|Print by Ingela P Arrhenius|
Have I mentioned that I'm quite fond of Sweden?!
The week before last I went on my third annual trip to Stockholm, the first time I've been in the Autumn and it didn't disappoint!
I wanted to write a post about why I'm so drawn to Sweden so much but I'm really struggling, there's no one thing I can pinpoint, and I've been fascinated by it for as long as I can remember so I can't even remember when or why it started! The dramatic landscapes, all cliffs, lakes and pines, the design, the extreme love of coffee to the point that it's pretty much a national pastime, the social responsibility, the architecture, the strong sense of home and family, the way everything just works (the public transport is like a dream compared to the UK!), the contrasting extremes of the long, dark Winters and laid back Summers lived outdoors, the importance of maintaining traditions to mark the passage of time... I could go on and on, but these are all things that feel important to me, basically everything I set up this blog to be about (see this post for more on that note).
Visiting Stockholm somehow seems to restore my sense of 'me' and I always feel like I'm at home when I'm there (which is why I seem to have fallen into the habit of a yearly visit!) One of the major things I love about Stockholm particularly is the way the countryside and the city are so intertwined, I grew up surrounded by fields and forest but love the more busy life of the city, Stockholm really has the best of both.
The place where we were staying really typified this - a 20 minute T-bana ride from the very centre of town but surrounded by trees and a five minute stroll from Lake Söderbysjön in the middle of the Nacka Nature Reserve. I think my favourite part of our trip was the first day we were there, still sleepy from 30 hours awake/travelling we decided to take it easy and wander towards the lake but somehow took a wrong turn to ended up wandering around Kärrtorp suburb, among wooden houses and falling Autumn leaves, oh I was so happy! Sometimes I feel like my obsession with all things Scandinavian seems to manifest itself in more of a consumerist way than I'd like, my trip reminded me that it isn't just stylish homewares that I like about it but something much much more. Saying that I did spend an enormous amount on homewares whilst there (which may well get a post of their own), but hey, I need something to remind me of all the other things right?
Anyway, kind of the main point of this post is that my trip really reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place, to write about the things that are important to me and document my numerous attempts to bring a little more of the Scandinavian lifestyle into my life in the South West of England (whilst dreaming of one day moving to Stockholm), and it made me extra determined to devote a bit more of myself to it. That's the plan anyway!
Lastly a great big thank you to anyone still reading this - both this rather epic post and my blog! xxx