My last post was bitter snowy winter…guess I’ve been busy. Now we’ve had a wonderful spring for quite a while. Lot’s of blossom and sunshine! I am terribly late with planting this year but plan to catch up soon. Spent a day re-building my veg-patch frames. I’ve added a huge one and I’m planning to add more. The less lawn to cut the better…plus more veg for the vegan daughter. As always the chicks are such great company. We take our lunch breaks on the stairs and they first start with cleaning their feathers then stretch out basking in the sunlight. I’m having conversations with Maggie, our oldest hen, noticed recently that everytime I say something to her she replies with a purring noise so I’m keeping it up. Also trying to make Oggy the cat to say hello(“Cats who say hello” on Youtube..) but we’ve been at it for at least five years or so and he’s not making much progress..
This year I’m mainly planting spinach, spuds, flowers, zucchini and herbs but added a few things recently. Someone tipped me off about the Sponge-cucumber so I had to order a bag and strangely 15 more seed bags made their way into the order basket.
I have also maximised the time outside doing photography in the sun. I have so many old photography papers that would not be of good use in the darkroom so I’ve used them for Lumen photograms instead and today I made wet cyanotypes with spring flowers. If you would like to know more about the techniques please check out alternative photography.com.
This blog is about the Islands in Gothenburgs Northern archipelago but once in a while I feel like I have to make an exception, if not just to compare with cosy island life. Today we ventured into Hisingen. Hisingen is what you reach when you take the ferry to the mainland but it is actually a bit like a large island itself. It is connected to central Gothenburg by a large bridge, Götaälvbron. Most of the time I try to stay away from Hisingen unless I really have to go there, I just don’t have any fond memories of Hisingen, most time I spent there was during my rebel teenage years. It is the one part of Gothenburg where they built large ugly apartment blocks and a huge run down shopping centre with enormous parking lots. Lately my own very rebel teenage daughter decided to become even more dedicated to veganism and refuses to buy new clothes unless they are second hand. So we googled second hand cloth shops and vegan food and ended up at Backaplan, Hisingen. We started our journey in an Indian food shop to stock up on some supplies of noodles, soy, tamarind and spices. Then we walked to Jaffa, a burger/kebab/grill place where they according to google had great vegan options as well. It looked so run down when we got there and the owners looked very tired. Leather sofas taped together by gaffer tape. Although we had read the reviews before most of them stating “very run down place but lovely staff and fantastic food”. We ordered a vegan mix and falafel roll with hummus and chips.
Ever since I was a little kid and we passed Ramberget on our way to see my gran at Hönö, a big mountain where it was said they chucked down elderly and sickly people in the old times, I have wanted to go up there. So we climbed the steep hill and found a small oasis!
Beautiful woods, a small park and a pond, climbing some steps up to the highest point we were taken back by the fantastic view of the whole of Gothenburg!
As soon as we sat down to eat thunder rolled in. It hasn’t rained for a month but today a months rain came down in one day. We sat down in cover of the rain under some huge trees and ate our food then went back to Jaffa for dessert. The owner was devastated that he didn’t have vegan dessert to offer us today but after a scramble in the kitchen he came out with a box of dates and prunes for us along with a thousand apologies. We walked through the rain looking at all the new buildings they’ve added since my teens, counting police cars passing(8 in an hour comparing to one in a month at Hönö) and headed for the second hand clothes shop. When we got there a big crowd had gathered outside and staff kept some rough looking guys from entering while they called the police. We walked passed the commotion and found some fantastic bargains, got the bus back(absolutely soaked) with a bag of clothes and an umbrella with kittens on. As soon as we got on the ferry back to Hönö the sun came out. All in all a great day out touristing in our own city!
So yesterday I decided it was spring. I can’t believe this year, the sun has come out waking the spring flowers and then next day temperature goes down to -10°C, again and again. So I started indoors and planted more veg, re-planted most of my geraniums and other indoor plants. I ordered 15 bags of soil from the local flower shop. Can’t believe I haven’t done that before, not owning a car I’ve been time and time again on my moped. My plan is to add 2 more planting frames for vegetables in the impossible patch. I have now given up any hope for getting rid of the weed and instead covered the whole patch with black cloth. I reckon I will need at least double the amount of the soil I ordered now that I’ve started using the bags… With a vegan teenager in the house I now feel much more prepped for growing veg, so my plan is to be self sufficient over summer at least. The chickens are helping with loads of chicken poop but they have started digging up all my spring flower bulbs which have left me covering all the flower beds with netting. I love them to bits but they are such a pain sometimes.
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…