Tuesday, January 30, 2007

'Tis the Season

As I've mentioned on several occasions, Sweden gets very dark towards the end of the year, and particularly in December. It is therefore comforting that there are some traditions which try to restore a bit of light and warmth around Christmas, or Jul. For the whole month, we were allowed to turn on the electric light settings featuring seven candles. Mine had been sitting on my windowsill for the whole time I was at BTH, and at last I could turn it on. But wouldn't you know it, mine didn't work. Fortunately, there were some spares (there is not someone in every office) and so I was given a replacement. Here is what it looked like from inside my office. I took the photo at night for best effect.
This isn't just limited to BTH. People everywhere were placing candles and stars in their windows. My camera has pretty bad night vision, however this next photo illustrates my point. It is a photo taken of one of the apartment blocks at Hjorthöjden. All that my camera could pick up were the lights in the windows. Another tradition I got into was that of the Advent calendar. I was on a budget, so I bought a cheap one (10SEK, about $1.80AU) at Maxi. Here it is in the photo below. Each day I would come home from work and open one of the little perforated squares to find a different chocolate underneath. I must admit though that I had to cheat towards the end and open more than one a day, since I was leaving on December 21st and the last day of Swedish Advent calendars is always the 24th. No sense in wasting perfectly good chocolate!