Considering this was to be my first and only 40th birthday, I had no expectations; and I really didn’t plan for it to turn out this good 🙂 But I guess a good indication may have been the wonderful trip to Belfast in Northern Ireland earlier this year where I, amongst other things, made the acquaintance of Tom Kerr – a wonderful person, and much talented writer/painter.
The two weeks in question began with a visit to the Yasuragi (“inner peace and harmony”) centre, just outside Stockholm. The two-day stay did wonders for my peace of mind. Following that, I had an awesome Aikido session at the Dojo, with the gruesome CORE session at the end. My sensei (Mats), Lasse, Lena and Peter then took me out for a bite to eat, some drinks, and a wonderful gift in the shape of a bottle of “The Balvenie” Single Malt DoubleWood. We ended up at Mats’ place where we discussed.. uh.. something of utmost importance I’m sure 🙂
The following two days I was off from work (thank goodness for that), and on the Thursday, Mark arrived from Belfast. Knowing that I like good Irish whiskey, he brought me a bottle of Jameson Distillery Reserve, as well as a bottle of Bushmill’s Distillery Reserve (not to mention the GPS)! After having gotten Mark settled at the hotel, we rounded off the evening at Akkurat for some whiskey (and whisky) sampling.
On Friday, I played tourist guide as Mark and I walked around most of Stockholm. We had a nice lunch at Blå Porten (“the Blue Gate”) on Djurgården, followed by some more walking through the Old Town and the Royal Castle. Being a tourist guide in your home city is quite fun, and you get to see things you had since long forgotten about. We settled for a quiet evening and some more whiskey, this time at home 🙂
On Saturday, Alexander had a S:t Eriks Cup football match, which everyone went to watch. I had to do the coach thing, and Mark did the photographer thing. After the game we chilled for a few hours. In the meantime, Tobias arrived from Germany. In the evening, we had a little gathering and a nice meal at the La Famiglia restaurant. Jon/Josefin/Freya/Zelda turned up, as did Tobias and Mark, Christian * 2, Mats, and all of my family. Wonderful food, nice wine, and a great atmosphere in general was the perfect start of the evening. J/J/F/Z gave me an unusual but very cool gift, a guided roof walking tour in Stockholm (!). Tobias had brought another cool bottle of Bushmill’s! 🙂 Mats brought a book about Cigars and two nice cigars.
After La Famiglia, Christian (*1), Mark, Tobias, Mats, and myself headed to Akkurat for some drinks (gotta get that Guinness y’know). Katja turned up, which was way cool. We ended up partying all night after having moved ourselves to another fine establishment once Akkurat closed.
Sunday was.. ehr.. chill time 🙂 Mark and Tobias headed home, and I prepared for my one day work week. Monday came and went. On Tuesday, I was set to go to work, but Filip had a cold, so I took him to the doctor. Nothing major, just a cough, etc. But we were concerned that we weren’t going to be able to go to Rhodes. My family had given me a one week trip to Rhodes in Greece; sweet!
On Wednesday, we left for Rhodes! A bit of a snag on the outbound journey gave us a delay of five hours. But apart from wanting to strangle my children after six hours at the airport, everything went well. We had a wonderful time with great weather, excellent food and drinks.
Phew! I should turn 40 every four weeks or so 🙂