Monday, 29 June 2009

IKEA - stage two

Stage two of the IKEA experience is to put your IKEA furniture together. Everyone knows that this is the stage where marriages breaks down. If you weren't close to throwing your other half out after the experience of purchasing you new joint furniture then putting them together will truly get you there.

So there are some precautions that one should take before one attempts to do this together.
1.Decide if it's just better that one person works on putting the furniture together and the other person get's out of the way. Maybe do some laundry, wash the car, change some tyres or something else that needs doing that doesn't involve coming with suggestions to the swearing person with the red face.

2.If you have decided that you must do it together. Make sure that you have two sets of tools, screw drivers, allens keys, wrenches and the other things that is needed.

3.Stay well fed and well hydrated through the exercise. If you do not drink enough during the process you might spontaneously combust from the frustration of figuring out what the instructions means. I suggest using beer as a hydration medium. In the end the instructions wont be clearer but you will not care that your table has only 3 legs.

4.Do not criticize the other partner if they are very slow at using the screw driver, if you do you might wake up in the emergency room with said screwdriver shoved in your knees.

5.Sorting out what is in the packet, yes all the screws as well, actually makes sense. Then you know if you have to many/to few screws and it will save you time and yelling effort later on. You can now go back straight to the shop with your item with missing screws and yell at the people who deserve to be yelled at, we all know that is the returns people in the shop. Instead of yelling randomly at your children or dog.

6.Make sure you have enough time, do not think it will take an hour to put up a bed frame. I would suggest double your highest estimation of time, and then add an hour. Hence do not start putting up your new dining table 1 hour before you are having guest coming over for a dinner party. If you only have one hour, drag out an old camping table and call it a casual cocktail event instead. Serving casserole.
Check the instructions to see what part of the pieces is supposed to be upwards.

8.If you end up with to many pieces left over and you can not for your life understand what part of the furniture they are suppose to fit in/screw into. Shove them into the back of drawer. When the piece of furniture falls into pieces in 3 months time, you can go back to the store and yell at the returns people.

So these are all my stage 2 IKEA precautions that we did not follow today. We thought we'd get all the furniture up. We only have the bed and bed storage up, that took us 4 hours. We didn't eat anything, which made me so crazy hungry that I crammed a bag of the Swedish Fish candy that I bought into my mouth in 7 minutes. A record for me. We had to do it together and we had no tools, we had to borrow some from the maintenance guy.

So all in all. Our bedrooms looks real nice and the rest of the flat is empty. So we could invite only people over that we would want to have in the bedroom. Which I guess defeats the purpose with being married. So people will have to stay away until we get the rest of the shipment of furniture that is coming from London.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Ikea – what wonderful flat packed world

Yesterday we spent the day at IKEA, well we first spent 2 hours getting lost in and around north Sydney on our way to IKEA and then spend the reminder of the day at IKEA.

I have a lot of experience of IKEA, this is the fourth time I buy an entire home at IKEA, my 3rd IKEA kitchen starter pack. I can count the important events in my life by visits to IKEA. In generall I think I probably should be sponsored by IKEA.

By being such a Pro at IKEA there are some important IKEA related lessons that I would like to install in people.

1.There is no such thing as popping in to IKEA to check out something, make sure you have time, make sure you know what you are looking for and be sure you have no other engagement for later that day/night.
Most arguments you see people have in IKEA is relating to the fact that they thought they would be out of there by now. Don't do the mistake thinking you will be able to push through it in 30 minutes. Always over budget on time in IKEA. You will be under budget on furniture but over budget on time.

2.Always eat before you start. That is why the put the restaurant at the entrance of the shop.

3.Always eat something when you are finished as packing the car and driving home will take it's toll.

4. If it's possible do not bring your children, there is nothing fun to do at IKEA for children. If you can leave them with someone otherwise you will want to throw them out the window, or more likely other people will want to throw your children out the window. Neither of those scenarios are beneficial for the children.

5.Wear comfortable shoes and if you are buying big things that needs to be picked up from the warehouse do not wear clothing that you mind getting dusty.

6.Remember all those little things that you pick on the way, the spoons, the flower pots, the salad bowls and glasses. They are all very cheap individually, but together they can easily add up the same amount of money that you intended to spend on the Bjursta dining table.

7.If do need to exchange or return things to IKEA, make sure to do that the same day. Otherwise the non fixed unwanted chest of drawers will stand in your hallway for at least 6 months before you give in and throw it in the recycling.

8.Bring something to eat half way, once you get through the display area and get down to the market place the fun part starts. This is where you need your energy and creativity to make sure you buy the stuff that can make your home slightly more colourful but not in a cheap and nasty way.

9.Don't buy the cheapest ones, in IKEA it it's always worth it to buy one of their “upmarket” versions. Except for the egg slicers, both the cheap and the “expensive” one is rubbish.

10.Don't forget to buy a bag of the 100 tea lights.

So as I said, we spent the day at IKEA, we got the stuff delivered today. We haven't put it all together yet, maybe we will get to that tomorrow or Sunday.

I made the concious decision not to buy the cheapest stuff I could find or more like it A made sure I didn't buy the cheapest things. Instead we bought the ones we wanted. So now we are proud owners of a proper adult grown up bed frame and mattress. Instead of the very strange cheapest-I-could-find spring base with a thin cover set up that I forced us to sleep on in London for 6 years. Which I also complained about for 6 years.

We also have a proper head board with storage, bed side table lamps, a proper work table for me with legs that you can change the height on (so exited about this) and areally really nice coffe table.

We also have all the other stuff you need for a house, plates, bowls, glasses, wine glasses, cutlery, decorative pillows for our sofa that is yet to come from London, fabric to make pillow cases for said pillows and all the other wonderful wonderful things you can find at IKEA.

As you can tell I like IKEA, and I also got to have the meatballs. And I bought Ahlgreens bilar and pepar kakor in the swedish food shop.

I did however forgot to buy a bag of 100 tea lights.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

David Jones is my best friend

As I said yesterday I went for an interview on Monday for a short term contract, I found out today that I didn't get it. Which for me was strange, cause I thought I really nailed the interview and this counts as the first interview I've done and haven't got the job. I hope it's not a trend.

It's strange, I have always found that once I get to come to an interview I tend to be able to persuade them that I'm the best and that I am exactly what they are looking for. Does not mean I work well just that I have been able to do the personal hard sell well. I really hope I'm not starting a trend here by not getting the contract.

I was told they gave the job to a guy that had already worked there before as the company made a huge group of people redundant just before Christmas last year. Isn't that a nice Christmas bonus for the employees, hey thanks for the years worked and now your fired. Put that in your Christmas pipe and smoke it.

So maybe it was for the best, I'm being philosophical and positive. I hope I shall be able to nail some other interview/meet and greet at a later stage. I shall try not to talk about it as it seems to jinx it.

Other than that we went back to David Jones to use some more of our wedding vouchers and are now owners of a frying pan, a couple of pyrex dishes and blue checked sheets and an addiction to le crueset cobalt blue cast iron casserole pot.

Well, now i'm gonna go and feed my other new addiction, REALLY REALLY RUBISH TV.
It's awesome. They have the worst TV programs, all the bad bad bad for you reality TV shows.
So King of Queens here I come..

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Ronery...i'm so ronery

The time has passed fast since we got here. We have got our flat, we are moving in this coming weekend. Since the flats here do not come with appliances we have to buy a fridge and a washing machine and other paraphernalia.

Also, in my attempt to purge and not bring to much here I've actually not brought anything. Obviously we have a lot of stuff, everyone does. But we have none of that stuff that one needs, we have no hand towels, towels, kitchen stuff, knife, forks, plates, glasses we do however have a lot of cups. For some reason we have about 20 cups. That seems to be a common issue, R and S also have at least 20-25 cups in their cupboard. I think it might be cause people buy you cups as a present, or you buy a cup cause that cup is nice. A cup does not need to be a part of a set for the kitchen, it can just be your favourite cup.

Anyway, to get to my point. This weekend was rough, I was really sad, and really lonely and so tired. I felt so tired I was worried I had got some serious illness, which I didn't cause I'm not so tired any more. But still, I was worried.

I felt quite lonely which is strange as I have not been alone for 10 minutes since leaving London. I felt sorry for A, cause me feeling lonely and tired is not a person that is up to telling good jokes.

Unfortunately this weekend when I'm in my miserable-selfish feel-sorry-for-myself, I'm-the-saddest in-the-world-mood, we where invited to a party on the Saturday night by my old boss. It was the type of party I would normally love. It was themed, and everyone who was there had really gone to town with the costumes, really clever ones, the food was good, the drink was free ( it was a fund raising thing so you had to pay an entry fee), there was a band, my old boss was in the band playing base, he did good I think, not that I know much about music, but he looked the part.

And I was so tired, I could hardly get dressed, I fell asleep on the way over and looking at everyone knowing a lot of people letting lose on the dance floor, I just felt so horribly home sick and lonely. Not to mention pissed of my head. So I had to go home. We went home at like 11 pm. I mean, even when I was on crutches after my last surgery I didn't leave a party that early.

So that was sad.

But now it's better, the weather is sunny again. I went for an interview for a short contract on Monday, and I think it might have gone OK. I don't know yet, but at least I didn't come across like a moron which is always a plus. We've bought some stuff for our new home. Some really nice sea green towels, and blue ones of course for A, pillows, duvets those sort of things. Once we get into the flat, and actually have some furniture, they should arrive in mid July I will take pictures and show you what it looks like.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

New Flat

we got the new flat, which is amazing news, considering the amount of hoops they made us jump. I'm so relieved. Now I can go and use some of those shopping vouchers we got as wedding presents to buy some new sheet, pillows and duvets.

I love shopping for bedding, bedding and tea towels. Those are my things :-). Hey it's better then heroin as an addiction I guess. Cheaper and more sustainable, you don't got to prison cause you have special tea towels that people are not allowed to use. I am a bit a embarrased to admitt that, but they are so nice those tea towells and they are hand made by my grandmother. I think I'm gonna frame them.

Anyway, the area which the flat is in is called Waterloo, which is next to Surrey Hills. Surrey Hills is the most european looking neighbourhood if you like, there are loads of restaurants, cafes and quirky litte shops.

Next to our building there is a street called Danks street, it has a number of really fancy pancy organic food shops and designer furniture shops. And most amazingly an shop selling only Swedish Antiques. Nothing made after the 1960:s. It's a great litle shop with a really nice lady working in it. Apparently the shop is owned by her son that studied design in Sweden, fell in love with swedish design and decided to import into australia. So if anyone in stockholm is wondering where all the nice 1950s design classics are, they are currently located on Danks street, and once I get rich and beatifull they will be in my house.

We are moving in next Friday. So tommorow, David Jones bedding and sheet department here I come. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Funny things about Australia

Beach Finds

There are indeed many funny things for a foreigner in this country, not just the expressions (hurru as hello) or the animal that is out to either amuse you or kill you (emu and red back spiders). But there are more every day things that are amusing.

1.All Australians I know have 2 fridges, one fridge for food and one totally separate drinks fridge.
2.They stand on the left in escalators instead of right.
3.People talk to you, you know actually really talk to you in shops and sometimes on the street. It's freaky as coming from London where people do their utmost to ignore you at all times.
4.The clothes differentiations on the street is extreme, you can see people walking on the streets in full on winter jackets with woollen hats next to another guy wearing shorts and a T-shirt. It's 14 degrees, none of those options are suitable.
5.There are no heating in the houses, just a reverse cycle air-conditioning which is more like a hot air fan. So when you wake up you can see your own breath in the bedroom.
6.North-facing balconies and back yards are more popular then south ones as this is the southern hemisphere and it's all up side down.

These are just a few ones I was thinking about today as I was out for a bit.

I really find the two fridge thing really funny. I don't know why they have that, even people who have little food in the fridge has two fridges. It must be a case of that is just how it's done, not always something you need.

Other than that, we are stumbling into issues with the apartment people. They are to frustrating and annoying to bring up here, hopefully the people will stop being morons and actually look at the information that we are providing instead of saying “we don't normally accept paper work from abroad”. Which is blatantly untrue as I could count at least 40 Chinese students living in the complex.

Anyway, I'm gonna go and be a good girl and do my physio now.
Hear you's later


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Crazy Rain- Happy Birthday Syster Yster

Today has had the craziest weather. It's 4 ish in the afternoon and we have gone throught sun, drizzle, tropical downpour, heavy drizzle and then back to sun. So many seasons in a few hours.

We have put in the application for our flat today, you need to provide them with so much stuff, fincial information, previous rentals and employers information. It's the employment information that is missing, I don't have job as yet and A company wont start trading untill 1 of july. So I just hope they will overlook that and take our other finacial information as an OK to the fact that we could pay our rent and speak to our previous landlords who has given us very good references. But you never know, we should know by the end of the week if they OK our application and if they do we can move in the weekend after next. So that would be good, I have enjoyed staying with S and R here, but I'm sure they are getting tired of us. Eventhought we are doing our best to stay out of the way and try to not be to untidy. I just have appaling taste in TV programs and try to force them to watch project runway and Bridezillas.

Belive me Australia has so much rubbish on TV, it's amazing. I love it. As a child I wasn't really allowed to watch crap tv, which means that I'm totally in awe of it now. I can't watch a whole show cause you know, it's rubish and people are really annoying and they are all so stupid. But since all channels here are full of crap I can swap between crap shows and then I can just watch a little bit of them all. It's great, I'm not even missing not having a job. Then again, A has said that we are not buying a TV for our new flat. So I guess that will be my saviour.

Other than that, I've made some plans for my creative endavors for our new flat. What i'm going to make in no particular order is:
1. a blue painting.
2. Some embroidery stuff. I'm thinking a painting again. Something with dandelions...
3. A necklace that looks like a cloud
4. A two leaf necklace, with I think the Parabia Tourmaline I have. It will probably be for me...:-).
5. A present for my BIG SISTER K who has a Birthday today, the 16 of June. Hapy Birthday. I will call her later, but as it is 8 am in Sweden right now I think she is still busy arriving at work and getting a cup of coffe and reading her emails...

So I make a Virtual Song for Her...
Med Blommor och Med blad
Vi firar denna dag
Hurra, Hurra for Syster Yster Idag
Hurra, Hurra, Hurra, Hurra, Hurra
Ja ma hon leva
Ja ma hon leva
Ja ma hon leva i hundrade ar....
Grattis, Grattis...

I will call you in an hour.
Kramar Maria

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Jobs-House-Furniture etc

It seems like things are slightly falling into place with work and furnishing of the new apparment, assuming that we are getting it. We are supplying the apartment people with the information they need, visas, finacial statements etc etc today. So we should find out by the middle of the week how it will go with that.

It also seems that maybe i'm in luck and could walk into a contract position quite soon, I do not know for sure yet so I do not want to jinx it by talking about it.

The same source that would be the provider of the job could also turn out to be the provider of most of all the furnishing we need. I do not want to jinx that either so I say more later, assuming it all falls into place.

So keep your fingers and toes crossed and wish me luck.

Seen even more beaches this weekend, went to clavellie beach and today I spent some lovely time in Vauclause, and boy is that area beatifull. The houses looks like giant mansions and the view is amazing. Imagine waking up to your own private beach and a view of the Sydney Opera house and The Harbour Bridge. It would be hard to be sad in that location.

Hear yous later.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Welcome to Coogee Beach

Cooge Beach water walking
Sydney is surrounded by beaches, well Australia being and island is surrounded by water and hence beaches. It seems to me that the whole culture here is beach focused, even for people who do not like them really, people who do not like to swim or sit in the sun. The beach is still an symbol of free time and relaxation on a day to day basis more then the Swedish 2 weeks of year luxury basis.

Me and A went to the beach located about a 10 minute walk from our friends house today, Coogee beach. It is not Sydney's most impressive or beautiful beach, but look at it. For me it's glorious. I love beaches, I love water, I love the colours and the sounds. My one main dream is at one time live next to the water so I could use it every day. Even days like this where it's 14 degrees in the air and with the wind chill makes it feel like it's below 10 people are swimming and surfing and playing in the water. It seems like the beach is everyone's exercise ground. There where people running, people doing weight training with personal trainers, some group doing stretches and other thingis. But then why wouldn't you. Wouldn't it be more marvellous to run along the beach front then in a gym in front of a TV pumping pictures of a gyrating Lady GaGa at you.
Cooge Beach

On Sunday we went to Bondi Beach which is a 20 minute drive from where we are staying and it too was beautiful and the people, well they where beautiful to. Feeling way out of my comforts zone with 6 extra Thai curry kilos still located around my waist I continued to look at all the fit and beautiful people while eating my full English breakfast with and extra side of bacon.

Other than that we are currently assembling all info for our application for the flat and once that is done I'm going to get down to the serious business of trying to find myself employment. I can't really say much about this at the moment as I mainly spend time worrying about it, not actually doing anything about it. So I will take tomorrow as my last faffing about day and then I will do my lists as per normal and get on with it.

There is a shop opening close to where we live which is a luxury craft shop :-). What a wonderful thing, such a wonderful wasteful thing. I have to get a job if for no other reason that I am intending to spend a fair amount of time in there. Maybe I should ask them for a job, that might actually save me money in the long run. I can look at everything and faff around with it, but not pay for it...Ohhhh...I like it.
my feets after a walk in the water

Now I have to go and find out the price of a fridge as the flats here do not come with fridges or washing machines, But they do come with dryers......which you know is totally sensible as one really need to dry things one can't wash....Nutbuckets....this country sometimes is totally nutbuckets...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


We have viewed a number of flats so far, and finaly put down a deposit on one today. I'm very happy about that, not that living with R and S is bad, it's just that I do not want to outstay my welcome.

There is one funny thing about the flats that we have chosen to live in so far when we have moved countries. We have always stayed in the same house as S in the beginning. When I came to london as a student in 2000 we both stayed in the same dorm house as S, when I moved back to London A and I stayed with S in his flat untill we found our own flat, aprox 100 meters away from S flat. Now when we moved to Australia we are staying in S's house and the flat that we have put down a deposit on is basicly the same flat that he used to live in, just one floor down.

It's a relatively big flat. It's two floors, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a study with a big all-day-sun balcony with air con through the apartment. It's takes about 15-20 min on the buss into sydney central and 15 minutes to S and R's suburb. I can walk into the city in 45 minutes and run it in probably 20 minutes once I'm able to run again.

So, let's just hope that they accept our application. Here you need to apply for the flats, I guess to let the landlord choose whom he/she wants to rent it out to. You need to provide prof earning, ID and references of where you've rented before. I really hope they will accept our application. Obviously our problem is that none of us have any proof of earning in Australia, but I hope they will accept my papers from the UK.

So it's all good, and i'm starting to get exited about buying furniture. The only issue with furniture that I have here is that it's very expensive. The competition is not high and it's traditionally it has always been expensive so companies can charge anything. We went and looked at beds the other day and the cheapest bed we could find in David Jones was 2000 dollars on sale. That is 10,000 kronors, and i think that is a lot for a bed. But then again I can be very cheap. So I can say...IKEA here we come. Not just for the meatballs this time.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

More flat hunting

Went to see another flat today, led by another snotty agent. I just wanted to shake her and yell - You think you'r all that in your cheap suit and your unironed shirt. Since those are things that really matters when you are angry, get as mean as possible. She was so thin she would have been mortaly ofended if I would have called her fat. Wich is possible the angriest I can be at people.

The flat was awfull, lovely view of a building site, badly fitted carpet that buckled everywhere with beige stains over it ( I can't imagine what would have happened there, don't want to more like it) and all the cabinets in the bathrooms broken. They wanted 700 dollars for that.

But once we did that we went to Surrey Hills for lunch and that was awsome. Great food, fantastic area. I love it. I try to convince A to live there, but He is being obstinate and want to live in the city. It was about 20 degress celcius and bright sun all day. Beautifull weather, the type you imagine when people talk about Sydney.

Tonight we are out for B'day dinner, and last night we went to see Terminator Salvation. I can only describe it as 3 hours I will never get back in my life.

I'm starting to fret about the not living anywhere, I want a work room. I want to get back making things. I was given new tools by A:s dad, a bench drill he made from a sewing machine ( he can make anything that man, so clever, the handiest person I've met. A has not inherited that skill set at all), mandrels in different sizes, files and all sorts of other good stuff. I can't wait to get a table and house to put the table in and work away. My hands are restless.
When I saw this video on Etsy I almost cried with jelousy, for the skill she has and the machines she owns.

Better go downstairs and help out and maybe get dressed and put some make up on, or something.
Hear Yous

Friday, 5 June 2009


We are now in Sydney, officially looking for jobs and housing. I went to see an agent today, as they have recruitment agents here in the same way as in the UK. Sort of like budget version of the Swedish Head Hunters. It was good, I think. It's always hard to tell. They are in business to tell you that your CV is great and that you are great and that they'll place you easy peasy. We'll see, I'm talking to him again by the end of next week as it's a long weekend here in Australia. Queens Birthday.

They are a part of the Commonwealth and celebrate the strangest British things.

We also went to see an apartment today and the rental system here is crazy. I'm not kidding you, crazy. Instead of “registering” with an agent you have to go to these “open houses”, basically it means that for 15 minutes the agents have the apartment open, you and 11 other couples go in to see it, normally the people who live there are still packing up their crap so you can't really see the flat anyway. Then you go back and apply for the apartment online, and if you are lucky they pick you. No reason why they would pick you over some other couple except you promise to pay a bit more then the apartment is listed for. So instead of 200 pounds a week you pay 250 the apartments are way more expensive in real life then on the listing.

Oh yeah, lest I forget, the estate agents are really not nice, they are rude and uninterested. Couldn't give a toss about you or the flat. So, really it's a great time had by all I'm sure.

So we went to see this apartment today, and it was listed without any pictures on line, it was 800 Aussie dollars a week, about 400 pounds a week. The people who lived there was moving out so their crap was everywhere, and there was cat. Big fat cat smell everywhere. Now, who in their right mind has a cat on the 16 floor in an apartment building. I believe that to be animal cruelty.
The cat smell combined with one if the women's extreme use of perfume made me retch, so funnily enough we decided that it wasn't a flat for us.

To cheer me up, I went and bought a suit and sexy secretary type of dress so I would have something to wear in case I got some interviews. But then since I've now tempted faith by buying these clothes for interviews that I haven't got lined up yet, I will have to go and do some big big knocks on wood, probably with my forehead.

Other purchases was also quite and ugly teal fleece sweater as the house that we are staying in is colder then outside...Ohhh I'm wearing it now. I might look like I fit on Jeremy Kyle (Uk version of Jerry Springer), but I am toasty...

Hear yous later...

Tomorrow – on this bat channel.
I will let you all know about the meeting with the Shoe Lady tomorrow...ohhh Suits you sir

Monday, 1 June 2009

First of June, the first official day of winter in Australia. Since some parts of Australia does not have the 4 seasonal pattern that is used in Europe, they have created an order of the seasons by setting the official day of the start of all seasons. Today is the first day of winter.

I'm in North Queensland and I've spent the day on the beach. At some points it was windy, but it was never cold. It must have been 25-26 degrees Celsius and the sun was shining most of the day. We spent the day with A:s parents at his parents friends beach “hut”, that is more of a fully equiped house.

The day was fantastic, the sun was shining, it was windy and I got to spend a long time picking shells out of the sand. It's strange to think that I can stay in the same country just 2.5 hours flight south and it will be cold and I will want to wear a jacket.

I'm starting to trying to think about getting organised, sorting out a mobile phone, updating my CV, start looking for a job and a place to live. I find it hard to know what I want to do, one minute I'm panicking thinking that I will never find a job, and I don't want to get a flat before I have a job etc etc etc. Then the other minute I'm thinking that I do not want to have a job, that I want to spend some time taking it easy, chilling, living on my savings and just doss about. But I'm sure in the end my inside German control freak will take over and chase me out to get a wage. I guess that is good for me, when I do not have something to do, then I don't get anything done; whereas when I'm working all day all night and have no spare time, that is when I spend the nights making things, sewing, soldering and generally fixing and fippling.

Anyway, tomorrow I will get an Australian Mobile phone, such that I can start getting ready to be a part of this new society.