Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's August and summer's almost over

Hello, yeah, it's been awhile! Not much, how bout you?! And so the song goes. I was afraid for a while that this blog is over before it began. As usual, my plan for this blog has been just that - a plan, derailed and shove under the rugs. Well, in my defense, my "Not much" of more than half a year has gone to being/trying to be a good mom, finding a job/ph.d/internship which required writing CVs, letters and going to interviews, learning/getting a driving's license, some traveling, starting language lessons, online courses, trying out recipes, being bored, daydreaming, maintaining a household, and when I have time, running and or yoga. Not to mention,  I have started my planning and some rough lessons plans for my classes - I am back to teaching for a term. So yeah, I was (almost) busy.

So, it's summer now and it has been a nice one so far. We have had decent summer weather in Stockholm. These past few days have been nice and hot, perfect for biking, picnic, swimming, and really, to just soak up the sun while we can feel the warmth of its rays.

We were in Trosa last weekend for a BBQ afternoon with some friends. It was an afternoon of firsts! V had his first swim (in sweden) in the sea and Claire enjoyed her first jump attempt in the trampoline.

 And the weekend before that, we boarded a cruise ship to Tallinn Estonia. It was a good weekend of food, fika and friends.

So here goes  my few minutes to spare for this blog, before it gets hectic again. Till my next post and happy summer!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The SeasonTree

Last fall, this was the view from our window - the cold rain, the gray sky and the glorious gold, yellow, red, and orange leaves of this tree.

...and just like that, Fall came, leaves turned gold and orange, and some yellow and red, and then fell. They lay dead  on the cold ground, decomposing into dirt and rejoining the earth. Tree by tree, was bare and naked. From time to time crimson and mauve sky bedazzles, but it's mostly gray everyday.

We celebrated halloween, remembered the dead, shivered in the cold days, enjoyed hot coffees and sweet treats, and then we wait.

...and it's winter's turn. Snow falling, blanketing the grayness, turning all around into a white wonderland. The tree dons glittering soft cotton and cold coat.  Another season, another time. We wait, and as we watch in our window a fury of innocent flakes coming down hard,  I turn on the coffee maker and smells the scent of the holidays that is upon us.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Afternoon walks

For our usual Saturday afternoon walk,  we went  to Drottningholm (which means queen's island) for a stroll around the Drottningholm Palace garden.

It was misty and gray, but was nice in a way. The children seemed to like the breezy air and the surroundings give a hint of autumn. We enjoyed seeing the baroque garden, the fountains and old statues, mazes of hedges, rows and rows of short trees that just turned orange and yellow. A walk towards the Chinese pavilion gave  us a  glimpse of the tree-lined avenues, the towering old trees and the pond at the park.

We are already planning of  going back there in the middle of October or early November when most of the trees has turned golden.

We ended the walk with a fika at the cafe near the Chinese pavilion. Hot and intense brewed coffee, belgian waffle served with cream and raspberry jam, and this view made the whole afternoon cozy and lovely.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

On swedish fika, scones, being a SAHM, getting "lost" and officially opening this blog.

I made scones for fika last friday.

Fika is a swedish term used for meeting up with friends for a chat over cup of coffee or tea and some kaffebröd. Or usually at work, taking a break and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea while chatting about work or some random stuff. I don't know though if it is considered fika if you take a break and have a cup of coffee by yourself. Anyway, we used to have this friday fika at my workplace and one colleague would bring these freshly made buttery scones. Spread them with butter and some fruit jam, oh they were simple but delicious! I was feeling a little low on a friday afternoon, maybe because of the wet and gloomy weather, I decided to bake scones for fika. At home. Yes, fika at home. With the kids! I am not at work, but I am definitely working hard. I am mammaledigt, that's the swedish word for maternity leave and for some seven months now, to a darling baby. In sweden, one could take a parental leave up to a year (more or less depending on a family's finances) which is really a privilege! I have had glorious months staying at home, but on some days, it gets me down. And so, I googled scones and found this fairly simple  bbc food scones recipe. I checked the pantry for ingredients, we have all except the milk. On my way to pick up my big kid V at school, I dropped by at an ICA  supermarket to buy some milk. I got a little high when I managed to save some swedish kronors for a liter that would expire sooner (how down was I feeling?!).
We were back home around three o'clock and with V as my little helper, I prep and a little over 20 minutes later, we got these little lovelies! They came out perfect! Hot from the oven, cut them in half, smother half with butter, the other half with fruit of the forest jam, a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee, it was a pick-me-up fika. V had nuttella on his scones, even better! The baby was hungrily watching us, I gave her  the flaky tidbits with pureed blueberries, and everybody was happy.

 I was quite proud of this "accomplishment" (when you're home as a SAHM, I feel like things like this should be revered) I decided that this should be my first "official" blog entry.
You see, this blog has been five years in the making. I had a really grandeur idea that this would be a "literati" corner - where I'm suppose to talk about books and physics and math and then some philosophy, bits of politics and arts and literature - like capturing a little bit of life in those cafes in universities, students buzzing, conversations and exchanges over cup of coffees. I might have also thought of realizing a farfetched dream - penning some short stories. A couple of decent plots and characters have been popping in and out of my heads for years.
But kids and work happened, and I have some other roles to play, so I could not really find the right amount of time and the motivation to go ahead. So this blog has been on and off, rough unpublished drafts.
Now, having to stay at home, I just might find the time, and this blog might just be the medium to channel out some of these creative itching. I suppose I have to be pretty realistic on things that I can actually write. Life revolves around home and the baby and V and the mister. I might go on and on about saving good swedish kronors by searching for coupons or soon to be expired goods, pureeing your own baby food, or what to do at 3 am when your baby insists on nibbling toes and does not want to go to sleep.