To go the extra mile

I have been longing so much for sunshine. It is a difficult balance because too much sun is really harmful, but too little sun is also dangerous for the body. However, recently, I have been to the beach in the small village of Calella, several miles north of Barcelona.

The trip to France earlier reminded me of my Spanish friends I made while studying there. However, they live in the middle of Spain where it is far too hot for me. The sea at the Costa Brava in Catalonia, on the other hand, makes the winds cool in the summertime.

My friends and I got together on a Sunday in Barcelona. It was ten years ago that we saw each other, then in Sweden. I went by bus from Calella and it was an exciting meeting. A little older but still just as happy as we used to be. Back then we used to speak French with each other. Now, French was blown away, and English, with a few words from my small Spanish vocabulary were used. I was given strict orders that I must learn Spanish.

We were walking in Barcelona and we passed this wall with tiles that you see above. This is an enlargement and you will see more later. The tile is in different shades that reflect occasions in life. Red, Spanish shades, of course. I love photographs and this is a cool, intelligent, constellation.

There was a lot of talk about the pandemic. How did it go for you during Covid-19? Then we quickly changed the subject as a large black Russian registered car with tinted windows passed us on one of the narrower streets of Barcelona. Instead, all of a sudden, it was tapas and chocolate cake!

Back home in Sweden, it felt strange that you should be more vigilant than abroad. I feel some frustration with this as it is – what can I say – stupid. Foreign newspapers follow the situation in Sweden as you can see below. The image of Sweden is no longer open to different religions, which I believe is unfortunate.

Where is the Swedish religious freedom that SÄPO (Swedish security service) should defend?

the Maastricht Treaty

Trench warfare in Ukraine reminds me of what was learned in history lessons about world war 1. More than a century ago. The world has developed a lot since then, but evil in the world seems to remain the same. Europe is under pressure. What was decided at the Maastricht Treaty is more important than ever. At that time, 12 countries signed the treaty. Today 27 European countries are members of what today is the European Union. Great Britain did Brexit and is no longer a member. However, they are members of NATO.

The Maastricht Treaty paved the way for the Euro. Sweden is such a small country, and perhaps we have to become members to take part in various future global trade. It would be interesting to take part of the pros and cons. When the Euro was introduced to EU members, such as Spain and Finland, I remember people saying that everything got so expensive.

Religion has more or less played a role in European wars over centuries. It still is today. We have freedom of speech in Sweden, and apparently, the burning of holy scripture is allowed. Burning, to my opinion, belongs to traditional bonfires in Sweden in May.

During summer I always listen to some interviews and one of these was with Hans Blix. He has a lot of international diplomatic negotiation experience over decades. Blix summarized the future, and he believes that we need an additional globe for human life. Two globes.

I am on holiday, but couldn´t resist writing. Actually, writing is relaxing. Today I am going for a walk and I still got the Mediterranean in my mind. What is next in my cooking, which also is a great hobby of mine, is making a Moussaka.

Stay safe  🐾

I was lucky

It is a classic Swedish summer. Greenery, not so hot, rain interspersed with the sun. Sometimes it is as if the rain of the tropics has reached Sweden. It is like someone pouring water from the sky and suddenly it stops because the bucket is empty. Climate change is talked about on the news. Europe is about to reach a heat record. Tourists are evacuated from fires in Greece. These are probably small variations considering that there was an ice age a long time ago, in a time-space that is difficult to understand.

I was lucky. I had a few sunny days in France at the beginning of June. Just the right temperature for a walk to the harbour. As usual, I tend to talk a little with people I meet. Sometimes I ask for help with a photo. This photo happens to be taken by a real photographer whose profession was photographing boats. How lucky I am!

Mediterranean diet

Every summer I think more about what I eat. Vegetables are so much tastier in the summer. It is like New Year’s when you have to think through your resolutions for the upcoming year. The last few summers I have been reading about anti-inflammatory foods. It is good to eat for example salmon, but preferably wild salmon caught directly in the wild sea. These salmon are almost impossible to find today. Organically (ecologically) farmed salmon exist that have had more room to swim in than conventionally farmed salmon. A bit like free-range chickens.

This summer I got inspiration from a friend about heart-friendly food as you can see below. My trip to France also made me remember the Mediterranean diet. It is fantastic to have a salad in the shadow in the middle of the day. Above is a salade niçoise. I got inspired and made tuna salad the other day. Moreover, it is important to have unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the kind of fats that don’t solidify in the fridge. I have found a wonderful lemon oil dressing to go with my salad. All for my heart.

During summer life is more tranquil. There is time to change fast carbohydrates to slow carbohydrates. Nuts and not so much sweets. But, no summer without ice cream. I truly hope this heat wave stays for a few more weeks. The best season for my salad. Bon appétit!