In this month’s issue of Keeping Up With the Erikssons: We decide to surprise some of our friends and family by taking an impromptu flight to Finland, explore the family tree, experience a disappointing solar eclipse and I, of course, continue my tattoo.

Memorable March, Issue 03/15

1044 words about life — 20:00 · 31st Mar 2015

Despite this month being practically longer than the last one, I actually feel as if it’s gone by at a tremendous speed.

Reflecting back on the past month, I feel like it had barely started before it was all over.

I suppose some months are just like that.

Surprise Motherfucker!

Mr. Cruise was turning 30 this month and after seeing that another very dear friend of ours was having her birthday party the same weekend, I thought, “What if we—Rebecka, Lucien and me—would hop on a plane in secrecy and pay everyone a surprise visit?”

So we did.

The idea was quite simple: Arrange a surprise birthday party for Mr. Cruise, inviting all of his friends and not tell anyone of the other guests that I would also be attending. Like two surprises in one if you will.

Obviously someone needed to liaison all the arrangements on the Finnish side of things and when my first choice, Mr. Sock was as excited about the idea as I was, it was a done deal.

Trello board used to organise the surprise birthday party.
Under the codename Jackal, I set up a rough Trello board to coordinate the event.

Landing in Vasa at 14:05 left us with about two hours—we needed to stop for Kotipizza first—to clean up his apartment and make all the necessary preparations, including making sure all the guests arrived before Mr. Cruise did.

He almost ruined all of it by deciding to leave work an hour early but with a little semi-forceful convincing we got him to take a detour to his mom’s and from there we make could sure he didn’t arrive too early.

Group photo of many of the guests at the surprise birthday party.
Like a flashback to ten years ago.

The Family Tree

During our weekend in Finland I had also made plans to take Lucien to meet his great-grandparents from my side because they hadn’t seen him in quite a while—I can’t remember the last time they met.

And whilst we were all hanging out I saw the opportunity to take a closer look at our family tree, a beast of a tree where I’m but a small twig on its right hand side.

Carlos Eriksson's great-great-grandparents.
My great-great-grandfather, Carl Johan Manelius, a handsome man with an even handsomer moustache and my great-great-great-grandmother, Anna Lovisa née Lindholm, the stoic woman who put up with his moustache.

Taking the names and information I had I went online, thinking—with luck—that I might find at least something from a parish register.

But a guy in southern Finland, who I imagine is possibly a distant relative of mine, has done a lot of work on and thanks to him I can now trace my family tree all the way back to 1772 on my great-great-great-grandfather’s side, though it gets a bit muddled at that point.

I sure hope I didn’t miss a “great” in that.

At some point I would like to sit down and continue the work he’s done, building it from Lucien’s point of view so that when he gets older and wants—if he does—to explore his past, he’ll have wealth of information to find.

Session #4

And as usual, as this point it wouldn’t be a monthly update if I didn’t continue on the sleeve tattoo.

After four sessions we are getting very close to finishing the sleeve and next time we’re going to start adding the smoke line fillers.

Carlos Eriksson at Stainless Steve's Custom Tattoos, for session #4 of his sleeve tattoo.
One of my 7 marigolds.

Whilst this wasn’t our longest session so far, it was definitely the one where we got most shit done in a sitting. And most of it was fine but getting the elbow tattooed stung like a bastard. He later told me that the elbow tends to be a soft spot that hurts quite a lot.

And thanks to my wonderful wife we managed to get a couple of pictures—of the now healed tattoo—before it started pissing down.

Piss down. To rain heavily. Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Carlos Eriksson standing against a brickwall showing his tattoed arm.
I still haven’t figured out how to get good shots of my tattoo.

Solar Eclipse

And finally, towards the end of March, the entire world stood breathless as the moon took a much anticipated tour in between us and the sun.

The Solar Eclipse of 2015, a beatutiful red-tinted shot
What some people got to experience. Photo courtesy of marcus_and_sue

Sadly, the weather in the UK did what it has a habit of doing and decided to be, in one word, shit.

So instead of a glorious solar eclipse like the one the picture above I got something more like the picture below.

A solid grey (#aeb0af) block of color.
What I got to experience instead (a solid 16x9 block of #aeb0af).

Except I was also at work at the time, so this is more on an artist rendition of how I imagined it must have looked as I sat hunched in front of my computer screen working instead of staring into the sky like a dumbass.

The next total solar eclipse visible from the UK won’t occur until September 2090, at which point I plan on being super-dead.

And that’s it for this month.

You’ve just read Memorable March, Issue 03/15.

In which, 9 years ago, I wrote 1044 words about life and I covered topics, such as: keeping up with the erikssons , birthdays , tattoos , family , finland , and travel .