Why There’s Been No Posts (We’re Not Being Lazy, Promise!)

So, we apologise for the lack in blog posts of late and hope it doesn’t become a regular thing. I guess it’s just what happens when you start fulltime study and you’re out of the house 12 hours a day and you’re trying to plan a 6-week holiday itinerary. To make things worse, Johan’s managing on dial-up speed internet from his phone until he can get broadband, and yesterday mucked up video calling on his phone (with what was possibly an update), so we’re stuck on limited voice calls at the moment! Johan has also given me a 70min vlog of his move to cut down…

In the meantime, I’ve stayed up ’til 2am the last two nights trying to sort out our itinerary.  Last night alone I sent off 8 emails to tour guides, and have half a dozen more to go. If I thought deciding on the accommodation was bad, it’s nothing compared to reading through countless tour descriptions, comparing everything that’s included in the cost, the duration and value for money.  I’m going to need a 6-week holiday after spending the last 6 months planning for it (and being such a perfectionist… It’s not over yet!).

The Aussie dollar is ridiculously low at the moment which  isn’t helping.  Some tour prices we had written down back in February which seemed reasonable, have now increased $40-$50pp just in the conversion rates, let alone the conversion fee when we go to pay it. I’m not sure when we should either:  now, before it gets any lower; or hold off, in case it increases.  Incredibly frustrating.  But I think considering how much we have planned on our itinerary, and the budget I’m managing to squeeze it into, I’m doing very well.  We seem to be saving a lot of money by doing it ourselves and mapping out our own itinerary rather than 3+ day packages.  I have spent hours and days reading up reviews on all the tours, so I have high hopes for our favourite picks.  That, in addition to seeing the Northern Lights on more than one occasion over the course of our three weeks in Lapland, greatly helped with Johan’s new apartment in the very south of Lapland and free accommodation with him in-between certain destinations which form a kind of V-shape. I’m sure no matter how much I try and plan there will still be things that will go wrong, I just hope to minimise that!

Just 100 more days until I see my boyfriend again; 93 until I get on my plane to London. I bought the first of my Christmas presents yesterday too which makes it seem even more exciting! For anyone in Johan’s family (or my family for that matter!) that might be reading this, please remember that we’re not buying Christmas presents for people this year, and in return we don’t ask for Christmas presents. Your gift to us is this holiday. “But you just said you’d bought Christmas presents!” I know, for the young kids of course 😀 Johan’s younger sisters, Alma and Elsa! Can’t wait to see their faces when they open them!

Finally, I’m doing well at getting Swedish nursery rhymes stuck in mine and Johan’s heads. On Friday it was Min Hatt Den Har Tre Kanter, yesterday it was Bonden och Kråkan, and today it’s Blinka Lilla Stjärna! What else happened today?  My holiday leave was finally approved at work (at least up until our contract end date), yaaay!

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Candy King

There are a few things that are common in both of our countries. One of those is that we both have various kinds of candies (K: lollies!) to choose from in the store if you feel like something sweet. The brands are different though, most notably the major chocolate brands, where we have Marabou and Cloetta she has Cadbury. A more major difference though, is that here in Sweden you can compose your own bag of candies (K: lollies!  We have that too, but only at specialty stores).

Almost every major grocery store has a wall, often close to the checkout, full of pick & mix candy tubs from which you can scoop your favourite pieces into your own little paper bag (K: or bucket). And when I say little, I mean big. Because if they offer you a big bag, you’re likely to buy more. Just another way to trick you into spending more money I guess (K: you don’t havvveee to be fooled by it).

But when it comes to which pieces to pick, it can get a little tricky. Especially when the people who are picking them out have very different tastes.

I for example, am a sucker for licorice. I could eat that stuff all day. I’m usually mixing a big batch of various licorice with some chocolate and just a few sour or fruity bits.

Kylie on the other hand, hates licorice (K: that’s right, ewwww). Don’t ask me why or where she gets this candy discrimination from, but she won’t even kiss me if I’ve had some (chocolate kisses are soo much better)! But I’m gonna eat it anyway. Because licorice is even worth a lack of kisses. That’s how good it is! (K: it’s all lies!)

We both do love chocolate though, and she really liked some of the sour pieces, so I guess there’s that. But the next bag of candy we buy together will be half licorice, and that half is mine! (K: fine!  You have your icky licorice-half.  I’ll have all my chocolate and snowballs and soda pops and hot lips and frogs and jelly babies and mints and marshmallows and bilar and haribo and we’ll see how long you hold out!)

Östenssons Candy