Valborg (Walpurgis Night) 2013

Today, in Sweden, we celebrate the arrival of Spring!
We celebrated with the scouts down by the lake, as we have done for the past few years……

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There were ‘sword’ fights…

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… and there was candy floss…

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….sausages….

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….and obstacle courses…

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This year even Alfie gave the obstacle course a go, and with wonderful support from his older siblings, completed it without a problem. We were so proud of him!
It was a beautiful evening…

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with a fantastic bonfire…

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“Glad Valborg” as they say in Sweden!
πŸ™‚

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Identifying Spring Flowers

Ted, a true book lover really enjoys this book…

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“Kaj picks flowers” is the direct translation. Ted loves the fact that Kaj picks his mother’s beautiful flowers that she’s been carefully watering…
.

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…. so today I thought we could do a bit of “Ted picks flowers”…!

And Alfie too…..

We started off in our garden where we picked crocuses and snowdrops…

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Then we had a little neighbourhood walk to see what other flowers we could find…

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At one point we saw a bee pollinating. Ted was petrified – he’s still not used to flying creatures after six months of snow…!

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Later, when we came home, Alfie arranged his in a ‘vase’….

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…while Ted drank the water that the vase contained…..!

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And when Ted was sleeping we tried to find out the types of flowers we had found using both a child’s, and an adult’s identification book…

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Together with the snowdrop and crocus, we found ‘vit sippa’ and ‘vΓ₯rlΓΆk’…. and still need to identify the others (neither book appeared to have them).
So Alfie decided to do some close observation drawing…

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He wanted to use a gel writing pen, and felt tips to colour it in. I wanted him to use coloured pencils or crayons for a softer look – but I was wrong – the felt pens made it just beautiful!
And he wanted me to include a picture of this one he drew too…

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πŸ™‚

Coming Home To Spring!

It was lovely to come home to a beautifully sunny day, happy chickens and lots of spring flowers…

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…and you know it’s Spring when Maya starts climbing trees! Here she is with her friend Raphie, attempting to build their own tree house..

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Lovely to be home – and Spring is definitely here!
πŸ™‚

Making Our Sand Man

So Maya decided to build a sand sculpture, and asked me to help – and it was a LOT of fun!

We started forming his torso, legs and feet, then went on to his arms and head…and added Ted’s hat…

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Then we decided to form a nose with sand, add seaweed hair and shell/stone eyes and a mouth…

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It wasn’t long before our sand man had a cat…

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…and a dog…

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Unfortunately he doesn’t look nearly so good in the photos, but Maya was so proud. People commented as they walked along the shore, and one couple even took a photograph of themselves with him!

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And here he looks out to sea…

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Maya and I decided to sit back and see what people’s reactions were. People smiled and pointed. A dog came and peed on his back (!) and I told Maya it was because the dog liked him so much, he wanted to make him his territory!

But sadly, a little boy of about 3 years old came and looked, and went away, came back again in curiosity and reached out to touch the sand man’s face (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to, especially when you’re only 3!), and the whole thing collapsed..

Maya was sad, but it wasn’t long before she smiled again. We talked about the memory of our sand man, the fun we had making him, the joy he gave to passers by, and how the little boy hadn’t meant to ‘hurt’ him.

And she was happy again.

And I promise, this is the last post on Turkey!
πŸ˜‰

Our Last Visit To The Beach (Turkey)

Yes. I know I said we were leaving today, but I forgot to say that the flight was at midnight….

And who would have thought that our last visit to the beach would be worth another post? Or two…

And yet, I think, it is!

We covered our dad/husband in sand…

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Admittedly Leon and Maya did most of it, but Ted and I had a good go too!

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Leon at the feet, Maya at the head, till they met in the middle, and the whole body was covered – his head protected by his hat…

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….and then we removed the hat…poor man!

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And I think I’m going to write another post for the next thing that happened – because I think it’s worth it!

πŸ˜‰

Hotel Memories (Turkey)

We are leaving tomorrow. Sad to be leaving the sun and the swimming, but glad to have had this holiday – and looking forward to seeing our chickens again!

We have lots of special memories…

LOTS of fun in the pool…..

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… We will miss our free drinks…

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…and the wonderful hotel restaurant..

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… our moments of relaxation at the art table….

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…..or when playing games…..

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Some of the younger kids will miss the evening shows…

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..and those dreaded mascots that steal children’s hearts, Lollo and Bernie…!

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What a wonderful time we’ve had! πŸ™‚

A Day Of Culture (Turkey)

Today we visited a little mosque…

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We met a lady who sold us freshly squeezed orange juice from outside her house…

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We met some children who sang us their national anthem on the steps of their school….

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…where Alfie and Ted played in their hand washing taps…

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We were welcomed in to the home of a wonderful old lady…

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…where we were given lots of tea (and a type of pastry)…

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…which even Alfie enjoyed..!

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….and later enjoyed lunch by the river…

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We walked and walked…

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…and occasionally rested…

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Another lovely day had by all!
πŸ™‚

The Mosque Visit (Turkey)

Yesterday we visited a mosque!
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It was a large and beautiful mosque. The larger it is, the more minerats there are – and this one had four..

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It was very difficult to fit the whole of the outside of the mosque in to a photo frame, but we got lots of the photos of the beautiful interior…

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Ladies have to make sure they have long skirts or trousers on, shoulders and arms covered, as well as heads. Maya didn’t need to wear a headscarf, but she wanted to, and she looks so sweet in this photo..

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…taken by Alfie.

Outside, there was the ‘building’ to wash your feet before you enter…

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It was a lovely visit, to a special place.
πŸ™‚

At The Beach Again (Turkey)

The beach is a wonderful place for a swede. Or even a non-swede living in Sweden! After nearly six months of snow, then sun and sea are perfect…

….and so, we abandoned all ideas of an expensive water park with huge scary slides (which is just as well because I think only 1 out of 4 of our children would have been big enough to ride, and I’m not sure he would have dared to do many of them anyway..) and headed straight back down to the beach!

The sea was much calmer today…

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….. and the sea was much clearer…

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…just perfect for long walks along the shore…

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Leon found it relaxing to float on our newly bought ‘surf board’, hoping each tiny wave would turn in to a bigger one..

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Maya took time to make some ‘sand art’…

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Alfie was content to wander the shore looking for beautiful stones and shells…

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And Ted discovered the joy of filling and emptying a Pringles box with sand, stones and shells…

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We had a wonderfully relaxing day on the beach. When Ted slept, Leon and Maya spent time on the sea with the surfboard, and Alfie found some new friends and had a fantastic time playing in the sand, and racing up and down the beach with them…

…. The beach always proves to be the best playground!
πŸ™‚

The Ruins At Side (Turkey)

Yesterday we discovered the ruins of Side, a small town just twenty minutes walk from where we are staying.

The ruins are from around 300BC, many of them roman, some before.

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Maya, the inventor, quickly found a bamboo stick and a huge dried leaf, and made a fan, as you do…

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The walk was beautiful with many ruins along the way. The sun shone, not a cloud in the sky.

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We enjoyed a small picnic. All this greenery, and seeing butterflies and other insects, is very exciting for us Swedes at this time of year!

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There was a lot of wondering about what part of the town the ruins were from – even from the little people…

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We discovered the above was a line of shops on the main shopping street.
We wondered if this could be a toilet..?

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And I’m just including this photo because Leon took it and I really like it…

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This was the gate to the city…

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The above photo was a part of the temple. Stunning, but closed to visitors.

We came to the only area where we needed to pay. The ONLY area! Can you believe that?!
Ted was desperate to get in, and sneaked through, while the rest of us waited patiently for our tickets..

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We were entering the amphitheatre – amazing!

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Of course, with something this amazing, a photo is never enough!

A short walk through a touristy shopping street..

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…and a short stop for lunch…

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….and a walk by the harbour…

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….led us to the ‘apollo’ which was part of the temple…

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…where the kids enjoyed an ice cream…

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….before, pretty soon, we headed home!
It was a great day, and despite the heat, the kids didn’t moan ONCE!

πŸ™‚