TUBT-13 – Göta Kanal Edition. Day #1

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This is day one of our bike trip, named The Ultimate Bike Trip 2013 – Göta Kanal Edition, or TUBT-13 (yeah, I know, we watch too much TV, sue us). We started this morning by taking our everyday bikes and all our bags to my mother’s where we prepped our TUBT bikes with every possible gadget imaginable.

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Then we packed ourselves, our bikes, our bags and my mother into the car and mum kindly drove us to Mariestad, three hours away, where our trip began.

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The plan is to ride along the Göta canal, partly because biking is fun and good for both body and soul and partly because a canal trip by boat was way too expensive. It looks like we will be going for about 250 km (155 miles, give or take) but we won’t know for sure until we’re finished.

Since day one involved a lot of car driving we didn’t want a too long bike ride and only did 17 km (10,7 miles) today.

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As we rode from Mariestad we followed the lake Vänern, Sweden’s biggest lake. If you look closely you might see the sailing boat in the middle.

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Pretty soon we had a change of scenery though, and went on a dirt road through the woods.

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The long and not so winding road. We only crossed this road though, and continued on our dirt road. When the dirt road ended we continued on the country road for a few kilometers where we were passed by big lorries going very fast and it wasn’t that nice at all.

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When we finally arrived at our destination for the day, the Börstorp castle, we were greeted by these little sweeties, two calves that were grazing near the road.

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The castle itself is pretty mighty, but we’re only having breakfast in there tomorrow morning. Instead we’re spending the night in a connecting building such as the one on the picture below.

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Please note the canon! Good to have in case the Russians come (or something like that, I doubt you could scare away any burglars with it). Our building looks exactly like this one but is to the left outside the picture.

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We took a walk in the surroundings and tried to avoid stepping in cow dirt.

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If the cows were curious when we came, this cat was more reluctant to greet us and stayed safely in it’s chute.

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In Mariestad we also ran into a yarn sale. UnFortunately, we can’t bring more than we can carry on our bike and all our bags are pretty full. I wouldn’t want to have to leave my rain coat due to execive yarn shopping. At least not on this trip.

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Now it’s getting a bit late and it’s time to pick up the knitting for a few rows before bed time. Stay tuned for day #2 of the TUBT-13 – Göta Kanal Edition. Good night!

You say tomato

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My tomato plant has gotten a tomato! It’s very pretty and I can’t wait to taste it. Other than that things are a

little crazy here.

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Tomorrow we’re going on vacation and since I don’t like to travel, this makes me tremendously horrible to be around today. I don’t even want to be around me. But as soon as everything is prepared, it will all be better. At least I have, after a

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lot of thinking, trying, swatching and then some more thinking, decided on what knitting project to bring, and by that the most important part of packing is done. Now all I need is to but it in the bags too.

Easy come, easy go

First day of summer vacation wasn’t what I expected really. Although, I gained a lot of grown-up points, which was pretty nice but made me quite tired. So tired in fact that I almost lost all my newly scored points.

When I came back to town after giving my aunt a ride home, she lives in a town 60 km (37 miles) from here, I only had about an hour to prepare for the movie night I was going to. I was going to make a new batch of Chocolate and Caramel Slices where the dough needs to be in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Since the dough makes enough cookies for two baking sheets I decided, and here there is some more grown-up points, to only bake half the dough, enough for one baking sheet and enough to bring to movie night, and leave the rest of the dough in the fridge to finish today.

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For some reason though, and here is where is gets ugly, I blame the tiredness, when I was taking out the baking sheet from the cupboard, I droped it. I droped it, corner first, right on my middle toe. It hurt terribly! And the humiliation, is there a more ridiculous place to hurt yourself? It hurts so much but it’s totally ridiculous. That cost me some grown-up points. To make it worse though, is that I didn’t have any ice to put in a towel on the toe so instead I finished my baking while shuffling aorund the kitchen with a package of frozen corn over my foot. There went all my grown-up points. And I got a dark purple toe. Yay me.

I got to movie night almost in time though and I brought a jar full of very tasty cookies. And a dark purple toe.

Today my toe is still dark purple, the rest of the toes seem to becoming blue out of sympathy too, but it doesn’t hurt as much. I baked the rest of the dough, without droping any baking sheets and now I’m curled up in my armchair with my knitting.

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Tomorrow will be a busy day, preparing for a bike trip. Pictures from the road will be posted on the blog so stay tuned!

Fast forward to tomorrow

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I don’t want to talk about today so I’ll show you a picture instead. I’m going to watch a movie, drink tea, have a cookie and knit now. The evening will end better than the day began, I’m positive about it!

And the living is easy

Today I’ve cleaned my desk. That, along with tying some loose ends, was all I had planned to do today but that was not what happened. More than half the day was spent taking care of just one case involving plenty of people and plenty of time, only to get an e-mail that told me that me and all the others didn’t do enough. That put me down a bit but soon I was my usual charming and happy self again and I did what I had planned. I tied the loose ends and I cleaned my desk.  It’s spotless and pretty and shiny. I marvel over how splendid it looks.image

So why have I cleaned my desk and why is it important? Let me tell you, today was my last day before summer vacation. Five glorious free weeks, loverly! I’m not going to be at the office, I’m on vacation! I don’t want any responsibilities, no “musts” and “have-tos”, I’m just going to say “I’m on vacation”. Just me, knitting and the summer fun.image
Green meadows, never setting sun, warm evenings and ice cream. Good friends, good yarn, good times.

I celebrated by having my favourite pastry at my favourite café.image
They’re so good and quite rich but if I could have one right now, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment. Chocolate and just a tiny slice of marzipan. So good!

Also, my lace is progressing. So much in fact, that I had to pick up my ball winder to wind myself another ball of yarn.image

Now I can do the last little bit that’s left. Here I go, I’m on vacation!

Pollen galore

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Today has been a beautiful day. Warm and sunny and there has been no need for sweaters or any layers at all. Not a single drop of rain in sight. One might use words as wonderful, fantastic and lovely. One might also use the words pollen galore. My nose is running, my eyes are watering and my throat is itchy. I don’t want to be outside at all even though I have been and it was nice apart from the aforementioned vexatiousnesses.

Now I’m curled up in my armchair though with a cup of tea and my lace. The never ending lace. No, that’s not entirely true, I’ve made progress and it has become smaller as I reach towards the end and so it goes faster every row. We’ll see the end of it soon, I’m sure, and then I’ll be happy about it again.

 

Why do I do this?

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I’ve had such a good time this passed week that I’ve completely forgotten about everything and now find myself with two knit deadlines in a week. So, I knit like a maniac right now. How did this happen? Well, I was a little tired of the pink lace so I started on something else that totally absorbed me. Then, last night I realized that I’m really in a hurry. This lace needs to be blocking on by Friday night and a hat that I haven’t even started yet

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should be done by Friday morning. Nothing bad will really happen if I don’t finish in time but you know how it is, you get the idea that you need to do something and you feel bad if you don’t. In this case I might need to mail knits instead of giving it in person and that’s always less fun (even though I’m probably more excited about the knit thing than the receiver but I can be excited enough for both of us).

Knits that are on a deadline is never as fun as knits for which you have all the time in the world. Hence, I’m impatient and reluctant at the same time. Not a good combo when you’re on a tight deadline but I’ll put my head down and pull though.

I’m going to go knit now.

Amongst meringue and pirates

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Today has been a lovely day and I spent it visiting with my aunt Vivian in Stockholm. It was her birthday a couple of weeks ago and today I was able to give her my gift.wpid-DSC_0630.jpg

It was of course the lace I’ve been making and now I can finally show you what it became of it.
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A handkerchief!
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A handkerchief with the letter M embroidered in the corner.
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M is for my nick name for my aunt, what I’ve always called her ever since I was a kid. She has always been Aunt Vivian which in Swedish is “moster Vivian”, with moster being the word for your mother’s sister (faster is the word for your father’s sister, Swedish differenciate between the relatives on your mother’s and father’s side), but when I was a kid it was too hard to pronounciate this so I came up with a shorter mix of the two words.

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She was very happy with the gift but we both agreed on that this is not a handkerchef anyone would use during a cold. It’s more of a waving-at-your-relatives-when-your-steam-train-leaves-the-platform-handkerchief.

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The lace is called Victoria and is designed by Ewonne Guhrés, a friend of my bobbin lace teacher who introduced me to the pattern.

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Aunt Vivian is a great cook and she offered us both cheese and shrimp pie and meringue cake.
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Meringue and strawberries, a very summery cake and it tasted divine.

We also had a great view of Riddarfjärden with the city hall in the background, where the Nobel banquet is held, from Aunt Vivian’s window.wpid-DSC_0635.jpg

On our way back we took a stroll along the firth and we ran into some pirates.
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Or at least their ship. Ahoy, ye landlubbers!

The best of interests

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There are days like this when I’m extremely grateful one of my major interests is knitting. I’m always happy I love knitting but days like this I just love it a little bit more. You see, knitting is something you can do indoors, by yourself and without that much energy. I also love to dance but that requires some preparations and a big enough area, it usually involves another person and you need quite a lot of energy. Today, that would have been impossible. The grass is blooming and that means there is a lot of pollen on the air. That, by consequence, makes me tired, my eyes itches, my nose runs and I sneeze all the time. Not a good day to be outdoors and nor do I have the energy to go outdoors either. Hence, I’m really glad I love knitting because I have had plenty of time to knit today and I’ve made good progress on a sleeve. Hopefully by tomorrow it will have rained so the pollen allergy won’t be as bad. I will still be knitting but I’d rather feel a bit better while doing it.

Midsummer Eve

Today is Midsummer Eve in Sweden. That is supposedly the most magic, mysterious and romantic night of the year. This year it also happen to be on the same day as summer solstice, the longest day of the year and in Sweden, that says a lot. In the summer, the nights never get completely dark, the sky only turns into a little darker shade of greyish blue.

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The traditions are many on this day and I recommend you to read the wikipedia page on Swedish Midsummer celebrations. This year I’ve spent a wonderful summer day with friends. We took the boat to their place and had a traditional Midsummer lunch. Then we all went to the community celebration where we unfortunately missed the dancing around the maypole but we had a great time anyway. We swinged (I love swinging!) and went back home to barbecue before we took the boat back to Stockholm.

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As I said, Midsummer Eve is the most magic night of the year. On Midsummer you should pick seven different sorts of flowers (actually, should also climb over seven field fences in absolute silence but that’s considered supplementary studies since we don’t have that many field fences anymore and most people live in town) and put them under your pillow in hope to dream of your future spouse.

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Me, I took the opportunity to start a mystery knit along. It’s called The summer of… MKAL and is designed by Cindy Garland, and knit in a light green and a light pink.

Please note that it was 9:30 pm when the picture below was taken. (Caution! Spoiler alert further down!)

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The good thing with picking colors that you really like is that you probably already have clothes in the same colors so you can match your own knitting. Not that that’s important to do, I just found it funny that I was wearing a dress in almost the exact same colors as this shawl.

Now Clue 1 is done and I can’t wait for next Friday when the next one comes.

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I really do love my color choice, it’s very me and it’s very much summer..

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Happy Midsummer everyone, I hope you had a good one!