We signed up for an exhibition about a year ago and now the date is coming up very rapidly! The exhibition is made of pictures or any kind of art made with the nature reserve Ersdalen in mind. There are actually two nature reserves on Hönö but Ersdalen is where you get a mix of wild water, woods and amazing rocks.
So we went for a jog and took loads of pictures. My daughter has a plan to draw from a snap of the mobile(of a beer can…?) and I will of course do some kind of photo but haven’t decided what technique yet…
I have been so busy in the darkroom now though, which I’m very happy with! The last few days I’ve used up almost a whole pack of photo paper and almost my whole stack of film, it’s a good sign! I need to be very productive for the Xmas market coming up.
I am in this project created by West Sweden Touristboard, called Meet The Locals. The idea is that anyone can register and visit a Swede(or actually it can be an Italian, English man or else living in Sweden) doing stuff that Swedes do like bake buns, cycle, pick mushrooms, go on a grafitti tour or any of the other 28 activities.
I take my visitors on a walk, talk about how it is to live on the island and how it was in the old days. I also go swimming with them if they like, it’s not a have-to(but I do make clear that I will think less of them if they don’t) and so far about 50 % have dared the water. Very brave!
It is such a nice project. It’s voluntary and I don’t charge anything, although I might in future but always worth the effort. So far I’ve had visitors from Scotland, USA, India, the Netherlands and Singapore. I learn so much every time, things that are not always obvious until afterwards, subtle differences and sometimes of course big ones. Just the way we see things in life, religion, culture, modesty, marriage, politics, freedom of speech etc. It’s also nice to share my life on the Island of Hönö, since it’s the most beautiful place in the world, with someone and also to see it through someone else’s eyes.
Next time I go abroad I will definitely try to find a similar concept, what better way is there to get to know a place than being shown around by a Local?
My daughter ordered a t-shirt online and somehow the parcel got sent to Björkö, one of the other 9 islands surrounding Hönö, so we thought why not make a day-trip out of it?
She wanted to go running, it was so windy we took my moped there, crossing on two ferries and 45min later arrived at Björkö harbour. Björkö is actually really close, if we had the boat in the water we could have gotten there in five minutes. Picked up the parcel and Lo and behold! They had the vegan ice-cream she wanted to try all year! So we had ice-cream in the sun down the harbour, warm like a summers day when out of the wind. We decided to let the ice-cream melt a bit in our bellies and went for a walk with my camera. We found so much to take pictures of, I kicked myself not bringing more film and spent my phone battery(mainly on photographing swan butts and jellyfish). After the walk we got really hungry and decided to go back home to cook but of course we couldn’t pass the sheep/pig/hen cooperative!
We last visited a year or so ago, then the hens were in a yard but now they ran free and had quadrupled if not more! No sheep around but the pigs where basking in the sunlight and the mud. On the ferry we decided on three recipes to cook(vegan of course, since my daughter turned at xmas) and getting back we realised we’d forgotten all about running(well maybe I didn’t forget…). All in all it was a fantastic day, Björkö is so nice and feels good to have made the most of these last Indian summer days.
Living on Hönö you have to get used to it being windy pretty much all the time but today was one of those unusual calm sunny days. Luckily one of my Fb friends saw it coming and asked for company kayaking. I jumped at the chance! We convinced one more person to join us and I got to borrow one of his kayaks. I have only paddled once since the course I took(who my Fb friend ran) and it really didn’t go so well, started with falling over just getting in the kayak. Today went much better(probably because I had two experts with me) and I actually managed the whole day without falling in!
We started our trip from Hälsö and paddled for about 3 hours with a little coffee break on a tiny deserted island. It was absolutely gorgeous. Blue sky, sunshine and no wind. Still parts of the journey felt a bit nervy, we had waves from boats, currents and after a while my body got pretty tired but on the way back I managed to relax and take in the fantastic scenery. My two companions where both much more experienced, one brought his dog along and the other ended up transporting a chair(!) we found on a beach.
Of course at one point the dog ended up on the chair, on top of the kayak on the water…
It was a great day and great evening with feasting on fresh crab that my husband received and cooked while I was away.
So one of my favourite days on the island came up! The annual Home brewers beer tasting event. Last year the tickets sold out in 4 minutes! I happened upon the venue three years ago and we had such a great time, since then it’s grown rapidly and changed location but still such a great time! Last year my goal was to try all beers, 34 or something, I did and then some but this year there were 55 beers… So I went for the nice sounding lagers to begin with. Kudos on the brewers who come up with some fantastic puns naming their beers. My immediate favourite was the “Bagebrööl”(Hönö bread is called “Bagebrö”), plus points for the Hönö bread to taste and the beer was actually brewed with Hönö bread crumbled into the brewing mixture. Coming back to it later I actually preferred another beer from the same brewer “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
I like to taste weird beers, a lot of the time you are disappointed or worst case disgusted but this year I was thoroughly impressed by the quality. That actually goes for all beers I tasted but I especially liked the blackcurrant beer and the mango/youzo beer.
We tried to plan for the occasion and lay the ground work for the next day and decided to go out to a pub on the Island for a music quiz. Joined by two English music experts my confidence was high. The place was absolutely steaming with people when we got there but we managed to grab some chairs at the bar. We did pretty well with the questions, apart from the Swedish ones BUT realised after the marking that I had forgotten to write some of the answers on the questionnaire that I had actually written on the scribble paper… Anyways we had a great time and then looking out the window- Who could wish for a better view from the pub??
So I had the yearly exhibition in the gallery/barn for the Island Art Wave(Konstvågen). 100 artists open up their studios for the public. As usual I tried not to stress it before the weekend but ended up being super stressed. It paid off though and I think we had record sales on the Saturday! A lovely weekend with great people, sold many pictures and lots of “fika”(coffee and homemade cakes). We doubled the amount of smoked salmon and sourdough bread but still sold out on the first day!
The weather in Sweden has been extreme, it didn’t rain from May until this Monday. On Sunday there was a huge fire at one of the other islands, Björkö, in our end of the archipelago. Luckily it was put out in a few hours with the help of islanders, fire department from Gothenburg, ships spraying water and 4 helicopters water bombing the area. Luckily only a garage burned down and a few houses got zinged and smoke damaged by the fire, no persons got injured. Then today it got really windy again, a warm wind, very strange clouds and I had a message from my mum saying -Don’t go swimming!! Apparently the water had suddenly receded, sinking the water level about 1.5 meters and it all came back again within 5 minutes. Crazy! When we’ve been on holiday in England we have been warned about the tide but in Sweden it is unheard of, the water might change slowly over night but like this??
So we skipped out on swimming today but luckily we had an amazing swim yesterday evening. So many beautiful memories to save for a cold winters day…
Finally I’ve done it. I have been so embarrassed, being an islander and never having been Vinga. Vinga is a very famous (well in Sweden that is) lighthouse built 1890. We can see it from our favourite beach. It’s famous because of this Swedish troubadour called Evert Taube who grew up on the small island while his dad looked after the lighthouse. On our way there we got to hear lots of other stories and a great deal of history from our skipper Bosse. He told us about Napoleon hating the islands and banning all trade with England, he pointed out the exact spot a German submarine that sank on the same day the second world war ended and we got to see a whole bunch of seals.
When we arrived at Vinga we walked up to the lighthouse and got to climb the stairs to the top. What an amazing view! There was an Evert Taube museum but we bumped into some very cute goats running freely so we skipped the museum.
On the boat trip back to our island Hönö, Bosse told us more stories and pointed out where all the islanders disappear to when the tourists come. So funny! Of course I know that lots of people go out with their boats and most of our Airbnb guests have pointed out that Hönö is so empty of people, now I recognised all the faces on the cliffs/nature beaches we went passed. Next year we are definitely getting our boat in the water.