And "it" means: to go around the island of Alnö by bike. It's 40 VERY hilly kilometres and it took me almost 2,5 hours with the city-bike which we have borrowed from our neighbour. I did it this morning at 6 am and now my limbs still feel like over-cooked spaghetti. I probably needed that! As you can see on the pictures we've done some socialising the last days: Dad and I saw Göran and also we invited the wonderful musicians Dan-Gunnar and Karin for coffee at our home. We watched a 15 years old recording from a musical play about the history of Alnö in which Karin and her daughter participated. I was amazed at parts of the libretto: the concluding chorus praised Sweden in a way that brought my mind to the nationalistic socialism I've seen exposed at the museum of national history of Tirana. And as you can see, the Saw mill monument (Sågverksmonumentet) at the centre of Alnö speaks a bit of the same Eastern-Europe-pre-1989-language. Well, not that there is nothing to be proud of. The life of the saw mill workers and other workers was radically changed to the better through their organising themselves in trade unions. Göran can testify to that! He started working at an Alnö saw mill after 7 years at what he calles "The university of Hovid" (the village school at the northern part of the island) so he knows what this hard work is like.
This weekend I went on an adventure! When going to Sweden I really felt a strong desire to go to Lapland, because it's one of the few counties I've never ever visited. As previously mentioned, the north has never attracted me very much - I thought I lived in a place that was northly enough and never wanted to go further. But after going to Ångermanland a week ago I kind of got inspired. And as my ex-student Ingrid (a Belgian living in Lapland) came to visit me last Friday I decided to join her on the way back and to spend the weekend with her in her little house in southern Lapland.
Heeeey, now we're on youtube!!!! Pls go to our Herz Schmerz-page for a nice overview. Enjoy!
Marie is a VERY gifted musician, singer and songwriter and we had a very enriching jam session last night playing, singing and recording our own songs! How lovely! This is true vacation for me! Ångermanland is a very pious place with a lot of Evangelical and Pentecostal churches with a GREAT and deeply rooted musical tradition which produces great musicians (classical, gospel, pop...) of which Marie is one! Last Sunday evening we enjoyed a classical concert at the Lutheran church of Själevad where Marie serves as a church musician. Yesterday we spent the whole day with her sister, brother-in-law and very cute nephew! I enjoyed very non-Belgian activities as blue-berry picking and swimming in a lake. WONDERFUL! And the slow tempo of the Norrlanders was also very restful. The cat of Marie also gave me a very warm reception keeping me company in bed and also granting me a very catty farewell gift: a dead mouse on the floor of my room this morning (no pictures of that one for reasons of decency - but I must say it was rather neat and with no blood on it. I even hesitated first to think that it was some kind of very realistic cat-toy but no... it was the real thing...) Coming back to Alnö I continued enjoying music at a house concert of the music teacher Peter Tjärnberg! Below some photo's from the concert and also from Alnö in general.
Here I'm sitting with my mum on the balcony of our house in Alnö! My Dad I arrived a nap and a lunch ago and it feels good to be here.
Katharina, Luc, Heleen and I performed at Damiaancentrum in Leuven at the 5th of July and for me it was an EUFORIC experience to perform together with so beautiful and talented co-musicians in front of an audience of so many loved ones including my parents, friends visiting from China, friends soon moving over seas, old friends, new friends... But it was a little bit exciting just before: Belgium played against Argentina right before the concert and the day before we decided to postpone the concert with 30 minutes to allow people to watch the match on the big screens at the Oude Markt just before climbing the Sint Antoniusberg to attend the concert. The fact that Belgium failed was sad but not totally unexpected and we were of course happy that the match finished on time... I hope to share some links to the youtube as soon as my Dad has put together film and sound!
The day after that my parents went to Sweden to visit my aunt and other relatives in Göteborg! Below are some pictures from our stay! It was so nice to come there after 9 years. The whole family of my Dad comes from the neighbourhood of Göteborg, so I have a lot of family there. But as I mostly travel to Sweden by airplane I haven't had the occasion of passing by. Now we came by car which made it possible. I was so glad to see everyone again!