each morning ingrid prepared my breakfast. i felt like a queen. especially since she bakes all the bread herself. the strawberries look ordinary, but the insides are deep red with sweet juice that stains your fingers.
it is right that she bakes her own bread here. on this island where care and attention to detail is casually extended to each act.
the wild green onions and arugula grow on the island. jonas tended to lunch and dinner each day. i liked to watch him in the kitchen mindfully and slowly making preparations.
for breakfast and lunch, everything is put on trays and brought outside.
as i’ve said before, swedes worship the sun’s warmth. they want to be under our golden star as much as possible.
stockpiling their vitamin D for the long winter ahead.
moppa watches quietly from his various stations, but sometimes moves in for a pet. he is a contemplative dog.
sometimes he swims across to the mainland to visit ingrid’s brother and his family who live just across the water in their own remote outpost.
ingrid put me up in this small cottage across from the main house. it is about 300 sq. feet. the bathroom is outside there to the right in the building with the tiny square window. i slept deeply each night. the stillness of the island and smell of the sea keeping me in a deep slumber till morning.
the houses have been cleverly constructed all around the rock. decks built for ease of walking to and fro.
another view of my small house. i’ve made brief videos of the interior/exterior. see for yourself! ( again – no editing just a quick upload )
i made small vignettes of what i could see from my back deck. little seascapes.
the thing i love about this house is it is designed so that each person living here has an opportunity to be alone or together. the space is made for coming together, but also moving apart.
soon it was time for a visit to ingrid’s studio which sits a bit further from the main house.
it is tucked into the sloped rock facing the sea.
collaged & sewn cards ingrid made. how good they look altogether in a group!
the studio is filled with ingrid’s handiwork. her creative world is rich. in another life she was owner of a fabric printing business. even printing orders for svenskt tenn. which is kind of a big deal, but ingrid made light of it. she has piles of linen fabric everywhere from her fabric printing days. i am bringing home a few pieces from her collection. my favorite, a simple piece of white linen printed with blue stars.
jonas & ingrid had to go to the mainland for an important annual town meeting. while they were gone i amused myself by working in my travel journal, making videos, listening to the rain & thunder, watching the sea change colors, napping. in other words very taxing activities.
wait. i’m forgetting something aren’t i?
the part where the narrator of the story lowers herself down a ladder and goes for a swim in the skagerrak sea.
sea temperature? 61 degrees. in other words only 7 or 8 degrees cooler than our freezing pacific in southern california at this time of year.
let’s compare the atlantic ocean shall we? approx. 80 degrees. veritable bath water!
so yes, it was v.v. cold, but not as cold as i feared.
the water is deep. there’s no wading in. you lower yourself in your birthday suit down the ladder which does a bit of swaying and you simply push off into the deep.
ingrid gave me some good advice:
if you see any jellyfish, swim away from them
fortunately she gave me a full jellyfish report each morning. there were none!
there was however a cute dog who stole one of my shoes while i was whirling about on jellyfish patrol in the water.
i found it halfway up to the house on the path.
this is the sauna house. a warm shower awaits those who brave the cold sea.
ingrid says this about swimming in the cold sea. i carry the lovely freshness with me
that is a direct quote. i know cause i wrote it down the second she said it!
the way she talks about the sea makes you WANT to submerse yourself in the experience. to sink fully and deeply into the clear water.
i did and i have stored it away in my cellular memory.
which is really what travel is all about isn’t it? doing things that are a bit frightening, taking chances, discovering new cultures, and retaining that feeling that all these things bring.
we were alive and this is what we did.
with love from sweden. xo.
p.s. ingrid’s blog is HERE