About two weeks ago my husband and I were sitting on our couch watching TV eating hazelnuts. We have a lovely, old wooden bowl that belonged to one of his parents families and every Christmas we fill it with unshelled nuts to eat and enjoy while we are watching TV, or visiting with friends. My husband has a cool, red, wooden nutcracker that he has had since he was a child. It is a wooden cup with a fat wooden screw that comes into one side of it. You put a nut in the wooden cup and then screw the screw in until it pushes against and breaks the shell. It is great fun! Nearly everyone visitor we have had has enjoyed a nut or two from that bowl.
We sat there on the couch, him shelling the nuts and me eating every other one, more or less. It was a good deal for me! We sat there mindlessly eating them until suddenly he said excitedly, "Filipin"! He had discovered two nuts in one shell! Tvillingnötter, or "twin nuts," they are called in Sweden and Filipin, he explained, is a game played at Christmas time here. If a person cracking open nuts finds twin nuts they get to share the "twin" with a friend who is willing to play the game. They decide at that time to choose a date and time in the future when they will meet again and the first person to say "Filipin" after this date and time wins.
We have been eating a lot of hazelnuts this holiday season and we've happened to find tvillingnötter on four different occasions! So we have four games going with four different dates and times. We agreed that we would not create reminders in our iPhones or calendars to help us remember. We would have to remember the old-fashioned way, on our own!
Last night was New Year's Eve. We had a lovely, home-cooked, five course dinner at home and then watched a movie to try our best to stay awake for midnight. We managed to stay up and decided take our champagne glasses and walk up to the Monteliusvägen Path, located on the cliff up the hill behind our apartment. It is a path that has a beautiful view of much of the city of Stockholm and has been written about as one of the best places to view fireworks in the city. I think everyone must have read the reviews because it was completely packed with people, young and old, and I have to agree, it was probably the best place in Stockholm to view fireworks. We could see fireworks happening all over the city in a panorama view! There were also many people sending off Japanese, rice paper lanterns, like mini hot-air balloons, and they could be seen as far as the eye could see. It was really breathtaking.
Needless-to-say, we were awake well past midnight and therefore slept in rather late today. Around 11:00am this morning I was sitting here at the computer creating my blog and it dawned on me that 9:00am on January 1st was one of our decided dates and times to play Filipin. I quickly walked into our bedroom where my husband was lying in bed reading his iPad and said excitedly, "Filipin"!
I won round one.