oh, so much rain, dear! and, ummm, so many reindeer

1 06 2015

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Today’s newspapers stated that it has been the wettest May in Sweden since 1962. 

So the jokes have been flying: 

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“May has been cancelled due to technical problems.  Therefore we run the replay of March instead.  We do not know when the problem will be solved.”

The down side is that it is still very chilly, it is muddy and our longing for sunshine goes unmet.  The great side is that we live in an amazing forest which feels magically Hobbit-like with all the rain, all of a sudden everything has turned a thousand shades of green and the threat of millions of mosquitoes is yet unmet. 

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So I get to enjoy the many diamonds around in the form of glistening raindrops.

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And when there is any sunshine then the silver emerges. 

This is the new favourite for me:  seeing lingon, which has a gleam all of its own, glisten in the sunshine. 

One really needs to grab the opportunities when the sun shines, so we are learning how to do that. 

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Like going for walks at ten at night, when the wind might be calm. 

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Walking where reindeer, capercailie and little birds have walked just hours before. 

Another chance to grab is when it looks like the road will not be too muddy, so that we can grab a chance to walk for an hour or so, trying to get our legs ready for African bush walking in a few weeks. 

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Note a few differences… Sweden is a little wetter overall than South Africa! (Photo on left:  Vojmån River, Sweden.  Right:  Millennium Koppie, Lissataba, South Africa)  Footwear needs to be slightly modified to suit the environment.  Legwear too (It is JUNE and Deon is still not wearing shorts!)  We issue warnings for all to wear polarised sunglasses when we visit SA in 3 weeks.  Our skin has seen minimal sunlight.  we have never been THIS untanned. 

But we have done our first ‘klipsit’ (rock sitting) of the non-winter and we are glad for that! 

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We had the chance to visit Hallen, near to Östersund where Deon did sound for a conference again. 

What an absolutely adorable place! 

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This was the view from our bedroom  (for a few hours when the sun shone!)

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We stayed on a cattle farm just outside of town and got to enjoy a different kind of scenery to our dear forests and frozen lakes.  It is too cold for dairy cattle in Lappland, where we stay, but just 250km south there are rolling hills, cleared for agriculture, and happy lazy cows.  A huge lake (called the Great Lake!) surrounds the area and adds to the prettiness. 

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I had a most wonderful walk on Saturday, just chatting with my Very Best Friend and enjoying all the amazing gifts He showed me.

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And we found a really inviting little cottage…

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For those who know SA it felt a bit like the KZN midlands, especially when the rains came down again!

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After all this green, what can really only be described as flirtatious green, we can only feel as if summer may just be on its way!

And the reindeer?  (of the blog title…)

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On the grass just in front of the house.  And beside the house.

And all around the house.  Especially at 2am or 3 am, banging against the house, in groups of 15 or so.  (interesting experiences we have!)

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With little babies beginning to appear.

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(And show the same level of mental aptitude, and laziness, as the adults do…)

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And they are all over the roads.  Quite literally too:  we see several roadkills a week. 

We are certainly never short of amazing things to see and talk about! 

A loss that Deon and I have been mourning this month is the death of our landlord, Leif.  Although he had been ill, his death was far too soon for us.  The old man had become a special presence in our lives and we so miss just having him around.  He helped us to know a lot about this special little area we live in, he welcomed us as friends and we enjoyed meals and coffees together.  Deon especially misses his boat.building buddy.

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Life is always a whole lot shorter than we think it will be, isn’t it?  We need to grab all the value we can out of our lives, appreciate each other deeply and cherish people more than things. 

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Sunsets come all too soon, even in the north of Sweden where the sun is almost not setting anymore. 

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