Fri 18 Oct - Stockholm, Sweden / London, England

Quieter day for both Di and Hans. Social engagments at night.

Di had developed a nasty sinus and was feeling run down so she started off the day by... not starting off, but staying in bed resting after taking some panadol.

Later, after being dosed up on drugs and feeling much better, Di caught up with Audrey and Alan to travel on a connection of overground trains to reach cousin Julia's place at Pinner where they were picked up at the local station.

Odd thing that the trains on this line look like they were built for much shorter people...until you realize that there is a 1 foot step down from the platform edge. Hmmm, not very wheelchair or pram friendly (but that's London)

The family were all there so it was a big fun gathering with home cooked curries from Julia (her mother is the Indian lady, Sheila, in this photo). Julia's father is the white haired gent Geoffrey, who is Audrey's, I.e. Di's mum, cousin.

Di is between Julia and her husband Richard, who produces films and they have 2 grown daughters who were also there tonight, Kathryn and Laura. Kathryn's boyfriend Phil was also there.

The women of the family.

Mum with her cousin Geoffrey and also Di, Sheila and Julia.

Di had a lovely time, with great food and was sorry it was so short. Di was home around 11.30pm after another train trip. All good, but exhausted so good night from her.

For Hans, well, it all started with a Big Bang, BANG... Literally.

This morning, Vic sat down on this...whatever it is, to tie up his shoelaces when he suddenly went through with his backside.

Is this the face of a bruised ego? Or something else?

Hans saw Mike leave for work and Vic too, although Vic will spend tonight at his mum's place before leaving for Romania tomorrow to see his girlfriend Nina. He will be in Romania for 6 weeks this time around.

After breakfast and shower, Hans walked from Vårberg to Skärholmen, perhaps a 10 minutes or so walk. Hans and Mike grew up in Skärholmen, up on the hill at Ekholmsvägen.

This whole building used to be a 2 storey school called Ekholmsskolan when Hans and Mike grew up there. Both did year 4 to year 6 in that school.

Ekholmsskolan was literally next to where Hans and Mike grew up. The building to the right housed the canteen among other things in those days. There was still a small amount of schooling going on there from what Hans could see.

The front of Ekholmsvägen 200-204, 202 being in the middle with the Carlen Family living on the 3rd floor to the left, balcony partly hidden behind the tree branches. Mummy Carlen still lived there until around 2004.

The entrance to Ekholmsvägen 202...

... And inside. It looked a lot better now from when Hans and Mike grew up there. Some SEK have been spent on tarting it up.

Hans childhood environment looked pretty much the same from when he lived here, apart from that the trees had grown massively and it therefore looked a lot greener now than it did then. Some superficial tarting up on the outside of the buildings had also been done.

Hans lived up on a hill, with Skärholmen's underground station being down there together with a large shopping centre, where all youngsters in those days hung out at times.

There used to be a disgusting lift here which you approached via a long a dark tunnel, notorious for not working. It was replaced some years ago with this open air cable car. Much better.

And from below...

Skärholmen's Centrum. This side looks now like it did then, but the centre used to be outdoors but has since been glassed in on both sides of this building and beyond.

The waiting hall at Skärholmen's underground station has also been modernized. It was also not a very happy place in the olden days.

Hans was once offered an apartment in this building. Not overlooking the square, but on the right side. Overlooking the parking station. Next door to the lift. Hans declined.

No photos from inside the shopping centre as it looks pretty much like anywhere else, apart from this one. A sudden Australian connection in the freezing cold Stockholm. They probably need it.

Hans then started to wander back towards Vårberg and Mike's place, but on the flats this time. Here we are looking back towards Skärholmen's Centrum.

Before the hill where Hans lived was built, these apartment blocks were built on the flat, adjacent to the shopping centre. They looked pretty much like what Hans remembered although even more rundown.

The autumn colours provide ample opportunity for vibrant photography, even in and around these grotty suburbs.

After a bit of shopping at the local grocery store, Hans went back home, cooked some lunch for himself and had a lazy afternoon. It feels like a luxury to be all by yourself and not doing anything, being lazy, reading, blogging and even having a nap. Nice.

Mike picked up Päivi and came home around 6pm, after which Hans, Mike and Päivi had dinner consisting of smoked salmon and baked potatoes... And drinks.

Retiring to the couch for wine and beer...

Hans and Mike's cousin Pete arrived some time after 8pm.

Chatting and drinking...

Drinking and chatting...

Mike put on a DVD, Gary Moore - Live in Dublin, Ireland and strong guitar music filled Mike's living room. Good stuff, pity that Gary passed away not long ago.

Another pleasant and late night with bed around midnight. Good night.


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