So the tradition on the islands are still going strong. There is nothing else as controversial if you don’t count “build a bridge vs keep the ferries”. I try to not let my personal views out too strong in this blog but I do love the xmas tree hunting. Comparing to the old days it is so much healthier now and since one or two years ago, the council put some effort in to it trying to stop people using car tires and petrol etc, now we’ve had the cleanest bonfires since probably like ever! We went up to the nature reserve to watch them build the fire earlier today.
This year we went for the largest fire on the Island. Since we moved here we have gone to Kanonberget but this year there was a big landmark for boats put up right where the bonfire usually is and I also think that fire will die out soon because of lack of interest. So we went to the biggest one, in Rö(Hönö Red) we have all heard lots of horror stories about that one, people being put in hospital, burning tires chasing people down the hill and a four wheelie being overturned into the fire. But this year we came away with the feeling that we miss the usual bonfire. There is usually at least one crazy person shouting, a few people letting off fire works in the crowd and the happiness when you actually make it up the mountain through all the shrubberies and cliffs. Comparing to the big crowd, lit-up way to the top, our usual fire felt much more intimate and fun. I hope they will start it up again next year!
Finally after months of collecting Christmas trees, with all possible means, the fires where built up. They start early in the morning and count the trees as they are brought out of hiding and stacked on a mountain. For the last months there has been kids in every corner, on bikes, on foot, in trashy trimmed Volvo’s and mopeds looking for places to hide and reveal trees. When you don’t see them around, at school time, there are still traces everywhere. The door to the wood shed left open, tiny footsteps on my new floor in the barn and pine needles in the streets. This year some of our guests for the evening brought children so we went down the beach where they had a child-friendly fire. No booze or bangers only responsible adults and responsibly set off fireworks. I brought my bike trolley full of wood and sticks from the garden. Got down there just as the sun was setting and all the kids where stood around the fire grilling marshmallows and running around looking for more things to burn. It was great and they had a wonderful time but I had to hurry back not to miss the big fire that we always go to. We set off to the mountain with firecrackers in one pocket and snaps in the other one. Snaps is strong Swedish flavoured alcohol. I had Västkustsnaps flavoured with rosehip, blackberries and sloes. Took us a while to find the right path up to the fire, mind you it’s pitch black out and surrounded by thorns, bushes, water and rocks but then we found some natives to follow. Before we’ve had to wait as late as 11pm but this year they lit the fires at 10pm. The sky filled with illegally lit emergency flares. Our fire is the smaller one at Hönö and it was very “clean”, apart from the sofa they put on there. From the other big fires at Hönö and Öckerö there was thick black smoke from car tires and oil being burnt. Standing on the mountain looking at the huge moon and feeling the blazing heat from the fire, looking out at all the islands, lights and people gives me goosebumps. Then as soon as the fire has burnt everyone goes home and carries on the party. Today is probably the quietest day of the year, apart from the church bells ringing.