Published: April 25th 2009April 25th 2009
Another of the stone walls that I love.
Jeff's time in the lab is dwindling, and the benefit of that is more time to explore. He's been training to run the Stockholm Marathon (so one of us has gotten fit this year!), and has had many "foot miles" to explore this area. One of his favorite discoveries has been Särö Västerskog, a nature reserve that was once a summer place for Sweden's Gustav V. Just 3 1/2 mile from our place, it's a great hike over rocky trails and through woods that are remnants of the typical natural forest that used to grow all along the coastline. Jeff and I both love the "gnarly" trees...how they curve and bend to reach the elusive sunlight. I feel a bit like a gnarly tree myself, after the sunless winter!
We celebrated Signe's tenth birthday on April 22nd. Standard Swedish kid parties include invitations to the entire class, and there seems to be the same trend as in America where each party is bigger and better than the one before it. Alas, we kept within our own standards to celebrate and had 5 darling guests who acted just like American girls at a 10 year old's birthday party, sometimes sweet, often
squirrely. They had a great time dancing, trading pet shops and eating birthday cake. Our kids have done an excellent job making friends this year and Signe seems to have come blazing out of her shell.
Another strange phenomenon we've experienced this week involves the neighbors. They've spent the last two weeks building a new deck and privacy fence in their small back yard, directly across from us. The project was complete yesterday and we don't think the privacy fence is doing it's job! As they were cleaning up, one woman wore her bra (not a swimsuit that looks like a bra - and Mom, they don't have 13 PRIVATE acres in the country in which to roam around in their bra) and she's at least Double D status, with a tummy to match. The other woman was quite fit in her bikini top and short skirt, the problem arose (so to speak) each time she bent over (which was often) and revealed her entire buttocks with a thin strip of fabric going where none of us wanted to see it. The temptation to take photographs was strong, I knew my brother Tim would especially get a kick out
of it. However, human decency overrode the desire, so you won't see any postings. This morning, there was a big, hairy fellow sitting topless (not sure about the rest of him) just inside the "privacy" fence. Where was this entertainment during the dull, dull winter? I told Jeff that I'm missing the neighbor in St. Peter who showed me pictures of himself in his Speedo and often strutted around shirtless, proudly showing off his well toned physique.
This morning, Gunnel dropped off a taste of nettle soup for us. It's made with boiled nettle, which are the first greens to creep out of the ground in the spring, and it's a traditional Swedish soup eaten with boiled eggs. To me, it tastes a bit like collard greens and Emma and I both liked it quite well. It's not a semla, but I suspect it's far better for you. Jeff is off playing his first Swedish baseball game this afternoon. I hope Emma gets some good pictures of that! It's been an interesting experience, so far. Many of the players have never actually played baseball before, but enthusiasm is high and sometimes, that's enough.
There are more photos below