So last weekend I had a Christmas market in my gallery/barn. Day before any event I always think nobodie’s gonna come but Saturday visitors flooded in from opening time! Like last year I invited local people to sell their craft. Sheep fur from happy free grazing sheep, honey from bees buzzing around at Rörö one of the neighbour islands. They also sell locally produced meat. In autumn A lady I know had a cement workshop and I invited her for the market, she sold lovely lamps shaped like stars moulded with cement and old time looking lightbulbs plus loads of other great looking ornaments. Then we had Xmas decorations made of cans, christmas trees, chillies, pine cones, lace etc. As always we offered homemade cakes, coffee and warm glögg(Swedish mulled wine). The gluten free chocolate cake we made this summer sticks with us, it it sooo good and now we added crushed polka canes to it, perfection! The hot Indian daahl lentil soup and rosted tomato soup also sold out. All in all a fantastic weekend and 10 minutes before closing it started snowing like crazy! Perfect finish to a great weekend(although it took me a couple of days to thaw…)!
Last year I arranged a xmas market in the barn two weekends in a row. This year I felt one weekend(next weekend) is enough which gave me more time to explore the yearly event down the harbour. Last year I ran down after my closing hour but today I even went twice, once in the morning and now after dark. There are art exhibitions, lottery, crafts and the usual xmassy stuff but of course since we’re on an island a lot of it has a seafood theme to it. In the fishing museum they kept up with tradition and served fried herring on crisp bread with sliced red onion, next year I promise I’ll try some. I think I counted five prawn lotteries! For some reason I expected the prawn price to go up during the weekend but it was the opposite. The big fishing boats were “parked” by the market and a couple of school kids were selling prawns straight off the boat, I still regret not buying any. Although I did treat myself to a pair of socks for xmas and got some for my family, now I just need decide which ones to keep!
People are in general very crafty on the islands, you know xmas is coming up when all the yeast is sold out and the shopping trolleys are full with pork for sausages. I bought some home made pickled salt gherkins and had my first glögg(Swedish mulled wine) for this year. A few weeks ago we had the privilege to test bake with 3D printed ginger cookie shapes and today you could buy them on the market. Palle who does the 3D printing also takes fantastic photos at sea, my favourite was the canvas lit up from behind, genius.
So the summer ended in an art bonanza. First The Artwave, when all artists on Hönö and surrounding islands open up their studios or homes. I shared my gallery for the weekend with a very talented glass artist but we hardly had time to see each other, on the Saturday we had a few hundred visitors! The weather on Friday when we set up was abysmal with torrential rain storms but the rest of the weekend was lovely. We sold lots of cakes and home made preserves and photographs on top of that. Then a couple of weeks later an exhibition with two photographers from another part of Sweden. They both do analog photography and a lot of the same techniques that I use. Great photographs and a lovely weekend! My husband smoked salmon and baked sourdough bread, I think I’m addicted to smoked salmon now, and we sold out most of the cakes on the second day. We were very generous with the opening times and I thought we would have to take turns or read books but the weekend past very quickly. On the last day it was more quiet and I took the opportunity to photograph my fellow photographers. Always nerve wrecking to photograph photographers but I hope I passed the test.
Being someone who appreciates old things and love learning new things, living on Hönö is like living in a sweetshop. There is so much to learn from the older generation and someone’s got to do it to pass the knowledge on. Last year I joined the weaving club but to be honest haven’t had much time to do any weaving. The members are very productive though and they invite other weavers to come in and tell about their techniques. The last guest was a woman from one of the neighbouring islands, in her nineties, who told us about what she remembers from her mum’s weaving. They used to do a technique called Snilje, where you weave, twist and cut the textiles which you don’t see anymore. Now I beat myself up about throwing away the carpet I found in the barn when I started emptying it. I now realise it was a huge Snilje-carpet, it was so dirty that I gave up hope about ever getting it clean but if I had known how rare it was I wouldn’t have given up. Even if I might not start making Snilje carpets it is so interesting hearing and documenting the stories. Apparently the carpets where so thick and of course heavy when wet so it was almost impossible to get them clean instead they were given to the fishermen to put in the oil room in their fishing boats. The fishermen had their own way of cleaning carpets- tying them with ropes, chucking them in the sea and dragging them behind the boat!
First weekend of December they have a great Christmas market in the harbour. There are some fantastic crafts and I ended up spending every penny I had brought, have to go back tomorrow to pick up a couple more things. The rescue boat, ambulans and police showed kids around their vehicles. Fishing-museum offered traditional Hönö-bread and fried herring on dark bread with mustard and red onions.
On every corner there is a bake sale or lottery tickets, all proceedings going to charity. The fishing boats where all lined up along the harbour, including Västerland, the boat my granddad worked at(well it’s not the same boat a newer version but same name).
I finished of the bike ride with a huge amount of Christmas spirit and a visit to the Hönö art gallery. Some nice warm Glögg and I got to say hello to their lovely new Brahma hens. They looked hilarious running(or wobbling rather) over the lawn with their feathered legs!
Time to snuggle up in blankets, winter finally seem to be coming (I know I named a post in September Winter’s coming turns out it was just a couple of frosty nights and it would be two more months until I had to turn the heating up). Living in an old house slippers is a must have! I started knitting this kind of slippers last year, it was so easy and fun, perfect to do while watching telly or shutting the brain off. Everyone in the family wanted a pair so that was the x-mas presents sorted. This year so far the production has been slower (lots of distraction see Phah! How long did that last?)but now it’s picking up again.
You knit one piece, sow it together and put in the washing machine, since it’s 100% wool it shrinks and goes fuzzy, thick and very cosy.
One from my grandmothers photo album. In her days it was frowned upon sitting down doing nothing. She always had something in her lap, knitting jumpers or crocheting bedspreads or curtains. The smile on her face when I came to see her with a pair of socks or blanket that I had knitted!
In keeping with traditions I am now knitting slippers. Not because I have to but I find it relaxing. Plus in this house a pair of slippers are always needed in winter.