The last few weeks we’ve had a serious heatwave in Sweden(that’s around 30°C for us). The beach has been so crowded and we’ve been down there three times a day. Then yesterday a big summer thunder storm rolled in. Thunder, lightning and torrential rain. As soon as the thunder stopped we decided to go swimming in the rain. We were soaked and chilled by the time we got down there and the beach was of course deserted. Getting in the water was lovely and warm though. Best swim of the summer!
My little boy turned 14 today and we baked him a cake. My 10 year old daughter made the decorations all by herself. Most people who don’t play computer games will not get it but the ones who do will recognise the Creeper. We had a fantastic “fika” in the shade. Coconut-ice, fudge, banana-chocolate cookies, toffee and the cake plus beautiful coffee that we brought back from England. Since it was his B-day he decided to go to the next island Fotö(foot-island) to swim. There is a jumping tower and my son asked if I would ever imagine jumping from the highest? Of course I would but it is strange, being scared of hights and feeling sick even going on a normal swing…being over water I’m fine with it though. Didn’t stop me from shouting out like I thought I was gonna die on the way down though.
I find it interesting that out of the small population of our island, and the surrounding islands, there are a very large proportion of artists. In August during the Artwave (Konstvågen), artists and craft people open their studios, galleries and homes to the public. This year 93 venues! I’m exhibiting as usual but haven’t had time to give it any thought until today. Spent all morning doing much needed gardening and watering and then met up with some “town friends” for an exhibition down the harbour. The gallery called Ishuset(the Ice house) is such a beautiful place. It used to be where the fishermen filled up on ice for their catch but now it’s re-done and used for events. Some great paintings that reminded me of the vibrant colours of my garden(my new mobile make them way to brilliant but I’m sure I’ll figure out how to use it eventually) and lovely company with friends and the artist. A swim, then home, another swim and finished off with homemade pizza…aaaah a perfect mix of culture and seawater.
Finally we have names for them all. Last year we named all the chickens but this year the thought of who would be a cockerel or not put us off. My personal favourite is Otilia, she is gorgeous with her light beige colours. Vera is the runner-up with black legs and eyes, grey feathers lined with gold and brown around her neck. In London a couple of weeks ago we went to the London dungeons and a girl (who was put in the torture chamber) was called Esme, from Essex, I said to my daughter -how about that for the white chick? We have been discussing names for this one the last few weeks and everything I say she says no to and the other way around. Then I remembered that one of my favourite bloggers’ (The Snail of happiness) hen is called the same and my daughter almost changed her mind, we can’t be copycats, but then it is very hard to come up with names no ones used before, so Esme it is. The last one is just called Scruffy, she has almost the same tones as Otilia but a weird red face and a cocky look to her. Oh and the little one that Nugget is surrogate mum for is named Gibli, it looks so funny with feathers down its legs and feet!
Picking red currants this morning it felt like I had a big herd following me around. We now have 10 chickens and hens but I swear Oggy the cat thinks he’s a chicken to. He is spending more and more time in the hen yard rolling in the sand, the other day he was gnawing on a corn on the cob and when I picked eggs I found him asleep in the henhouse! The hens still make a warning sound when he comes close but they don’t run and he doesn’t seem remotely interested in attacking them.
Todays harvest- 8 litres of cherries a bucket of potatoes and a huge bowl of red currants.
I picked one of each plant, boiled some fresh spuds(potatoes) and backed up with sour cream to calm the heat. Figured I have to try all the chilis before using them in cooking etc. It wasn’t too bad. Hottest was the Cayenne, with a lovely flavour and as number two came Hot lemon. Hot lemon is my favourite with fish and other seafood, its quite hot but has a lovely citrus flavour to it. The curly red chili had no heat at all, the black ones are pretty with beautiful flowers but to be honest doesn’t taste very much apart from some heat. My favourite this year, and I will save seeds and plant it next year, is the Cascabella, it is so fruity and perfect heat.
After two weeks in England, first London then Isle of Wight, we came back to a garden full of fruit! Seems most of my plants made it, even the indoor plants that weren’t on the list. My husband joined us after a week and I left him a very detailed to-do list… he hesitated about the plants but eventually figured that they probably needed water to. A quick harvest of the chili plants gave a whole bowl of colourful and hopefully tasty fruits!