Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ojnare Forest

image via here

It's no secret that big corporations are used to getting their way ... and usually get it as well, very often at the cost of the environment.
This is a great example:
Nordkalk, a Finnish mining company has been given the right to expand and dig yet another quarry on the island of Gotland (my home, for those of you who didn't know), and doesn't seem to care that by doing so they will be destroying the habitat of about 265 endangered species and run a very high risk of polluting the island's biggest freshwater reserve.

The beautiful side of this story is that a group of activists who represent a growing number of supporters have set up their camp in the forest to make a stand and won't give up until the EU Environment Commissioner puts a stop to this (as he's the only hope now).

They need all the help they can get though - and guess what, you can contribute by signing THIS petition! :)

Please help save Gotland's protected nature from mining!

Who ever you are, where ever you live, get together, join forces and dare to speak out and stand up to the bad guys!


Monday, August 27, 2012

The odd ones out

These pictures (all taken this summer) never made it onto my blog, even though I like them all.
I guess I never managed to find a common theme, or a reason to share them ...
But now I have:

Visby, the city that feels more and more like a real home to me, even though I've only lived here for 2 years.

My sunflower and a handful of green beans, grown in my very own greenhouse.

Red currants for breakfast, a very odd shoe exhibition on the island of Fårö, followed by a fantastic pancake at Kutens Bensin ...

And the common theme?

Visby would not be Visby without all the wonderful people I've had the pleasure to meet so far,
nothing in my greenhouse would have grown if it weren't for the help of some very loyal watering volunteers,
and nothing I did this summer would have been even half as much fun without the company I had.

YOU are the common theme!

Nobody should feel excluded here by the way! 
I would have given up this blog long time ago had I not known YOU keep reading it ;)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Fun Theory

This is brilliant!

Can we change human behaviour by making it fun to do?

I think yes :)

The next one is my favourite:

and for those of you who can't get enough - there's loads more on this website :)

What else should be made fun to do?
Saving the polar bears? Protecting the rainforest? Doing the dishes? Cleaning up your room? Recycling?

There's work to do :D

Friday, August 24, 2012

French summercamp Reunion '12

Ever wonder why you lose contact with people? Even though you have them on Facebook?
Maybe because you never bothered to send them a message or give them a call to meet up?
(So glad you did Joy!)

There were plenty of excuses I could have come up with not to drive 100km to meet up with someone I met at a summer camp about 10 years ago and hadn't seen since - but boy am I glad I decided not to be a wimp :D

We had a fantastic time bringing up old memories lounging by the pool, had a delightful lunch, interesting conversations and a fair bit of play & fun (including Belgian vs Dutch jokes) ;)
 and all of that in quite a wonderful setting!

Next reunion coming up soon -possibly in Utrecht-! (We're still trying to locate an English guy called Benjamin James ... anyone?)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Change of Scenery - again :)

Here's something I've been looking forward to: FIGS!!
I could do without the mosquitos and the heatwave, but being able to go outside and pick your breakfast/lunch/snack/dessert of a tree is true luxury to me :)

Back in France for a while - combining work & pleasure ... the way it should be!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gammelgarn Discoveries

 Already last summer I heard about the owner of this concrete tipi, who coincidentally also is the creator of these wonderful concrete horses (the large ones doubling as road blockers across the island) and the first to take up (and win!) the fight with the authorities on Gotland for the right to purify his own greywater by means of a construction called "living wall" (or levande vägg in Swedish).
This summer I happened to drive past his house, recognized it from the stories I'd heard, and just had to stop and take a look around ...

He is no longer with us, but Lennart Svärd's accomplishments will hopefully allow more home owners to go off the grid (as he did!), or at least take greywater purification into their own hands.

Memorable quote via here: "The best way to purify water is to not contaminate it"
So don't mix blackwater with greywater and purify the latter!
Sounds so easy, doesn't it?
Yet it's still more the exception than the rule ...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sweet Medieval Times

Here's a couple of highlights from last week ...

sampling caramelized apples (medieval candy?) and deciding that the cinnamon ones were the best,
wandering around the market stalls for hours on end trying to resist temptation (worked only partly),
a very hot show by Trix
and last but not least, marveling at the magnificent horses at the jousting tournament ...

all wonderful moments, but even more so because they were all shared with my dear friend Fien, who made my summer all the more extraordinary!

Come back soon!! ;)

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Gotland's most magical event, Medieval week, has come to an end.
A week full of knights, ladies, commoners and minstrels, all kinds of performances and tournaments, a fantastic market and loads of photo opportunities ...
It was like being stuck in a play!
Good times!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Every day I get a little more impressed with Gotland.
I was completely blown away by this abandoned & water filled limestone quarry - not to mention the graffiti covered building we couldn't resist to explore!
(what a great dive site this must be!)

Isn't it wonderful how an old industrial site like this can be reclaimed and repurposed as the most amazing day-trip destination?

Friday, August 3, 2012

No Rush @ Krusmyntagården

My 25th Birthday spent with fantastic people, friends from Belgium over for a visit, no work, time for sightseeing and loads of picnics, perfect weather ... I couldn't ask for more.
Yet, I have a real hard time to slow down and stop stressing about stuff, which is why this little sign at Krusmyntagården deserved a picture.
"Don't rush - sitt down my friend, you won't get back forgotten rest" 
(liberal translation, I promise you it sounds so much better in Swedish)

A nice reminder. Stress is so unnecessary. I need to take the time to stop and smell the roses, not just take pictures of them :)