Thursday, 30 May 2013


At the moment each day feels like an eternity as we count down the days until we go to the USA..............and more importantly until the 3rd June when we find out if we're having a boy or a girl! Ever since we found out we are having a baby I have convinced myself that we are having a girl. This is based purely on probability, as everyone of my brothers have introduced boys into 'the wolfpack'! It seems only natural that one of us will have a daughter.............and that someone could be me! Of course you can never really know and the more I think about it, the more I think that the fact all my brothers have had boys makes no difference. It is a lottery. I can't wait to find out though! I'm not one for surprises! Prince or Princess? It doesn't matter to me.

The USA trip can't come soon enough for me. Its only two weeks away now and I feel like a kid in the lead up to Christmas! Work has continued to be really busy and I could really do with a break. That said though, work is going really well. I've been working on a few things recently, which my bosses have been really impressed with so hopefully, if I can continue doing good things, they will offer me a permanent position. I think I deserve it but deserving something doesn't always mean you will get it, especially in the business world.

On the social side, the past few weeks have been fairly quiet however there was plenty on the agenda last weekend.. Friday night I had a match for the Tudors Arms against Ekero, which was a good way to start off the weekend but unfortunately we lost 2-1. It was a good performance by the team and it was a game we definitely did not deserve to lose. I was at fault for the first goal but despite my mistake, I had a fairly solid game. I have been really consistent this season so I was annoyed with myself to give such a soft goal away. It wasn't a complete howler.................believe me I made much worst mistakes in the past! I misjudged the flight of the ball from a free kick and I was beaten in the air by an opposing player, and he was able to head the ball into the empty net. I made amends though in the second half by making some crucial saves but I could do nothing about the second goal. It was a shame really as for the first time this season we played as a 'team', and we deserved a draw at least.

I was especially looking forward to the Saturday though, as there was the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying, the Champions League Final and the Carl Froch/Mikkel Kessler fight all on the same day. It was a sports fans wet dream!! Plus we had tickets to see Josh Groban early in the evening at The Globe Arena. We'd also planned to have dinner and a Greek restaurant before the show so it was a jam packed day! Before we headed out Aicha and I spent some time enjoying the sun on the balcony. Aicha had her friends over the night before and they had left half a box of wine so it felt rude not to help myself to a few glasses in the sun! Its been a while since we have had any sun, during which time I had lost my sunglasses so I had to go out and buy myself a new pair!

New shades..............and new grey hairs!
Before dinner we then stopped off at a cocktail bar for a few, well............cocktails. And no, they were not alcoholic before you ask...........

Baby Mamma!
The Josh Groban concert was really good. I was first introduced to him by Aicha not long after we first met and I have to say I really like his music. I like all genres of music but I do have a soft spot for ballads, particularly those with an emotional and powerful message. He is actually a really funny guy as well. In between songs he would interact with the audience and he even did a short Q&A session. My favourite comment was when someone asked him what his best 'worst' chat up line was and after a look pause he replied 'Hi, my name is Josh Groban'!! Genius!

After the show we headed back home on the tube where I did my best to catch some of the Champions League Final on my mobile phone. I managed to see the majority of the second and was lucky enough to see the goals. If I'm honest, I wasn't that interested in the game as I was more interested in making it home in time for the boxing! Carl Froch is my number one boxer at the moment and the fight with Mikkel Kessler was billed to be one of the greatest.............and it didn't disappoint! It was an epic from start to finish, with Froch winning unanimously on points. Boxing for me is one of the best sports there is, both to watch and to admire. Seeing this guys put their lives and reputations on the line each time they step into the ring is amazing, and the discipline needed to make it at the top level is truly inspiring. Lately I have felt myself getting more excited for a boxing match than I do for an England I don't feel the disappointment afterwards!

Speaking of which, I just watched England play the Republic of Ireland tonight....................there's 90 minutes I will never get back!!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Daddy Cool!

I can't believe where the time has gone! It's been well over a month since my last post but it seems like only yesterday that I was sitting here getting my thoughts down last time. So much has gone on during the past month that I do not know where to begin!

I guess there is no better way to start than to proudly announce that Aicha and I are to become parents! It feels like a huge weight has been lifted now that we can finally tell people. It has been quite a challenge to keep it quiet................especially since everyone keeps asking us when we are having kids! Two weeks ago we had our first ultrasound and I am happy to report that all is ok. Actually seeing our child on the screen during the ultrasound really brought it home that we were having a was the most amazing thing I have ever seen! Our next scan is on the 3rd June, which is when we find out whether we have a boy or a girl. Not to sound too cliche', I really don't mind what we have providing it's healthy and it doesn't talk back to me! Although I'm sure once they hit 16 I will probably wish that we'd had a boy, as I can see myself being one of those over-protective fathers who constantly worry about where their daughter is...................and more importantly, who they're with!!

Just prior to the ultrasound, we traveled to Brighton to share the news with my family. We had booked the trip to the UK in January (before we found out we were expecting) which meant that by the time we actually came to visit we were exactly 3 months pregnant, so the timing was perfect as I could tell them all in person! I had not seen them since December so I could not wait to catch up with them all.

It was however a slightly sad time for me on our arrival as my mum was in the process of selling the family home, which I had grown up in, so this visit would be the last time I would be there. We would normally stay with my mum when we visit but the house sale was to complete the day after we arrived so instead we decided to stay with our friends Chris and Julie who lived close by. When my Mum picked us up at the airport I told her to take us to the house so I could say one last goodbye. My parents moved into the house back in 1981, 3 months before I was born, so its the only family home I have ever known. We have so many memories from that house it was sad to see it go...................

It's been emotional.................
As usual, the weekend in Brighton went by too quickly and before we knew it we were back in Stockholm. We really enjoyed our time there and it the highlight for me was meeting up with my family over dinner and telling them our news! The Bish clan is now being over-run with boys so my mum has requested a grand-daughter...................I told her I will see what I can do but I can't promise anything! On our final day we visited my mums new home, which she now shares with her partner Martin, to spend some more time with her and the family before we left....................and I have to say that her new place is pretty awesome too. There is some work which needs doing on the interior but it is a really good size and has a huge garden....................perfect for BBQ's in the summer!! It was also nice to spend some time playing around with the kids....................something which I will be doing a lot more of in the future!

Ollie & Charlie

Max & Ollie with Auntie Aicha
Our friend Hayley came to visit over the last weekend of April, so we again became tour guides for a few days. We did the usual thing of showing her around the old town and the views of the city, plus we took her to Grona Lund, which is a theme park, on the Saturday. It was the opening day for the park in 2013 so it was busy, and with it being a Saturday the queues for the rides were quite long. We did however manage to get on a few rides plus I won a giant chocolate bar on the tombola! I say a giant chocolate was actually a large box with several smaller bars inside! Sneaky devils!

Since then it has been non-stop with work and football. We are now four game into the football season and it has been an 'ok' start, with 2 wins and 2 defeats. The two games we won, we were by far the better side and deserved the 3 points from those games however, if I'm honest, we did deserve to lose the games we lost. The team is now definitely starting to show signs of potential and hopefully we will be up there challenging at the business end of the season.

Now that the snow has disappeared, we have finally got around to fixing up our balcony. We now have a front room just outside our front room...................just in time for the summer!!

Work has been mental as usual, even more so now that I am covering my colleague Linus' job for 3 months whilst he is on paternity leave. In Sweden, the father is entitled to 2 weeks paternity leave at the time of the birth, and then he can share some of the 15 months parental leave (which parents here are entitled to) with the mother. His son was born last summer and now that his wife is ready to go back to work, he is entitled to the remaining parental leave. In some cases this can be split 50/50 if the mother wishes to go back to work earlier. Parents also receive 80% of the salary  for the entire paternity period as well! Things are so much easier here than back home! I will definitely take a few months off when the time comes, as I think its very important for the father to bond with the child just as much as the mother.

Hearing me refer to myself as a 'father' sounds weird! I still can quite believe it happening!......................even though I knew at some point in my life this time would come. Nothing can prepare you for the news and you are never quite sure how you should feel about it. Each day seems different. One day I am excited, the next I'm anxious and then the next I'm worried..................and then I realise the baby is not even here yet so how will I feel once it is! I just have to tell myself that I am no different to anybody else as I'm sure that all would-be parents felt the same way. The is no rule book for this. You have the opportunity to listen to the advice that's given to you but ultimately you learn as you go.

I know Aicha will be a great mother. She has looked after me for nearly 10 years so a baby will be a walk in the park for her! I think Aicha will be more the disciplinarian and I will be the soft touch.................but that doesn't mean I won't be firm when I need to be. My dad was always hard but fair and that is definitely a characteristic I will take on as a parent when I need to be. I know I will do everything I can to be a good dad................not only good but a cool one as well!

Daddy Cool!!