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Finding the home within and in this world

svenska | deutsch

In the days between the years I like to look back on the past year. I go over what I am grateful for, what challenges I encountered, what I am proud of, and what I would like to get better at in the future. And then I dream and think freely about what I want to experience next year.

A rich year full of unexpected answers that were there all along

2017 was an incredibly rich year – rich in experiences, meeting wonderful people, great views into the distance from mountain tops, and insights into the depth of my own being. In short: it was everything I wanted, because that’s what I live for. I decided to travel. For one thing, because I simply like to travel, but also because at the beginning of the year I did not feel at home anywhere. I wanted to use the trip as an opportunity to get to know myself better, find out what I wanted to do and find my new home.

I received the answers to my questions during the trip, much earlier than I had anticipated. And they were both unexpected and at the same time always there, deep down in my heart.

The biggest challenge

I discovered that I am both bolder and more sensitive than I thought. That I enjoy being visible, and that I can easily see the good in others. That I have so much to give, and that I can give the most when I follow the flow of the moment. That these are good qualities as a photographer, crystal healer and artist. That these are also good qualities as an employee. That I feel comfortable in all of these roles. That I like closeness and at the same time like to spend a lot of time with myself. That I can face great challenges. That I never run away from them, that I always want to master them. That, too, I think is a great quality. It gives me confidence to know that I can do that. But I also really enjoyed going the other way. The one on which everything flows with ease and joy. The path that makes my heart sing. The challenge here is to trust that all the practical details will be solved once we dare to commit to this path, even if we can not yet see how in the beginning. And that they can be solved with ease.

2018 – Focus on the path that makes your heart sing

Next year, I want to focus even more on this challenge. I want to do more of what makes my heart sing. Listen even more to the voice in me that say „Oh yes!“. With or without explanation. This is the way home on the inside.

The way home on the outer level has revealed itself to be part of this inner journey. Again, the answer was unexpected and yet it was there all along. There is a place that makes my heart sing when I think of it. It is a small town on the east coast of Sweden. Life is wonderful that way, isn’t it? I am very curious to see how everything will pan out in the new year.

If you have tips for me, which work place in Sundsvall and surroundings might appreciate my above named qualities, I would be very happy to hear from you.

Archie’s first Christmas | Photo Journal

EN – So this was Christmas. We spent Christmas morning in the tree house, drinking coffee, eating saffrons buns and exchanging gifts of course. Later that day we went to Jason’s parents for a fun and yummy Christmas dinner.

DE – Das war also Weihnachten. Wir verbrachten den Vormittag (also am 25.) im Baumhaus, mit Kaffee, Safransgebäck und natürlich Geschenkeauspacken. Danach ging’s zu einem sehr leckeren und entspannten Weihnachtsessen bei Jasons Eltern.

SV – Det var alltså Jul. Vi tillbringade morgonen (den 25 dvs) i trädkojan, med kaffe saffransbullar och julklapparna så klart. Senare den dagen åkte vi till Jasons föräldrar som höll i en väldigt trevlig Julmiddag.

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Frida & Archie

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Frida & Baxter
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Jason & Archie

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Archie with grandma Beverly
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Uncle Loyd

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Jason with Archie, uncle Lloyd, Jason’s dad Cedric
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Archie with „auntie“ Jenny

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Jason, Archie and Tina

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Uncle Lloyd and Cedric

 

Hastings, New Zealand | Photo journal

EN – This is what it looks like at Frida’s & Jason’s. Frida is a friend I met when I lived in Sundsvall, Sweden. We worked together for two summers, then she went to travel and work in New Zealand, and then she didn’t come back. I can kinda see why.

DE – So sieht es hier bei Frida und Jason in Hastings aus. Frida ist eine Freundin, die ich in Sundsvall kennen gelernt habe. Wir haben zwei Sommer lang zusammen gearbeitet, dann ist sie mit einem Travel and Work Visum nach Neu Seeland gegangen – und dann kam sie einfach nicht zurück. Kann’s irgendwie verstehen.

SE – Såhär ser det ut hos Frida och Jason. Frida är en väninna jag träffade i Sundsvall. Vi jobbade ihop under två somrar, sedan åkte hon till Nya Seland för travel and work, och sedan kom hon helt enkelt inte tillbaka. Jag kan liksom förstå henne.

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Archie (short for Archibald Ragnar) doing what he does best: being adorable.

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Baxter

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Frida got a set of the Swedish game kubb. To the right: Frida’s friend Ann Sofi from sweden.

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Yours truly, enjoying the garden.

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Jason built a tree house. A pretty cool one, too.

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Cheers to the universe!

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Frida and Ann-Sofi, making Swedish lussebullar (saffron buns).

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Frida turning 30.

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Archie loves his swimming lessons. I got to watch and take pictures.

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Sheffield, Tasmania (AU) | Photo journal

DE – Bin seit einer Woche in Sheffield auf Tasmanien (oder „Tassie“, wie die Einheimischen sagen). Ich wohne bei dem Bruder meiner Freundin Lisa und seiner Familie. Es ist ein schönes Gefühl, von Menschen, die ich eigentlich gar nicht kenne (wir haben vor meiner Ankunft einmal kurz geskyped), so herzlich aufgenommen zu werden. Danke Em & Jan! Und so sieht’s hier aus.

EN – I’ve been in Sheffield, Tasmania (or „Tassie“, as its called by the locals) for a week now. Staying with my friend Lisa’s brother and his family. It’s a wonderful feeling, being welcomed so warmly into the homes and lives of people even though we didn’t know each other (we skyped once briefly before I came here). Thanks Em & Jan! And this is what it looks like.

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EN – My hosts have a nice garden with lots of flowers and veggies. This is an after picture from the other day when I dug up the weed on one of those beds. Maybe I should have taken a before as well … | DE – Meine Gastgeber haben einen schönen Garten mit vielen Blumen und Gemüse. Ein Nachher-Bild von neulich, als ich ein Beet von Unkraut befreit habe. Vielleicht hätte ich auch eines vorher machen sollen …

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Globe artichoke | Artischocke
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EN – I lovelovelove calendula, so I am thrilled to find it everywhere around here. | DE – Ich liiiiebe Ringelblumen. So toll, dass sie hier überall blühen.
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EN – Jan’s workshop. He built it himself (he’s a carpenter). The little cabin where I’m staying is right behind it. I love how you can see the mountains pretty much wherever you are. They’re always right there at the horizon. | DE – Jans Werkstatt. Er hat sie selbst gebaut (er ist Schreiner). Die kleine Hütte, in der ich wohne, liegt direkt dahinter. So schön, dass man Blick auf die Berge hat, egal wo man sich befindet. Sie sind immer am Horizont zu sehen.
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EN – They have very tasty honey here on Tasmania. | DE – Superleckeren Honig gibt’s hier auch.
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EN – I’d like to think that some of it comes from this tree. Who knows. | DE – Mir gefällt die Vorstellung, dass er vielleicht gerade hier in diesem Baum entsteht. Wer weiß.
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EN – Sheffield is also dubbed the town of murals. This one’s by the fruit and veggie shop that has a nice selection of local and organic produce. | DE – Sheffield ist auch als Stadt der Wandmalereien bekannt. Das hier ist am Gemüsehändler, der eine schöne Auswahl an lokalproduziertem Biogemüse und -obst hat.
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EN – There’s a really community garden where anyone can come and participate. Emily and I went there this morning and planted some of her seedlings. | DE – Es gibt einen tollen Gemeinschaftsgarten in der Stadt, bei dem jeder mitmachen kann. Emily und ich waren heute Morgen dort und haben ein paar ihrer Stichlinge gesetzt.

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EN – Like I said, I love how you can see the mountains everywhere. | DE – Wie gesagt, schön, dass sie von überall zu sehen sind, die Berge.

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EN – Also love the pretty houses. | DE – Auch die hübschen Häuschen hier gefallen mir sehr.
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EN – And the vintage feel of the signs of the stores. Small town charme. | DE – Und der Vintage-Look der Schilder an den Geschäften. Kleinstadtcharme.

 

 

 

A-R-A Lichtzentrum | Photojournal

DE – Am Samstag hat das Amritabha-Team einen Mini-Urlaub im Schlaraffenland gemacht. Benira und Rano Niederberger vom A-R-A Lichtzentrum in Biel hatten uns eingeladen. Ausflüge sind ja immer was Feines, aber das hier war wirklich etwas ganz Besonderes. Beniras und Ranos Lichtzentrum (was gleichzeitig auch ihr Zuhause ist) ist eine richtige Oase und die beiden sind unglaublich herzlich. Wir wurden verwöhnt mit Kuchen, Hugo, Grillbüffet – natürlich alles von Hand zubereitet. So schmeckt Liebe! Eine kleine Wanderung haben wir auch gemacht. Da Worte der Schönheit dieser Begegnung gar nicht gerecht werden können, höre ich jetzt einfach mal mit dem Schreiben auf und zeige euch lieber Bilder.

EN – On Saturday the Amritabha team went on a little trip to paradise. Benira and Rano Niederberger of the A-R-A light center in Biel, Switzerland had invited us over. Going places is always fun but this was really something special. Benira’s and Rano are just the sweetest people and their light center (which is also their home) is a true oasis. They pampered us with cake, drinks, barbecue – everything homemade, of course, and you could definitely taste the love. We even managed to squeeze in a little hike into the afternoon. Since words can’t even begin to describe the beauty of this encounter, I’m just going to stop writing now and let the pictures do the talking.

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DE – Lichtzentrumsleiter des A-R-A und unsere Gastgeber an diesem Tag: Benira & Rano.

EN – A-R-A light center managers and our hosts that day: Benira & Rano.

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DE – Zuerst gab es Zwetschgenkuchen und für mich noch einen Wespenstich dazu. Dem Trick mit der Zigarette war ich ja erst etwas skeptisch gegenüber, aber er funktioniert.

EN – We started with cake, I topped mine off with getting stung by a wasp. I was a little unsure about the cigarette antidote at first but it worked.

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EN – So much light! Fe San & Benira.

20170715_14-46-13ARA_SchweizDE – Sina gibt u. a. das Seminar Das Innere Kind – Verlieb dich in dich selbst!, an dem ich letzte Woche teilgenommen habe. Da werde ich auch noch was zu schreiben, obwohl unsere Gesichter in diesem Bild eigentlich schon eine gute Zusammenfassung sind.

EN – Sina has created a wonderful inner child workshop, which I took last week. I’ll write more about that but really, the expression on our faces says it all.

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DE – In so einem Paradies darf eine Katze natürlich nicht fehlen.

EN – It wouldn’t be paradise without a cat.

Interlude – Der Spaziergang | Our little hike

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DE – Die drei SSS. Samor ist der andere Kurzzeitmitbewohner in Amritabha. Abgesehen davon, dass wir beide die gleiche Schuhgröße haben und gerade als Nomaden durch die Welt ziehen, sind wir recht unterschiedlich. SoLa arbeitet im Büro von Amritabha und nennt uns ihre Kinder. Seit sie vor ein paar Wochen ein iPhone gekauft hat, sind solche Bilder hier von ihr eine Seltenheit geworden. Die sehen jetzt meist eher so aus …

EN – Triple SSS. Samor is the other short term house mate here at Amritabha. Apart from the fact that our shoes have the same size and that we’re both nomads traveling the world we’re pretty different. SoLa works at the Amritabha office and calls us her kids. Ever since she got herself an iPhone a few weeks back, pictures like this have become rare. Most often they look like this these days …

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DE – Ich kenne ja auch das Gefühl, an jeder Blume stehen bleiben zu wollen, um sie mit der Kamera zu verewigen.

EN – I can relate, though. Wanting to stop at every single flower and capture it with my camera.

Wieder zurück | Back again

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DE – Im Garten von Benira und Rano gab es auch jede Menge Pracht, die bewundert werden wollte.

EN – Benira’s and Rano’s backyard yielded a ton of pretty that wanted to be admired, too.

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DE – SoLa durfte Brombeeren Pflücken. Sie waren Sina wohl doch nocht „etwas“ zu sauer.

EN – SoLa got to pcik some boisenberries. They may still have been „a tad“ too sour for Sina’s taste.

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DE – Diesmal servierte Wandana schnell das Gegengift: Hugo.

EN – Wandana was quick to get the antidote for this one: Hugo.

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DE – Leben wie Göttin im A-R-A. Hieran könnte ich mich glatt gewöhnen.

EN – Livin‘ it up at the A-R-A. I could get used to this.

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DE – Wie gesagt: ich könnte mich dran gewöhnen. Danke, Benira und Rano. Es war ein sehr schöner Tag mit und bei Euch! Ich glaube, ich habe mich ein bisschen verliebt. Nicht nur in die Hängematte. Ich habe den Verdacht, der Tag wäre kein Gramm weniger schön gewesen, wenn ihr uns nicht so verwöhnt hättet. Schön, dass ihr es trotzdem getan habt.

EN – Like I said: I could get used to this. Thank you, Benira and Rano. It was a lovely day. I think I’ve fallen in love a little bit. Not just with the hammock. And I have a feeling the day wouldn’t have been one bit less lovely even if you hadn’t spoiled us the way you did. Thanks for doing it anyway.

 

May | Mai

ENGLISH – A little recap in pictures of the month that just swooshed by. I spent most of it with my friend’s La and C. in Tollered, Sweden outside Gothenburg. Summer in Sweden is really something, and we were blessed with sunshine galore. The wedding of La and C. made this particular May extra special, of course.

DEUTSCH – Eine kleine Zusammenfassung des Monats, der einfach nur so vorbei gerauscht ist. Ich habe die meiste Zeit mit meinen Freunden La und C. in Tollered verbracht, einem kleinen Ort bei Göteborg. Sommer in Schweden ist wirklich etwas besonderes und wir wurden reichlich mit Sonnenschein gesegnet. Die Hochzeit von La und C. hat diesen Mai natürlich noch besondererererer gemacht.

Tollered, Sweden

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Hamburg, Germany

ENGLISH – The day after the wedding I took the train to  Hamburg. It was my friend Conny’s birthday on Monday, and since we’ve been living so far apart for the past years, I really wanted to be with her on her special day. And yes, those are cinnamon buns, but no, I can’t claim any credit for them.

DEUTSCH – Am Tag nach der Hochzeit ging es weiter nach Hamburg. Connys Geburtstag war ja am Montag und weil wir die letzten Jahre so weit voneinander entfernt gelebt haben, war es mir diesmal wichtig endlich mal wieder an ihrem Ehrentag dabei zu sein. Und ja, das sind Zimtschnecken, aber nein, ich kann mich leider nicht mit diesem Federn schmücken.

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Stade, Germany

ENGLISH – Next I returned to my grandpa’s house once more. Unpacking and repacking. And enjoying the flowers in the garden!

DEUTSCH – Als nächstes bin ich noch einmal zum Haus von Opa zurück gekehrt. Um aus- und umzupacken. Und die Blumen im Garten zu genießen!

Frankfurt, Germany

ENGLISH – Now I’m with my friend Lena. She has a light and lofty apartment, great taste and is very artistic. She lives in Bockenheim, and I really like the neighborhood with it’s cafés and little shops, a lot of them in pretty little courtyards. Lena once said to me that Frankfurt may not be the number one tourist attraction among the German cities but it’s a great place to live. That’s a pretty good description, imho.

DEUTSCH – Jetzt bin ich bei Lena. Sie hat eine tolle helle Wohnung mit hohen Decken, sehr guten Geschmack und eine künstlerische Ader. Sie lebt in Bockenheim und mir gefällt es hier sehr, mit den vielen kleinen Cafés und Lädchen, viele von ihnen in hübschen Hinterhöfen. Lena sagte mal zu mir, dass sie Frankfurt nicht zur Touristenattraktion Nummer Eins unter den deutschen Städten benennen würde, aber dass es zum Leben sehr schön ist. Das trifft’s ganz gut, finde ich.

PalmenGarten Frankfurt, Germany

ENGLISH – When I was little my parents would take my sister and me to the PalmenGarten sometimes. Can’t say that I have any special memories of it (I was a real homebody as a kid, I probably would have spent all my time in front of the tv if I had been allowed), but when I realized that it was only a ten minute walk from Lena’s place, I decided to go. I’m glad I did because I have become more of on outdoorsy person over the past years (it’s hard not to become one when you live in Sweden). As much as I love big cities and the liveliness in the streets, I feel like I need to see a little green every once in a while.

DEUTSCH – Als ich klein war machten meine Eltern manchmal Ausflüge zum PalmenGarten mit meiner Schwester und mir. Kann zwar nicht behaupten, davon besondere Erinnerungen zu haben (ich war echt ein Stubenhocker, hätte am liebsten meine Zeit vor dem Fernseher verbracht, wenn man mich gelassen hätte …), aber als ich entdeckte, dass er nur etwas zehn Gehminuten von Lena entfernt war, entschied ich mich ihm einen Besuch abzustatten. Bin froh darum, denn ich bin inzwischen doch auch zu einem Draußi geworden (es ist vermutlich unmöglich ein Drinni zu bleiben, wenn man in Schweden lebt). So sehr ich große Städte mit ihren belebten Straßen mag, ab und zu muss ich dann doch mal ein bisschen grün sehen.

 

Wiesbaden-Schierstein, Germany

ENGLISH – On Friday I visited my friend Line. It was about time: I finally got to see her baby, meet her fella, and see their apartment for the first time. Since the weather was great, and Line is a woman with a plan, this half-day was a mini vacation in itself: we walked down to the harbor, ate asparagus, took a boat down the river, got some ice cream, walked back, did some barbecuing on the balcony.

DEUTSCH – Am freitag habe ich endlich mal Line besucht. War auch höchste Zeit: habe zum ersten Mal ihre beiden Männer getroffen und ihre Wohnung gesehen. Da das Wetter weiterhin großartig war und Line eine Frau mit Plan ist, war dieser Nachmittag sowas wie ein Mini-Urlaub: Spaziergang zum Hafen, Spargel am Wasser, Bötchenfahren, Eisessen, Spazierganz zurück, Grillen auf dem Balkon.

Indestructible | Plant life

The deal with the house has felt so right and so real the whole time to me that making the down-payment (this past Monday) doesn’t even seem like that big of a milestone. The house has felt like ours the whole time.

Not even the fact that we’re still waiting for an appointment with a chimney sweeper (who, we hope, will tell us that everything is OK because otherwise things could suddenly take a turn towards pretty pricey …) can change that. Like I’ve been saying: I have come to the conclusion that I’d rather be excited about things than worried even if not everything is settled yet. If everything works out, then great – I did not waste any time worrying. If things don’t work out – then at least I had those moments of excitement and happiness. Anything can change at any time anyway, so.

The plants in our apartment, which we once again abandoned for a trip up north, remind me how powerful and amazing life is. If these little guys can bounce back like that, so can I if for some reason things with this house don’t turn out as I imagine …

Tuesday night …

… this morning (Thursday).

They actually looked a lot better already a few minutes after watering them.

I just didn’t really bother to take any more pictures until this morning.

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If I can just get one tomato from these I’ll be happy.

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Yes, that is a plant pot with the O’boy logo painted on. Don’t ask.

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More like mourning glory …

… morning glory!

Midsommar

So much is going on, and frankly I feel like I am going to burst if I can’t tell you soon. There’s just a few people I’d like to tell in person before I put it up here – and also, everything isn’t quite settled yet, so it’ll have to wait a little longer.

What I can write about, though, and post a few pix of is Midsommar (summer solstice), and our visit to Peter’s family in Sundsvall. Not too many, I’m afraid, since I took mostly pix of people and as you might have figured out by now, I am not too much into putting those on public display. Anyway.

Peter’s family had rented a house in Dalarna where we all met. I don’t think it gets any more Swedish than spending Midsommar there. It was beautiful, even the weather was mostly great.

We went to a local bear park with leopards, and tigers, and bears – oh my!

Neat to see these beasts without having to worry about getting eaten. But I always feel bad for these guys, and a little guilty for going to these kind of places …

We checked out a waterfall called Storstupet. On our way further north, Peter and I stopped to see a second, even bigger waterfall, called Helvetets vattenfall (hell’s waterfall). It was amazing – and I was camera-less, sorry.

One of the things we did in Sundsvall was visit Peter’s mom’s cousin, who lived in a really nice house with a gorgeous view of a nearby lake.

She had an adorable nine-week old cat that  just looked like a black blur in every single pic I took (didn’t want to freak him out with the camera flash). I managed to get a pic of the dog, though.

And there were lupins everywhere on the side of the roads.

Incidentally, I have been „addicted“ to lupin coffee ever since I discovered it at my sister’s (she bought it because it’s caffeine- and gluten-free, thought it tasted awful and gave it to me – thanks, sis!). I wonder if I could make some myself …

Not finding any recipes so far, but some interesting articles:

About the lupin bean

A Modern Herbal on Lupins

Funny: one of my thoughts when seeing these flowers way up there in the north was that they reminded me of the Mediterranean region – without having any recollection of having seen them anywhere I’ve been there. According to these articles, they do have their origin there.

Anyone know how to make lupin coffee? Lemme know, please!

Smultronstället | Sigtuna

Well, I am back. This past week was actually less stressful than I had anticipated. I think me and the other P. A. were actually the only ones with any free time at that convention. Here are some pix from Sigtuna (which was actually a charming little town, it’s close to the Arlanda airport, just in case you ever find yourself coming through there).

The main street. Lots of exclusive boutiques and cozy cafés. No Lidl around here, that’s for sure.

This was actually one of those cozy little cafés (rather: the coziest of them all). It was called „Tant Brun“, which means „Aunt Brown“. Everything was homemade, too.
Looks like a church – it’s the town hall, though.
This café/gallery along with a few other places were still closed. Guess tourist season hasn’t quite begun yet.
I was obsessed with the sky (and taking pictures of it) that day. Just look at it!
This building was part of the vandrahem/folkhögskola (sort of like a hostel but with a much better standard) where we stayed.

Smultron = tiny type of wild strawberries. Smultronstället = literally a wild strawberry patch but it’s also an idiom for a sort of „treasure“ place that is little known or underrated.

I can’t believe Tuesday will be my last day of work!?! When did that happen???

Straw bale house

Time flies by as always. I have an intense week at work coming up. My boss is participating in a conference, and I’m one of the two P. A.s accompanying her. We’re heading to exotic Sigtuna tomorrow, back Friday night if all goes well.

Before I leave (still undecided whether to take my laptop with me or not), I want to share some pix with you I took this week when Peter and I visited a Charlotte and Jan-Olav and their kids, who have built a straw bale house. I want one!!! Plus they had super-cute kittens. I want those, too!!!

This is how I like my country-side: rustic & idyllic.

Voilà – le straw bale house. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Love those windows, too.

I want to live here.

Really, I mean it. Right here.

 

Work in progress, the space to the right is going to be the kitchen.

 

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of blur fur …

… soft kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr.