Life, photos but not the universe

We’re Back!

You won’t be surprised to hear that the first thing that hits you when you arrive in Kiruna, 200k north of the arctic Circle, is the cold.  It hits you quite slowly but quite comprehensively all over, from the ground  up (How do planes land on what appears to be solid ice?) from the head down and from the middle inwards in all directions.

The second thing, since they don’t keep you hanging about out there, is the warmth inside.  The airports and the rooms are havens of warmth!  No draughty bits, no chilly corners.  Those Swedes have heating and insulation down to a fine art.

The third thing is the prices.  Ok, so you’re warm and cosy and you’d like a drink.  The question is, how many arms and legs are you prepared to give for one!   Food?  There’s plenty of it, just in order to buy any you needed to have brought a second mortgage with you.  After our first evening in Stockholm we all took one out.

Actually, the first thing we all noticed was the SNOW!!!! Vast quantities of  it, all over the place just lying about waiting to be played in.  And all of it was white and crisp and soft and clean.

Our warm cabins were lovely and warm and cosy and wooden.  The ice places were astonishing and I’m just downloading the photos now!  The frozen River Torne behind the hotel was amazingly large and white and snowy.  Snow angels were created in great numbers and we discovered a heap of abandoned bits of ice bricks and sculptures and made a little cairn of our own.  There was a good deal of frisking and frolicking.  Followed by retreats into warm cabins and the shedding of large heaps of snow suits and boots.  We spent our time either plodding about like astronauts in huge, enveloping snow suits and big warm boots or stripped as far as decency would allow inside really warm cosy buildings.

Oh and the night in the ice room was amazing!  Really warm!  They do the most fantastic sleeping bags!

Sorry?  What was that?  You wanted to hear about the wedding?

Oh yes 🙂  The wedding!  Just WOW!  Just totally fantastic 🙂  Youngest looked radiant, Partner looked adorably smitten, the children loooked like little fairies and us four supporting family looked pretty good too (even if one of them – me – forgot to take off the funny hat that you get when you arrive at the ice place).

It was all about excesses of joy and overflowing of love and laughter.  The cost (Arrgh) the strife of getting nine people all together through two airports, via assorted taxis and hotels to the glories of the snowy wilderness – all melted away behind us and the utterly beautiful ice chapel welcomed us serenely with it’s cool clear bluish light and flickering candles reflecting the warmth we brought with us.

So here they are 🙂

bride and groom

bride and groom

Oh Ooops!  This was the happy couple as rendered by Auntie and the three children 🙂

Here are the real ones.

May the road rise to meet you

May the road rise to meet you

may the wind be always at your back

may the wind be always at your back

 : )

: )



Only love to keep her warm

Needing only love to keep her warm



: )

: )

And we all got home safely : )

(Sorry this took so long, Word press wouldn’t work for two days after we came back!!!)

February 25, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,


  1. oh wow

    how beautiful





    a snow tree!!

    an ice maiden cape!!

    isn’t Barnie tall!!!

    yes – Scandinavia is so expensive!!

    you’re back!!!!


    now, when are you and Barney going on your lovely and well deserved relaxing holiday. . . .


    (I can never remember if it’s Barney or Barnie – sorry) No apology needed – you’d be amazed at the variety of spellings we get : )

    So happy to be back (((((((((((((( I ))))))))))))) though it was a most wonderful time. I felt as though I’d never seen snow before! And the coldness was lovely and fresh most of the time.

    Comment by I, Like The View | February 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. OMGosh….

    Amazing….tremendously fairy tale like….
    What a gorgeous bride, darling kiddos and utterly WOW kinda moment.

    HOLY buckets….
    Too cool! (literally and figuratively….)
    Ohmygosh, Mig. What an awesome beginnings to a lifetime of loving.

    Welcome back.

    So glad to be back with you all Mel : ) though I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. (What would I do with a world after all?)
    I did think once or twice, this was all going to be a bit, well, lots of money spent on prettiness and maybe not enough nitty gritty but I was wrong. Their feelings shone out and the atmosphere was all about the genuine thing. And OMG the kidlets were so so lovely 🙂 And we none of us could have managed without the endless kindness and thoughtfulness and fun of Sister and Brother in Law. It was just perfect (And I’ll tell you all about the less perfect moments in another post – opportunities, that is : )
    Oh, ((((((((((Mel))))))))))))) because it’s lovely to hear from you again : )

    Comment by Mel | February 25, 2009 | Reply

  3. I suppose i missed the “why” of where the wedding was held, but Oh
    does that look like a enchanting chapel!
    I can’t say ll the snow is a big appeal, A bit tired of winter here,
    but the magic of it
    just warms me through and thru!
    going to go peek through your flicker photo’s!

    The why is that last year they took the children to see Father Christmas and he (new husband) proposed to her there Sorrow. The how is that he’s not short of a bob or two and he’s as much of a hopeless romantic as she is.
    And the magic they brought with them and added to the magic that those clever Swedes made out of the ice : ) It really was perfect 🙂
    And I just thought, your name – you must read ILTV’s Rubaiyat quote – because you are such a joyful person : )
    Hope you like the photos – there will be more : )

    Oops – not Rubaiyat, kahlil Gibran. Doh!

    Comment by sorrow | February 25, 2009 | Reply

  4. Came back for a second look. And showed ’em off to the Brit, actually.
    He asked about the snow. LOL Well, HELLO?!?!

    That was all he could take. *laughing* It’s been a very long winter–so he thinks.
    (milder than last year……how soon he forgets!)

    I suspect that your Iowa snow is a different animal from Lapland snow. Much more wild and badly behaved : )
    One of the blokes said “I bet the rest of the world doesn’t know what this kind of cold is like” so I quoted (approximately) one or two things about your winters Mel and he looked quite shocked : )

    Comment by Mel | February 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. Oh Mig,
    What a beautiful couple! I can’t even conceive of such awful, mind numbing cold. I don’t do well in the 40’s.. not in the 50’s either. Beautiful memories though.

    Oddly enough it’s quite a kind sort of cold Betty, very fresh and crisp. I’m not used to getting much below -1 and on our first day it was -29 and really quite comfortable as long as you wore enough stuff. (Yes, I can hear that laughing -29 isn’t so bad is it : ) And Youngest isn’t superhuman and she was running around in her sleeveless dress and her cape for at least an hour and a half.

    Comment by Betty Flocken | February 27, 2009 | Reply

  6. I think I saw green today!!!!!!

    Not outside mind you. LOL
    That’d be pushin’ it!!

    She had love to keep her warm, Mig. And oh how well you captured that in the photos.
    MY goodness she’s a beauty and a half!

    Dad musta been prouder than proud! 🙂

    I believe he was Mel 🙂
    Hey – green growing things? Is it nearly Spring d’you think?

    Comment by Mel | February 28, 2009 | Reply

  7. I Adore that Gibran quote/poem, it hands in my home.
    So glad that they had all the romance and magic, it looks like it was heaven!
    Enjoyed peeking thru your flicker stuff, see you have added a few more since my last visit!

    Thought you’d like it Sorrow : )
    I have to say, I’m shamelessly showing photos around to anyone who’ll look. Good Lord, anyone would think I was proud of the girl!

    Comment by Sorrow | February 28, 2009 | Reply

  8. (-:

    that’s interesting, about the cold – in my gap year I went to Canada and it was thirty below, but very dry. . .

    as an English person I didn’t really realise how cold it was, without the damp. . . got caught out a few times

    but, I digress – like Mel I’m here to look at the beautiful wedding again – the clothes, the snow, the ice, the wonder of it all!

    you will all have some gorgeous memories!


    It’s quite a different kind of cold isn’t it I. Sort of sneaks up on you. And after a few days of saying isn’t it warm back here we’re whingeing about it again! Daft or what : )
    Definitely collected a few memories. It’s nice to have had two so different weddings, one all warm and red and white and bouncy and one all blue and white and dreamy.
    Now we have to hope they all cope with ordinary life – I sometimes wonder if that isn’t one of the hard things to do, after all the extreme celebrating, just to settle down to daily life.

    Comment by I, Like The View | February 28, 2009 | Reply

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