I spent Christmas at my sister’s house in southern Sweden. Me and my parents had booked a flight to Copenhagen, Denmark on the 23thrd where we had planned to meet up with my sister and brother-in-law before driving back to their house, just an hour from the Danish border. Unfortunately there was a massive snowstorm in southern Sweden and Denmark that day so after a delayed flight and delayed luggage we didn’t have any time left to spend in Copenhagen. It’s difficult to imagine these pictures of green fields and endless shores were taken just two days later, on Christmas Day.
On New Year’s Day, me, my sister and 85 other lunatics had a nice refreshing swim in the sea. This was my first time at the annual Nyårsdoppet (literally: New Year’s dip) in Ystad, Skåne. But not the last. The water temperature was around 5-6 degrees, apparently warmer than usual. For my last “dip” I was on my own, as no one seemed keen to go in a second time.
Thanks Brian for the pictures!
“Even the most simple of living organisms, such as single-celled bacteria, are typically under intense selective pressure to evolve a response to avoid a damaging environment, if such an environment exists. Self-preservation is therefore an almost universal hallmark of life.” – Wikipedia
I managed to go through childhood and my teens pretty much unharmed, despite some reckless behaviour involving motocross riding among other things. Then something happened. In 2007 I broke my shinbone, where it connects with the ankle.
In 2010 I flew of my montain-bike going down-hill at 50km/h landing face first. I miraculously escaped with only a crushed upper jaw ridge, some dislocated teeth and a torn up face. Apparently over 5 hours of surgery and a few days in a hospital bed taught me nothing.
In May this year I managed to somehow tear the ligaments in my right hand ring finger, while surfing in England, leaving permanent damage. It should have ended here, it didn’t.
A few days ago I went with a friend to American Football practice and hurt my arm during warm up. Being there for the first time I didn’t think it was a good idea to start complaining so I fought through the practice best I could. When I came home I couldn’t move my elbow and after a sleepless night I went to the doctor. Turns out I have a broken radial bone along with a sprained elbow. Strangely this incident has made me more interested in starting to play football, self-preservation is obviously an instinct I lack.
Ice was building up in the harbour, so as I used my oar to make a passage through it I realized that this would probably be the last trip before spring. My destination was the nearby island Lidö, or more specifically Lidö Värdshus, the inn/restaurant/pub. I’ve spent many summer nights here over the last ten years or so and it is always with fond memories I return. The laughter and live music heard even from the mainland during summer had now been replaced by a serene silence.
As I made my way through the deep snow up towards the inn I came to think of how much the sea and the archipelago means to me, and how much it has shaped me over the years. To go out alone in a tiny boat when the water temperature is somewhere around 5 degrees Celsius might seem like madness to most people, to me it’s a necessity. The smell of sea air, the wind in my face and the sound of waves gently rocking my boat. To live.
The dead leaves of fall are hidden under a thick layer of glittering snow, and dark clouds have given way for clear blue skies and a golden sun. This year, December doesn’t seem so bleak after all.
I haven’t had time to organize all pictures from the weekend yet, but here are some to start off with.
I haven’t posted here in a while, due to lack of both time and inspiration. But this weekend I’ll make sure to get out and photograph the beautiful winter landscape that came out of nowhere a few days ago.
Below some photos I shot in October when visiting my sister and brother-in-law. (Click to enlarge)