Sweden

Welcome to LLA

August 3, 2019

Welcome to LLA. That’s the airport code for Luleå Airport. Let me take you down memory lane. This is the beach where we used to swim as kids. Munkeberg and Mjölkudden. In English: Monk’s Mountain and Cape of Milk.

Along the beach, we used to be forced to go running at gym class. Orienteering, my sister always cheated – I never did. We stamped a used napkin to celebrate that I’m not a good girl anymore and would cheat if I could go back in time.

Welcome to Tuna. One of the hoods where we grew up. This was the dangerous area apparently. I was always told not to go there as a kid, funny that I now choose to live in one of the most “criminal” streets of Berlin. Fear is not an option after growing up being afraid of everything. Mum showed us the place where a flasher showed me and her his dick when I was 2.

The old lockers at our old school, the School of Tuna. I wonder if I know anyone who was happy going to school at this time of their lives? Age 14-16. Don’t know how often I have nightmares about being back here.

Where the container used to be, the one we found so much stuff in. Still have some left.

We moved around a lot, this is where we lived when my sister was cut out of our mum. So much action going on in this building through the years.

All those memories made us end up at our childhood pizzeria, which looked exactly the same.

We ordered the La Bussola of course, it’s the one our mum always ordered. I always had the Capricciosa and my sister got the Vesuvio. Yum.

The 84, the last and 6th flat we lived in before moving into the center of LLA City. My memories from those places are so crystal clear that it’s creepy, most of my friends from that time tell me they hardly remember anything. How about your memories from your teens?

Berlin

Back in Berlin

July 29, 2019

Since I’m back home, I’ve been quite busy with visitors, catching up with friends and helping Johan with some of his projects – last week was a lot about Bite Club. Was fun and intense.

This was the location where we worked on Friday, preparing for Bite Club taking place in the afternoon and evening. Had so much fun, got to eat a lot of super tasty food and ended up on a guestlist in a club, so we went dancing until it was daylight again. Didn’t have time to go for a swim at the Badeschiff this time, though, but was happy to just have this view during the day. I have been taking so many pictures during this month, it’s been a beautiful and exciting July full of adventures.

Now I’m going to spend 6 weeks working as much as I can, need to focus and get back into my daily routines, otherwise I know from experience that I won’t be feeling good. Hopefully this will motivate me to blog more again, I tend to forget about it as soon as there’s too much other stuff going on. Could go on about my thoughts about blogging for ever, but instead I’ll shut up and post here again soon. How have you been?

Sweden, Travel

The old country

July 23, 2019

At the start of this month, Johan and I went back to Sweden to meet up with his parents and Nestor up in the north. This picture of Elvis is from one evening when he went swimming in the sea, while Nestor was barking at him wanting to do what Elvis was doing, but he didn’t really know how to I guess. Johan filmed everything, I hope he will post it on his instagram, it’s so sweet.

Anyway. When the 6 planned days up north had passed, I was sitting in my mum’s kitchen and we were 10 minutes away from going to the airport to go back to Berlin and talking about when we would see each other again. I looked at Elvis, my mum and Thomas with tears in my eyes, Johan looked at me and said Sandra, you should stay. So true, why sit in their kitchen and already plan the next visit when already there? So I stayed for a bit more than a week to just take it easy, spend time with my sister, her kids and boyfriend, bicycle around my old hometown for the first time in 20 years, walking slowly down the streets and get a little bit of their everyday life in my life again. So happy to have so much love up there, I sometimes wonder what I’m doing in Berlin, but this is where my life is – there are reasons why I left Luleå 20 years ago and as much as I love to visit, it’s not my chosen place to live.

Hope to see them again soon.

Sweden, Travel

Gyllene Ollonet

July 1, 2019

This is a thing I saw my entire childhood and youth. From the airplane, from the streets far away. Never knew what it was, we just called it the Golden Knob. Apparently it’s a radiolocator from before I was born, located at the highest mountain in the Luleå area, in a village called Måttsund. This is also where I learned to go downhill skiing. Learned is a very optimistic word though.

This evening was the first time I went back after my last time trying to go downhill skiing when I was 20. I suck at downhill skiing, because I have no balance, I’m afraid of heights and my knees are weak. But I’m stubborn, so I tried a few times for a few years. In the beginning, I didn’t know how to break, so I just sat down on my butt until I stopped. The guys passing by in the ski lift were screaming GAME OVER to me every time. Oh well.

Elvis started walking down immediately, looking like a little mountain cow.

Hey, old man, no walking down!

So beautiful to see this place in the Summer, only seen it close up covered in snow before.

Thomas wanted to show us the surroundings of Måttsund where his family comes from, so we ended up at this pond.

So clear.

I know I say it more and more often, but Sweden is becoming so exotic to me. I start to see my old country with the eyes of a foreigner.

Deep breath. I go back again tomorrow to enjoy the fresh air, hopefully shoot more pictures and spend time with Elvis and…! You know what?! NESTOR is going to be there as well. My in-laws haven’t been up north since 2008 and it will be so amazing to hang out there together. Gonna try and snap a picture of Elvis and Nestor together, fingers crossed they will like each other.

Ps. I’m much better now after the accident, no broken ribs it seems, just very bruised on my legs and still in pain. Been sleeping more than ever, crazy how much energy it takes for the body to heal.

Sweden, Travel

An evening by the Luleå River

June 29, 2019

On a sunny, chilly Sunday evening in Luleå, we took the car to go to Laxfiskemuseet (the Museum of Salmon Fishing) right outside of Luleå town.

This bridge, Gäddviksbron, was finished in 1941, super narrow and beautiful. I’m not driving a car very often, so I do get a bit nervous if I meet a truck while in the middle of the bridge.

This is a sad story about Sweden. People tend to destroy things as soon as they have some alcohol in their system, a lot of frustration going on. I’m not saying this goes for every Swede, but it’s unfortunately pretty common. Those chairs used to be placed in the red hut together with a large table, for people to throw dinners instead of throwing chairs into the river. The freedom to roam can be translated in different ways, I guess.

Look at Elvis and Johan having a conversation. I guess he wants…

…this. No, Elvis, it’s a sourcream and onion version, not for you. Your stomach would give us a bad review.

This is the room where the table and chairs used to be. Imagine a cozy dinner with candles and then a dip in the river. Maybe a picnic on the floor next time instead?

We started to get a bit cold, so we jumped into the Volvo for more adventures.

Food, Recipe, Sweden

Recipe: Sandwich Cake

June 29, 2019

The Sandwich Cake recipe is finally here! A sandwich cake can be made in a million ways, so it was pretty difficult to write a recipe, because I never follow recipes when I make my cakes and I always make them different ways. I made this cake together with Johan and my nieces when I was in Sweden in May/June and tried to remember what we put in it. Feel free to tweak the recipe as much as you want. There are no rules really, my only rule is that it should be too much of everything. It’s super simple to make it vegetarian or vegan or gluten free as well, just swap the ingredients with the ones that suit you better.

Before I tell you my whole sandwich cake life story and share more pictures, we’re going to go straight to why you’re here; the recipe:

SANDWICH CAKE

Serves 8-10 people
No need to follow the instructions super carefully, you can make changes depending on what you find in the stores.

Takes 1.5 – 3 hours to make depending on how many and how quick you are. We were in a hurry, I recommend taking more time – it’s quite meditative and you should make sure to eat a bit of this and that while making it.

3 layers of toast bread (trim the crust of the toast bread) with 2 fillings.
I used 4×2 pieces of toast bread on 3 layers = a total of 24 toast breads.

Spread 1:
200 grams Smoked ham
200 grams Creme fraiche
200 grams Cream cheese
A few Cornichons
2 Spring onions
Salt
Pepper
(Chop and mix everything together)

Spread 2:
200 grams Crayfish
100 grams Shrimps
200 grams Creme Fraiche
200 grams Cream Cheese
A bunch of Chives
A bunch of Dill
Salt
Pepper
Hot sauce to taste
Lemon to taste
(Chop and mix everything together)

Cover:
500 grams whipped cream
4-5 tablespoons Kalles Kaviar (a smoked roe you use as spread on sandwiches, which you can find in IKEA – if you can’t find it, don’t worry, just add some salt to the whipped cream).
(Mix them together)

Place 4×2 toast breads on a big plate or baking tin. Put spread 1 on the toast breads. Then put 4×2 toast breads on top of spread 1 and and add spread 2. Put 4×2 toast breads on top of spread 2 and then cover the cake (top and sides) with the cover.

Preferably let it soak for some hours (or over night) covered with plastic foil before decorating. It’s OK to make the whole thing at once, it will still taste amazing. It always tastes a bit better the next day, though.

Top with whatever you like, the more the merrier.

Toppings (suggestions):
Caviar
Salmon (preferably cured, smoked works as well)
Cheese
Ham
Dill
Shrimps
Edible flowers
Rocket salad
Chives
Cucumber
Tomatos
Lemon

Toppings are hard to estimate when it comes to how much, it all depends on if you want to make a minimalistic looking cake or an over-the-top looking cake. Image search for “smörgåstårta” or “sandwich cake” online for inspiration.

We prepared all the toppings before starting to decorate.

My nieces decorated the sides with rocket salad. Made it look like a tiny forest.

More toppings. You can also choose to go with a theme; for example a fish sandwich cake or a cheese sandwich cake. I love to make it with a bit of everything.

We didn’t have a plan, everyone just put whatever they wanted to wherever they wanted to. Need I say that sandwich cake is great party food? Even better the next day if you’re hungover.

Took some flowers from my mum’s garden to give the cake an even kitchier look. Many people use mayonnaise in their cakes, but that’s just too much for me. This is a bit more fresh. We once made a vegan version, which was nice cause you could eat twice as much without dairy products in it. Didn’t taste as good though and I’m a person who prefers to eat a little of something that tastes amazing instead of big amounts of stuff that don’t taste that good. I’m sure it’s possible to make amazing tasting vegan versions as well, not saying anything else. Will have to try in the future.

We made this sandwich cake for Thomas, my mum’s boyfriend, who turned 65. White wine or sparkling wine make the cake even better.

So curious if any of you make one, would be amazing to see! Please let me know.

Berlin, Kreuzberg

Sunday Funday Painday

June 25, 2019

Summer in Berlin, it’s hot. They are speaking about a record tomorrow, 40°C. These pictures are from Sunday, when it was a bit cooler and I started the day taking pictures for a job and then headed over to Kreuzberg to meet my best friends.

We ate some halloumi, walked and then sat down at a kiosk to people watch. It was me…

…Johan and Björn.

And Camilla + Björn & Johan. Here we’re on our way to Friedrichshain to hang out on our balcony. Nothing beats us 4 together.

Not even the accident I was in after I took this picture. We were about to cross the street, when all of a sudden I fell over a concrete cube thing that I didn’t see. I fell very hard, people were crowded around me when I came back to my senses after losing my breath due to the camera hitting my chest. I think some bones might be cracked, but there’s nothing else to do than wait for them to heal. Happy I didn’t break my face or arms or legs, I can sit at my computer and edit pictures and write so all is pretty good, right?

Berliner Zeitung said a good way to cool down during the heatwave is to drink wheat beer, the alcohol free version (obvs), so that’s what I will do.

Berlin, Home

Hirvenkulli balcony

June 18, 2019

The balcony. Haven’t done anything to it since 2011, except for buying the furniture which we now might have sold. Time to fix it up and build some new furniture on which you can relax a bit more. No idea what colours I want to use, love the off-white, gold, run-down thing going on here in a way. And the Hirvenkulli. Any ideas?

Berlin, Friedrichshain, Visiting friends

Visiting Friends: Tenia & Primitiv Bar

June 17, 2019

Primitiv Bar. Where do I start? How many times have I been here the past 8 years? 1000? At least. This is the bar where Johan started working 8 years ago and that’s when I met one of my closest friends – Tenia.

So this is not just a portrait of Tenia, it’s also a portrait of a bar as a friend and friends of the bar.

Tenia is the biggest reason why we all come to hang out there, she’s a pro at bringing good people together.

The same goes for Palina, the owner if this beautiful place. I remember the first time Johan and I passed by this place, we were of course drawn in by the Twin Peaks feeling.

Love.

Mathias, India and Achilleas showed up. This is what they look like when Johan stumbles into the bar.

The back room. I took these pictures on a late afternoon, later in the evenings this place is packed with people.

Johan working on the menus.

Tenia and Palina.

Smoking is allowed except for in front of the bar workers.

Time for André to start his shift. And time for me to stop working – on this night I met a new fabulous person to hang out with, I wonder when we will bump into each other again.

You find Primitiv Bar on Simon-Dach-Strasse 28, it’s open every day. Fridays and Saturdays are wild.

Sweden, Travel

Summer house

June 13, 2019

This is from my dad’s summer house, where we went a couple of times for dinner. Johan spent a night and enjoyed the sauna. Here we’re waiting to eat some grilled pig.

Elvis joined me as well and liked it a lot there.

Here’s from our second dinner date. Lo and Johan in the kitchen.

And Elvis of course.

My dad had made blood dumplings, served with melted butter and bacon.

Elvis scouting the area.

These are my last pictures from May, now time to through the ones from June. Can’t believe almost half of this month has already passed and beginning of July I will be back in Sweden and introduce Nestor and Elvis to each other. Time flies when you’re having fun, they say. I’d say Time flies when you’re getting old.