Ten years in Sweden

3650 days ago this morning, I was standing on the tarmac outside the terminal at Gothenburg City Airport feeling excited and petrified at the same time. I had left the UK after 14 years, my adult life thus far, and dragged my children away from their father, their friends and familiar surroundings. I had three never agains in my mind. I would never again renovate an old house, never again get married and never again was I going to have a baby. Today I am living with my new husband in a renovated house from 1926 and the family grew from four to five with the arrival of Beatrice as early as 2008!

In some ways, it feels like no time at all, and in others like it is a bit unreal. Certainly life could have been easier for us as a family. We have faced periods of, through no fault of our own, unemployment that has meant having to say no much more than we would have liked. For me it has been a challenge on a personal level to find myself in this position, but an even greater challenge for me as a parent. It would have been nice to have had the opportunity to be generous to my daughters. To take them on trips, to allow them to try every interest they wanted, to have a more active life I suppose. Happiness has been present of course in family life and all the magical, clever, philosophical people I have met these years, many of whom I will carry with me forever. You know who you are ❤

Achievments and failures
During these ten years I have had many great years as a designer. I travelled across Europe and got to visit both New York and Miami on several occasions. One highlight was being able to go to the Metropolitan Museum in NY when the exhibition about the spectacular creations by Alexander McQueen opened. I still have the little metallic admissions button in my jewellery case. I have lived through the flare and then demise of a creative business venture. I have trained for two years to become a Digital Marketing specialist and I have had my first short story published in a proper book. Ups and downs in capital letters, but as with everything seen in retrospect it has changed me profoundly and made me a better human.

Love and loss
A sign of age, or just plain old life, is that people that have been there for all of your conscious time start to die. In passing they remind you that your time will come one day and they send a little sharp needle of guilt into your heart that you could have been more present in their life. By the time the needle strikes it is too late, was for me anyway. I so could have made more and regular calls to my Nan, but let it slip through the logistics of domestic life. May I remember this feeling when I am 90+ and waiting for my grandchildren to call! My eldest will be leaving home this summer which means I get to experience the first ”loss” that way. But this loss is also filled with my love for her and my complete confidence in her ability to create and manage her life and future.

A dogs’ life Charlie
3,5 years ago we became proud foster parents to a beautiful Labrador who we named Charlie. We trained him in social situations to prepare him for his future life as a guide dog for the blind. And we loved him all the way to the moon and back. After a separation of nine months Charlie came back to us. He had hurt his leg and needed an operation and could not be placed. We had already bought the Flatcoated bundle of fluff Buddha, but could not turn Charlie down. He did not heal the way he should and life became centred on rehab and trying to meet both the dogs’ needs with training, exercise and rehab. Buddha went to live with family whilst we focused on Charlie and may still come back to us. Sadly our brave, clever Charlie could not be mended and last Friday we had to put him to sleep as he had hurt his knee once again and could not use his leg. The sorrow and sadness is too great to be described.

The light at the end of the tunnel
seems to have appeared at last. If all the pieces fall into place as we want, then a better and happier time lie at our feet. The news is just not quite ready to be shared yet 🙂  In one of my favourite songs, one of the lines is “they talk to you like you are a helicopter, and you know that you´re a plane”… Well this plane, after a long time in the helicopter hangar, is on the tarmac waiting for the all clear from the tower, engines revving, ready to take off!




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