Fika is at least as important as any word in Swedish. It signifies the Swedish version of the Britisher’s tea time. Of course, with Swedes, it means coffee because, next to the Finns next door, Swedes are the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. Fika is always served with something baked as well: cookies, rolls or cakes, etc.
On a Saturday, with no obligations in sight, fika can draw out for quite some time. We went over to Mariette’s folks’ house in the afternoon and spent a relaxing few hours over coffee (well, fledersaft for me; I have never developed a taste for coffee but Mariette’s mom makes a yummy drink from the blossoms of the fläder plant, whatever that is).
Speaking of flowers, I saw these in a mowed field on my way to do errands. I didn’t expect there would still be flowers blooming. It was 1 degree C. this morning when we woke up around 8:00 and we decided, finally, to turn the heat on in the house and get the fireplace working.
Mariette’s parents have never had a dog and were more cat people. Turtle and cat people. They have had a turtle, Esther, for almost 50 years. But Bianca has them both wrapped around her tail like she has everyone else.
Mariette’s mom feels obligated to stuff her with pork chops and biscuits behind our back. She is an accomplished photographer (note the film camera) and hauled it out to take shots of her new best friend.
This tree stump is the remnants of a seed that Mariette’s brother planted about 40 years ago in their front yard, way too close to the house. You can see the front door in the background. Everyone laughed and said it would never grow. In time it was about 40 feet tall and nearly as wide and almost totally obscured the front of the house. Storms would bring branches crashing down and a year or so ago they finally had to cut it down.
As week or two ago, I posted a shot of this stone. Mariette translated the writing on it for me. It was erected in honor of a local captain of the ship Laguna who made hundreds of voyages on the ship between 1875 and 1900.
Halmstad is one of the very few areas in all of Sweden where you have rocky beaches, sandy beaches and forests that run up nearly to the water’s edge in places. The place fills up with Stockholmers in summer for these and many more reasons. I don’t really think of it, but we are living in a resort town now.