Tuesday and Wednesday were high school graduation parties for the sons of friends. We all went to the first one on Tuesday but it was just me on Wednesday at my friend Debbie's, whose son Jacob is only one year older than Martin. Next year it's our turn: EEK. Nearly everyone I know had "Studenten" parties to go to this past week as all the Malmö schools were letting out. Next week is Lund's turn; remind me to avoid the city center! We were talking about the cost of hosting graduation parties and estimates ranged from 15,000 to 35,000 kronor (!!!). So much for our tentative plans for 20th anniversary trip somewhere next spring.
Last night was dinner with the Wonders though we were missing one. We decided to keep it simple and booked a table at a lovely little seaside restaurant down in Höllviken where 3 of us live. It was a long drive for me, at the end of a long week, but so worth it to sit and chat and catch up over amazing food.
The sun is out so late it feels like it never even sets. Right now it's 8:15 p.m. and it looks like 3 in the afternoon outside. Glowing sunshine, bright blue sky and a whiffly breeze through the greenery. We finally have a couple of nice days, hurrah! Anders just made yet another fantastic dinner: fresh salmon on the grill, with parmesan and chili flakes, and slices of zucchini. Yum yum! He's a master chef, no doubt about it.
I have to take a moment to mention last Friday, when we had our annual work summer party. The theme was "Big in Japan" (due to our company's imminent purchase by Canon) and it was announced there would be prizes for Best Costume. I was a little taken aback, thinking the potential for racist dress-up was pretty high, but most people went safer routes. There was one guy dressed as a Gameboy, a kamikaze pilot, Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon, Pokemon characters, sumo wrestlers and lots and lots of bathrobe, headband, karate chic. I wasn't planning to dress up, but some of my teammates came up with a super idea and everyone got behind it. We went as a maki roll. Sushi hats! HAA!!!
The hats were made out of styrofoam, yoga mats, electrical tape, plastic, bubble wrap, blanket shreds, pool noodle slices, and chopsticks! But we didn't win a prize, sadly.
Today I slept in, reveling in the fact that I didn't have to go ANYWHERE. Today is Sweden's National Day which no one knows how to celebrate, so we took it easy as usual. I had a very short to-do list: file FBARs, request mail hold for vacation, put net on the cherry tree, pay bills, and do some cleaning. The only thing that isn't done yet is the cherry tree as we discovered too late to go to the nursery that we didn't have enough net leftover from last year. So we'll take care of that tomorrow, which is yet another day with NO PLANS.
And how glad am I that I am finally done with my stupid US tax obligations? SO GLAD. Last week I had a meeting at the bank, where I requested a list of all the accounts that my name was on and found out that FIVE of my kids' accounts that I had been reporting on, weren't necessary, as my name isn't on them. So five fewer accounts to report: HURRAH! Even though I had already sent in my tax return, I have an expat tax preparer reviewing it, just to be sure I haven't missed anything the way I have been filing the last 18 years, and so far she says everything looks good. She is just checking a few more things for the new mutual fund requirements which might mean I need to send an amended return with the new form I didn't know about before attached and then I am totally done. VERY GLAD. It's a nightmare and every year it feels worse. I really hope that there is some resolution soon. It feels very, very wrong to be subject to taxation without representation on this level.
Anyway. The warm temperatures are disappearing again tomorrow, according to the forecast. We'll be back to cooler days, rain and clouds. I hope next weekend is nice for Anders' sake: he is participating in the Vättern Runt bike ride again. And now it's only two weeks until vacation!!