Winter Draws Nearer

It’s started to get cold. It’s cold all the time now, to varying degrees, and the daylight hours are few, signalling the ending of autumn and beginning of winter.

Ice

On my way into university yesterday morning, I encountered my first ice puddle. I’ve never had to worry about slipping on my bicycle before, and this new requirement to be vigilant makes the commutes to University even less pleasant than they were to begin with!

The gritting has started, and on my way back to Ryd after my Swedish class I had to cycle back behind a gritting vehicle and hang back far enough not to be sprayed by the salt and sand.

I think back to winters spent in England, where the quality of the grit and where the local authorities are putting it is somehow a national news story. Here in Sweden, they just seem to get on with it!

Darkness

For my earliest lectures, I am up before the sun to make breakfast. I find that giving myself that much time to wake up means that I can deal with going outside and cycling through the cold. The sun is often only just above the trees when I’m cycling in.

As I write this at 1550, the light is already fading which means that, if I have lectures in the afternoon, there is a real possibility of me cycling into university during dusk and out again in pitch darkness.

I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, and I have definitely felt myself feeling less happy as a result of the lack of daylight hours. This is one of the real difficulties of living in a northern country, and I find myself looking forward more and more to returning to the south and the sun!

Parcels from Home

In the midst of the changing of the season, I have received a couple of parcels from home. One from my parents, the other from my girlfriend. It’s been really nice to get goodies that I haven’t been able to find over here, or things that I really can’t afford to buy for myself over here!

They say that there’s no place like home, and it’s when I’m chewing on Biltong like I used to at school, or savouring the taste of Cadbury’s chocolate that I’m reminded of that.

Nothing’s quite the same

It seems to me that nothing will be quite the same again for me, though. “Home” and “Abroad” have quite different meanings for me now than they did before my exchange. They are much closer than they ever were before.

I mean that, as a result of this exchange I have learned how to call somewhere “abroad” a “home”. Even though there are some things I miss about Britain, I find this new feeling of belonging in a foreign land really exciting. Though at this moment in time I am looking forward to going home, I really think that I’d like to live like this again in the future… Perhaps in a country where the sun shines just a little bit longer!

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