Friday, June 21, 2013

Midsummer Miscellanea

Today is the summer solstice and Midsummer Eve.

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It seems it was three years ago that I last went to watch a traditional midsummer celebration. I blogged about it in my first Picture Book blog here.

This year, I decided to do Nothing Special, which turned out to be just the right thing. Yesterday was very sunny and hot, and today started out likewise, but with rain showers and thunder forecasted for the afternoon. For once They were proved right… Here the downpour started at 3.30 pm on the dot. But by then I was safely indoors and had already taken in my cushions from the sunchair on my balcony.

I had also been out shopping early in the morning to procure my necessary supplies:

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I really can’t think of anything that better represents Swedish midsummer than fresh strawberries – even if I’ve been eating them for a week or two already ;)

Other Swedes might argue about that… They would probably want to keep the strawberries on the list (unless they are allergic to them), but they might want to add early potatoes, pickled herring and ‘schnaps’. Personally I never really liked pickled herring, and I don’t drink alcohol (it was never in our family tradition); so, being free to do as I please, I’ll just stick to the strawberries…

(Still no need to worry. I had chicken salad for lunch, and I do eat other fruit as well. You have to get used to my sense of humour!)

Here are some other random photos from the week:

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Sunset from my balcony, Monday 22:30 (10:30 pm)

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Two arms of the river coming together, just below a bridge I often cross when walking to the supermarket.

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Favourite view of the town, seen from the west edge of the Town Park.

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The first red waterlily in bloom (Town Park by the river)

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This morning I was up very early and caught (well…) the hare grazing on the lawn beneath my balcony. There was a rabbit as well, but it jumped out of the picture before I could snap it. There are plenty of wild bunnies living in the neighbourhood, but also at least one hare. (If there is only one – this is it!)

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“The early bird catches the worm” …

Plenty of magpies and jackdaws about when I walked to the supermarket a bit later. 

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And a white wagtail

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And I was chased by two seagulls swooshing down at me and yelling at the top of their voice… Not fair, at that point I did not even have the camera out!!

As I’m about to send this post off, there is a strong gust of wind slamming my balcony door shut, rattling the windows, and throwing rain and possibly hail against them… I’m so glad not to be outside!

 Smile

11 comments:

  1. so glad you got your berries and made it inside before the worst of the weather got there. i like that first photo of the berries, great shot of them. i could eat them every day and never get tired of them... love the arms of the river and the odd thing is, my favorite today is the blurry jumping and happy looking rabbit.

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  2. I want to be visiting you right abut NOW! LOVE those birds, especially the Magpies, there are none that I know of in our section of the country. LOVE the fountain, the river splitting into two, and the wonderful water lily!

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  3. Lovely pictures of your area, Monica!
    After you mentioned your strawberry-and-salads-diet the other day, I followed your example and got myself strawberries from the supermarket and ate them ALL in one day (divided into two meals).
    And I had more yesterday at my parents'!
    Didn't do anything special for Midsummer; it was a normal working day, went for a run with my friend after work and spent the evening with RJ, having pizza delivered (we were both too lazy to cook) and watching an episode of Misomer Murders.

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  4. Oh I enjoyed these photos. It must be so nice to be and about again to enjoy the outdoors.
    Those two seagulls were being very naughty...pity you didn't have the camera then!

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    1. It would take a brave photograper with a better camera than mine to take a photo of a gull diving right at you, Virginia... I suppose they had young ones nearby. Takes them a while to learn to fly. Soon they'll probably be out strolling about though - looking rather silly, but don't tell their parents I said that!

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  5. My appetite isn't what it was but your strawberries look really tempting. GB and I had an honorary uncle who used to mash them up with cream and sugar and eat them like that but I like to dip them in a bowl of cream and then - if need be but hopefully not - a quick twirl in some sugar. Delicious.

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    1. John, it's good to see you "out and about" again (visiting blogs)! Traditionally we often eat strawberries with sugar and cream, or icecream, too - and my mum always used to bake strawberry cream cake for midsummer (sponge cake with strawberry filling, covered with whipped cream and strawberries). Just now I'm on a diet trying to lose a bit of weight though... So this summer so far I've mostly eaten my strawberries au naturel. No problem - usually they are sweet enough in themselves.

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    2. I generally eat strawberries just as they are but I think my favourite way is what I know as Eaton Mess: strawberries with cream and crushed meringue.

      I'm rather envious of your hare photo. I'm not sure that I have ever photographed one.

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    3. Sounds delicios, Graham!
      I have managed a few photos of the hare in the cemetery nearby (I'm pretty sure it's the same one), always wonder how he ended up being urbanised... He seems lonely, don't think he's allowed to hang out with the little bunnies much ;)

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    4. I have photographed hares - for years I lived right by a field that had them in - but despite that I never really got a photo worth putting on the web. Yours is great - it's so active and just as a hare should be. Mine were either flat on the ground with their ears back (hiding) or a fuzzy blare that could be anything.

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    5. OH yes, and I meant to say thanks for ther strawberries card! How appropriate.

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