• The centrepiece and highlight of this month was scout camp. And it wasn’t just any old camp this time – this year’s camp was a giant week-long jamboree with scouts from all across the country, and even many groups from abroad. Eleven thousand scouts in total! Ingrid was, from what I can understand, totally unfazed by the crowds and the scale of the event.
  • She has a knife permit and was therefore allowed to take a knife to camp. She last used her knife in Cornwall to pry off seashells from a rock, and forgot to dry and clean it afterwards. So when she took it out after the Cornwall trip, the blade had dark marks from corrosion. That was unacceptable for Ingrid, so she hurried to do all kinds of chores to earn enough money for a new knife before leaving for camp.
  • Ingrid is enjoying Pokemon Go. She isn’t pokemon-obsessed like Adrian: she doesn’t walk around talking about what evolves to what and which one has which attack, but she does enjoy catching new ones and perfecting her throwing technique.
  • She is still reading and enjoying the Warriors books. It’s the first time in a long while that she has found books to really, really enjoy, books that she devours and can’t get enough of.
  • Last month’s Harry Potter posters are out; white walls and clutter-free surfaces are in. And a new charcoal carpet. Ingrid spent almost two full days sorting through all her stuff and packing away things and toys she no longer uses, so we could put them down in the basement.
  • She still eats like a little bird. It’s hard to believe that she can survive on the portions she’s eating. They’re like a third or a fourth of what the rest of us eat. In restaurants she is now occasionally more interested in the adult menu than the kids’ one, but whatever she orders from it, she’ll eat no more than half of it, and then feel bad about throwing so much food away.
  • This summer’s must-have clothing item is super short sorts.
  • During our very windy Cornwall stay she put up her hair in plaits or a ponytail every day, with my help. Back at home, it’s back to loose and lank. She likes the way she looks in plaits but probably just doesn’t remember to ask me. Or maybe it’s just not important enough for her.
  • She’s quite looking forward to going back to school and meeting all her friends again.

We went shopping at Bromma Blocks – a scout knife for Ingrid, and part 3 in the Warriors series of books.

There’s this rubber hill outside the mall there, and it’s just the right size for a bit of climbing before the drive home. Even for Ingrid, apparently.

I’m forty years old today. Happy birthday me!

Birthdays are intrinsically not particularly interesting. But they are a good excuse for cake. Ingrid and I picked cherries and baked a cherry and ricotta cake for my birthday.

We have a nifty little cherry de-stoning tool which makes the job incredibly easy, but it’s still very, very messy. Cherry juice splatters all over everything nearby. So we try and do this job outdoors if possible.

Ingrid chopping mushrooms for making stuffed bell peppers. It’s one of Adrian’s favourite dishes, and one of the very few that Ingrid can confidently make without any recipe, so she chooses it quite often when it’s her turn to cook dinner.

The other ingredients in the stuffing are rice, finely diced mozzarella, tomato paste and crème fraîche.

Hiking around Lizard Point today, Britain’s most southerly point.

Today was the first truly sunny day we’ve had all week, and after a week of clouds and rain we were quite unprepared for this. We didn’t even think to pack swimming clothes for the kids, and only realized our mistake when we got to Kynance Cove and saw all the bathers there. (Plus, last time we were here 15 years ago it was April, so in my mind I never connected the beaches here with bathing.) Adrian splashed around in his underwear, but Ingrid was rather disappointed.

We haven’t had much luck with lunch spots during our walks here, but today’s was beautiful. (The first one was in a thistly corner of a weedy meadow; the second one was similar but with added rain.) Today we found a sunny little nook among the rocks overlooking another beach. Quite close to the path in reality, but with the exposure it felt like we were on top of the world.

I’ve really been enjoying English sandwiches we’ve had for lunch (cheese ploughman’s! egg and tomato!) and the luscious yogurts with flavours one can only dream of in Sweden (gooseberry! rhubarb!).

The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

We were last here fifteen years ago, in 2002. The gardens and especially the jungle are even lusher and wilder now. There’s a new rope bridge that wasn’t there before. The Mud Maid still lies sleeping in the forest.

I only got crappy photos of the gardens themselves, but here’s one from the children’s activities in the Lost Summer meadow: building tents. There were piles of material all ready for building: poles of various lengths, tarps, crocodile clips, rope, etc. Even colourful pieces of fabric for decorating, and small blackboards for making “welcome” signs. That’s what Ingrid and Adrian are doing.

After yesterday’s sightseeing, we went for a walk today, at Bodmin moor. The Cheesewring draws the biggest crowds, but I found the other, similar pile of rocks next to the Cheesewring more pleasing to the eye. But I guess it’s less exciting since it looks somewhat less ready to topple.

Even more interesting than any of the rock formations were the dozens of old, abandoned mining buildings dotted around the landscape. All still standing and looking strong (albeit roofless), over a hundred years after they were abandoned. I wish I could have seen each and every one of them up close.

Today also turned out rainy. Not so much that it really bothered us, except during lunch and snack breaks. Sandwiches get soggy when it rains on them. And once we got down from the moor, “wet” also meant “muddy”. Very muddy. Ideally we’d all have had rubber boots for this walk, but there’s a limit to how much you can pack for a one-week trip… So we came home with thoroughly sodden feet.

We’re in Cornwall!

Back when Eric and I lived in London, we used to go on walking/driving holidays in various parts of Great Britain. We did Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, the Lake District, etc. Cornwall was one of my absolute favourites, and I’ve been longing to go back for a while. So here we are, in Cornwall for a week of walking and sightseeing.

Today we were sort of tired so we opted for sightseeing instead of walking, and visited Tintagel castle.

  • Summer homework: reading 200-ish pages in Estonian. She’s reading Roosi ja Liisu seiklused. Doing it on her own is boring, so she reads it out loud to me.
  • Favourite book: Ut i det vilda, from the “Warriors” series. Clans of warrior cats. I hardly believed my eyes when I saw the book and thought it must be a joke, but no, it’s for real, and Ingrid is mesmerized.
  • Favourite word: kummaline.
  • Favourite thing overall: Harry Potter. Suddenly she decided that she was super interested in everything Harry Potter. Now half her wall is plastered with Harry Potter posters, there is a wand and a set of “potion flasks” on the bookshelf, her birthday wishlist only contains one item – “Harry Potter things” – and she’s making plans for redoing her room with a Ravenclaw theme. Blue and gray curtains, that kind of thing.
  • Favourite new thing: her new Iphone. The old one was barely functional, so we bought a new (second hand) one. I was willing to pay for a model 5 but she wanted a 5S, so she is paying the difference out of her allowance. She’s paying down the debt by 10 kr each week.
  • Favourite toys: one little cuddly owl and one cuddly hedgehog. The hedgehog has sort of become her mascot. I’m not entirely sure how it got started, but it has to do with her nickname being Iggi/Iggy and hedgehogs being igelkott in Swedish.

Ingrid is working on a secret project of some sort, that requires buying pieces of wood and screws. I suspect it might be related to my upcoming birthday, so I am taking care to not pay any attention to it, so as to allow her to surprise me.