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Thread: A Brit in Sweden

  1. #1
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    A Brit in Sweden

    My wife is Swedish and in 1971 we married and after a lifetime of wandering we finally settled down in Sweden. I got a job in a research institute, and had - and still do have - permanent residence here. I came to love Sweden and, after ill health forced me to take early retirement in 2004 I still appreciate many aspects of life here. In this thread I will try to share with you my feelings about this great country.

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    Sweden is cold in winter but this winter has been colder than usual. The snow came in December before Christmas. It still lies around, hasn't melted. Temperatures around freezing but fluctuating around zero. This means the snow melts a bit, then freezes during the night, and so it has gone on. This makes it treacherous to walk, I wear grips attached to my boots, and use a pair of staves to help keep my balance. I fell one day and since then my wife accompanies me when I take a walk. She is very special.

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    I am not very good at keeping my balance with grips, its the large size of my boots, for some reason the grips don't stay on firmly. This winter has been tough and I long for spring, when I can stop on the way to enjoy the fresh air and have the warm sun on my face. There is probably another month of winter before we get "spring-winter" (vårvinter as the Swedes call it).

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    My command of Swedish has deteriorated since retiring, though I still understand it quite well, just from listening to the news on radio or TV. But while I was a researcher I understood and spoke Swedish better than today. Thats very sad, but I have to just accept it.

  5. #5
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    I don't have a current passport, as I don't travel abroad, although I have two out-of-date British passports, just because I wanted a record of which passports I used to have. But then with permanent residence I don't need a passport.

    Permanent residence gives me limited voting rights in Sweden. I can vote in the county elections and local elections but not Riksdag elections, which is the most important one.

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Last edited by Danik 2016; 02-09-2017 at 01:24 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    That's useful to know, Danik. I keep my driving licence up to date, I can also use that for ID purposes.

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    One of the good things about Sweden is that it has stuck by its neutrality and as on all major decisions, this has been respected by all governments, both Bourgeois (the Alliance) and Social Democrat. Sweden now has membership of the UN Security Council, initially for a period of 3 years.

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    What surprised me was the large number of political parties in the Swedish Riksdag. Besides the Moderates (now the New Moderates) and the Social Democrats, there is the Centre Party, the Folk Party (now the Liberals), and the Christian Democrats (the last four combined to form the Alliance.

    There are two other parties, the Left Party and the Greens, both supporting the Social Democrat Government. The Greens in addition have ministers in the current Social Democrat Government, which in turn negotiates with the Left Part over issues they work out in common.

    There remains a Sweden Democrat Party with some 20+ percent of the votes in Riksdag, the third largest Riksdag party. Until recently they have been shunned by all the other parties. Now the Moderates want to vote together with the Sweden Democrats to defeat the government in the vote that normally takes place for Riksdag to pass the budget, later this year. The other three parties of the Alliance are against this strategy and there has been much debate and opposition to this from all three parties, but mostly from the Centre Party.

    So these 8 parties make up the Riksdag as elected 3 years ago.

    Why force an election just one year earlier than the 4-yearly election that otherwise normally takes place? All the parties have stayed silent on this issue, until, no doubt, the early election is forced and electioneering begins.

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    Since my stroke in 2010 I have been put on warfarin to thin my blood, to prevent another stroke (warfarin is a rat poison, which kills in this way, but administered by injection into the blood stream it is safe). I need to go for a check-up every couple of weeks which involves leaving a blood sample. The result is that the dose is adjusted as needed.

    The side effect of this is that I am more prone to feeling the cold weather, especially in my hands. I am impressed with the medical care provided in Sweden.

  11. #11
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Last edited by Danik 2016; 02-09-2017 at 01:24 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Last edited by Danik 2016; 02-09-2017 at 01:25 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    I'll have a look out for that. Thanks for the tip.

  14. #14
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Last edited by Danik 2016; 02-09-2017 at 01:25 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  15. #15
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    The winter here drags on, but the days are longer and the sun will soon start to warm the air. It is spring-winter at our latitude (vårvinter). We still have a snow cover but this is likely to disappear by the end of February. Spring is in sight!

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