HELLO. I have returned. It seems like lots, but also nothing, has changed while I've been away. Such paradox. Many mysterious. Wow.
Ahhh I had such a lovely holiday. Here are some select highlights:

– Toiling on the allotment and digging potatoes, aka best things ever. Little Rhianpudding said I was good at toiling. I said I would toil for ever in exchange for coffee. OF COURSE I WOULD.

– Trolling to Ystad again and looking out for Wallander. He was probably off somewhere, contemplating his own mortality.

– Experiencing my very first Midsommar. Little Rhianpudding kindly made me vegetarian sill so I could pretend to be a fish-eater and fit in properly. I also tried snaps for the first time, and must point out that I've never had alcohol before that I could feel IN MY ACTUAL TOES.
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– Going to a Lebanese all-you-can-eat place in Malmö and being ashamed at not being able to eat as much as I wanted.

– Going to a vegetarian all-you-can-eat place in Copenhagen and doing slightly better. Also eating the traditional nachos.
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And getting trolled by Danes who seemed to understand a request for 'any drink that's not beer' as 'some beer', because Danes love to troll me, and that's why I love them.

– Games of Risk, played while EATING PIZZA. Getting most unfairly accused of forming a "Pudding Alliance" with Little Rhian Pudding. We haven't finished the game yet, so are not too sure who will emerge the victor. Let's just say that my boys in green have little to worry about.
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– Trying out games played on things other than PCs, such as 'GTA 5' and 'Red Dead Redemption', and another game where I kept getting shot the whole time. I approved. Also becoming addicted to an app named QuizUp. I now rank top in Sweden in the subject 'Ireland'.

– Going to a VIKING MUSEUM. It was one of the best museums I've been to, because it was more like a 'reserve' than a traditional museum, and you could basically just walk around and look at stuff and try helmets on, etc. It was much easier to get a sense of what it was actually like to be in a Viking village at the time. The houses seemed surprisingly cosy.
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If I had one criticism, it would be that the "Vikings" who actually lived there didn't seem like they wanted to interact with us all that much, to the extent that we felt a bit like we'd stumbled on their village by accident and were invading (rarely wise to invade a Viking village). It would have been cool if they'd have talked to us a bit. I wanted to learn more about nålebinding. But we might have come at a busy time. WHO KNOWS.

– Going to a museum in Lund that had loads of skulls and A NITHING POLE.
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– Finding a book in Lund that was about NORTHUMBRIAN SOCIOLINGUISTICS.
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Srsly, like, I live in Northumberland. I go to the largest secondhand bookshop in the whole country every couple of weeks, maybe. And I've never found anything like that, and it's not for want of searching. Then I happily troll into a bookshop in Lund just for a quick browse, and right at my eye level (knee level for most), this book was just looking at me. It's a sign. I don't know what of, but it's a sign.

– Sending my poor hosts so insane with a sociolect that we've developed that I'm genuinely a bit concerned about whether they can now function in normal society. WISE.

– And last but not least, being in the vicinity while the small and adorable niece of my wise hosts was born! It's been so long since I've celebrated the birth of a baby that I'd forgotten the rush of elation. I remember when I was 11 and Niamh was born and my nan literally danced for joy. I didn't get to meet this baby this time round, which is sad, but under my new philosophy of trying to make the best of everything, it makes an excellent excuse for ANOTHER visit. Plus, today I got to Skype with said baby, which is the next best thing. Yes, the poor child's had the experience of my computerised face floating above her. This is something that will make her grow up to be brave.

So it feels a bit mixed to be back, all in all. I have quite a lot to do, most of it gardening-based (update on which will follow on gardening blog). I think the only way to cure post-holiday blues like this, of course, is to plan the next one plus emigration. And already today, after being back for under 24 hours, I've bumped into several people I know, which is nice. I might go bouldering later this week to try and 'work off' 'the nachos'.

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