>Wimbledon fun


We had such fun at Wimbledon yesterday! We queued in Wimbledon Park for two and a half hours in 30 degree sun playing cards and reading the newspaper before we could actually start making our way into the grounds, which were swarming with people all over the place. I LOVED all the colours, sundresses, big sun hats [except the one belonging to a lady who pushed in front of me with one] and the excited buzz. We watched Haas and Andreev, a bit of Ferrero and Simon, Wozinacki and Lisicki, men’s doubles, mixed doubles, ladies doubles…everything really. My favourites: seeing the Williams sisters playing four games of doubles [we got there too late], the Junior Wimbledon boys tennis [6-4; 6-7; 9-9 and the play was suspended because of the light at 9.30pm!] and then sitting squished like a sardine on Murray Mound watching his epic match against Warwencka amidst all the jovial, singing Brits. That went on until 10.45pm last night and ended with everyone on Murray Mound up on their feet bouncing, jumping and chanting Murray’s name [hugely influenced by the day’s Pimms, but nevermind]. We got to bed sun-kissed, full of strawberries and tennised out really….lots and lots of fun. Oh, if you do go, two words of advice: sun cream and patience [queues have become synonomous with Wimbledon, in my mind anyway, for those in the cheap seats!]

ps. yip, I had a boiled Bergamot sweet from France in my mouth. Caught out. But yummmm.


>Obsession Sweden


Abba, little red houses, furniture, open-faced sandwiches [smörgås], little circles and dots above the letters of the alphabet, cheese and IKEA all make one think of Sweden in an instant…and I have had a secret, bizarre fascination with the country since I met my friend Carin Hallberg who introduced me to Fika and some other Swedish things. Ah, Fika…who wouldn’t love a country which such a lovely, yummy tradition? Let me explain…

‘Fika’ is a Swedish verb that roughly means “to drink coffee”, and there is always something sweet to go with. It is “having a coffee with one’s colleagues, friends, date, or family. The word has quite ambiguous connotations and can mean anything from taking a break from work or other activities, to going on a date. Swedes are among the heaviest consumers of coffee in the world and this practice of taking a break for a coffee, typically with a cinnamon roll and/or some biscuits or cookies, or sometimes a smörgås on the side, is central to Swedish life” [Wikipedia]. Carin announced fika one Saturday morning and had whipped up a delicious chocolate and banana sticky, heavy cake. She told us how in her home growing up, her mum would call “fika!” and everyone would run into the kitchen from wherever they were to have a coffee and cake…mmm, I love the picture and will definitely be celebrating fika in my household!

I love this set of Swedish photos by StudioZoe on Flickr. “Compilation of life in Sweden, through the lens of an Expat, with special attention to Bohuslän.”

So I am off to buy a book called “Things Swedish” to indulge my fascination…133 pages with gorgeous full color illustrations listing Swedsh items from A-Z, including:
A – Aquavit (Vodka)
B – Blueberry Soup
C – Classic Cars
D – Design (furniture)
E – Emballage (packaging)
F – Fika (coffee break – includes recipes)…yes!
G – Glass
H – Haveri (Shipwreck)
I – Ice
J – Jakt (Hunt)
K – Knackebrod (Crispbread – includes recipe)
L – Lapland
M – Mother’s Meatballs (includes recipe)
N – Nobel
O – Opera
P – Polska (Music)
Q – Q-rbits (really kurbits painting – author was at a loss with this letter)
R – Red
S – Smorgasbord (includes recipes)
T – Traditions (more recipes)
U – Uppfinningar (Inventions)
V – Vikings
X – The Unexplained (Storsjoodjuret monster)
Y – Yta-Space
Z – Zzz

And it gets better: loose candy everywhere. I quote a Swede living away from home, “Lös Godis [loose candy] is one of the things I miss the most from my native land. I haven’t had any in more than 5 years, but still, I drool just thinking about it. Life without lös godis is a half life. Seriously.”

For more Swedish eye candy, dosfamily is a very cool blog showing Swedish house visits [dos visits]. I found out about it at Red House Design, a blog belonging to a Swedish designer living in America.

I will definitely be on a jet plane to Stockholm to travel Sweden at the soonest chance I have. Any other cool Swedish things I should know about?

>Some things

>Coming from South Africa, I’m familiar with the trophy head hanging on many a karoo home wall, this is a fun and beautiful take on the idea for me…Rachel Denny’s Domestic Trophies. “Out of the Woods, the latest body of work by Rachel Denny is an exploration of the seductive beauty of our natural world and the imprint that human intervention has made on its flora and fauna. Denny is attracted by the exuberance of nature in urban and unexpected places. ‘A deer in an urban backyard, a family of Peregrine falcons at my neighborhood park, a coyote skirting a parking lot,” she says, “These all become a moment of wonder as they shake us out of our daily routines.'”

I found a new blog to keep an eye on called My Folk Lover. While browsing through, I found illustrations and drawings by Julie Morstad, whose work I absolutely love.

I want to buy the latest copy of Frankie, an australian magazine “that’s as smart, funny, sarcastic, friendly, cute, rude, arty, curious and caring as you are” as they say. I love the layout, content, design, photography and especially it’s curious nature and it’s covers.

Why have I NOT been here yet? Ah, goodness. All I can say is Loop.
41 Cross Street
Islington, London
N1 2BB
phone no. 020 7288 1160
It is a yarn shop, but don’t worry, they have an online shop too. Gins, your 30th birthday gift will most likely come out of here [well, that was my plan…]. I am signing up for a beginner’s knitting class as soon as I can rub more pennies together. They have all sorts of amazing sounding classes like lace knitting, felt, yarn and bead flower corsages and a knitting bonanza workshop! Dreamy yarn dreams, yes.

Another place in London I will be making a beeline for in London is Hope and Greenwood Sweet Shop. The shop was started by a London couple who wanted a sweet shop of their childhood dreams and, driven by a passion for the patterns of the thirties and the manners of the fifties, have done just that. In an interview with Home and Antiques magazine, they said “Everything we do at Hope and Greenwood stems from three words: British, nostalgic and quality.” Yes, I will be going there as soon as you can say ‘a spoon full of sugar…’
20 North Cross Road
East Dulwich, London
SE22 9EU
phone no. 020 8613 177

The photo above taken of the owners of Hope and Greenwood caught my eye so I went in search of the photographer. Ladies and gentlemen, London photographer Richard Nicolson. I am wowed by his photography portfolio. These are three of my favourite, but go and look for yourself…

I also have recently found a blog I like called Design is Mine.


Will tell more when my eyelids aren’t dropping and I am not needing a hot bath and my bed. I’ll be reflecting and posting some fatter content and Swedish inspiration and newly discovered favourite blogs on the weekend…but let’s just say that I am being stretched and inspired by the wild, extravagant, Father heart of God, and that it goes along the lines of us trusting Him for rent this month and having just received an anonymous envelope with the exact amount we needed before rent is due this week. He lives…and he is gracious and good and present.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you…? So do not worry, saying “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”…your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:32

>Let go…

>Today I learnt this lesson. Let go of what you think you know, make yourself humble enough to be teachable and make room in your brain and heart for new revelation and different perspective. Tilt your head and open your heart, and you never know what will become possible in faith, love, work, relationship and friendship.

>Wimbledon, darling

>Queen Mary receiving France’s Mille Suzanne Lenglen, six times Wimbledon champion, in the post war years. I LOVE her outfit!

Mrs Fearnley-Whittingstall one of the first to wear trendy clothes at Wimbledon. Ankle socks, short dress and white soft shoes.
Wimbledon began today, the great grass tennis annual tournament in white with strawberries and cream that sees the Brits out in the sun [or painfully clock watching under an umbrella in the rain]. It always seemed to neat on telly…but living a ten minute walk away from the courts has given us an entirely new picture…crowded and buzzing tube station, people milling around Southfields in sun hats and Jackie O sunglasses, and queuing for long hours to even have a peek. It is lots of fun, and we will definitely join the throngs of people, don’t get me wrong. I love these old photos of Wimbledon. First hand account coming soon…