Shanes Swedish Christmas

Swedish Christmas

Swedish Christmas

I will try and give you a peek at some of my Swedish Christmas experiences.  The above photo is my table right now.  The hamper is from Taylors and Jones, its a gift for Ms Palins’ sister and brother in law where I am spending julafton. Its stuffed full of British goodies.

You will also notice the Y Fenni cheese, yes a whole wheel, well it is Christmas. This also comes courteousy of the guys at Taylors and Jones. I also picked up some cheddar made with glögg (Swedish mulled wine.) There is a bottle of Glögg, a small amount of malt Auchentoshan,

Also you can spot a Christmas card from Iron Maiden. I joined the Iron Maiden Fan Club after seeing them play live this year, it was a nice touch to get a Christmas card from them. OK the signatures were not the actual signatures but hey still a nice touch I thought. You will also notice my reading material, well one part of my reading material for the Christmas, Mike Huckabees ‘Do The Right Thing’.

Y Fenni Cheese

Y Fenni Cheese

Iron Maiden to the rescue

I work in travel and never revel in seeing major players going bust. There is always a knock on effect for the whole industry and tourism in general.

I did giggle for the first time this morning when I saw Bruce Dickinson lead singer of Iron Maiden get interviewed on BBC News. He is also of course a full time pilot for Astreaus and he was saying that they are using some of their spare capacity to rescue stranded XL passengers.

It seems strange that the last time I saw him he was running around a packed Stockholm Stadion belting out hits such as Run to the Hills and corkers such as Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

It seems the BBC are with him in his plane interviewing him as he picks up XL passengers.

Whatever would Eddie the Ed say!

Iron Maiden in Stockholm

I was absolutely amazed by the Iron Maiden gig, considering the guys are still rocking in their fifties their energy levels were immense.

I am crap at writing reviews but needless to say the things that stood out for me were a) Bruce Dickinsons’ vocal range is incredible, I can understand why he is called the ‘air siren’. b) amazed what sort of people turned up to the gigs. I had a 12 year old sat next to me who played an imaginary drumset throughout the entire set, he wasnt born when these classics were written. Fantastic!

The venue was good, though Stockholms Stadion reminded me of the football stadium used in Escape to Victory! I loved the fact that in homage to Iron Maiden they flew the British Union Jack at the Stadium alongside the flags of Sweden and Stockholm.

I took some photos and videos with my mobile, I will try and post them but not sure of the quality. I was going to take my camera but thought some jobsworth would confiscate it but I wasnt even searched! Shame really.

Steve Harris on bass was absolutely phenomenal, he has to be one of the top bassists out there.

It was quite an emotional gig for me as Iron Maiden helped me through some tough periods of my teenage life and to see them playing live, and playing superbly live was a real pivotal moment for me. I even bought an Iron Maiden tshirt which would shock most of my friends if they saw me wearing it.

What really amazed is despite the fact the Stadium was fully sold out, there were plenty of underground trains ready to take everyone away safely and quickly. The last time I left a packed out stadium was that Croatia game at Wembley and that took hours so a big thumbs up the Stockholm Public Transport system there!

Scream for me Stockholm!

Soundcheck

How strange. I am sat in my office in Östermalm which is very near Stockholm Stadion and I can hear Iron Maidens sound check. Rather surreal. I am so looking forward to the gig! Although I am such an old man I have booked a seating ticket.

The days of me headbanging are long gone, still a nice cup of tea in the posh seats whilst tapping my feet to Run to the Hills sounds rather nice!

Running free

I am officially back in the gym. I have been so slack since my holidays but I finally forced me and my beer belly into the gym today. I managed to run 3kms straight off which I was happy with. Now I need to build on that to get up to 5kms and then kick on for 10kms run.

I needed a new pair of running shoes. I have learnt my lesson about buying crap running shoes before so I now get decent ones. I popped into the Runners Store on Vasagatan, Stockholm and was  very impressed with their setup. I have to be careful as I have suffered with shin splints in the past but my last decent pair of Asics really helped with that.

The assistant was very interested in why I wanted to run and then made me run on a treadmill whilst videoing my gait. He then selected a few pairs which I tried on and ended up with a snazzy pair of Nikes.

When I paid up he threw in a few pairs of running socks because I ‘support the best team’. I was wearing a Hammarby tshirt and he was a Bajen man! luckily he wasnt AIK or I might have needed to test my new running shoes out faster than I would have liked!

The title of this blog is very apt, its an Iron Maiden track of course and they are in Stockholm right now. They are playing at Stockholms Stadion and I have managed to get a ticket.  I have paid over the odds but they are my teenage band and they are playing the line up from the World Slavery tour in the mid eighties. For me this was Iron Maiden at their best.  I cant say I listen to them much thesedays so its more of a nostaligic gig as they were my teenage band. So that completes the set having seen Morrissey, The Proclaimers, Motorhead and now Iron Maiden live!  What a bandography what would  Freud make of that!