The other night, I was invited to celebrate two friends’ birthdays in a welcoming house outside the city.

The table was beautifully set and my friends had prepared some fantastic food. There were warm people, good conversations, lots of wine and a fireplace. Even a soft, furry dog that put its head in my lap.

It was the kind of evening I can dream about when it is dark, cold and lonesome, and I was delighted to be there.



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A Swede learning to live in Madeira.

10 thoughts on “Celebration”

    • Thank you, it was a beautiful home.
      But what exactly is Swedishness? Is it the candle lights, or setting the table without a tablecloth? The Marimekko napkins (which are Finnish)?
      You mentioned before that your mother is of Swedish origin – did you ever go here?


      • Yes I have been to Sweden a few times. I think it’s all those things you mention. The decor reminds me of my mother’s house, of Christmas and the sort of things that children remember. Marimekko reminds me of my grandmother who had a taste for those big bold patterns. Mum hates them – she prefers very understated colours and patterns. Or plain things. It’s odd when a culture resonates with you because of childhood but it’s not really your own.


        • My idea of the English countryside is flower patterned wallpapers and furniture, and cozy fireplaces. (I’ve never seen it with my own eyes, only at television.)


        • It used to be like that, I think. There was a tendency for flowery wallpaper and patterned carpets and dark furniture, but nowadays everyone’s imitating the Scandinavian style or the French ‘shabby chic’ style. I don’t think we have as distinctive a style of interiors as Swedish people do – we just steal our ideas from everywhere else.


        • For the Swedish middle-class it becomes more and more important to not appear like losers. It is very important to have a ‘representative’ home – but people work so hard to make it look modern and sophisticated that there is hardly ever time for inviting friends. (Of course, I’m generalizing…)


  1. vastlycurious.com says:

    Such fun! Your first photo is amazing in color and clarity. Are those berries?


    • Yes, it was! And yes, it is. Red currants. They ripen in late summer. Normally they are all eaten at this time of year, either by humans or birds. When I was a kid, it was very common to make jam and syrup out of red currants.


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