This is when I wonder where all of the time went, make some excuses for not having updated, and then drop a buncha updates on yo'selves. So I'll spare you the formalities this time and just get onto some things that have happened in the past couple of months. And then I'll provide photographical evidence as best I can.
I have nearly survived my first winter in Stockholm. And, honestly, it wasn't that bad. Maybe that's because it was my very first winter here, so I embraced it with a sense of novelty (Well look at that! It is actually dark at 3:45 pm!) and kept watching to see how I was reacting to it... and I didn't really react at all, I think. I guess I noticed a little confusion when I found myself ready to pack it up for the day when it was dark before 4 pm, but then I hurumphed and got on with some more things before rolling out around 5:30. And the dark, short days didn't seem to last for all that long. It's like, once the winter solstice hits, the days start getting longer. And now I find myself annoyed that the sun is up so early in the mornings again. It's going to be time for some blackout curtains soon. The summer is the OPPOSITE of the winter here. You know that, right?
The winter wasn't all that bad for a couple of other reasons. It was damn cozy. Candles were lit on the sidewalks, as well as inside every coffee shop and restaurant and cafe. And there were some beautiful snowfalls to brighten everything up. Also I got myself out of town a fair number of times--and this really is a big help. Even if it's just going to Bangladesh for work (though I was lucky enough to have a 3-week holiday in the US and trips to Shanghai and India, too), getting yourself to somewhere warm and sunny sure does help.
I don't think this Stockholm winter was any colder than the winters I experienced in Philly or Ohio, actually. I bought a big dumb black puffer coat, which I resisted doing for so long, and now I'm over how boring it is and revel in its convenience. Man, sometimes it's so nice to just throw on a down coat and not have to layer up underneath. And this guy has a hood, too! So I can go hat-free! I also have a few great pairs of boots with good tread that got me through the icy and sloppy days. I just had a revelation the other day that I had a whole other drawer of shoes that WEREN'T cold-weather boots. Cool!
So that's basically it for now. I'll try to fill in the rest between some photos.