Candle in front of mugs

Life in January, 2023

January was dark but also the last month of deep hibernation. I’m not someone who struggles to get through Winter, however, I do reach this point in the year unusually enthusiastic about the prospect of sunbathing in a few months. Feeling warmth evenly over my whole body, not just the parts wrapped up in warm clothes.

Candle in front of mugs

Man wrapped in duvet
Dark and lazy weekend morning

We don’t usually get ill very often but our immune systems took another beating in January. Just as we started to get back on track after Covid in December, we picked up nasty colds mid month and spent the remainder of January feeling under the weather. Unfortunately, I ended up with acute upper respiratory inflammation and needed some prescription medicine to stop the coughing.

Rain on window

Christmas postcard
God Jul Vykort (Sundblad)

Our friends found this old postcard for my collection — the first Sundblad in my tin 🙂

Tulips in the sun

The sun’s return signalled it was time for my annual tulip buying tradition. I didn’t know this until recently but 15th January is actually Sweden’s national day of the tulip (the start of Swedish tulip season). I tend to buy these orangey yellow ones the most.

Plant silhouettes

The sun finally rose high enough to shine into our apartment!! It was so good to see bright light beaming on areas it hasn’t reached for several months, even though it was only fleeting.

Window silhouette on wall

Steam rising out of mug

Temperatures remained cold, even though the sun was shining again. The sun didn’t feel warm yet (still too low) so we drank plenty of tea to fill that void. We now have four Moomin mugs in total and I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to hold back and resist buying more.

Seaweed filled with rice and vegetables

Homemade onigirazu <3 I was very proud of this! It tasted great, the sushi rice was my best yet and I resisted overfilling the nori for a change.

Jar of mushrooms
Birthday present

I turned another year older and we celebrated with a trip to Java Whiskers cat café. Our favourite Swedes gifted me this “Swedish classic” Boda Nova jar filled with dried mushrooms — we agreed to pick some mushrooms together next year to refill the jar.

Silhouettes in kitchen

Cream filled bun

Semla season started. We ordered two small buns and at the end, the lady said our Swedish was getting better and better. When we got home, we realised she’d spoilt us by putting two large buns in the box instead.

Wild blueberry bud

Blåbärsris (blueberry twigs) appeared in the supermarket. On the plus side, they’re very cheap. On the downside, they make me realise it’ll be many many months before wild blueberries are ready to pick.

Theatre entrance
Kulturhuset Stadsteatern

The month was over far too quickly. It ended with a trip to Kulturhuset Stadsteatern (theatre) — the end of the show was the most amazingly un-lagom* thing I’ve ever seen. A band in gold sparkly jackets and the cast dancing in a line, in head to toe sequins and top hats. A brilliant ending.

* Lagom is the Swedish philosophy of not too much, not too little, just the right amount. It can be applied to all aspects of your life.

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