Saturday, 30 November 2019

1st Advent Weekend

The night between Thursday and Friday, and just in time for the First Advent Weekend, we had the first snow - followed by a sunny weekend. The sun has been a very rare sight here during November. Only perhaps 10 hours of sunshine all month (until yesterday). (That's the statistics from Gothenburg, and probably similar here.)

While it was still gray and dark and cold out (Friday morning), I stayed in and made saffron bread in my bread machine. The "real" tradition is buns of a special shape... 


 ... but once upon a time, when my neck and arm would no longer cooperate in such complicated projects, I settled for a compromise, invested in a bread machine, and adjusted a recipe for that. I don't get the right shape, but I do get the smell and taste of saffron... I cut the bread in slices, put them in the freezer, and then I can easily heat a slice in the toaster for my afternoon tea... (heating it in the toaster brings out that smell again)...

Friday afternoon I went for a short walk - wearing the studded boots I bought back in January. We did not get all that much snow, but the streets are very icy.

Today I felt braver, and went for a longer walk into town. It turned out Black Friday was still going on (in spite of it now being Sunny Saturday). I didn't buy anything I wouldn't have bought anyway - but as it turned out, I got 25% percent off on quite a long list of  prescription-free stuff I needed from the pharmacy. 

When I got to the square, that had been turned into a forest! Or, according to a sign at the entrance - a Santa Wish-List Labyrinth. 

In the middle, there's a letterbox where you can post your wishes.

In another street, I met Santa's helpers (I assume)

I did not have a wish-list for Santa's letter-box; but I have finished my outgoing overseas Christmas mail (to be posted next week). I'm now thinking I may have to consider also planting some trees for climate compensation...
The window star in my study

The tree on my balcony

Happy 1st Advent Sunday to you all!

I'll try to post a sort of Advent Calendar here from tomorrow until Christmas. One more or less "random" photo per day, from my trip back in summer - presented wordless, or with only a few words. Some of the images you may already have seen included in other posts, others not. My plan is to schedule these posts to appear in the mornings. (Some days there may be another post as well, if I find the time.)


  1. I have never had saffron bread, but I am sure I would like it. I like yellow rice made with saffron... good idea freezing slices. I freeze my pumpernickel bought bread, and toast it frozen. mother used to freeze slices of cake or pie like that. I really like the forest and the Santa and helpers made from trees are adorable. I would like to wander in the trees. but I would not like the lack of sun. we have 10 hours of sun per day here, comes up at 6:46am and goes down at 6:30 pm

    1. Sandra, right now the sun is supposed to get up around 8:30 (around Christmas/New Year 8:50) and go to bed at 3:25. However, most of November it has chosen to stay hidden all day under thick grey clouds...

  2. I like that first photo of your window with the star hanging in it, it looks very warm and welcoming. Saffron bread sounds like a great idea. I look forward to church tomorrow and seeing the Christmas trees there shining against the dark.

    1. Terra, 1st Advent is always special to me. This year the same kind of weather (as above) lasted the whole weekend and I was also able to go to a 1st Advent church service.

  3. Your Advent and Christmas preparations are always so beautiful! Like you, I want to post my cards next week - but unlik you, I have yet to write them.
    The labyrinth is great, I would have loved that as a kid! The first snow is forecast here for today. It certainly feels cold and looks grey enough for that.

    1. Meike, I still have all my Swedish cards left to write... :)
      Yes, I think the labyrinth looks quite fun. There was some discussion about it in the local paper, though - some art committee people being upset about it being arranged around a sculpture - a circle of huge stone chairs, standing there all year round. As in summer people climb on them and sit on them etc, personally I can't see that it would be a big sacrilege to hide/use them differently for one month in winter...

  4. All very Christmassy and wintry! I am glad to see one of your photos shows sunshine. I think I would find it really hard not to see the sun for weeks at a time, even though I know you're more used to the dark time than we are.

  5. I have occasionally been gifted saffron by friends visiting the exotic places from when it comes. Unfortunately my taste and smell receptors are completely inadequate to distinguish saffron.


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