First dip 2018!
After weeks of rain we had a beautiful weekend, cold but sunny. So we dressed in at least three layers of clothing and ventured down the beach. To be honest I haven’t been for ages and it was my daughter who said -we can’t call ourself winter bathers any longer, that made my mind up. 0.5°C in the water and one degree colder in the air. My fingers and toes ached for an hour afterwards but it was so worth it! There is nothing better to waken you up and get the happy feelings flowing.
Back home we planted the first chilli plants of the year. As usual I had decided to restrict myself to five different chilli types but ended up ordering eight and still feel like there are some missing. I need to build a bigger proper greenhouse this year, thinking of one of those tunnels but suspect that living on a windy island it would blow away after a week. Also my daughter has gone from becoming vegetarian last year to vegan just before Christmas, we’ve ordered loads of vegetable seeds. I must admit I was a bit scared that she wouldn’t get all proteins and vitamins her body needs. To be totally honest I have always thought I don’t trust people who doesn’t like cheese and especially not vegans…but have totally come around and actually enjoy the adventure. We have spent all Christmas watching cooking and baking shows and have spent hours and hours in the kitchen. It’s good fun to try new dishes and I’m sure my body doesn’t hate me eating tonnes more vegetables. The only one suffering is the almost adult teenage son, who sighs every time “vegan” is mentioned…
Long time no blogging, feel like it’s hard to beat my last blog post, the Island doesn’t get much more beautiful than that…no who am I kidding, it is a small paradise whatever the weather. That said I’ve spent most of today indoors baking. Second of advent I have a Christmas market in my gallery/barn and there is so much to prepare! Last year the gallery looked great but I didn’t put any xmassy decorations in our home until a few days before Christmas. Today I washed all the windows, put the traditional lights up and also had time to pimp the barn a little bit. I’ve started baking already, the traditional Swedish Lussebullar or Lussekatter as most people say. The are buns with lots of saffron, decorated with raisins and we also put sugar on top. We also made a ginger cookie and white chocolate cheese cake which tastes very promising!
The weather this winter has been as usual varied…we did have heavy snow for a day but then it rained away. That morning with the snow the chicks were so funny. They all queued to get out as usual but froze in their tracks and then desperately dove back in. Before when we’ve had only Hedemora(a traditional Swedish heritage breed) they haven’t minded it too much but this mixed race bunch did. Only Lilja(Lilly) dared to get to the food outside and then dove back inside. He(we hoped that is was a she when we named him) is so gorgeous, pitch black and the tail feathers are growing by the day. I had to kill two cockerels last week and it was the toughest so far because they were so big and strong. Now we are hoping that Lilly will get to stay all depending on how load he will be. Peanut the other cockerel born in spring is doing great, he is so goofy but still manages to keep the flock at peace. We caught him chasing his own tail feathers one day…but if any of the hens are mean to another hen he is right there to brake it up.
Peanut with his posse
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!
A few mornings ago I woke up to a winter wonderland! Usually it will snow, everything’s white for a day and then it turns into a grey brown mush and melts away but now it’s really darn cold out there. So yesterday I decided to make the most out of the weather and have a barbecue down the beach. It would have been nice to go ice-skating on one of the ponds but I banged my knee up the day before. All excited I packed a bag, dressed warm and asked the family to get ready just for them to turn me down. It’s too cold, it’s too early, it’s Sunday…loads of excuses but eventually they felt sorry for me and gave in. Coming down the beach was just glorious! -13°C(warm if you compare with North of Sweden where it’s -40!) and blazing sunshine. Loads of people were out walking, pulling their kids along on sleds or another popular method, tying one or two sleds to a moped. We had a simple bbq with hotdogs and marshmallows and I ran around taking pictures with my camera for the day (an Agfa Clack). Then my daughter said it would have been nice with a swim, just what I had been thinking. We packed up, walked home to pick up towels and back to the sea for a dip. I told her about ten times that she could chicken-out if she wanted to but she actually did it! As the responsible parent I am I told her to keep her hat on. The temperature of the sea was 0°C and it had started to freeze over in some places, give it a few days and it will be frozen all over. It was surprisingly bearable, with the sun warming us we didn’t even have to rush to get dressed. Well, apart from my poor toes, took a few hours to get the feeling back. I asked my daughter if she enjoyed it and she replied -No not really but now I feel very proud of myself. And so she should be!