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Happy Anniversary to my guy. Seven years!

I recently wrote an email to someone I haven't talked to in a year. Here's what my bullet-point summary of the year looks like:
  • I moved to Sweden.
  • I closed my business.
  • I learned Swedish.
  • Then I learned how to program.
  • Now I teach programming.
  • This year I've traveled to: Budapest, Poland, Dresden, Berlin & Munich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, London and in a couple days, Morocco.
© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Every year I write a summary and say "it's been a crazy year" and every year I've been exaggerating, until now. Moving to a new country is weird and a little bit hard and lonely and scary. But we've done it and it's almost been a year and everything is pretty much OK. George is even more awesome than the day we got married and I'm so proud and happy and excited to be his wife. He's so clever and funny and kind. And he puts up with all my shit. It's great. Marriage is great. Here's photos. Happy anniversary babe! © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com 130626-pask-delsjon-1130626-pask-yellow-2 © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com 160606-blog-1 © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com 160606-blog-13 © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

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Sweden Update #5 | Now I’m an employed web developer

Holy crap - who is that girl? It's me, it's me! I'm alive and now I'm a web developer / programming teacher and I have a job like a real adult. Yes, it's been a long time since I wrote. I was busy learning how to write code, see. (In the meantime, WordPress has become a whole new beast - what.) And I went to London and Munich. But not anywhere else - it's been a crazy three months. I'll tell you all about it. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com So last we spoke I was about to head into bootcamp with Craft Academy. I did that. It was all kinds of things: exciting, challenging, stressful, fun, intense, painful. I wrote blog posts about that, too, but I did it over on Medium, which I guess is where I'm going to blog about stuff like that. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Images here are some random things from late summer. The weather was pretty crummy in July - rainy, cold. But about halfway through August things cleared a bit and we got some lovely "summer" days. Most of September was nice too. And then halfway through September the weather turned and it hasn't topped 10*C and it's hung out around 5*C and even snowed a few times! It happens. This is a cold part of the world. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com So bootcamp was ok. Good parts, bad parts. But I love the shit out of learning, so mostly good. I had some nice teammates to work with and we built some really cool stuff. Things like a quiz app for playing quiz games with your friends (or as electronic version for pub quiz). It's free and you can make your own quiz - give it a try. The head coach at the bootcamp kept saying he was going to hire me but I couldn't tell how serious he was. Then in the last week of camp it all came together and the damn Monday after graduation, I started work there. So now I'm a coach, teaching programming! If my life seems like a series of random bumps from one interest to another, that's ok - that's pretty much what I'm doing. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com George is good. He's still getting on well with his boss and colleagues and his work is coming along just fine, as far as I understand any of it. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com And if you can believe it, coding is everything I did between August and October. George's mom came to visit and that was nice, though I couldn't spend much time with them. We had some dinners and things, but mostly I was tied to my laptop. And if I had any other great stories to tell you from bootcamp, I would, but it looked a lot like me staring at my terminal or text editor all day every day until I emerged someone who could make a web application. And teach programming. It's been fun! © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Teaching is hard in some ways and easy in others. Apparently I have a bit of a knack for explaining things in a way people can understand, which is nice. I'm trying to expand to help people who are not analytical learners. So many of us learn better visually, but programming education does a crap job of embracing these learners. I want to do better. If you have resources, send them to me! © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Then, like that, bootcamp was over! I was working for them, but I had no more immediate lessons to learn. Now I was in on the "coach" meetings and writing copy and answering emails and desperately preparing to teach. But I was also determined to sneak in a bit of travel and "relaxation". We went to London to visit with Ian and theoretically with a bunch of people but a lot of them had busy lives and couldn't see us. Womp womp. Anyway, we took two nearly identical walking tours and otherwise ate lots of really tasty foods that we had forgotten the world is capable of making. Gothenburg will make you forget stuff like that.
© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

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Sweden Update #4

Hejsan, y'all. Last update came to you from the beginning of summer and this one comes to you from the (let's be realistic) end. Gothenburg has a very brief "summer" and then we slip back into rain rain rain, darkness and cold. It could be worse! We could be waaaaay up north and get excited when it gets over 10*C. (Did you know it's a further 16 hours by car to the Arctic Circle from where I live? Sweden is huge.) © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Those three glorious weeks we had in June... that was pretty much summer. It's been ok here, off and on - a day here and there where it's really pleasant out. But mostly it's been raining a lot and not all that warm. We've got our collected fingers crossed that we'll get some more good weather here in August (when we visited last year it was really warm) but for me, summer is over starting tomorrow anyway. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Yes, I start this bootcamp that will hopefully be a move into a new career tomorrow. I'm excited and a little nervous, but mostly ready to get to work. I like working and I love learning things. And I like the idea of being a coder. Starting tomorrow it's code all day every day until I know the ropes, so my days of lounging by the sea have come to an end for this year. But with summers like this, it doesn't seem like that big a sacrifice. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Obviously these images come from the Pride Parade back in June. Clearly I'm just a spectator but Gothenburg's Pride seems much more subdued than DCs. There are also way more boobs and less dick about. We saw lots of women just full-on naked in the street (some of them painted). I felt mad creepy taking pictures of them, so I didn't. But the festival itself came with all kinds of great activities, including free pap smears with bonus candies! © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Actually, we found ourselves at the stage at one point and they were doing choreographed dancing and we were having *so much fun* until we realized we were inadvertently participating in an exercise class. Whoops! © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Jobb = job. This is the employment agency marching. Honestly, the parade was pretty lame - it was a lot of government agencies and companies with a bunch of employees just walking down the street with rainbow things happening. I was like "where are the QUEENS?" But maybe if you have a more equal and accepting society, your parade gets really tame. It's not a bad trade-off. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com All over town, these women (and a few men) sit outside the grocery stores and ask for money. They don't really do much except sit there and say "hej" to everyone that walks in or out. It's very non-aggressive. Mostly they just seem really bored. I enjoyed seeing this lady dancing and having a good time - sometimes we forget that people who have to beg on the street are *people* and they like doing fun things like dancing just like the rest of us. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com I talked about this a bit on Instagram too, but one difference between Sweden and the states is that everyone is more ok with bodies here. Naked bodies on the street, pregnant ladies with their bellies way out, communal saunas and there's no such thing as a "nude" beach because it's ok to get naked at any beach. Swedes are just more comfortable in their own skin and ok with seeing other peoples' skin. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com And then it was Midsommar! Lacking some kind of traditional, organized, countryside Midsommar affair, we hit up the official city celebration at a park downtown. They had make-your-own flower crowns, a giant "maypole", traditional dancers and lots of people looking cheerful and having fun. We had amazing weather that day. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com The first climax of Midsommar is dancing around the pole. There's a ton of songs with choreographed dancing. Everyone forms concentric rings around the pole, then you dance left and right and do hand motions and kick a bit. It's great fun! © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com The second climax is going home, eating a ton, and getting shitfaced. George and I cooked a metric asston of food for a bunch of assorted friends and colleagues. I got properly wasted but it seems no one else did (or so I was told). As I understood (understand) it, Midsommar is the one time you're mandated to get properly drunk, so I did. I had a really great time, anyway. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Finally made it to Röda Sten before we moved. They had a really cool exhibit about climate change and things. This is giant plastic sheet suspended from the ceiling by a million pieces of yarn. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com George did a lot of traveling in August, so one Saturday I made it out to Marstrand for a sailing competition. I honestly didn't understand the sailing at all - they moved back and forth and it honestly seemed like they were going kind of slow and the "track" was really small. But in the end someone won and people seemed excited. It was completely, ridiculously, windy so I didn't stick around near the sailing bit that much. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com I ate crazy-delicious seafood soup in this little place. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Gothenburg has an event going on this year called "Green World." They've set up a bunch of different art installations dealing with nature. There are a bunch of "pocket parks" on the main strip downtown, a huge bamboo installation near the state theater and a number of really cool arty things in the botanical gardens. There's all kinds of crap like this in town - Gbg has a lot going on. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com And then, we went to Stockholm! We had *the best* weather in Stockholm (it was 10 degrees colder in Gbg the whole time we were there). We saw tons of stuff and also managed to spend a couple hours every day just chilling drinking beers and such on patios. City Hall: © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Patio #1 was on a rooftop and it was sooooooo nice. We spent an hour or so just listening to music and completely chilling out. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Moderna Museet: meh. I've seen too many freakin' "world class" museums at this point to get excited about something with no big names or things I recognize. (Other takeaways from visiting a thousand modern museums: Picasso was damn *prolific*. Literally every modern art museum I've been in has a bunch of his stuff.) © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Some kind of band concert in the Old Town's main square. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Museum Island. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Ok, Stockholm was kinda great - lots of stuff to do, pleasant to look at, lots of good patios to drink on. But the *best* part was Bunny Park. For some reason the park we walked through between our hotel and downtown had a whole family of bunnies living in it. Urban bunnies! They were out almost every time we went through, day or night, and they weren't very scared of people. They were damn adorable. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com It's basically impossible to take a good picture of the Vasa, but here's a crap one. This was worth the $14 entry fee or whatever. They pulled an *entire* ship out of the harbor and built a museum for it. Crazy! © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com A sign maker who took his job too literally? © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com We did a whole bunch of stuff in Stockholm but mostly it was just a pleasant time, walking around and eating. George hates outdoor museums, apparently. He did not dig Skansen, but I liked it. © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com One of the coolest things we did in Stockholm was a tour of the metro art. We managed to completely screw up the meeting place the first day but they had another tour that fit right in with our train time. We got to see really neat art grottos and the like. Highly recommend and it's free! © 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com I just haven't been taking that many "regular" photos, though I always have my camera on me. I guess I'm letting that slide for a while. So I don't have very many day-in-the-life stuff to show. Sorry! Here's some other things that happened:
  • George is doing good. He's in Edinburgh right now experiencing the Fringe Festival, again. He was supposed to bring me but then I signed up for this coding camp that starts tomorrow. So I suck but hopefully it will be way worth it.

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