03 November 2011

Passport check

Once we, at long last, had Ursula's complete name approved and registered by the Swedish authorities we could request a hard copy of her records from Skatteverket - a document we needed in order apply for a passport for her at the Danish embassy in Stockholm.

For this we also needed a passport photo which turned out to be a rather difficult thing to obtain. For starters the requirements for passport photos are quite strict and it can be difficult taking baby photos that meet all of these requirements. Adding to our difficulties were the fact that Swedish photographers have no experience taking photos that meet the requirements - when applying for a Swedish passport you do not have to bring a photo as the authorities insist on taking the picture themselves.

We started out by attempting to take a picture at home in the living room with our digital camera, but we weren't really happy with the results and we also worried that we might not be able to have such a photo printed according to the requirements.

Ekerö Centrum

So one Friday we made a little excursion from Bromma to Ekerö Centrum to have pictures taken at a professional photographer. This little excursion of course took most of our day since you can't take acceptable pictures of a baby while it is sleeping, sleepy, eating, hungry, bored or in need of a clean diaper. In the end we got a set of photos in which Ursula was sitting at an odd angle and the hands holding her up for the photographer were apparent. We were rather sceptical as to the acceptability of the photos - the photographer on the other hand was convinced that they were sufficiently good.

When we went to the Danish embassy in Stockholm on the following Monday it turned out - of course - that the pictures really were not good enough. So we hurried (well, as much as you can hurry considering the complications mentioned above for baby photographing) on over to Östermalm for some new ones. This photographer had newer equipment and seemed generally more in the loop and the pictures he took were a lot nicer than the first set - for one thing Ursula sat more straight in these - but a few fingers from the hands holding her were still visible. Also this photographer had confidence in the Danish authorities' tolerance for passport photos of babies.

House of Denmark - housing the Danish embassy in Stockholm

Tue ran back to the embassy before visiting hours ended - and was told that those fingers couldn't be accepted (or that the embassy staff would be really sorry to forward our application to the police in Denmark and have them reject the photos). Might it be possible to explain to the good photographer that the fingers were not allowed to be there? Tue was promised that he would be allowed to enter the embassy after normal visiting hours to hand in new pictures.

Back in Östermalm the photographer was surprised that the photos were not acceptable but did not mind photoshopping the fingers away - at no extra charge. The 'new' pictures were accepted and away the application went.

A little over a month later we could pick up the passport at the embassy and wonder about all the fuss over the fingers - that part of the photo had been cropped away anyway.

Also babies look like criminals in their passports

01 November 2011

Winter is approaching

If the cooler temperatures, the progressively barer trees, and the increasing darkness weren't sufficiently clear indications of winter approaching, other signs leave no doubt.

The landlord
has placed large boxes of sand to strew on icy stairs and pathways:

The rescue stations along Lake Mälaren have had ladders added for use rescuing people who have gone through the ice:

And people have started wearing hats and gloves, but these seem to still come off from time to time and consequently get lost: