Letters from Sweden
Long term House of Sweden members Ingrid and Calle moved back to Sweden in June of 2020. They both have been very active in the House of Sweden for many years and both have served as President of the organization.They have been sending us newsletters since their arrival in Sweden. You can read them here.
Newsletter #4 October 2020
You can read it here or click below to download the file and read it.
Hello dear friends,
October newsflash from Upplands Väsby!
Life is moving on in an easy and comfortable way. Our Big Red Truck in now registered in Sweden and we are in that respect ready for a trip somewhere in Sweden. We have been talking about a trip north along the coastline with a dinner stop at Axmar Brygga (a fine seafood restaurant). From September thru the winter months it’s only open on the weekends and with tables separated according to new norms.
This is where many of Carl Englund’s relatives came from. Many men worked in the iron smelter. All the men looked like Carl’s cousins. At some time the Englund homestead offered accommodation to 4 families. To me it looks big enough for just one family at best. The iron supply storage building was renovated and made into a fabulous restaurant Axmar Brygga. Upstairs is an exhibit of photos of men working in iron smelter, their homes and the estate owner’s home, tools etc. One year we organized an Englund family reunion in Axmar and we were invited into and guided in the iron smelter. Fascinating memories!
Some local history: The royal authorization was given 1671 to build a blast furnace, roasting oven, a tilthammer and two hearths i Axmar. The deep woods, strong currents and good transport venues made the Axmar a perfect location iron production. The iron ore was transported by boat from mines to Utö. The Russians attacked the coastline 1721 and the mill was destroyed. A modernized mill was built ready 1860’s. Land adjacent to the mill offered pastureland & arable land. Workers were well paid in cash and a supply of grain, potatoes, fish, brännvin (akvavit) and groceries could be purchased at the mill store. Workers & their families received medical attention and the children attended school. An extensive park was established surrounding the manor house, often referred to as “The Palace”. A canal was dug to provide the mill with waterpower. Due to technical advances the antiquated mill was closed 1927.
We have a great weekend in Söderhamn, with visits to the Englund grave in Hamrånge with stops Vallvik, Söderala & Skärså where we enjoyed a marvelous seafood lunch. Work goes on with unpacking. Now only 5 boxes remain in the storage containing guest bedding, photo albums, crafts materials and of course Christmas decorations. Most of the cabinets, shelves & closets are filled at the moment. We’ll exchange clothing with the seasons and just shift the location as needed.
It’s been a delight to see and use our beautiful tea set for breakfasts. To start the day with a healthy breakfast, light a candle and enjoy a new day watching the birds find their sunflower seeds in the birdfeeders, how they shell the seeds so easily and keep on eating until a bigger bird comes along and demand a seat at any of the three feeders. It gets messy, but so what, we clean it up or the wind and rain will. The flowers are doing well and soon enough we’ll select some indoor plants as well.
The apartment is fully furnished and Calle got his own computer desk. The dining-room table is great and the chairs are very comfortable. Next is hanging remaining art & pictures and finding additional lamps! We bought an electric grill and made wonderful hamburgers. According to our taste, they tasted better than any restaurant version available in Upplands Väsby,
For the first time I made lingonberry preserves. The blueberry and lingonberry season has been extraordinary this year. Perfect amount of rain and sunshine produced more fruit than ever. Pickers from as far as Thailand come here to pick the fruit. In the mountains further north they also pick the cloudberries. Anyway I received about 3 kg each of blueberry and lingonberry. My neighbor introduced me to “berry-sugar”. The sugar has added pectin and ready for cooking. It was so easy! We tasted the newly made lingonberry on toast and it was just perfect far superior to the IKEA lingonberry preserves. As I have limited conservation glas jars on hand I freeze my preserves in smaller containers.
Sorry to confirm that the birches by the house are loosing their green beautiful shroud and shifting into yellow-orange instead. The linden are now red. This only to confirm the fall is here. It’s getting much cooler at night down to 7ºC or 45ºF! It’s difficult to get used to the cooler air, it’s been so warm for so many months. We now eat breakfast indoors. Jackets are in order. Summer cloths are stored in containers in the storage. We purchased heavy winter jackets already, just to make sure that we are prepared for cooler days ahead.
We feel safe. We are healthy. We are happy. We miss you and hope to hear from you via e-mail or a quick call using “WhatsApp”.
Greetings to you all from Ingrid & Calle
Best time to call us is between 6am and noon
Newsletter #3 August 12, 2020
Newsletter #2 July 23, 2020
Newsletter #1 June 21, 2020