Recently the sea has been absolutely irresistible. Still a bit chilly in the air but we’ve had some fantastic sunny days. Last week I went running and the water was like a mirror(this is quite rare living on a windy island). I ended up swimming in my underwear, the jog back home wasn’t as nice but it was definitely worth it! Then the other day my daughter caught the swim-bug to. She’s not been in since December, then she stayed in too long and got too cold which put her off. Now she was braver than me and dipped her head as well, even after me telling her not to(or maybe because?).
Yesterday I went out kayaking. Friluftsfrämjandet, roughly translated Outdoor association, invites people to come along paddling every Thursday and I jumped on the offer. The weather couldn’t have been better and it was gorgeous. Hard work though, I’ve only done it a few times so there’s probably a lot to improve on my technique..it looks so easy when everyone else does it? We paddled for about an hour, stopped for “fika” and then returned while the sun was setting. So beautiful!
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…
It is pretty quiet in the garden with only three chickens which is both good and bad. I love planting but the chickens sadly doesn’t see the difference between weeds and flowers… But as sure as I’ve already ordered new seeds I’ve started looking for eggs to buy. I am really happy with Hedemora and whatever mix race the new hens are but we’ve decided(well my daughter did) that we will be shallow and order fertilised eggs from hens that lay different coloured eggs. So now it’s just to wait for one of the hens to become broody. I paid a visit to Fotö where the 4 hens live that we sold before the fox came. So surreal, I think of them all gone, so to see Buffy, Vera, Captain Pugwash and Renee Biggs is like they’ve come back to life. They are very happy over there though! Sharing their home with the wild goose Gizmo. Gizmo was found as an egg(yes I know it’s illegal to pick eggs from wild birds but a kid found it and if they had put it back it would probably have been shunned). They hatched it in an egg hatcher and we saw him when he was just 2 days old, tiny fluffy thing with flippers. Now he’s huge! They are not friends but tolerate each other. Gizmo must like his home thought because his wings aren’t clipped and sometimes he’ll do a tour of the island but he always comes back.
I am naturally very careful with closing the chickens in now after our fox visit, they usually head inside as soon as it starts getting dark but the last two nights that I’ve gone to close the hens in they have still been outside. Tonight I watched Lottie try to fly up in the cherry tree but she failed. She is definitely Esme reincarnated! I know that in a few weeks when it gets warmer I will have to climb that cherry tree every evening to collect her. Wouldn’t surprise me if she learns how to cockadoodeldoo as well as Esme did.
When I finally seem to manage to keep the chickens out of the front yard… I’ve filled all the flowerbeds with new soil and planted some spring flowers. Started making a windshelter with old wood from the barn. The front of the house is rarely used because it’s always so windy there. My idea is to put up some wood or a net and plant lots of climbing flowers and peas. I’ve also planted a couple of small apple trees that I want growing along the fence and blueberry and black currant bushes. So happy to have at least half of the garden looking nice again and then my husband bumped into a deer early this morning going to work. All my tulips eaten. The deer isn’t naive to the island. A few of them walked on the ice(or swam?) and now they live happily here. I still think it’s kind of cool to see them running around late in the evening or early morning but not cool when they eat my flowers. Another thing they brought along are ticks, definitely uncool. In a (probably useless) attempt to keep them out I’ve hung some strips of white plastic on our gates and made little sticks with blood flour on and stuck next to the poor little springflowers that I have left.
fermented vegetables and kimchi
I spent the weekend in London and while I was away my husband found a new hobby, fermentation. He’s bought a book The art of Fermentation and so far there’s three jars of veg and a jar of kimchi on the kitchen table. Apparently you can ferment all sorts of things. It’s also very healthy and a good way to use up the fruit and veg in summer. Next thing he will try is making mead, of course.
Spring is here and I washed off the London fumes in the sea this morning, now 5°C in the water. Spring flowers everywhere and sunshine! I love living on the Island but going away to a big city makes me appreciate it even more.
A big tidy-up outdoors! Gotta do it now before everything starts growing and the war with weeds and slugs start off. I picked a whole bag full of rubbish that has been blown and thrown into the garden. Started clearing away grass from in-between the flowerbeds and paths and adding new grit. The first year on the island I left everything that grew over the edges for a “rustic” feel. I like when things aren’t perfect, when something sticks out. Of course by the end of the summer it just looked completely overgrown, so this year I’m going for a more controlled chaos.
The hens have now taken over half the garden. I’ve put up a short fence to stop them going into the road. In the beginning it wasn’t a problem, every time a car went past they would get scared and run away but now they are too cocky. So now they have the whole backyard to run around in but of course they take every opportunity to find a way out. The grass is always greener on the other side right?
My chillies are coming along nicely! I traded three more varieties from a forum, on of them is Czechoslovakian black. It gives black chillies and purple flowers, looking forward to that one. Today I planted Tigernuts. Apparently it’s a veeery old plant that grow roots that you can roast and eat. Did some googling and sadly found out that it’s apparently one of the most invasive weeds of the world! It doesn’t mention this when you buy the seeds, maybe they don’t survive the Swedish climate? I’m not sure weather to take the risk though, if I keep them, they will have to go in pots and not the flower beds. I’ve also planted peanuts and so far one has come up.
All my Geraniums that I’ve kept in the basement over winter have got lice and look terrible so now I’ve sprayed them with soapy water for a week, given them new soil and brought upstairs to wake up. It’s amazing what they survive. When we bought the house my grandmothers geraniums had been left in the basement without water for 6 months and most of them made it. There are still a couple of plants that have been kept alive since my great-grandmother.