Sunday, 26 June 2022

Seeking Shadow

More photos from my walk in the afternoon of Midsummer Eve. As I said in the previous post, it was very hot - and along the way, choosing where to go, I came up with the motto "no more than two minutes between shadows"... (phew)

Palm tree (in a pot), where I entered the city park.

One of my favourite sculptures, I keep forgetting its name but it makes me think of ancient 'magic portals' to other worlds...

The sound of the fountain in the river is refreshing on a hot day.


Nowadays it's possible to walk along the river about half the way between the city centre and where I live. (It wasn't always.) A blessing on a hot summer day - and all year round, really...


▲A pond belonging to some apartment buildings overlooking the river.▼


▲View from one of the bridges crossing the river. There are apartment buildings on one river bank (left); on the other side, the path splits, and you can either follow the river for a little bit longer (until the next bridge), or turn right, up a little hill to an old cemetery.▼


 

I sat down to rest for a while on a bench in the shadow.


 


I've kept walking around, along and across this cemetery almost daily for 14 years now - i.e. ever since I moved to where I now live. When going into town I walk either along or across it (and then I can choose from basically three different ways to continue). But the cemetery is also a really good place to just go for a short stroll - only a few minutes from home, away from traffic, and with big old trees providing shadow in the summer, and a variety of flowers to enjoy from spring to autumn. 

 

Linking to:

Shadow Shot Sunday 2


Saturday, 25 June 2022

Midsummer Bouquet

As forecast, we were hit by a heatwave for Midsummer Eve. I had thought of going to a traditional Midsummer celebration at our Open Air Museum in the afternoon, to watch some folk dancing etc; but I realised as soon as I got out that it would be too hot for me to walk there and back, with not much possibility to seek shadow along the way either. 

So I ended up going to the park downtown instead ("as usual"). No celebrations there - just other people also seeking shadow under the trees. And even the ice cream place in the park was closed. A small newspaper shop a block away from the park was open though, so I bought an ice cream lolly there - and then found a bench in semi-shadow in the park to sit down for a while and rest before walking back home.

One old Midsummer tradition here is to collect seven different flowers on Midsummer Eve - to put under your pillow at night, and then you're supposed to dream of your "intended" partner. Mostly practiced by young girls, I assume! 

As I suffer from hay fever, I certainly don't want any flowers under my pillow at night - but it gave me the idea to pick a digital Midsummer bouquet with my camera along my way...

Starting with a half-withered rhododendron. They've been magnificent during the past few weeks, but their time is over now. 

Including two photos from 5 June just to show you their days of glory:



Don't know the name of this one.

 

Nor this one.

 

Reflection in the windows of the closed restaurant and ice cream café.


Turning around for a closer look at that plantation...


"Picking" another flower for my digital bouquet...
But don't know the name of this one either!


Walking back home along the river I found some "wild" ones.


'Anthriscus sylvestris' - A plant with some alternative names, both in Swedish and in English. In Swedish, for unknown reason, it's known as hundkäx  - which by sound would translate 'dog biscuit'. Our word for biscuit is usually spelled 'kex', though. Interestingly, when I look it up, I see one of its English names is also 'keck', so the word probably has some other origin. Another English name for it is Queen Anne's Lace. I find that much more pleasing! (And it makes me think of Anne of Green Gables, who always made up her own pretty names for things...)


Leucanthemum vulgare
Ox-eye daisy or Marguerite in English.
Prästkrage in Swedish - which means 'clerical collar'

 

Ranunculus acris
'Smörblomma' in Swedish (=butter flower)
'Buttercup' in English too, I think!

 Well that'll be my seven...

But I also found someone else's bouquet along the way - already drooping in the heat...!

I think the temperature here reached about 29'C (84'F) in the shadow during the afternoon. Today, we're already there at noon summertime (i.e. 'really' just 11 am) so might get worse. There may be thunder later in the afternoon, though.

This morning I sat for a little while on my balcony after breakfast. It was already 24-25 in the shadow then. As the  balcony faces south-west, on a sunny summer afternoon it gets way too hot out there. And in the evenings - usually no peace and quiet...

So ironically, even though the scaffolding has been taken down and the workers are gone... It's still all doors and windows shut, and blinds and curtains drawn, most of the time!

Today, I think I shall probably find a slow afternoon walk under the big trees in the old cemetery enough!  (only a few minutes away from where I live)

Friday, 24 June 2022

The Rest of the Week

On Tuesday morning, I woke up early again because of a lot of noise right outside my bedroom window. More excited than annoyed by this, though, as it meant they were continuing the job of taking down the scaffolding... (Cf. my Monday post) 

 

I had a sneak peek out of the window now and then (and raised the blinds just enough for the camera lens to have a quick look too), but on the whole preferred to keep the blinds closed until they were finished... (Luckily my flat runs across the building which gives me a bit of flexibility... When noisy on one side, it may be quieter on the other.) Although I know by now that they probably know what they're doing, for an amateur onlooker it's still kind of scary sometimes to watch them dangling big heavy pieces of equipment right outside one's own windows...

On Wednesday, they had moved on out of sight for me, but kept working away; and by the end of the day, all of it was down and neatly piled on the lawn. Now I was just curious whether they would also remove everything before the weekend. And if so, if that would collide with my Thursday grocery delivery...

On Wednesday afternoon it was Laundry time for me again, and as the lift installers were still busy down in the basement, I took the stairs when going down to the laundry room. When I came down the second time, though, one of the guys told me that they were done now with the lift in my entrance, and I could use it. Some finishing 'cosmetic' touches inside will not be added until after the summer holidays, but meanwhile, it's functioning again. So I may have been the first tenant to give it a try. It does run a lot smoother than the old one (which was a bit jerky). And it Talks! A voice (female) now tells me what floor I'm on when the door opens... (Giving me the sensation of being in a skyscraper rather than a building with just 3 floors + basement...)

On Thursday morning I slept until around 8:30, and when I got up and looked out of the windows, I hardly believed my eyes: Every pile of scaffolding stuff was magically gone from the lawns, on both sides of the building! How on earth they managed that without waking me up, and in just around 1½ hours, I'll never know! (I suppose I've got rather used to a bit of background noise during these past few moths, though...) 

When the grocery delivery van arrived towards noon, there wasn't a single thing or vehicle in the way - and even the lift was working! 

Tuesday through Thursday, I've also been working on 'reclaiming' my balcony - removing the winter tarpaulin from my wooden bench, sweeping builders' dust off the floor, washing the outside of the living room windows, and even giving the inside balcony railing a bit of a cleaning. I've hung the strawberry boxes on the railing, laid plastic mats on the floor (it's a hassle getting it done as they have to be fastened so as not to blow away when it's windy - but it's so much nicer to have them there in the summer, as I can then walk out barefoot if I like), taken up my chair and a table and parasols from the basement storage. I wanted to get it all done before today (Friday) - not just because it's Midsummer weekend, but also because we've been warned that today (Midsummer Eve) we may be hit by the first major heat wave this summer. So I wanted to have my parasols and other things in place.  

 
Cherry tomato plant
 

First tiny strawberry getting red...



Today I woke up early and decided to get up rather than fall back to sleep. No tropical night had hit us yet, so the morning was still cool, and I decided to bake some muffins as well as make some preparations for lunch, so as not to have to bother too much about that later. And then I might also be able to put in a blog post before noon, before the afternoon sun hits the windows of my study... 

Whether I'll also go off on some kind of Midsummer adventure this afternoon still remains to be seen. It really depends on how fast and how much the temperature is going to rise... If weather forecasts are correct, it may be too hot for me to walk very far from home. (11:20 am -summertime- when I type this, and the temperature does keep steadily rising...) 

Well, "whatever"... For now, I wish everyone Happy Midsummer!


Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Squirrel

 

Met this little guy today on my daily walk around the old cemetery. I see squirrels there quite often but usually they don't stay around long enough for me to get the camera or phone out to take a photo. This one kept staring back at me for a while though! The squirrels we have here are the red European ones. 

Monday, 20 June 2022

The End Is Near

 
Another day with a noisy start to it - but when I got up and looked out, I was happy to see that one of the sources of banging and clanging today was that the roofers had at last started taking down the scaffolding. Yay!! :)
 
At noon I had an appointment with my hairdresser downtown, and when I got back home from that, I found that the staircase outside the window of my study was gone. And around 4 p.m. (the end of their workday), the result of a day's disassembling was neatly piled on the lawn below:
 
 
I guess it will be another couple of days before it's all down, from all around the building - but judging by today, I'd say it looks like they're aiming at getting it done before Friday (which is Midsummer Eve, and a work-free day for most people here). 

The lift installers probably won't be finished by Friday; but at least they're not in the habit of climbing about outside my windows... :) 
 

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