Gamla Stan

I texted my friend Z in Amsterdam a picture from this square saying "Surprise! We've just arrived and we're on our way to your house!". She replied "Cool! I'll put the kettle on." I don't think I fooled her.

Caught these ladies 'gramming. Loved the graphic shape of the light.

These guys. So excited about going to Serieboden and getting their mitts on old comics.

Oh my goodness. That font. Want.

Those window reflections. That blue sky. Those old old houses.

The streets are very narrow in Gamla Stan. I wish I'd taken more pictures, but I was looking after the boys by myself, so no time to dawdle with the camera. I need to go back.

This was the first warm day of the year. These guys worked in a tattoo parlour, but I guess they weren't that busy at that particular moment... Swedes flock out into the sunshine in spring like no one else - those long dark winters makes them appreciate the warmth of the sun sooooo much more. I did too when I lived there. 


Again, again, again and again

I don't know why, but I kept taking pictures like these on this trip, over and over and over and over again.


An afternoon walk

Me and Oomoo spent another couple of days in Stockholm after the ski trip, whilst Mr Famapa had to leave for work. My friend A's eldest son is nine months older than Oomoo, and had to go back to school straight away, but we came and picked him up from school one day, and took the long way home, walking from Gamla Stan to Hornstull where they live. They sometimes take this walk to school when time and weather allows, and it was such a cool walk. I wish I had more time do these simple things when we visit in the future, as it always feel so rushed with family duties, and we never stay long enough to be able to just hang out. These 40 minutes or so were so nice, and I really enjoyed discovering Stockholm anew, and noticing things more as it's all so foreign now. I mean, look at how ridiculously colour co-ordinated all the houses are! Heaven forbid you paint your house blue :)


Snow snaps

Snapped this whilst we stopped on the drive up to the north at a lay by, with public loos, a shop, a car park etc. You'd never know it was there looking at this. Oh the joys of picture making.

Mr Famapa in the same spot, walking out on a frozen lake. The ice/snow was all thawed and gone by the time we drove back to Stockholm nine days later.

Watching the cross country skiers getting a literal lift on a snow tractor going up the mountain. We hedged bets on who would fall over first. No one did.

I love how the trees look so graphic in the landscape.

Getting ready to toboggan down the hill. Sure beats the puny runs we get here in London.

Walking down the mountain as another load of cross country skiers came up. As you can see, there are no mountain ranges like in the Alps. I quite like this vista though; it'd be boring if everywhere looked the same.

Sticking to the path.


Cabin days

After one day in Stockholm, we drove the seven hour drive up north to Vemdalen, to A & D's cabin. It was built in the mid-60's and was originally built for A's grandfather. I'm so glad we got to go again this year, and that it didn't feel as rushed. When we weren't skiing, there was a lot of cooking, film watching, Easter egg eating, sauna-ing, and snowball fighting going on. There was way more snow this time round, which was way more fun. When I was still living in Sweden, A used to invite me to come up there when we were teenagers, but I never went. I didn't ski or snowboard then, and I honestly felt no desire to go there, as surely it would just be really cold?! I'm so glad things change. And man, are my friends are insanely lucky to have this place.


Ice Ice Baby

It's so funny to be posting these wintry pictures when spring is exploding here right now. But what can you do?! I'll just have to be a bit behind season-wise here until I've posted all my Sweden shots. These are from our first day there when we went for a walk by the beach at Hornstull, and where the boys invented a new game - ice bowling. Basically you had to throw a piece of ice and see how far it would glide along the frozen water. Fun! If we'd been there a couple of weeks earlier we would've been able to take a walk on the ice, which I'm sure Oomoo would have loved. Amazingly, by the time we came back from our ski trip further north in Sweden, the ice had completely melted away. More pics from our trip to come!


From the 6th floor

Heeeej! Sorry about the radio silence... I can't believe how quickly a month can go sometimes! The reason for my absence here was a two week trip to Sweden over Easter, and the mini heat wave that hit London the week after we got back. There was no way I would sit at the computer with those temperatures after the ridiculously long winter we had! It's been well over a decade since I last spent that long a time in Sweden, and it was nice to be there for longer, especially as the weather was pretty amazing for nearly all of it. We stayed with my friends A and D and their kids in their 6th floor apartment. I tell you, the light they get up there is something else. I think if I ever had to move back to Stockholm an east and west facing flat high up would have to be a must. It's funny, as for the first time since moving away from there 25 years ago, I actually had a serious think about what it would be like to move back. And for a few minutes it was very tantalising, but then the same unsettling feeling in my gut I always feel when I'm in Stockholm (and felt before I moved away) came back. Maybe I need some hypnotherapy to sort that out - if it would ever have to become an option. In the mean time, visiting once a year is just fine, thank you.


A second visit

After our Tate Modern visit, me and D walked along the river and went to see the Andreas Gursky exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. And this time there was no emergency call from Oomoo's school like the last time I was there - phew! In fact, as we went in around 2pm, the gallery was quite empty, so we could really take our time looking, whereas a couple of weeks ago we had to queue to get in. It's quite something to see such huge prints, and it does beg the question whether they are more interesting just because they're big. Would his Photoshop wizardry still impress in more regular-sized prints? I personally preferred his earlier work, where it felt like you were looking at something real, although I guess it might not have been! My favourite picture in the whole exhibition was a print of grey carpet, blown up huge (of course). It really appealed to my former graphic designer self (I mean carpets are pretty amazing grids, hehe), as well it turning the mundane, that you wouldn't even register in real life, into something worth capturing and elevating it into art. Now that's what I call magic.