Morning view from the top of Tranebergsbron.

May mornings are beautiful. I love the trees especially – all in leaf at this time of the year, but still fresh, tender, semi-transparent. In summer all trees are equally green, but in May, when the leaves are still young, their greenery has a lot more character. Some are bright green, others have a yellow tone, still others are coppery.

A singing bowl is a brass bell in the shape of a bowl. This one serves as our dinner bell.

I think of this bowl as “mine” because I got it as a Christmas gift – it was the one and only thing on my wish list for last Christmas. But really everybody in the house loves it. It makes such an incredibly beautiful, deep sound, with lovely harmonics, that carries to the other end of the house without being annoyingly loud. (Much more pleasant than me shouting “Dinner is ready!” through the house, or going from room to room to tell everyone.)

Whichever kid happens to be in the kitchen when dinner is ready gets the privilege of “donging”. Adrian especially loves to “dong” the bowl. Sometimes we do it for the sheer pleasure of hearing the sound, even though everybody is right there and nobody needs to be rung to dinner.

Already from a distance I could see that Ingrid was tired from the hike. She tends to get too little sleep on these things – can’t fall asleep, too cold during the night, has to get up for a trip to the loo, wakes up too early… I remind her every time to pack extra warm sleeping clothes, and every time she ignores the advice.

This afternoon she was close to collapsing, physically and mentally. She also insists that she is unable to fall asleep during the day. Well, I got Miss Unable To Sleep to lie down at least. She was fast asleep in ten minutes, and slept until I woke her three hours later.

Stacks of sacks of fertilizer make a perfect playground for kids with too much energy and no fear of getting dirty.

It is really hard to predict which new foods the kids will love, and which ones not. I still don’t understand why Ingrid loves sushi so much, but only with salmon and prawns. Or what’s so awesome about stuffed peppers, while other stuffed vegetables are “meh”. And why freshly baked garlic bread is the best thing ever, according to both kids, while Ingrid definitely wants no garlic in the sauce when she cooks spaghetti with tomato sauce.

Garlic bread, in any case, is delicious. I buy ready-to-bake mini baguettes and stuff them with as much garlic butter as possible (and make the butter seriously garlicky). And then I make a soup of some sort to accompany the bread, because garlic bread on its own does not count as dinner in my mind, although the kids would probably be equally happy without the soup.

This term’s last dance class. Ingrid loves disco dancing as much as ever and is talking about doing it twice a week the next term, one of which would be a preparatory class for competitive dancing.

We went shopping for clothes for the kids. Mainly for Ingrid, because when we sorted through her wardrobe the other week, we discarded almost all of its contents. Too small, too small, too colourful, too small, too many flowers. Our friends’ 6-year-old daughter will be getting a massive delivery of clothes. Ingrid, meanwhile, now has almost no summer clothes. Two pairs of shorts and three t-shirts, I think the total was, and maybe one or two dresses which she doesn’t wear very often.

While Ingrid tried on clothes, Adrian and I waited.

April barely felt like spring. It was truly “April weather” all the way, with repeated snowfalls and temperatures barely above freezing. Today it’s May, and it’s like spring suddenly arrived at full blast, with brilliant sunshine and balmy temperature. We brought out the deck furniture and had both breakfast and lunch outside. During all of April we hadn’t considered sitting outside even once.

In the afternoon Adrian and I got busy in the garden. (Who knows how long this weather will stay!) We did all of Adrian’s favourite things in the garden, which coincidentally happened to be useful as well.

First we spread cow manure in all the planting boxes. I carted sacks of manure in the wheelbarrow, with Adrian sitting on top and shouting that he’s the “king of cow manure!”. He then killed the bags with a pair of scissors (after checking with the bag if it wanted to be killed, and the bag said yes) and we spread it out together.

Then Adrian asked if we could also assemble the frames for the netting over the strawberries. That’s his favourite project in the whole gardening season. So we did that as well, even though we’re nowhere near needing them yet.

The next coolest task in the garden is cutting things – any things – with pruning shears. So we did a bit of that as well and culled the raspberry bushes.