I love living on the island all year around. One might think it would get boring after a while but there is so much to do. All the little ponds and lakes have filled up during the week with kids and adults ice-skating. It must have been a hard job to clear the ice, a few days ago loads of snow fell and the traffic in Gothenburg was brought to a stand-still. My husband took the bus in but stayed on it and turned around because the school closed and no trams were running. Since the temperature has stayed low the snow is still there and it is like every photographers dream come true. So pretty. I am supposed to do a lot of other things this week but couldn’t stop myself scavenging the house for old rolls of film. I brought four cameras with me and a mix of new and old film, they all got used up. Then yesterday the mist came and the sun so I biked down the harbour as fast as I could in the snow to get there before the fog lifted. It was absolutely breathtaking. Almost to the point where you don’t want to take any photos because they are just going to look photoshopped(my mobile photos really doesn’t do its justice). Most of my film is black and white though and after some good advice from my analogue Facebook group and some googling I’ve decide to develop the film in Caffenol(I’ve thought about trying this for many years but just haven’t gotten around to it) which also solves my problem with wondering if my developer is too old. Caffenol is made of washing soda, vitamin c and salt so that’s another perk not having to use bad chemicals. As soon as I get a spare minute I will try it and promise I will report back if it works!
The last few days it’s been very stormy on the island. First we had Gorm then Helga came along. They have a name for every storm and it’s in alphabetical order, is it done differently in other countries? Luckily everything that was once loose on the house has blown off but walking to work I kept loosing my breath because the wind was so strong. It was like taking 2 steps forward and one step back. Then after a day off, starting to feel a bit restless I asked my daughter to come for a walk. She did point out that it’s not the first time I’ve asked her to go for a walk when the government warn people to go outside… And the mother of the year award goes to…! Well if we lived in the woods or even in town I wouldn’t have but out here most stuff threatening to blow in your face is salty water. So we took an evening walk down the harbour see the extremely high water levels and then, on daughters suggestion, went up the water tower. Well actually we climbed the mountain but being up there and having to grab on to the railing not to fly off we didn’t dare to go up the tower. Still an awesome view though!
Such a shame, every year the weather is awful when it’s time for the Christmas market down the harbour. Even though there was apparently loads of people! I had the gallery open again and people braved hailstorms, rain and gale winds to come visit. The first hour I sat there with one of the exhibiting photographers and thought, not one person will come the rest of the day, but I was so wrong. One woman even took the weekend offer and paid to go on a boat from town, then walked from the harbour just to buy one of my pictures! After we closed I took a walk down the harbour, Hönö Klåva, to see the market myself. It was so cosy and nice even with the crappy weather. I bought myself some lovely knitted socks for xmas, for myself. Bought some lottery tickets. I rarely win, usually I make my son choose numbers for me, he is so lucky in games, but the person in front of me won a kilo of prawns! I thought well if I loose the money goes to the island sports clubs so well spent but then I won! Pickled herring, I don’t like herring so actually the hens(I do hope no islanders read my blog or I’m gonna be punished for this) had a lovely meal.
Great xmas tree!
Creator of the alternative xmas tree…
Even the fishing boats look festive!
Crazy hail storm!
Erik Samuelsson’s son to the right
When I’m not working as a photographer, holding workshops or spending time repairing the barn(and everything else that has blown down the past week) I work in the foodshop down the harbour, a couple of days a week. Erik Samuelsson started up the shop in 1884(!) and since then it’s changed names a few times but most of the old people call it ”Samwells” in Hönö dialect. It burned down in 1914 but was rebuilt and when they built the mainroad it moved further up land and was extended 4 meters on each side. Now it can’t grow anymore if you don’t sacrifice the parking lot which is not going to happen, the islanders love their cars and drive everywhere even if you could walk across Hönö in half an hour. I love working in the shop, not just the getting a break from my own business but all the interesting people coming in and of course having work colleagues. We always have a laugh, both customers and staff. It’s a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. In summer about one third of the customers come in the shop barefoot straight off the boats. We also pack food every week for the fishing boats and for old people who can’t make it to the shop. Also if you miss something they will most likely order it in if you ask. The main business is of course during Hönö Konferensen and Christmas, then the shop turns in to a crazy inferno of customers but all in all it feels like it’s gotten busier since I started a year ago. With the majority of the staff being born islanders and all the old people coming in, I see it as a goldmine for finding out more about the history of Hönö, me being the source of a lot of laughter trying to speak Hönö dialect. I try my best to remember all the stories that I am told by the owner’s father who still comes in to work and he must be in his eighties(my apologies if I guess wrong). Samuelsson’s(now called Hemköp) is the only shop on the island who still has a cheese and meat counter, like in the old days. Now there are less cuts of meat and more salami, ham and cheese. My first time behind the counter I encountered a lot of for me strange requests like Spicke korv(or like they say Spegekörv) a salami packed in salt. Köttkorv(exact translation Meat sausage) is also a big seller, like the one I tried for Christmas that you boil and eat with a bechamel sauce, not only for Christmas apparently we are still selling loads! I asked one of my colleagues if she could think of anything special that we sell just because it’s an island thing but of course I should have asked a ”townie” instead, she gave me a very funny look. After a lot of thinking I did remember one thing, we do not sell tinned crab, but I’m sure there are more things that I haven’t thought about. Most but not least though I think one of the best things is to be able to sit at the till at work and look out over the barbour and see the fishing boats, the storms, rough weather or now rare occasions the sun.
flavour of the day
lighthouse in Hönö Klåva
The storm Svea didn’t happen but it is still very windy today. I brought a couple of cameras down the harbour to try and capture some waves. It’s been a while since last time and I had forgotten some important rules. Lesson one: dress even warmer next time, lesson two: bring plastic bag for the lens and lesson three: tripod. The wind nearly blew me off the mountain and after a few frames my camera froze. I had to sacrifice my big woolly scarf to wrap around it to thaw out, that’s camera love for ya. Hopefully the short exposure times will have given me some sharp pics even with my arms shaking like twigs in a storm.
I have now done my first days at the second hand shop down the harbour. Thought about joining for a long time but wasn’t sure I would have the time with all my thousand projects, now I’m so happy I volunteered, so much fun! It is amazing how much work they do, the volunteers, and how generous people are donating things. The general age of the staff is probably around 60-70 years old but they run around like teenagers, sorting, serving coffee, carrying furniture, never still for one minute. No one gets paid for it and all the money goes to charity. The only drawback is that I will probably spend a whole lot more money than I should, buying everything I unpack. At least it is for a good cause!