Tyresta National Park

Yesterday Ted and I enjoyed the company of ‘scout’ Janne P, and went, first to the farm at Tyresta, and then on to the frog pond, past the bee hives, and on to the bird tower.

It was a fabulous trip, and nice to see an area undiscovered by our family….


I can’t believe, that this Spring, Ted and I have seen so many baby animals! Ducklings, chicks, goslings, kids, piglets and lambs! Fabulous!

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A Real Train Trip !

Last week Ted and I went on a train trip.

He thought this was SO exciting! ๐Ÿ˜Š

First I lifted him up to the the front of a train, where all the buttons to control the train were. He asked if they were real ones, and couldn’t believe it when a lady driver got in to the front carriage, to get everything ready for the next journey. He was obviously remembering having been at the train museum the other week, and pressing all the pretend buttons to ‘drive’ the train there. 

Having been inspired by this, when it was time to get on our own train, he drew and coloured his own set of ‘train controls’, and we took turns ‘driving and stopping the train’ using these controls for the rest of the journey…. ๐Ÿ˜„


Until we reached our destination…. 


…and spent a lovely day in the sun with farmor on a little trip out…


๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„

‘Lida’ : One Of Stockholm’s Many Green Areas..

We took a trip to ‘Lida’ yesterday. It’s an ‘open air park’ (friluftsgรฅrd) , of which we have so many here in Sweden.
We started with the easy kids trail…

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Of course, the older three kids ran ahead, which left Ted, Richard and I ambling behind, discovering flowers, how to follow trails, homemade dens, and man made ones (a ‘kota’)…

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Eventually we caught up with the others at the top of the mountain, just in time for a snack..

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Walking back down the trail both Alfie and Ted were highly enthused at seeing the years first butterflies…!

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At the end of the trail both Leon and Maya impressed me with their climbing skills…

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We came to a beach where Maya enjoyed the sand, Alfie told me all about wild flowers – and found out that walking with his dad’s glasses on wasn’t easy…!

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We walked along the beach, and discovered a jetty…

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…and lo and behold, a wild rabbit! The Easter bunny perhaps?
Here are Leon’s pictures…

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…and a little photo fun….

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…before starting the trip back home..

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…but not before an ice-cream of course..!

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How lucky we are to live in a part of the world where nature is always accessible!
๐Ÿ™‚

Discovering Parkour In Stockholm

Nydalsparken lies in Tensta, on the outskirts of Stockholm, and for locals with older children, it’s well worth a visit!
Leon tells us he’s been wanting to go for sometime now – pictures he’s seen of the climbing rope set up inspired him – and didn’t disappoint…

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The unusual climbing wall was fun too..

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…as were the physical electronic games….

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…but the absolute best thing, was the parkour training course!

‘Parkour’ is, according to Wikipedia, ‘a holistic training discipline using movement that developed out of military obstacle course training’.

Leon has been interested in this for a while, and tells me that he and a friend often make up their own parkour courses at school – plus recently he’s been practising his forward flips on the trampoline, as an added bonus!

So imagine how pleased he was to find a whole parkour course….

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Ted tried a little ‘baby parkour’…

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Alfie took it easy….

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…and we ALL enjoyed watching the ‘professionals’….

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…amazing young guys walking along the top bars, jumping from one high wall to another, and turning graceful somersaults over the highest bars….
๐Ÿ™‚

A Trip To The Zoo

Yesterday was a national holiday, so we went to the zoo in Eskilstuna.
Like many people, I have mixed feelings about zoos. No-one likes to see an animal in captivity, especially if they seem unhappy. I still remember visiting an ‘aquarium’ at the back of a shop once, on the coastal route from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and I remain disgusted.
Fortunately, here, in Sweden, animal rights are well and strong, and I feel that, while reading stories and fact books about animal life, and watching nature programmes are educational, there’s nothing like seeing the real thing …. albeit in captivity!

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The kids were super excited – I think the two hour journey was spent in silence…

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We spent a good few hours looking at the animals..

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Okay. Here’s some real ones..

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…and these are for you mum…

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Leon was very much taken by the axolotl, Maya and Alfie really enjoyed the otters, and Ted, well he just enjoyed everything! Such enthusiasm – and he kept it going right to the end!
I was overjoyed to see the tigers and their cub, though unfortunately they were hiding in the ‘jungle’ – but mostly I found the baboon amazing! We got to see him close up, face to face, an incredibly powerful and fierce looking animal.
However, we all enjoyed, more than anything, the dinosaurs! Oh yes. Dinosaurs!

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An amazing robotic exhibition travelling from the US, and very realistic! Alfie wanted me to take this picture (we don’t know the girl)…

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We chose not to take Teddy in to the exhibition area – he instead spent a longer time in the fantastic playground (which I unfortunately didn’t get any other photos of, due to keeping an eye on the kidlets…)

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Later, however, Teddy spied the T-Rex’s head over the top of the exhibition fence, and spent a nervous twenty minutes keeping his eye out, and asking me where the dinosaur had gone…
So we decided to do the last leg of our outing – the funfair! Well, always a favourite of my kids, though only tame rides, they had a wonderful time…

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Alfie was beaming with pride through bravery, insisting Leon went with him on the tiny caterpillar roller coaster nearly ten times over, and Teddy, who didn’t bat an eyelid in Maya’s escort, had a wonderful time – despite never have been on a ride in his life before!
๐Ÿ™‚

A Farming Weekend

Last weekend we had an amazing time.

Staying on a farm!

Actually, we didn’t just STAY on it – the kids WORKED on it!

Here is the farm from a distance…

….and here is the little cottage we stayed in….

Run by wonderful Inger, ex-preschool teacher and now farmer, and her husband Bernt, they have an ideal to educate children about how a farm functions.

First we met Nora the dog…

…and copious cats….

This little kitten Alfie became particularly fond of…

Leon adopted a new found fondness for cows.

Cleaning their poo daily with Inger…

Checking they had enough food, and sharing it out between them if not…

(Here you can see him walking between the cows, Nora the dog following obediently)

Taking the cows out to the field every morning…

…this little calf had a stubborn streak…

In the end the others also braved the cows…

…and they soon became a favourite…

The chickens however, also became a favourite….

Not only were the eggs collected and the chickens fed, but lots and lots of dandelions were dug up for them – their big treat…

Leon helped Inger to feed the lambs and sheep three times a day…

(as did Maya later)

Maya got to ride the pony…

And Alfie just loved, loved, loved the hay loft with all its swings…

Actually, what am I saying?

ALL the kids loved it!

And spent HOURS in there….!

And if you needed some peace and quiet, you could always walk across the fields to the ‘kรฅta’…

At the end of the weekend even Ted was a budding farmer…

Thank you Inger and Bernt for a fabulously educational weekend – we LOVED it….!

๐Ÿ™‚

November Days

November has been speeding by.

Mormor (English grandmother) has come to stay.

Papa has gone off to work in Hong Kong for two weeks.

Some kids have been ill, some have not.

The weather has turned colder, but it has not yet snowed.

Here are some of the things we’ve been up to…..

.……..

We’ve been playing with polar bears….

Reading about polar bears through this book,

And learning why polar bears have white fur….

We’ve had fun reading about Mr Happy, Mr Strong, Mr Grumpyย and Mr Rush,

learning about their shapes, and making pop-up shape monsters, and Mr Happy from clay….

And discovering our drawing skills with the use of dobbers and a thin black pen…

Some of us have been creating 3D cars from card…

Making advent calendars – lots of them…

Painting flowerpots for our newly planted hyacinths…

And, thanks to uncle Andy and aunty Gail, massively enjoying the rainbow fairy books

Others of us have rediscovered lego in a big way.

After visiting this wonderful place just outside of Stockholm,

he has been exploring the realms of lego character wars…

Creating wonderful things (such as this bird)…

Writing our names in lego….

Discovering that through the use of lego you can make excellent spinning tops….

And use a timer to predict and see which one will spin for the longest…

And after discovering about the new lego architecture modelsย 

(are you listening Father Christmas?)

realizing that bricks are not just for babies….

๐Ÿ™‚

Where Can You Find….?

The Giant…

Cinderella’s castle…

Three bear’s porridge…

One of the Billy Goats Gruff…

A dwarf…

The house of a troll…

And a very old fashioned playground…

At ‘Sagostigen‘!

This literally translates to ‘story path’, and we came here a few years agoย (and I see now that I seem to have taken very similar photos then!) – but this time we took Farmor, our swedish grandmother with us – who dutifully read the stories…

Heavenly Hammocks, Hummus and Hippies!

I haven’t written for a few days due to general life taking over (it happens sometimes…), but I must just tell you about one of our weekend trips…

We went to Rosenhill Trรคdgรฅrd (Rosenhill Gardens) on Sunday. Unfortunately the website really does this place no justice, as so often seems to be the case, because this was a really wonderful place. Started by a group of alternative people in the ’70s, after they travelled the world looking for another lifestyle, and came back to Sweden realising that people were the same allover the world – they decided to start up these ‘gardens’, and lead the way to living their own life alternatively from their home land.

Hand painted welcome sign supported by tie-dyed flags...

Extremely happy chickens...

The essential hippy van...

'Free snails - pick yourself'

Dried bits and bobs

Happy chilled out kids...

Delicious homemade food (hummus included)..

Fantastic furniture ...

The 'ladies' ...

Waiting to be juiced...

Homemade slide (or an easy way to leave the cafe)...

Roof tile snake...

Hammock heaven...

Relaxation time...

... or not ...

A dragon in the tree...

Succulent sunflowers...

Wild and free...

Although given the name of ‘gardens’, I would describe it as more. An organic farm, a place to give your belongings and take away something in return, a wonderful organic cafe, a place to take your apples and make them into ‘must’ (a non-alchoholic cider), a place to experience and buy a homemade hammock, and a place to meet others and enjoy the creative and relaxed environment.

We all loved this place – there was always something interesting and unexpected to look at – we will definitely be visiting again!