I went to Skansen today with the kids, while Eric was away in Prague with work. You’d think that a place like that would offer a multitude of photo opportunities – all these activities, ice creams, pancake lunch, fairground rides etc. But it really isn’t. It’s all so crowded, I’m busy and distracted, Adrian mostly won’t step more than a meter away from me, Ingrid mostly wants to go off on her own and look at stuff in the shops… So even after a full day at Skansen, the day’s photo is of Adrian and Legos.

Oh look, there’s a name for this oddity I have.

In all kinds of books throughout the years I’ve read of people picturing things in their mind. I’ve never really been able to do that. I can know exactly what something looks like, and I can see the “idea” of it, but not actually picture the thing itself. Now I have a word for it: aphantasia.

Like counting sheep. If I ever tried to do it, it would require intense concentration and definitely would not help me go to sleep! I can build up a broad picture of a landscape with sheep in it, in a sort of impressionist style, but not treat them as individual sheep, see them up close or make them move.

With landscapes I can at least get some kind of vague picture. It’s especially impossible with people and faces. It can actually be easier for me to picture a photo of a person than the person him- or herself, probably because I have a dash of prosopagnosia or face blindness. I have a hard time recognizing people whom I sort of know but not very well. Like Ingrid’s classmates’ parents, or even some of our neighbours whom I don’t see so often. Hopeless! It’s OK if I see them at school or in our neighbourhood, but whenever I run into them in an unrelated setting – on the train, dressed for work – it can easily happen that I know that I know them, but I don’t have a clue who they actually are.

Or celebrities! I hear people say, “I saw so-and-so in the restaurant today”. And they recognize movie stars whom they have seen in other movies. To me this is a near impossible feat. I could only recognize someone if I’ve seen the face literally hundreds of times, ideally over many years. So I am pretty sure that I would recognize the king of Sweden, or Tom Cruise. But no current Swedish government minister for example.

We made corn fritters.

Beautiful maples mutilated in central Spånga.

Visited the Millesgården sculpture garden with Adrian and my mum. I actually went there primarily for an exhibition of flower paintings they had in their exhibition hall, because it’s about to end soon, but the exhibition didn’t really impress. The paintings were supposed to be complemented by texts that describe the flowers from a gardener’s perspective, which sounded really interesting to me, but there was very little of that. So we spent most of our time outside in the sculpture park.

They had a “sculpture hunt” for the kids: a set of drawings of sculptures from the park, but with one or more pieces missing, that the kids had to find and complete. This was good entertainment for Adrian. I’m very sure that without it he would quickly have bored of all that walking around and looking at sculptures. Now he actually had a reason to look at them!

He also loved testing the water in all the fountains. Actually so did I after a while – the day was very hot! – but I just splashed the water on my head and didn’t climb in with him.

There was one thing that really disappointed at Millesgården and it was their café. They had the most outrageously overpriced lunch that I can remember eating. This little sandwich with three pieces of herring and three small potato halves cost 95 kronor. And the edges of the bread were so dry and hard that I am not even sure how fresh it was.

The builders did their part renovating the roof. Now Eric’s painting the new siding boards they put up around the roof.