Here, we have temps of about 10 to 12 degrees - all plus, a change after Sweden at this time of year, where it's about minus 20 or so! Here it's bright, sunny and dry. Not a trace of snow!! A big difference.
We survived the Brit expat Hogmanay experience and even managed to drive back - on small, muddy farm-tracks between fields - without mishap. Here's the view from an upstairs window this morning:
Whereas in Sweden it's probably more like this, Id think. This was the year before last (Jan 2010) around this time:
Last January, we were in Spain, where it was mild and relatively warmish. Nevertheless, it's hard not to miss the sheer beauty of Sweden, despite the numbing cold!
At last night's 'do' there were about twenty Brit guests and only one Froggo - a woman who came along with a Scots couple. Of interest was the fact that the Jocks, who now live locally, are originally from the Heelans! He is a retired copper from Inverness who met his wife while stationed on Isle of Lewis: she is from Stornoway. Given the Blogs I tend to follow - many being from Eilean Siar itself - I was surprised to say the least! One of those strange, serendipitous things that make the world a small place at times. In addition, my family is from the Black Isle in Inverness-shire, so as soon as I mentioned my name he had a handle on it and its origins!
Sadly, however, we toasted the Year end with Champagne, never a favourite of mine; there was not a trace of Malt to be had!:
Lord knows what the Teuchters must have thought - a bit disappointed, I'd expect. After all it is traditional in the Highlands & Islands. He should, of course, have brought his own! We fortunately had some at home.
I must say the Jools Hootenany was a bit iffy this time round. Unlike last year when this crew appeared. A fine little outfit, we had the good fortune to meet with in London last year. Glad to see they've been booked to play my favourite US Americana festival in NC this year. I suggested this to the guy - Roy Book Binder - who books the Blues acts for the event when I saw him in London last year and he hinted it might be a runner! Seems, he was right. He must have given them a plug, as he, too, is a fan and initially tipped me the wink about them. I know the band are keen to play there and the guitarist, Adam, confirmed they would love to play the Merlefest festival: