Breast is best

Back in the 17th century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote a book (Emile, Or Treatise on Education) denouncing the practice of wet nurses and swaddling. Give the infant your own breast, he maintained, and stop wrapping them up so tightly. Their limbs should be free to wriggle. Send them outside to breathe the air and feel the mud between their tiny toes.

Fully understanding and agreeing with Rousseau, Marie Antoinette could have said “Let them eat mud!” as her own daughter was sent outside to play. In her loose clothes and fresh from the breast.

While the above could be a lesson for today, given the need for a more resilient immune system in the majority of people, it is the only point of reference I have for something called The Mothers’ Table in the park at Tyresö Slott.

Is this a spot where a group of breastfeeding mothers regularly met up to feed their babies? Or is it symbolic of something? All the little information marker says is to quote Rousseau.

It shall have to remain a mystery.

I photographed it on the way to the café on Notholmen where we enjoyed a warming bowl of leek and potato soup. Given the weather, this was exactly what we needed.

It had rained all night and the temperature rose, so we woke up to a world devoid of snow. There was also a ferocious wind blowing which dropped the temperature and managed to freeze the extremities. Soup was definitely the best option.

There was no sign of Evelyn this week and, regardless of what the above photograph seems to indicate, the café was almost full. We managed to get the last table. Today was the first time there wasn’t anyone outside, except in the big marquee. There’s always people in the big marquee.

After warming our insides, we strolled back to Max via the church. It was actually open so we popped in. One at a time because we had the girls with us. And, as we all know, god doesn’t like dogs.

I took my turn first. The church was bright and airy. There was someone playing the organ and a couple of women sitting on the front pews, doing a bit of socially distanced praying. I didn’t want to disturb them, so I quietly admired the few paintings, the ornate pulpit and the beautiful box pews before handing the baton to Mirinda.

Mirinda returned to say that the organ playing was almost beautiful. Mirinda does not like organ playing so this was a great compliment.

Back at home, we settled in, against the weather, venturing outside only once more, for our usual constitutional. We then had roast lamb and cauliflower cheese.

The small, boneless piece of lamb, was only the second bit of lamb I’ve found in Sweden. It was delicious. As was the cauliflower cheese.

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