We set off along the road to the lake and as we turned off the road onto a track, at the roadside under the trees I saw these violet-blue flowers …much smaller than anemones, than windflowers… I have some at home, bought from Ness Gardens, but don’t remember the name. Garden escapees or at home here? I wondered.
It looked the right sort of place for them to be at home.
Along the track on either side were mostly cabin-like and grander than cabin-like wooden houses. The terrain very like my usual Sunday morning walk place, Caldy Hill. Saw a house where someone was making and selling very pretty wooden chairs (I think – can’t read the sign!).
On the left appeared this enormous ancient tree, so we shouted out, ‘a monster calls!’ And I wondered if it could be a Sweet Chestnut, as that’s what it’s bark made it look like. But could a Sweet Chestnut be as old, as big? It looked as if it had died once then come back to life at the very top, an arboreal resurrection.
There was some information but we couldn’t make it out.
Next I started to notice these little buttercup-coloured flowers, very starry in shape. I don’t think I’ve seen these in England.
We didn’t know what it was or what kind of thing we were entering but we made our way through the gate…I noticed something like an anemone, definitely wild. Lots of them – but not anemones…?
And this, which I thought was some sort of very tiny Sedum…
Then we saw the water and then the Cafe. We were in something like a Country Park.
We had red pepper soup and a goats cheese toastie with salad between us. It was good, but cost the equivalent of £23… food is very much more expensive here! Picnic next time…
Then we walked a little further and found a nice spot under the pines for a Nordic siesta
A lovely hour in the sun, with only a few dog-walkers, the occasion whirr and flap of a bird, later the noisy arrival of two swans to break the lapping peace of the lake.
On the way back we read a sign which told us we were walking through ‘ the English Park’ which I guess was called so because of large old trees scattered in rough grassland. I wasn’t sure what these lovely beauties were – they had very tiny cones which were more like berries.
We went on the up to the castle. I noticed really thick fur-like lichen on the non-lake side of the trees. Looks almost like seaweed!
At the top of the hill as we approached the castle, lots of ? Scilla ? And the yellow star flowers under still bare-of-leaf bushes. In the castle yard we had cocunut flan and a piece of a cream tart with lingon and other berries. I didn’t ask how much it cost. Price of a night in a cheap hotel, I should imagine.
Was it the cream cake, the Siesta, the sunshine or the six kilometres? We were tired now and as we walked down the hill I saw two delightful things.
First, some branches, the first I’ve seen, that had put forth green leaves. Spring !
And secondly the dear old 875 bus that had brought us to Rotvik from Stockholm. It must be at its terminus. It might be going back along our way! It was. Of course the bus driver spoke excellent English and told us she’d be setting off in two minutes. Hurray!
Then we were home and it was sunny on the back porch so…
And finally, nothing like a sauna to relax those tired muscles. Lovely walk, lovely place, lovely day. ‘We thank thee, Universe,’ as a secular, socialist, vegetarian old lady of my acquaintance used to say instead of Grace before meals.
The monster that called out was not a chestnut, but an oak tree, according to the sign you have photographed. I thought you might like to know what it says, as it seems to communicate somehow with Wordsworth’s poem:
“In the latter part of the 19th Century an old woman called Bullran lived in Tyresö. In this oak tree she kept a tiny shop, selling snuff and toffee to passersby. This oak is Hollow and was in those days equipped with a door. In 1929 the entrance was filled in with concrete. The date is inscribed on the Block of concrete. This has been related by a former gamekeeper at Tyresö estate – Anders Olof Willix, b. 1900. He, in his turn, had heard this from his father, Anders Willix, b 1854.”
I hope you had a nice time in Sweden. And thanks for your engaging intimations about the poem, Jane. I love Reading your daily practice.
Thor, how very, very good to hear from you! Thanks so much for the translation. I love the idea of Bullran running a shop from inside that tree!
Yes, and I feel certain that Wordsworth, if he had met her, would have written a poem about her and the tree. Nothing can appeal more to a child’s imagination than a secret toffee shop in a tree. I imagine Bullran must probably have been a bit like Molly Bushell, the Everton toffee woman – Everton Brow was one of my favourite spots in Liverpool.