torsdag 31 juli 2008

Grass, memories and berries

Some time ago I managed to ruin the knives on one of the mowers. What you can learn from this is that you never should let the grass grow so high that you can't see what is lying in the grass. It happened on a Friday — and the shop was closing for a week's vacation. But this morning a guy came to fetch the rider, he was quite young and was pierced wherever you could get pierced — and probably some other parts too, but I didn't check....
I got the machine back within an hour and since rain was predicted for the afternoon I went straight to the studio where the grass was in desperate need of cutting. Sitting there on a rider gives you plenty of time to think — even if my brain was slowly melting and evaporating in the heat. Today my thoughts went back to the summer when I was thirteen and got my ears pierced. I would never had done that had my friend not needed moral support. It was this time of the year when we first went to our small town's jeweler and watchmaker. He told us to come back by the end of August as he didn't want to do it during the dog days. From there my thoughts went to the occasion when I pierced a friends ears — she didn't feel anything which was good for me as it took some time and I had to decide which one of the three holes on the back of one ear I should use. I enjoyed doing it and was considering a future in surgery. The only one who didn't enjoy it was a third girl, the one who needed my moral support to get her ears pierced, she sat with her back to us with her fingers in her ears reading a magazine

It is almost two years since my father died and I'm still learning how to use his tools and machines. Today I managed to figure out how to unfold a ladder, so I could pick some of the cherries. Even with a ladder most of the berries are without my reach. Think I can be happy if I get enough for one pie.
It is almost bed time and it hasn't started to rain although we've heard the thunder.
Yesterday I saw a star for the first time this summer — the days are getting shorter. Now at ten o'clock it still quite ligth but in an hour we will be able to see a few stars.

Reading is something that has to wait — in September when we are going back to the island I'll do nothing but read — and maybe watch the stars.

måndag 28 juli 2008

Müsli for Ellen

Some of you asked how much 500 g is — I recommend you to use one of the many excellent convertsions calculators online, for example But you won't need it to make my müsli as I'm more than vague regarding both measurements and ingredients!
Living as I do in a small town, I have to use whatever ingredients I can find. There is a mix of rye, wheat, oats and barley flakes that I like to use, but I can't get it where I live so usually make a blend of rye (more rye than anything else because I like the taste of it), spelt and oats — not too much oats.
I toast the cereal in the oven and mix it with toasted almonds, nuts and seeds and dried fruit. In the fall I dry my own apples and pears but other than that I use what I have.

That's all. It takes some time as I cut the fruit and chop the nuts. Go ahead Ellen! You have most of the ingredients within a block or two and don't even have to get your car out to go shopping!

lördag 26 juli 2008

A footnote?

It is getting close to 30°C so we move around the house at the same pace as the sun. There is a light breeze which I appreciate as I'm not fond of heat.
Blaming my inertia on the heat I stay in the shadow with my feet up not doing much. Mails will be answered — but not now.

As always, I found more at Gutenberg than I have time or energy to read. Like a lovely book about knitting and crochet.

Wristers or Pulse-Warmers
Wristers or pulse-warmers, are very comfortable on a cold day, and those described particularly so, as they fill the sleeve and completely exclude the wind.
If somebody thought puls-warmers being something new you have to rethink, this book was published in 1918.

Crochet Jacket
One color or two may be used for making this pretty jacket, which is extremely modish, and very comfortable for the cool days and evenings sure to be experienced during summer outings. Six skeins of fourfold Germantown will be sufficient; or four skeins of one color for the body and two of white for the border, if made in two colors.

"The Writer, Volume VI, April 1892. A Monthly Magazine to Interest and Help All Literary Workers" sounded too interesting to pass. How could I not take a look at a magazine with this content?
Ellen, I might add a recipe for müsli another day — it's a bit tricky as I seldom use the same ingredient and never measure anything. But I'll see what I can do another day — a day when it isn't quite as hot as today. Meanwhile you'll get my Danish recipe for red currant jam. I use it for white and black currants as well as it is so simple and fast.

500 g ribs
125 g sukker
Røres og røres.
Red, white or black currant jam
500 g berries
125 g sugar
Stir and stir.

I leave the stirring to a machine, and let it run for about 10 minutes.

fredag 25 juli 2008

Another week without a computer

Living an old-fashioned life without computer is not bad — it is when I get it back I get slightly stressed when trying to catch up.
It amazing how much I get done when I don't have access to a computer — something I say every time the computer ends up at the computer hospital.
Having two large gardens means that I could spend day and night weeding, mowing and planting and I would still have two gardens that look rather neglected. I wish I could do more but it doesn't bother me that I can't. I'm still picking berries and taking care of them, leaving the weed to spread.
We were almost out of müsli so I've made a batch — probably about 5 liters. It's not hard but takes some time.
While we're having perfect weather to dry clothes on the line I've been feeding the washing machine most every day.
And I've been reading and reading and reading some more.

tisdag 15 juli 2008

Berries, berries and more berries

How I enjoy this time of the year. I love to start the day picking berries for the morning yogurt — today I picked raspberries.

At the island we had blueberries — they were small due to the dry spring and just beginning to get ripe. Usually we don't get any blueberries until the last half of July but the last years we've been able to pick them already in the beginning of the month. I'm talking about wild blueberries, Vaccinium myrtillus, which cover about 17% of Sweden. I know there are other names for them depending on where you live.

The white currants are already ripe — but very small this year. The black and red will probably be ready to pick next week. We like to eat as much fresh berries as we can but it usually is enough to fill the freezers too. I like to freeze some berries as they are but I also stir some of them with a small amount of sugar — a recipe from my Danish friend. As I usually use very little sugar I store all my jams and jellies in the freezer. Here is a recipe with more sugar — but probably not enough to keep forever without freezing (I haven't tried).

1 kg (=2 l) blueberries
0,8 l sugar
Let the berries and sugar boil slowly to reduce as
much as possible of the liquid.
Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon.

This is not a meadow — it is what my strawberry patch looked like when I came back from the island! I spent some hours there the other day and filled a wheelbarrow with weed and I think there still is almost as much left. So there is where you'll find me if you look for me today.

And when the weeding is done we can have strawberries with ice cream.

lördag 12 juli 2008


It can be hard to defend oneself from the past when you wander the paths of your happy childhood. I'm not much for dwelling on what has been but I believe our pasts are stepping-stones to the future that should not totally be forgotten. As I'm blessed with both a happy childhood and an extremely good memory I once in a while like to indulge in summers of yesterday. I won't bother you with all that comes to my mind every time when I return to my island but I'll put up some photos, both new and old.

fredag 11 juli 2008

Old Tunes

Old Tunes

As the waves of perfume, heliotrope, rose,
Float in the garden when no wind blows,
Come to us, go from us, whence no one knows;

So the old tunes float in my mind,
And go from me leaving no trace behind,
Like fragrance borne on the hush of the wind.

But in the instant the airs remain
I know the laughter and the pain
Of times that will not come again.

I try to catch at many a tune
Like petals of light fallen from the moon,
Broken and bright on a dark lagoon,

But they float away — for who can hold
Youth, or perfume or the moon's gold?
Sara Teasdale

The boat from Stockholm arrives with mail and newspapers around noon and has done so as long as I can remember. It used to be a big event, everybody went there for their mail and paper as well as some gossip. It isn't the meeting place it used to be any longer — and the boat isn't half as nice to look at as the old ones.

My parents brought me to the island the first time when I was eleven days old. I can't go anywhere without getting reminded of some happy event in my childhood.

Here with my friend Peter. We are still friends and try to meet at the island at least once every summer.

torsdag 10 juli 2008

Two weeks in Paradise

Back after two lovely and lazy weeks in the sun — and the rain.
I couldn't manage to get on-line from the island so I got plenty of time for reading and doing nothing.
My librarian recommended Jacqueline Winspear's "Maisie Dobbs" and "Birds of a Feather", so I brought them to the island. Two books I never would have read if she hadn't put them in my hands. I did enjoy them though even if I at times got rather irritated, as the translation isn't very good. I wish I had read them in English.

As Simon (at Stuck in a Book) has talked so well of A. A. Milne I decided to give him a chance — again. I've tried to read "The Two" in Swedish many years ago but didn't like it, so I tried some of his other works last week but am afraid that I don't share Simon's enthusiasm for Mr. Milne.


Some time ago Nan (at wrote about the magazine "Slightly Foxed" ( — I ordered a trial issue and have enjoyed every word in it.