
  • that JD gets a job in Sweden next year
  • that I get a job in NY next year
  • a cure for Alzheimer so T Pratchett can keep writing for many more years to come

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Apologies for shaky photo, just got too excited.

Met Harry Potter in the reception of work, he was doing baloon art for kids, I of course kicked them all away to get to him and have a photo taken.


As I am more or less done with my Christmas shopping I was much cheered when I realised I had to go out and get 'thank you' gifts for some of my collegues. Popping into Waitrose I had initially planned to go for wine and chocolate but the present section caught my eye so I bought one of each more or less. My favourite was the hexagonal box with Christmas teas, with the "12 Nights of Christmas" printed across the tea bags.

Shopping and wrapping presents on company time with company encouragement is a good thing.

Monday, 10 December 2007


Tonight we are off on our first Christmas party with work, its a nicer one than the next one because its only for our little project group. We are going to cook food together and then eat it (together of course). It sounds terribly communal and communist, but I suspect it will be more a competition in capitalist spirit than anything nice and soft-clothed 70's styled.

As we are in London we are staying in a hotel overnight, which is nice because you dont have to get on the train tonight. But it does mean that tomorrow morning we are all going to have to leave for work extra early to take into account the longer journey. But we found out when checking in that breakfast included, so stomach permitting there will be a fry up for brekkie at 7 before taking the train back to suburbia.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

A la M Uggla

I am feeling sick now. Shouldnt have had those last 4 profiteroles.

I love our cleaner

Came back from shopping with Barb. The house is clean and there is a two page letter from the cleaner, interesting reading. Promise to save it for EL to read.

Then I walked into the kitchen and found a Christmas card aaaand Chocolate covered orange profiteroles. I have been staring, while drooling, at and advert for these each day for two weeks. They are just as nice as I thought they would be. I have had 4 so far. I want more. Will just have a couple more...

I love the cleaner.

Unlimited Smugness

  • I am almost done with the Christmas shopping, just getting some last things tonight.
  • I have sent all the Christmas cards.
  • I have decorated the house.
  • I have test packed all the presents I am bringing home
  • I have got the outfit for the Christmas party

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Conference calls

I seem to spend my time on endless conference calls. Its ok if I am leading them or am required to take an active part. When I say 'ok' I mean that I normally am able to muddle my way through when I loose concentration and then get a question to answer. The secrecy button is always good to blame.

My main issue is when I sit on calls and I have little or nothing to add. I should be listening but somehow fade away either into daydreaming or start working on somehting else. But mainly I start reading blogs, search for friends names on Google to see what I find, plan holidays, find interesting food to cook or at least drool over, follow links randomly through the internet jungle, read BBC news stories etc etc etc

I wish we had a less reliable phone network so I could blame the line.

In school I used sit with a book in my lap secrently reading while the class went on around me. What I am doing now is just the grown up version of that. Less chance to get caught as on a conference call at least noone can see me. Dont like video conferencing, I like Hedwig have too much to hide.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007


I keep receiving stuff that I have ordered for Christmas and JD keeps asking what it is and is it for him. So far I have said all are for him, but when I opened the large box I assumed was for him it turned out to be something I ordered for Karin and Tora. Oops, so the box I thought I had ordered for JD has not turned up, probably because I had a hissy fit at Amazon when they told me it would be delivered after 25th December (N.B. I ordered it on the 18th of November). Next to my bed is a growing pile of Christmas presents to be wrapped and most packed to come with me to Sweden. Oh I love Christmas.

The best bit is getting presents and wrapping them and then putting them under the tree.

The second best bit is getting the Christmas decoration box out on the 1st of December and my pretty Lisa Larson blue pig Advent Candle holder.

The third best bit is the lovely smell of hyacinths (three blue ones on the mantle piece right now, best to start early).

And through it all I am allowed to drink unlimited amounts of glogg. Mmm...

Monday, 26 November 2007

Its all Johan's fault. I have been spending most of my time lately humming a little song some students from Uppsala wrote and recorded a while ago. Its about space, how nice it would be to live in space. It is silly in Swedish and doesnt improve when I try and translate to my collegues what I am sitting in front of the computer singing.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Division of Labour

At one point yesterday JD was outside using the axe to cut the logs into smaller chunks for the fire. I was at the same time sitting in my chair in front of the fire knitting.

Felt like I had just slipped into the world of 'Little Women', but with comfortable clothes and without all the sisters.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007


The cleaner has finally cleaned the tap.

Jenny pointed out that we must spend so much time writing notes and worrying about reactions to notes that in that time we could have just cleaned the bloody tap ourselves.

Good point.

I just need to get to it before JD spots he has a wee bee in his bonnet about that tap.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Pose of tranquility

Yoga postures, who gave them names? Some are seriously misleading and most are just weird.

Take for example:

Sunbathing Spider: lie on your back with arms and legs stretched up in the air and flex/stretch hands and feet. I can count 4 limbs, I thought spiders had 8?

Pose of Tranquility: Lie flat on your back, 'throw' your feet over your head (so you have your legs above your face and the feet behind it) and balance on your shoulders. Once you have found balance move your arms above your head and grip you ankles. Keep balancing til you suffocate. I guess that is one way to reach tranquility.

Saturday, 17 November 2007


Lego tower completed. We have decided that for now it will live next to my chair. I hope that JD will pack it down after Christmas. But not holding my breath.

We had a community day at work yesterday, scrub bashing on the downs. We were sawing and cutting down shrubs to ensure the delicate wildlife will come back next year. Then we burned it making sure that anything living under the fire or in close vincinity will not be coming back for a couple of years. I did less cutting and more dragging and burning. I am aching all over today and have had to wash all the clothes, gloves, hat, scarves I brought to get rid of the smoke 'perfume'.

Re: cleaner. JD has decided enough is enough and the bathroom tap needs doing better. So he has made a drawing of it and with arrows and instructions making sure there is no doubt as to what it is we want her to do. Wonder if we will find our home burnt down when we arrive back Tue night...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


JD went into town especially the other day to go to the Lego store. He bought an Eiffel tower model that is 1.3 M high when completed. I have been invited to help out building it but declined gracefully.

Oh how I am looking forward to the 'discussion' of how long it has to stay up and where before we can dismantle it and put the box in the loft... Its currently living on the guest bed so the cleaner didnt crash it by mistake (or purpose, seeing as she aint too happy with me after last weeks note...).

Friday, 9 November 2007


JD decided last minute to go to Belfast so suddenly I find myself all alone...

So to make the most of it I am off out with Tracey tonight, Wood on the Nose for some lovely food and plenty of wine. And tomorrow I am seeing Barb in town, we have 2.5 hours between C's feeds to get some shopping done, then via Carlccios back for lunch.

Saturday evening I am reserving for Strictly Come Dancing. And of course dinner, grilled salmon with celeriac mash.

Its a tough life.

Oh and the cleaner did a great job on Tue after my slightly more blunt note. AAAnd the reply to me was not the standard two pages but just 'I have done what you asked, ok.' Yup, ok with me.

Thursday, 1 November 2007


Justin is convinced our cleaner is a psycho. She keeps leaving letters where she tells me about her life, what she is doing on the weekend, that she hasnt had a holiday for ages but wants one and other bits of info from her life. I am not sure, I think she might just be sociable but stuck in a job where you dont get to meet a lot of other people.

JD doesnt care, he is just concered she doesnt clean the tap in the bathroom and seems for some reason to clean the whole living room floor except under my chair and the sofa. So I shall write a letter on Monday trying to be clear (again) on what is basic cleaning requirements, while being nice and polite (in case she is a psycho) but try and not encourage the long letters about her personal life.

I tried writing instructions on post its to discourage the notes, but she wrote back to me on about 15 post its instead....


My approach to work is sometimes a bit like a bottle of Heinz. I sit on tasks so that in the end I have to rush to get it all done before everyone starts screaming at me. I can hear them warming up their voice cords right now...

All this year I have supposedly worked on two projects in parallel, in truth one has been resting peacefully since March and I had for some reason imagined that would be OK. But of course not. We are now heading towards end of year with speed and people have started asking uncomfortable questions and I am panicking. Time to start working.

Its all my own fault but I am still resentful noone shouted earlier so I would have had at least a chance of succeeding in getting something half way decent delivered. My boss is too nice, he leaves me to get on with things, which is great, but right now I wish he had chased me a bit more a few months ago.

I want mum to call in sick for me so I can just hide in bed reading for the rest of November. But knowing my mum she would just huff and tell me to get on with it.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Nigel Slater is my hero

Back to gymming in the mornings. To make the gymming more bearable I have downloaded some books from Audible so I am jogging along on the treadmill listening to Nigel Slater talking mouthwateringly about English food.

There is so much out there I have yet to try. This morning he was listing cakes from all the different areas of Britain. I want some. Luckily it seems Sussex doesnt have its own cake so I am free from temptation down here. Just need to make sure I dont go to Dorset or Derby anytime soon...

Monday, 29 October 2007

Taj and Eiffel tower

Back in the UK after a week and a half away, first in India one week and then a weekend in Paris. Food good in both places but drinks better in Paris. And fois gras.

I am now on diet after eating everything in sight for the last 10 days, I felt it was only right so as I didnt miss out on anything.

As far as I know Jenny and Kalle are still stuck in Paris due to a strike (Air France). Not the worst place in the world to be stuck but you have to wonder how French businesses manage to stay alive.

Photos on Flickr.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Sunday evening

Weekend summarised:

well hung steak with chanterelle sauce and gigondas vino
lie in and eggs benedict
puff pastry dinner and strictly come dancing
lazy sunday in sofa and afternoon tea with finger sarnies, scones, banoffee cake and tea
roastbeef with braised red cabbage (too full from afternoon tea to have it with spuds)
strictly results and early to bed


I obviously worked too hard this week as I not only missed to read the updates that finally got posted on J and EL's blogs... But also I spent only 20 min online in total over the evenings and with my normal work ration low (again work is to blame) I have ended up thinking maybe I missed something. But suspect not.

Update on cleaner - week 2 better so we are going to continue with her. After spending some quality time at B's this week (Thank you for wonderful food and company, and for letting me take care of C who is a darling!) I realize that two grownups who spend the majority of the time at work / travelling/ socialising do not really make that much of a mess so for us to have a cleaner is almost silly, but its worth it. For a family of 4 of which two are small children who love throwing food on floor, washing hands in loo, throwing up a little milk after each feed I would say a cleaner would be a god send.

Monday, 8 October 2007


Tomorrow the cleaner is coming round. Not sure what she will do as since last weeks visit we have kept the house as tidy or even improved somewhat on the state (thank you father for cleaning kitchen before leaving today and for spending all of Sunday cleaning the back garden. and thank you mother for the weeding work, especially getting inbetween glass house and fence to get the weeds out).

So I have written a note with what I want her to do, and if she does as I ask we will keep her. If not she is out. What is on the list?
  • Wipe wooden floors, including under beds and sofa

  • Clean shower - base, walls, glass and tap
  • Vacuum and wet wipe conservatory (not on note - because we had MASSIVE crabs for dinner and the floor is covered in bits of meat and shell...)

  • Clean bathroom window from inside

If she is out I reccon we should just get my parents to come back and clean for us on a weekly basis.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Brrrrmmm, brrrrrrrrrmmmm

Jaguar E-type, Porsche 911, AC Cobra

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


In theory I like autumn. I like not having to be outside because its sunny and feel like lying in bed half the day is sinful. I also like that its the season for red wine and stews. And I quite like getting back into proper clothes and shoes after a summer of sandals and linen.

But I have now for three weeks felt like I am sleep walking, ok I did have a cold last week and I have had too many american guests in the office. But I still dont think that explains my complete lack of motivation, general feeling of tiredness and exceedingly whingey mood.

Luckily I am only working for four days this week as my parents are here. And I have managed to get through three already, just one to go. So the question is how little can I do without it seeming obvious that I am a workshy skiver?

Friday, 28 September 2007

House mouse

Its back. Sat in the sofa yesterday and saw it running across the floor, under the dining table and disappear under out chest of clothes to iron. The little bastard.

We thought he had moved out, on to more lucrative houses where people live who actually have some food at home. Last time JD spotted him he tried to catch him with a bowl, it did not succeed obviously.

Time for action, its serious now. While he is incredibly cute I do not want a mouse in my house. Or as my mom pointed out, as they breed quickly, an invasion of mice... So I googled for a solution and it turns out the council provides a pest control anti mice attack for £47.50. Well worth it I think as we have been trying a number of different things for the last months to get rid of Mr Mouse.

We started with a humane trap, baited it with ham and then chocolate - did not work.

We then tried the electric plug thing that is supposed to scare the mice away with the noice - this did not work at all, the mouse didnt seem affected at all but strolled around happily on the bench next to it while it was on.

We then moved onto poison, got 4 boxes from Rentokil which were said to guarantee a mouse free home in 30 days or so. Well that obviously didnt work either.

So now we are going to contact the professional hit men to ask them to take over. Life is tough.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Work harder

Its Monday again, I feel like I say that a lot.

Am in London today, which means I sit in an open plan office in another building than normal and had to stand on the train for 45 min to get here. I am unlikely to see anything of the town apart from Victoria Station and the highlight of the day I am guessing to be that I had to buy a brolly at the station due to heavy down pour. It is a nice brolly, extra light. I know why its extra light as they seem to have made the diameter about 10 cm less than a normal brolly, which leads to a reduced effectiveness. But it is light.

I want a proper brolly, one of those in see through plastic that domes over you so you get properly covered from the rain. And being Monday and my working moral at its all time low I found a site to buy one from:

They also do matching childrens ones, for you fashion conscious parents out there.

Maybe I should also get a dog, as the dog umbrella is just smashing.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Distracting maneuver

I have spent the day with Barb and the wee ones. It was lovely and both children behaved impeccably - especially as we dragged them around Lewes to find a place to have lunch (all the Guardian readers in the South had congregated at Bill's Produce and Real Eating company) and then for some shopping at Steamers (great shop if you are 1 1/2 and lightning fast when grabbing stuff that easily break) and a lovely antique shop (Barb is haggling queen, I get embarrassed and have to leave).

The only point that Cam felt his mum was really pushing the limit was when she disappeared off to the butcher and left him with me (not at all a fun lady if you ask him) and his sister (asleep). I am not very good at managing two kids (well I didn't want to leave Lottie in case someone stole her) so I racked my brains about what to say to take his mind of the fact that his mum seemed to have stranded him with two less than interesting women. Thank the lord we are so close to Gatwick because lo and behold an airplane appeared! The boy was enthralled; he spent the next 5 minutes head bent back, eyes to the sky, admiring the plane making its way so many miles above. And then mum came back with the chicken.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Oh you horrible man!

I am planning to stop using my favorite words (thingy, bits, stuff, eeh, more stuff) and instead learn some new phrases from 1920s -1950s like 'Oh you horrible man!'. But first I need to find some.

Monday, 17 September 2007


Ah, its Monday again. Feels like at least 2-3 days out of the week is a Monday.

P was here this weekend and we took him horse racing at Goodwood. How do you pick the horse to put money on? I go by colour of shirt. And I won £22. So net spend for the day: £15. Not bad.

Sunday started well with watching the Solheim cup and the European team looking to be in an OK position. Left to play golf and it all went downhill from there. US won the cup, weather turned really windy and I ended up in a bunker I couldnt get out of.

I was slightly damp before this and after my attempts also covered in fine sand. Time to give up. After three attempts at hacking it out (1st attempt - ball flies 3 m behind me, 2nd attempt - back to original spot) I threw the ball out and then gave up completely and went to the bar with Justin. P and JD soldering on in the not so nice weather. But they probably grew up thinking that is what a good day looks like.

Friday, 14 September 2007


As I have been a good girl all week eating well and exercising I am very much looking forward to going to Pintxos People tonight, I love their Fois Gras and the tuna and the hanger steak and the monk fish and the peppers and the octopus with chorizo and the cocktails and the cute serving staff.
I also deserve it after a week of hard work which I just finished off by sending an invite to a meeting next week to about 100 people by mistake - so I then had to send an apology to all to say it was a mistake and please ignore, but in the few minutes in between got enough emails asking me what on earth I was doing to make me very embarrassed.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Pain is good

I was invited to Barb's for home made brownies yesterday but didnt make it, it was the first yoga night of the autumn so I was in Shoreham Free Church hall stretching. I am now in pain as I did both pump and yoga yesterday. I cannot walk down stairs, I cannot walk but sort of waddle, I cannot sit down at loo but have to throw myself backwards as I cant bend my legs (thigh muscles being sad after being abused by all the lunges).

Pain is good, means I have done something, right? I just hope its better tomorrow as I do look a bit like I have pooped my pants when walking.

Dinner tonight was a delightful chili con carne, cheaters version, with a can of baked beans mexican style. Followed by fresh figs, grilled with a bit of honey and cinnamon, served with Total 0%. Not bad. But I think they are nicer when filled with blue cheese and grilled, so will do that with the remaining tomorrow. (I got carried away with the reduced price and bought 8, but at least we will be regular for the coming few days, especially as plums were on sale as well.)

Monday, 10 September 2007

Lamb sausage

I found an interesting spicy lamb sausage at Waitrose today. I bought it, cost me £0.15. One sausage please I said to the lady in the delicatessen and she didnt even hesitate, lots of little old people shop at Waitrose.

My dinner plans before I found the sausage was to do something with brown rice and veg. After lamb sausage it became a sausage tagine.

That sounds real fancy, it was just brown rice cooked with beef stock (no lamb stock in cupboard), chickpeas and cinnamon bark. Added (chopped) courgettes, onion and a centimeter of chili after 20 minutes and cooked for another 15. Just before serving stirred in some chopped parsley and dried apricots. V nice but I wish I had bough two sausages.

Sunday, 9 September 2007


My toenails are red, dark red like a mix of blood and coffee. Looking great and well worth the £28 it cost me to have them done.

We decided to take a short break not too far away this weekend, so we went to Wickwoods. It was very civilized and lovely and quiet out there. Today there was a tennis tournament on there, we didnt take part but instead had a massage and pedicure.

The clientele was quite grown up, mainly couples, all between 40-70. All very nice and smug looking, I guess not only cause they were excersising but also cause they are members of a club and know the receptionist by name. One day that will be us and our friends. Apart from the fact that I cant play tennis. I guess I can learn.

It seems like most of the ladies using the beauty salon are housewifes as the beautician asked me what JD works with, rather than what I do. I would probably not be a good housewife as I am too prone to get stuck in front of the TV eating, and even if I had a country club membership I would never turn up as it would mean having to leave the sofa.

JD is building a 3D puzzel of the earth. He is learning geography as he goes along. I reccon if we joined a puzzel club the clientel would be smug differently to country club member smugness.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Long week

This week is taking forever. Only Thursday lunchtime and it feels like I have been in the office for about 8 days straight. I need a break but am wearing high heels so can only totter a few meters before feet hurts, so can I be bothered going out at lunch? But do fancy some Kettle crisps.

Saturday, 1 September 2007


My friend Barb mentioned that her grandmother (Hungarian) had suggested she starts using a Otthonka (=housecoat) to avoid the nasty stains on clothes that her two kids decide to accessorise her tops and trousers with. I think its a great idea and want one. So here are two photos, the left one is of a housecoat, English style, and the right one of a Hungarian otthonka. In Swedish its called 'staedrock'. But I havent seen one for sale since I was a kid and helped out in our neighbour Anita's shop where she sold bits and bobs, including housecoats.

I think Barb should get her granny to get us all housecoats and we use them and then maybe they will come back in fashion? I dont need kids to dirty my clothes, I am very competent at doing that myself just by cooking, eating, drinking.

Make it so

We went to Chichester yesterday and saw Twelfth Night with Patrick Stewart as Malvolio. I must have seen that play about 10 times, but this was a good version.

JD sat through the whole play waiting for PS to say his catch phrase but no luck.

Today we are cleaning the house and its moving forward at an ok speed. JD has cleaned the fridge and tumble dryer, I the bedrooms. We have left to tackle:

1) living room - where we have in the interim stored all those bits and bobs we couldnt find a home for in the other rooms, so this will be fun...

2) wiping floors in bedrooms and bathroom and kitchen

But at the end of it all we are celebrating having a clean house with nice dinner, and cheeeeeese with my home made chutney. Oh and some of the bottles of wine we seem to be storing in almost every room of the house. Need to have more wine drinking guests...

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Inappropriate behaviour

At work it was decided we should put together a 'Facebook' page each, to get to know each other better. The word is in ' ' s as the company wont allow us to use the site. We were sent a template to fill out with vital data such as:
Favourite book
Favourite band
Favourite quote
Hobbies/ interests
Special skills

So I added a nice photo (see above) and added some data

Hobbies: golf, reading, meeting friends for a drink

Special skills: Fluent in Swedish, know enough Russian and French to order a drink

Now I have just been told to change the page as its 'inappropriate' - photo shows a drink and I mention the word twice.

My new favourite book is Dry by Augusten Burroughs

My new favourite quite is:
"The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants them to do, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. "
Theodore Roosevelt
My new pet peeve is time wasting.

All are true, but I preferred my old page.

Monday, 27 August 2007


The weekend was great. We saw the worlds largest 'kick' (= spark in Swedish), we ate whale, we visited an Indian poets grave on a mountain top, we had a fish bbq at 800 meters over sea level in the evening sunshine and we had a great visit to Lilleputthammer, which Sofie and Johanna thought was a real village. Unfortunately not, they charge 125NOK to see the smaller scale version of Lillehammer so we checked out the real thing instead.

Favourite memory? Gunnhild leaving her car over night in Oslo with the window down, still locked when we found it this morning and nothing missig. Only honest theives in that town.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

4 year anniversary

Year 1: Bergen - Eva, Eva H, Gunnhild, Johanna, Sofie, Tracey. Best memory - raining in Flom

Year 2: Borrby - Eva, Eva H, Gunnhild, Johanna, Tracey, Sofie. Best memory - cray fish hen night party

Year 3: Cirencester - Eva, Eva J, Gunnhild, Johanna, Sofie. Best memory - getting lost in maze at Blenheim palace

Year 4: Norway (Gunnhild's cabin in mountains) - Eva, Gunnhild, Johanna, Sofie. Best memory: TBD

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Rhubarb, rhubab, rhubarb

Rhubarb must be a weed. Back from 3 weeks away from home and it had taken over the border completely. Almost too scary to be picked. But I am brave and without the giant leaves (in compost) the stalks weighed in at 2.6kg. Enough for a large batch of chutney (currently on stove) and a trifle (to be prepared shortly).
So far this year I have made the following with rhubarb:

duck filling

Am starting to grow a bit bored with it. Am hoping this was the last crop.

Its tomato season so the fruit on the 16 plants (all self seeded from last years crop) are starting to ripen. I wonder how many different tomato food items I will end up cooking...

Saturday, 18 August 2007


I have added the photos from Sweden to Flickr so go an admire.

Back from Delhi.
Overslept this morning, was only woken up at 9.55 (car picking us up at 10.30) when Steve called my room to check if I had gone down to check out yet. Oops. Bit of a panic but luckily I had packed most things on Thursday and also Heidi's bag that I have borrowed has this great expanding top thingymajig that came in handy.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Moet in the Mall

Ahem, am a little bit hungover today. Went out with the team last night for dinner and then on to more drinking. For dinner we turned up in time for happy hour so we got two for one on all orders, had 2 (ie 4) Kingfisher, ordered the small bottles, got the large (660ml) - did not complain. We also decided to have their speciality, vodka shots served in a potatoe bake thingymajig. We opted for jaljeera flavoured vodka, it was vile. It is not a good idea to try.

After dinner we went to a mall to check out the nightclubs in there, hmmm dodgy. Decided Night Time Bird's place was too strange and went to Mojo instead. As it was Ruma's birthday today we ordered Moet for midnight, which we promptly finished before heading out on the dance floor enjoying the eclecting mix of cheesy pop and Indian film music. I am good at the indian dancing it turns out. Not that its that hard with the 'get away from me' hand movements and 'where is it' shoulder shrugs. Great time.

We left at 2ish and headed home, today I am a little bit delicate but should be ok as most of the office is out on an off site.

Looking forward to going home tomorrow and not drinking for a few days. Until Wednesday when I go to Oslo to see Gunnhild. My life is though.

Monday, 13 August 2007


Am back in India. A bit weird after being in Sweden for two weeks to go straight to Delhi but it is nice to not be in the office just yet. Its not quite the same to be working in another country.

Holiday was great. JD turned up after I had spent some initial days rewindning with friends and we went straight to Bredsand for a relaxing week of sun, swimming and lots of wine. Great stuff!

Swimming several times a day, cycling to town to go to Systembolaget, dinner on the veranda with whatever was purchased that day. Cannot complain! Also read a couple of books and started making some snaps with wild raspberries, St Johns worth and Sloe. We'll find out how they taste when we are back next year, for now they are in my fathers capable hands.

Finished the week with going to Vedhorn for the Jenny x 2 party which was great. JD had the job of cleaning out the baby bath between salad mixings. We got fed good food and drank a lot of nicely chilled beer while chatting to friends. A lot of Kodak moments going on, sitting on the pier in the sunset sipping cold beers - all looking healthy blond and tanned. Maybe more a 'Welcome to Sweden' advert than a Kodak moment actually.

Friday, 3 August 2007

In the country

Have just spent two days with my sister and her family out in the sticks. Its August so the evenings are dark, I have no idea how they cope through winter when its pitch black.

The girls took me to the lake for a dip and to show off their diving skills. It was freezing but luckily I only had to go in once for about 20 seconds and then stand in the sun admiring their diving. Can do that.

Today I am back in Stockholm to do some washes and meet JD arriving tonight. Nice to be back in civilization.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Elias o Eva

Elias o Eva
Originally uploaded by evafritz
Had dinner with Anna tonight, met her new little boy Elias who was very charming and looked wise.

Anna's other half came back knackered from playing football and cycling to and from work and had to go to bed early without any wine, which just shows that exercise just isnt good for you.

I had lunch with Jenny at Sturehof castle, v v v nice place. We managed some shopping as well but not a lot as the sales are just too much like hard work. I like nice empty stores, dont mind paying full price as long as I can actually see what they are trying to sell me.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Tall Ships race - Stockholm

Originally uploaded by evafritz
The Mexicans are the best! Loud singing accompanying the men standing on the beams for the whole length of the canal, til they got out far enough to lower sails. Fantastic...

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Anniversary plans

We were planning to have a romantic day together today, going to some vineyards, cooking a lovely dinner enjoying the wine we bought earlier. We did go to one vineyard and got some wine, but then we went (via pub for lunch) home and both fell asleep as we are hungover from last night when we went out with some guys from work for dinner and drinks.

So the dinner (starter - scallops; main - halibut with capers and anchovies and home grown potatoes, carrotts and courgettes) we have decided will make a great Sunday lunch. We are considering getting some take away instead.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Photo sites

Oh how I dislike photo sites. I obviously am not able to send my photos from the mobile to the blog and I cant load anything onto Facebook whatever reason. Today I was told by Yahoo that they are stopping their GREAT photo site so please could I move over to Flickr. Not too keen on Flickr so am doing this under duress.

Is it so hard to make a nice and easy to use and share site for photos?

Here are some by the way

Tuesday, 24 July 2007


Ok I thought I had sent lots of photos to the blog over the weekend, but none have arrived. As I am useless at all things techy I have no idea what to do. On top of this I have mislaid the cable for transferring photos off mobile to laptop. Its not going well...

Saturday, 21 July 2007


We got a book each. So in the house we are now four grownups, four HP7 books and two persons who are struggling to take part in conversations as their noses are stuck in the books. I am trying to make mine last, so reading very slowly.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Tonight, tonight. Lalalalalala tonight

Just a few hours to go. Nice to know the weather gods are on our side as thousands of kids and parents (and random other grownups) plan to queue up outside bookstores around the country.

My idea of dinner, drinks and a pub crawl before queuing now seems less clever. Maybe we should stay in, have a take away and take the car to Tescos and not risk being soaked?

No - to hell with it! The last book is worth some pain. And we can dry up while reading it in bed - assuming we can find a taxi willing to bring us home looking like drenched cats.

Or maybe the rain will stop magically around 11.30?

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Friday nights the night

Just another few days to go.

Have re-read HP5 and HP6 and seen the HP5 film.

Have booked a table for Friday night so we can get through the agonizing hours leading up to the book release with some good wine and good food.

Have pre-ordered my copy from Waterstones.

Now I just need to get through the next couple of days of work. Will be hard but I am strong.

Thursday, 12 July 2007


I have just finished One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson, it was good and would have been perfect for the holiday. But I started it early. I have a few books on the side of the bed I could potentially bring, but I am not feeling too tempted by them so I need some tips. So what should I go out and buy for my holidays?

With only two weeks to go I have started packing mentally (I am sad I know) and also to plan what apart from clothes to bring, ie books and stuff. Clothes I find quite easy to decide on, just need a few days to decide on these, but shoes are trickier, as is make up and general 'stuff' like shampoo/ conditioner / creams - how much can you assume will be there when you arrive? I like to gamble and shop if gamble doesnt pay off.

As I am going to Sweden I am bound to be given some books when I arrive but I will need a book for the journey there, going on my own so it has to be a good one. I have 3-4 audio books to keep me company but as you are not allowed to use devices during start and landing need something to read during these periods... War and Peace is not coming with me on holiday, way too big. I want a nice, medium sized, relatively light hearted but not too much of an easy read, I am not in the mood for thrillers or anything factual (sorry Barb) or biographical.

The only type of 'ladies books' I like are Barbara Cartland because she is a class of her own, but she is more a summer house read than an airplane read (would you be seen in public reading BC?) I am feeling quite picky currently so ideally I would like to find a new book by an author I have already tested and like; John Irving, Terry Pratchett, Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood, Christopher Brookmyre, Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling.

I am going to have to do some book shopping next weekend when EL and J are here, am sure they wont mind popping into Waterstones for a nose around...

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Blue Dress

I bought a blue wrap dress at Sainsbury's yesterday and am wearing it today. I think I look smashing and was expecting to get at least a few persons telling me how nice I look when arriving at the office. Its now 5 and noone has commented.

So am I looking smashing but they are all so used to my great style that noone comments. Or am I l0oking iffy and noone is commenting because they feel I should have really made a better wardrobe choice this morning?

Monday, 9 July 2007


Must have got out of bed on the wrong side today. In a miserable mood most day. Just been on the call with help desk and as helper #1 was useless hung up and dialled again and #2 somewhat effective so at least I know something has happened even if issue not resolved.

Should just go home and hope that I get out of bed on the right side tomorrow...

Eva-Lotta, I had rare roast beef on beef dripping fried bread, then calves liver fried (rare) with shallot onion rings and cream sauce and Cranicen for dessert. Not sure about spelling, by then I was quite full so cream, raspberries, honey and whiskey was just what I needed to push me over the edge.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


I have put myself on a diet after weeks of overindulging. I had hoped that the Delhi trip would sort out the weight gain by giving me a few days of general food intolerance but nope not this time.

So now I have a headache because I thought I should also give up tea while I was at it. I have found a nice alternative (Pukka tea - Detox) but it seems my body wants something more. Also while my lunch (beetroot soup with rice cakes and hoummous) was nice it could have been nicer. And while snacking on strawberries and peaches in theory is lovely right now I would love a doughnut.

Luckily we are going out for lunch with work tomorrow so I can start planning what I will eat already, making sure I make the most of it as dinner will have to be soup or salad.

But dont feel too sorry for me, dinner is stir fried pak choi, fresh peas and courgettes from the garden served with brown rice, dessert is raspberries and blueberries. I just want some ice cream with that...

Monday, 2 July 2007

Camping in the rain

We decided not to go camping as planned this weekend, but booked ourselves on the Transmanche ferry over to Dieppe Friday night. JD sorted the hotel out, a bit outside of town but it is a tiny tiny place so even this hotel was only 20 min walk from the seafront and all the food and wine.

The boat trip was great. Nice food (a lot better than we had anticipated) and plenty of wine, bless us for leaving the car in Newhaven! The four hours simply flew away and the only akward time was when a small child decided he needed to throw up just as I was leaving the loos, but I was nice and held up the door for him and helped him into the cubicle. A lady in the next booth was barefoot, but that just teaches you not to go barefoot onboard a ship I think. She was later seen washing her feet out in a sink.

Saturday we strolled into town and checked out the market. Love the market. Tried to order bits and bobs in our best French and noone spit at us so must have been ok. Bought 6 sausages. One made from donkey meat which did not go down well with JD. Lunch was divine at La Melie, 10 course menu degustation. Yum. With lovely wine to go with it of course.

We took the bus back to the hotel after JD had spent some quality time (and money) in a wine shop selecting 12 nice wines to be stored along with all the other wine we have. We will need to start drinking more to get through it all, ah poor us!

I must admit that eating and drinking for two days in France is a lot more alluring that spending time in a tent, even if it hadnt rained. But camping has its good sides too, its cheaper and probably better for you both body and soul.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Sleeping on the job

Am I the only one often on long conference calls paying no attention to what is being said?

Great as long as you are not expected to participate answering or asking questions, not so good if someone suddenly asks your opinion on something you have no idea what they are talking about. Full panic til you either work out what is going on or decide to risk and say something which might potentially make it clear that you were not paying attention.

I just added my 5 cents on the call I am on, hoping noone else had said the same and also that it was at least relevant. Phew! I think I got away with it this time.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Great, its raining

Am so glad its raining, means I can sit in my chair and google and ebay all day without feeling guilty. Spent Saturday in garden centres which was great fun. Bought an olive tree for the glass house and some plants for the borders. Shopping for grown ups. Seeing as I can now spend an afternoon in the pub talking gardening tips and flowers with Tracey I guess I just have to admit to being middle aged a bit prematurely.

Johanna visited so she drove me round in my old Yaris (love that little car!) which she bought off me last summer. My car was being used by JD and Just for getting to Lewes for a round of golf. It seems our weekend was a bit old fashioned, with an almost sexistic division of labour. Jo and I cooked dinner and JD selected the wine.

Maybe I am not only becoming middle aged but also reverting to a behaviour that goes against everything our parents generation fought for. Maybe if it wasnt raining so hard I should burn some bras just to show the world I am not completelly buying into the patriarchal belief system. But its raining and I think bras are great, at least if you get the right size for you.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

More shopping

Haldirams - lots of sweets, v nice

Had to work late so didn't have time to do any other shopping which was disappointing.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

With Pratchett in Delhi

Am in Delhi, have spent some quality time in the car to and from the office, shops and hotel.

Love the hotel. Room is gargantuan and someone makes my bed, cleans my bedroom and opens the door for me everytime I come and go.

Love the shops, have bought 7 scarves so far (I think) plus lots of other stuff. Unfortunately shop closed at 7.30 so only managed to buy one silk blouse before being kicked out.

Love the food. Bukhara has the best lamb dish ever, especially in combination with their Dal and interesting breads.

Shame about the work. But it keeps me occupied 8-17 so I dont shop too much.

How did Pratchett get involved? Listening to one of his books on the ipod when I fall asleep, he is nice and soothing.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

June in pictures

Angela and I, me with perry and Angela with Cider. Some of the other options were not so nice, tasts ranging from liquid used to clean sheep through to someone pissed in the vat.

Queuing to get onto the platform for the train back to Marylebone. Incredibly efficient considering the amount of people there.

Jenny and I on the London Eye.

Photos taken with mobile phone, whoever thought that feature is redundant in mobiles clearly is better at remebering to bring the camera than I am.

Training, drinking and music

Training other people is hard work, I am very glad I am not a teacher. I spent 4 days trying to convey the importance and workings of some Six Sigma tools - luckily not on my own but with 3 collegues who know a lot more than me. It was interesting but draining and at the end of the day not what I want to do every day. The training has left me somewhat scarred as whenever anyone uses the word mean I think, 'Ah and spread!'.

One of my collegues I was training with is Angela who flew over from Phoenix to lead it. She is good and nice and a pleasure to be around. Which isnt my normal summary of collegues, most might reach nice and ok to be around, but only between 9-5. But Angela is different, better than most at explaning statistical tools and also very open an interested so a treat to take around Brighton and to talk to. We had a bit of an interesting time training as 1/2 the class came there under duress and it became obvious that they are less than keen on the facilitators from their organization. So by end Tuesday we had 20 very unhappy bunnies on our hands, Angela had not been training Tuesday so it was me and the other two managing to make them this miserable. But Angela managed to magically turn it around Wednesday and by end of that day they were eating out of her hand.

On Friday Amy and Mark had a combined Stag and Hen weekend starting at Glastonwick ale festival, out at Coombe Farm. I had been clever enough to get us tickets early, which turned out to be lucky as it sold out. But that becomes irrelevant when you have a ticket. Angela came with me and JD and we had a great time drinking ciders and perries, we found two favorites after going through them all and stayed on these all night. Lovely setting on the farm and some interesting music playing in the background. Such a mixed crowd also means the bithching opportunities are unlimited and JD was shocked (well surprised) at our comments. I realized I normally bitch with my Swedish friends rather than my British ones, or that I am more evil in Swedish and my British friends are just a lot nicer than I am (or Angela is as it turns out...) Great night, got the free bus home and the bus driver got lost, but JD helped him find the way to Southwick square in the end.

Saturday Big Phil turned up from Belfast and we all went up to new Wembley to see Muse. The stadium is very pretty with the completely offcentre arc - designed with a logo in mind as we cant see it serving any purpose. There are lots of food, drink outlets and also plenty of toilets, all clean and with loo rool - key customer requirements - ouch done it again, backlash from training. We spent the day admiring the view over London, drinking and listening a little to the pre-bands. Rodrigo y Gabriela were v good, Dirty Pretty Things I missed most of, Streets were so so. But Muse themselves were great, due to sheer size of stadium they looked like ants. Their music is stadium music, all pompous and great for air guitar / air drumming fans. The best thing with the day for me was us all doing mexican waves during the Streets performace, 50,000 peeps or so deciding to entertain themselves...

Getting back home felt like it was going to take forever but it was surprisingly smooth!! I am soooo impressed with the organization of trains, subways and queuing. We made the last train, had to stand up all the way down to Brighton, but made it home in just 2 hours from leaving Wembley, 1.5 of that being on the train from Victoria.

Today we are going to Mark's surprise 40th birthday party and then I am off to Delhi for a week of sweating like a dog and wondering about if this mouthful will make me sick or if I am lucky.

Friday, 8 June 2007


We had out bookclub meeting last night. We have given up on the idea that we all read the same book, Barb always hated someone, one of the others managed to not read the book and in the end we had a five minute chat about the book before getting on to the more important topics of food, wine and bras. So now we meet regularly and bring all the books we have read since the last meeting.

Last night I brought along LOTS but unfortunately only managed to palm off a few, got about as many back from last time so ended up lugging about the same amount home again. Not great.

But dinner was lovely, Si Signore on Sydney street, an BYO restaurant that turned out to be v v v nice. Can recommend the pistachio milkshake...

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Terry, Chris and I

Radio is the glue that holds my day together normally. Today was not a normal day.

The morning started well enough, listened to Sarah Kennedy on the way to the gym, managing to catch the Showtime slot. Terry took over for the short drive to work, but this evening for the home journey Stuart Marconi was there instead of Chris. Its just not the same, and nowhere near as good... Terry and Chris really shouldnt be allowed to be off. Maybe record some extra shows and air these if they need time off?

Other great radio 2 shows - the Wurtlizer program which I seem to manage to catch most weeks when working late. Should teach me not to work late.

Monday, 4 June 2007


Jenny was here over the weekend and we managed to do all of this:

London eye tour
Stroll through London with the other million turists
Lunch at Savoy
Picknick at Hever castle
BBQ at Mikey and Traceys
Drive through picturesque country side
Walk on the Downs
Pub lunch (mmm crackling)

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Day before day off

I am not working tomorrow, therefore I am barely working today. I believe it is because my brain has decided its holiday already and is busy planning what I am doing tomorrow; getting train times to London, checking out how to walk from Victoria to London eye, walking from London eye to the Savoy, good meeting places for drinks in the evening etc etc.

And I got a new mobile phone this morning so a portion of my brain is busy working out how best to transfer all the pictures, videos and other bits from old to new. Its never as easy as I think it should be considering both phones are Sony Ericsson (at least a hint of Swedishness which makes my patriotic heart beat faster).

And JD just emailed about Sweden vs Northern Ireland at Rasunda in October and we might be able to get tickets, in which case I need to sort out flights home.

All the above a lot more interesting than working.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


I have little to be guilty about compared to friends of mine with kids, they seem to have so much to be guilty about that they are almost giddy about it. Anyway, this is my guilt list currently:

I should have got my bike today. Its parked at the station since Friday when I rode it to go to the pub then got too drunk to be able to ride it back. It rained all weekend so didnt fancy walking to get it. And now its Wednesday and I am working late so deserve to go straight home and eat and watch telly and not walk into town to get bike...

I should have cancelled a hotel on time, but didnt so a late payment charge came through my expenses and I am now trying to get it covered without admitting its all my fault for being sloppy.

I shouldnt have eaten all that indian sweet I was given. Its about 50% ghee and 50% sugar, tastes divine, like sweetbread in taste but something light and fluffy almost like spun sugar in consistency. But I am working late and I did go to the gym so possibly I can have a little more.

I should have got more done today, but between meetings and emails and more meetings very little got done. And now its late and I cant be bothered, rather chat with my collegues, best conversations always takes place when most people at work have gone home.

I should call my friends more often, but I just forget. And besides they do too cause its not like I have lots of calls missed or messages on my voice mail...

I should have left Vodafone AAAGES ago, instead I stayed with them for 7 years getting more and more irate. Finally have done so and the poor man who called up to ask me why got an earful and I killed the messanger. Oops. But my new phone should be on its way (keep tracking it on DHL) - O2 here I come. I am your new cash cow. Start buying O2 shares now.

Thats it. Well apart from excersising too little, eating too much, drinking too much, not cleaning anywhere near as much as I should or the statistics on female cleaning claims, be nicer to more people. But those things are just the constant back-of-my-mind guilts I am used to ignoring.

House is quite clean as Jenny is coming to visit tomorrow! Yohoo, more over-eating and over-drinking for me.

Monday, 28 May 2007


Have sent an email to most of my friends telling them about this blog. Want an ego bost which is bound to come if I get any comments...

But where do you draw the line, who should it be sent to and who should be excluded from the list. While I want someone to read what I am writing do I really want collegues and my bosses to check it out? Not right now, so have only sent the link to a select few who are likely to be nice to me...


Its not been a great weekend weather wise. Today I had in my mind pictured how we would sit in the sun watching the cricket in Hove, eating and drinking. That was not to be, we woke up to a grey world. As JD was keen to see Ireland play we went to town anyway. We chatted with the stewards at the gate to find out what the chances were of the game being started, they said the game might be on if there were an hours break in the downpour. Stil hopeful we walked into Brighton and had Dim Sum at China Garden to pass the time. If I could only have three dishes from the Dim Sum menu it would be Char Sui bun, Turnip paste and Beef Cheung Fun. Give me one more item and I would add Egg custard buns, either the steamed or the deep fried, I dont mind...

Walking back to Hove two hours later the weather was still about as bad as earlier and we found out that the game had yet to start. As the sky was still grey we decided the game was likely to be called off completely. Now this made me quite happy as I by then was full, sleepy and freezing. So I almost skipped to the train station and onto the train for the 10 min journey home. Cricket really should only be played in full sun when its at least above 20 Celsius.

I have spent the afternoon lazying in sofa reading my friends blogs to catch up on what they are doing. Their lives are a bit more busy than mine, as they have two kids and are in the middle of buying / selling flats. Phew. Eva-Lotta mainly talks about books, food and being guilty about kids things, Johan talks about anything almost - reccon his employer should keep him more busy to keep his mind occupied a bit more....

I wonder if its time to attack the left overs the nice man packed up for us...
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