Our home has been invaded by two gerbils (or “gurgles” as Isak calls them) and a hamster. Hanna wanted a hamster, but has been a little miffed that it spends most of the day sleeping and only comes out to play after she goes to sleep. Samuel wanted a gerbil (called ökenråtta in Swedish – “desert rat”) and since gerbils are such sociable animals we thought it would be good to get two since we could not put the hamster in with the gerbil for fear the former might eat the latter! So Isak ended up with one too, and at least gerbils are awake during the day. They bear an uncanny resemblance in my mind to Stuart Little, of movie fame, so who knows what adventures might be around the corner.
Apart from our furry additions, Samuel accumulated even more lego in the form of Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge (which will be familiar only to fans of Star Wars), and Hanna is the proud owner of more Bratz accessories. Uncle Marcus and Auntie Marie with cousins Hampus and Ellen came around, as did Sam’s friend Daniel and his mum and dad, Marianne and Anders. And Mormor and Morfar (grandma and grandpa) were here too, of course.
In fact, these last two benefactors of our life here in Sweden treated the whole family to a day at the Gustavsvik Swimming Centre, a massive indoor complex of pools and spas, water slides and man made cascades and waterfalls, all of which we swam through with great gusto. We came home exhausted and aching, after this our first visit to one of Europe’s biggest water playgrounds, and one of Örebro’s biggest tourist attractions. We had lunch there – only in Sweden can you buy meatballs and mash potatoes from a fast food outlet.
Unwilling to leave me to collapse in an exhausted heap after all our guests had finally departed about 6pm, Sam insisted on a quick game of bandy – street hockey – before we packed down for bed. He had new bandy clubs for his birthday too. So now, late at night, I am aching even more than I was before.
So the twins have finally passed their ninth birthday… and may God bless and prosper them in the year ahead!