Tag Archives: moving

We’re so close, I can taste it.

These last few weeks have been super hectic. I’ve simultaneously prepared for a trip across the world, and a move across the country, as well as finishing up my audio engineering course with three big projects.

But now I’ve finally finished it all and I have some downtime tonight before it’s time to sit on a plane and fly to Australia! WOOHOOO! I’M SO EXCITED! (and I just can’t hide it)

The end of term projects might not be that relevant to this blog, but basically, there were two personal music projects and one group film project, where we put sound to a short film.

So, let’s see. Let’s go through what I’ve been up to.

Monday and Tuesday of the last week of school, that is, last week (at the time of writing) were two days of presenting our final projects. The rest of the week was spent looking at other presentations from other courses, like the lighting students, and cleaning the studio etc. And I also packed up all my stuff into boxes. I’ve only lived in a small single room apartment, but I’ve collected a lot more stuff than I brought with me over the last two years, the biggest of which are probably a sofa and a desk, but also studio equipment, musical instruments, a new desktop computer (the old one became a home server) and other knick knacks, like clothes, kitchenware and decorative stuff. Oh, and let’s not forget the box that contained nothing but Harry Potter merch and Kylie’s stuff that she left here last time she was over!

All in all, I ended up with five bigger boxes and half a dozen, if not more, smaller ones. As well as some stuff that went without boxes, like furniture.

Luckily, my brother got his driver’s license just in time to be able to come up and help me get all the stuff down to where my dad lives, which is more or less across the country. So we rented a trailer and he and my mum came up on the weekend, to help me.

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My mum eats a burger on their way up to Haparanda

To avoid getting time off work, we decided to do it on the weekend, so they left early Saturday morning and arrived in Haparanda on Saturday night, at which time we almost immediately set to work packing up my last stuff into boxes, dismantling the furniture (thank you IKEA and your furniture that’s easy to take apart and pack into tight spaces) and load it into the trailer and the back of the car. Luckily I had loaded up with coca cola to provide us with caffeine and energy after the coffee machine was packed away and we managed to get it done in just a few hours.

Since we were on a tight schedule and had calculated that there would be about 17 hours going back down, including a couple stops, we decided to leave straight away after we finished packing (much to Kylie’s panic).

I don’t really know what to say about the roadtrip. It was exhausting, but fun. We spent most of the trip sitting in the car, listening to music. I was awake most of the time, while my brother and my mother took turns driving and resting. We also took a couple of stops to buy food, refuel and have coffees. Which was nice. We also stopped at Högakustenbron, a bridge that had a nice view. So that was cool. Otherwise, it was fun but pretty uneventful.

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On our way back down

The original plan was to go to my dad’s in Skänninge, dump my stuff and then go up to my mum’s in Stockholm, because I needed to be in Stockholm for the flight to Australia. But since my mum left us when we passed Stockholm anyway and it was just me and my brother, and he didn’t have work on the Monday, we ended up staying the night at my dad’s, which was probably the best idea I had in a while, because that allowed us to get the trailer to the return station in time, eat some tacos when we got back, and then sleep in the bed sofa, which we brought from my apartment, so that we were well rested in the morning ready to go back up to Stockholm the next day. It also meant that I got to spend more time with my sisters, which was really fun.

So now I’m sitting here writing a blog post. I’m getting on a plane tomorrow, flying to my beloved Kylie. And it feels almost unreal. I’ve got my bags packed light, with just some clothes, camera, tripod and some toiletries, so that we can load my bags with Kylie’s stuff when we go back.

So the last two days in Stockholm have ben pretty quiet in comparison. I got a haircut and shaved my beard off, which is kinda symbolical actually since the last time I cut my hair or shaved my beard off was just before I moved to Haparanda and started studying Audio Engineering two years ago.

Haircut

In about half hour my brother will arrive and he’ll drive me to the airport in the morning before he start work.

Then I’ll get on the plane. And then I’ll get to meet her again. This time, for the last time. this time there’s no separating again. This time, I’m staing with her, and she’s staying with me. And this time, it’s really, really, for real.

One Week On

One week after celebrating that exciting night, I have received my decision in writing.  It’s really happening.  Have I started packing like I said I would?  I’ve done a bit of cleaning, but no, not really.  Instead, I have been going mad with notes and figures from travel agents and vets and computer repair companies.  Yep, that same day my PC decided to conk it, decided it didn’t want to wait three months until after I left, meaning this year I have so far broken my phone,  iPad, and computer.  And I need it now more than ever to organise our Etsy store, Gumtree listings, scan all my important documents into electronic form, and back up my files.  Oh, my harddrive and files are perfectly safe, but I’ve been told the rest of it is too old and dying and it’s not worth repairing that I’m better off getting a new one.  For three months.  Needless to say,  I’ve barely had a chance to be able to consider this.  It’s been a very stressful week with a lot of late nights.

Every night I have been looking up flight comparison websites trying to find cheapest days and best deals for a return flight for Johan to come out to Australia, and a matching one way flight for me.  All Sunday I spent the day at four different travel agents explaining our situation, Johan has looked at his end and I’m about to spend another two and about half hours looking at travel agents in the city this morning.  The hope is that I will have flights locked in this afternoon, and booked and paid for by the weekend.  And a vet appointment and cat’s flights booked next week.  I am totalling fearing the flights will increase over the Easter long weekend if we don’t, and there’s already some flights were looking at that are saying there’s few seats left.  Hence the rush to get it all booked as soon as possible.

Part of me wonders why I’m delaying so much in booking.  But now more than ever we need to get the best possible deal, especially if I’m up for another $500 for a new computer.  Problem is, I know the flights we want with Singapore Airlines.  But no travel agent (in Brisbane or Stockholm) seems to be able to book the return flight for Johan for the prices that are showing online ($1200- $1400).  They can book my one-way flight ($989!) but not his.  So if we want to fly together, the next cheapest we’ve been given is $2775 for both of us with Emirates (my one way flight being $200 more and his flight $200-400).  And the Emirates flights are not as nicely timed arriving in Stockholm as the Singapore Airlines flights (midnight and midday vs. 8.30am) to meet my cat’s arrival at 7am.  And all of this doesnt even include the travel insurance yet!  So a lot of worry, and lot of stress.  I’m feeling more stressed than I can ever remember being.  Not the least of which because I’ve never made so many phone calls in my life!  AND, my work contract is due to finish on April 28, and like my last job it seems they are leaving it to the last minute to tell us whether the contract will extend or not.

The tragedy in Stockholm last week hit us hard, but all of Johan’s friends and family are safe.  My eyes have watered more than once reading the articles on The Local about Swedes (natives and foreigners) coming together and holding signs about love, not fear.  Over 20,000 people, including Johan, turned up in the city to honour the victims and emergency service workers that stepped up to the event immediately.  I was impressed too, that they had a crisis management plan implemented within 8 minutes of the attack.  But it was the regular citizens too, offering hugs and opening their homes up to strangers who couldn’t make it home on public transport.  This is the country I want to live in, that I will – very soon – live in.

Apartment Update!

Sooo it’s been a while since I moved now, and Kylie has finally gotten her shit together and edited my moving vlog! (I know you’ve been busy with other stuff, sorry :*) But how much has happened since I got here?

Well, turns out there’s a lot! Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any photos of how it looked before, but if you imagine an empty room, you basically get the picture. Also, you can see it at the end of the moving vlog.

So what things have I gotten now? How much better has my life become? There’s two things that have made major differences to my level of comfort here. They are the following:

#1 Proper internet (a minor rant)

You may have heard reports of me having bad internet and so on, well, that was completely true. For the first two months, I had to rely on my phone’s connection, and share that with my PC, which, while it worked fairly well when I was on 3G speeds, mostly worked not that well when I’d passed my 2GB data cap (which took about a day or two) and had to spend the rest of the month surfing at a
speed of about 0.1Mbit/s. Not that fun, especially when you’re trying to make a video call with your girlfriend. Video quality was terrible. I’m actually surprised it worked at all with that
kind of connection.

So of course, one of the first things I did when I’d gotten here was contact my chosen internet provider, Telia, and order broadband through ADSL. They said “sure, we’ll send you a confirmation email of your order” yadda yadda, fast forward a week or so and me not hearing anything. I call their support only to find out that my credit check hadn’t gone through for whatever reason, thank you so much for telling me… I tried again but that time the customer service person I ordered through had the decency to tell me straight away that I hadn’t cleared the check and so then I figured I’d probably have to explore other options.

I went back to comparing different service providers and decided that Tele2 seemed to have the best speed to price ratio, where I could actually get more speed for about the same price as the Telia offer I’d tried previously. Great, I contacted their support, they told me about how I needed to also have a home phone subscription, nothing I didn’t know, and then they wanted to check what speeds I could get at my address. Of course, it couldn’t be found in their database, so they had to contact this other place to get some measurements done which would take a while and they’d get back to me. Now, I don’t exactly remember how many times we contacted each other back and forth, but eventually, I got a text from a company that was going to connect the home phone for me in two days. They arrived the next day and connected it while I was at school, so that was probably the most painless part of the whole process. And big props to them for actually doing it the day before they initially said they would.

Anyway, then a week went by and I heard nothing about the internet I was supposed to be getting. I called support (again) and found out they had no record of me having ordered anything
other than the phone service, so I had to again order the ADSL internet. Then I got the router and stuff about a week later, and as soon as I connected it, I had proper internet. Sooo nice. Took
long enough. Well, took too long actually, but now I finally have enough bandwidth to do everything I use my computer for. Max of 24Mbit/s, but actual speeds seem to be around 20, so
that’s still really good, and I’m very pleased.

#2 Furniture

So my apartment has been really bare, but since I was able to split up my furniture payments, I have finally gotten some nice furniture in here! This wouldn’t have been possible without the following:

  • Free payment plan thing for first home thing from IKEA
  • IKEA being literally only a few hundred meters away
  • A friend who owns a car, because no one will be able to cart a room worth of furniture even just those few hundred meters, since there’s a highway between; the surface on the ground isn’t
    optimised for rolling an IKEA cart across it; etc. I had hard enough carting a single table, more on that later.

So there were three major things I had to get in this one small room. A workstation, a relaxation area and a sleeping area. I actually made a sketchup model of my room to figure out what would fit where and stuff, and the final arrangement matches pretty closely.

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The one major difference is the desk orientation, The desk looks too wide, since the model I used wasn’t properly to scale and was too wide, but the actual desk DID fit because I had measured and knew it should fit, but the 3D model was wrong.

So I had basically everything mapped out how I wanted it before I even started buying anything, and part of me wants to say that there was this big mishap, but, apart from the table
thing, there was nothing. It all fit where I wanted it!

So what is this table thing? Well, long story short, I bought a too big table, because I didn’t have the shopping list with me in the store and so I had to go back and get a refund. To make the
story a little longer, I might add that the guy with the car wasn’t available, so I had to go to IKEA, get one of their flat carts, cart it home (see what I did there?), load the table, cart it back, return old table, get a refund, buy new smaller table and some other stuff I needed like bedding, load it all onto a new cart, cart it all home, while accidentally tipping it over several times because roads aren’t perfectly level and heavy carts with tiny wheels like to go where I don’t want them to go, and there not being a way to strap them in so they’re basically just lying flat on this thing so they fall off very easily, anyway, you get the picture. So I got home with the lot, unloaded the cart, then I had to take the cart back to IKEA. Oh, and I had to walk home again. So that’s six times walking back and forth from IKEA. I think it may have taken me a total of 3 hours, if I remember correctly.

So how did it all actually work out?
Amazingly?
Yes!

I love my new desk and my sofa is pretty good too. It’s also a bed sofa for when Kylie and her mum come over, and has smart storage for bedding underneath.

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I’ll leave you with some more photos of my apartment!

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First Week of School is a Success!

I’d like to start off with an apology. It’s been too long and I’ve left Kylie to do the posting too much lately. I’ve simply been too busy with settling in here in my new life, making a home for myself and getting to know the people at my new school, trying to get into routines etc.

I’m sure at least a few of you are curious about how I’m doing here. The short answer, I’m doing great! The long answer follows below.

First off, this is my first time living on my own, and it’s quite an adjustment, having to do things on my own, but I think I’m faring pretty well so far, and apart from some smaller issues – like my computer being on the dining table since I have no desk yet and my only connection to the internet is through my phone – this is starting to feel like home to me.

I’m living in a small one room apartment with a kitchenette, so I’ve really only got the one room to fit all my stuff in, but I don’t have that much stuff yet anyway, so it’s fine. As usual, my “desk” (dining table as for now) is full of stuff, because everything I use seem to gravitate there but I’m trying to keep things cleared up. It’s a known character flaw of mine. At least I’m doing my washing up, so there’s that.

My new school is great too! It’s a pretty laid back place as it’s very art oriented, as they have (apart from the audio engineering courses I’m doing): music, art, performance and an assortment of other artistic things you can study there. At least the audio and music courses, which for obvious reasons have quite some overlap, have the mentality that everything should be a fun and enjoyble experience with a serious undertone. Essentially, learn while playing around and doing stuff that we all love, because everyone in my class has a passion for music, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a crowd of people with whom I can bond as much over my favourite subject as I have done here, and that’s just in the first week.

So I have high confidence I’m going to learn a lot here, and maybe make friends for life. Can’t wait to see what the rest of these two years will bring.

I’m Officially Moving!

The town where I live, Skänninge, is the host of Sweden’s largest annual street market. The first Wednesday and Thursday of August every year, the town square and every major street is covered on both sides with market stands. The spectacle draws a huge crowd as people from all over the country come to our little town. I’m not sure how many people live here, maybe 3,000 or so, but on these two days the amount of visitors is many times that number.

I won’t get to experience this next year though. And it makes me a little sad, even though the market has mostly become routine and I see the same things being sold year after year. But I will be going off on a much greater adventure!

I have finally secured an apartment in Haparanda, where I will be moving to study audio engineering, which is a passion of mine. I hope to one day own, or at least work, in a proper recording studio, and this two-year course will undoubtedly teach me a lot and give me great experiences. I’m really excited about this opportunity!

Haparanda is way up in the north of Sweden, right on the border to Finland (and I mean that literally. The Finnish side of the town is called Tornio) so I’ll have to move far away. But I’m fine with that. The one I care most about is far away to begin with, so it won’t make any difference where I live.

No, scratch that last part. Kylie does care that I’ll be moving up north. In fact, she’s loving it! If you haven’t been following our blog you may not know this, but she’s a huge fan of snow, and she’ll be coming to visit over Christmas and New Years, when there’ll be lots and lots of snow. You see, last time she was a little unfortunate and didn’t get to see much snow, because it melted away fairly quickly in the south.

I’ll start first term of school on the 24th of August, so it’s getting really close now! I just found a place to live (and what a place it is!) and today I booked my one way ticket to Haparanda! I’ll be leaving on Monday the 18th, so I’ve got little more than a week to get ready! Good thing I’ve been preparing for weeks and have most things packed already. Only the computer to pack into the boxes and then I’m ready to go!

I’ll be living in a small house. It’s basically a two story house with one small room per floor. I was originally looking at one-room apartments, but I was offered this when one of the apartments I was looking at was given to someone else, and I got it for the same price as the apartment I was originally enquiring about!

So I only have a week left in the town where I’ve spent a significant time growing up (in a house my Dad still hasn’t finished renovating) and then I’m off to the next great adventure!

And honestly, I’m extremely excited about it!

[Pictured above:  House in Haparanda Johan will be moving to.]