Sunday, 21 April 2013

Stockholm Tales.....

Oh this was such a long time coming.  I've just returned from a great week in Stockholm.  A lot has changed over there since I packed up my little flat in Bagarmossen and headed home to Brighton - marriages have happened, babies have been born, people have moved on and lovely Jonnah is no longer around.....but as soon as I made that trek through T-Centralen, it felt like I'd never been away.

I've stayed in a lot of apartments over the years in Stockholm, normally in Soder, but this time, we opted for a huge apartment further out in Farsta.  The only thing I knew about Farsta was that they had a shopping mall and it was one stop closer than my child-minding job in the woods at Farsta Strand.  To my swedish friends, Farsta was too far out but to us London folk who are used to travelling for an hour at a time, 17 mins to Soder was just fine.  Anyone heading to Stockholm (or anywhere come to that), I'd recommend for an apartment.  Ours was amazing - 2 bedrooms, a balcony, a bathtub (not always the case in Sweden) and a fridge/freezer full of food we could use if we wanted.  Thank you Irina for use of your beautiful home.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great in Stockholm in April so we didn't do a lot of going out at night.  Instead this was a relaxing holiday which we both needed.  So as not to ramble too much and bore the living daylights out of you, here's just an abbreviated version of what we did while we were there:

Day 1: Unpacking, eating, watching rubbish tv.

Day 2:  The sights of Sodermalm - Cake & chai latte at Louie Louie (,  rummaging round the (cheaper than ours) vintage shops (, lunch at my favourite Soder cafe' - Cafe' String (, coffee with Asa at Babylon, missing of happy hour at Vampire Lounge ( and sitting there with £10 cocktails just cos we could!,  Pear cider at Carmen, good tunes with Louise at Snottys, finishing up in the best bar in the world under Garlic & Shots (, where we looked at pretty rock & roll boys and listened to the likes of Siouxsie & the Banshees and surf music.

Day 3:  More eating, more coffee, more rubbish tv, more rummaging...then a night out with Louise & Sara in Mariatorget at Feca (great little italian) (, drinks at Marie Laveau (, the beautiful Folk Opera bar ( where we were lucky enough to see a performance by the Finnish Screaming Choir ( but totally amazing, finishing up at Soders Hjarta ( and a walk back to Slussen.

Day 4:  A bit of sightseeing round Soder - churches, crypts, Mosebacke Tor, the Katarinahissen bridge with it's gorgeous views over the water, probably more coffee & more food, great scenes in Soder on the day of Hammarby's first footie match of the season.  I've never seen anything like it - streets packed full of footie fans walking from Medis to the Hammarby Stadium, all cheering, setting off fireworks & firecrackers.  The streets were so full of smoke that it was hard to breathe but it was a pretty amazing sight.  I asked a boy if there would be football violence but he said "no, just beer".  Phew!!!!  We had our photo taken for god knows what as we we looked apparently "beautiful".  If anyone sees us in any publication looking "beautiful", please let us know!  Off to Thorildsplan after the football excitement, to catch up with old friends & stroke cats.  Thanks Helena, Liselott & Neil for a lovely afternoon of chatting, freshly baked scones, tea & Alfie/Morris love.

Day 5:  A day in the hood - the Farsta hood that is.  An unexpected lovely day of looking round the deceivingly big shopping mall 5 mins from our apartment, having yet another HUGE salad, eating cake of some description and looking at plastic things in Lagerhuset.  Stocking up on groceries at ICA that wouldn't make a proper meal but what the hell?  We like salty licquorice ice-cream, pastry-based products and other unknown stuff.  I've done pretty well with my swedish this trip but went into a panic when I read out the freezer label to Diane as "Birds".  For some stupid reason, I imagined freezers full of small wrens or blackbirds.....not chickens & turkeys.  Swedes:  It's Poultry, not Birds ok?  Oh how we laughed.  An evening of "great" swedish tv.....including a quiz show in swedish called "Vem Vet Mest?" (Who knows most...or something like that).  As it happened, we knew most....well 5 answers.  I read out the questions as best as I could, Diane answered.....the fun we had....ha!  We also saw wildlife outside the apartment.  For entertainment purposes, we thought it was a moose but in fact it was just a little roe deer foraging for food in the snow.
Day 6:  And I've realised my days are possibly back to front but hey, you get the gist!!!!  A rainy day in Gamla Stan where I got water in my shoes and we did the tourist thing for about 5 mins before needing coffee.  We found a brilliant little secret cafe' in a cellar, whose name I can't remember - Diane? - full of vintage furniture and little alcoves, and no-one there hardly.  Not a huge menu but a great little spot. More time in Soder, more time in Louie Louie, more time in String.  And we went to my favourite shop Sivletto ( - vintage clothes, a coffee bar, a vintage hairdressers, household items & records.  Hard to find but well worth it.

and with that, we had to come home.  Thank you Stockholm for the loveliest of weeks.  We'll return sooner than soon.  In the meantime, we'll miss your tiny pillows, your poor tv & your huge pasta salads.  Swedish friends, we'll obviously miss you too.

Back to England, back to rubbish customer service, back to things that don't work.....sigh.  I shouldn't complain, it's a beautiful day in my beautiful flat in beautiful Crouch End.

Ses snart Frock Fans! x