As I write this, the poor English footballteam just got beaten by the ferocious men from the foreign Iceland. Who would have thought it? I'm sorry lads but now we are even, the swedish team wasn't all that succesfull either were they? Roy Hodgson used to live in Malmoe and train the boys in MFF, those were good years!! Please Britain, go easy on the lads!!
This post will have no political impact whatsoever, I just took a couple of good walks around the countryside close and some miles away. It's nowhere near the wonderful scenery of Wales or Scotland or Portugal or....but its home. Not my native , homedistrict, but the place where we have been staying for twenty years now! Let's start!
There is something very special about stone. Stonewalls, stonehenges, stonepillars, rocks broken in half . Look at this tree trunk closing up to the stonewall, both looking sturdy and ancient, supporting eachother.
Quiet villagelife? Well, we do have a few hooligans roaming the quiet paths, making noice and nuisance for everyone. In august, the silence is broken for several days of Jazzfestival.
We have at least seven of these small villages, all with their own harbour , some of them rather large with businesses and marinas, shops and restaurants, some very very small with just one bridge or launch and a small beach. From Nogersund we take the ferry out to Hanö. This small island has about 10 locals year around, but in the summertime that will double and triple up just as in all the other villages. Our village keeps around 800 inhabitants wintertime.
On the island, no cars are allowed, you go around by bike or moped. Or walk. Of course there is a lighthouse and old stories connected with the island, about dragons f.i. Here the proud English fleet landed a few hundred years ago and we have a small english churchyard that some officers come and visit at jubilees. These occasions are indeed very festive and solemn. Every year they invite to a special day when we hold a service in the open, food is being served, lotteries are held, music is played, museeums are opened and everyone is engaged. Two more services a year we celebrate in the small chapel, since I suffer from severe seasickness, I fear the one held at wintertime when the sea is eager to bring me down.
This is an ancient kind of anchorplace, launch, called kås. Many of these are still in use for the smaller boats, rowboats and small outboards. Children take their rods and nets and stand on the rocks to fish shrimps and sticklebacks to feed the cats. If you go further out with your boat you might get cod or garfish. But the scenery is quite magical, don't you think?
Leaving the old fishingvillages and heading for the real countryside, I catch the sun setting over the fields. This looks very dark and late but actually... the picture below was taken only five minutes later. Here the old 15thcentury villagechurch behind its old stonewalls. Lanterns are still lit inside after tonights service.
See, rock of ages....the mossy stonefence belonging to the farm nearby and the more straight stonefence in masonryfashion almost. I just had to take them both in to make a frame to St Gertrud, as is the churchs name. Between these to walls the farmer runs his tractors and tools.
Oh yes, and we back out of the woods only to find ourselfes in the middle of turnips growing. My parish is split in half, farmers and fishermen. In the old days, being a farmer was equal to prosperity and a strong voice in village council while the fishermen lived in bad houses, shacks only in some cases, had many children and drowned in bad boats, leaving widows caring for the perhaps twelve children. Today those beachplots and old houses are being purchased in terms of millions. If only those hardworking fishermen could have lived to see this! The farmers today have a hard time and keeping livestock is a risky business. The milkfarmers are giving up, one by one. Sweden has a large import on both meat and dairy.
Still, small dairies are working their way up again, both with cowmilk and goatsmilk.
In the summertime and way in to autumn we can go around the local farmers, buying their crops from sheds by the road, putting our money in old cookiejars. They sell everything from meat to eggs, strawberries and pumpkins, apples and carrots, jam and pickles.
But the ocean is always present , this is the coast of Åhus, some miles from where I live. Our beaches are somewhat calmer than this one, here the water is cold and the waves would fit the Beach Boys brilliantly. I did not go in!
The pinetree was imported from Germany in the 18th century and planted along the coastal line since we used up so many trees for building. The sand was evading fast and had to be stopped from spreading everywhere but where it was supposed to be. The pines and the sand today form a very special kind of environment that we call sandforrest.
I'm closing with another look at the sunset over the turnips, outside our house the wind has calmed in the trees. Time to sleep. Goodnight and God bless!