A fantastic hot summers week(one of the very few) ended in torrential rain and wind. Although as they say out here “it’s always good for the garden”. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more summer but on the other hand I love autumn on the island. One of the perks is that there will be no one around going swimming. My daughter has really gotten into swimming this year and she’s even inspired me to do a swim test. Strange as it may sound for someone who goes swimming all year around I am actually quite scared of the sea. I’ve never liked swimming over seaweed and since the movie Jaws I’ve fantasised about sharks, I know it is so silly being adult now and a completely irrational thought living in Sweden but… Adding to that fact I grew up hearing stories of my grandfather drowning while fishing and kids dying after falling in the sea down the harbour. Anywho I conquered my fear and swam 100meters and got a pretty little sparkly blue pin that I’m still wearing on my jacket. We went swimming the other day between the rain showers, big waves and the beach completely deserted. We ended up staying in for half an hour and taking loads more pictures with the underwater camera. Now I’m actually looking forward to autumn and some hours in the darkroom developing pictures!
After a very cold summer we now have a huge heatwave, finally! The chillies are coming along great and I harvested all the fruits on my Cascabella plant. They do go red but I picked them pale yellow because I had decided on a pale chilli powder(don’t ask me why) and added three Hot lemon chillies. The Cascabella is actually my very favourite so far. I used my new food dryer for a few hours and then grinded the chillies in my husbands coffee grinder, note to myself wash it out properly. Wow, I tried not to put my nose in it straight away (but still started sneezing) the smell of it was fantastic! So fruity! I think this will be my new thing. There is one that I can’t remember the name of but the plant and the fruit is black apart from the back of the leaves which is green. I also bought a see through pepper grinder that I am going to load with different coloured chillies. It was fun this year to try so many different kinds but next year, well this autumn, when I plant new ones I will (try) to stick with only a few kinds. To sum up, the plants from autumn are doing great but so are also the ones from spring. The secret weapon is definitely extra lights and big pots. My Peter pepper/chilli willy is doing great with loads of fruit but so is every plant that I put in the 10litre big buckets. I might even try to go bigger next year… Yes I know by now you’ve probably noticed I can’t work out how to spell so I alternate chili with chilli. If you know please enlighten me!
We went to one of Hönö’s two nature reserves to have a barbecue. There is a place where you can bbq next to the playground in the woods. Usually there is a grate on top of it but now it was missing so we had to put our hotdogs on sticks which is actually easier said than done. Two ended up on the ground, I tried a double stick technique with a burger but wasn’t very successful. The s’mores were good though! My son and his friend went bananas in the trees climbing and going on the rope swing while me and my daughter went looking for blackberries. We soon realised it was way too early, all the berries were red far from going black. Then suddenly I hear a mjaowing and a cat comes walking down the trail. It walks past but keeps looking back and my daughter starts following it. The cat speeds up and its belly is going flip-flap back and forth for every step, looks like it’s pregnant. She goes off the trail and my daughter follows until it jumps over a small ditch into a bush, lo and behold, there’s a blackberry bush with one black blackberry on it! She is so pleased with herself. Now I really want to find some myself but my daughter goes -Well mum you know it’s not gonna happen you have to find a cat first to show you where they are. Considering the odds, seems pretty unlikely it’s gonna happen twice in one day, so I give up and we cycle home.
someone the other day that they have horses running loose at Rörö one of the islands nearby. After some googling I found out that it’s thanks to a EU-project called GRACE. There used to be so many animals on the islands and they all helped to keep the land clear. There were some sheep many years ago in the nature reserve but I heard they had to be removed because people got scared(??). It’s one of my longterm goal to get more animals on the islands. Of course we had to go check it out! Me and my daughter took the moped to Burö parked it and caught the ferry over to Rörö. Rörö has about 260 people living there but is very busy during summer like the other islands. There’s a popular guest harbour, a restaurant and café. The nature at Rörö is stunning, very kind of bleak and harsh in some places but beautiful. I had very vague confusing directions from my mum to follow. First we picked up a map and started off in the direction I thought, ended up on a dead end road and turned back to the harbour. That’s when my daughter started nagging me about going in the water(when she does this there’s no other solution than going along with it or she will get grumpier and grumpier) so we picked the nearest beach and went for a swim. The weather was very weird, warm but hazy, suddenly big clouds came and we thought it would piss down but they passed and it got sunny and warm. We laid on the sandy beach for more than an hour half asleep listening to all the families around with small children. Best comment of the day was when a guy rang a restaurant up to book tables and he said 6 adults and 4 children. The wife goes 4?? He says well the other three are so little they don’t really count, we don’t want to scare the waiters… After a second dip we decided to do some rock climbing and lo and behold there’s a fence on the other side of the rocks with a sign saying there are sheep and horses running loose. So it was just around the corner. My daughter loves all animals and tried to say hello to the sheep and feed them some carrots but they were having none of it. She got the grump again and I say lets go over the next hill to the water and back then we take the next ferry. As soon as we reached the rocky beach we saw the horses! They were grazing just down the water on the rocks. They are Islandic horses just like the ones we had when I was little. They loved the carrots and were very friendly and beautiful! We stayed another hour. On the way back a sheep stopped on the track and my daughter got to stroke it with a huge smile on her face. -Now that perfected my day! she said.
First day in a very long time that I didn’t work or had to do anything. Started off with a morning swim, it was wonderful. Not one person down there, just me and the sea. Mowed the lawn. Then a trip to the garden centre to treat myself to some new flowers. The owner asked how my garden was doing and I replied not much was growing. It’s been a strange summer with 7°C in the end of May, rain, hail and wind. Everyone complains about the worst summer ever but I think in town they probably had about half the sun as we did out here. Almost every day we look towards the city and see big clouds while out here it still hasn’t been that bad. Saying that it has been colder than usual and my geraniums look like they usually do in spring and now it’s coming to the end of summer and the pear tree has fruit but started flower again at the same time. Coming back from the shop I picked up a book and sat down with Pidgey in the hammock. Looking around I realised the garden is not as bare as I thought, I just haven’t had time to sit out there all summer. All in all it was a lovely day and I am slowly recharging my batteries. Finished off with a barbecue with meat, veg and marshmallows while both cats and all the chickens stalked us hoping to get a taste.
This weekend we had the big Artwave at Hönö and the surrounding islands. Close to a hundred artists open up their studios or homes to the public. After more than two years of extreme labour I finally I got to use the whole barn for my pictures! Such a fantastic weekend. My husband smoked salmon, baked tonnes of sourdough loaves, banana toffee cakes and lemon poppyseed cakes and our daughter sold almost all of it the first day. I would estimate about 200 people came over the weekend. It’s been so stressful getting everything together and finishing the barn but definitely worth it. In the end of the day I was overwhelmed with all the positiv respons, everyone loved the gallery! A lot of islanders also thought it was great to have more culture and happenings and they all said they are looking forward to future events in the barn. Now I will sleep for a week and then get carry on planning the real premiere opening…