Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Democratic socialism’s results in Sweden….

remember that argument about ‘socialist states’ and poor econimies. Well, eat your heart out all you critics

strong Swedish economy

full article is available here at the Government Offices of Sweden website

Friday, December 16, 2016

do you get good value for your taxes? The Swedish answer


Since no person is an island there are costs to living in a society. So we pay taxes to maintain the kind of society we want to live in.

But are we satisfied with the services we get for our taxes?  Well, granted that it is generally the fashion to complain about government (national or local)

it’s interesting to see how folks consider the ‘satisfaction index’ of the main services. The ‘Swedish Quality Index’ gives some answers about the local level:

Water and sewage (76.7)

Preschool (75.8)

Upper secondary school (73.5)

Garbage and waste disposal (72.7)

Home services (72.5)

Health care (72.2)

Primary school (71.1)

Sports & recreational services (70.9)

Retirement homes (70.9)

Culture and leisure (68.2)

Municipalities and county councils (67.6)

Public transport (67.1)

Business services (62.2)

Security (61.1)

Environment and climate services (56.7)

Public information services (56.6)

Road maintenance (54.1)

Individual and family care (54.1)


and what may also surprise many is that Sweden does NOT pay the highest taxes compared to many European countries. Click below to see the details

less tax

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

the art of Swedish proverbs

To some it's a confused mess, to others it is an artistic masterpiece.....best to go

with the art as a reflection of who you really are


Thursday, December 01, 2016

The real facts about ‘vikings’

A new museum is opening up to tell the real facts about those ‘viking marauders’.

click on the pic for more info


Monday, November 07, 2016

Friday, November 04, 2016

First winter snow arrived today in Dalsland

1st snow

click the pic to go to a short video

gg at sensus - 001

performing at Sensus Cafe, Centralbacken,Bengtsfors – Wednesday 2nd Nov

gg at sensus-001

click on the pick to go to the VIDEO

Levanten–another excellent Middle East expose from 2 accomplished Swedish authors

Last night we journeyed to Åmål library where the authors of a new book about the Middle East were due to speak about the book.
These two authors have been journeying/studying/writing about the ME for over 17 years and have an intimate knowledge of the area.
Unfortunately one author, Stefan, didn’t quite make it as there were major train delays from Stockholm his point of departure.
Tomas, however, gave a most entertaining and knowledgable discourse about the area covered by this new exciting book.
I was totally astounded by the almost clinical objectivity of these 2 authors and of Tomas during his talk with us. To be able to observe and comment without colouring the comments with our own moralities/ethics/religions/politics is a considerable gift.
If you would like to understand the Middle East better without the questionable benefit of western nuance of interpretation, this is a book worth getting to know.
DSCF1407      Levant-001    DSCF1410

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sensus Cafe, Centralbacken, Bengtsfors,Dalsland,Sweden

Every few weeks there’s a performance with local talent and compered/encouraged by internationally know artist Dick Johansson

sensus taster header

click the pic to go to the video

Sunday, October 02, 2016

New visitors today

pheasants title board

click the pic for a short video

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

those autumn colours


Overlooking Vestre Silen lake in Dalsland

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

postage stamps reflect society

In Sweden we also get the opportunity to Instagram in pictures to Postnord postal service

where folks get to vote on the images which are then selected for postage stamp images.

Yet another aspect of democracy in action. And some super pictures.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

uncompromised beauty

just click the picture for a short video quietly being absorbed by it

uncompromised beauty3

Saturday, September 10, 2016

St Olavs Pilgrim Walk

Known as the ‘El Camino’ of the North, this Pilgrims Pathway from Sundsvall in Sweden to Trondheim in Norway is 560 kms long.

My wife and her sister are currently on this journey

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

all that glitters is not gold….

But in this case the shiny golden looking thermal wraps embrace immigrants rescued from the Mediterranean. In this case the great human (godlike) attribute of overwhelming compassion

is what wraps these desperate people.

all that glitters is not gold

The really great thing here is that all the arguments about religions, politics,wars, rights and wrongs – all have been subjugated in favour of the most important reason of all – saving human life.

The rest of the prattle,waffle and arguments can come later…for now, the priority is rescue, saving life.

Despite the challenges to it’s culture, despite the doubts of ‘traditional Swedes’ about the effects upon the future, the emnities that arise about how tax money is spent,Sweden has been at the forefront of extending help and hospitality (but not alone in doing so).


There are many problems to be resolved, many traumas to be healed, but the first thing – and the thing that is being done – is to not only share our wealth but to give others a glimpse of how beautiful,peaceful and contenting life can be.

photo sourced via the guardian.com where a brilliant article about rescue at sea can also be read

Monday, August 22, 2016

St.Olavs Wandering Tour - 001

My wife and her sister are on the St.Olavs Pilgrims walk – from Sundsvall in Sweden to Trondheim in Norway.

560 kilometres  !

Scandinavia’s answer to ‘El Camino’

st olavsleden-001

meeting wonderful, friendly, helpful people…one guy called Tommy has signs up just offering walkers coffee and cake (free). My wife/sister were his 100th. wanderers this year. He was very happy..

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hotelopia + Sundsvall

Incidentally, we found an amazing deal at an incredible hotel, thanks to


The amazing breakfast choices and standard were worth at least half of what we paid for the whole deal.


Sundsvall–fantastic tourist office

Located in a most beautiful building in the centre of Sundsvall, the tourist office is staffed with incredibly nice people. Extremely – and I mean extremely – helpful, smiling and efficient.

Thanks for a nice visit,Sundsvall

sundsvall touristbyra

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dalsland Kanut Maraton

We have 2 good friends who have never cannoed before – who have entered this competition to raise money for the Child Cancer Fund. We wish them well today, the day of the race.  If you want to support them, you can make donations through these accounts: 

Swisch: 123 197 21 16
Kontonr: 8234-7 3 585 817-4




Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

THAT tax argument

Perhaps, like many people, you think Sweden has high taxes.

It’s worth remembering in this discussion exactly what Swedes (of which even now there are a little under 10 million people) get for that money.

When you look at what this country provides for it’s people, from such a relatively small population base, then you may be very, very surprised


Sweden less tax

In a very detailed  report by Institut Économique Molinari, Paris‐Bruxelles called  (available here to download)

EU tax burden

the relationship between GROSS wages  and net  disposable income is discussed.

real net salary

tax liberation day

tax freedom day

Translated, that means that roughly HALF THE POPULATION OF THE EU pay more taxes than Swedes!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

30th Anniversary–Eketegen Cabaret

Every year for the last 30 years, Nils and Ingela Andree have held a cabaret evening in the meadows of their home, complete with stage, sound equipment, barbecues, etc. Their home is located near to Gustavsfors, a village set in the beautiful area of Dalsland.

This cabaret is for local artists or persons who have a direct connection to this area. This definition can range quite wide,e.g., two young girls visitng their Dutch grandparents holiday home in the area, came from the USA. There is not age bar here, children as young as 4 up to adults as young as…well, as long as they can walk. The evening has an international flavour as many in this area have holiday homes and come from Germany,Holland,France,England,Norway,, etc.

Here’s a little taste of the evening (if you click on the picture below to go to the video)

eketegen header

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Brexit increases Swedes support for the EU


Swedish support for staying in the European Union has grown in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, a new poll shows.

The survey carried out by pollsters Novus for Swedish broadcaster TV4 suggests that 63 percent of Swedes would vote to remain if a referendum on Sweden’s EU membership was held today, up from 58 percent in a previous Novus study conducted prior to the Brexit vote last June.

Political scientist Ian Manners, who works at the University of Copenhagen and is a Brit living in Sweden, says the shift is a sign that the Brexit vote has made Swedes think about the EU in more detail.

“It’s easy to say the key factor is simply the chaos in the UK itself, but I think that’s secondary,” he told The Local.

“The average Swedish person doesn’t think or care much about the EU, but Brexit brings it to the fore. The UK referendum made a complicated issue real, and people in Sweden are suddenly forced to think about what the EU is, rather than just having a vague opinion on it.”

The Novus survey also suggests that Swedish confidence in the EU has grown significantly. While in June, confidence in the union among Swedes polled at 38 percent, it is now up to 48 percent, and political scientist Manners puts that surge down to three factors.

“There are political, economic, and social factors at play. The potential for political chaos, for economic trauma, and the possibility of a single-issue referendum on immigration, as happened in the UK," he explained.

"All feed the changing perception on the EU in Sweden. Sweden can look on at Britain with horror and think ‘what do we have, and what do we not want to have?’”

from thelocal

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The info on Sweden, from a French viewpoint


just click on the pic to be taken to an article from thelocal.se

strange swedes

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bengtsfors, Dalsland, Sweden

video:  click on the picture to go to the video – for best view go full screen

Bengtsfors video header


With my heartfelt thanks to the town for all it’s many kindnesses over 20+ years

Ashamed of being British

Sweden yes to EU

I am an englishman. In the face of the Brexit (racist anti immigration) vote ,I am not proud of that!


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