färgen grå och november = the color grey and november (some thoughts thereof)


It's 1:30 in the afternoon and the left picture is the view out our apartment window. The trees and buildings are the view from my office window yesterday in Uppsala. 

As many shades of grey as you might want. Sunset is around 3:30 today. The Swedes are quite clear that November is not their favorite month. This reminds us a lot of Seattle or even State College. It's not the cold but the grey that gets people. Our recent sunny trip to France helps!

Temperatures this week have ranged from 1-5 degrees Celsius, or about 34-42 degrees Fahrenheit. We had snow and ice earlier in the week but it's warmed up and rained. The ponds are ice free again. Bummer as we're hoping to skate the lakes. Gives us more time to track down skates for three of us (Elizabeth brought her skates and thankfully they still fit).

We're also taking the Swedes' admonition to heart to get outside... lovely walks in the muted colors, or even the dark, to get some fresh air. Stephen and Chris went on a crazy run last night with their new 200x stronger headlamps (with any luck, I'll get Chris or Stephen to write their escapade up).

There has been a lively debate about when it's okay to put up the holiday lights (not by us but in the newspapers). When officially surveyed, Swedes apparently agree on Dec. 1st. Actual practice is Nov. 1st from what we can tell. Advertisements for "julbord" (a special holiday meal) abound.

We played the first holiday songs yesterday in our quest to figure out more about "Saint Lucia" day. There seem to be a lot of songs about long nights. Saint Lucia day is coming up on 13 December and is a big festival of lights (along with of course celebrating a saint).

The 4th graders are the ones singing the Saint Lucia songs at school, so we've been researching for Elizabeth what the songs sound like and what to where to such a celebration. Apparently a white dress, red sash, and a large set of candles on one's head.

If you want to tune in at home, look up "sankta lucia sång" on your favorite listening app.