“I never hear birdsong at Verdun”

I hadn’t attended a WFA webinar for ages. Then I spotted tonight’s subject, Hidden French Battlefields and thought it sounded interesting. And, though plagued with technical issues, interesting, it certainly was.

The talk was given by photographer Mike Sheil, who takes people on battlefield tours (when there’s no pandemic). The title of this post is a quote from Mike when asked a question about whether any of the places he visits maintain a sort of ethereal essence; any kind of palpable leftover memory of the fighting. I reckon it would have made a better title for his presentation. Or book.

Mike’s presentation took us along the oft overlooked French front as it extended further west. The western, western front, as he called it. I rather like the webinars which wander off the main track and head to less well trodden paths.

Mike showed us photographs of places where people usually cannot go. These places are mostly on private land, which aids to preserve and protect them. It seems a lot of people like to destroy historic remains. I don’t know why and Mike didn’t explain. I guess we should just be glad that these reminders are still there and people like Mike are allowed to, at least, photograph them.

One of the most interesting things about the talk were the carvings left by German, French and British soldiers at various times as the armies went back and forth, gaining then losing ground as the war ploughed on.

Possibly, the most amazing was a chapel in a cave. It featured a chi ro formed by three swords…which isn’t really very Christian.

There was also the high point in the French fighting when there was a mere 28 feet between them and the Germans, high in the mountains. Mike showed a photograph and it’s hard to imagine such close combat with guns. It reminded me of an earlier time when it was swords and shields.

It was also very cold with 100 metre snow drifts making everything white and impossible. He told us there were quite a few times that the two sides stopped fighting in order to survive the weather conditions. Which seems very odd to me. Presumably the soldiers who survived the sub zero nights then died the next day from fighting. Ironic?

There wasn’t a lot of humour in the presentation, except when Mike’s phone rang. After a lot of technical problems with his slides the sudden, shrill interruption by his landline had me in stitches. Fortunately, no-one could see or hear me.

He has a book, which he showed after being prompted by a question regarding its availability. It’s available from Amazon. It looks like a beautiful book though, Mike said, it also makes a good door stop. Obviously it has a lot of photographs in it, and it’s a big, fat glossy coffee table type volume. He also has a website, here.

An excellent subject for a webinar with some amazing photographs. An enjoyable hour and a half.

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Photobombed by the British PM

It was Swedish National Day today, which seemed to mean there were lots of strawberries everywhere. It was also the final day of the first test between New Zealand and England at Lords, which meant I was somehow allowed to talk about cricket for a bit.

To celebrate Sweden Day, we drove to a lovely town called Trosa, nicknamed The world’s end. We both fell in love with the place in a way that we didn’t at Bourton on the Water.

The two places are sort of similar. They both have water running through them, they have shops that seem made especially for visitors, both have long sections without cars. Where they differ is that Trosa is delightfully spacious and, as can be seen from the above photo, not crowded.

That’s not to say that there weren’t a lot of people out and about. The day was stunning with temperatures soaring on, what I can only guess, was the hottest day so far this year. In a country where there’s fewer people and more room, I would expect you’re going to be unlucky to find a crowd.

There’s also the fact that no-one is going to swim in the canal. It looks pretty deep and has quite the flow. It’s also used by lots of boats. Anyone foolish enough to dive in would very quickly disappear.

While the path alongside the canal is delightfully traffic free, even the roads that run parallel to it maintain a very slow speed limit. Families strolling along the streets far outnumber the vehicles and the vehicles respect the shared space. It’s the sort of thing they could do with in Farnham.

We had a good wander around, stopping for a light lunch at Ankaret, pub and restaurant. We sat on the terrace with the girls and soaked up the local flavours, including a rather pleasant and refreshing lager.

(Their website is not secure and, therefore, throws up all sorts of warnings, so there’s little point including a link. However, they do have an Instagram account here.)

Having had a lovely lunch, we then walked up to the church which has, in what increasingly seems to be the norm, a detached belfry. Built between 1694-1710, it was originally somewhere else then moved to the present site when the whole town was moved in the 17th century due to post-glacial rebound. This is when, like a see-saw, the removal of the weight of a glacier causes land at the other end to sink.

The church also has a votive ship, but I wasn’t able to find out anything about it. I have read that votive ships in Swedish churches are quite rare, which seems odd because I’ve seen quite a few. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.

Trosa is one of the top four wealthiest communities in Sweden, and it shows. There’s lots of beautiful houses and the few for sale are well beyond a normal budget. I know because Mirinda insists, when we visit somewhere nice, that we go and look at local real estate, so we can imagine living there.

The town has its fair share of famous residents. Among them are the two B’s from ABBA. Actually, originally, my title for this post was going to be 2Bs of Trosa. But then I took a photo looking down the street where the museum sits and was photobombed. I obviously had no choice but to change the title.

It was quite a long trip to Trosa but well worth it. We had a gorgeous day (the weather had a lot to do with it) with ice cream and lots of boats. We were soon on the road, heading back home, where, in honour of Swedish National Day, I made pork and fennel, adorned with little Swedish flags.

Oh, and the first test between New Zealand and England at Lords ended in a rather tense draw. Or so it seemed watching the live updates coming from my phone.

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Swedish Nicktor enjoying the sunshine

A father was holding the hands of his very young daughter at full length as she tottered towards us on wobbly legs, reminiscent of mine. She had only started to walk a matter of days ago. She was looking very proud of herself. He said that his other daughter had seen her sister stand up first. She screamed for her parents to come and see. It was a wonderful family moment.

This was at Cafe Notholmen, on the most beautiful day here so far. There were boats and families and even people swimming. It was all so perfect.

Once he found out we were Australian, the father quizzed us about The Wiggles. We assured him they were real and very popular down under. He had a business meeting in the week with one of them and hadn’t heard of the group.

Going to the island for linner, was a delight. We’d spent the morning walking in the woods (MIrinda) and working on my podcast (me). While Mirinda is normally gone for a few hours, I’ve usually finished with the podcast in about 20 minutes. Though it’s going to take longer now.

While I did the recording last night, I had to write my next letter this morning. Because I’ve caught up with the previously written, FATN letters, I now have to write a new one each week rather than monthly. That’s adding a bit more pressure.

The pressure wasn’t eased by the builders next door. While they didn’t have the jack hammer going today, they chainsawed a bit and were using a circular saw. Then there’s their bloody truck that, for some reason, has to be turned on for at least ten minutes ever half hour. Noisy bastards.

But that was all forgotten for a few hours as we headed to the island.

There was a lot of people. It reminded me of the popular winter Sunday’s we visited except for the amount of clothes and the presence of boats on the water.

It’s hard to believe that we walked where that yacht is now anchored. And now it’s so warm that almost everyone we saw was wearing shorts and t-shirts.

One person we saw, wearing shorts and t-shirt, was a man who bore an incredible resemblance to a clean shaven, short haired, Nicktor. So much so that he shall henceforth be called Swedish Nicktor. Of course, Nicktor himself denied there was any resemblance, but we (including Dawn) beg to differ.

I managed to get a surreptitious photo. It’s a pity he’s looking down, but the likeness is undeniable.

I was sorely tempted to go and say hello but managed to check myself. He would have thought me a lunatic. Or worse. An Aldershot fan.

While sitting watching the people (and after we’d eaten) we indulged in an ice cream. I had the pleasure of trying a crème brûlée flavoured one. Obviously, being a bit of an expert, I had to try one. Mirinda insisted. I won’t bother writing it up on my ratings page because, firstly it was an ice cream and, secondly, it tasted nothing like crème brûlée.

After this minor disappointment, we went for a wander down by the dock, to admire the boats, when we discovered yet more doppelgängers. On board a yacht, two dogs suddenly appeared, excited to see the girls. While not unusual, these two dogs were the spitting image of our two.

The y0ungest, a full poodle, looked exactly like a young Emma. The older dog was like a proper sized cockerpoo but looked exactly like Freya. We talked to the owner, all amazed at the coincidence.

Mind you, looks were where the resemblance ended, really. While her two were a bit yappy and excited, desperate to leap ashore and accost the girls, our two didn’t take a blind bit of notice.

I really wanted to take a photo but always think it’s a bit suspicious wanting to take photos of other people’s dogs. Like taking photos of their kids. So I didn’t. Anyone reading this will just have to take my word for it.

And that was about it for our day. We drove home then had drinks on the terrace before watching some Vikings and El Vecino, a Spanish half hour sitcom based on a comic.

A perfect day, I’d say.

I should add that while the ice cream tasted nothing like a crème brûlée, it was still very creamy and yummy.

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Another quiet day in the country

While normally we practice OMAD* almost every day, sometimes, like today, I just feel like having something light for lunch. It’s generally not difficult to find some bits and pieces in our fridge given the smorgasbord nature of Swedish food. And today, I rather spoiled myself.

I usually have a few boiled eggs handy, and most weeks there’ll be leftover räkor. This week, just to add some flavour, I bought a little pot of black caviar to have with our salmon, so there was some of that as well.

It made for a perfect little bowl of protein.

I’d call it perfect springtime fare. And it was very much a beautiful, warm spring day. It’s just a pity it was spoiled by the builders next door.

First there was the chainsaw. They started with it yesterday. They’re not chopping down trees, so all I can imagine is they’re cutting up logs. All day yesterday and most of this morning. Then, in order to drive us just a little more insane, the jack hammer started up at about midday and continued until about 6pm.

I have no way of knowing what they were doing for certain but I think they were chopping up boulders. One thing I do know for sure is that it was not pleasant. The weather meant having doors and windows open, the jack hammer meant shutting everything up or just have a non-stop headache inducing racket going on.

Oh, the joys of living next door to a builder’s yard.

I managed to escape the noise for a while when I went up to Trollbäcken to shop, but that was scant relief.

On the bright side, today I found out about a Swedish village in Hokkaido, Japan. It’s called Sweden Hills and features falu red houses, and the residents dress up for midsummer and have crayfish parties. And, Swedes regular visit it. Imagine going overseas to see something that looks exactly like what you see every day at home.

I bet they don’t have a builder’s yard next door.

Finally, as the peace and quiet descended on our house, I knocked up a couple of tuna steaks for dinner. Accompanied by steamed pak choi and Gazzatouille, it’s always delicious. With the added pleasure of eating outside, given the end of the racket.

* One Meal A Day

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When you really need a toothpick crossbow

Today’s Talking Newspaper with Nigel felt like sitting in a car, careening downhill with no brakes. It was a thrilling, very funny journey through this week’s local news. Ironic when a lot of the pieces were concerned with Farnham traffic being at a stand still.

I wasn’t scheduled to present this week, but poor Clive is suffering with shingles, so we swapped. When I realised it was with Nigel, I was very pleased. He is brilliantly funny.

This edition was the first to be completed in one day rather than spread across two. So, pretty much like we used to do it. Prepare and edit in the morning, record in the afternoon. This will now be the norm as the studio starts to re-open.

In July, the studio will be used as well as the remote recordings, albeit in a different configuration. Not that that concerns the Remote Crew.

Talking to Tim, after today’s recording, he was hopeful that our new, informal, chatty type style will be recreated in the studio editions. I hope so. But we shall see. Or hear.

But that’s next month, for today everything went smoothly. It took me an hour to clip all the pieces then an hour and half to create the PowerPoint and running order documents which I then sent to Nigel for editing. I had heaps of time before the recording at 2:30 UK time.

While everything ran very smoothly, it was a shame being stuck indoors all day, given the weather. And the green of the garden.

Plus, stuck upstairs, with the window closed to shut out the noise, the heat was starting to get to me by the time we’d finished the recording. As soon as we all said goodbye, I was up and outside with a cold beer.

A lot of laughs, a lot fun, a lot of stuff about back home.

In the meanwhilst, during a sizeable work break, Mirinda took the girls for a lovely walk in the woods. It’s amazing that she can walk out of the house and be in the woods in just over five minutes. No need for the car, delightfully close.

And, just in passing, some strange AI threw up an ad for a toothpick crossbow in my Chrome browser this morning. Here it is:

I don’t know why. As far as I remember, I’ve never searched for either crossbows or toothpicks. Of course, now that I’ve written about them in the blog, no doubt I’ll start being inundated with the opportunity to buy tiny medieval weaponry. How weird the world is.

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Always wear your thongs in Australia

Back in the UK, if someone was to ask me what my signature dish was, I would have said my salmon with avocado crust – I probably have said so elsewhere in this blog. I was particularly pleased when I could get the lightly smoked salmon from Waitrose because it gave the meal more depth.

Here in Sweden, if someone was to ask me what my signature dish is, I would have to say my roast salmon and rakor salad. The salmon comes in big slabs and is not lightly smoked. It tastes like it just leapt from the water and into the oven. It’s also a meal that takes half an hour from start to finish.

It is the easiest meal I make, but it’s also possibly the tastiest and most satisfying. The beauty is it needs very little work.

Conversely, today we had our usual Norrby’s brunch which was the far more complicated goats cheese and spinach pie. Mind you, when I say complicated, it’s not really that difficult. It’s just a question of getting the wholemeal pastry right then chopping goats cheese and spreading spinach. The drizzle of balsamic and honey makes it extra special.

But, enough talk of food. Today was Wednesday and I went to Tyresö Centrum.

I was a bit worried about my knee but, since the advent of the compression bandage, it’s hurting much less and actually going some way to actually supporting me. I think it’s on the way to healing properly. I have no idea why it decided to be so painful. My best guess would be tendinitis but without the energetic sport to blame. I must have overdone my workout…which is hard to believe.

Anyway, it seems to be on Recovery Road, so I expect to write nothing else about it.

Rather, I talked about Australia to three women at the centre today. Firstly the woman at the fish counter in ICA.

She spent months in Oz a few years ago and loved it. It was after I complimented her English (which is almost perfect) and she said she supplemented her school learnin’ by hanging around with English people at Bondi Beach. I laughed. We all know that Bondi Beach, while in Australia is actually part of Britain and is not the beach any self respecting Aussie would visit.

I asked her about her Oz trip and she started in Melbourne and worked her way up to Sydney then spent a lot of time at Byron Bay before heading to the Sunshine Coast. She loved it, she said.

Then, before leaving for the bus, I had a chat with the baristas at Espresso House. They both longed to go to Australia but were worried about the animals killing them. I assured them that, while, yes, there were plenty of things that could kill you, I’d managed to survive for 35 years without something lethal killing me. As had everyone I knew. In fact, I’m fairly certain I’ve never known anyone who died from snake, spider, octopus or shark.

I told the baristas at Espresso House that the worst thing in Australia was, in fact, the bindi. I described the awful little weed, saying that while a lawn might look tempting and lush, one was always advised to wear one’s thongs rather than go barefoot. This had them both in stitches.

I corrected myself and suggested flip flops. Norah-not-Eva suggested sandals. The other barista was laughing too hard, saying thongs meant something entirely different and she didn’t think wearing them on your feet would be much protection.

I assured them both that they shouldn’t not go to Australia because they were scared of the wildlife. That would be like not walking across the street because you were worried about the traffic stopped at the traffic lights. Yes, it’s there and, yes it could kill you, but you can’t let things stop you or you’ll never go anywhere.

Actually, I didn’t say that because I only just thought of it. But it’s true. I also didn’t say that they’ll likely never go to Australia because no-one will be able to for many years. By which time it will have become a cultural backwater prime for rediscovery by intrepid explorers.

Anyway, along with my knee, the weather was a delight. We sat outside at Norrby’s and they’d actually unwound the big shade over the seating. Bliss.

The garden at Norrby’s is coming along nicely. How well I remember the almost non-existent winter garden. We had a short wander around, admiring the plants before heading back home. I think Mirinda is missing our garden in Farnham.

She’s organised the gardeners to come around next week after Kate and James said it was getting a bit out of control. Fortunately, Mirinda managed to get Dave the Gardener so things will be in the best hands.

Katie had just finished her Pilates on the grass and was about to eat lunch. Fortunately, there’s no bindis in this grass.

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Red squirrels playing in the trees

I was listening to the World Service this morning, as I do every morning, and found out about an awful thing that happened 100 years ago today. It’s one of those awful things I’ve never heard of. And when I do hear about it, I’m amazed that I didn’t know.

I’m talking about the massacre in the Greenwood area of Tulsa which ended on 1 June 1921. It started with an accusation of assault against a young black shoe shine from a young white elevator operator. Due process of the law followed and the young man was arrested. Being a bunch of pricks, the white supremacists of Tulsa formed a lynch mob and headed down to the police station.

They demanded justice. The sort of justice that only a racist would truly understand.

A bunch of big black men heard about the lynch mob and decided to confront the racists. At this point, I’m really feeling sorry for the sheriff who has had to contend with an awful lot of anger directed at his place of work. And just because he was doing his job, as well.

Given there was a lot of testosterone being flung about, there was a single gunshot then the two mobs wound up turning into a massive riot which, in turn, became the Tulsa Race Massacre.

People went home and armed themselves then went marching down to Greenwood and started destroying buildings and people. They even started flying private planes over the area, firing guns from the cockpits and dropping fire bombs on the buildings. Seriously, you’d think they have had enough of that kind of shit following the recent world war.

Greenwood was soon turned into a burnt out, death ridden pit of hell. Deaths recorded at the time, by the official Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics were 36. That doesn’t sound like much of a massacre. Then, in 2001, a special commission was set up to examine the facts. It concluded that there were 39 deaths according to official autopsy reports. However, they estimated that there were more like 300.

Along with the human toll, the area also suffered a great death. From an affluent part of Tulsa, it was reduced to a lot of rubble and descended into squalor. It was an odd way for a city to behave against itself. It’s a civil war without any civility.

It makes you wonder.

And then, it was announced, that Joe Biden had visited Greenwood today to give a speech to commemorate the 100th anniversary of something which has pretty much been ignored by America over all that time. I’d like to think that was because they felt shame, but I think it’s probably because the racists don’t see it as anything significant.

While I was listening, two young red squirrels were leaping from branch to branch just outside the window in front of Mirinda’s desk (where I write my posts every morning). It made me wonder how many grey squirrels would just shoot them because of the colour of their fur.

Then there was the wonderful karmic story about the group of fear ridden Americans in a speed boat who circled a family displaying a gay pride flag proudly in their boat. The yobs were yelling homophobic slurs and abuse at the family as they sped around them. Then, the speedboat suddenly burst into flames and burnt to its gunnels.

Sadly, the gay family rescued the arseholes – they had to really – and the water fire boat put the burning speed boat out. Karma, while obviously not being a real thing, can be a real bitch when it happens.

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The true cost of a lovely day

Today was a Bank Holiday in the UK and, given Mirinda is still working in the UK, we had the day off. Well, not really me because I did my usual shop and visit to the butcher. Come to think of it, I was pretty much the same in the UK. Except when we went to the Surrey County Show which, in any normal year, we would be at today.

So, yes I went shopping while Mirinda wrote then Skyped. We then went to the island for a lovely, leisurely brunch.

We had a lovely, long chat with Evelyn. She was working in the kitchen today and had a bit of a break because of a lack of customers wanting cooked food. She told us about the Midsummer Festivities that go on at Tyresö Slott. If it goes ahead, we really want to go.

When we returned home, I couldn’t find anything about it. I did find others that have been cancelled and the big one, at Skansen, isn’t having the May pole or the frog dancing so that’s off the list. One of the main reasons to go to the Midsummer Celebrations is for the frog dancing. At the very least.

It might still happen so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Back at home, Mirinda took the girls for an early evening forest walk while I realised how much I’d over done it for the last couple of days. The walking had done for me. My right knee and thigh are sorely testing me. I find it difficult to walk painlessly. I thought it was getting better. It was a trick.

Here’s some green to make me feel a bit better.

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The king is not always right

We have had a few recommendations for things to do in Stockholm. One of the most often recommended has been the Vasa Museum. While it was open when we first arrived in Sweden, it closed, following government guidelines, before we could visit. Then, last week, they announced they were re-opening. And so, today, we visited what is now one of my top five museum visits ever.

The ship, completed in 1628, was the brainchild of King Gustav II Adolf (the King who died on my birthday), a man who knew what he wanted and knew how to order people to do it. He supplied the measurements and told the shipyard at Shepsholmen to build it. From Poland, mind you because that’s where he was at the time.

The shipbuilder, Henrik Hybertsson, was in charge at the shipyard and took up the task of building four new ships, including the Vasa. Then, only a year into the work, he up and died. The build was taken up by Henrik Jacobsson.

The ship was a monumental work of art. It had an extraordinary amount of detailed carvings awash with symbolism and heroic myth. The stern, in particular, was unbelievably ornate.

Above is just the stern. The carvings were all over the outside of the ship. Incidentally, the ship above is the very detailed model which sits port side of the real Vasa.

So, while the King was leading his army in Poland, he demanded that Vasa be ready to sail ASAP. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. So the dockyard worked around the clock to make it happen. And, on 10 August 1628, she was ready for her maiden voyage. But was she? Really?

There were a few voices that spoke up to say she wasn’t stable enough; that she’d not withstand a breath of wind. She was too top heavy. She didn’t have enough ballast. Neptune wasn’t keen on so much ornamentation. The Captain, Söfring Hansson, even had the crew run from side to side before it left the dock to show how unstable it was. Sadly, none of the voices were loud enough and the Vasa left her dock and set off across the waters of Stockholm.

They say there was a huge crowd of 10,000 people lining the shores to see the magnificent ship take her first tentative steps. The crowd included ordinary Stockholmers as well as dignitaries and spies from all over the world. What they saw was probably a bit more disappointing than what most of them were expecting. Except the spies.

It was not exactly windy but a slight breeze was enough to start Vasa rocking. Then, a second gust, saw her keel over and sink. It was all a bit dramatic, not least for the 30 people who went down with it and never resurfaced. Like this chap:

Above is Gustav. He was 40-45 and 160cm tall. He was one of the recovered skeletons which have had faces modelled on the skulls. The real names are unknown and each face created has been alphabetically named by the museum.

So, Vasa was on the Stockholm seabed. And so it remained for 330 years. Not the cannon though. A lot of the cannon was salvaged pretty soon after she went down. A diving bell was used and around 50 were recovered. There was also an early attempt to recover the ship but this was unsuccessful.

Then, in 1961, the first bits of Vasa came to the surface and, eventually, the entire ship was lifted and moved to the purpose built museum where we saw it today.

Photos can’t really do it justice. The size, the detail, the extraordinary sight of this massive ship is breathtaking. Not to mention the fact that someone worked out how to lift it up out of the mud and make a museum. That someone was Anders Franzén, a man determined to find the ship. Which he did.

The museum has a number of floors which rise around and circle the ship. This photo is taken from the penultimate floor. It’s an attempt to show the Vasa with a few humans for scale.

We’ve seen quite a few things since coming to Sweden but the Vasa is the most amazing. It’s both an incredible testimony to the people who built her and the people who retrieved her. The museum should definitely be on everyone’s list, bucket or otherwise.

Somewhere else which is well worth a visit is the Spirit Museum. Not that I can comment on the actual museum but the brunch there is superb. This was a recommendation from our dog minder’s partner, Marcus. And what an excellent recommendation it was.

There’s a set brunch menu – three small and diverse entrees, a choice from three main courses and a light dessert. And it’s delicious and not too much. Rather than feeling stuffed for the rest of the day, we were just sufficiently filled. The trout was particularly good.

So, we had another brilliant day in Stockholm which was equalled only by the equally amazing weather. Actually, the weather had brought out a lot more people. As I said to Mirinda, it’s as if Stockholm has awakened, gradually filling up each week we visit.

A woman we spoke to in a nearby park agreed that it was relief from the long, dark winter. Come the Spring and the Swedes emerge, bleary eyed and ready for the returning life. She also claimed that summer in Stockholm is the best anywhere.

She had two black poodles which reminded us of Carmen and Day-z so, naturally we had to stop and chat. She asked us the usual “Why come to Sweden? The weather is awful and the people unfriendly.” Which, equally as usual, we countered with the facts that we loved the weather and had only come across friendly Swedes. Including her.

It’s an odd thing that Swedes think they’re unfriendly. I hate to contradict them but it’s just not true. Maybe they are to other Swedes but all the ones we’ve met have been nothing but friendly to these two Australians. Sometimes before they find out we’re Australian.

So, another wonderful weekend visit to Stockholm, the first weekend in shorts. For me, at least. I’m hoping it’s not the last.

I’ll end this post with the end of the Vasa. Quite appropriate, I think.

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The almost perfect roast

After a few days of grey, today was gloriously blue. Once more the raincoat was put away and the shorts came out. The house was opened up and the general feeling and smell of damp was gradually replaced with springtime warmth and the preferable scent of freshness. Honestly, it was a magnificent day.

My knee has been quite sore for the last few days, so we decided to have an easy day around the house and garden. Mirinda created her very own garden office while I sat on the terrace.

Apart from a brief time in the house to record and publish my podcast, the day was spent outside.

At about 4:30, Mirinda took the girls on her Three Lakes Walk while I started preparing then cooking the pork with green butter I mentioned in yesterday’s post. By the time Mirinda returned, the whole house was full of the aroma of roast.

And, according to Mirinda, the roast was fantastic. The only thing missing was the crackling. The rest, however, was delicious. And, even though I cooked it, I can only agree. It marks the first roast I’ve made here, and it worked perfectly. I was well chuffed.

I reckon today was the most perfect Swedish day. I guess you have to suffer the awful in order to have the lovely. Even without the crackling.

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