The fabulous fika trolley

A few weeks ago, I had no idea what a troubadour was. Then I discovered Cornelis. Before today, I had no idea who Evert Taube was, now we’re firm friends. Evert (1890-1973) was another troubadour and I met him on Gamla Stan today.

We were in Stockholm on one of our Sundays without the puppies (they were enjoying themselves with Sara and Tommy). The Fotografiska (Photographic Museum) had reopened and had some new exhibitions. Obviously, we’d booked tickets.

We arrived a bit early (the tickets are timed) but the guy with the ridiculously beautiful blue eyes, let us in ahead of our time because the place was almost empty. We headed straight upstairs to the restaurant for fika.

We were greeted by a trolley. Not just any trolley. This was the fabulous fika trolley, filled with all-you-can-eat, sugary delights. A very scary prospect.

After starting with a palate cleansing glass of water each (to wash away the taste of oat milk we’d sampled downstairs) we chose two cakes and a jelly each. Then, with a bottomless coffee, we sampled our way through far too much sweetness.

Can I just say that my beetroot jelly was very sweet but totally yum.

As we paid the bill, we were told a wonderful story by the waiter. We’d told him we listened to Swedish radio though we didn’t speak Swedish. He then described the ten days he spent in the middle of Finland.

Isolated from anyone and anything, he had for company just an old crappy TV. The TV didn’t work beyond tuning into a Finnish radio station. He didn’t tell us why he was there, but he managed to survive. I think he put it down to listening to Finnish radio on a crappy TV. And he had twirly moustaches that Poirot would have envied.

Fully charged and full of joie de vivre, we then headed downstairs to start the exhibitions.

There were four new ones and one that we saw the last time we came. Naturally we saw all of them.

First up we had an extraordinary emoji version of the Garden of Earthly Delights. Carla Gannis has taken the Hieronymus Bosch triptych and updated it for the modern, digital world. It is equally bizarre and fascinating, a bit like the original, which I saw back in 2016.

Then there was the extraordinarily beautiful photographs of Snezhana von Büdingen. She has photographed Sofia, a teenager with Downs, in an amazing series of large format portraits and scenes on the farm where she lives with her family. The images are fantastic.

Some of the most beautiful photographs I’ve ever seen.

Then came the extraordinary work of South Korean photographer, Cho Gi-Seok.

A young photographer, Gi-Seok has combined people with objects to form strange and co-existent images. He doesn’t work digitally. Everything is created for the camera, snapped and developed in a very analogue way.

His images are arresting, stunning, full of life and colour.

I guess I can’t like everything I see. This was very true of Sarah Moon’s work on the ground floor. I found her photographs a bit ‘samey’ and, quite frankly, depressing. I’m sure there’s someone who likes her work but it’s not me.

Still, the whole thing was a wonderful way of seeing the world through someone else’s lens, even Ms Moon.

And, of course, no trip to Stockholm would be complete without a visit to The Hairy Pig, where Joseph welcomed us like old friends and we had a wonderful meal.

In the week, I’d noticed on Instagram that Joseph was trying a new menu item. It was a traditional Swedish dumpling filled with wild boar. He’d tested them on a local before unleashing it on customers. I’m not expert but, by the gods, they were good.

It was another very successful day in Stockholm. And another successful day for the girls with The Perfect Swedish Family.

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