Best start of the day

Morning run in the glorious island nature, before school and work. So many wild flowers! It’s like a postcard every way you turn. Todays run was a bit heavy going after a period of slacking but we made 5km at least(with some walking). Then what can be better than to finish it off with a dip in the sea? The water temperature is still nice and cool, around 15°C is my guess, so you get that refreshing feeling afterwards. It kept me going all day!

Plant and seed exchange

Earth skipped spring and went straight into summer instead. The garden is absolutely exploding with blossom! Last weekend I had the yearly Plant and seed exchange and it was an even bigger success than past years. Loads of people both Saturday and Sunday. Some show up to trade plants, others to give, some to buy plants and some people turn up just for the fun of meeting others and fantastic home baked “fika” of course. Since my daughter turned vegan at xmas we had gluten/lactos/vegan rhubarb pie with soy whipped cream and a lovely chocolate cake. For the none-vegans we had the traditional Tosca cake and sandwiches made of my husbands sourdough bread and home smoked salmon. I ended up with some very interesting obscure tomato and chili plants and lots more.

For the weekend I had a local woman selling her traditionally weaved carpets, she was lovely company and did really well selling her carpets.

This time I tried not to get stressed out before hand and not to expect anything but I was over whelmed with all the people who turned up and had so many nice conversations!

Do I dare say?

Is it Spring?? Today sure felt like it. Blazing sunlight, only a couple of degrees but the sunshine warmed our skin. We went for a long walk down the beach and the wind was thankfully dying down. It was so beautiful! Just regret not bringing swimming clothes.

The chickens are basking in the sunlight. Sand/soil bathing and then stretching out in the sun, so happy! On top of that we are chicken watchers for a week so we now have 12 little chicks in the basement and one baby quail. I am slowly dying the cuteness overload death every time I go down to check on them.

I am so getting into the Easter spirit. Easter is the most important holiday on the island. You can really feel the whole island sizzling with mopeds and old Volvo cars (who would definitely wouldn’t pass the MOT) frantically driving around looking for X-mas trees. All collecting them for the bonfires tomorrow. Sometime tomorrow morning, think it’s around 2 or 3am that there’s a seize fire and everyone starts bringing their trees out and building the fires. We’ll be out capturing it on film. More to come…

 

 

Swimming finally

 

I last went in January and have been so busy I haven’t had time but today was so beautiful and lovely it kind of made up for the rest of the months… The fog/mist was so thick all day and we could hear the fog horn going time and time again. Me and my daughter cycled down to the beach and I realised my battery had run out in my camera so my daughter sent me home to get another. It was all just so beautiful that you couldn’t miss out on taking photos. When a couple of swans swam into my picture it almost got ridiculously pretty. We went in the water, me actually three times! Sorry toes, they were like deep frozen little sausages and really hurt but it was worth it. While I kept my hat on my daughter went under wetting her head, kind of scary afterwards when your brain shuts down and you can only spin easy sentences… Lovely day though! From now on I’m  going every week.

 

Archipelago Christmas market

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. IMG_5607Although 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.

They said it was gonna rain

So I decided to make the most out of the day and started off with running down the harbour. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I spotted a seal(if you look closely at the top left picture you might see it…)! I know there are tonnes of seals just a bit further out from the harbour but still get childishly happy overtime I see one. After the run I got my swim clothes and cycled down the beach. It was so still, not one person around and the water temperature was actually warmer than at land. We’ve had frost at night now the last couple of nights but still 10°C in the water. For lunch I bought some prawns and a crab claw from the fish shop. The crab was freshly cooked and still warm, yummy! I had a conversation with the fish shop owner about why most islanders are such chickens when it comes to swimming, they only do it in a pool or when they go on holiday in Thailand. She told me it’s because most people in the old days couldn’t swim. There was a fishing boat outside Knippla(one of the surrounding islands) in 1800 something that sank. 6 out of a crew of 8 drowned, the only two survivors couldn’t swim so they held onto bits of the boat to stay afloat while the others swam for shore, got tired and drowned. Herself hadn’t been in the water for 5 years!
After a few hours I started to feel a bit frozen so I went outside and did some digging. Not easy with the whole flower bed full of chickens. I put all geraniums in winter storage and planted pots of tulips fro spring. My plan is to bring them into the barn at night when they start to flower so the deer doesn’t eat them. Although, if the deer doesn’t eat them the chickens probably will but it’s worth a try.
Oh and the rain, yep it came, just as I planted my last bulb.

Age is not a number

My neighbour is 98 years old. His mind is clear, perfect eyesight and he still cycles around to the shops or down to his boat in the harbour. Sometimes I’ll see him up on his roof adjusting the tv antenna or on a ladder cutting his trees. Then I never dare say hello, in case he would fall down. He did actually fall many years ago, from the roof(he’s a tin-smith) in to a flower bed and broke some ribs. Every now and then I go over for a glass of wine and some great stories. This evening we were a bit slow starting conversation but then he brought out his photo albums. Can’t believe I’ve never thought to ask him before! So many great pictures from the island but also from north of Sweden where he did his military duty. I sometimes joke that it’s age playing up when I can’t remember where I put my keys but this guy, he remembers all the names of everyone in his class when he was 10 and their parents names and where they were born. He claims the key to old age is never trust doctors or lawyers and eat a lot of fatty fish.