People want to know if I’m tired of winter and longing for the spring.
The answer is no.
Late winter is a fabulous time of dazzling sun;
Of lacy art made out of ice and rainbows:
Of exhilarating days of trees made out of curtains of lace.
It’s still minus 14C when we wake up
Making it pleasant to walk on the iced over lake
To enjoy the sight of sunken boats and endless blue skies.
The secret to happiness is not to long for something you don’t have
But to enjoy fully what you do have.
For more bedazzled posts, please visit: Our World.
Who knew that the cold
Could be so enticing –
And so warmingly
For more golden skies, please visit: Skywatch.
Yesterday the temperature dropped down to minus 25 C
In the frosted early morning.
I went out on the ice – but stayed out way too long -
One and a half hours… With no breakfast.
Came back with a frost damaged face
And spent the rest of the day in bed sick.
Just goes to show that you shouldn’t
Be bound by your limits –
But you should know what your limits are!
Thank you in advance for your kind comments – I won’t be replying to them today
As I need to recover.
For more unlimited posts, please visit: Camera Critters.
Let me take you back to the end of October last year,
To a cold day of frosted eyelashes on leaves.
It was a stunning bright day
Perfect for a drive out to the horse ranch
Sporting its old Grand Central clock on the side of the barn.
The brilliance of the sun
Turned the wires into art
And behind the frosted thistles
I discovered a secret world of rainbow bubbles.
On the way home, I stopped to admire
The endurance of this ancient rune stone
(And to wonder if the Simpsons was based on the pattern on the stone…
Look at those eyes!)
For more good times, please visit: Our World.
No matter whether you are enjoying the balmy skies
Of a warm Christmas
Or the golden chills
Of a cold December –
I want to wish you all a wonderfully
Joyful and lovely holiday season;
And to thank you all for taking the time
To visit my little blog.
As my kids like to say:
“Christmas is not just about the presents,
It’s about love and family time.”
For more seasonal skies, please visit: Skywatch.
The key to enjoying a cold climate
Is to embrace it.
It finally started snowing and
The neighbourhood echoed with
Happy cries and drawings by children on the cars.
The snow turned everything to silken
Puffs of cotton wool.
(Can you see that big puddle making a heart?)
It’s still snowing!
And we’re still enjoying
Our dreamy winterland.
For more snow and sun, please visit: Our World.
It’s still too mild and grey for November, so I’m looking back to the end of October
When the frost presented a cheery iced sun;
And a wild pink rose
Covered in cold eyelashes.
Further on, a rose bud
Shimmered with melted hopes and ice –
And I found myself
At the beating heart of nature itself.
For more flowery scenes, please visit: Our World.
A couple of weeks ago, we woke up to a world transformed.
Trees and boats floated out of the freezing fog
Like soft ghosts;
The path along the lake looked as if it was
Covered in cotton wool.
As I walked my daughter to the train station in the early morning,
Our spirits lifted in this new world of fog and cold.
On the way home, a golden splash of colour
Transported me into the world of Monet.
Genius is the ability to renew one’s emotions in daily experience. – Paul Cezanne
For more stories, please visit: Our World.
After many long days of grey weather,
The sky delivered what the soul has been thirsting for.
And a gentle rain of sunbeams.
For more sunshine, please visit: Skywatch.
What can I say?
Oscar loves water – even if there are still some ice floes in it!
When you feel the impulse to soar, why content yourself with walking?
For more soaring animals, please visit: Camera Critters.
Springter is that time of year when spring and winter compete to see who is going to rule the weather.
One day the sun is shining and spring is shaking loose with a rainbow of melting snow.
The next day, winter is back with a vengeance – fresh snow and ice make art out last autumn’s leaves
Still clinging to the trees in a display of perseverance.
A bud tries to unfurl but is caught there between seed and flower
Between spring and winter
Between hope and promise.
To get away from my icy pictures, please visit: My World!
(Don’t know about you – but I think this pretty much describes middle age too.)
Sometimes there is nothing more delightful than bundling up in warm jackets
And heading off to the tropics! (Yes, I have a wild imagination.)
To the huge greenhouse filled with warmth and sunshine
And marvels of nature.
Where colours and blossoms run riot
With soft velvet petals sprinkled with gold.
Outside – the delicious cold of winter.
Inside – a festival of flowers,
A blossoming of the heart.
For more celebration, please visit: My World.
It’s great weather for ducks…
Cold and crisp with the crunch of snow underfoot.
Even the rocks are covered in ice
Reminding me that ducks are like feathered ships
Navigating the icebergs in their way.
If they can do it, so can we.
One kind word can warm three winter months. ~Japanese Proverb
For more stories, please visit: Camera Critters.
The weather is a good metaphor for life.
Even in extreme conditions, it’s your point of view that decides whether life is beautiful or not.
Sometimes it helps to explore the thrills of the small things in life: like snowflakes on the handle of a spade.
See how they cling together, giving each other warmth and beauty? How together they can transform the mundane into – dare I say it – something better than themselves.
And even there, when you are out on a limb, you can still dare to veer off your path, to create your own loveliness.
See how those flakes are hanging down, stuck together with nothing but moisture, perseverance, a little faith – and some love.
That’s the miracle of life: each one of us unique, and clinging together to create beauty where we can.
For more stories, please visit: My World.
A while ago, back in March, I seized the chance to see some exotic and unusual creatures in a cold climate…
First off were some joyful creatures from warm countries. They didn’t have any difficulty adapting to the icy conditions over here. Indeed, they seemed to thrive in the cold!
Others were born on the ice – and graced us with their orange synchronized dancing..
And then, just when we thought we’d seen the best, magical winged creatures flittered and fluttered about, making proud parental hearts burst with pride.
If we can’t go to Madagascar, then the next best thing is to bring Madagascar to us!
For more exotic creatures, please visit: Camera Critters!
Interior dog monologue (at the height of winter in February)…
Frodo thinks to self:
Does it look as if I’m having fun in this snow blizzard?
In fact, which dog in his right mind would enjoy the gale force wind and the lashing snow?
Oh, that’s right…
My dad, Oscar!
For warmer pets, please visit: Camera Critters!
The sky and snow are blue with cold
Until the sun rises
Tinging the soft underbellies of the popcorn clouds
With pink sugar.
The kids pile into overalls and boots
And gloves and hats and scarves
And kids and dog and I spill out
Into the gorgeous new day
To greet the thick fog rising like a veil
Above the welcoming iced over lake.
It’s cold. Very cold.
“I’ve got fog in my gloves!” my youngest shouts.
“Let’s go home.”
And enjoy the sensation and memory of that fog.
Fog in our gloves.
For more cool skies, go to: Skywatch!
I’m British, so of course, I like to talk about the weather! After all, what can be more fickle (apart from politicians)?
Since I moved to Sweden 13 years ago, I’ve had to get used to sights like this one…
Are you sure you can bear it? Oh – the snow, the ice, the bone-chilling cold…
However, if you can dance on the ice, then you can triumph over the cold!
And then, in really chilly weather, you might come across this…
If you’re squeamish, please close your eyes now!
…. Are your eyes averted?
That’s right – frosted hair! (My neighbour usually has lovely brown hair.)
Why is she smiling?
Well, it might just have something to do with views like this!
I’m not sure I can bear anymore though…
So much cold beauty to enjoy!
For more gorgeous views, please visit: My World!
Today it is officially the first day of spring! The hens are laying eggs, the cows are giving milk and the flowers bloom like pretty balloons in the pastures. And hark – I can hear a choir of angels – or singing nuns – or … Wait! Back up… Because when I went out this morning, this is the scene that greeted me:
A glorious sun shining on the frozen lake so that it looked like a carpet of diamonds. Fresh snow and minus 13 C! Welcome to spring. By the way, did I mention that this is the first day of spring?
Some of you might know this day better as Lady Day or as the Feast of the Annunciation. Or to put it more simply, the Angel Gabriel told Mary that she was going to have a baby. And for some reason, the Swedes celebrate this day by eating waffles. A bit of googling told me that in medieval times, vendors used to sell waffles outside churches on special religious celebrations. In fact, they used to compete so fiercely about whose waffle was biggest that France was forced to instigate a ‘Waffle Law’ – a kind of restraining order that said waffle vendors had to remain six feet apart!
I can just imagine the French waffle vendors fighting – can’t you? Imagine all this with a French accent if you will…
“You are just a load of hot waffle, you leetle toad!”
“Your muther was an escargot and your father was a flaky croissant!”
“You mean, one of those croissants made wiz zee rich butter…”
“Yes. And with pastry so soft it melts in ze mouth. Oh, cabbages! We are supposed to be enemies…”
“Oh, yes! Sorry! You are just so full of crepe!”
And so on!
Now – where was I? Oh yes – trying to find a connection between the church and waffles. Just done that!
The other reason why Swedes eat waffles on 25 March is because it’s supposed to be the first day of spring. (Have I already mentioned this?) That’s right – hens lay eggs, cows give milk and those nuns are singing high up in the hills… Whatever! Anyway, eating heart-shaped waffles (for ALL waffles in Sweden are that shape) with cream and jam is definitely the first sign of spring. No matter what the weather is doing!
(My sister arrives from England this evening, so we have decided to eat the first sign of spring tomorrow instead… Oh – and if I don’t post quite so often this week, then blame it on my visitors. You know how demanding they can be – always wanting to eat food or talk or do something that can interfere with blogging…)
While on the subject of the weather…
Once, a long time ago, BK (before kids), Sir Pe and I decided to go up to the very north of Sweden again – to Lapland – and stay at the now world-renowned Ice Hotel. Yes – you guessed it! It is a hotel made entirely of ice that melts and then is re-built every year with the ice sawn out of the local river: The Torne River. The huge pristine ice blocks are truly beautiful to behold and are of a shimmering greenish colour.
Situated 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, it gets pretty darn cold! And it’s dark all day long when the days are at their shortest. You never would have guessed it: but cold and darkness are experiences that people from all over the world come for! (Hey! They could come and live with us for half the price…) The hotel boasts its own bar, bowling alley, chapel (for christenings and weddings) and cinema, amongst other things. The suites are sculpted by ice sculptors that compete to come here from all corners of the globe (well, if a globe had corners, that is).
The suite we stayed in had a big ice bed covered in hides, a fireplace and logs carved out of ice, prettily lit up with candles as well as ice chairs and table. When you check in, you are given a big snowsuit and thick boots, hats and gloves to borrow because the average indoor temperature is about – 8 C. Luckily, the year we went was the first time they had indoor toilets. Still, it was quite a chilly walk there and back in the middle of the night. And although I got into the ultra-warm sleeping bag with hat and socks on, I was very warm during the night and ended up taking off the hat as well as a jumper.
Thanks for asking: yes, I had a delightfully refreshing sleep! I urge you all to try it at least once in your lives! And, of course, one of the main attractions of the deep, bone-chilling cold are the northern lights. Natural fireworks, sheets of shimmering silk, scarves of untold beauty.
Anyway, although it was March when we went up there, it was still pretty cold. Bitterly cold, in fact at a perky – 35 C! I repeat: minus 35 C. The cold is a dry cold, which makes it far more bearable, and for a while it was OK. Sir Pe and I used a ‘spark’ – a kind of sled thingy that you kick (you can see a whole load of them parked outside the hotel in the big blue photo above) – to visit the local church and then a Sami tent, where we ate polar bread and heard Sami stories.
The problem arose on the way back to the guesthouse (we only stayed at the actual ice hotel one night). I guess that I had cooled off a bit too much in the smoky tent, so once outside again, kicking our way back along the road – about 2 km – to the restaurant, my body decided to whimper out on me and shut down without so much as a thank-you.
My hands were the first to go: they were so cold that I lost all feeling. In fact, I just wanted to stop and lie down and go to sleep. Luckily, Sir Pe nagged and cajoled me until we reached the warmth of the restaurant.
That’s where the problems really started! You see, going from -35 C to +20 C is quite a temperature difference for the body to cope with, and as the blood started rushing back to my white dead fingers, the pain was excruciating. Unbearable. So unbearable that I started wailing and crying out loud. That got people looking! We even skipped the queue as we were shown to a table immediately.
More whimpering meant that we were served in double quick time. The other tourists looked on with barely-concealed horror, but the locals regarded me with pity.
I got the feeling that they too, at least once in their lives, had experienced the pain of the cold that makes you cry out loud.
This is a public apology to the weather gods – especially to the Greek god Boreas (also known as Aquilo if you speak Latin). For Boreas is the god of the North Wind (either that or he ate too many beans last night), and it is he who comes flying over the northern countries, breathing on us with his icy breath.
And being a god, he is rather fickle, to say the least. And very sensitive. (Such is the male ego!) You see, there I was complaining about the weather, when – in fact – we were actually having a heatwave. Soon after yesterday’s post hit the Internet, the temperatures decided to plunge headlong downwards: not to hell, but to where hell freezes over.
OK – so it was only -21 C, but that really did feel a bit cold. Biting even on the cheeks (the ones on my face, dear readers).
As you know, people tend to have a good side in profile, and a bad side – well, that is what they would have us believe when we are taking their picture anyway.
I’ve discovered that I have a rosy apple-cheeked side and a flaking, peeling, chapped side. My left side obviously thrives in the cold weather, and I come back all sparkly-eyed and red-cheeked after being outside. My right side is definitely the wrong side when exposed to cool weather: my eye starts weeping, the tears congeal on my cheek, causing the skin to crack and flake. Very unappealing (or unappeeling, if you like).
But I digress. Back to my apology.
You see – as soon as I started bad-mouthing Boreas, the temperatures plummeted like a hot air balloon losing gas. So, now that I am making a public apology, they will soon rise again, like high hopes or the cost of living.
Because that’s the way weather works.
After putting on layer after layer, I was ready to explore the exciting new landscape that lay outside my door, trusty dog at my side.
After only a few seconds, my face went numb in the sharp gale force wind that was blowing off the lake, and my left ear started aching with the cold.
And almost immediately after that, I found myself knee-deep in whirls of fluffy white icing and swimming through the frostiest frosting ever.
Marshmallows that loomed out of the darkness turned out to be cars swathed in snow. Large ghost-like objects revealed themselves to be trees, bent almost horizontal in the keen wind.
The wall on the back deck has snow all the way up to its top – that’s almost thigh-high on someone of my (small) size.
It was ghostly quiet in my snowy cake icing landscape… apart from the howling of the wind, that is. Not a single soul was out and about. Just the hound and myself.
A while later, I struggled back home with snow in my boots and cheeks stung scarlet by the blizzard. At coffee time, I looked out of my study window to see if the storm had abated.
It hadn’t. But at least I had my butterfly and flower to keep me company. That – and the weird blue twilight of the snowstorm.
Lunch has been and gone, and now I am only putting off all that scriptwriting that must be done. A quick glance shows me that the icing outside has only become deeper, more mysterious.
please send out a search party.
I’m the little, frozen figure hidden deep within the layers of that icy frosted snowdrift.