Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lennartsnäs Castle Garden August Fantasia


So, I promised a plethora of still summery, lush, colorful, flowery garden pictures from Lennartsnäs Castle Garden and cafe - castle itself is private property and off limits unless invited, which I obviously have yet to be. This is apparently how the castle looks though, not the prettiest of buildings perhaps... Though they sure got a grand lake view - here they are. In good taste with lots of pink and orange flowers, a completely organic garden since the 1960ies -


Gårds = Farm's, butik = shop


Notice something that looks like it has escape from Jurassic Park? That's apparently a juvenile Muscovy duck freewheeling with the chickens and roosters. Every day, a new day...


Saturday, August 30, 2008

... And A Good Night


On The Last Summer Saturday

On what can probably, alas, be consider the official last weekend of this summer - that has been too short, far too short IMHO, *sniffle*, not at all like last year's... - the weather has so far at least been quite pleasant indeed, mostly sunny though with a discernible shill in the gusts. Although tweed hat inauguration is much anticipated, I must confess that I'm not comfortable, at all, with the fact that it looks like one already has to put on a whole lot of more clothes when going outdoors from here on. *Blubber*


Anyway, today we had what will probably be the penultimate toy car outing this year *sob*, making the most of the sun, the semi-mild winds, what's still left of green summer and opted for a late breakfast on the other side of town, at Långängens Gård (Lång = tall, ängens = field's, Gård = Farm). Apparently a popular outing for the locals in the hood, so I'm glad we got there earlish. It looked quite adorable indoors, but of course one *has to* enjoy the outdoors as much as possible while it's pleasant enough...


I had a big bowl of spinach soap and delicious homemade bread. The soup was nice, though to be quite honest I do prefer the one I make myself, there's just so much more flavour and *oomf* to that spinach soup version. Followed by coffee and cake, which turned out to be a courgette cake with raspberry cream topping. Nice, but rather dry and overfilling, it surely would have benefited from a *little* juiciness... But it was pretty! Quite like the raspberry cake I made for a little loafie's do the other week...


And by the looks of it, this must be the place that offers the best job in the world... Oh my, to be able to sit and work in there overlooking the garden and its seasonal changes, just pop over the courtyard for homemade lunch and afternoon coffee, not to mention having an after lunch walk in the perfect-for-lovely-walks-woods-that-surrounds-the-place... Does that person (or persons) who work there realise how blessed and enviable he-she-they is/are??


And some might say, why travel all the way to Scotland for thistles and sheep, when that can be found just a toy car outing away? Those "some" do not include me though. Of course.


On our way home we went by that sweet neighbourhood castle garden cafe and farm stall I wrote a bit last year, Lennartsnäs, to see if they had any late-summer-goodies (grönsaker = vegetables) on offer. Even if we returned home without any purchases this time, the place was positively brimming with a lovely, lush, flowery, colourful, very-much-still-summer-vibe. Ah bliss. So much as I think it deserves a whole medley blog post of its very own...

Slotts = castle's, trädgård = garden

Top Of The Morning

~ Have a good Saturday ~

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Footsies


These feet - yet another feet joy in York - which I discovered outside the window while having a much deserved (as always) coffee break, gave me an idea of what the witch in Hansel and Gretel might have thought. Kind of mouthwatering adorable. In the uttermost vegetarian way of thinking of course.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ragamuffin & Ness

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Ever since I first put my footsies in Scotland the first time many years ago and discovered the joy of Scottish shopping, I have had two favourite shops there. Both appeal to my sense of colour, my fondness for wool and tweed, quirky design, unique and most often well- and/or handmade craft. Depending on the currency fluctuation the prices in both shops have either made me buy a teensy weensy thing or a more wallet tangible amount of things. This time I went a quite happy medium.
The Ragamuffin shop, which I mentioned briefly here, consists of the most adorable, must-haves - and a lot of not-to-my-taste-but-still-of-good-quality - knitwear, clothes and accessories. And well, unfortunately a bit of the usual silly tripe to appease those who don't seem to know any better... But hey, I'm not forced to buy any of that stuff myself, so I'm willing to turn a semi-blind eye. Their original shop is on Skye and another one on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Both so very well worth a visit!
This time my wallet - before the green one below - told me to get some nice, handmade wool gifts in shape of mittens, scarfs and a pair of wristwarmers - that will so compliment those lovely mittens with sheep pattern I got there loads of years ago. Extra pleased *exclamation mark* - for myself as well as others. And of course the Hat of All Hats, the Tweed One. It's going to be an extra wooly warm, colourful autumn and winter this year.
Even if the Ness shop yet also inhabits the tiny salesroom on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh where I first stumbled over the brand, they seem to have begun producing clothes and accessories on a slightly larger scale. Though overall still with a cute and handmade feel and look to many of the goods.
Home with me this time came a few Ness items, a couple of trinkets (though adorable of course), a pair of pink wool gloves - which I hope will be as amazingly and unusually warm as the pair I bought there seven years ago, though plunged into a premature death in the jaws of a loaf puppy about four years ago - and a lovely, lovely green tweed wallet.
This little beauty - which, come to think of it, probably is the first ever proper wallet I've bought myself... - has at least 18 different compartments and secret hideouts. I still have to get used to its size and way of hiding those things that live in wallets from me. But it's pretty and green and in tweed, so I'm sure I will manage.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dear John

John Irving has been one of my favourite authors ever since I first discovered his books one of those 80ies childhood summers in the country cottage. Those summers when I much rather sat indoors reading than outdoors (in a typical Swedish manner) "making the most of the weather" - the summer weather which back then always consisted of sun, sun and more sun - hence being whiter than white itself when I returned to school in the autumn.

And since I'm blessed with being the type of person that basically just have to stick my face out the door for one minute in order to get a healthy tan, imagine how little, if any, time outdoors I got back then.

I practically devoured his first five books, my favourite ever one still being "Hotel New Hampshire". Though there's a close runner up in "A Widow For One Year". I have every one of his fictional books in my bookshelf (and so far one of the non-fictional ones), though admittedly there are still two of them I haven't read. Ther reason for that being I've essentially stopped reading hardbacks, they're just so inconvenient in both bed and handbag (yes size does also matter in the world of books). But since I've managed to get through the impractical format of the very less than in a literary way well-wrought Harry Potter-books, I will of course one day dig into these two too.

The book of "The Fourth Hand" had for some odd reason completely bypassed me until a couple of years ago. I bought it and it had since been in my voluminous, evergrowing pile of to-read-books. Now it's also read. Exemplary modest in pages, around 350, and with an, as most always with Irving, ingenious story, both sad and laughable on the burley side, endlessly witty and well-written, this piece of Irving paper-work is far from a memorable favourite of mine. Can't really pinpoint as to why, it just never completely captured me.

In my Currently Reading pile (which can be seen to the right here in blog --->) I have had Irving's brick novel "Until I Find You" for ages. I have sadly been struggling - as in it has yet to really touch me despite having all the above described ingredients in a typical Irving-book - with it for over two years.

When the book was released in Sweden I had the great fortune to be able to attend one live writers-interview with Irving and an alas rather dimwit Swedish interviewer. Irving himself struck me as a very pleasant, though of few spoken words, man. The reading of the newly released book pretty much made me run right down to the bookshop and get it as soon as the do was over.

A thick-as-a-brick novel usually, especially if by a favourite writer, gets me all starry eyed and salivating with anticipation. But no matter how I read a hundred pages here a hundred pages there I never seem to get to the finish line of this one at page 1026 or so. Sigh.

I know I one day will have read the whole book, I just wish I could concentrate on it for more than those 100 pages at a time though and have an easy-peasy, engulfing read like I do from time to time. The way reading books should be. Always. Or nearly always at least. Dear John.

Mrs Mills Party Sing Along


I'm flabbergasted and completely curious, has there ever, e-v-e-r been a time when it was considered groovy to All Time Party Dance with Mrs Mills? Apparently in England there has. One of many holiday delights. Any closet, or not, fans out there who want to confess to all time partying and sing alongs with auntie Mills?

Ah, Wiki knows

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Eating Out - Harpaviljongen & Skafferiet i Ekoparken


It's been a while since I last wrote something proper about eating out, and even if I have a back-log (as usual) with eating out experiences on holiday - and a few pretty special ones in Scotland... - I think I'll begin with these summer hangouts in Stockholm. Alas not much summer left and if you want to pop by... Though to be quite honest, IMHO, neither of them have very exciting food to offer, but they're rather well worth a visit for the ambiance oasis-style. And they're both dog friendly places to hang at.


First out is Café Harpaviljongen (Hare Pavilion), Fiskartorpsvägen 29. Situated in the vicinity of the Stockholm sports arena Stadion in a lush, terraced garden it offers both food, sandwiches, coffee and cakes including vegetarian alternatives. The café was built at the time of the 1912 summer Olympic Games, so the athletes and spectators could have a pleasant outdoor café to go to. The wood nearby offer some lovely walks and this nice, off the beaten track summer café offers some lovely rest afterwards. Can't say I was all that impressed with the sandwiches and the look of other dishes, the caffe latte however was really, very and surprisingly good. Decent prices and quirky, funny staff.


If you take the subway to station Universitetet - University, yes this is the campus of the far from exciting architecturally but overall quite good educationally Stockholm university - and walk for about 15 minutes over the fields - there are plenty of pretty walk paths all over this area and a good long walk is highly recommended - you'll reach this pretty and secluded café Skafferiet i Ekoparken (The Pantry in the Eco Park), Stora Skuggans väg 38. Housed in an old barn this place is opened throughout the year, but I somehow doubt it's as nice to sit indoors during winter as it is sitting outdoors during summer... This is the lush countryside in the middle of the city! One of many things that makes Stockholm such an amazing place.


The food on offer does look really good, so perhaps I just choose the wrong thing, a vegetarian pie. Which was just boringly, unmemorable pieish. And the nut pie a little bird whispered in my ear was dry and dull. However the raspberry coconut pie was indeed rather lovely, sweet and tart and creamy in a slice big enough to share. With creatures great and small.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday Medley


You have seen the preview, now more of the highlights of last Sunday; first out an amazing cep soup which probably is the best mushroom soup I've ever had, creamy, ah delicious soupy heaven. I now have the freezer filled with cep in order to try and recreate that creamy delight... Soup went extremely well with still-oven-warm-nearly-as-amazing-as-the-soup-bread. Mmm...

Although there were cats too, for some odd reason they decided to play a low key role in the hullabaloo. They will however get their very own post another day. Now, beware of a whole lot of dog and what might seem like a lot of mindless but silly fun running around, starring Herta, Isak and Malte -

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