On this day...
3 years ago: Bowling
10 years ago: Buying baby clothes

I needed a dose of nature so I went for a long walk.

(It’s a stressful time at work right now. Senior developers have been increasingly dissatisfied with our work situation, and just as we had started work on analysing and improving the situation, we found out the company would get a new CEO. That new CEO arrived a few weeks ago, and he of course has his own ideas about what needs changing. So everything is in a state of flux, but nothing is actually improving yet. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.)

It’s a snowless, cloudy day in February, and it feels like the whole world is the colour of muddy asphalt. And it is actually muddy as well, due to unseasonably warm weather – all of February is normally below freezing, and today’s forecast was +7°C. I stopped for a snack break next to lake Muskan (which you can see in the photo above) and while the ice was still thick, it was dripping and purling like a whole brook.

But it’s not all mud and greyness. With a bit of attention, I found specks of colour here and there. (Although counting my own rucksack as a speck of colour dos feel like cheating a bit…) I also found out that lingonberries, which are quite tart in summer, get milder and sweeter after having been frozen – the taste brought lingonberry jam to mind.

Nothing brings the kids together like inspecting, inventorying or evolving pokemons.

Ingrid doesn’t really play with any toys any more, but she has a few favourite cuddly animals: a large panda she likes to sleep with, a giant Donald Duck Tsum Tsum and a fox. The fox is super soft and cuddly, and a tad smaller than the panda, so it’s the one that Ingrid often takes with her when she travels. Like on scout hikes for example. Ingrid has made the fox its own little rucksack, with a cardboard toothbrush and toothpaste, a pillow and blanket, and an apple. And, since we’re planning and preparing for this year’s family ski vacation, the fox today also got skis, poles and goggles.

Eat the apple!

Best right now:

  • Melodifestivalen and Sweden’s youngest master chef on TV
  • Harry Potter, still
  • Pokemons, still

Doing a lot of:

  • Qixels. Sort of like perler beads, but instead of ironing them together, you brush them with water and they sort of melt together, so Adrian can do it all on his own. Plus, there is a 3D version which involves a “gadget” to make the layers align with each other, which is extra interesting.
  • Reading. I brought more books from the library, but most “easy reading” books are frankly quite childish and boring, so Adrian has pretty much left those behind already. He’s now reading Maximus ring from the fantasy series Legenden om Ă–rnfolket (“The legend of the Eagle People”), which has got some proper adventure in it.
  • Talking. Especially at meal times. He can spend an hour “eating” dinner. Everybody else is long since done, we’ve cleaned up most of the kitchen, and he’s still at it.

Worst things ever:

  • That there are no fun, cheap Lego sets to be found in the stores. The ones he likes are in the 1000+ krona range, which, I tell him, are OK for birthdays and Christmas but not for just buying.
  • Having to shower. And then, once he’s actually in the shower, he can stay there for ages, playing with a wet washcloth and talking to himself.
  • That he never gets any interesting letters or magazines like the rest of the family. But he’s not particularly interested in any of the magazines Ingrid gets. It’s the concept of getting mail that’s enticing.

When Adrian was in the shower today, he shouted to me – “won’t you take any pictures today?”

Any activity instantly becomes more interesting when he gets an audience.

She’s growing up. Have I mentioned that yet? Topics like deodorants are coming up at home, and Ingrid’s class have had their first sex education lessons at school.

Best right now:

  • That the dentist’s appointment she had been dreading for many weeks is now behind her
  • Planning for and thinking about the ski trip we’ll be making in just a week
  • All the non-academic subjects at school, especially crafts (both wood and textile) but also art, music and sports. They’re doing viking-themed crafts at school now, ranging form casting tin to carving in wood and crocheting a coin purse.
  • Melodifestivalen and Sweden’s youngest master chef on TV
  • Sims 4
  • Zoomer the robot dog that she bought for her own money after saving for months
  • The bean bag she got for Christmas

Doing a lot of:

  • Dancing – street dance on Tuesdays and disco on Thursdays. The disco class is level 3, which is both faster and more complicated than the beginner and advanced beginner she’s done before, so it’s a proper challenging workout.
  • Reading jokes and puns from magazines etc out loud, and coming up with her own puns
  • Drawing cute things in the Draw So Cute style. Half the fridge door is populated by things with spookily large black eyes.
  • Thinking about cavities in her teeth, and eating less frequently to avoid these


  • Being forced to do chores such as picking up her stuff, putting away her laundry, unpacking her sports bag etc

The dance studio at Brommaplan has no wifi, so Adrian had to come up with an alternative activity while Ingrid is dancing. The place also has no sofas, and no comfortable chairs and tables – I don’t know what they expect parents to do. Fiddle with their phones, I guess, which is what most people do nowadays to make time pass.

Anyway, the one thing they have is a handful of foam squares with interlocking edges. They’re meant to be used as a kind of play mat, I believe, but with careful assembly they could also be coaxed into upright structures.

Adrian bought Qixels for his allowance some weeks ago. Now he wanted more, so all of his savings (plus some extra from me) went towards 3D Qixels and a device for building 3D models.

Ingrid suddenly discovered she has almost no jeans to wear, so we went shopping.

Gone are the days of colourful dresses. It’s all jeans this winter for her. Light coloured, skinny, stretch jeans, with none of that pre-worn hole fashion.

I was struck by a sudden urge to knit something. Preferably something quick and easy that can give rewarding results in not much time. Fraying embroidery on a sofa cushion gave me the answer: I’ll knit a new cushion cover.

(The knitting was half a day of relaxing “work”. Actually attaching it to the cushion turned into several evenings of frustrating fiddly sewing of tight corners, which cancelled out most of the relaxing effect of the first part of the job. I want to make a second, matching cushion, but first I’ll have to think of a better plan for the assembly.)