I’ve always had a little dream to run a small bead&breakfast. We rent out through Airbnb and have had guests from all over the world. This year has been great renting out and I’ve met so many wonderful people. We only have the upstairs apartment though. This week I paid a visit to another b&b on the Island for inspiration. It used to be a row of little fishing huts but two guys saw the potential and bought them 30 years ago, just in case they would get tired of fishing. Who would’ve known the fishing business would shrink that much? From being one of the largest fishing communities in Sweden there are now only a handful of boats left. The b&b is called Havskatten and they have done a remarkable job building it over the last 7 years. When I got there they were building a sauna upstairs but they kindly took a break and gave me the grand tour. There are 12(or was it 15?) rooms. All very simple, stylish and practical. Even if some of them were small it didn’t feel cramped. Two large conference rooms, kitchen and a wood oven for baking Hönö bread. The spa upstairs will be awesome and I can definitely see myself renting it for a few hours to sit in the sauna looking out over the harbour and then dipping into the outdoor bath that they are planning to build. Sometimes it’s good for things to take time and they have readjusted their plan along with demand. Now it’s almost fully booked already for next year! They also have a boat to take guests on lobster and seal safari and have Hönö bread baking evenings. It’s perfect for weddings, conferences, families you name it. I came away with so much inspiration. Even if I’m only one person, they are two and one of them is a builder, it makes me dream about how the barn will look like 7 years from now…
Such an interesting day. I am still trying to calm down after the last few weeks excitement. Not an easy quest but yesterday I spent a day in the garden and that seems to have done the trick. Today I woke up with lots of new plans and set to work straight away, I took wet plates in the barn and then invited myself for a coffee at the vicars place. Well he is actually not a vicar but has legal rights to wed poeple. We hired him for our wedding because I’d seen him in a paper looking really cool in a leather waistcoat and golden earrings. He came for the opening of the gallery last weekend and spoke of pictures he had from glass negatives. I invited myself. So I brought some cake and he put the coffee on. He lives just down the harbour with a view overlooking everything down there. There were so many pictures from the islands not just Hönö but surroundings as well and he collects old postcards with and island theme. We sat by the window so I could compare the view of today to a hundred years ago. On my way back home I almost felt dizzy on my moped, going along all these little roads recognising a house here and there with the old images still in my head. He’s also written a book about the submarine that sank just outside the island. 1943 it sank, as he says, because of a mine that wasn’t there. The government had reassured everyone that there were no mines but the submarine called Ulven apparently hit one at 13meters deep. 33 people died. There are lots of stories about divers knocking on the walls and getting replies but according to my source there were no replies only air bubbles. 13 days later the managed to bring the submarine to surface. I was shown some pictures of the corpses. Apparently there were 8 men missing, probably managed to leave ship and disappear? So many stories. Then someone rings the doorbell, turns out we are related. So many relatives, I am not surprised anymore but still a bit awed about how big our family tree is! I’ve told the children countless times that when it comes to finding a partner they will have to go abroad or at least in to Gothenburg.
Swimming yesterday morning I watched all the boats out lobster potting so coming home I rang my uncle, who was…yep out lobster potting. I nagged him to let me go along next time, even though I’m a girl, he said sure thing.
Early this morning my cousin picked me up. His friends had warned him about bringing women folk fishing, saying we wouldn’t catch a thing. Lucky me my relatives don’t believe in silly old superstition.
My uncle steered while my cousin hauled in the pots (hummertinor in Swedish and kuber in island dialect). Crabs, lots of starfish but no lobster. Apparently there is rope that sinks and rope that floats. Every islander know to use the sinking rope or it can float up and get caught in someone’s propeller. While they are swearing about stupid towns people using floating rope, one gets caught in the propeller. Bad thing, they had to turn the propeller off and we started drifting, luckily it was calm sea. Cousin saved the day by cutting the rope and fished the boj up (the round thing that floats and shows you where you’ve dropped your lobster pot, maybe it’s called the same in english?), in dialect it’s weler. By law you have to write your name and phone number on the boj so it didn’t take extensive detective skills to find out who’s it was. Bet the guy wasn’t too happy finding it hanging on his mailbox.
Then, lo and behold, a lobster! and one more! They both agreed on that maybe having women folk on the boat wasn’t too bad, their luck had doubled since the day before.
On the way home my uncle took a route where they had seen lots of seals, I had told them earlier that I’d only seen two before, suddenly there were seals everywhere! Like little black bojs popping up and down the surface. Perfect finish to a fantastic trip! Actually a great thing to was watching the great teamwork between father and son and hearing the lingo. If I hadn’t grown up hearing the island dialect from my gran and sometimes my mum I wouldn’t have understood one word.
Even more perfect was the meal in the evening. Crab soup with veg from the garden, crab meat and garlic gratinated lobster. It looked so good I completely forgot to take a picture and it tasted fabulous!
I’m not good at doing nothing and my attention span with knitting is limited to approximately half an hour. The weather picked up so I took my daughter rollerblading down the harbour. Tomorrow is D-day, well the L-day more like it. Lobster potting premiere!
Don’t know if other countries have the same set up? To protect the numbers of lobster they have in Sweden regulated the period where you are allowed to catch them. Probably half the population of Hönö goes out with their boats tomorrow morning. The lobsters have to be 8cm long or you have to chuck them back in, same with females with roe.
I suspect we’ll get some more crabs to cook this week.
Today we used a giftvoucher our friends gave us as a wedding present, mackerel fishing! A boat took us out to sea, perfect weather for it with sunshine and hardly no wind. Even so I took precautions with a sea-sickeness pill beforehand (I went on one of theese trips before as a teenager and puked my guts up for two hours).
We stopped and put our rods in and voila! My whole family had fish on their lines even before I had used my rod(this is where I think -Great I’m not gonna get around to fishing myself just helping everyone else. Gosh! I am such a control freak at times…They managed splendidly!).
We caught so many mackerels in the end that everyone agreed to go back early, probably about 100 plus we got half of some Danish peoples catch. A BIG thank you to my cousin who happened to come around while we were filleting and helped us out.
Lesson of the day : You will not find anyone on the island who wants your mackerel,
they already have their freezers full. Oh and freshly your own-fished-mackerel tastes the best in the world!