Around here: Sunday in the sun.

The day started with a walk through the park by the sea...

Then we had a picnic by my favourite lake for lunch. Best of both worlds :)

I spent the afternoon with mum on the porch back home. I think I even managed to get a bit of a tan.

I'm sad that the weekend is over, but the upcoming week has some exciting things in store... Walpurgis Night on Wednesday and then a day off from work on Thursday. There's no doubt about it, I could get used to these four-day work weeks. In fact, I don't mind them at all.

Around here: The last Saturday of April.

The weather lately is almost too good to be true, and it's only getting warmer! One of the highlights of our Saturday was going to the garden centre to pick out flowers for the balcony. We mostly got the same kind that we had last year because we know they can survive the often windy weather of this city, but we're trying out some new ones too.

Now that the balcony's all nice and decorated it feels like we have a whole new room to hang out in. I'm looking forward to picking up our tradition of having breakfast out there again, and many little barbecues on our (electric) grill . Today we enjoyed our first burgers of the season out in the sun. Oh, how I love this time of year!

Around here: Easter weekend.

We really couldn't have asked for better weather this Easter. Sunshine and temperatures close to twenty degrees - what a contrast to last year's icy cold Easter! I switched from my winter coat to my lighter spring coat little more than a week ago but this weekend I didn't wear a coat at all most of the time.

On Good Friday we took it easy, taking care of some errands around town, before heading over to Per's parents for dinner in the late afternoon. In the evening we proceeded to my hometown where we stayed until Monday. It was such a lovely weekend filled with family, delicious food and, of course, more sweets than anyone should ever consume in one weekend. I sure did my best to make up for not having had any sweets in the six weeks preceding Easter. Mostly, we hung out at my parents' place and went for long walks in the surrounding forests. At this time of year it's easy to feel trapped in an apartment with no access to outdoor space, so I really appreciate the closeness to nature when I visit my parents. It's such a luxury to be able to grab my camera, put on some shoes and step outside to this:

I spent countless hours of my childhood playing around (and in, but don't tell my parents) that creek. It will always feel like home to me, especially at this time of year when it's at its most beautiful, surrounded by a sea of white wood anemones.

On Sunday we went on a little outing to the Korrö Nature Reserve. We had dinner with my aunt and her family and my stepdad's father at the nice restaurant there and afterwards the "kids" went paddling in the river and I explored the surroundings with my camera. When everyone came back the sun had sunk lower in the sky so I was able to capture some photos in the beautiful evening light. Mum asked for a photo of my sisters and I and Fanny's boyfriend kindly took some for us.

Best thing about this weekend was having the whole family gathered in one place again. That and having four days off, obviously. If only every weekend was like this one.

Trips in 2014: A long weekend in Skåne.

On Thursday morning I went to Båstad on the west coast for a work conference. The train ride took four and a half hours so we didn't arrive at our hotel until noon, but it was worth the long journey. I've only been to Båstad twice before so I enjoyed getting an opportunity to revisit it, and at a time that is less busy than the summer. We stayed at the fancy spa hotel Skansen. Once we finished for the day I went for a walk along the beach and with the sand in my shoes and sun on my face it felt almost like summer, without the crowds that is.

For some reason my hotel room had a balcony unlike my co-workers' so I felt special :) Before dinner we reconvened at the spa and since I didn't need that much time to get ready afterwards I stayed behind when the others went back to their rooms to prepare for dinner. Thus I got to spend a few minutes in the hot tub on my own and it was divine.

Dinner was a delicious three-course affair (all the food we got was great) and we ended up staying at the hotel restaurant until it closed at one o'clock. I was sad that I missed the opportunity to photograph the sunset which I'd been looking forward to - with the long days I'd missed that the sun was due to set after dinner had already started. I kept looking longingly through the window at the beautiful pink and orange sky.

Despite not making it to bed until half one I somehow woke up at a quarter past six. As soon as I realized what time it was I pulled back the curtain and noted that the sun was about to rise. I pulled on some clothes over my PJs, grabbed my camera and headed for the beach. It was a bit chilly but so worth it. I was all alone on the pier, the whole world felt calm and still as if it was holding its breath and then I got to see the sun rise above the horizon at exactly 6:34.

I stayed for a few minutes longer before I headed back to my room and went back to sleep for another hour (although falling back asleep was hard given how excited I was over seeing the sunrise without setting my alarm). Then it was time for the hotel breakfast. This was the closest you can get to a perfect morning in my book :)

Since I was already down in the province of Skåne I decided to stay for a bit longer and took the opportunity to visit Cissi in Malmö after the conference ended on Friday. We went out for pizza in the evening and watched some interesting documentaries at her place afterwards (because we thought it was too late to start a film). On Saturday we did some shopping downtown. To our great excitement they were handing out free icecream in one place and free canvas bags further along. Clearly I need to shop in Malmö more often. After lunch on Saturday I took the train back home to Kalmar. I'm so glad I got to see Cissi even though it was just a brief visit.

Life lately: March 2014.

Watching | Not a lot of TV right now, partly because the shows we used to watch have ended and partly because we’ve started hanging out at the gym instead. But when the weekend comes around we always watch a film or two. This month we watched Gravity Which neither one of us liked very much, I don’t really get the hype? Other than that we watched Don Jon which was weird/funny and The Butler which I found really interesting. Oh and this weekend we watched Hard Candy. I’ve seen it several times (years ago) but Per had never seen it before and found it very disturbing (especially a certain scene). He told me afterwards that he will never let me pick which film we’re going to watch again haha.

Listening to | Swedish country singer Jill Johnson on repeat, like most of the rest of the country. The song Going Down to the River which she recorded with Doug Seegers, a homeless man in Nashville last year is a number one hit here right now. Incidentally he’ll be joining her on her tour this summer when she visits Kalmar. I got tickets for us as a birthday gift for Per. (I doubt he will ever read my blog so I think I can write it here without him finding out.)

Consuming | Actually nothing special right now? I am off sweets due to Lent and have done well with that, except for a day when I was super stressed (court day, in fact) and my manager offered me a chocolate truffle for dessert and I ate it without thinking. But I will forever deny that it was a sweet. It was large enough to be considered a pastry (maybe this makes it even worse haha).

Reading | I just finished The Fault in Our Stars. I enjoyed it alright but didn't think it was life-changing or anything.

Visiting | My family once or twice. This week I’ll be visiting Cissi at her current place in Malmö for the first time.

Enjoying | Spring! Sunshine! How incredibly easy I found the transition to DST this year (didn't even notice it really). The fact that I’ve been going to the gym for a whole month now. Also, the fact that the month of March 2014 is over and that a lot of things I was worried about are behind me.

Making | I feel like I always say this but photobook pages? Although I didn’t make that much progress with them in March, I was busy doing other things.

Looking forward to | Possibly seeing a beautiful sunset on Thursday evening when I’ll be visiting the west coast. Going to Malmö this weekend. Getting to replace my winter coat with my new spring coat soon I hope.