Things from London that I miss:

  • Sandwiches and sandwich shops. Well-made sandwiches are one of the best parts of British cuisine, and besides, they’re very practical as a quick lunch. M&S’s Wensleydale and caramelised carrots, for example, or their Mexican bean wrap, or Pret’s Brie & cranberry Christmas specials.
  • Spitalfields market. Not because I bought much there (apart from the occasional pie or brownie) but because it was fun to browse. The same goes for all the odd little shops in the small streets of East London. I’d never even go in, but it was fun to walk past and peer into their show windows full of things like Indian wedding accoutrements, cheap household electronics, or exotic vegetables. The neighbourhood where we live now is purely residential, and the few shops to be found are all eminently ordinary and practical, such as a hairdressers’ or a pizzeria.

Things in Stockholm that I like:

  • Wide open blue skies. London is clouded over quite a lot of the time. Must be a local thing, maybe caused by all the traffic pollution? And even when it isn’t cloudy, the sky is never as in-your-face as it is here in Stockholm. The sky here is bluer, the streets wider and the houses lower, so the bright blueness of the sky hits me with a big smack whenever I go out. I also feel that the sun is brighter here: I cannot go out cycling during the day without wearing sunglasses, whereas I hadn’t yet brought out my sunglasses in London during the spring.
  • Hot water as soon as I turn on the tap.
  • Lifts in every single tubeT-bana and train station. And they always work, and they’re almost always clean. The whole experience is so smooth that I don’t think twice about taking Ingrid on the T-bana in her pushchair, whereas in London I would try to avoid trips to town if possible. Not surprisingly, therefore,
  • The town is full of parents with pushchairs and prams. They are everywhere. Really, one can get the impression that the fertility rate in Stockholm is about three times that of London.