Ramslök Soup (for want of a better title!)

Trip Start Jan 08, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2010

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Flag of Sweden  , Gotland,
Friday, April 16, 2010

Hey everyone, this has been a fairly quiet week all in all, lots of walking and looking and ooooing and ahhhing at all the lovliness.

When it was still snowy and freezing Anki told us how lovely spring was going to be and how the air seems to get fresher somehow.  I wasn't sure that spring here could be better than the wonder of snowy snowy winter, but it's getting close! The air is much fresher and the sun is just amazing.  It is light until about 8pm now which is a very welcome change from the depths of winter when it was getting dark when we finished classes at 4.  We still haven't gotten over the stunning-ness of the flowers (too bad for you because it means that there are more flower photos on the way) and we have even seen a huge bee which was so big and fluffy that he almost tipped the flowers over as he landed on them.  I wonder if this is what people call an actual bumble bee? Maybe someone can tell us, I think I have heard that somewhere.

We have been walking a lot, especially by the sea and down at Almedalen (points for whoever can remember what Almedalen is), and every day it gets greener and greener (the grass, not the sea). Just beautiful.  It's fun watching the ducks down at Almedalen, they are huge and green headed with pretty white collars and one of them for some reason decided to chase a smaller brown one around the pond snapping and quacking and splashing. 

One afternoon we went back to the Lover's Path with Emelie and picked Ramslök to make soup with and blåsippar to liven up our kitchen.  It was another lovely walk and the soup wasn't bad (although I put too much white pepper in it not knowing what white pepper really tastes like, so might need to try it again some time.)

As we have been walking so much we have been seeing a lot of the wall obviously and have been amazed by it all over again.  Now that there is no amazing snow to look at we have noticed more details in the wall itself.  When we went to the museum we learned that the wall was originally built lower than it is now and then added on to later and as we walk we have been noticing the evidence of the ''old wall'' and ''new wall'' and old windows and doors and bits that have been filled in.  It's really interesting to see how the wall has evolved over the years according to changing needs.  One of the signs about the wall says that the whole thing used to be white-washed so that enemies couldn't see the weak points like the filled in windows and even the houses that were built into the wall.  I guess that's a good thing, it would be a bit of a nasty surprise to find an army bursting through your lounge room wall to invade the city.

This week's teaching was on counselling and how to carry on a conversation in appropriate ways according to the type of conversation it is.  It was quite interesting and put into words a lot of the stuff we all have built into us, like the fact that conversations usually start with small talk and if they don't it can be an indication of the person being in a real crisis.  We were also given several tips on how to ''read'' people by their body language (to be taken with a grain of salt of course) and tone of voice and other non-verbal signals.  It was an interesting subject but unfortunately it was quite hard to follow because it had to be translated from the front (most of the teachers have taught in English) and it's very tiring to try to concentrate between the English parts and having to focus on two teachers instead of one.  All character building though isn't it?  Peter Woode's Hot Potatoes section today was great as always.  We talked about ''who wrote the bible and whether we can trust it'' which was a big but very interesting topic and Peter handled it in his usual logical, rational and wonderfully unromantic way.  I always feel that I have gained a good solid bit of knowledge after a Hot Potatoes session.

Well that ended up being a fair chunk of writing for a fairly normal week, hope it wasn't too much of a ramble for you!

PS I can't get over how beautiful this place is and how lucky we are to be here!  Some of you should sign up for next year's session so you can experience all this for yourself!  Seriously!!!

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Caleb on

I always like reading about how you go out into the forest to get stuff for dinner. I can't really imagine doing that in Australia unless you had a thing for meat ants.
Also I hope you're taking lots of notes during those hot potato sessions, they sound good.

theevans on

yeah we find it pretty amazing too, we keep asking ''are you sure this won't kill us?'' and the Swedes seem quite impressed with how desperate our country seems to be to kill or hurt everyone. We told them about Death Cap mushrooms the other day. And we are taking plenty of notes in Hot Potatoes so will have to lend them to you some time, they are definitely interesting.

Caleb on

Heh, I started making a list of ways Australia will try to kill you but it got too depressing. Now apparently for some weird neurochemical reason the sting of the irukandji jellyfish causes "a feeling of impending doom".....

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