Category Archives: Photoblog

Quantum satis

There is a concept that is said to only exist in Swedish. The term indicates a satisfactory amount adapted for its purpose, neither too much that destroys nor too little that is not enough to achieve the desired result. I think it is called “quantum satis” in Latin, in Swedish it is called “lagom”. The English translation could be “just right” or “adequate” but the meaning is not quite the same.

Anyway, in love relationships, I’m way too kind and compliant. I have a lot of psychological explanations for this but they are not very helpful, and I’m not getting better at being “just right kind enough”.
Of course, it is a good quality to be kind, but it can be overvalued. Too much kindness can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but it can also be exploited, depending on the recipient. The risk being you focusing too much on the other person’s needs and ignoring your own, to be a better person and to be liked.

Next time I fall in love, again, I will really try not to be overly kind. I will try to focus more on myself, try to know my own priorities, and try to set reasonable boundaries. Now I have written about it in this blog and it is public. I cannot hide (and just be overly kind)!

Challenged to post 10 travel photos!

I also live on Facebook! There, my sister challenged me to post 10 travel photos without comments. Of course, I cannot say no, what would it look like, she is my little sister! Such luck that I then have this blog. Here I can publish which pictures I want and comment on them as much as I want. This post’s headline image is from a trip I made to Hälsingland, to a very dear friend’s cozy summer cottage by a small lake. It was a wonderful trip!

The picture above is taken by Tore Huseby. I’m riding a motorcycle on gravel roads on the Algarve coast in Portugal. A wonderfully challenging adventure trip in February four years ago. The nature was very beautiful, the weather was nice and the food and wine tasted fantastic.

The visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp was not as pleasant. I sing in a good church choir and we sometimes travel on choir trips. We traveled to Krakow in Poland and when we were there we took the opportunity to visit the Nazi camp. A very unpleasant but important experience, still!

I have also traveled with the choir to the Cotswolds in England. Although my favorite crime series “Midsomer Murders” is not from the Cotswolds, the feeling in the picturesque villages is the same. I will travel there again even though England is no longer Europe!

I recently had time for another trip to England before Brexit. I assessed applications for postgraduate education for the Wellcome Trust. The picture is from Little Venice, a district in West London, England, around the junction of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, the Regent’s Canal, and the entrance to Paddington Basin.

A few years ago, in November, I visited Grisslehamn in northern Roslagen. It is beautiful there even in the autumn. The picture shows the famous artist Albert Engström’s studio on a cliff very close to the sea. He had the house as a studio until his death in 1940 and it has been left untouched since then. It is a building monument since 1975.

My youngest son previously lived in Berlin for a few years. Me and the eldest son once went there to visit. It is not far between Stockholm and Berlin. I actually managed to make two trips there while it was still a divided city!

The motorcycle trip in Portugal gave more flavor and when the tour operator attracted me with a trip to Iceland, I joined. I had never been to Iceland and had heard that it is the nature in the wilderness that is worth the trip. We crossed the island on challenging gravel roads. It was an absolutely amazing trip! There is no point in building bridges over watercourses, so there were many cold, wet passages!

There are many trips to make and you do not have to travel far. I am lucky to live near the Baltic Sea and the Stockholm archipelago. To be able to discover our fantastic archipelago, I have bought my own motorboat. Nowadays, boat trips attract the most! The picture is from Stora Nassa in the outer archipelago.

Oops, there were apparently only nine pictures in this post! You must have a picture credited to my next blog post! 🙂

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 beautiful day with longing

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 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! 🙂

Preparations for Jul

Christmas is called “Jul” in the Nordic languages, or “Jól” in Icelandic. The word comes from the ancient Germanic word “jehwla” which is also linked to the Finnish “joulu”. Jul was celebrated as a holiday in Old Norse religion and the Germanic world long before Christianity. In the Nordic countries, the Christian Christmas was named after the pre-Christian holiday. 

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In Sweden, the holiday “Lucia” together with Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration. Lucia is celebrated on December 13. Lucia is a saint in the Christian tradition originating in Sicily. The Swedish Lucia is a mixture of both pre-Christian and Christian figures and this tradition has spread to other Nordic countries, and to some extent also outside the Nordic countries. It is a tradition to bake “Lussebullar” for Lucia. Very tasty wheat buns with saffron, raisins and often with almond paste. The pictures are from this year’s traditional baking.

Eventually it gets brighter!

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!

Experience the island Fjärdlång

Now that autumn has arrived, it is nice to remember this summer’s boat trips. Among others, we visited the island Fjärdlång in Stockholm’s southern archipelago. The island is first mentioned in 1442 having two farms. From 1533, the farms belonged to the lord of Tyresö castle. During the Russian ravages of 1719, Fjärdlång was hit very hard by burnt-down houses, slaughtered livestock, burnt crops and forests, destroyed boats, sheds and fishing equipment. The population survived by fleeing by sea in a hurry.

The island was bought 1802 by a skipper who became rich during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1909, Fjärdlång was owned by the bank director and art magnate Ernest Thiel. He had a magnificent dwelling house built, the “Thiel villa”, on a cliff with sweeping views of islands and the sea. After his son Tage Thiel took over Fjärdlång, it did not take many years before bad business forced him to sell to the state, and in 1986 a nature reserve was formed. Now the villa is a hostel, with the northern part of the island managed by the Archipelago Foundation.

Fjärdlång has several protected natural harbors, of which Mörkviken on the north side of the island is the largest. There is also a guest harbor at the steamboat pier. Whether you travel with your own boat or go out with an archipelago liner, there are cabins for rent, a camping site and the hostel to stay at, as well as a kiosk and a cafe. Once there, in addition to swimming in the Baltic sea, you can take nature walks over Fjärdlång’s dewy mountains and through pastures with curious sheep and cows.

Archipelago memories from Gällnö.

It is two weeks now since my long Swedish summer vacation ended. In many ways, this summer has been different due to the ongoing pandemic. Longer holiday trips have not been possible, but by boat in the Stockholm archipelago, the holiday has really been wonderful. We visited Gällnö, an island in Stockholm’s central archipelago. Gällnö has been inhabited since the days of King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. The island was ravaged by Danes in the 17th century, and during the Russian ravages of 1719.

Despite the proximity to Stockholm, a visit to Gällnö is as far from the stress of the big city as you can get. The well-preserved old archipelago buildings remind you of another time. Agriculture is still practiced and in the lush meadows the animals graze freely. The pastures are mixed with forest, cliffs and beaches. For those who want to explore the island properly, there are nice walking and cycling paths.

In the summer, Gällnö is in full swing. Guests come to the hostel from all corners of the world and the bay is filled with leisure boats. Stockholmers come out to their summer houses and the otherwise quiet village is transformed into a small metropolis with a bar, shop and café.

You can sit down to eat a piece of food or just have a glass of wine under the apple trees at the bar and the café offers home-baked bread and freshly roasted coffee. The shop ensures that you can get to Gällnö without having to drag the food from the mainland.

We anchored at Gällnönäs near a friend from Paris but who has lived on the island during the summer and regularly has led outdoor Friskis&Svettis exercise. If you know Swedish, there is a lot of information about Gällnö on the association’s “Gällnö Natur och Kulturstig” website: gallnostigen.se

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.

Blueberries of love

Berries taste good. Berries are good for body and soul, both when you eat them and when they are picked. Now is the time when the forest is full of blueberries.

I do not want to claim that I am a persistent berry picker. I’m not a dedicated forest walker either. But still, walking in the woods with good friends to experience nature and to pick the fruits of the forest, it really is a treat for the soul!

The love of well-functioning equipment!

This week I have been out with the boat in the Stockholm archipelago. I was accompanied by my love. When the summer weather is unstable inland, it is often much better out in the archipelago. This was also the case this time, even though the water temperature was a bit low at the beginning of the week. We had great weather and the water gradually got warmer! The evenings are especially wonderful. 

Cooking is not like home but you can always grill. As a result of the generally increasing security thinking, the limit when a fire ban is issued has been lowered. My “Son of Hibachi” charcoal grill is no longer considered safe. I have switched to a gas-powered camping grill that works really well quite unexpectedly. 

My automatic inflatable life jacket also works really well. In a moment of arrogance, I took a leap ashore and slipped on the slippery cliff and ended up in the water. The life jacket triggered perfectly. No harm done.

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!

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Pictures by Carolina Källgren.

Warm love!

Summer has really come to Sweden. We have a heat wave with temperatures above 30 degrees (Celsius). The weather was also exceptionally good recently during the important Midsummer weekend. Almost as if nature comforts us in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.

We had a walk on Djurgården, an island in central Stockholm. There, in the middle of the capital, you will find beautiful and soothing scenery with stretches of forest and meadows, in addition to historical buildings and monuments, museums, galleries, an amusement park, the open-air museum Skansen, a small residential area, and yacht harbours.

The Swedish monarch has held the right of disposition of Djurgården since the 15th century. We walked Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s love path in the forest area by the marsh “Isbladskärret” on the island’s northeastern part.
There was peace and quiet with cows, herons, trees and wild roses. Finally we reached the channel “Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen” and saw the TV tower “Kaknästornet” in the distance. The Royal Djurgården can be recommended, if you ever come to Stockholm.

More blossoming love!

This post contains no deep thoughts! I don’t have a lavish garden but my little townhouse lot with its small flowerbed was so beautiful tonight when I got home. My chest was filled with love like little bumblebees buzzing in there. I got the urge to take some macro pictures.

With compliments to Ernst Kirchsteiger

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.

Love and trust.

Trust is the foundation of love, and we can only truly love someone that we can trust. Love by itself isn’t enough, and really does not conquer all. I now know that I have to trust the one I Love. To have a healthy love relationship, I must have the guts to believe in my partner. Trust is necessary.

Trust is a feature of love. Trust enhances love. A real love relationship is built upon trust. If your partner tends to break your trust in any way, it simply isn’t true love. Building trust requires commitment, and trust must be maintained. Trust requires listening to and communicating both our desires and needs. Most importantly, trust requires honesty.

Once the trust is broken it is hard to avoid doubt and fear of trust and love being broken again. You become more cautious about whom to trust, and to love again. Fortunately, trust actually can allow us to love again! When you are aware that trusting someone is a risk, and when the falling in love comes with a hope that your lover will deliver on all the promises the earlier relationships failed to fulfil, you must dare to take the risk. That risk can create a wonderful, everlasting love!

Doing Stockholm!

I am rarely down town, even though I live and work near Stockholm city. This Christmas and New Year I had a little longer leave. It has been a wonderful vacation! I even had the opportunity “to do the town”.

Me and my lovely sweetheart had lunch at Medelhavsmuseet, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities. In the museum you will find Bagdad cafe, a delicious restaurant and wine bar. Tables are nicely placed among exhibition booths. 

We wanted to celebrate the day with a drink! Unfortunately, the bar at Katarinahissen was closed, but the view of Riddarfjärden, Gamla stan and Stadsgården was beautiful.

We went to the nice bar in Hotel Scandic Malmen and ended the day with a mouthwatering Mojito and a delicious Caipirinha!