Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 181

My white rose will soon bloom. Unfortunately I always get aphids on my rose when the buds come, so it is a constant war to be able to see the blooms before they turn into food.

For another update of the progress of Ebbas eye on Daniels blog.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 180

Ebba is having problems with an eye, injured cornea, and today was time for a next visit. This is Daniel and Ebba outside the veterinary hospital. For a closer look at Ebba after the exam, have a look at Daniels blog.

We are lucky to live pretty close by, and we took a walk there today. It was almost too warm for Ebba, but I'm still very happy that we have got real summer here. It is lovely!

Day 179

We got up fairly early in the morning and went to pick up Linus and Ebba, and then headed for the country cottage. As Daniel and I still have some weeks left at work before vacation, and Linus mother isn't working due to parental leave (Linus baby-brother), the every-other-week schedule is off right now. So we just thought we borrow Linus for a day even if it wasn't "our" weekend.

Daniel has a picture on his blog from the bathing in the lake that occurred during the day.

When we got enough of the sun for the day, we went back home, but stopped at an old royal castle in the countryside. It is now open to visitors, and they have a nice café where we had some ice cream. Linus also willingly posed for a couple of pictures, and I was really happy to have got this one! =)

Day 178

We spent the whole day on deck in the sun, watching the archipelago transforming to open sea and back to archipelago again.

The boats make a stop at Mariehamn due to tax-issues, for duty-free goods to be sold on-board (the island of Åland, where Mariehamn is capital, is not a part of the EU customs zone even though Finland is).

All these ships are on their way between either Stockholm and Turku, or the other way around, and all meet up at the same time in Mariehamn. There are two major cruise companies between Sweden and Finland, and then a third one that only goes between Stockholm and Mariehamn. That is the one we usually go by, so this ship was a new experience for us.

Day 177

It has been a quite busy weekend, and hence no update on the blog. But the camera has been used, and I will update with pictures for all days. Here is Friday to beginn with.

We left work early in the afternoon to catch the bus to Stockholm to go on a cruise to Turku/Åbo, Finland. It was Daniel and me, and a friend of ours. We met up with two other friends in Stockholm, before entering the boat.

Here she is, the Galaxy. Not a very good picture, as it is taken through a fence while she was turning to dock from her previous cruise, but it'll give you an idea of what kind of boat we went with. This is not only a crusie ship, she also takes on cars and trucks, so some people use it as pure transportation.

We had a very fun night with a delicious dinner and then nice drinks and dancing in the night club until the sun set (see the picture at the top) and suddenly started to rise again. I know I've said it before, but I just *love* these light nights!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 176

Another another sunny day... ;) It is soooo nice that the summer is really here! Both we and the cats are enjoying it.

We rode the bikes to work both yesterday and today, and it feels very healthy. Ebba and Linus are at his mother this week, so we have nothing to hurry home to after work. And as there is no Ebba that needs walks, we need the exercises in some way, hence the bicycling.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 175

Another sunny day. Daniels parents are almost living at the cottage by the lake now, and they called and ask us to come visit them when our work-day was over. We thought it would be a good idea to go there for a couple of hours, and on our way there we also picked up Linus and Ebba, as Linus mother lives on the way there.

Grandpa had already bathed, but he did it another time to keep Linus company. Linus didn't quite dare to go all the way into the water, but well above his knees anyway. Grandpa and he then sat for a while on the pier and splashed their feet in the water. Ebba was very busy looking for the small fishes, as usual.

Day 174

Summer is really here now, today was both warm and sunny. We decided it was time to go to the outdoor beer-gardens in the city center, to get some sun and refreshments. A couple of friends from work joined us, but Daniel and I were there first. When the weather is like this the beer-garden soon fills up with people, so you have to be there a little early to get seats.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 173

We sat calmly with the patio door open, watching tv, when suddenly tranquility was gone. Zelda came running through the door, screaming like only an angry cat can, with the neighbors cat at her heals. After some chaos we got the other cat outside again, with some minor injuries on me (don't mess with a pissed off cat!).

Apparently it had sneaked out from its apartment, usually it is on a leash in the garden, but now the owners was away and had left their patio door open. I got a picture of the cat while it tried to hide in the bushes, still having an evil eye on Zelda. The neighbors got home soon after and got their cat back where it should be. And everything is back to normal.

Ah, almost forgot.. Daniel has updated his blog today! =)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 172

More sun shine! We decided to walk down to big park almost in the middle of Linköping, where they have this big playground. Linus rode the whole way on his bike, played with a girl he met at the playground, and then rode the whole way home again. We are so impressed, and he didn't complained once. When we got home he continued playing football on the courtyard, so he really had a lot of energy this morning.

Day 171

At home again after midsummer celebrations. Ebba and I took a walk in our forest, and on the way back I decided to take a photo of our house. I really love that it is so close to go out into the nature, and still we live in an apartment five minutes by bike to city center. I love the sun shine too! =)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 170

Today is midsummer eve, and we will celebrate as usual at the country cottage. After preparing some last things at home we went there just in time to raise the tent on the patio before lunch.

As I told the other day, lunch on midsummer eve is pickled herring. Here with new potatoes, egg, cheese sandwich, sour cream and chives. I prefer the herring in sauce, and my plate here has two kinds; one with mustard sauce and one with shellfish and caviar. To drink is beer and snaps; a herb seasoned aquavit. This is really summer to me! =)

Here we are at the lunch table. Notice the sunny weather at this point.

The strawberry cake I talked about. Yum! We are eating it inside, as the rain is pouring down now.

And then we got sun shine again. Here is the Swedish flag on the cottage. Midsummer eve is a lot more like the national day to Swedes, than 6th of June.

As the sauna was finished a couple of weeks ago, it had to be used today too. And afterward the only way to cool down and get clean is to take a bath in the lake. It wasn't warm at all, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Later on we had a barbecue for dinner, with pork, new potato salad, corn, salad and salsa. It was delicious.

A couple of hundred yards behind the cottage, along the lake, is a fire place. It is very relaxing to light a fire there, and sit together looking out over the lake and enjoy the light evening and night. Fortunately the rain was long gone by now, and even if it was a little cold, we all had a great time.

This is our way of celebrating Midsummer eve! =)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 169

Last day at work for this week, now begins three-day-weekend. =) We went to the store close-by to pick up strawberries for tomorrow. These will be on a cake, to have after the pickled herring lunch. Strawberries are mandatory on a Swedish Midsummer eve!

Hope you all have a nice weekend!

Day 168

I've seen some of you are taking pictures from floor-perspective. It looks so cool, so I thought I'd give it a chance. I don't really know if I like my result, but anyway it gives another idea of the light evening. =) The picture is taken at about 10PM.

We had nice weather here today too. Daniel went to a little work get-together while Linus and I took Ebba for a walk and had dinner. After that we all went to the grocery store to do the shopping for midsummer eve. We thought it would be a good idea to do it a little early, as Thursday probably will have crowded stores. I think everybody had thought the same, as there were *lots* of people there. At least our shopping is done now.

Day 167

Our group at work, i.e. my colleagues and our manager, had a little get-together before summer on Tuesday evening. We started after work with disc golf. I've never played it before, but it was kind of fun. The weather was lovely, and we walked around in a forest, throwing the disc (or frisbee) and trying to get to the "basket". We only walked nine "holes", as newbies it took us some time searching for discs in the bushes. =)

After this activity we joined up at a colleagues home, where we did some barbecue and sat outside on his patio all night. As long as the sun was up it was actually rather warm, but later on it got colder and the mosquitos showed up. Anyway it was great to sit outside in the light night.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 166

We got a pretty good evening with sunshine yesterday, as soon as we got back home from Stockholm. Today started out with grey skies and wind, but after work the sun got through, and our evening walk with Ebba was rather pleasant.

The sun flares are a little addictive... :p

Day 165

Sunday continued with the bad weather from yesterday, but we didn't mind as we had another museum on the agenda; the National Museum of Science and Technology.

Above is BESK, Swedens second computer and, for a while, the worlds fastest computer.

Daniel in front of an old mechanical shop, around the end of the 19th century. The machines were driven by belts and shafts in the ceiling. Pretty smart.

The museum also had a mine gallery, to show how Swedish mining industry has evolved. There were even a "real" mine that you could walk down into, to feel the narrow and dark environment. Mine-work was definately a hard task 400 years ago!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 164

The whole week has been rainy, and the forecast was rain even for the weekend. So we decided to do something and went to Stockholm to visit some museums. We have been talking about that for a while, and this was a perfect occasion. Yesterday we booked a hotel, and this morning we went by car the two hour ride to our capital.

Saturday afternoon was spent at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, with lots of exhibitions. Very interesting. Above is me and a very old creature.

Daniel looking at some minerals.

There were lots of stuffed animals, both current and extinct. And lots and lots of birds.

The outside, quite an impressive building. As you can see the weather was not good at all.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 163

Mmm, these are our dinner tonight; blue mussels! We bought them fresh from our grocery store, and then Daniel steamed them with onion, red pepper, parsley and a little wine. I made some garlic bread and it all turned out delicious.

And this is the dessert; vanilla ice cream with strawberries, galia melon and mango.

I thought I should clarify some about the herring dinner the other night (lots of food pics now). For Easter and Christmas the pickled herring is just part of the smörgåsbord, with lots of other stuff (so you wouldn't have to stay hungry, Maike =). For midsummer it is pretty common to eat just the pickled herring with new potatoes for lunch, but later in the evening we will have a barbecue.

Day 162

I apologies for the terrible quality of the picture, but my cell phone camera doesn't do well at all in dark surroundings. I actually brought the compact camera, but discovered that it was out of batteries when I tried to take a photo.

Anyway, this picture is taken at a fairly new Dutch pub in town. We went there this evening with some friends to met up with one of the guys from work, who is currently working in Australia for a couple of years. Right now he is home on vacation, and quite a bunch of people from work showed up.

This pub have a lot of different draft beers, mostly Dutch and Belgian but also from local Swedish micro breweries. If you prefer the beer on bottle there are also a lot to choose from. It was a very fun night out with lots of laughs and lots of yummy beer.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 161

Our evening meal; pickled herring with new potatoes, and a little snaps of course (always goes with the herring!).

We found a couple of new kinds of pickled herring in the grocery shop last time, that we just had to try. And as the Swedish potatoes from this year now are in the stores, we thought it would be a good idea to practice a little for midsummer eve. Pickled herring is a must for lunch on Christmas, Easter and Midsummer eve, but I like it a lot and find it good lunch food for any summer day.

Day 160

Moving-around day at the office. For some reason it was time to get a new spot to work at, and the moving started as soon as we arrived at work. As everyone was to change places with eachother, it became quite messy for a time. But now everything is in place again.

So this is my new view. As it is a open workplace all I see are my cubicle walls. I also have a guy in a cubicle next to mine, and he has the window view. I'm not very fond of these large open areas as they tend to get noisy. We sit 20 persons in my area. Our open area are kind of a trial, most part of the office still have their own rooms. Sometimes it sure would be really nice to be able to close the door!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 159

This is Ebba on our second walk for the evening. When I got home from work we went out straight away, but then the rain poured down. Not weather to bring the camera. But after dinner the rain had stopped and we almost had blue skies again, so I decided to go on another walk. It was a little cold, but so fresh and beautiful.

I tried to capture some waterdrops on the grass, but it was a little too dark, as I couldn't get the focus where I wanted it.

The same problem for this picture, but I couldn't help but sharing it. Isn't that the cutest nose ever? She sure has a face only a mother could love. =)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 158

Tonight we went to vote for the European Union election. It is possible to vote by mail beforehand, but I think it is kind of interesting to go to the polling place. Makes it feels more real. =) Our polling place was the school just a hundred yards away, close and convinient, and here is me outside.

Day 157

June 6th is the National Day of Sweden, but it is by no way celebrated like for example 4th of July or the Norwegian 17th of May. Most Swedes probably don't even know why we celebrate this day, and to be honest it feels a little made up; [it is to] honour the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523, as this was considered the foundation of modern Sweden (Wikipedia). It wasn't until 2005 that June 6th became a public holiday.

Anyway, it was nice weather so we decided to grill, and our neighbours joined us. As I made the table I thought I should incorporate some Swedish flags and yellow-blue stuff so that at least it looked like we celebrated the National day. =) We had a great evening with good food and drinks, and fun conversations!

We accomplished a lot earlier in the day too. As we have concrete walls it is not so easy to put things up, and we now had a lot of stuff that waited for the drill to come out. Today was the day, and a lot of things got done. This is our hallway with the new cupboard from IKEA with a key-locker above. Also the small racks with pictures on was mounted today. Finally the hallway looks done!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 156

Another rainy and cold day. Can't almost believe we have entered the summer months, it sure doesn't look like that. An afternoon walk with Ebba, through the sheep meadows.

Actually, there are lots of black sheep in the herd, but I think this picture kind of displayed _the_ black sheep.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 155

Linus mother and baby brother.

This afternoon all parents were invited to the Kindergarten for a little houswarming party and get-together before summer. They have moved to a new building just a couple of days ago, and the new place is really great.

Daniel and I joined with Linus mother and her fiancé, and everyone had a picnic afterwards. It rained all the time, but was kind of fun anyway. The picnic was moved inside, for obvious reasons. =)

Here the kids are singing a fun song that one of the teachers wrote about moving out. This is in front of the old Kindergarten. Linus is the one in the front row with the paper in his hand.

Day 154

Every night when either Daniel or I take out Ebba for her last little walk, Zelda is very eager to come along. She then walks a few steps behind us, and calls if we get too far away from her. It looks kind of funny to be walking both the dog and cat.

Tonight I had to bring the camera with me, as the night was so beautiful. This is around half past ten, but it is still light outside. Almost like on a cloudy day. These bright summer-nights never fail to amaze me!

Both photos are taken with our Canon 50mm/1.8, at 1/50 to be able to hand-hold it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 153

The wonderful warmth from yesterday was abruptly changed into less lovely weather today; 12C (53F) and occasional rain. I want my sun back! :o)

As outside wasn't too inspiring, I turned to inside for my daily picture. Zelda was a slightly uncooperative model but, after trying out different apertures, I settled for this one. I love the color on her eyes, slight green strokes. Zoey has yellow eyes like most cats I know, but Zeldas are completely different.

Day 152

This is the necklace that Linus gave me as a gift yesterday. So sweet of him, and he was so excited that he opened the paper himself while I took care of the scraps. And it fit perfectly! Sorry I don't have a picture of me wearing it, but the sunburn I got Sunday made it hard to have anything resting on my neck... :|

The weather was like high-summer, about 28C (82F) and sunshine all day. It was almost too warm to walk Ebba, she was all done after just a short bit, so we went home and had dinner out on our patio. Nice!