When Mona and I started to be a couple it needed to be officialized. The family approval is universal and no exception in our case! I told my grandfather Joseph Ineichen, that I had met this girl from Sweden and she was my first girlfriend to be introduced in this manner! Serious staff, in other words… He wanted to know where she was from in Sweden so I remember telling him the odds were he had never heard about it. Sundsvall, a small town somewhere along the Baltic coast…
How wrong I was! Dad had heard about it as he had many times insured cargo to and fro…Mona and Dad got on very well and jokingly he called her “Moaner” and what are you moaning about?
My curiosity was growing. What was this Sundsvall like? I recall dreaming about it. Many wooden houses perched on hillsides…
Mona in turn came from an island that had its own rocks and some were even named after the island as Alnoit was. At the London Geological museum I remember once looking curiously at theses volcanic, rather unusual minerals!
My information about this land and what to expect grew as letters poured in from Sweden in 1972. We started to talk engagement and marriage and even children. The idea was clearly that of big changes in our lives! And we were right!
On the first letter from Sweden I was told that the trip had taken ages. After the boat there was a train, and it took 12 hours to go from Gothenburg to Sundsvall.
Life in Sweden started to take shape. Mona’s father Olle Hillman worked a whole day on his boat, they went off at weekends to the mountains and visits to graveyards were common in this new culture!