• Lanthandeln

    [The country store]

    Nordanå, Ernst Westerlunds allé, 931 22 Skellefteå
    Lanthandeln

    I wanted to do an advent calendar on the blog this year. To document my first Christmas in Sweden. Except that after planning the posts, drawing illustrations, and baking a few – of the many I had on my list – traditional Swedish biscuits, I realised that it actually went against everything I believed in and mostly, against documenting.

    I admire bloggers and magazine publishers who can write about Christmas in September (and most of the time, even earlier) but I’ve never been a good make-believer. I like to write as things happen – wether in my life, or in my kitchen. So instead of the daily posts I had dreamed about for December, I’m here with the now.

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    The first snow happened a few days ago. At around nine pm. And really, I was so excited I had to resort to my most serious form(s) of persuasion to convince Kalle to come for a walk with me.
    Perhaps, it was nothing like the thick cotton snowflakes we’d seen last March, on the day we left for Åsen, but there is was. Winter.

    Since then, we’ve put together a little Christmas corner in our flat. There are a few candles. And the white dalahäst [Dala horse] we bought in Mora two summers ago. There is a small wire basket, which reminds me of the – larger, and very yellow – one that my mum has always used to store her pinces à linge [clothespins]. Oh and a white apple that I couldn’t resist, so much it brought back memories of the apple – dripping with icing – illustration on a left page of one the books I used to go to bed every night as a child; and of which, I’ve sadly forgotten the title, not that I haven’t searched for years (it might have been the story of a mouse and his friend, and I, although I might be very wrong, I think they had a car; not that it matters so much, but maybe one of you will remember it too, and really, that would be the most wonderful Christmas present I could think of).

    Today, the sun set as we walked back home from lanthandeln [the country store]. A happy miss-match of ribbons and Christmas ephemera, cast-iron scissors and glass jars; not unlike a charming cabinet de curiosité. It must have been no later than two thirty and by three, the growing darkness could only come up to the lights that glimmer on every window.

    There is a café in the back; although, we will have to come back as we didn’t have any change. And also mostly so that I can buy the scissors :) And perhaps, next time, I won’t be so camera-shy and will be able to show you därinne [inside, literally, in there] and not just the beautiful windows.

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