Monday, July 31, 2006

A day in the garden

Sun is scorching the lawn. No rain for weeks. Flowers need constant watering. Carrying of buckets again and again up from the well. Success - rosebuds turn into flowers, at last. Small tortoiseshell butterflies abound, having grown up in the rich nettle fields down in the broadleaf forest. Bumblebees are crazy about the alpine eryngo, searching all the little flowers for nectar, seemingly forgetful of all possible dangers of the world.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Laleh is for real

Reconnecting to what is real or virtual (May 15)...on the street festival, Mr Swedish summer himself, Tomas Ledin, appeared on the biggest stage and at the same time we saw him on two gigantic screens. Sometimes the audience could see itself instead (do we know it is this actual audience?). On one screen video clips are sometimes displayed. To improve the show? I leave the place, disappointed, after a few songs.

Earlier that day I saw Laleh on a much smaller stage. That was very much real and much more exciting. All the little thrilling brilliant moments of unpredictability. Only voice, body, guitar, piano, and a small band. No screens, no video, just pure presence. Nature beautifully celebrated her performance with rays of evening sun through showers of rain.

Visit Lalehs webb!

Photo: Evelina Attervall, Sundsvalls Tidning

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sour fish 4 - now in Sweden

The other day I was happy enough, for the first time, to run across a package of rakfisk (rakefisk) at a local store. At least it was packed in Sweden, and possibly also produced here. We invited a group of neighbours to a "strange food" summer party and to their surprise this was "better than sour herring". As I did not have the original drink (see July 3) to go with it I tried a calvados-spiced sweet Swedish Christmas aquavit, which turned out very well. Spendrups Old Gold pilsner beer (3,5) blended in OK with it.

To give away the whole menu, we continued with a smoked Canada goose, a potato, olive, and caper salad, and a Sauvignon blanc. After that an Italian peccorino-type cheese. Finally, a dessert on dried fruit with creamy milk.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gardens of Wij

There is an amazing rose garden, a forest and wetland garden, a vegetable garden, experimental gardens of students, art exhibitions, plant shopping, great food and coffee. All in all, strongly recommended if you like culture, nature, or both. Just go to Ockelbo. Or check it out
on the webb

Two days in the archipelago

We rowed and sailed all day without coming much closer to Finland. After thirteen hours and a half in the boat we finally stumbled ashore on the island of Björkö. After being welcomed at midnight by friendly locals with sauna, coffee and blueberry cake we were ready to fight the mosquitoes and find a campsite. In the morning, the same wind persisted so we sailed home without much effort in just seven hours. Only after rounding the last point did we have to row against the wind for half an hour.

The post rowing in small traditional boats is a celebration of old contacts over the straits of Kvarken, and a remembrance of the crown's demand for mail transports. Many thanks to fellow crew and the mate.

Photo by Olle Nygren,
Damina, who was also our security staff. Yes, the horizon was actually slanting that day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sour fish 3 - the drink

On request (!) I am happy to present Oplandske Rakefisk Aquavit, a sweet and spicy potato-based liquor of Scandinavian type. I have only tried it with the rakefisk I described before.

It was tested by Apéritif which called it an interesting aquavit, which I can agree on, click here!

In an earlier test they recommended it also to mature cheeses and even to Danish breakfast. I don't know exactly what the latter would include but it will certainly not be anything embraced by Swedish dietists...

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