Serenity in Sävar

If anyone had told me I would be sitting outside in Norrland in September, in a t-shirt and flip-flops, writing up a blog post, I wouldn’t have believed it. But yes, that’s exactly where I am right now. My day’s work is done, the sun is shining, not a single cloud in the sky and something that feels like 17 degrees – could be much worse 🙂 I’ve been very lucky with the weather all the time I have been in Sweden, I know that! And I like that it doesn’t seem to change even now 🙂

After one week here I can say that my original feeling about this place was right. It’s big, well-kept and generally nice! The family is very friendly and make me feel like I’m more of a friend than a worker, I even got to join them for fredagsmys last week. I will explain what that is in a different post, but it was great 🙂 The two dogs have been accepting me from the first day and now that they worked out that I like cheese sandwiches, they come to the kitchen when they see me there – they do like cheese too 😉 Morran is a dachshund, 8 years and pretty calm unless she wants a chew stick, then she goes crazy 🙂 Runo is a flat-coated retriever and also very calm, he likes to lick things though and when you tie your shoes, your face is usually level with his… 😉

Morran

Runo

During the week, there was one day when the two of them had to stay in because there were some Russians with dogs staying here. They had been to a big dog show in Oslo and had stopped on the way there because the bus driver needed a break, so they did the same on the way back. 9 people, 11 dogs, from a small Schnauzer up to a Maremma shepherd they were all shapes and sizes. There were 3 Australian Shepherds too, gorgeous as usual – but with absolutely no tails and docked ears 😦 As I have learned in the meantime (thanks Hilary!), this is actually breed standard – but to me it just looked wrong! Those of you who know Ginny: can you imagine her without her tail? Exactly…

My work here has been mainly putting out first sheep manure and then straw on newly prepared vegetable beds. There is a lot of vegetables here already, pumpkins, beans, peas, broccoli, tomatoes, all sorts of root veggies, aubergines and so on… but as the family is a mix of vegan, vegetarian and sometimes meat eaters, it’s great to have such a variety of fresh foods! They also like spicy food, there’s nothing to complain there 🙂

Work

The village is by far the biggest I have stayed in so far, it has several bus stops and a quite big supermarket. On Saturday, I got a lift to the city of Umeå and looked around there for a little while until I got the bus back. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very good that day and I didn’t take a single photo there. On Sunday I took a long walk, first into the forest and then into the village.

Also, I got to follow Susanne to a meeting of a women’s organisation that she’s a member of, soroptimists international. They met in a Chinese restaurant, so first it was food from the buffet, then a guest speaking about how it is to have your own gallery in a place like Umeå and finally they went through some club agenda. It was very interesting and also a good chance for me to use my Swedish 🙂  I am in fact only speaking Swedish here now and it works quite well!

Nice clouds

Two more weeks I have here and I plan to enjoy them to the max 🙂 Then it’s down to Stockholm again, I need some serious shopping I think and of course the high heels class! Thanks to AirBnB, I have now also a host in Hong Kong that seems nice (and has a beagle) and one in Auckland (in Cox’s Bay of all places!). After 3 days in Auckland, I will fly down to Christchurch and meet a friend of a friend who has offered I can stay with her until my tour starts on the 11th October. After that we’ll see! The tour has a schedule, but as it’s a hop-on, hop-off concept, that is likely to change as I have a month more time than the plan 😉 It’ll be South Island first, then North Island, ending in Wellington. Depending on the timing, I might try Samoa or the Fijis or something if I find a good offer 🙂 You jealous yet? 😛

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