I’m supposed to get ready for the Christmas market in my gallery and do nothing else than bake and make pictures in the darkroom but yesterday was such a gorgeous day. No wind, frost, sun coming up and the moon still out. A crispy -8°C degrees.
I had a picture in my head and thought well if I cycle to the Nature reserve and back that will take max 30 minutes right? I ended up not taking the image I thought of but lots of other great pics and coming back 2,5 hours later. It was so beautiful one could cry.
When I came home I developed my 3 rolls of film, as usual in Caffenol(coffee and vitamin C), as it turns out one of my two cameras didn’t work so 2 rolls out of three were blank. The only drawback with analog photography… Oh well at least I have my one roll and it was great to take a break from my self-made stress. Today back in the darkroom!
I am in this project created by West Sweden Touristboard, called Meet The Locals. The idea is that anyone can register and visit a Swede(or actually it can be an Italian, English man or else living in Sweden) doing stuff that Swedes do like bake buns, cycle, pick mushrooms, go on a grafitti tour or any of the other 28 activities.
I take my visitors on a walk, talk about how it is to live on the island and how it was in the old days. I also go swimming with them if they like, it’s not a have-to(but I do make clear that I will think less of them if they don’t) and so far about 50 % have dared the water. Very brave!
It is such a nice project. It’s voluntary and I don’t charge anything, although I might in future but always worth the effort. So far I’ve had visitors from Scotland, USA, India, the Netherlands and Singapore. I learn so much every time, things that are not always obvious until afterwards, subtle differences and sometimes of course big ones. Just the way we see things in life, religion, culture, modesty, marriage, politics, freedom of speech etc. It’s also nice to share my life on the Island of Hönö, since it’s the most beautiful place in the world, with someone and also to see it through someone else’s eyes.
Next time I go abroad I will definitely try to find a similar concept, what better way is there to get to know a place than being shown around by a Local?
My daughter ordered a t-shirt online and somehow the parcel got sent to Björkö, one of the other 9 islands surrounding Hönö, so we thought why not make a day-trip out of it?
She wanted to go running, it was so windy we took my moped there, crossing on two ferries and 45min later arrived at Björkö harbour. Björkö is actually really close, if we had the boat in the water we could have gotten there in five minutes. Picked up the parcel and Lo and behold! They had the vegan ice-cream she wanted to try all year! So we had ice-cream in the sun down the harbour, warm like a summers day when out of the wind. We decided to let the ice-cream melt a bit in our bellies and went for a walk with my camera. We found so much to take pictures of, I kicked myself not bringing more film and spent my phone battery(mainly on photographing swan butts and jellyfish). After the walk we got really hungry and decided to go back home to cook but of course we couldn’t pass the sheep/pig/hen cooperative!
We last visited a year or so ago, then the hens were in a yard but now they ran free and had quadrupled if not more! No sheep around but the pigs where basking in the sunlight and the mud. On the ferry we decided on three recipes to cook(vegan of course, since my daughter turned at xmas) and getting back we realised we’d forgotten all about running(well maybe I didn’t forget…). All in all it was a fantastic day, Björkö is so nice and feels good to have made the most of these last Indian summer days.
Living on Hönö you have to get used to it being windy pretty much all the time but today was one of those unusual calm sunny days. Luckily one of my Fb friends saw it coming and asked for company kayaking. I jumped at the chance! We convinced one more person to join us and I got to borrow one of his kayaks. I have only paddled once since the course I took(who my Fb friend ran) and it really didn’t go so well, started with falling over just getting in the kayak. Today went much better(probably because I had two experts with me) and I actually managed the whole day without falling in!
We started our trip from Hälsö and paddled for about 3 hours with a little coffee break on a tiny deserted island. It was absolutely gorgeous. Blue sky, sunshine and no wind. Still parts of the journey felt a bit nervy, we had waves from boats, currents and after a while my body got pretty tired but on the way back I managed to relax and take in the fantastic scenery. My two companions where both much more experienced, one brought his dog along and the other ended up transporting a chair(!) we found on a beach.
Of course at one point the dog ended up on the chair, on top of the kayak on the water…
It was a great day and great evening with feasting on fresh crab that my husband received and cooked while I was away.
Finally I’ve done it. I have been so embarrassed, being an islander and never having been Vinga. Vinga is a very famous (well in Sweden that is) lighthouse built 1890. We can see it from our favourite beach. It’s famous because of this Swedish troubadour called Evert Taube who grew up on the small island while his dad looked after the lighthouse. On our way there we got to hear lots of other stories and a great deal of history from our skipper Bosse. He told us about Napoleon hating the islands and banning all trade with England, he pointed out the exact spot a German submarine that sank on the same day the second world war ended and we got to see a whole bunch of seals.
When we arrived at Vinga we walked up to the lighthouse and got to climb the stairs to the top. What an amazing view! There was an Evert Taube museum but we bumped into some very cute goats running freely so we skipped the museum.
On the boat trip back to our island Hönö, Bosse told us more stories and pointed out where all the islanders disappear to when the tourists come. So funny! Of course I know that lots of people go out with their boats and most of our Airbnb guests have pointed out that Hönö is so empty of people, now I recognised all the faces on the cliffs/nature beaches we went passed. Next year we are definitely getting our boat in the water.
When I was asked I hesitated a bit, me work nights? I am so tired in the evening, working nights seemed a bit unreal but I am so happy I said yes. There is a film being made, planned to be shown on cinema 2019. It’s called “The Spy” and the film is based on real story, a Norwegian actress who turned into a spy during the second world war.
One week they filmed on Hönö, they built a cottage and a jetty on one of the beaches and my job was to watch it along with all the equipment whenever they didn’t do any filming. Watching a house on the beach on an island in summer(getting double pay nighttime), I don’t even know why I hesitated!? My first shift started at 10pm. I had been told to not touch anything in the cottage so I put my sleeping bag on the floor and placed myself outside to watch for unwelcome visitors. When the sun set the mosquitoes started swarming and I had to move inside. Around midnight it was well dark outside and I heard voices, my heart started beating a bit faster… Some guys, sounded french(as it turned out, they were actually from the film crew and Belgian not French), walked by and sat on the beach for a while. I didn’t want to go outside in case I scared them so I moved my flashlight around a bit to show that someone was in the cottage but they either didn’t see or didn’t care.
In the end I must have nodded off for a while because I woke up and it had just started getting light around 3am. Only 5 hours left… I spent most of the time just watching the birds, thinking, crocheting and reading.
The day after I was very sleepy but restless and couldn’t help myself looking forward to my next time in the cottage.
I also spent a day there, went home and did a night shift starting at 2am, that was magic. I wish I could post videos in this blog, the sound of the birds waking up around 2.30am just before sunrise while the big full moon reflected in the dark water, it’s something I’ll never forget.
Now they are done filming on this location, the house is still there and I wish they would leave it but I’m sure they will take it down soon. Looking forward to the movie airing next year, even if all they filmed probably will be cut down to less than ten minutes.
I’m not allowed to post any pictures of the house but here are some of the scenery and a link to more information about the movie: https://variety.com/2018/film/global/trustnordisk-boards-jens-jonssons-ww2-set-the-spy-exclusive-1202808246/
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.