2020. WHAT A YEAR! The world has basically being living the plot of Contagion — except toilet paper almost became the currency of the future in the 2020 version.
2019 was an incredibly hard for us and I remember saying “this year has been so awful, 2020 has to be better”. Then the Covid-19 apocalypse started. So I’m saying nothing this time! I won’t even think it. Despite the challenges, we managed to move just before everything went pear shaped, settle the best we can for now, make some new friends and feel happy to be building a life here. I’m grateful for that and my health even if there are plenty of things we haven’t been able to do yet!
As with most other months this year, life in December has centered around time at home (aka trying not to get infected)…
You might remember me mentioning that Stockholm hadn’t seen an hour of sunlight in almost a month. Well, our luck changed last week when we saw a glow behind the cloud. The sun didn’t break through completely, or rise far above the horizon, but it was just enough to create this amazing sunset! Sunset is around 14:30 at the moment.
We decorated the world’s worst gingerbread house. The build went well but I bought baking glue instead of icing, which made elegant decoration impossible. It was so sticky! Ending up off our faces on sugar definitely didn’t help keep our hands steady. It won’t win any prizes but we had a great time butchering decorating it.
Being immigrants means we celebrated Christmas twice! Sweden celebrates on the 24th and the UK celebrates on the 25th.
On Christmas Eve, watched Kalle Anka (Donald Duck) at 3pm and then celebrated with our friends upstaires in the evening. They classed as our “social bubble” for Christmas and so that was in line with the Covid-19 restrictions. And we still kept physical distance between us to be extra safe.
The four of us exchanged presents and then shared a julbord. There were two varieties of pickled herring (sill), ham (julskinka), cured salmon, mustard sauces, rye bread and butter, boiled eggs, salad, meatballs, sausages (prinskorv) and cheese. All with Swedish snaps and Julmust of course! Our tummies were too full for pudding but we managed to squeeze in some Juleskum (fruity marshmallows) and Vihreitä Kuulia (Finnish green marmalade jellies).
We woke up and lit candles on Christmas morning. Candles have been a big part of our routine during Winter here, so they were lit to break up the darkness rather than specifically for Christmas. The orange candle holders were an inherited gift from family.
Everyone reuses boxes to send presents but this one was my favourite. The perfect fit for 2020! There was no Dettol inside.
I’d been really looking forward to seeing snow this year but with 2020 being one of the warmest on record, chances were looking slim. So you can imagine how pleased I was to look out of the window and see this on Christmas day!!
This Invasion Prague 68 book was a Christmas present. I sat down to have a quick look and got totally sucked in. I asked Scott to take a photo of me because I realised an oversized book documenting an invasion was a hilariously unfestive thing to be reading on Christmas Day. It’s a brilliant book by the way!
We ate a huge roast dinner, flopped around for a bit and then went for a walk in the snow. Gamla Stan was looking absolutely lovely! Snow really sealed the deal on a nice Christmas.
And that pretty much concludes 2020! A big thank you to everyone who has read my blog, liked posts or commented this year. It’s a long term project and a motivator for contuining to improve my photography, so your support really means a lot! Hopefully we can explore more of Sweden in 2021 and I’ll have some exciting photos to show you. But until then, I’ll continue to document Stockholm and life indoors. Keeping my fingers crossed for 2021 — for us and for all of you. xx