Emma the Victorian botanist

Monday at Café Notholmen is a much different experience to the usual weekend brunch. Firstly, certain, popular menu items run out quicker and, secondly, the place is almost deserted by 2pm. The latter is rather good for us because we get to chat longer with Evelyn. The former means we get to try different things on the menu.

We visited the island today because of our weekend away.

The car park was virtually empty with only the top part seeing any real action because of the garden centre. Then, as we walked to the café, the park was delightfully quiet and family free. Okay, that’s not good for business, but it certainly makes a pleasant difference to me.

As we reached the island, the scent of aniseed was in the air. A whole load of sweet Cicely (Myrrhis mill) has grown either side of the path and is now starting to bloom with tiny white flowers. There also seems to be a bit of wild garlic, the two aromas giving off a delicious combination.

Sweet Cicely is not native to Sweden. It’s usually found much further south. So this lot has obviously been planted. Or it’s that old favourite, Butt Seed Cicely, delivered by passing previously constipated birds on their way north from Spain, showing little regard for native plants and natural occupation.

Inside the café, when we arrived, only two tables were occupied and there was absolutely no-one outside. That’s the first time we’ve seen that. Even in the depths of winter, snow everywhere and the temperature cold enough to freeze the words coming out of your mouth, there were at least a few hardy souls outside. Clearly, they were all at work today.

Mirinda wasn’t at work today. Originally, we’d been going to the archipelago for four days but Linn couldn’t have the dogs on Sunday night. So, today was like a Bank Holiday Monday At Home.

First thing, Mirinda took the girls to the forest for a lovely couple of hours. I bought her a small, travel Thermos last week so she could have a coffee on a rock overlooking a lake. And she did just that, enjoying the solitude and beauty while Freya behaved herself and Emma went searching for huge sticks.

By the time the three of them returned, Freya was delicately dirty while Emma was almost black with forest detritus. She had so much foliage encased in her hair that I figured she must have collected it all on purpose. I asked her if she wanted to keep any of it, but she was so distracted by her opposition to having a shower that she didn’t bother answering me. I threw it all out the front so, if she does want any of it, it’s there.

As the day wound down, having had brunch, it was obvious we weren’t going to need any dinner, so we snacked on cheese and herring while watching Vikings. We’ve found, since going OMAD, that we feel particularly stuffed and definitely can’t be having two.

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