My birthday in Sweden featured the best-ever beginning when the birthday carolers came to my door at midnight:30, with harmony and hugs. I didn’t even know there were two verses!

I had a fun day-trip to Uppsala, where I bought myself a most excellent book, Jul i Stora Skogen (Christmas in the Big Woods). The cover features cute woodland animals playing music and dancing around a tree, so you can tell the story is equally charming. Highly suitable, as they say, for us 3–6 year olds. Though I’d venture some of us consult googletranslate more often than others.

Chloe made an Indian dinner for everyone who was home, and Andrea made special chocolate chip birthday cookies, plus extras so we can make ice cream sandwiches with them. I had a few nice skype calls, and I got umpteen skazillion bday wishes on Facebook in an entertaining variety of languages. Overall a very pleasing day.

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