Grace Notes: Christmas in Sweden

Most years I manage to get home for Christmas by about the 15th of December. Usually at least a week before the day itself. I then help with the decorations in Cardiff and get all excited and ‘Christmassy’ at home. This year however is a little different. My flight isn’t until December 22nd, so I won’t actually get home to Cardiff until that evening. Therefore, I had to get into the mood here, in Sweden.

This was actually a pretty easy thing to do because, as with most things, Sweden is great at Christmas. Firstly there are the lights. It was starting to get dark by about 3pm most days and this would normally get me down, but there were so many lights and sparkles around, a part of me looked forward to the dark just so I could see everything lit up!

On my walk to school I pass the theme park ‘Liseberg’ and they have huge decorations at Christmas and a market and shops to get you in the mood. The centre of town is also festooned and looks stunning, as the lights are all so tasteful. One of my favourite things I saw this year were trees with their branches individually wound with fairy lights, illuminating them completely. It looks beautiful!

Another thing to make you smile is the singing Christmas tree. This is situated near the tram stop Kungsportsplatsen and is a Christmas tree shaped choir stall where local choirs go up and sing a set of Christmas tunes. It’s so cheesy, but I love it!

In the UK at Christmas we have a lot of lights, but it was a little different here. In almost every window there were some candles or a hanging star light, bringing this magic to the darkness.

Aside from the decorations I also enjoyed the food at christmas, particularly the pepparkakor and glögg.
So although it’s been different, I have definitely got the Christmas spirit in Sweden, but I’m looking forward to heading back to Cardiff for the actual day!



Grace Notes: Believe it or not, I have a degree!

Last week I left Gothenburg for the first time since arriving in August and flew back to London for my graduation. I was really excited to go back and see my family and friends, and it was made so much better without my violin as my hand luggage!

The day started off well (as in I managed to be up and awake at 4am so I could get to the airport on time), and everything was going smoothly until we boarded the plane. There was fog at Gatwick and so we were stuck on the runway at Gothenburg Airport for two hours!

I finally made it to London and spent the rest of the day darting round seeing friends before meeting my parents for an evening meal.

The day of graduation itself was lovely. We were very lucky that it wasn’t raining! Like children, we were very excited to wear all the robes and I definitely felt a little bit like Harry Potter in them! The ceremony was nice (aside from the panic just before you walk onstage to graduate that you’re going to trip over in your heels and regret not wearing sensible flat shoes…..) and it was great to see our whole year being back together again.

What felt like thousands of photos were taken and then my old flatmates and our families got to go for a quick pub meal.

Then suddenly it was time to go again and I was rushing back to Gatwick and back to Gothenburg!