Today I took a beginners course in kayaking. Now I only need to learn how to drive a boat(get the boat in the water) and build an outdoor kitchen with an oven and smoker and I’m done with this summers bucket list. We met up this morning in blazing sunshine, got instructions on land, “fika” then set out to paddle. We learnt how to paddle, stop, turn, paddle backwards and more “fika”. As the finish of the day everyone had a chance to try to “save a friend!. I was the first one to put my hand up. I still have this very big fear of the ocean even though I love it. That’s one part of why I swim all year around, I like to conquer my fears. First try I felt really nervous actually turning the kayak over but as soon as I’d done it once the fear disappeared. Second I over turned and got back into the kayak without any help and as soon as I got in I leant too much the other way and fell over again! Apart from that I was surprised how steady the kayak was and am now all set to buy a couple for the family. I am very happy I took the course to get all different techniques in. You really use so many muscles! Not just the arms but back, legs and stomach. I’ll sleep very well tonight that’s for sure.
Morning run in the glorious island nature, before school and work. So many wild flowers! It’s like a postcard every way you turn. Todays run was a bit heavy going after a period of slacking but we made 5km at least(with some walking). Then what can be better than to finish it off with a dip in the sea? The water temperature is still nice and cool, around 15°C is my guess, so you get that refreshing feeling afterwards. It kept me going all day!
So I decided to make the most out of the day and started off with running down the harbour. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I spotted a seal(if you look closely at the top left picture you might see it…)! I know there are tonnes of seals just a bit further out from the harbour but still get childishly happy overtime I see one. After the run I got my swim clothes and cycled down the beach. It was so still, not one person around and the water temperature was actually warmer than at land. We’ve had frost at night now the last couple of nights but still 10°C in the water. For lunch I bought some prawns and a crab claw from the fish shop. The crab was freshly cooked and still warm, yummy! I had a conversation with the fish shop owner about why most islanders are such chickens when it comes to swimming, they only do it in a pool or when they go on holiday in Thailand. She told me it’s because most people in the old days couldn’t swim. There was a fishing boat outside Knippla(one of the surrounding islands) in 1800 something that sank. 6 out of a crew of 8 drowned, the only two survivors couldn’t swim so they held onto bits of the boat to stay afloat while the others swam for shore, got tired and drowned. Herself hadn’t been in the water for 5 years!
After a few hours I started to feel a bit frozen so I went outside and did some digging. Not easy with the whole flower bed full of chickens. I put all geraniums in winter storage and planted pots of tulips fro spring. My plan is to bring them into the barn at night when they start to flower so the deer doesn’t eat them. Although, if the deer doesn’t eat them the chickens probably will but it’s worth a try.
Oh and the rain, yep it came, just as I planted my last bulb.
What a lovely sunny day, feels like last day of autumn. Next week the temperature is supposed to drop below zero so I decided to make the most out of the sunshine. First I did some bike maintenance, my son somehow gets a flat tyre every other week. The hens kept me company. Nettie and Lottie are getting friendlier every day and Maggie seems to slowly get over her trauma from last weekend and isn’t as jumpy anymore. After that I took my daughter berry picking. We cycled to the cemetery and walked around the popular path in the nature reserve. There are so many sloes! At first we picked every berry we saw but soon got very picky and only chose the biggest berries. There is so much that the whole of Hönö could probably go out harvesting without finishing them off. Sloes are not the easiest berries to pick though, very thorny bushes, some thorns being a few centimetres long. Trying to get to the fullest bushes was like a game with death or at least like cuddling a very angry cat… After about 3,5 kilos we headed home to change and go swimming. To be honest I haven’t been for weeks, to the point where I’m ashamed to call myself a all-year-around swimmer. The sun was going down, no wind, absolutely stunning but freezing. As always we felt great coming out of the water and went home for a nice warm cuppa.
Finally I’ve done some gardening, better late than never! A whole day I was cooped up indoors, to Oggys delight, when the rain whipped the windows clean. The weather has been completely crazy lately. Storm mixed with rain and sunshine. So I’ve had to do short intervalls of gardening between the rain showers. 50% discount at the garden center and my flower beds are filling up rapidly. The hens are curious as always and follow me around wherever I go. My plan is to have enough perennials to stop the chickens from getting in-between the plants and digging them up. I’m saving spots here and there where they like to roll around and swim in the sand/soil.
The other day my daughter came home dark as a cloud from school and I’d had a shitty day as well, she asked if I wanted to go for a swim and it felt just right. Oh my gosh! It was so windy we almost cycled backwards down the beach. The water was so high that, by the steps where the water usually goes to my knees it came almost up to my head. We held on to each other getting out to the steps through water that splashed, it started raining and huge waves. Then as we tried to get changed as the wind tried to steel our towels and the water from the waves blew over us the sun came out! We both laughed and amazed at the beauty and wildness. Cycling back our bad moods were long forgotten!
Woke up feeling very hot and my head full of worries about the opening of the gallery(I know I keep going on about it but right now it’s the only thing I can think about in my life). Decided to run down to the beach and have a swim, this time I thought of bringing dry underwear and I had a bikini on. It was really windy and as I was about to get in the water I thought -No I’ll bring my mobile and take a picture. I did and then left it by the ladder. Got in and just as I am about to go under there is something dark in the corner of my eye. With the huge waves and the wind there was some plastic and seaweed in the water and I had time to think that it’s probably a lobster pot or net that floated in on the waves. Turn my head and there is a seal 2-3 meter away staring at me!! At first I go -Well hello seal! and then think, aren’t seals known to have bitten people? Then, camera! I grab my mobile and he/she dives and turns up like 50meters further away, still facing me. Staring and probably trying to work out what to do. I get one picture and it dives and disappears. What a fantastic encounter!
Finally I’m running again. I’ve not had time or the urge all summer but now is the time. Determined to take it easy for my bad knees and snapping ankles I started off with walking more than running, feeling surprisingly fit after summer. Yesterday I thought I I’d take a short run along the beach but it turned into a long one. It was so pretty and fun to to run/walk/jump on the rocks along the coast that I completely lost track of time. The surroundings are so breathtakingly beautiful and I also love the fact, something our Airbnb guested usually comments on, that during my whole run I only saw one other person. I went all the way out to the lighthouse, that area is called Hönö Head, and on the way back the water was so tempting that I couldn’t resist the urge and jumped in. The water was lovely, running back in wet underwear was not but definitely worth it! An hour and a half later, instead of the usual 30 minutes, I dragged my legs home tired and happy. So much for taking it easy.