This is our headquarters in Stockholm. We are staying on Sodermalm, in an apartment, in a charming neighborhood, on the 5th floor, with lots of windows, cool breezes, and lovely views over the rooftops.
I am staying in Gilbert's room. It's the one with the guitar and ukelele's on the wall. Plus a garland of colorful circles. At night I dream of playing in the back of Mr. McGregor's garden. And having tea and cake with Peter Rabbit.
There were lily pads, with sides, that were the size of small boats at the tropical pavilion at Berianska tradgarden. I think there were fairies having parties on them. Invisible fairies. There were also lovely walking paths, around a body of water that was not a lake, but like a lake, in Hagaparken.
On Sunday we spent hours drinking the best latte's and messing around in our travel journals at Gilda's Rum. There might have been a slice of Ljuulig Notpaj with fresh whipped cream involved as well.
We did not totally abandon our exploring. I love trying to say the words on all the street signs. Out loud. Incorrectly. There are lots of people riding bikes in Stockholm. On the cobblestone streets. We were not among them.
And thus ends travelogue #3 from Sweden. Sweet dreams.
If you like textiles, and you find yourself in Stockholm, get yourself on over to the Nordiska museet. If textiles is not your thing, maybe you like table setting, doll houses, or folk art? If the answer is yes, you will be happy too.
They also have a lovely little restaurant where I had Morots Biffar med Bulgar Sallad och Yougurt. Oh. Oh. Oh. When you are in Stockholm you must eat adventurously.
When we hopped off the bus after lunch this Swedish trio was rocking it out and had the crowd smiling and moving to the music. Kind of like at the Farmers Market in Lawrence. Only not.
The day ended wandering through neighborhoods and looking over the water and watching a lady taking her parrot on a walk. Oh yes. We saw that. And so much more.
Strolling through Stockholm is a feast for the eyes. Down each alley, around every corner, it doesn't disappoint.
From the streets of Gamlastan to the allotment gardens on Sodermalm.
Traveling by bus and metro we are meeting the nicest people. From the man with the sleeping baby in his stroller who told us how to get to the place where we could purchase our bus passes, to the woman walking by who informed us the stadium we were passing was built for the 1912 summer Olympics. All helpful.
We are wandering with only a loose outline of a plan that can be changed on a whim. Stopping for meditation to allow all that we are seeing to properly anchor itself into our minds.
When you are reading this I will be just getting to Stockholm, depending on where you are reading from of course. I might still be flying over a big, big, big, ocean on my way to see things I have never before seen. In a country I have not set foot in before. I hope I meet a Swedish cat.
Right before I started packing to leave on Monday, in a final moment of artistic preparation for our trip, I did some practice sketching of a few scenes I want to try and capture while we are there. Expect to see a lot more things like this when I get home. In vivid color. In my travel journal that Mary Ann made for me and is bringing with her.
I am not sure how much blogging will be going on from Stockholm. I will be posting photos for sure on Instagram and will probably do at least several posts. I want to be present in the moment, experiencing this adventure instead of telling about experiencing my adventure, which can detract from the lived experience. That was a mouthful. But you know what I mean.
I do plan to take lots of pictures and tell stories about the people I see and the things we do when I get home. Mary Ann is going to be posting videos on her YouTube Channel so you might want to take a look at those if you are in need of some entertainment. Appreciate all your good thoughts for safe travels and no missed connecting flights!
We had a doozy of a storm the other night. The clouds started building up in the evening right after dinner and sometime in the middle of the night the thunder and lightning let loose. It made for a very adventurous drive in to work in the wee hours of the morning.
These kinds of storms that start in the evening always remind me of Angie. Whenever there was inclement weather in the area, she would call and want to know if I had to work the next day. Then she would tell me to drive carefully. And leave early. And wear my seat belt. And put a blanket in the back seat. And don't speed!
There was no trip to the market this weekend since I won't be here to eat a week's worth of produce. I settled for looking lovingly at my tomatoes. Including this one that will be ready for picking before I get back I am thinking. I hate to miss the first BLT of the season with our tomatoes but I will make do. In Stockholm. Eating something Swedish. And delicious.
I made a nice little arrangement for the table with my roses.
There is something very sweet about your own roses. In your mother-in-law's vase, on your mom's tablecloth, resting on the table that Great Aunt Alice refinished.
Then I added some basil.
Because the only thing that goes better with basil than tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, is roses.
All the dried poppy heads were cut down and brought inside in advance of the big rains we had recently. Taking great care, I might add, not to turn them upside down, to avoid all the seeds spilling out the top. I will take them outside later in the season and sprinkle them around, to increase next years crop. I left some of them out, uncut. The seeds from those will be easily dispersed by the wind.
Nine pictures might seem like a lot of images to take of the dried fruit of a flower. But seriously. They are so beautiful.
I fully intend to draw and paint some later this summer.
These are papaver semipervum also known as opium poppies. They are cultivated widely for a variety of purposes - medicinal use, for seeds which are edible, and of course for their beauty in the garden. I just bought a book about poppies. Can you tell from that last sentence that I just started reading it? It's full of information. For example did you know that opium is extracted from a latex substance produced in the fruit capsule? I didn't. Count on me to keep you up to date with anything equally fascinating I happen to come across in my reading.
I have been bitten by the gouache bug. Bit HARD. You can probably tell. Seeing as I have done show and tell 4 times in the last 7 posts, and prior to that there had been no show and no tell for quite some time because there had been no painting.
I have moved on from cake, beets, donuts, and peppers, to fruits. More specifically cherries and bananas. Not together. Not yet. This is my first attempt at cherry pie.
I started out with practice drawing ahead of time. Thanks sister for that invaluable little piece of advice. It helps me to figure out in advance which ways lines should go to give a slightly proper perspective.
Then I painted out the pie and threw on some paint until I was semi satisfied, then added just a bit more. Because I thought I should.
Once that was done I walked into the kitchen and spotted the banana. When your name is Carol, and you have just painted your first piece of cherry pie, you think there is nothing you can't do. So the banana it was.
Again there was practice sketching, then I drew the banana "for real" with a micron pen and painted the background first and then painted in the banana.
When Chris came home from work I told him I was probably going to do a whole series of fruits and have them framed to go in the dining room. He was extremely enthusiastic about the idea. He may have jumped up and down and did a fist pump even.