April 30, 2009

Spring At Its Peak.

This is the last day of April, which has been the most beautiful spring month on record, at least here in Denmark. With more sun hours and less rain than normal for even the summer months, it has also been extraordinary warm. Honestly, if June and July will be anything like our April was, we can conclude that the summer was better than good.

Almost as if on cue, there is a weather change in store for us comes the weekend. The wind is shifting, bringing in humid air from the large Atlantic ocean in the west, which means we are back to the somewhat normal Scandinavian spring; rain, cold air, wind and clouds.
Well, it was good as long as it lasted. Hopefully May will not be a total washout.

I found this little quiz, titled "What part of spring are you?" on the lovely blogthings site and considering that we have reached the middle of the spring season by now, I decided to post it.
I have to say that the result is spot on, at least for me.




You Are Blooming Flowers



You are an optimistic person by nature. In even the darkest times, you are hopeful about the future.
You feel truly blessed in life and can sometimes be overwhelmed with emotions.
You have an artist's eye.
You are always looking for beauty in the mundane.
You have a good sense of aesthetics, especially when it comes to shapes and color.

April 29, 2009

In Awe Of Construction.

The neighbouring house where I live is being heavily and thoroughly reconstructed and renovated. It is really getting a facelift that will last probably for decades to come.
To be honest, it is not something very pleasant for us living in the vicinity. There is noise, obstructions and dust. But to be fair to everyone involved, it is done with minimal trouble and nuisance, considering the amount and the extend of work being performed.

I love watching workers renovating or building something. It doesn’t matter what it is they do; it can be just a facade lift, reconstructions of sidewalks, reparation or resurfacing of roads or even renovations of roofs. But the best is of course to watch them building a house from scratch.
There is something extremely fascinating in observing professionals in creating something marvellous such as a new building. To me, who knows close to nothing about most of the DIY work and who relies heavily on the Irishman to help me out, seeing collaboration between skilled craftsmen and watching them construct magnificent pieces of art is very rewarding.

Even in my work, which is very abstract for most parts, the best aspect of the science I carry out is something called “protein purification”. In my field, this means to purify one single component out of a crude mixture, such as human blood, by using different systems and procedures, until I have one single pure element, also called a protein. In my profession, I deal with parts of human biology, which are minute and invisible to human eye. Most of what I do is so called "basic research" which is like a step stone for other scientists. They can use my data to make discoveries that can possibly revolutionize the world.

Therefore ending up with a pure material that I can visibly identify after weeks of effort is the most rewarding aspect of my work; the feeling must be similar to that a builder feels when he can gaze upon a renovated structure or a brand new building that he has taken part in constructing. There is a true satisfaction in seeing the fruits of ones labour.

April 28, 2009

Birch Trees.

When I sit in my comfortable red sofa and gaze out through my living room windows, I see a row of birch tress. In fact, there are many in my neighbourhood, no matter which direction I look; there will be one or more of these in my view.

Birch trees are one of the most common trees around Northern Europe and Central Europe as well. There are many things I like about the birch. I love when it start flowering as it means spring is definitely peaking. It is blooming right now and its flowers account for the majority of the total current pollen count here in Denmark. The flowers are of particular shape and easy to recognize.
Even more characteristic is its bark, which gives a feeling of having many layers of a paper-thin quality and is white in colour. In fact, the name birch is derived from the Germanic root, birka, with the Proto-Indo-European root bherəg, meaning "white, bright; or to shine." In fact the Danish name is birk, the Swedish björk and in the Slavic language the birch is called breza; they are all very similar words.

In forests with birch tress one can find many mushrooms, which are delicious in soups and sauces, or just freshly prepared with scrambled eggs. I recall back in the past, how I often went picking mushrooms with my parents in the autumn and I loved the way my mother would prepare them in the evening, after a long day out.
And of course, the birch wood is my favourite kind to use as a fuel in my fireplace. The wood, with its ornate bark is not just a lovely decoration when stored indoors, but the thin layers of bark aid greatly in the ease in which it burns.

Eventually, most of all however I love to watch how the birch trees changes through the seasons, which is a true sign of the circle of life that is nature.


April 27, 2009

Annoying Voice.

For a few months now, I have been experiencing something very odd with my computer. I use a mac laptop and it has been talking to me. Talking might not be the right word actually; shouting out would be more appropriate. When I least expected it, a very desperate, scary voice would come out of the speakers yelling in the most terrifying way; "Oh my god, no way!"

To begin with, I ignored it. I even thought at first that I imagined it. It used to happen only a couple of times a week at first, but then it started to happen almost every day. That strange sentence gave me the chills. Finally I decided to investigate.

There could be several possibilities explaining the source. The worst one would be that my computer has been infected with a virus or spy-ware. That thought was definitely a very unpleasant one. Another possibility could be some strange adds that would pop up in the windows opened in my browser. Those "interactive" ones, that so often startle me. Those that will start talking or playing music, as soon as the mouse cursor runs over them. I have even experienced one that was truly surreal; each time my cursor passed the add, a slapping sound could be heard and the face of a man shown in the add looked as if it has been beaten up. Although it amused me to begin with, I found it quiet quickly terribly distasteful. It was an add for a car dealership; I guess they must be getting desperate with the decline in their sales.

But back to the scary voice. Finally, last week, I did one sensible thing left to do: a google search. And behold, many out there have been experiencing the exact problems with the computers shouting out this odd sentence. And the culprit is a "Smiley Add". A pop up add that appears on my webmail, advertising for a site where one can download animated smileys. The funny thing is that the voice is not triggered by the cursor, so how it comes on remains a mystery to me. One, which I have to accept and live with, as well as the annoying sound. Or the alternative is to stop checking my email.

April 26, 2009

So Many Channels, So Little Time...

Recently I upgraded my cable. Apparently, later this year an TV era will come to its end here in Denmark. The eater TV signal, or so-called analogue transmission will cease to exists and the only television signal possible to receive will be the digital one. To be able to receive such a signal, it might be necessary to get a so-called decoder. Therefore when my cable company advertised an offer for such a decoder that would arrive together with HD recorder and an array of new TV channels, some of the in HD (high definition) quality, I signed up for a subscription.

The installation was easy and when I switched my new decoder on, I realized that I now had 250 channels instead of the 45 I was used to. And the quality of some of them was amazing.
I have now had this selection for over a week and I still have not been able to fully enjoy watching a fraction of the channels. There is simply just not enough time. Especially as the weather is beautiful, I really do not feel like spending hours watching television. But I am looking forward to probably (hopefully) have something to watch once the autumn returns or on those rainy summer days, which are so common here in Scandinavia.

But for now, I am still enjoying the warm spring, even if at this point the nature is suffering from lack of water. It has been a very dry April so far and it is clearly obvious that nature needs rain. Although today is cloudier and the threat of rain is in the air, what would be beneficial is a heavy shower. I never thought I would say this.
Nevertheless, I water my plants and the sun and the water in combination makes everything grow with the speed of light. Below is an update on the growth of my lovely clematis – the difference a week made is a sign of the fact that it is indeed thriving.

April 25, 2009

Moving Outside.

My Saturdays are always devoted to two activities; household chores and relaxation. My house is not big, but it is big enough for my two roommates and me. It is also just big enough to handle when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. I usually spend about four hours each Saturday morning on cleaning; I have gotten into a routine that barely changes. Even Batcat is familiar with it at this point. He is not very pleased when I am busy running around putting things into order and most of all, he hates when I am using that terribly loud and scary "animal" that vacuums anything in its way. He is not really scared of the vacuum cleaner, I think it mostly annoys him. I guess at this point he is somewhat aware of the fact that it is not dangerous and is mostly the noise he dislikes. Therefore he keeps his distance when it is in use.

After the house is clean I love to relax and the way I do it depend on the season. In winter, I love to sit in front of the fireplace listening to music reading magazines. However, in spring and summer, I move outside to my terrace. In the past few weeks, the unusually large amount of sunshine has made the garden green and the terrace is very serene and inviting. It is time to once again move outside and relax in the warmth of the spring sun. This Saturday we have had the record breaking 20C in the shade (around 68F). That is very unusual for a Scandinavian month of April and I am hoping this is a good indication of how the coming summer will turn out.

April 24, 2009

Eros.

When I was growing up in Sweden, Europe was a slightly different place than it is now. Although unified in some way, borders with passport controls still separated each country. Traveling held a completely different magic then. Crossing from one state to another meant such a vast change; the political system might have been different as well as the currency. So was the language, the culture, the mentality of people, the cuisine and even some of the history. Everything was new and exotic.

As was the music.

Very few performing artists have managed to gain success in most of Europe with songs sang in their native language. Most pop artists would sing in English and managed to enter the European charts, despite the country of their origin. But very few singing in any other language could enjoy any extended success and most of them ended up as one hit wonders, soon to be forgotten.

There has been one exception, however. The charismatic Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, whose unique voice has been sounding in the aether for almost thirty years. His music is to me everlasting, never to age at all. There is something very romantic, captivating and utterly pensive about his sound. His style is abundant with candid humility, exceedingly removed from any flamboyance.
Looks and charisma aside, to me it has always been about his music. I am not so familiar with much of what he has done in the past decade, although it has always been easy to follow his productivity by the multitude of his hits and duets with other famous performers, that has received constant airplay over the years.

To this day, I still love to listen to his absolutely early work, which brings back the memories of my teens. It moves me back to the time, when my imagination was still very vivid and the future full of promises of adventures in far away, exotic lands.

April 23, 2009

Precious Adornment.

I have a particular taste in jewellery. I do not care much for silver or gold, or precious stones. I will not crave diamonds nor pearls. To me, jewellery is much more than that.
I love when it tells a story, when the style is unique, when the occasion at which it is given is an unforgettable one. I enjoy wearing vintage jewellery, that I have inherited, as well as ornaments purchased at fairs and flea markets, at second hand stores or antique shops. I am always intrigued by historical jewellery, made to look as if made from times long gone. Celtic, Native American or Viking styles have always mesmerized me and I own many of these. This doesn’t mean that on every day bases, I will not buy inexpensive oversize plastic earrings, necklaces or bracelets. I have often been complimented on the accessories I wear and many are surprised when I disclose the source or the cost. To me, it has always been about mixing quality and beauty, meaning that often I wear something I really like despite the origins or the value. Anything we tend to wear with joy or pleasure will look stunning on us. In my humble opinion, one doesn’t have to wear expensive brands from top to toe, in order to look stylish and interesting.

Very few people in my family, if any, have ever given me jewellery as gifts. I think my style is so unique (and complicated), that no one ever dares to try. However, the Irishman seems to have certainly tapped in to what I like. He keeps giving me wonderful earrings and pendants, broaches, bangles and rings, all of which have become my favourite. The ones presented here have been the lovely gifts he brought on his last visit.

April 22, 2009

Catching Sunlight.

The season of the long, light evenings has started. On average, the days have gained almost eight hours of light since the winter solstice. This increase in light, plus the fact that April has now officially broken the "sunshine record", is the reason why all my solar lamps are suddenly alive.
I have a few of them scattered here and there around my terrace. Some are old, some are new. Some are simple lamps, some are decorative lanterns. They shine with warm, yellow light which is triggered by the twillight. Powered by solar energy, some of them can be alight for many hours.

My favourite is a lantern that I have placed on top of my coffee table in front of the house. It can be used with normal batteries in winter, when the sun is absent. In summer, the two rechargeable batteries that run on solar power keep it lit through out the night. Additionally, when the lamp is on, the emitting light flickers, simulating a candle; which is always a welcoming site for anyone that approaches my house at dusk, during spring and summer evenings.

video

April 21, 2009

All Good Things...

"All good things must come to an end...”.
Well, at least that is how the saying goes. And there is some truth to it. The past week has been wonderful, but too short and the end was bittersweet. But that is the definition of true happiness; those brief, fleeting moments in time, which are precious and seem to elude us defiantly.
I find consolation in the fact that one day in the future this happiness will return to me. Every end has a beginning and everything goes in circles; I prefer to be happy for a few fleeting seconds in what seems like eternity, than never have to have the privilege to know happiness at all.

The Irishman brings not just sunshine into my heart and soul, but he also brings true, real sunshine with him every time. The weather breaks all the records upon his visits.
And this time was no exception; the last few days were filled with blue skies and plenty of sun.

Nature has changed significantly and visibly in the last couple of weeks. I took a picture of my fast growing clematis this past Sunday and the difference a week has made is blatantly obvious. A small collage further signifies the alterations that the warm April brought to my garden.

We are now on the threshold to the summer months, with the long days, white nights and the unique kind of magic that is so symbolic of Scandinavia.

April 15, 2009

"Lovely Day".

There are good days.
There are bad days.
There are also days when we think it would have been better never to have gotten out of bed in the first place.

But then there are days we want to hold onto tight, days we never ever want to end.
Today is such a day for me.

I am getting a visit from Ireland; thus I will be taking a short break.

I am leaving you with a version of one of my old time favorites from Bill Withers. Every time I hear it, I can not help smiling. Sharing it today seems to be so very appropriate.

Wishing you all a truly lovely day.
See you in a week.


April 14, 2009

Life Outside My Doorstep.

Every spring, nature comes to life just outside the door to me terrace. I live close to a small water pond. There is a drain below the stairs, which leads the rainwater out onto the meadows close to the pond. As the terrace is facing west, the landing is a shielded, dark, often humid place, until the very afternoon, when sun heats it up. Especially in the spring when the sun is still lying low, the stairs receive sun first late in the day. I think this is why my landing is often visited by toads, frogs and newts. Sometimes by only one, but during a spring rain multitudes of them emerge from the drain.
The newts are called "Small Water Salamanders" in Danish and they do leave the hibernation in the end of February. As they are amphibians, they are coldblooded animals, which means that their body temperature is equal to the temperature of the surroundings. In the early spring, when it is still cold outside, they are easy to pick up (carefully), as their motion is limited by the cold. But, it only takes them just a couple of minutes to absorb the heat from a human hand and they become lively and eager to be on the move, as seen from the clip below.
In some way the sight of these little creatures is yet another true spring sign.
video

April 13, 2009

Easter Monday Of My Childhood.

Easter Monday is what I remember most vividly from the Easter celebrations in my childhood. Growing up in the communist part of Europe, the celebration contained a somewhat more pagan tradition.

Easter Mondays were renowned for a very odd, but never the least a very amusing custom. All the girls in the families were either soaked completely with water, that was poured over their heads from buckets held by the boys, or they were being hit across the legs, in a symbolic way, with long thin twigs or switches made from willow or birch tree branches, decorated with colourful bows. The origin of these customs is not completely known, but it has been suggested to be most likely symbols of rejuvenation and rebirth and are carried out as a contributing factor to keep the girls healthy and young.
I recall, that the striking with the willow branches was more a Czech custom, while the "watering" of the girls was a Slovak tradition.

Well, we did not concern ourselves at that time much about the origins of these traditions. All I remember was that on Easter Monday, my mother was constantly drenched and she kept changing into dry clothes every hour. This somewhat crazy spectacle would start in the morning, when my father would symbolically pour a glass of water over my mother, while she was still asleep and did the same to me and my sister. Interestingly, he would also give us fragrances as gifts. Getting these presents was worth the somewhat rough awakening.;)


But, that was just the beginning. We would dress in our best clothes, and so would my parents. One by one, friends and relatives would stop by during the day and all the males would pour buckets of water over my poor mother. Some of them took her even into the shower and showered her down. Describing it here makes it sound somewhat brutal, but it really was not. Everyone was always laughing and was in excellent mood. Particuarly the men. Although my mother secretly hated this. I think every woman did.
As children, me and my sister would most of the time only receive a friendly squirt of water here and there. Thankfully.

What I remember even more with amusement is an alteration of this "watering" custom, performed by the boys from school, that wold stop by our door. They would be more polite and not pour buckets of water over me; no, they would spray my hair with cheap fragrances and perfumes. Imagine what I must have smelled like, as sometimes there could be twenty boys coming by in one afternoon. In return, they would get money or beautifully decorated Easter eggs. I think they preferred the money.

I remember going to bed in the evening stinking something unbelievable - but - my hair would not come nowhere near a shampoo. It was absolutely crucial to keep the smell lasting until the next day. In school, all the girls would then smell each others hair and of course only the ones that had the most incredible mixture of scents would be the popular one.
Today I can not help but wonder whether any of them poured some extra fragrances on their heads the night before.;)

April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday.

Another beautiful day is reaching its end here in southern Scandinavia. Just like yesterday, it will offer a sunset out of this world - this one was taken yesterday when light cloud cover covered the setting sun.
I have been told, that if I ever wanted to sell my house (which will most likely never happen), I should decorate the walls with the multitude of sunset pictures I have captured out of the living room window over the years. Everyone who has experienced the sunsets from the house told me, that would guarantee a sale in no time.

Today I weeded the back terrace and I could not help but notice how much everything has changed since yesterday. Again over night. Particularly my clematis. I love those climbing plants, as they turn from nothing to something so stunning, it is close to unbelievable. Within a few months, this plant goes from a bunch of empty sticks to a green veil full of cobalt blue flowers. I have decided to post a weekly picture of the growth progress every Sunday, to show how beautiful it will get once we reach August.
The pictures below prove the statement I made yesterday, that is how growth can be watched over night. These are pictures of the growing clematis; note that the second picture was taken yesterday and the third one today. If you look closely, the difference is clearly visible (please click on the picture to enlarge).

April 11, 2009

Summerlike Easter.

We have had a continuous string of warm days. It has been a rare two weeks, with sunny days and the occasional shower in the night. I can see the nature changing in front of my eyes. I love this time of the year, when every single morning I can look out onto my garden and see that something new has sprouted, in what seems, just over night.
We have had the warmest April beginning on record and also the warmest Easter on record as well.
Today I worked many hours trying to remove the weed on my front terrace; it is painstaking job as the terrace is tiled and in between the tiles something unwanted always grows. However, this year I truly enjoyed it as the weather was gorgeous.
I also took out my coffee table set; this usually means that summer is approaching fast.
Both my terraces are filled with ladybugs. I could not resist making a little collage of the many beautiful tiny red "pearls" that decorate my many flower beds and pots.
Hoping everyone is having a wonderful Easter weekend.

April 10, 2009

Easter Cinematography.

While growing up in Sweden, I recall that there was a tradition to broadcast particular films on television during the holidays. It became quiet customary to repeat a special broadcast every year. That was long before the cable with its multitude of channels. We only had two at that time and one of them would always show the Anglo-Italian television miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth" during the Easter weekend.

I was already then enthralled by this masterpiece. Even though it is over thirty years old, still today I watch it with the same intensity as I did when I was a young girl, as it is close to impossible not to be captivated by the creative force and visions of Franco Zeffirelli, the director. His perceptive talent in casting, the ability to create authentic settings and his compelling storytelling has always appealed to me. Other of his works worth to mention in this context would be the adaptation of the famous Shakespeare love tragedy, Romeo and Juliet from 1967.

The success of this Easter miniseries was attributed not just to superb direction, but also to the astounding performance, both visual and creative, by the actor Robert Powell in the main role. Zeffirelli also did again cast Olivia Hussey (who appeared ten years prior in his "Romeo and Juliet") in the role of Mary. Her ethereal appeal brought serenity and a tranquil allure into this important role.

April 09, 2009

Easter Thursday And A Birthday.

Today is Easter Thursday, also called Holy Thursday.

Coincidentally, today is also my little sisters birthday.

My sister used to be my best friend, my confidant and my true partner in crime. As children, we behaved the way sisters do. We played a lot and we fought a lot, usually over truly insignificant things, which however seemed so very important to us at the time.

Growing older, a fervent bond developed between us, as a result of our family's emigration to the west. We became best buddies, sharing secrets and confiding in each other with our troubles, relying on and finding strength in one another, when the rest of the world seemed alien and hostile. I recall as if it was yesterday, when upon our return from school each day, we would be sitting in the kitchen or in one of our rooms, having a snack, talking the afternoons away. Funny, I never realized then how precious those few hours would once become and how I would miss them.

But time waits for no one and one day, I left my sister behind when I moved thousands of miles across the ocean, to another continent. After that, our lives took us in different directions and as adults we were never to live in the same country again.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to the wide eyed, cute, sensitive little girl that I so instinctively tried to protect at all times. Whose hand I automatically reached for (and did so until our late teens to her aggravation) as soon as we were crossing a road. The one who used to come to me for help with her homework, who used to look up to me and who used to ask me for advice. She is no longer there. Instead I see an independent, strong, capable woman, loving wife and a devoted mother.

Today is a very significant birthday for her, as it is the last one in a given decade. It is indeed strange to part with that one number, almost a familiar friend, that has been around for 10 years. For a brief - and not so brief - moment, it can evoke feelings of bittersweet melancholy over getting older.

But then we drink some cheap Champagne, shed a tear and smile a smile, while we say good bye to the decade that treated us well. And then finally we conclude the one and only truth; that age is after all only a number.

Therefore my little sister, I promise you, it is a piece of cake. Enjoy your last "you know what" something and believe me when I say;
'The best is yet to come'.
Congratulations!

April 08, 2009

Easter Eggs.

Growing up in Eastern Europe, the tradition of "Easter Eggs" was a very significant one for me.
We did not grow up with the western tradition of "Easter Egg Hunt", although we do recognize the symbol of the Easter Bunny.

In the Slavic culture, the decoration of Easter Eggs is an art form and the display of the decorated eggs is a must in each household. There are many ways, in which one can chose to carry out the decorations. The true, talented artists can create incredible masterpieces. The most common method to decorate is to use the empty eggshell of raw eggs, from which the contents has been has expelled. Then, using hot wax and a metal loop stylus, one can create intricate ornaments all over the surface of the empty egg. After the wax has cooled and hardened, the egg is submerged into series of colour baths creating a stunning pattern that is revealed eventually, when the wax is melted away.
Other techniques include using dry straw, colourful fabrics and wool.

Of course, most ordinary people opt for a much more simple way of colouring the Easter Eggs. My mothers used to hardboil them and then dip them in water soluble colorants, which were commercially available. Once the colour dried, we decorated the eggs with Easter motifs stickers and rubbed them in vegetable oil, to create a wonderful shine. Then the eggs were placed in baskets all over the house during the holidays.

April 07, 2009

Corn Husk Dolls.

In Slovakia, where I was born, there is a tradition to make so called "Corn Husk Dolls". Sold as souvenirs, these dolls, as the name implies, are made out of dried corn husks. They are also use in homes as decorations for different holidays, among those Easter. The handmade dolls are very delicate and often include significant details; some of them even carry small objects, such as baked bread (made out of real dough).
My dolls are more simple, still I like to display them on the shelves around the holidays.

April 06, 2009

Dancing Queen.

I love to dance.
Whether I am good at it is another matter.
I only know, that when the right music starts to play, I am the first one out on the dance floor.
I do not have to be persuaded or told twice.
I need no partner.
I do not care who is watching.
I will dance alone or in a room full of people, all I need is a music that captivates me. A melody with a rhythm or a beat, that makes me want to move.

I am not the only one in my family. My sister shares this passion, with one crucial exception; she actually makes it look good. We inherited our love for dance from our parents, both skillful dancers. Still, to this day, I own one of the numerous beautiful, custom made gowns that my mother has had made for the many balls, she and my father would attend as a young couple. It is a silver-blue evening dress, in a timeless cut and I hope one day to be able to wear it to an event it was designed for.

Each year, in the period stretching from February to April, ballroom dancing events were held almost every weekend in grand old hotels, when I was a child in the former Czechoslovakia. Both my parents loved to attend these, together with the circle of their friends. I recall how excited my mother was when she finally got her finished dress delivered and she was getting ready for an evening out. She always looked beautiful.

Of course my sister and I never got to experience ballroom dancing, but we became true 'dancing queens' at any discothèque we would attend when we were younger. To us it was not important who asked us to dance or whether we would be dancing alone. We usually just moved to the dance floor as soon as we arrived and left it at closing time. We were joined by various dancing partners during the course of the evening, but they all would leave us quiet rapidly, when they realized we had no intention of doing anything else but dancing.

Gone are those days and I cannot recall last time that I danced in public. But put the right music on and I will be taken back in time and place, becoming the queen of a dance floor. If not in skill, at least in passion.

Below is a rare clip of ABBA's gigantic hit "Dancing Queen", as it was performed for the first time ever publicly, in honour of the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, the night before he was to marry Silvia Sommerlath in June 1976. You can briefly see the young royal couple in the end of the clip.

Happy Monday everyone.
And don’t forget to dance.

April 05, 2009

Evening Horizon.

Spring brings back the view of the setting sun. Although I prefer the dramatic sunsets, when the sky is cloudy and bursting with colours of contrast, the sunsets on clear evenings have another kind of magic.
I love to watch the sun move, as it sets over the horizon slowly, but visibly. The orange globe of light turns slowly into a red disc, which disappears bit by bit until it is gone, leaving the world submerged in twilight.
Below is such sunset captured a few days ago, for the first time since autumn.




April 04, 2009

Summer Sneak Preview.

This week, the Spring truly took over the reign from Lady Winter. Winter has departed and will not return for many months to come.
In fact, mild air has been streaming in over Scandinavia since Monday, giving the nature an incredible push. A light hue of green can now be observed on trees and bushes, spring flowers are now reaching their peak and nature is waking up; birds are singing and even insects are emerging from their hideaways, I saw a lonely bee flying away and my terrace is full of ladybugs.

Today, nature decided to tease us with an uncanny summer day. I am sitting here on my lounge chair, in light summer clothes, for the first time this season. I am still in awe of the modern technology, which allows me to be surrounded by nature, yet connected to the rest of the world through the keyboard of my laptop.
The air is still, no wind to speak of; I can only scent the violets I planted a few weeks ago and hear the singing of the blackbirds and the larks. The warmth of the sun on my face feels almost like a vital therapy. So does the light, which is gaining in strength by each day, while the sun rises higher in the sky, bringing the white nights closer by each minute.