Life lately: April 2015.

Watching | April has felt like a busy month so it surprises me when I look back that I had time to watch as many TV shows and films as I did. As far as films go I watched Wild, The Imitation Game and The Rewrite. All three are definitely watchable but The Imitation Game was my favourite and taught me a lot about an aspect of WW2 that I wasn't very familiar with beforehand. On the TV show front Mad Men returned for its final season and Swedish TV started airing In the Club, the second season of the Swedish show Welcome to Sweden as well as the new show Ack Värmland. On top of that we've been catching up with Call the Midwife.

Listening to | A lot of Björn Afzelius after watching a documentary about his life.

Consuming | Nothing really stands out, other than the fact that I now eat (a moderate amount of) sweets again.

Reading | Well, according to Goodreads I am curently reading Britt-Marie var här and Yes Please. Let's leave it at that and hope I can post a different answer at the end of May ;)

Visiting | The parents for Easter. S & O for a fun evening of beer tasting (cider for me though since I don't drink beer).

Enjoying | Project Life, it has sucked me right back in again after a break in March (during which I finished scanning all my mum's photos from the 90s and early 2000s, so indirectly I was working on Project Life then as well). All the beautiful sunny and warm (for the season) days we've had. Photographing spring. Decorating my balcony. Friday's epic party at work.

Making | Spreads for my 1995-1999 Project Life album.

Looking forward to | Finishing the aforementioned album. Summer. In the shorter term, celebrating Walpurgis Night tonight and the upcoming long weekend.

Around here: Glimpses from my balcony.

Since the risk of frosty nights from here on out seems low we dared to buy flowers for our balcony this weekend. For the third year in a row I went for pink flowers. In my defence these flowers are not the exact same colours that I've had before, and I've never had ranunculus (the small flower pot) before. It makes me so happy when I look out through the window now. I'm looking forward to spending many a sunny day out on the balcony this spring and summer :)

Trips in 2015: Berlin.

Remember how I went to Berlin and promised to share photos from the trip and then a whole month went by before I posted them? Ahem. Here they are at last, better late than never as they say ;) I would have split this into two separate entries but I feel like I've put it off for long enough already so I'll just post it all in one go. Sorry for the length of this.

We flew to Berlin straight from Kalmar's little airport which meant that we could get up at the same time we usually do for work and still be in Berlin by ten o'clock. So convenient. I'll gladly pay extra for the privilege of not having to spend 4 hours on a train to Copenhagen before the trip even starts.

Since we got to Berlin so early we couldn't check into our hotel straight away so we just dropped off our bags and headed out to explore the Kurfürstendamm just around the corner from our hotel. Of course we spent some time getting lost at KaDeWe and walked past the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche.

In the early afternoon we checked into our room. I really liked our hotel, the rooms were so pretty and the breakfast was divine as we would find out later.

Once we had rested for a little while we learned to navigate the underground system (this was my third time in Berlin, but my first time getting around on my own using public transport) and made our way to the Fernsehturm. We'd got VIP tickets in advance to skip the lines and it was definitely worth it. The tickets included window seats in the revolving restaurant where we had icecream sundaes (and some of us had German beer :P). Visiting the tower was my favourite Berlin experience. I highly recommend it.

Once we got back to ground level again it was quite late but I still managed to drag Per to the nearby Primark and spent a good few hours browsing the myriads of cheap clothes there. I bought the cutest pair of PJs. If I didn't have about 25 other pairs at home I wouldn't have stopped at just one pair. Buying PJs (and summer dresses) is my guilty pleasure.

On Saturday morning we went inside the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. Again, this was my third time in Berlin, but the first time visiting the modern part of the church. Can't believe I've skipped it before, it's so unique.

Next up we visited the East Side Gallery which had changed quite a bit since I last saw it. Some paintings remained, but there were many new ones, and the whole area is so different. New buildings seem to be popping up everywhere.

Of course a visit to Berlin wouldn't be complete without seeing the Brandenburger Tor...

... nor the Holocaust Memorial.

We saw plenty of Trabis while in Berlin. So cute. Saturday's final touristy activity was walking through Checkpoint Charlie. Before that we visited the Topographie des Terrors museum which was really interesting.

Sunday's main event was a visit to the DDR Museum. I really liked the interactiveness of it and learned many things, but it was super crowded so perhaps it's better to go there on a weekday rather than during the weekend.

The weather on Sunday wasn't the best and all the shops were closed so we weren't quite sure what to do next. We ended up taking the subway to the Charlottenburg Palace. We didn't have time to visit the interiors but it was nice to get a look at it from the outside. The last time I went to Berlin I wanted to see it but didn't have the time.

By now it was time to make our way back to the hotel and pick up our bags. On the way there I found some of the bears I'd been searching for up until then. I remember the bears being all over the city during my previous visits to Berlin but this time I only saw a few, until I found this bunch just around the corner from our hotel on a street we hadn't walked down before. Finding them was a neat ending to the trip :)

Around here: Spring on my street.

Last week I went for a walk in my neighbourhood one evening after work. This is my fourth spring in Kalmar and by now I know where to find which flowers, and in what order they usually turn up. It never gets boring though; how could anyone grow tired of such beauty? My street is definitely at its best at this time of year :)

Outings: A spring day in Nunnedalen.

On the first Sunday of April we went to the Nunnedalen valley on Öland looking for signs of spring. It's become a little tradition that I look forward to when the days start growing longer and the world begins to wake up from the slumber of winter. Just like last year, and the year before that, we weren't disappointed. A sea of blue anemones (and some early white ones, too) greeted us. To think that I grew up thinking that blue anemones were incredibly rare! As it turns I just didn't know where to look for them.

Around here: A final goodbye.

The city of Gdynia truly showed off its best side on Friday, the day of my grandma's funeral. The ferry arrived in the morning and once we'd met up with mum and Cissi and had breakfast we had some time to spend before we had to pick up the flowers for the funeral in the afternoon. Someone suggested a walk and I certainly didn't turn down an occasion to visit my favourite fountain or avenue...

Around noon we picked up the flowers and headed over to the chapel where the funeral was held. The actual service was beautiful, especially the reading of the Polish version of this poem.

Afterwards we gathered at a restaurant with this lovely view:

In the evening the ferry left Gdynia and I watched the sun set over the city. It's not likely that I will go back there as often now, but I know I will never fully let go of the city where I spent so many wonderful summer days as a child. Just like my grandma, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Around here: Goodbye, Babcia.

On Saturday morning, we got the call we'd been expecting yet dreading for years and learned that my grandma's time on earth had ended. She turned 91 years old in February and had told us repeatedly, especially during her final year, that she was tired of living. Of course we hoped she had more time, but we didn't expect it. The funeral is on Friday and we're all going to gather in Gdynia, like we have so many times before.

I find that it's still hard for me to fully comprehend that my aunt who passed away seven years ago is gone, and I imagine that it will be the same with grandma. Of course I know they are gone, but since I've only seen them a couple of times every year for most of my life, part of me has this feeling that they are still waiting on the other side of the ocean and that I just haven't visited or won't visit for a while. To be honest I like this feeling, that there is a parallel world out there where they are still alive and well and just waiting for the next summer vacation when we will come stay with them, like we always did, and thought we always would.

The first time I met my grandma, in 1985, and, as it turned out, the last, in December of last year.

Around here: Easter.

I usually don't decorate much for Easter but I did get a box of peeps and sprinkled them around the kitchen. I think they are so cute!