Crayfish lanterns

Life in September, 2021

Yet another month down. How!? September bought some much needed breathing room from life admin and tieing up loose ends. Finally found the perfect tea cups, discovered the joy of ready made cookie dough and learnt that our area was developed as a futuristic eco micro city!

View of old buildings
Södermalm <3
Balls of cookie dough
Cookies for breakfast on a Sunday

My new bike arriving was the best part of the month!! We sold our old bikes before leaving the UK and planned to buy new ones in Sweden, partly so they’d be suited to the type of cycling we wanted to do here. However we didn’t predict a global bike shortage caused by a pandemic, so it took much longer than planned.

Man standing next to tall box

It’s my first ebike and I love it so far (Orbea Vibe). Zipping around on cycle lanes is a great way to see the city and motorists are much more considerate towards cyclists compared to the UK. No more kerb hugging. Here’s a very dorky photo of me with my new toy…

Me on bike

Bowl of purple porridge
Vild blåbärsgröt / wild blueberry porridge

Pile of red plums

These plums came from a garden in the countryside (where some of our friends have a Summer house). We didn’t intend to pick so many but that’s what happens when you’re too busy chatting. I made a couple of jars of plum jam and a really delicious spiced plum cake. We’re also stocked up on homemade lingonerry jam (eaten with savoury food).

Wearing socks with sandals
I am now a fashion icon

Wearing socks with sandals seems to be the done thing here. I decided to see what I’ve been missing and went full Swedish extravaganza with Midsommar socks. Boy oh boy, so comfy.

Me drawing
Making Christmas paper

I’ve been busy making gifts and Christmassy things like wrapping paper. Making wrapping paper is something I’ve done ever year since 2011! I usually create block printed designs but decided to with a hand drawn pattern this year. It takes a long time but it’s a relaxing process and I love seeing all the presents wrapped in something I’ve made.

Rolled paper
Christmas paper production
Paper bird
Paper birds
Crayfish lanterns
Kräftskiva

Lanterns from a cosy crayfish party with our favourite Swedes. We ate crayfish (much more efficiently than last year), drank quite a bit of wine and listed to “stone cakes” on an old gramafone. It was one of my favourite nights of the whole year.

Old fashioned stairway
Old hallway

Believe it or not, this amazing hallway was part of a health clinic entrance. The building looked old from the outside but I wasn’t expecting it to be this grand inside. Needless to say, I skipped the lift and walked up the staires instead. And afterwards, a hot chocolate…

Mug of hot chocolate
Varm choklad / hot chocolate

Man peering through sink hole

We woke up to find a puddle on the kitchen floor one morning. The sink hole washers had degraded but we didn’t realise until I left something in soak overnight. Urgh. I found a replacement part online and we managed to fit it ourselves… like a pair of champs. The old part was really grim inside so I’m glad it’s gone and at least any dirt from now on will be our own.

Woman sitting on windowsill

Lit candle

The evenings are getting darker and darker. Do you even live in Sweden if you don’t comment on this frequently? I think not. We still haven’t sorted out any ceiling lights. People take the whole light system when they move, so you’re left bulbless with an empty socket. We have a couple of lamps but not much else. And even if we did, we’d probably still rely on candles for most of our light because it’s so cosy. Some of the Swedes I follow on Instagram have already started burning candles at breakfast.

Cloud light

October will most likely bring the first stages of hibernation, a noticeable increase in hot chocolate consumption and lots of comfort food — I bought some gula ärter the other day to make yellow pea soup. And every day that ticks by means we are getting closer to snowfall. Hooray!

2 comments on “Life in September, 2021

  1. Catherine

    Love your photos. I never thought of making my own Christmas wrapping paper, I will look into that.

    Nice to see you have the Orbea Vibe, we bought two last May and at that time they were the last two available in the country and looking now you would struggle to buy them today. I can highly recommend them, We couldn’t get the mudguards so had to retrofit them. But I would highly recommend carefully reading the instructions for travelling with them on a bike rack on the back of a car in case you do intend to do that (you have to protect the Iwoc with a plastic bag to stop the water getting into it at high speed) it’s not a problem riding in the rain, also rules battery charging and on storing in the winter. Hope you have loads of fun on these as we definately have.

    • Gemma Evans

      Thanks very much for the tips 🙂 Luckily mine came with mudguards, so I didn’t have to fit them myself. But I’ll definitely read up on battery charging rules because I haven’t done that yet — mostly because it hasn’t run out since I unboxed the bike. Now I’ve said that, it’ll probably run out mid ride! And Winter storage is definitely something I’ll need to think about when the snow arrives because I don’t have any Winter tyres.

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