So I usually don’t blog about anything not concerning the islands but this is definitely worth it! A week ago I read somewhere about the “Windshelter map” of Sweden and immediately decided to try it out. It is shelters built usually by the scouts where anyone can stay all around Sweden. Hönö is paradise and I could not imagine living anywhere else but sometimes I miss the forest, we have forest here but I’m talking about big forest where you can easily get lost. So I just picked somewhere on the map that we could get by train and not walk too far. Me and the daughter set off yesterday around lunchtime. As soon as I got on the bus off the island I realised the map on the mobile wasn’t showing where we were heading. Got some supplies in Gothenburg then got on the train. The traffic app showed completely the wrong times and we ended up taking some silly detours because of it, should have just brought a compass, map and watch. Anywho, we end up on a bus and get off where I recognise some of the street names from my research and carry on on gut feeling. We came to a lake with a small beach and jetty so of course had a swim. Such a strange feeling swimming in a lake now when we are used to salty water! We start walking around the lake through the woods and high grass but realise the road next it is the one I looked up at home. Happy to be on the right track we start walking, to be sure we ask the first person we meet if we are on the right track to the wind shelter. She says yes but it is quite a walk at least two kilometers. We say thank you and carry on, finding mushrooms, blueberries, lingonberries, raspberries, wild strawberries and loads of animals along the way. After an estimated 3 kilometres we ask the next person who replies: Yes you are on the right way but about 2 kilometres away… At this point it’s really hot and we are quite tired from carrying all the packing(otherwise I would have jumped into the woods at every turn to pick more mushrooms) but eventually we get there, and find a bus stop. Then we find the shelter and it is so much better than I expected! We make a fire, start food. The daughter chops potatoes and chorizo up with the mushrooms we picked, blend in some spices along with some locally produced honey we bought on the road, fry eggs and we have it with some of my husbands sourdough bread. Best meal I’ve had in a loooong time. Then we go on a hunt for more wood, knowing we want fried eggs for breakfast. I had visions of us sat around the fire all evening but seriously about 9pm we where fighting to stay awake. Then when we settled into our sleeping bags my mind started running wild. No chance of falling asleep so I borrowed my daughters book and read until it got dark about 10.30pm. As soon as it went dark the forest went quiet but of course then you start hearing every small noise as loud as a fire cracker. Didn’t sleep much last night but it was absolutely worth it. Going past the bus stop yesterday we had checked the buses, that run 3 times a day so decided to get out of there with the 8am bus or we would have have to wait until 3pm. As soon as we got on the bus the rain started to pour down. Tired and happy we made it all the way back without getting wet. One of the best things I’ve done this summer! Getting back to nature, picking food and berries, seeing all the animals and buying honey from an honesty box and last but not least having a holiday not costing more than the bus/train fare. This is the start of a new tradition for me.
Last entry spring had arrived but now it’s summer! Got back from a long trip, Malaysia, a few days ago. When I left we had 9°C and today it was around 20°C. Since I got back I’ve been trying to get back to Swedish time but keep waking up around 4-5 in the morning. I did worry because it’s the longest I’ve left the family ever but they survived and most of my plants did to. I was very excited for the chicks to hatch the 24th, Maggie has been cooped up in her nest most of the time. When she left the nest to eat I thought I would check on the eggs, there was none!! The crows and magpies have had a field day since I left and ate them all. So now we’ve ordered new eggs but we will put them in my neighbours egg hatching machine and I’m also getting a hen nest where the eggs roll down on a shelf you can pull out to pick them. The chickens, Astrid and Peanut, are keeping to themselves. The hens are really not very nice to them, even Nettie who adopted them is now picking at them as soon as she gets a chance. I think Peanut is an Iceland hen and Astrid i Wyandotte but most likely they aren’t pure bred because they both have feathers on their feet. It’s crazy how much the garden has grown in just over a week. The rhubarb I dug up half of what we had for the plant exchange day but now there’s a jungle out there! My green house is coming along nicely. I have to wait for the roof to be delivered so I started a new project today. Our hammock is completely rusted and broken, I am building a new one. Finished the main part of it now it’s just the legs and chains for having it, oh and oiling and painting. After all the sawing I was completely covered in saw dust so I cycled down the beach. They’ve put the jetty in now and the water was lovely. Summer is here!
For once I timed it right and spent all day indoors tidying while the rain came down heavily outside. We signed up for Airbnb.com last year and now have almost all summer booked up. It’s a great thing I think, so nice to have people from all over the world come and stay and also that people are finding us at other times than summer. One girl came last November, she didn’t want to go for a sunshine holiday, liked the cold and wind and also felt safe booking with us, being a young single girl. Then we had a couple before Christmas who wanted to get the feel of Swedish Christmas. It rained most of the week but they were happy anyways. They went into Gothenburg for all the museums and shopping and down the harbour with all the Christmas lights and decorations. Great to think that there are actually people for every season! Now upstairs is quite “untouched”, still full of old things. I will try to keep it the same but improved. We’ve bought lots of things from the second hand that fits in but it’s still quite an eclectic taste. I’m very happy that we didn’t throw out the old plastic carpet in the hallway, still a shame that we didn’t try to save the old wallpaper that we found underneath, the newer old one. The “ketch-shelf” is filling up with old childhood memories and tacky holiday souvenirs. Today a couple from France arrived. We usually lend them our own bikes but now they are in such bad shape so we suggested to rent bikes. I called Paolo, the guy in charge, and he even delivered the bikes to our doorstep! The chickens are doing well. The hens as well. Seems like all that garlic and “filmjölk” did the trick. Bugget was very adamant to get the chickens out of the box so I took the net away. They eventually found their way out of the box but still haven’t ventured outside.
9 °C in the water, not at that burning cold sensation yet that you get at zero, but I opted to keep my woolly hat on going in the water. It’s all very grey and dreary out now but still mild.
One of the challenges that most entrepeneurs on the island have is to make their businesses go around all year. We have no problem renting out our flat upstairs during summer but haven’t even given it a thought during the colder months. Then a friend from the UK told us about Airbnb and we decided to try it out. Signed up and in a few days we had people requesting to stay! So a week ago we had our first international (paying) visitor staying upstairs. Apparently she likes the Northern climate(!) and wanted to avoid the high season prices. She was very happy with her stay and we couldn’t have asked for a better guest. When we first moved in we were going to renovate the whole upstairs but now I’m happy that we didn’t have time. I like the old genuine feeling upstairs, even the carpet in the hallway.