Friday 31 July 2020

Red Water Lilies

Red water lilies (Nymphaea)

(Viskan river, BorĂ¥s, Sweden)

Weekend Reflections

Thursday 30 July 2020


Perhaps "delicious" would be the right word to use for describing some of the city's flowerbeds this summer...?


Looks like they're serving lunch here...

Can't say no to that!

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Life of a Clematis

'Baby' Clematis, July 2020

A few weeks ago, I decided to do some radical tree surgery on my Clematis Alpina plant that had been living on my balcony for 11 years. It seemed old and tired, with only some life at the top, but a meter or so of old bare branches below, also entangled with remaining dead branches from a another dead clematis already removed (it was another kind of clematis, less hardy than the Alpina). But also a little bit of promising new green at the bottom...

So I decided to try and save that green part at the bottom. I cut out a chunk of the roots underneath, and planted it in a smaller pot, which I placed indoors on the window sill in my study. 

It immediately started producing new runners (is that the word?) climbing up the little trellis. It has even produced a flower bud already! My plan (fingers crossed) is to keep it indoors over winter, then give it a bigger pot again in the spring, and put it outside again next summer. 

If it works, that will be amazing, because this plant actually comes from one that I had for years on the balcony at my previous flat. When I moved from there to here - 12 years ago - that plant was as tall as the one I cut down now; and I realized I would not be able to move it (trellis and all). So back then I just took some cuttings from it and hoped those would survive. The cuttings did grow roots, and the plant survived the first winter in the new flat in a small pot indoors; and was then moved out on the balcony the following spring.

Here are some photos from my archives:

Left: 'Grandma' Clematis on the balcony at my previous flat, May 2008.
Top right: 1 year old 'Mama' Clematis on my new balcony, June 2009.
Bottom right: Tired old 'Mama' Clematis still on the same spot, April 2020.


Sunday 26 July 2020

Keeping Distance and Being Thoughtful

 "Keeping distance is being thoughtful"

These signs are found all over the parks in our city this summer, as a reminder to keep distance, even when sunshine and greenery and holiday mood may tempt us to forget all about the invisible virus.

On this particular occasion (last Tuesday), I had no difficulties keeping distance, though - as I was the only visitor in this little park down by the river when I took the these photos. Plenty of room for me to just be thoughtful all to myself!


Obviously, there are different rules for plants & flowers!

PS. Being a language nerd, I had to try to figure out what the languages on the sign are... I recognize four out of seven (Swedish, English, Finnish, and German at the bottom) but what about the ones in the middle? Google Translate helped me identify the fifth as Somali. No 4 and 6 are likely to be Arabic and Persian, but which is which? I searched for ways to tell them apart, and found a 5 min YouTube course on that very topic... So I think I can now say that the languages from top to bottom on the sign are: Swedish, English, Finnish, Arabic, Somali, Persian, German.

Why? In the previous century, we had lots of Finnish immigrants (and many people with Finnish roots still living here). In later years, many immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. As for German, I guess some immigrants (for example from Eastern Europe) perhaps know more German than English (+ we get German tourists in the summer).

Saturday 25 July 2020

A Rainbow for Skywatch Friday

After a rain shower earlier in the week, I managed to zoom in on this magnificent rainbow from my kitchen window.

SkyWatch Friday

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Work In Progress

It's been a couple of rather noisy days here to start the week. It wasn't too hard to guess at the source, though, as we had been forewarned earlier in the summer that there would be some work done on the railway nearby. Yesterday I did not bother about going out to check; but today when going out for a walk, I brought my camera and snapped a few photos. Whatever they were doing, it looked rather impressive. (I think they're exchanging the tracks.)

Meanwhile (and totally off track from the railway) I'm currently trying to get my head round the fact that from next month, I'll be an Old Age pensioner. Various letters from Authorities reminding me of it have kept dropping in all summer. As I've already been in work-injury-related retirement for several years, how I actually spend my time probably won't suddenly change very drastically.  However, one thing that will change is my pension. (A fact that does not come as a total surprise, but will probably still call for recalculations every now and then along the way.) At the moment, I have to confess I'm struggling a bit to find more positive aspects of becoming an OAP. ... I'll work on it ...

Tuesday 14 July 2020


It's been raining all day today - so I decided it was a good day for putting up my new shower curtain in the bathroom! 

I found it last week in a shop in town where I went in primarily to buy a couple of new towels. (...All this frequent hand washing lately!...) I've also been thinking for a while that I'd like a new shower curtain - but that project has been on hold, as I've not wanted to go into a lot of shops. Now, this one just happened to be there, next to the towels... I fell for it immediately, so no further search needed! (Pattern named 'Wisteria'.)

Sunday 12 July 2020



I knew that Moomin was in town (with a temporary Moomin Pop Up Shop, only for a month or so); but I was totally unprepared to also see Star Wars aliens in the market square. I wonder if they were here to sell face masks as well?! (I did not hang around to find out - just zoomed them in with my camera from corona-safe distance...)

PS. We still don't have any general recommendations in Sweden to use face masks - except in health care, and now I think it is also required on airplanes and at airport terminals. (I bought the Moomin face mask mostly as "souvenir" of this strange summer.)

Friday 10 July 2020

Weekend reflections

You may have seen the views before (I know I have!), but today was perfect for water reflections... :)

Weekend Reflections

Sunday 5 July 2020

Strawberries and Socks

With all the traditional major celebrations and markets in May and June cancelled, my city is trying some new compromises for July. Usually, Thursdays in July involve the shops in the city centre being open late; followed by free concerts with visiting popular artist(s) in the market square in the evening. (I'm not in the habit of visiting those, though.) This year, as we still have restrictions about big gatherings and keeping distance, there will be no concerts; but they have decided to allow a limited number of food trucks and markets stalls Thursday-Saturday (only a few stalls each weekend, and well spread out all over the square).

I have been buying strawberries a few times since Midsummer :)

The photos above were taken on Thursday around noon, and as you can see it was not exactly crowded.

I also bought some socks from one of the other market stalls - which saved me from having to go into a shop to look for some!

The weekend - Saturday and Sunday - has been rainy, and I've only been out for a short walk each day in between showers. I really welcomed the cooler weather this week though (rain included), as the week before was way too hot for my liking. (Now, the indoors temperature in my flat is more or less back to normal.)
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