Roses, the flower of love, are perhaps the most popular in the world, and have a given place in my little rowhouse garden. Roses are not only beautiful and fragrant but are surrounded by both romance and mystery. According to Greek mythology, the rose was created by Adonis’ love for Aphrodite, and at his death he is said to have turned into a red rose. The red rose is therefore associated with erotic love.
The best location for roses is sunny, and a healthy soil is the prerequisite for viable roses. If you give your roses love, you get love back. Roses are very beautiful on their bush but also in a bouquet. In the language of flowers, the number of roses in a bouquet has its special meaning. A single rose means “You are my everything”. Three roses; “When can I see you again?” Five – “I do anything for you”. Seven say “I love you”, while ten roses in a bouquet mean “Do you want to marry me?”
I came up with the idea to renovate the kitchen in my little townhouse. It did not come suddenly, I have planned it for the twelve years I have lived here. It has felt like a big project, but now it was time. I wanted to treat myself to it. It would be done thoroughly, a complete renovation, floors, ceilings, walls, cabinets and appliances. And I would do almost everything myself. I chose a kitchen from IKEA. It felt best for a self-made carpenter.
It is actually not difficult to assemble an IKEA kitchen. All that is needed is foresight and careful planning. A kitchen planner helped with ordering and the delivery time was six weeks. The work began with demolishing the old kitchen. It has lived do-it-yourselfers in the townhouse before me. I discovered several more or less clever constructions so in addition to changing floors, I also had to make a new ceiling. But, what the heck, I like to solve problems!
When installing new ceiling joists and filling the joints between the gypsum boards in the ceiling, it would have been good with a little more craftsmanship. It also had not hurt when it was time to put up the tiles. Fortune favors the bold, and I think it actually turned out really well. I needed to draw new water pipes and for the connection, the skill of a plumber was required. An electrician was also required to put together a fully functioning kitchen. Otherwise, I have actually done everything myself, with a little help from my sons. Now only two pieces of cover are missing over the top cabinets and I am proud of the result. That was my purpose in doing the job myself. I reached the goal!
My grandmother’s health advice was; eat well, sleep well, and go out and exercise! Grandma was very wise and there is a lot in her advice. If you add to her wisdom the very Swedish expression that “lagom är bäst” (everything in moderation), you avoid extreme training, extreme eating and sleeping away all your life! Outdoor walks can be just the right amount of exercise, but where should you go when you are tired of the nearest neighborhood and boring trees in the forest?
Just west of Stockholm, in Drottningholm, the King and Queen of Sweden live in a beautiful 17th century palace. Large parts of the palace park are accessible to the public and it is a very nice excursion destination for a healthy walk. The surroundings are beautiful in all seasons. Although our King and Queen, due to the ongoing pandemic, has isolated themselves at Stenhammar Castle in Södermanland further from Stockholm, the Drottningholm Palace is guarded by the Royal High Guard. This day the guard came from the Amfibieregemente 1 (The Marines).
In Drottningholm’s palace park, you walk through historical style ideals from the 17th century baroque to an English park in the late 18th century. The park has many sculptures. On the quay at the steamboat pier are four statues of Demosthenes, Germanicus, Antinous and Hercules. They seem to be freezing now in the winter with snow on their shoulders and head.
Of course, it is possible to long for the future but at the same time be present and experience the day. Today was a delightful winter day with snow, sun and clear, cold air. It was great to be outdoors! Down on the boatyard among all the winter-resting boats, the longing for spring grew in me. When I get to make my boat ready and nice for a new season in the Stockholm archipelago. It is nice to both long for spring and to enjoy the winter. It’s nice to feel the longing!
A significant advantage of living near Stockholm, apart from the fact that my loved ones and the job are here, is that when I have had enough of forest and nature, the city is close. The walk yesterday was in the Old Town, Stockholm’s ancient city center dating back to the 13th century, and consisting of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. We had a coffee with snacks on the main square, outdoors completely according to the public health authority’s recommendations during the ongoing pandemic. It was a bit cold and rough so the walk was of the shorter kind and no proper photo walk, but still! 🙂
It always does, gets brighter, when it is dark. Right now there are many reasons to see everything in black. Among them the pandemic and the lack of respect for democracy here and there in the world. I choose to believe in the good of humanity and that it will become brighter in time.
Up here in the northern hemisphere, the days are short now. Last weekend the sun shone for a while, enough for a walk along Edsviken to Ulriksdal Castle. We have not yet received snow. It is dark most of the day. But today is the first Sunday in Advent and we turn on the winter lights in our gardens, and candlesticks and Advent stars in the windows. Suddenly it gets brighter. Now it’s only four weeks until Christmas!
There are indeed many wise and kind people on the Internet who share their wisdom. It’s just a matter of finding them in all the information noise and among all the loudmouths. Like when I felt abandoned and unsuccessful because I could not find love but found a wisdom that a friend posted (1).
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It’s not about finding someone to live with, but finding the one you do not want to live without!
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Many before me have probably understood this. To me, that wisdom made all the difference anyway. It gave me the insight I needed. Today a friend wrote about the meaning of life in her blog on WordPress (2).
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It is not about finding the meaning of life but about finding the meaning in life.
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It may seem a very small difference between “of” and “in” but it really made my thinking about the meaning of life evolve to something else. An absolutely wonderful insight!