Last in a week of lasts

Tomorrow we leave what has been our home since last October. We have watched the seasons and the landscape change as we’ve gone from late autumn to mid summer. We have experienced temperatures of -20° and +30°. We have loved living here for so many reasons.

But we have to go back to Britain and so, today, we completed our list of last things by going to the café at Notholmen for linner and to say goodbye to Evelyn, our first and, therefore oldest, Swedish friend.

But first, Mirinda had to have her final visit to the hairdresser at Trollbäcken where she learned more strange things about the life of the person who cut and coloured her locks.

In the meanwhilst, I took a break from cleaning and packing and walked the dogs up to meet her. I decided to walk by Norrby’s rather than along the main road. This gave me a chance to photograph a block of flats being built.

We’ve watched these flats grow from the merest of foundations, through the days of snow clearing up to today where the pre-fab panels are being clicked together. I’ve not had a chance to take any photos because I’m usually in either a bus or a car. If we’re ever this way again, it’ll be nice to compare this photo with the finished product.

By the time we reached Trollbäcken ICA, we three were all a bit thirsty so I tied them up at the dog house outside the supermarket and prepared to go inside. A woman accosted me, saying something in Swedish for which I had no answer but “Sorry?” She immediately switched to English in that amazing way they do.

She volunteered to watch the dogs while I went shopping. I thanked her, saying I was only getting them some water, and went inside. When I returned and thanked her she explained that her daughter is in the police and had told her there’d been a few dog knappings in the area and she was warning owners.

I thanked her profusely. I thought it was such a kind thing to do. Of course, it then occurred to me that it would be an excellent ploy for an actual dog knapper to use.

We then walked across the road to where Max sat waiting. We did likewise, sitting on the steps of the cafe beneath the hairdresser.

I poured some of the water in my hand to give them to drink. Unfortunately, the water was slightly carbonated and they refused to drink it. Stupid dogs. I rubbed it across their faces.

Mirinda emerged, hair glowing, and we headed for Notholmen.

We’ve discovered many wonderful places while living here but, I think, Notholmen is the favourite. It’s been a constant in our lives. Always open, always welcoming and friendly. And great food. And, of course, Evelyn.

Back in October, Evelyn was the woman who Mirinda, proudly told that she knew 54 Swedish words and proceeded to recite them.

And today, we had a lovely long chat with Evelyn who, we think, was supposed to be working harder than she was. But then, it was a goodbye and that should be forgivable.

For us it was also a goodbye to the wonderful café on the island.

Back at the house, there was washing to finish, cardboard boxes to flatten and packing to finalise as the day descended from day into night. Tomorrow begins the next phase of our life so far.

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