Mysterium: our current favourite board game. I bought on recommendation of some random online source (like maybe Reddit) as it was supposed to be a good family game, and it was a bulls-eye hit. We all love it.

The rules seemed complicated when we first read through them, but turned out to be quite intuitive and simple once we got going. (That is my one quibble with this game: they really need to rewrite the rulebook and explain the rules more simply and clearly.) It requires no reading or counting or memorizing or strategizing, and there is very little time pressure, so Adrian can join in without any handicapping or special rules. It’s social and non-competitive and relaxed and fun. It’s akin to Dixit but even better. Plus it’s beautiful!

Every summer in Estonia we buy fresh peas in the pod and then stuff ourselves. I can buy a whole kilo, and when I put them in a bowl on the table, they’re gone in less than a half hour.

Here in Stockholm there aren’t many places that sell them. But the local produce stand at SpĂ„nga torg sells Finnish peas, among other exotic non-standard fruits and veggies that you cannot buy in normal supermarkets. (Such as persimmons and mangoes that are actually ripe, unlike the hard inedible things you get in supermarkets, and Swedish plums, and small Turkish apricots, and other such delicacies.) I bought peas today, and it was like a flashback to summer. Peas are like a concentrated essence of our summers in Estonia.

Ingrid’s latest selection from the school library nicely illustrate the in-betweenness of her age. On the one hand, a manga book with cute cats on its pink cover, titled Mjau – and on the other, The Hunger Games. In English, no less. She says her friends have been allowed to watch the movie as well. I’m of the opinion that both the book and the movie are too bloody and violent for her, but we’ll see. At least it’ll be easy for her to stop and put the book down if it turns too bloody – you can’t really do that easily with a movie, where you can find yourself in the middle of a murder scene without much advance warning, and by the time you want to get out it’s already too late.

Adrian still likes to come out in the garden with me, in the evenings when I dig my trench. Playing in the dirt has lost its charm, as have the plastic flowerpots. Climbing in the tree is the newest thing.

Two new stations were built this summer for the commuter train system, one at Stockholm City and one at Odenplan.

The one at Odenplan replaces Karlberg which is the station I used to commute to, so I pass it on my way to and from work (whenever I’m not cycling). It’s got fancy barriers along the platforms, with doors that open to match the train doors.

The other new station, Stockholm City, I haven’t passed through more than once or twice. I rarely have business in central Stockholm. But today I went shopping. (A shop selling outdoor clothing and equipment had a massive sale.)

My overwhelming impression is of spaciousness and light. And escalators. Many, many, many long escalators.

Summer is over and the evenings are dark already.

I’m still out digging my ditch most evenings, and Adrian is still out keeping me company. Now the plastic flower pots are no longer orcs and goblins – they are castle walls and cannons and towers instead. There are cherries for ammunition. There are two castles, and (strongly inspired by Kingdom Rush) each has an exact number of swordsmen, archers and wizards. There are also rules about which cannon points which way, spells that the wizards can use to make their guys invisible, a magical portal, and all kinds of other complications.

At shared meals such as lunch and dinner, books and magazines and phones and other such entertainment are banned from the table. But our weekday breakfasts are more split-up. I normally eat at work, while Eric has a quick sandwich and is done well before the kids. So the kids eat mostly on their own. They don’t really enjoy each other’s company much, so each one sits with a comic book instead.

Adrian learning chess moves with Eric.