Apart from the fact that the weather could have been a bit better, the big day on Wednesday went off without a hitch! Martin left early in the morning for a champagne breakfast and photos at the school and then spent the day hanging out with friends. The "utsläpp" (release from school) was scheduled for 2:30 and we got there a little early, knowing it would be crowded. It was a MADHOUSE. Katedralskolan is one of the big high schools in Lund and the courtyard was packed with people. Good thing they all had signs with their kids' names on them so friends and families could locate them. I got there first and then was joined by Anders' sister and family, and then Karin. Anders came last as he drove separately.
The setup for the actual utsläpp was completely ridiculous: a low, tiny hidden stage in a back corner by the building where NO one could see the kids coming out at all. To make things worse, the people in charge of the signs up above, showing which class was on its way out screwed up and had the wrong class name when Martin's class actually came out, so we weren't prepared at all...not that we could have seen anything anyway, since it was so crowded and hard to see the stage.
There is a video here, since one of the local papers filmed the whole thing. You can see Martin's class come out around 32:45.
After the release and meeting up, he and his classmates got on one of the huge trucks that drive the students around town for an hour, playing loud music, while they dance and scream and wave at everyone. :) You do NOT want to be driving during this time period in Lund or Malmö these 2 weeks in June! After that, he met up with Anders again, and they drove around Lund some more, this time with Martin in the sidecar of the motorcycle that Anders had borrowed from a colleague. :)
Meanwhile, Karin and I raced home and finished the last things that had to be done. Karin's friends Nivin and Alice, our hired help for the evening, arrived at 5 and I put them to work immediately. They were fantastic, SO much help throughout the entire evening. Our guests started arrived right around 6 p.m. and Anders called Karin to ask if they could come yet. "No!" she said, "Not enough people are here yet!" So, he and Martin had to wait for another half hour before they could finally make their grand entrance.
We had a game for our guests to play while they waited: putting Martin's school pictures in order. It was really hard, apparently! :D After the snacks and welcome drinks, and after Martin had arrived, we put out the buffet: smoked salmon, and chicken/roast beef platters with tossed salad and potato salad and bread with condiments. We had about 46 hungry guests and the food went fast. The only thing left after the party was over was a TON of potato salad! We will be eating it for days.
We gave out prizes for the winners of the "Set Martin Straight" game and I gave a short speech to Martin, congratulating him and telling him how proud we were. Then we put out dessert: meringue and whipped cream cakes covered with berries, and 2 chocolate sacher tortes with LILAC blossoms on them! (I didn't know you could eat lilac! You learn something new every day.)
Martin opened his presents after that, and was very happy with them: lots of money toward his Peru trip, and a camera bag from Karin to go with his new Nikon camera from us. Just what he wanted! A great day for everyone and we were all quite pleased with the evening. I know Martin can do anything he puts his mind to, and this is only the first step of his adult adventure.
Ridiculously, I didn't get any photos of the decorations in the tent or the buffets or most of the guests...was too busy having fun and talking and running around! But, here come the photos!
Putting up the party tent
Mörhippan inspects the proceedings
Ready to start the big day
Martin's graduation sign
Aboard the party truck! Martin with friends Lena and Tim
Claudia and Martin on the party truck
Nivin and Alice serving welcome drinks
Mörhippan takes her place in the receiving line
Set Martin Straight game (17 years of life in order)
Awaiting the guest of honor
Arriving in style!
The graduate has arrived!
The best present on the table :)