Showing posts with label Summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summer. Show all posts

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A Taste of Sweden - Stockholm

As soon as the stitches were out and life began to return, I booked my ticket to Sweden to join my partner in Stockholm.  I knew that all I needed to do was get myself there and he would do the rest.  It was extraordinary how quickly all the difficulties of the past weeks and months vanished the moment he met me at Arlanda with a big hug and an unexpected beard!


Stockholm dazzled in the bright sunshine, city of water and light. Beautiful old buildings in muted shades of paprika, vanilla, saffron and pistachio line the waterways of the old town, Gamla Stan, the buildings packed together along the narrow streets and alleyways, with bars, cafes, shops and restaurants vying for trade, as we set off to explore.



We soon left the teeming crowds for the peace and quiet of the old Lutheran Cathedral, Storkyrkan.











The rest of the day was spent exploring the city on foot, the weather far too glorious for serious museum and church visiting.  We wandered from one island to another, crossing the bridges that link the islands of central Stockholm, each with its own particular charm and character.

Sodermalm lies directly to the south of the old town and is the residential, bohemian area.  Quieter and more low key than Gamla Stan, this is where young Swedes live and play and raise their families.


























Then back to central Stockholm for some serious window shopping and sightseeing.  



The windows of the Music Museum 




A quick look at Riddarholmen, the most ancient part of Stockholm


Before a wonderful Swedish meal back in Gamla Stan.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Summer Garden





The roses under my bedroom window are so beautiful this year.  They, at least, are loving the wet, cool weather we have been having this summer.


I dream of having the time to just sit in the garden on a warm afternoon and not constantly to leap up to pull up a weed, or grab a trowel or spade to attack whatever is discordant.



And this is where we do sit on the rare warm evenings we have had this summer, with a glass of cool sauvignon blanc when the day's work is done.



It was so good to have Mum to visit the other day and see her enjoying a bit of late afternoon sunshine in our garden.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Getting There... maybe

I'm sitting here alone in my house tonight with a glass of Kentish white wine and a frittata, made with vegetables from a neighbour's garden.  I bartered the vegetables for a pot of the marmalade I make every January, a popular present.  Yesterday afternoon was spent sitting in the garden of another neighbour in the village, together with the latest additions to the next generation.  Tomorrow my next door neighbour and I are planning a blackberrying expedition in the country lanes that surround the village.



It's been just over a year now since my partner and I made the move from Kent to Suffolk and it's been a challenging and sometimes fraught time.  I have often been horribly homesick for my old life and familiar people and places, but having decided to leave my comfort zone, I am slowly beginning to reap the rewards. Friendships take time to grow, but there are some promising beginnings.



Today was spent sorting out the garden, a new challenge for me after years of living in rented houses.  It is a continual puzzle to me, what should go, what to keep, what will thrive and where.  There have been some successes and some ignominious failures. I am currently trying to work out what to grow beside my pink climbing rose, now planted in the courtyard outside the kitchen - should it be cat mint, lavender or a deep blue Hebe?  And what will do best in the very dry corner of the bed by the front door when the Cosmos has finished?  I'm tempted by a deep red lavatera framing the herbs - the silver thyme I planted there is spreading itself very nicely indeed. There is so much more to do, so many plans to make, but it's been a good first year and I'm enjoying myself, rootling around deep in the Suffolk soil.  It certainly keeps me grounded.




My peaceful time will end tomorrow, as it should.  I really wouldn't enjoy it so much if I had too much of it.  My youngest son, home from university for the summer, will be returning from his visit to his father in London, soon to be joined by my oldest son and his girlfriend, staying for a couple of days rest and relaxation - them, not me!  Then it's off to Holland on the ferry to join my partner, who took the boat over yesterday, for a week or two of cruising the Dutch canals and inland seas before it's back to earth with a bump and perhaps an end of summer Pimm's party for all our new friends and neighbours.


Saturday, 2 June 2007

The Orchard

Summer's here!

The hammock went up in the orchard today, strung between two ancient plum trees, threaded through with the tiny pink scented roses that flower for only two weeks each year, echoing the delicate pink and white blossom that studded the trees earlier in the spring, promising a heavy crop of pears, apples and plums when summer slips away.

The mown grass is a vivid green after the recent heavy rains, and delicious dark pink dog roses glow in the hawthorn hedge. A faded, weather-beaten wooden table and chairs invite me to take time out and let my cares melt away.

I thought of going somewhere else today, but what could be better than this?