Category Archives: People

Basically good!

This summer I actually read a really thick book! I rarely indulge in reading novels or a thicker book that cannot be read in one go. I have learned that I am worthy of being liked only when I perform or am obedient and compliant. To “just” read and to devote myself to me is frightening! On the other hand, I love to learn and to understand and there is a lot of wisdom written in books.

The book I have read is not really a novel but can probably be classified as a manual in humanity. It assumes that man is good and describes it in a convincing way. It is man’s natural goodness that has made us what we are today. Helpfulness and cohesion have been a prerequisite for our success as a species. For the most part, we work together and feel trust in each other. In meetings with others, we usually experience kindness.

But, how does this go together with all the evil deeds that humans are capable of? Based on a series of crucial historical events and research studies, the book’s author sheds new light on human actions. The notion that man is basically selfish and controlled by self-interest is deeply rooted in our Western tradition of thought. Our societal debate assumes that we are egoistic and only think of ourselves. Our view of ourselves is of crucial importance for how we solve the societal challenges of the future.

It is high time for a new discussion about human nature. The book provides an opportunity to see humanity in a new way. The book is an international bestseller! I read the Swedish translation called “I grunden god“. The author is Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian. The English title is “Humankind: A Hopeful History“.

If you, like me, feel guilty when you are lazy and “only” read a book, I can warmly recommend this book. It really makes a difference to understanding!

A healthy walk in a palace environment

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. 

In the park there is also a Chinese-style pleasure pavilion with an aviary. China Castle, together with the entire palace complex on Drottningholm, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You can find more on the Drottningholm Palace at: https://www.kungligaslotten.se/english/royal-palaces-and-sites/drottningholm-palace.html

Feel free to visit my website. The WordPress reader does not display my image galleries!

A short city walk

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! 🙂

Santa Claus is coming to town!

The tradition of sending Christmas cards started in Britain in the 1840s.  The practice of sending Christmas greetings on colored postcards soon spread both to the United States and via Germany and Denmark to Sweden. In Sweden, it became popular to send Christmas cards at the end of the 19th century and the tradition is still very popular. With her very popular Christmas card motifs, the artist Jenny Nyström gave us the image of the Swedish Santa Claus, Christmas presents and a Christmas tree (jultomten, julklappar och julgranen). My sons and I have a tradition of creating our own Christmas card, perhaps a little less traditional or at least with a more modern motif. This year’s Christmas card shows how Santa takes over Stockholm city.

Picture by @adamfored 🙂

This year’s crayfish party

The first time crayfish is mentioned in Swedish gastronomy is in a letter from king Erik XIV dated 1562. King Erik grew crayfish in the water-filled moats around Kalmar Castle. Crayfish were not eaten whole and cold as they are today. Kajsa Warg’s cookbook from the 18th century contains old recipes on how to make crayfish cake, crayfish sausages and stewed pans with crayfish tails. The crayfish party (Kräftskivan), as we know it today, was formed during the first decades of the 20th century. Since then, it has increased in popularity, and today it is one of the holidays associated with Swedish identity and Swedishness.

Previously, crayfish fishing was only allowed from the first Wednesday in August, but the fishing ban was lifted in 1994. Most people still choose to start eating crayfish in early August. The ideal August night is warm and tender, just perfect for a traditional crayfish party. All you need is some friends, a heap of freshly boiled crayfish, dill, Västerbotten cheese pie, some beer and schnapps, and funny drinking songs.

The other night we had our crayfish party under the awning on the patio in my townhouse garden. My love, my sons, and me. It was a hilarious and lively party! Now, I’m looking forward to a sour herring party.

A romantic castle

There is so much to experience not too far from home. Yesterday we made a car trip to the town Mariefred some 60 kilometres west of Stockholm. Mariefred means “Peace of Mary” and the city got its name from a former monastery “Pax Mariae” which was the only catholic Carthusian monastery in the Nordic countries, and one of the last established monasteries in Sweden before the Reformation.

The monastery was built on the hill where Mariefred’s church is now located, opposite Gripsholm’s castle. The monastery church was inaugurated in 1504. Above ground, there are no remains from the monastery today. The king Gustav Vasa, who led the Protestant Reformation in Sweden, had the buildings demolished and the brick was used when the Gripsholm castle was built.

On the shores of Lake Mälaren, the Gripsholm castle is towering powerfully and fairytale-like over the idyllic small town of Mariefred. Gripsholm is known as Gustav Vasa’s castle, as it was he who built the castle here in 1537. Since Gustav Vasa, Gripsholm has belonged to the Royal Family and is part of the Crown palaces in Sweden. In 1773, Gripsholm Castle was renovated by King Gustav III. The perhaps most famous addition to the castle during his reign was a theater, which was added in one of the castle towers.

In 1822, the building came to host the National Portrait Gallery which contains a collection of portraits of prominent Swedes from the 1500s to the present. Each year the Gripsholm Society commissions and donates portraits of internationally prominent Swedish citizens to the collection. Many portraits are the work of renown Swedish artists. Now the castle is a museum which is open to the public.

The love of swimming!

Since long, I am well known as a ”bathing coward”. Google translate doesn’t translate the Swedish word “badkruka”, but I am talking about outdoor swimming in cold waters, I didn’t use to appreciate it. Mostly, it’s rather chilly in the waters of the Baltic sea. Ever since I got a boat of my own, gradually I’ve had to learn to appreciate swimming in cold waters.

Like most of Europe, in recent weeks we have had high pressure weather and a heat wave. The water in the sea has become really comfortable. This weekend, it didn’t take much courage to swim. I could even wash the water line!

https://fored.se/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/IMG_7714.mov

Pictures by Carolina Källgren.

In Our Pasture

Contrary to what some domestic and foreign politicians believe, we in Sweden have taken strong measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the population. The future, when the pandemic is over, will tell us which actions around the world were the most effective. This year’s National Day celebration was different. Among other things, a distance choir was formed with more than 700 participants to welcome the summer and together sing “Uti vår hage”.

“Uti vår hage” (“In our pasture or meadow”) is a traditional Swedish folk song first published around the 1880s, though it is considered to have origins as far back as the 1600s. The song is well known in Sweden, frequently performed by choral groups. It belongs to the national song treasure, the most popular arrangement being by the composer Hugo Alfvén in 1923. An English translation of the lyrics can be found at: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/uti-vår-hage-our-pasture.html

I attended the big choir as a bass as well as tenor. A video of the recording can be seen at the Facebook wall of the radio program “Klassisk morgon” (Classical morning) at channel P2.

You probably need to log in to Facebook! 🙂

Flourishing love.

When I browse my own Instagram site, I see many pictures of flowers. There are also quite a lot of flowers here in my blog. I appreciate flowers, I love flowers! Now it is spring and there are more and more flowers everywhere.

Spring brings out all the beautiful flowers! Flowers are created by nature. It is true that what is created by nature is beautiful. Humans are also created by nature! Spring also brings out the beauty in people.

This year’s spring has been cold. Finally, the heat came and my camera had to follow me on the weekend’s walks. I saw spring flowers and my beautiful love.

Communicating love

Whenever we want to communicate, we are usually anxious to be understood and to understand. Why do we overlook this when we try to communicate love? Is inner fear hindering us, or are there simply different languages of love? Do we talk past each other because we have different languages?

Do you think your partner doesn’t understand you? Do you know what you need to understand love expressions? Have you thought about what makes your partner feel love? How do you communicate love with each other?

I like manuals of living! They make me think and sometimes I learn. I stumbled across a book by Gary Chapman that describes a theory about the different languages of love. Broadly speaking, there are five love languages: “Affirmative Words”, “Time Together”, “Gifts”, “Services”, and “Physical Touch”.

The book has been translated into Swedish and is called “Upptäck kärlekens olika språk“. The original title is “Five Love Languages”.
The photographs are from a walk recently in Nacka outside Stockholm.

Forget the modesty!

You can really wonder why I’m blogging and why I’ve started posting about my feelings on the internet. This website started out as a kind of photo blog just because I wanted to learn blogging. But, honestly, I actually find photo blogs without text pretty boring even if the pictures may be really nice. Not all pictures do tell more than a thousand words!

To me, a blog isn’t like posting on Facebook or Instagram. I confess I’m posting there to get many likes! On this blog, however, I can see the viewer statistics and where you viewers reside but nothing more. If you are a WordPress user and likes a post, I can see your feedback, but I allow likes also from anonymous viewers.

Lately, I have written about my experience of falling in love, for me in a new and fantastic way. It is possible that I shouldn’t write about such things, but I feel strongly that I want to share. It might help some, somewhat chubby men in their best years, to believe in love. Who knows, maybe it helps even more, who are looking for that great love.

Anyway, in order to blog about emotions, I have had to move outside my comfort zone, and have had to put my shyness or modesty aside. So far it has been fairly painless but I have not really received any response to what I have written, except from her whom I love and who loves me. So, you my few readers, don’t be shy, log in at WordPress.com before liking, and please comment! 🙂

The pictures again are photos from 2017 that I like including people I love.

The language of love

There is saying “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. In love relations this seems safe and easy, and you will probably get what you want in return. But imagine if you act completely unaware of the other’s wishes. Then you might become too selfish, simply a jerk. No one wants to be like that, right?

I’d rather say “Treat others the way they want to be treated”. I enjoy being responsive, loving and generous but risk being perceived as too soft and without my own will. Fortunately, that’s a risk I’m prepared to take, and it seems to pay off!

I now know that there is a love for each of us. You just have to give yourself time to understand what you are longing for. How to treat each other is an essential part of the language of love. When you have met your love, and when you speak the same language of love, then you know that you have found the one you do not want to live without.

The three first pictures are from the Pride parade in Stockholm, and the last is from Regent’s Canal in London.

Sustainable love

It is really not sustainable to give up the belief in love. I am absolutely convinced that love even can last a long time. The vast majority of my friends do live with love in long-term relationships. Yes, I know it may not always have been a dance on roses, but still, they stick together and seem to appreciate each other.

Nowadays I feel completely convinced that there is a wonderful person also for me. A great and loving woman whom I appreciate and who can appreciate me. I am an incurable romantic and believe we can find a love that is genuine, in which I and she recognize each other for who we really are — as wonderful, not entirely flawless, but loving human beings.

The photos in this post are various old ones from my Lightroom library.

The winter rest has begun.

The fourth season with my boat is over. It’s been a great boating season, the Stockholm archipelago is really amazing and discovering it by motorboat suits me perfectly. The boat has everything needed for a holiday and with a reasonably large crew you have comfort. With just two on board, it is pure luxury!

It has never been the idea of having a boat, but on the longer archipelago trip, I had new company, even this season. If I were the least superstitious, I would think that there is a curse on the boat when it comes to companionship. It doesn’t matter, I love the boat anyway! Mange and Lollo, and my sons are happy to come along.

At the end of the summer, I gathered the courage to spend the night alone in a natural harbor, but instead I ended up with Anita and Staffan at a cozy barbecue party at Vega Segelsällskap’s club island. If you take the boat trip as it comes then wonderful things happen!

Mange, as seen in the pictures, helped me pick up the boat. Now the boat will rest over the winter. Next spring I will make her shine nice again. If you think you can stand up to a middle-aged skipper who thinks too much, get in touch!

Righteousness and prejudice!

Electric bicycle, it’s cheating! Ever since I started commuting to work on an electric pedal bike, I have encountered prejudice. The cheating accusations kick off my guilt and shame issues, and I get sad whenever I proudly tell someone that I have started commuting by electric bike, and hear that it is cheating. How’s that cheating?

Either way, now I’ve been commuting on my electric bike for a month. Previously, with my regular 24-speed bike, I have not been able to maintain bike commuting for such a long period.
It is great fun! I get lively and happy! I am proud of myself!

I think, that’s how I am!

Adam, my youngest son used to tell me I was thinking too much. Nowadays he is also a thinker.

I wonder if it is bad to think too much. What is too much? Does it apply to all kinds of thoughts? Isn’t thinking a human tool that generally is far too little used?

Okay, I think a lot, maybe too much. But, I like to think. That’s how I am!

Musical joy!

Last night I was at a gig. Both my sons played in the band Gobi Jerboa. The music is really good but they haven’t quite made it through yet. The music can be listened to on Spotify.

I had the camera with me and took some pictures. It is often difficult to shoot at gigs, especially when the venue is small and lighting is far from professional.

Enough with complaints and apologies. I have collected the best pictures in a gallery below.

Trust and confidence

Trust and confidence are essential in close relations with love. Consider the many oddities we humans are devoted to in order to avoid closeness. Do you know the expression “alone is strong”? What a nonsense! Alone is afraid of intimacy.

The other day I had the confidence to watch the marina. In the boat club we share the responsibility to watch each other’s boats. Together we become safer. We trust in each other. Compare this to a single boat in a small private dock. Independent, yes but insecure.

Midsummer mystique!

Last Friday, in Sweden we celebrated Midsummer Eve. It is an important feast that some people think would be Sweden’s national day. It is celebrated on the night before Midsummer Day which used to be on June 24. Since 1953 it falls on a Saturday between June 20 and June 26. It is perhaps a problem that the day varies if it were our national day.
Also in Finland Midsummer is thoroughly celebrated, and the day varies.

Some say the feast has pre-Christian origin but the evidence is lacking. In the 300s, the undivided Christian Church designated June 24 as the feast day of St John the Baptist. The Christians brought the feast to Sweden in the 11th century. The word midsummer, on the other hand, appears to be pre-Christian, and was originally aimed at the beginning of the third quarter, a month later than the Christian Midsummer celebration.

In older folklore, Midsummer night was an important time. It was considered one of the most magical nights of the year, when nature was filled with supernatural powers. Amazing things were said to happen. The time was favorable to predict the future and love predictions were particularly popular. One method still remains, to pick seven different kinds of flowers to put under the pillow to dream of the one to marry.

I celebrated Midsummer in my sister’s summer residence in the Stockholm archipelago and made a boat trip with my sons. I forgot to collect flowers to put under the pillow.

Var har ni er? – Where do you have yours?

Vi har vår i luften! Solen skiner och det är 8 plusgrader ute. Det håller inte att sitta inne och jag har ju sagt att det är dags igen att komma igen. Jag tog med kameran på dagens promenad, i fall där skulle finnas en bild.

Jag drogs mot Edsviken. Där har jag min hemmahamn. Isen är på väg bort! Snart ligger båten i sjön igen.

Här är sportlov den här veckan. Jag har inte längre sportlov och längtar nu istället till vår och värme. Idag fick jag en försmak!

(Bilder med Nikon D500 och 16-80 mm 1:2,8-4 AF-S ED zoom. Framkallning från RAW i Lightroom.)