The Resident IT Consultant wanted to go on a train. A narrow gauge one. And then I said I didn’t. I said I didn’t mind being parked somewhere for the duration. After a few false starts when he suggested silly places to put me, he found the Stockholm botanic gardens. (My search criteria said somewhere with benches to sit on and access to toilets. You know, just in case.)
Bergianska Trädgården seemed to tick both boxes (never let it be said I demand a lot). So off we went and he dumped me and departed for his train.
I sat on benches until the yellow orangery café opened, where I made a quick move on some rhubarb pie and tea. (I hadn’t actually said I had to have food. That was a bonus.) And then the grey sky greyed some more and the heavens opened and I had to grab all of the above and take refuge in the orangery.
Was reminded of odd Swedish custom of signs telling you to keep off the grass. I find this excessive at times, but kept off the green stuff, just to be safe.
We journeyed on after my brush with the open skies and the Resident IT Consultant’s fun train trip. Attempted to have lunch at an Ikea we passed (it was perfectly fine last week) but everyone in Västerås had returned from their holidays and the place was packed to the rafters. (Would have been if it had them.) Obviously, the first thing I’d do after a holiday is go buy meatballs and furniture. It’s the way to quickly get into the crush of things.
Drove and drove and drove. Got here at last. Had to admit to hotel receptionist that we had stayed before. Last week. And then we dined at a lovely garden café the Resident IT Consultant had found. (It was the youth hostel…)
Yesterday I saw the Retired Children’s Librarian.
That is a phrase I have so far been unable to say on this blog, which makes it noteworthy. Saw her the day before as well. And before that it had been eight years. Bookwitch is only seven, which is why I’ve never said it on here. The RCL doesn’t travel much these days, and I find that the town where she now lives is – quite frankly – on the wrong side of the country.
It is far and it is not on the railway. That’s where the Resident IT Consultant comes in, because he can be made to drive witches to places not so easily reached by other means. (Before you ask, the broom suffers from heat exhaustion.)
The town where the RCL lives is a lovely town. Don’t misunderstand me. It’s just not convenient. So, in-between lunch at her place one day and dinner at a restaurant the next, we went to see her niece at Växplats Nybyn, which is where the RCL does most of her work in the summer. My old mentor might be gasping for air in the hot weather, but she still helps her niece with serving coffee at her herby heaven in the countryside, almost daily donning a pretty purple pinny.
If you think the photos look a little dark, I’ll just mention this was immediately before some magnificent thunder and lightning. Which did make it a teeny weeny bit colder. Not to mention wet.
It’s a lovely place, even if it does have a geranium room, which is a sort of witchy hell on earth (me and geraniums don’t mix). Beautiful, but smelling of geraniums.
With a Pippi Longstocking hut for children, the niece has clearly had the same mentor I had. She used to have – pet – pigs, who all bore the names of children’s literature characters.
How old I felt! How old I am!
(It’s really others who are too young.)
We stopped for lunch at a railway station. Ex-station. Very lovely. Even the toilet was lovely, and the camera came out. (No, you can’t see.)
They had ancient milk bottles of the kind I used to buy when I was a tiny witch-let. I mentioned this to the girl in the café. ‘Yes, someone told me it was in the 1950s’ she said. ‘1960s’ I replied, trying not to sound cross. But what’s in a digit? It was all long ago.
They had a train in the garden. (Well, actually I’m thinking it’s where the train would have been had the station not been a former station.) You could eat on the train. Or just admire it in a general sense.
It was hot.
Needless to say I have travelled on trains like this one. And much more recently than the milk bottles. Didn’t feel like telling anyone that, though, as it might have made me sound older still.
Later we went to see my – older – brother. This was our fourth meeting. Here he is with the Resident IT Consultant after showing us his lands, and the pond he made himself. That was some pond. Had he not called it a pond I’d have said it was a lake. It even had an island in the middle.
My sister-in-law and I agreed to disagree about Midsomer Murders. She loves Barnaby. I have decided that is fine. She thinks that Mikael Persbrandt (Swedish actor you are not – yet – too familiar with) is hot.
I think the weather is.