I've taken over 2 months to finish Patti Smith's 'Just Kids'. Not because it was hard to read but because I would only allow myself 1 or 2 pages a day! I just didn't want to finish it. Such a beautiful account of her love and friendship with Richard Maplethorpe. A must read for all.
Then Sam found this Patti Smith poetry book with each poem written in both english and swedish. The perfect answer to further my Swedish studies and a Saturday afternoon.
1st fire of the year! It's been HOT here but Saturday it was torrential rain. Great excuse for a fire!
We visited Sweden'd biggest car boot sale and found this old box dating from 1806. 200 years old!
It was used to measure grain back in the day.
A late night playlist of mainly blues country rock.
Each summer we spend a week at Strömsborg in the archipelago.
A beautiful turn of the century estate sitting in it's own bay with it's own island, beach and jetty just east of Norrtälje.
It was built and founded by Lotten Hagelin in the early 1900's as a place for rest for missionaries after long periods of time abroad. Lotten was a wealthy lady from Stockholm and dedicated her life to philantropy. When she died she requested in her will that the place continue to be used in the same manner.
And it hasn't changed since.
There are so many original things that remain. Drawers full of antiquities, old photo's, letters, maps, old song books, secret rooms, spooky attics, old linen and beautiful spaces just to sit and imagine what it was like back in the day.
This year I wanted to share some of my favourite treasures.
Lotten's drawings are so beautiful and delicate.... all drawn in pencil:
Sitting at Lotten's old desk you can leaf through boxes of old photo's. Even ones with her sitting at the same desk!
There is a small island across from the main house which I guess was where this photo was taken.
The main house, Borgen has a turret which Sam and I sleep in. Scary... but it has a wicked spiral staircase.
Missionaries photographed on the front steps. Each year we do exactly the same photograph with the Åkesson family!
Garden parties..... oh I love how Gentlemen dressed at the turn of the century! Boys get those top hat and canes out. They rock.
I love the coats these little girls are wearing in this photo.
Missionaries in India.
Photographs of the families they met on their travels.
'The Gideon missionary family, China'
One of my favourite photo's with all the exotic fruits and vegetables!
Initially I thought he was a sailor but have since learnt that at graduation time, boys and girls wear sailor caps in Sweden!
A romantic picnic in front of the main house.
On little shelves one will find more old photo's and antiquities that Lotten collected through the years.
'Thoughts and sighs by the prayer chair'
Kakelugn are old tiled fireplaces. An ingenious invention with networks of pipes running through the top which holds the heat for those cold cold days.
A drawing room for the ladies!
Turn of the century sunglasses... remind you of The Matrix?
In the 5 years of going to Strömsborg, I'd never noticed this secret door!
It turns out to be a small and beautiful prayer room.
Sam's niece Alva could easily be a little girl from 1940's in her adorable dress (worn over red stripey pants no less!)
The stairs leading to the top turret.
Such classic Swedish colours.
The turret with it's beautiful stained glass windows.
Such a fantastic 360° view!
The original cooker.
Old embroidered linen hangs everywhere. This one says:
'Small acts of love, small words of love, brings a heavenly kingdom to our earth'.
The old workshop sits just outside the main house.
And still remains pretty organised...
how fantastic are these old drawers!
And the floor is covered in paint splatters from all those that have worked in there! There is no way of recreating that in any house but i would love that effect on my wood floors!
The boat house on the jetty. This green is perfect against the weathered wood.
More paint testing but how perfectly worn are those colours.
The perfect scenery to fish but unfortunately all the fish are too clever for us. Only 3 fish in 5 years have been caught by the Åkesson family!
And it sits in the middle of a nature reserve. There are over 700 different varieties of flora and fauna in the area and Strömsborg has many of them growing wild in it's grounds. There's even wild orchid... with their tiny prescious flowers.
It's a dream place to spend summer each year and even more special that it is entirely run by volunteers as a non profit organisation.