Conquering my fears… Holy cow I’d forgotten how scared I am of heights. The scaffolding around the house is not ideal for painting situated a meter from the wall and nothing really to hold on to at the top. I tried to convince myself that I was acting silly and decide that I would stop being scared, that didn’t work. Started at the top, heart pounding, feeling dizzy, moving slow as a slug and after about one third done I started to seriously think about paying someone to do the rest. I kept going and my daughter came to help one floor below, it helped a bit keeping conversation up but I was silently compiling lists of the most scariest things I’ve done in life. Here it is: Number 1- giving birth, number 2- painting the house and number 3- killing the cockerels. We did finish it (without falling down) and I feel very proud. Not looking forward to a second coating though and then there are 3 more sides of the house times two…
The hen yard is so pretty. To stop the deer eating all my tulips I planted a bunch in the hen yard. It worked out really well. Well to be honest the pictures are from last week… Now the garden is full of junk and a container. We are having the roof done. When it rains a lot the water runs down the chimney and on to the beams in the attic so it’s definitely a big have to! This week we feel very brave (or maybe crazy?)! Yesterday we decided to paint the house blue and today we bought a boat on impulse. A boat! I’ve never driven a boat and get extremely seasick plus it’s almost impossible to find a “boat parking place” on the island. Excited to see how that works out…but to be able to drive out to the little deserted islands, fish our own dinner, look at seals and take plenty of pictures of course!
I set off to the Jesus cave or Kröckle kyrka(church) as they call it. It’s a little hard to find if you haven’t been there before but I have many times. The view from the top of the mountain is stunning, you can see Hönö, Öckerö, Björkö, Grötö, Fotö and the mainland from there. All over Hönö there are military caverns that we as children used to find very scary and mysterious, we
challenged each other to dare to go inside, now they are all blocked up or torn down. The cave is close to the top of the mountain. It’s called the Jesus cave or church because part of the rock on one of the walls looks like a portrait of Jesus(with some imagination). After taking some pictures I walked back through the forest and out on the rocks. I kept seeing faces in the pattern of the rocks. One of my favourite places on earth is what our friend call Planet of the apes, a lot of natives call the big rock Monkeyface. The rocks are all orange and the monkey head rock and puddles are probably one of the most photographed sceneries on Hönö but I never get tired of taking pictures of it. After three hours in the blazing sun without a drink and heavy camera bag to carry I was dead tired! Managed to make it home and after downing 2 large pints of ice-cold water developed a couple of rolls…just to find out that I’d wasted all the film from that day. I had managed to load the camera, that I had borrowed from a friend, incorrectly and so not one picture from the day. Think it’s time to choose a new profession soon, carpenter maybe? Anyways, I did have a lovely time so it was still worth it.
The plant and seed exchange day was a success third year in a row. People started showing before opening and I was running like a bouncy ball between the kitchen and the barn answering questions at the same time. Luckily my daughter is now completely capable of running the “fika”(coffee and cakes) sale by herself and the husband was on kitchen duty making sandwiches. We sold plenty of home smoked salmon sourdough bagels along with cakes, meringues and rhubarb pie. Visitors brought lots of plants, some just left them after swapping to what they wanted and some stayed for a while swapping and selling. There is always a small confusion about rules and how the whole thing works. I’ve thought a lot about adding rules but think I’ll just keep doing it like I’ve done it so far. Exhausted after the day I fell asleep at 9pm and spent the day after planting everything that was left behind in my garden. Very happy to see that it covered most of the bare ground, just to see the chickens dig half of it up after a few hours…this means war!
Today I went to Björkö with my daughter to show her the sheep. Only when we got there they had been moved. We said hello to the pigs who got very noisy, they could see the bag of bread we had brought for the sheep but we were unsure if we were allowed to feed it to the pigs so didn’t. Now there were chickens to! The best henhouse I’ve ever seen, very luxurious and huge. One cockerel and a few hens, very pretty and different from our own hens. We cycled on, on a mission to find Pjonken. I heard this name for the first time a couple of weeks ago and apparently it’s where you can find the endangered blue wood anemone, plus the surroundings are supposed to be very beautiful. We didn’t find it but found a lot else. After asking a native we found out that apparently where I said to my daughter -I think we should have turned in to that road, we should have but didn’t. What we did find though was lovely! We cycled through all the houses and big woods, on to a dirt road, through more woods and came out by the sea. Voila! There were a few houses and very old barns(looked older than mine), horses, chickens in every garden and so beautiful! We found the sheep’s summer field and there were signs saying that you are allowed inside just close the gate behind you. We did hear a Baaah but no signs of them. We carried on cycling through the woods on a tiny path, up and down until we came to a pond where we parked the bikes. I wondered what the signs that we had passed said, they were funnily turned the wrong way around but then we found out. Björkö used to be a military practise island, this is what the signs warned about. I still remember going to Hönö and seeing the sign for Björkö saying “No aliens allowed”. We carried on without bikes through a crevice between to huge rocks and a filled up military cavern, loads of moths so we ran through! And ended up where in the sheep pen where we had started. By this point we were starved and sweaty so we decided to hit the closest beach. Eventually we found one and it was only us there. We laid down almost fell asleep and then took a dip in the ocean. Tired and happy we made it to the ferry with a minute to spare!
Smoking is my husbands hobby and he’s real good at it so I’ve had no reason to try it out. Now he’s hurt his foot and we have cured pork belly in the fridge for a week so I had to do the smoking. He told me how to build a “snake” of coal with wood on top and what the temperature should be. I actually got really excited and immediately started thinking of other things to smoke. I bought some fresh prawns and mussels from the fish shop and shoved on there. The mussels were a failure but the prawns were lovely! They caught flavour after just a few minutes, the bacon was on there for 2 hours. After checking on the temperature every 15 minutes or so I brought it inside, cut the rind off and fried a couple of slices. Guess it’s not nice to brag but…that’s darn good bacon! It even passed the husbands quality control, he gave me a 9 out of 10. The rest of the day I spent with the hens in the garden even though it rained but finally it’s getting warmer. By some miracle I got the lawnmower started after only about 20 pulls on the rope and cut the lawn for the first but not last time this year. After that me and my daughter picked rhubarb and attempted to plant peas and rose beans while the chicks were doing their best to eat them. Today is Walpurgis so we finished the day down the beach watching the bonfire and listening to people singing. Absolutely stunning with a light rain, sun setting and a double rainbow.