Nature

Forget-me-not – or a flowery take on an usurpation

Ask anyone what flower they associate with the House of Lancaster, and chances are they’ll answer a rose. And yes,  during the War of the Roses, Lancaster had a red rose as a badge. Their fierce opponents, the House of York, sported a white rose. And by now all of those who know your history […]

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The Glorious Harshness of Mother Nature

At present, I am out travelling. Two weeks in which the general idea is that I should take some time off everything (including writing) and instead immerse myself in the here and now. The here and now being our trip through various stunning locations in the US. Leaving aside the fact that I cannot ever

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Quae Mutatio Rerum – or how things have changed (or not)

Very many years ago, on this exact date, I was sitting in our large dining room with my mother. It was only us. My father was out in the Amazon somewhere for business purposes and our house in Lima felt very large without him. My sister was still a baby, asleep upstairs. The maid had

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Saving summer in a bottle

Today, Sweden celebrates Midsummer’s Eve. (Being a pragmatic people, we decided quite some years ago to always celebrate Midsummer on a Friday, no matter when the solstice actually happens) All over Sweden, people will be gearing up for one of our favourite holidays, albeit that very often the hoped for sunny weather doesn’t make an

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A priceless treasure – of crocuses and saffron

From where I am sitting on this cold winter day, I can see a stand of snowdrops. Puny little things, giving little reassurance spring is anywhere close. Unfortunately, no matter how I look, I cannot find the pointy narrow green shoots that presage my favourite among spring flowers, the crocus. But seeing as I am

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Of royal oaks and sinking ships

Behold a baby oak. Well, baby and baby – as per my reckoning, this thin little thing is at least 7 years old, but from the perspective of an oak, I suppose that means it is an infant. Hubby has recently scythed the meadows, but whenever he comes across an oak sapling, he detours, saying

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Les feuilles mortes – a reflection over impending autumn

We took a walk through the woods some days ago. It was quiet. Most of the migrating birds have already left for warmer climes – albeit that it has been very warm up here the last few weeks. Anyway: other than the odd chirping sparrow and the high-pitched call of the kites that soared over

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The miracle plant – of medicines and alcohol

This time of the year, I spend a lot of time outside. Other than weeding my few flower beds and calling down eternal curses on those foolish monks who decided to introduce ground elder in Scandinavia (it’s edible – but it’s also wildly invasive) I rather enjoy studying the plants that grow on our meadow.

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Mother Nature gives – and takes

The first song I learnt to play on the piano was America the Beautiful. So what, some of you may think, having no interest whatsoever in my musical development – but bear with me, okay? I probably need to rephrase that first sentence: the first song I learnt to play two-handed was America the Beautiful

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