life got suddenly much brighter

… you that know me – also know that I love music, Magnum, travel, dancing, my cameras and hate window cleaning. I REALLY hate it!!!

So it doesn’t happen very often – my kitchen window was last cleaned in October 2012 .. and the rest is must have been ….. forget it, don’t remember that fare back.

IKEA investment

But today it happened and it cost me 350SEK/$53/€39/£31 – tell you the best spent money every. A couple of months ago I got myself a handyman by name Bengt, but he doesn’t come completely free. *smile

He paint, repair, do pluming and clean windows – never seen anything like it. Got him through an agency online with services form professionals over 55+ – MAGIC. Have been waiting before Easter for him to do my windows, but he had so much emergency jobs. I never had this clean windows before anywhere I lived.

You know how it’s – so soon you have cleaned windows it starts raining – but not this time. We have the most beautiful summer day today. Clean kitchen windows also means new curtains for me, the only window where I use curtain, but because of the layout of the windows I can’t buy ready made, so this new set has my friend Margurithe made me. kitchen page

Today I made the final decision – that in April next year will I travel to Hong Kong and Japan. Can’t make up my mind what airline to use – Turkish Air or SAS. And also I have made my first hotel booking at Miyajima Island – a ryokan “Kurayado Iroha” with view over the Itsukushima Shrine.  Bed & breakfast plus dinner: 2300SEK/$347/£206/€254 per room and night. That will be my “cream on the mash” during the trip plus my hotel in Hong Kong. I don’t think I can afford Peninsula Hotel, like in 1979 – but I will treat myself.

This is me going on an adventure all by myself again … I’m so excited.  Of course I will be travelling with  the Shinkansen in a speed of 320 km/hr – 199miles/hr between my destinations. 25 days will I be gone. I want to visit Japan during the “Cherry Blossom Festival” – the “Hanami” and I hope that I will be spot on with my plans for the beginning of April.

cherry blossom - japan-guide com

Tomorrow a day full with “homework”, means cleaning, dusting and polishing … because on Monday one of my oldest and dearest girlfriends, Jytte, is coming to visit me for a couple of days. She lives in Gothenburg, not very fare but we don’t see each other so often as we would like.

We will also visit Skanör, our Hamptons.  We will spend 2 nights in a nice little hotel and just relax … eat loads of seafood and fish – get white sand between our toes, some sunshine in our face … and just be together. And the weather is suppose to be fantastic, just what we ordered.

kitchen page 1

So with shining clean windows and a program fully booked … I see you all when the rain starts dripping again, next weekend.

“A smile is a window on your face
to show your heart is at home”

Japan images provided by and thanks to; & featured image provided by and thanks to;

59 thoughts on “life got suddenly much brighter

  1. Härligt , rena fönster gör att det ser renare ut även inne! Älskar nypolerade fönster men hatar liksom du att polera!

    • Maja, han var helt otrolig – har aldrig haft så fina fönster … men han har blivit lärd i Danmark, de kan verkligen konsten att putsa fönster. 275kr … helt otroligt – så nu skall det bli en vana … 4ggr per år.

    • I know … I can stay 3 nights on a 4* in Hiroshima for the same amount of money. It’s very highly rated and I will never be able to go back to Japan again. Was there in 1978-79. So … lets go for it.

    • Jytte and I go back to the early 70’s – we was out dancing 3-4 times per week and mum was looking after her son Robert – good and fun days.
      So we will have a great time … how are you doing by the way ????

    • In 1979 and working aboard on the little cruiser “Lindblad Explorer” I was in Japan every 2 weeks for months, so it’s time to go back. Go back and don’t have to thinking about work.
      My favorite quote is: If you meet somebody with a smile – give them yours.

  2. I love the blues in your kitchen. So airy and bright. That will be a nice time to Japan and am sure you will enjoy all the shopping and food in HK. I wish I am already back in the Philippines and I could meet you there. But not until 2016, hopefully.

    • Thanks for your lovely comment, Bebs …. my kitchen isn’t that big, but perfect size for me. So I have to keep it light and airy. Love my new curtains. Yes, HK is a shopping mecca – but I have to keep my head cool. There is a shoe maker/shop in HK that made shoes for me after my feet’s measure. I will go and see if it’s still there???!!!!!
      I have to think about the baggage weight, because it’s only 23 kilo’s free with Scandinavian Airlines and only one bag. But if I get into a shopping spread, a second bag isn’t that expensive.

  3. Viveka! I am so excited for you. Going to Japan, for 25 days. Amazing. I know how much you appreciate your travels, the sights, the tastes, the differences. A bright view from your kitchen to a view of the world. 🙂

    • Colleen, thanks for still being in my corner. I have booked my main flight ticket – but I maybe has taken water over my head, too much for my feet maybe, start to get worried – but done is done.
      Have also mayor problems with me right knee since Istanbul, really massive problems at nights.
      Not getting any younger, so if I want to go … I have to do it so long as I’m able too. Travelling alone in a country that don’t speak that well English – will be a challenge too. But I’m on my way.

      • Okay Viveka, I hope the adrenaline of the traveling gets you through okay. Take care of yourself! I know you will be amazed at what you see. I hope it resolves before you go.

    • Thanks Pink, yes … it’s all down to me – if I will have a great time or not. Had a great time with my friend last week – and I’m will make sure that I will have a great time in HK and Japan too. I wish you a lovely weekend.

    • Maralee, I have been playing with the thought to visit Japan and HK for a while – now the ticket is booked. I think that you are doing the right thing – visit Sweden and your roots first of all.

  4. How wonderful that you found someone to help out with the jobs you don’t get around to, Viveka. Your curtains and orchid are beautiful. Have a great time with your friend. Happy for you about your trip next year. I’m sure it will be wonderful. 🙂

    • Silvia, there is times when I miss a man around the house, it doesn’t happen very often … but now when it does – Bengt will get a call. *smile
      The orchid I bought at Easter at IKEA to a very low cost and normally they only last 3-4 weeks, don’t have green fingers, but this one is just getting more and more beautiful. And I have two that want to blow, I hope they will too. Orchid is so difficult to handle.
      Thanks for the lovely comment.

  5. 🙂 I think it’s the best treat when the window cleaner comes…he comes every now and then to us, too. We have problem-windows – you’ll see what I mean, when you come to visit 🙂 Clean windows – the world suddenly looks a bit brighter 😉

    Hope you had a splendid time with your friend today xo 🙂

    • Dia, as you say it’s a true treat and it’s so cheap … don’t understand why I haven’t got around to calling for a window cleaner, have been thinking about it. When I lived in UK and Gothenburg I always had window cleaners, but I was working those days – but now we will have him around 3 times per year. Still lucky with the weather too … blue sky, but a bit chilly in the wind. Pick up my friend in a couple of hours, so excited to spend some days with her.

  6. I normally do not like patterns [and hate to tell you do love beige 🙂 !], but I really like yours: the curtains very much bring your home to life! And we have a love of candles and orchids definitely in common. Japan – oh how you will love it – especially the utter idyllic peace of staying in a ryokan! Hope you will make Kyoto a stopover also: my favourite and I have been to Japan over 30 times!! You should hit cherry blossom time right on the nose – it is magical to wander under the trees and be covered with the blossoms. Shinkansen – you won’t even notice the speed, I am afraid – so SMOOTH 🙂 ! And I would fly SAS – one of my fave airlines!! Meanwhile have a few happy days with your friend 😀 !!

    • Yes, 3 nights in Kyoto – only that the hotels booking system goes only for 6 months in advance. 2 in Osaka, 5 Tokyo, 5 Hong Kong – and 5 in Hirosima, but 2 of them on the island..
      Turkish Airllines has been the best airline in Europe for 2 years now and their service is outstanding and connections very good, but with SAS can I fly home directly from Toyko, but it’s 1000 kr more expensive.
      But home I want to get so quick as possible when I have to go home.
      Turkish Airlines also land every late at Kastrup and I could miss the last train to Landskrona.
      Will make my mind up next week. Been to Japan too, about 9 times, when working on Lindblad Explorer but that was in 1978-79 and there was never any chance to see much. I hope my feets can handle this.
      Thank you so much, I’m just going to make my friends bed and then I will pick her up in Helsingborg, we have train strike. One of the train companies – but she had to take bus from Gothenburg. I been on the Eurostar between Paris and London, I love it .. as you say the speed isn’t noticed.
      Have a lovely week yourself.

      • Oh you ‘lucky duck’! The journeys on the ‘Explorer’ must have been fascinating if you got off the ship even just sometimes!!

      • “Lindblad Explorer” was a very special cruise liner – took only 130 passenger’s as max. What ever the guests was doing we were allowed to do too .. if we were off duty.

  7. I just cleaned my windows today, lol. I learned how to do them with just water and a bit of dish soap, but I’d much rather get them done for me! What a wonderful trip you’ve planned! I read about the Hanami Festival just this past season and I’m sure your timing will be perfect! I love your new curtains, they’re perfect for the colors in your kitchen! xx

    • Barbara, my bedroom isn’t that exciting – but it’s very comfortable. In US & Canada master bedrooms are so big – love it, but my is very tiny – but that is okay, less to clean. With your magical touch I can’t image that you bedroom should be any different to your lovely guest room, which I love to have.
      I have two more big plans for travelling – Australia and Canada again. After that I done my long hauls .. *smile
      Stop over in Calagry???!!!
      Thanks for the visit, Barbara.

    • Thanks, Frank …. I don’t know why I haven’t hired a window cleaner earlier.
      Yes, have booked and paid for my main flights now.
      Got a fantastic price with Finn Air, with change of plane in Helsinki. Have to book Hong Kong – Tokyo and Hiroshima – Tokyo flights later … not expensive. So I have one foot on the runway now.

    • Stephen, I have some amazing memories from my visits to Hong Kong in 1979 – in those days I knew 60% of the city on the back of my hand and I think I will find my way around … but big changes has happen. I love HK too! Not a big fan of Chinese food, had too much of it during my days in China – but I eat it, but in HK there is food from all over the world, so I will not starve.
      Did you do a stopover in HK too, when you visit Japan???

      • Hi Viveka … I visited Hong Kong in 2007, and then again in 2011. I just love it there. I think it’s one of the most vibrant cities in the world … it’s big and fast and colorful and moving … all the things I love in a city. Both times I went with my friend who was born there, so communicating was never a problem. I can only imagine at how astounded you will be by how much the city has changed … it’s very, very modern now, but it’s still retained it’s whole Hong Kong attitude. And I love Chinese food, especially spicy Szechuan, the eating was glorious!

      • Stephen, thanks a million for the link – really got me interesting.
        I’m not really a museum visitor – expect when it’s about art … but thanks for the link, checked it out and I will visit. I’m so excited over going back – such a long time and it will be my last visit too, start to feel my limits – it’s called ageing. *laughing. Already worried, because of my numb feet and I had a sore knee for about 4 weeks now, but the flight is booked – and I have to do it in my own speed …. but normally my speed is full ahead. Hong Kong I’m not worried about the language, but Japan – because when I was there their English was nearly none. How is it today .. and how is it with signs at train station and undergrounds???

  8. Gorgeous curtain material, Vivi. 🙂 I’m excited for you already! I can tell this is going to be a very stylish trip. Hope you had a lovely easy going time with your friend and no hassle for those feet.

    • Jo, had a fantastic week with my friend – we had rain, roses, sunshine, whitesand, cows and heron.
      Just relaxing – no stress what so every. Have 425 photos to work through. Still have more to give from Istanbul too.
      Hopefully July will be a quite mooth.
      My feet is what they are – going to see the doctor again on 24th. Booked my flight to now. Leaving 1.04.15 and back home 24.04.14. Got a fligth for £514 with Finn Air. Flying into Hong Kong and back from Tokyo, so I have start rolling. *smile

  9. What wonders lies ahead! Japan for 25 days! Well, you really know how to entertain yourself, Viveka. Such a trip is only in my dreams…not possible for real. You two have a wonderful time, I’m sure!
    And windows – well that handy man is a bargain and you deserve it!

    • A-C, the handy man is a true bargain. I hope you enjoy your “freedom” now and we have a fantastic weather. Time for a date soon.
      Yes, finally I got around to book my trip to Japan and Hong Kong. Been playing with the thought for quite a while now.
      Got flight with Finn Air … fantastic price.
      If I going to do a trip like that I have to do it before my feet is getting worst. There will be some serious walking involved.
      So excited .. all ready, but first Vienna, Chicago and Las Vegas. It will 22 days, because one day will be gone for flights each way.

  10. Isn’t it funny what we like to do and what we don’t like to do – living by the sea we get salty sea air and it sticks to the windows after storms…….. it’s one of the few jobs I have to do, I like clean windows 🙂
    an dhow wonderful for you to go to HK and Japan – places I want to visit. Oh well I will just hav eto wait and see your photos 🙂

    • Claire, you’re a trooper … love to clean windows. I’m not live right on the seafront .. feel sorry for people that does, but salt and dust real bits on the windows.
      Yes, I will be loaded with SDHC cards – so excited over my trip all ready, been thinking about for a while. But first Vienna, Chicago and Las Vegas – and of course Belfast and Dublin before Christmas.

  11. Hope you had a lovely visit to your Hamptons:) And funny but when I read Magnum in the first sentence (i think you mean champagne) but what came to mind first was Magnum PI- Tom Selleck with the big moustache who was a private investigator in Hawaii (a hot show in the 80’s!) xx wendy

    • Tom Selleck, I was in love with him .. still watch him in “Blue Bloods” – even more handsome today.
      But it was … the ice-cream … just addicted to it.
      We had very mixed weather in Skanör, but we had a great time .. relaxed and great seafood and miles of white sandy beaches.

  12. Hong Kong and Japan!! What a wonderful trip to look forward to! Your blue and white kitchen is gorgeous Viveka….so beautifuly co-ordinated! 🙂

    • Blue & white is my favorite color combination – but I have honeysuckle cabinets and forest green carpets. Thank you so much for your kind comment again.

    • Madhu, I’m a bit worried that I have taken on a bit too much with this journey to HK and Japan, especially with my feet problems, but it will not get any easier through waiting. So I have to do it in my own space and time … not think to much about being a true tourist. So excited that I got around and booked the main flight ticket. I was in Japan and HK in 1979.

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