I’m sitting on the enclosed balcony of Dr. Darling‘s Dad’s 7th floor condo over looking Skrea Strand, a beach near Falkenberg, Sweden. This is a LONG overdue visit…the last time we were here overnight was sometime in 2008.
The drought is mostly a timing thing. My father-in-law is a cop and his wife is a dispatcher, so they rarely work a regular Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 week. But now that my Swede has alternating 3-day weekends (to compensate for the other alternating 1-day weekends) we were finally able to find a weekend that worked. All I had to do was take Monday off…which was no hardship, believe me.
So we did our laundry and grocery shopping on Saturday morning before heading north, and arrived here in time for dinner after having stopped for fika with my brother-in-law and his family in Halmstad on the way. All of my in-laws are much better about speaking Swedish with me than Dr. Darling is, so my rusty language skills are really being put through their paces. By mid-day today I think my brain was swollen.
The weather has been relatively mild with the exception of the wind, which is a good thing considering that they are also dog-sitting for his wife’s son’s 18-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, who at over 120 lbs. is really more of a small pony than a dog. This morning we took him to the beach for a little exercise and it was really difficult to say who was walking who.
This afternoon we made an unplanned shopping trip up to Ullared, home of Gekås…Sweden’s largest discount department store…which is most accurately described to Americans as the largest Super Walmart you’ve ever seen…on crack. This place is so renown that it actually has it’s own reality TV show. People come from all over the country to take advantage of its deeply discounted prices on practically anything you can imagine except booze and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. We managed to get out of there for just over a 1000 SEK, most of which was spent on gift wrapping paper (we never seem to have it when we need it) chocolate (we can never have enough) and socks. (We have our priorities.)
The view from our place in check-out line 21 (of 50+) at Gekås. Everyone you see is in line to pay.
After much needed showers, another fabulous home-cooked meal and a quick Skype session with my Mom in the States, Dr. Darling is enjoying the rare treat of watching some live Swedish TV while I blog on the balcony. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my mobile broadband modem?) We generally don’t watch live programs because there are no Swedish subtitles…so I have to rely on Dr. Darling to translate the stuff I don’t understand…which means we both end up missing half the show.
I’m headed for bed as soon as I polish off the very strong gin & tonic next to ELIZA. (My father-in-law is a very generous bartender.) I did not sleep very well last night (and rarely do my first night away from home) and I’m hoping to make up for it tonight. It’s been very windy in Falkenberg the last couple days and last night the wind rattled the window shade in the guest room so regularly that I thought I was back on the Lofoten Islands. I finally decided that silence outweighed fresh air and closed the window…too bad I waited until 4:30 a.m. to reach that conclusion.