yellow bokeh photo

Ipswich, Indian Takeway, Newborns, And A Dose Of French Rugby

There is a man next to me in the bus. His accent as he spoke to the bus driver betrayed his Eastern European origins. However he reminds me of that actor in the movie In Bruges. That big burly Irishman who is fond of art, flemish culture, and the big tower where he dies to the sound of Raglan Road. Brendan Gleeson, that’s him. I’ve got Gleeson with me in the bus except he sounds Polish. VALENTINE’S SENT ME BACK TO IPSWICH This weekend was a flash back in time, a journey to good old days, a taste of l’avant. This weekend I flew back to Ipswich. Unlike most people who travelled through Stansted at the weekend, I was not jetting […]

Irish bar, draft beer dispensing

Getting The Swedish Personnummer And A Round Of Irish Beers

With my hair freshly conditioned, I was ready to take on the latter part of the week with the resolute decision to blend into the local culture. With this objective set firmly in my mind, I decided to head to the Central Tax Office to register myself and get a ‘personnummer‘, not unlike the NI number over in the UK but in a friendlier format since it is composed of 12 numbers of which the first 8 represent your date of birth e.g. 19730321 for someone born on March 21st, 1973. And so, as 4 p.m. came on Thursday, I headed to Kista T-Bana, the local underground station (although it is set some 15m above street level) and hopped on […]

two brown houses covered with snow

First Impressions Of Snowy Sweden – Part I: Travel Cards, Shopping, And Shampoo

It has now been a week since I relocated East and North of my former homestead, Sleepy Suffolk, to the unforgiving, snow-capped lands of Sweden where temperatures give a fresh and crisp new meaning to Jack Frost’s doings. The last few days have been times of new discoveries, astonishments, surprises, and early mornings one could do without. Here are a few recollections of the past week. SUNDAY JANUARY 17TH – SNOW, AMERICAN HOMES, AND CANDLES I don’t frankly know what I expected but I was surprised to see the entire countryside was covered in snow as Ryanair’s flight FR052 initiated its descent on Skavsta. Naïvely, I thought that if snow had melted in Ipswich, it would have also given way in […]

Roadsigns on the A140 Ipswich Road

Farewell, Ipswich.

Without warning Sunday, January 17th stormed in on Bull Rd and it was all too late to try to stay in Ipswich. Had I clung to Maria´s bedframe in a vain attempt to remain, the bed would have flown out to the cinque and buggered off to Stansted dragging me along. Change was indeed inevitable and the path to Stockholm was wide open. My moving, rummaging, and packaging were all but done. The last 2 boxes had been taped up so much they looked like Egyptian mummies at the British Museum. They were now idly waiting in the living room for the UPS man to come and pick them up. (to be continued…) Next to the boxes, I had brought down […]

Close-up of vintage leather suitcase

The Move – Four Years, Three Months, Twenty-nine Days, And Two Hours ½ On

When I first got to Ipswich, my move was hectic and massively organized altogether. On the one hand, I had just returned to France quite laid back and relaxed with only a fortnight before my departure for Sleepy Suffolk. On the other, my dear mother, my very own Queen Mum, was breathing down my neck making sure I sorted out my suitcases and boxes. I eventually filled a trunk up with books, clothing, bed covers, and other items which I cannot think why I would ever want to bring them over to Ipswich. In my current move, I recently found the list of items I’d originally shipped and their weight. It is interesting to compare that with what I am […]