Today we have done just what the girls wanted, nothing! We just hanged around at home and at the play ground, filled up the water on the boat and had an ice cream down at the pier. The girls seemed to like it and had some fun with the children in the neigborhood. In the beginning of the paternity leave I had difficulties with doing nothing, but now I enjoy it in full!
This evening it was the first time on the Baby Swim for them both and I went to a small event and met some “Penta People”. It was nice to get some updates on what is happening, and not.
Although I’ve got used to relax, I seem to start to think more and more about work. This morning my dear wife told me to walk the dog when I got upset over that I couldn’t log on to the work computer. It was a nice walk and I was back in vacation mood when I got back. Thank you to Magnus for helping me with what I wanted, I think I wait with fixing the pass word until next week!
It has been a beautiful day at Grand Mothers Beach today. Both the cousins and second cousins where there. Even Ilse dared to get in the late summer warm water today and was actually swimming once her mother showed up.
Tomorrow Ebba-Stina wants to be at home the whole day. I can understand her. We haven’t been home a full day in more than a month. Even I look forward to that!
Today the girls and I went down town for The Cultural Party. For me the big experience was the Australian sword-swallower. Ebba-Stina thought he talked too much, but was hiding behind me when he did his trick. She enjoyed the pink coloured braiding she got in her hair, jumping in the inflated tent and the fish pond with candy and fake tatoos (the last part a bit scary). Ilse was all sleepy once we got there so she started to cry in the carrousel. Maybe we make a second attempt tomorrow?
We have started the interesting (in the Brittish sense) project to turn the girls back on Swedish time and “non vacation hours” at the same time. The neigbours across the street was somewhat frustrated over that the kids suddenly started to sleep until 07.15 once they have started to work. I had to wake our beauties up at 9 so we shouldn’t have such a hazzle in the evening about going to bed. We got a big hazzle anyway, so tonight I had to promise Lotta to wake them up at 8 tomorrow (I hope I wake up myself to do it)!
We had decided for a film night in front of the television, but nothing was on, so Lotta went down to the DVD rental. She came back with “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”, with Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas, etc. (all of them brilliant). It’s an English film, directed by Lasse Hallström (Swedish guy with films like “Gilbert Grape” and “Chocolat”). A romantic comedy (I gave “Hunger Games” as a suggestion when she asked for what I wanted), but at least not American with Jenifer Aniston. I must admit it was a good “feel good film”. Close to Hugh Grant style, but better (must be the Swedish influences) and with good humour (English humour). I give it 5 out of 6 cylinders. If they’d made it 20 minutes longer and spent that on the fish and the fishing, I could have ignited the 6th cylinder as well. Now the love story got somewhat too much space.
Tomorrow it’s either Grand Mothers Beach or back to The Cultural Party. It depends on the weather, but we seemed to bring the high preassure with us from Portugal yesterday so we hope for the beach!
I’ve been googeling on Brandskär, the small little island outside Lysekil. I can’t find anything on the internet, but my theory is that from the main land the island looks like it is on fire when the sun goes down over it. Directly translated the name is Fire Island, but very little is growing there that can catch fire, so until any local comes with another story, we go for my theory. I’m not sure (but most likely) the small island has given it’s name to a boat brand that, in my eyes, design very beatiful boats (powered by Volvo Penta). Judge for yourselves.
Next follow up is the meaning of Käringön, directly translated to “Bitch Island”, but in reality it has another meaning. On the official home page of the island is the most likely history of the name explained. It comes from the Scottish word “Cairn”, which aparently means a pile of stones. These pile of stones where historically build by local sea farers and fishermen to find their way at sea (sometimes painted in white and called “Kummel” in Swedish). The correct translation of Käringön should then be “Cairn Island”. It sounds logic as fishermen back in time had connections with fishermen from the big islands in the west and the local dialect contains alot of expressions with Brittish (or Scottish, Graham) influences.
Final follow up is on the small puppie that we visited some weeks ago. The rational decision was not to get another dog at this point in time. I belive Lotta still hoped for that no one else would have mercy over the little fellow so we had to come and recue it. However, during our visit to Portugal he has got a new home and will live a happy life with another sight hound somewhere in Sweden.
I have to include a little funny story as well. Edwin, our dog, has stayed with my parents while we where in Portugal. They have a small summer house on the country side and as Edwin has very strong instincts to hunt after rabits, cats, deers, etc., they keep him in a long, thin rope when they leave him unattended outside. One day my father came home from one of his many biking events. Edwin was very happy to see him, so he ran around him a couple of laps and then decided to inform my mother that my father had arrived. Edwin is quite strong, so despite the fact that my father has an extra kilo or two, he managed to sweep my father off the ground. He fell on his thumb and got a crack in it (båtbenet). My father picked us up from the airport today with a plaster up to below the elbow. He missed the big cycling event of the year, to do Vasaloppet by bike (90k on dirt roads). He claims he was happy to miss it as he has not trained enough, but the only one I believe was happy was my mother that could have him at home an extra weekend!
When skiing we never take the final run of the day. If you have managed to not hurt your self during a hole day, don’t take the risk of doing it in the last run. Then you can of course discuss how to define which is the last one….., never mind! Yesterday at the beach, we stayed very long to maximise beach time. At 18.00 we decided to take one last swim in the Atlantic, before going home to freezy Sweden. With Ebba-Stina on my back I raced with Lotta to be the first one to hit the water. With five meters left to go, on the flat, soft beach, my toe got stuck in the sand and I heard a nasty crunching sound. I lost the race to the water and ended up with a lilac toe.
Lotta had to take the morning run on her own and I guess I have to spend some more days in “flip flops” (not that I mind it). I tried to get into my sneakers this morning, but gave up instantly!
Now we are on the flight from Dusseldorf to Gothenburg. Ilse slept the whole leg from Lisbon to Dusseldorf, so she’s in a good mood, to say the least. Ebba-Stina is back on “Princess and the Frog” on the Ipad, chunking on a huge Brezel.
Tomorrow “Kulturkalaset” (The Cultural Party) begins in Gothenburg. A lot of cultural events, such as concerts, street theater, etc., will go on until Sunday. The girls and I will probably go there tomorrow, while Lotta is back at the office counting trucks!
Today is our last day before heading back to Gothenburg. Like the last days its too hot to do anything else but hang out on the beach. Today there are some waves again, but yesterday the Atlantic was more or less flat. All the surfers where probably telling war stories at the beach bars around Baleal. In October I’ll be back for watching the stop over in the surfer world cup tour. Most likely the action factor will be much higher then, but for the time beeing we enjoy the slow pace another day.
On Tuesday Lotta is back at work and the girls and I in the drissle at the play ground. It will be nice to meet the dog again, but othervise we could enjoyed this for a couple of days more…… The week after next, I’ll be back in the office for one day, the following for two days and then full time from the one following that…. Now I have to go. A small blonde, marinated in sun protection, just jumped up on me in the bed. Beach, here we come!
We’re back in Praia d’El Rey since some days, after our visit to Porto. Porto is really worth a visit. It’s obvious that Portugal is in recession and has been so for a while, when you visit Porto. A lot of abandoned houses in the centre of the historical area Ribeira. Still the scenery and ambience is fantastic and the shopping opportunities are unlimited and at a good price level (we’ll be charged for the extra wheigt on the way home). We didn’t try any port wine, nor did we visit any play grounds. Port wine is everywhere and all the brands are very visible on the old ware houses on the southern bank of the river Douro, but we are not really into port wine. Play grounds we didn’t find any, but we went by yellow sight seeing buses which is almost equally fun!
Since coming back, I’ve won over Lotta in golf and spent the days on the beach. Ebba-Stina is a bit reluctant to the surfing after getting under the water in a breaking wave, but she is gradually coming up on the board again. Yesterday we went to the Beach in Baleal and it was totally crowded. You had to go zig zag between Portugeese families to get to the water. Still, we probably go back today to watch the surfers.
Last night we went to the medevial town/castle, Obidos, where there is a medevial festival going on. If you dress up in medevial clothing (can be rented on site), which many visitors do, you get free admission. Ebba-Stina dressed up like a princess and then we watched the knights duell both on horses and by foot, which was a big, big thrill. It was a very well produced show, where the knights even used lances to try to push eachother out of the saddles. The entire festival really had a genuine touch. No plastic cups with draught lager, no langos or stands with Chineese bling bling. Meat was grilled over open fires, wine and beer served in ceramic cups, and in all the stands local art or producs where sold. The girls where up untIl midnight to watch the games, belly dancers and all the dressed up people.
As soon as the mist has vanished we’ll hit the beach, so I better pack the bags…