This month has been so random. Rain, snow, wind, still days and above all…so many fantastic sunrises and sunsets. I’ve really gotten back into running and swimming in whatever the weather. Such a luxury living on an island!
I’d like to say that I’ve been all over Hönö, the island I live on, but the other day I was shown a place that I’ve actually never been to(for what I can remember). So amazing and now my new favourite place. We have a large nature reserve with fantastic nature and I visit frequently on my guided walks, on my own, for a run or for photography.
It’s so easy to get stuck in habit and take the usual paths. This “new” area is apparently very popular with people doing bouldering and I can see why. There are huge boulders and small caves. The rocks are covered in moss and so are the trees growing in shelter of the wind.
I tried out my new camera given to me by a friend at xmas and developed my first pictures of the new year. Some real keepers! It would be perfect for wet plate photography but just carrying all the equipment up the mountain would be a days work.
The last few weeks everything has centred around getting my Christmas market ready. This year I tried staying open for two weekends but sadly the weather wasn’t on my side. Rainy and windy, not many people dared to venture out to the island. Although, we still had a great time!
My theme this time was a different xmas market and I think that’s definitely what we had… First weekend I invited a tattoo artist, I got my first tattoo ever and the oldest customer also had her first one, she’s 78. I sold my analog photographs and invited a local to sell his fantastic lamps made out of old cameras. On top of that of course we had homemade cakes for sale and my husbands spicy Indian Daahl soup with freshly baked sourdough bread. We sold out of Nam Prik Phao(Thai chili marmalade) and xmas mustard. I made one quite spicy but the favourite was sweet, full of flavour, a bit of brandy and sooo nice!
The second weekend I invited a band to play, my son and students from his music school, to play acoustic xmas songs, it was so perfect in the barn. They were great!
Yesterday we got a Christmas tree from the harbour. My husband stood guard outside while I made space for the tree in our living room, apparently some kids started the big traditional hunt already(which is really not fare and totally against the rules) and someone got their tree stolen from their garden day after they bought it. If you are interested in what the Big hunt is all about check this link out: The big hunt is on! or read more about it at Easter!
I’ve never felt as good as I did while running last year, then lack of time caught up, a cold and I stopped. Now my daughter got me going again. I’d forgotten how great it feels to run along, thinking about nothing and everything. In a few weeks I’ll even be able to run to the bus without dying. It does help having someone to run with and the biggest carrot of all, we live in such a beautiful place! The last week we’ve gone out every other day, exploring parts of the island that we haven’t seen much of before. I’ve gone back afterwards with my camera to take pictures. Yesterday my daughter was knocked with a cold but I decided to go out anyways(she’s getting into shape much faster than me so I’m taking no chances)I followed a tiny trail for about half an hour, the grounds were very wet which was good because it forced me to slow down and do some walking as well. It’s so hard not to over-do it in the beginning. With the mist and the waves along the dark seashore I had to stop myself from running home to get my camera. Here’s a darkroom print from one of our outings the other day:
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…
Today we had the pleasure to go visit Risö(translates as “Rice Island”). Risö is what I thought was a tiny island outside Fotö but it was much bigger than what you can see from the opposite shore. Leif and Göte picked us up at Fotö with their boat and 2 minutes later we set our feet on Risö. I had pictured in my mind that there was a large group of people working there every day especially after seeing on Facebook the impressive things they have built. Turns out most of the time it’s just them two. It’s completely funded by gifts of material and no one is being paid. There’s a beautiful cabin with five bedrooms, a well equipped kitchen and a large dining room with Leif’s gorgeous photos printed on canvas decorating the walls. After a day out there I do believe him saying he has thousands of pictures on his phone, it was so beautiful! We got shown around the newly built house where they plan to house people doing work rehabilitation, the finished B&B and there’s an awesome area for barbecuing and even smoking fish or meat. The only signs of past life is left by the army. Risö must have been one of their most popular hide outs. I remember when I was a kid it was so exciting to go into the dark caves they had left behind all over Hönö but a few years back they blocked them up for the safety of the public. After the grand tour me and my daughter ventured out to look at the island. The view was stunning and we found loads of drift wood perfect for future artsy xmas presents. We saw a mink, so cute, jet black and fluffy! Although I know that they are hated on the islands. There used to be one or two mink farms at Hönö and after they closed down there’s a lot of them left in the wild. They eat birds eggs and even hens I’ve heard… After our adventure at Risö we stopped at Fotö and visited our old chicks, the lucky bunch, who we gave away a while ago when I thought I had too many. If only I’d known. But it was a happy occasion, they have a great new home! Vera, Buffy, Captain Pugswash and Reneé Biggs, a huge garden to forest in and the goose Gizmo for company. Not that they seemed too keen on each other. Gizmo was so impressive but my phone had run out of battery by then so I couldn’t take any pics. I did bring my analog camera of course so I’ll post some when they are developed.
We came home hungry and tired after two hours it felt like a whole day. Not the last time I visit Risö though. Now I really feel like building stuff again! I will go back to offer my hands and one day perhaps bring my wet plate gear with me.
Today I took the moped to the mainland and bought paint. Usually I try to buy everything I need on the island. I think it is important to support local business but when it comes to paint it would have cost me more than three times as much on the islands and I am on a tight budget. Since I passed the flowershop I bought some rose soil for the chilli plants and accidentally picked up some spuds, anemone bulbs, spring flowers for outside, hen net and bone flour… Took a little detour in Torslanda to see a friend. What I like about the moped is that I can easily explore new places, go down little roads where I haven’t been before. She lives in the oldest house in her neighbourhood. It had so much charm and felt so homely. We have a lot in common with our interest in photography but as it turns out she loves woodwork to. She built the wooden seat where we sat having “fika”. Also a lot of built-in shelving instead of wardrobes. It gave me even more ideas about what to build next!