Building things

So, I began with a greenhouse, moved over to building a hammock and now I’ve started building a table. I really want the hammock finished but the table is essential for next week when I’ve rented out the gallery for a day. So my plan is to build at least one but preferably two. Now I keep the gallery open every weekend but it works out really well because I’m always out there all weekend anyways doing my projects. Today was a challenge though. I knew I was on a tight schedule. All week it’s poured down, yesterday we had a nice visit to Grötö with co-workers from the second hand shop and we missed most of the rain but mainly it’s been torrential! Grötö is still one of my favourite islands even though it’s true what everyone say, there’s not much there, no shops, no cars but oh so cosy. Norwegian weather(they are so much more accurate than Swedish weather that most swedes check yr.no instead) said sunny all day and rain tomorrow so my plan was to finish all my projects. BUT the cutest little chicks caught all my attention and instead I brought them out of the basement and, with my daughters help, built a cage so that we can move them outside without the other older hens pecking at them. Eventually it poured down but my table is almost finished. Now all I need to do in the week is cook a hell of a lot of snacks, cakes, bake bread(or buy? because my husband is still at work) and plan for 30 people eating on Tuesday and Saturday my neighbour has his record release in my barn, so counting at least 50 people then… I feel like YES has been the word of this month so wish me luck!

Swedish julbord

sweets

sweets

Västerhav

Västerhav

mmm...mumma

mmm…mumma

chilli herring, hawthorn herring, caviar herring and lots more

chilli herring, hawthorn herring, caviar herring and lots more

seafood table

seafood table

In Sweden there is a tradition to have julbord(a Christmas food buffet) before Christmas. Most companies will treat their staff to a julbord at a restaurant often along with entertainment. We decided to treat a friend for his birthday and at the same time ourselves and booked a meal at Västerhav, a hotel&restaurant at Grötö(porridge island). Our friends(well he’s more a part of the family) motto is when on the island you never leave the island but we agreed that it doesn’t count if you visit one of the other islands in the same archipelago. We got on the ferry at sunset, which is now about 3pm. We were welcomed at the restaurant with some warm glögg(Swedish mulled wine). Lucky for us all the other guests had chosen the option to stay the night so while they checked in to their accomodation we had the whole place to ourselves! It was absolutely stunning with candles, fireplace, Cristmas decorations and three large tables full of  amazing dishes. We ordered a jug of Mumma, Christmas beer mixed with red wine, spirit, spices and julmust(traditional non-alcoholic soda). First we attacked the seafood table, salmon, crayfish, 7 types of pickade herring, salmon/horseradish/strong cheese pie, mussels, prawns etc…aaaah it was lovely! Then some red wine and after the meat and cheese table, Christmas ham, boarsausage, moose, meatballs, lots of homemade chutneys and pickles along with stilton, marmelade and crackers. At that point the place had filled up with the rest of the customers and they all did the Snapsvisa, songs they sing and finish with a small glass of schnapps and we got caught along and ordered some homemade sloe schnapps. By that point we were so full we skipped the dessert table, ordered another schnapps and made for the ferry back. Right outside one of the golfcarts, that they use to transport customers from the ferry, was parked and we discussed nicking it but luckily came to our senses. All in all we agreed that it was a fantastic night and next year we might book the overnight stay so that we can eat, rest and then eat some more.

very tempting...

very tempting…

even the ferry had Christmas lights

even the ferry had Christmas lights

Island hopping

Wheelbarrows by the ferry

Wheelbarrows by the ferry

A little cottage to rent at Grötö

A little cottage to rent at Grötö

Sheep are used to clear the land

Sheep are used to clear the land

Grötö ticked off our list

Grötö ticked off our list

Landmark at Kalvsund

Landmark at Kalvsund

One half of Kalvsund looks like this and the other is densely populated

One half of Kalvsund looks like this and the other is densely populated

Two more islands to cross off our list! Yesterday we went to Grötö (Porridge island) and Kalvsund. Grötö was amazing. I’ll absolutely go back there some day!
I loved the peace and quiet (only 88 inhabitants), beautiful houses and gardens, nature and just a general happy feeling. There are no cars on Grötö, instead there’s a wheelbarrow parking place by the ferry. We cycled around it stopping for breaks and taking the scenery in, after an hour we’d circled the island and took the ferry to Kalvsund. Only two more islands to go and we’ve been to all ten.