V&Tree

Sweden 2014 - Summer Bathing (prt3)

Sweden 2014 - Time for Tea

During midweek we had a day where we just ate all the leftovers from previous meals in the house. It was great weather all week and so on the Saturday we were invited to tea with the family, so I drove my little Yaris, with Dan and Alan, all the way up to Kungsbacka to meet them all again. 

It was just after my relatives granddaughter’s birthday, so all the adults were chilling in the kitchen, sitting around the table where freshly baked (gluten free) pies were ready, alongside swedish strawberries and sweet watermelon. The pies were blackberry in one and rhubarb in the other and the vanilla ice cream accompanying it was simply the best! The local brand ‘Sia’ icecream is unbeatable! Its nothing like the ones in store I am used to, so then after we continued to enjoy it for days to come. 

Sweden 2014 - David’s Student Party! 

During our time in Sweden, we were lucky enough to be there during a friends student party (or school/ college graduation party). I had no idea about this tradition in Sweden and so it was awesome to be part of it for the first time! I think the run down would be that every year, on the same day, all students who have graduated from either secondary school or college have this huge party. First is with the family, which is what these next photosets are about, then after they get together with their friends and party like its 1999. The guys wear tux’s and the girls where white, both toped with sailor hats (their official graduation hat) decked out with their name, signatures and other customisation as they please. 

On Friday afternoon I drove up to Halmstad where his family party was being held in Clara’s old work place. I was really surprised to see even in Båstad there were students in hats driving in convertibles celebrating, I mean the place is tiny! When we arrived, thanks to my satnav (Lord I fear what I would do without it) we said our greetings and were introduced to the other friends and family around us. Kristina, my good friend, had been cooking all day for this party and had done one hell of a job because everything looked delicious! She was all tired out in the kitchen, but it was a pleasure to see her again and of course to be amongst her family.  

Sweden 2014 - David’s Student Party! (prt2)

While the other guests were beginning to arrive, Alan and I decided to have a wonder around the building, where we discovered this amazing game! Apparently it is a Swedish staple of children’s toys, everyone has one, apart from us of course, because in all my 22 years of living on this earth I have never seen such a thing! 

This thing by the way is called ‘Stiga Table Hockey’, unlike the only table hockey game I know… air hockey, this game played by moving the figures on the board by pulling and tugging the different wires around the table. It’s kinda surreal when you are used to the rigid motions of the spinning table football players, these guys on the other hand move with crazy precision. Alan and I had a dry run and struggled to make a goal, other than own goals of course, maybe its just the way we were leaning? Then David found us and showed us how it was done, I suppose growing up with a game like this does make you a step better than those who just discovered it, he was just so fast! 

Sweden 2014 - David’s Student Party! (prt3)

Next game there was a mini pool table, so David and I played it out. It started a bit one sided, but believe it or not I actually won. I find it funny how graceful David’s posture is when playing compared to mine. Alan of course took these photo’s while we were playing and somehow made it look like we were playing on a full size pool table - haha!  

Sweden 2014 - David’s Student Party! (prt4)

The party begins! Everyone had arrived by now and it was time to dig in! Kristina had prepared so much food and it was all so good! Alan and I piled our plates with delicious creamy chicken, boiled potatoes, beans, kebab, roast peppers, filo pastry and the damn sweetest watermelon of the year! So good! Everyone looked so happy talking to each other on a long table of guests, but the best was yet to come, because then she arrived with… [link]

Sweden 2014 - David’s Student Party! (prt5)

The big fish! Kristina came in the room with a huge parcel wrapped in newspaper and it was this, a whole fire hot smoked salmon, it was intense. It had been cooked very locally to the area and brought especially for this party, it smelled like an open fireplace in winter and tasted unlike anything I had had before. Contrary to the mild cool smoked salmon in England, this one tasted so intensely of wood in fire, it was so fantastic! Thank you for letting us experience this together with your family Kristina!

Sweden 2014 - David’s Student Party! (prt6)

While tucking into our favourite meal of the holiday, we were talking to David about life and such, most of the other family spoke mostly Swedish so its not so easy to indulge in conversation. He explained to us the what for about the Student Party and everything I have talked about so far, when all of a sudden Kristina brings from around the corner a brand new (but very rustic looking) bike for David. He seems delighted, were all really happy for him and gifts are passed around. A speech was said at one point, which we didn’t understand because it was in Swedish, but everything was so great, you can’t help but to feel happy. 

Sweden 2014 - David’s Student Party! (prt7)

So that was the day, we saw old friends, met new people, ate the best meal of the holiday and experienced something really new to us, it was great! I drew a picture of David on the black board during the party, and while Alan was helping with the packing and clean up after, I tinkered a bit with the piano, where I tried to play songs by memory. 

Afterwards I drove them home and we had a spot of tea while we sat and watched the world cup on tv, before driving back home to Båstad. The night drive was very peaceful and the roads were practically empty.

Sweden 2014 - Midsummer Sun

That first evening when we had arrived, after settling in a bit, we went to get burgers in the town square. We ate them in a field where wild rabbits were hopping about around us and we felt amazed how bright it was for past 10pm?? I had never been in Sweden before Midsummer and to be honest, it was as much a ghost town as in September, I guess Båstad is a truly unique place to be. 

Finishing up we walked down to the sea to see the most beautifully still sunset. The contrast between the rocks and the setting sun were striking, and the sea was so quiet, then in the distance you could hear the church bells toll for 11pm and it was still light. 

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