Season of Mists *

snow covered stuga feb. 10

As Autumn steadily sweeps across us, the temperatures dipping further down with each day, nature’s exhibition of its colourful canvases growing ever more spectacular, we slowly ready ourselves for the winter. 

Winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves are made ready.  The radiators clatter to the sensation of heat coursing through the pipes for the first time in months. 

So off to Sweden I head for a few days to help prepare the summer houses for oncoming winter, when ice can reach a metre or two below the ground, when snow can pile metres high up against the walls. Minus twenty (centigrade) is not unusual. This is the final sorting before the dark days descend, radiators will be left on and this year to ensure there is no repetition of last Easter’s indoor flood following burst pipes, a heated lead has been placed in the water pipes between the houses to stop them freezing. Fingers crossed. 

I can’t wait to see the bountiful beauty the trees will offer – although even as we left in August the birch leaves were already tinged ochre and cracking at the tips. The ocean adorns itself with a wintry gown, the light flickering across the silver shimmery sea, the crispness of the air snapping at my lungs. 

This is my last escapade abroad this year; I will catch up with you all on my return until then I wish you a lovely final few days in October, a fun Halloween if celebrating and for those participating in NaNoWriMo best of luck! May stamina, perseverance and snacks carry you through until the end of 50,000 words. 

‘There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall this vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.’

Robert Henri (1865-1929), American artist & teacher

* From ‘Ode to Autumn’ by John Keats

78 thoughts on “Season of Mists *

    1. Brrr…Jessica that is cold! I just had to google it as I assume you are talking in Fahrenheit which equals a high of -11 Celsius!! With plus seven to twelve Celsius we are keeping warm and snug – hope you are too! Yep, just about set for Christmas with just the packing for going away to finalise as we are visiting my brother and family. Are you travelling or staying at home? What are the roads like in this weather? Warmest Christmas wishes to you and your family! 😀🎄🎄

      1. Yes, it’s Fahrenheit, figured I should have put that on there. Oops. Our roads have been slick this weekend. We had freezing drizzle which put a layer of ice on everything. Happy to hear your Christmas is about set. On Friday we are going to my parents. It’s about a 5 hour drive. Thank you for the Christmas wishes. Same to you and yours! ❄️☃☀️

  1. Beautiful imagery and photo. I enjoyed your post as always. Bundle up for winter. Soon we will have more snow. I finished the book you reviewed and enjoyed it very much. I also increased my knowledge of British English too. We say, for example, “past eight” and you say “eight gone.” Book: Local Girl Missing. 🙂

    1. The cold (relatively) weather has arrived in UK as well now so winter coat etc used all the time now and heating humming along. So glad you enjoyed Local Girl Missing and interesting comment about the variances in language – obviously something I wouldn’t pick up this way round but definitely notice it when reading eg. American authors. Her first book, Sisters, I would say is even better and more compelling!

      1. Thanks for such a lovely comment. I will have to look up getting a copy of Sisters as well. How long do you spend in Sweden now? Not the winter, I hope. Your UK weather is probably similar to ours and maybe a tad warmer. It is so nice communicating with a fellow blogger. Enjoy the travels! ^__^

          1. OK. The damp cold I experienced when I studied in Heidelberg and traveled throughout Europe is most unpleasant. Fortunately, I have learned of the wonders of good clothing and materials: fleece, wool, cotton and silk. And layers. I believe there is a saying in Norway which goes thusly: there is no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing. Haha. I will leave you with that and hope you stay toasty warm again the Arctic Air. Happy blogging and a good week ahead. ^__^

    1. It was funny, Marje as the weeks before we landed they’d had terrible grey rainy weather and whilst we were there it is was sunny all the time (well, apart from nighttime!). Cold nights though which was a bit of a shock.

    1. Jo, our heating has now settled into its gentle hum phase! Obviously been on far too much. My cold weather clothes are also getting lots of use – and it’s not even hit minus degrees yet!

  2. Annika, possibly my comment disappeared or is in awaiting approval section of your blog. . .who knows? 🙂
    Anyway, hope you have a wonderful trip, get a chance to relax and still accomplish your “tasks!”
    I had a grandfather whose family came from Sweden, not sure which part. They settled in Rockport Mass where the environment reminded them of the rocky edged fjord’s and the rough countryside. I like to imagine my searching for the area they came from, or seeing the waters and cottages. Enjoy and I miss your full and entertaining comments, friend! xo

    1. Robin, that is really odd about your message since I saw it pop up on my email notification on my mobile but since back home couldn’t find it anywhere,I checked spam etc.thank you so much for taking the time to write again. 😀😀 We definitely got some time to relax, visit friends (one of whom had just had back surgery and was overjoyed with the distraction of visitors). Houses snug and warm for the winter. Too little time as always,my heart and soul were not ready to leave! Oh,Robin, how exciting about you having such close Swedish roots. Do you know where your grandfather came from? I am always so amazed by the journey the immigrants from Sweden undertook to America, to the unknow with barely anything. I know you love your nature so the Swedish landscape would speak directly to your heart. Thank you so much for your last sentence – I catching up at the moment but will be over to your blog soon!

  3. Ahh…season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…beautiful poem, one of my favourites. And gorgeous photo, look at that snow, so pristine! It’s sunny here today, unseasonably mild. Hoping for a ‘proper’ winter to come! Have a lovely time Annika, happy, safe travels and Happy Halloween to you too! 🙂 xxxx

    1. A belatedly Happy Halloween to you too, Sherri. 😀 It seems to have slipped past me this year. We had a very special few days and as always the flew past so quick. Nothing as cold as the photo but still beautiful frosty mornings with the morning mist lying in the valleys and dips of the land – I kept thinking about the Keat’s poem and how apt it was. His words are just so evocative and a pleasure to read aloud. I heard about the the warm climate here in the UK I and couldn’t believe it! The wether went askew almost. Back to normal cold now though,

  4. Lovely post, Annika. I went home to Norway the day you posted this, more or less with the same purpose. So far we have had glorious weather, still celebrating autumn. Enjoy beautiful Sweden!

    1. Yeah to tucking up summer houses for the winter! So glad the sun shone for you too – some friends said that the weeks before we arrived had been grey and miserable but we brought the sun along – happy to say it came to the UK with us too! 😀😀 Hope you had a magical time in Norway.

    1. Luckily it just got below zero this time but minus twenty is cold – but a dry cold which feels less biting than the damp minus fifteen we’ve had in the UK a few times. Still a gentle frost is just perfect I think! 😀

    1. Keats seems to be everywhere at the moment! Saw one of his poems in the paper the other day,then quoted in a book I started last night! I like any winters apart from the grey rainy ones – oh those become so long and bleak! One year in Englad it was minus ten for about four weeks,but glorious sunshine – I felt the universe had shifted to a beautiful magical place – thank god for heating though!

  5. Anonymous

    Love the photo Annika. The seasons in Sweden seem much more defined than here in England now and you describe the move into winter perfectly. It reminds me of when I was a child – the seasons seemed much more deliniated then and winters were much colder.


    1. Mike, in general the seasons are more sharply delineated in Sweden although talking to family over the past few years there have been some quite innocuous grey and rainy ones – which is highly unusual and troubling. I do wonder though if our childhood memories aren’t slightly rose-petaled and we remember the major events of the years – such as those wonderful snowy winters, the dramatic autumn…

  6. I like the plural–‘houses’. I guess you have your work cut out for you. Autumn aside, it’s already dipping into the 30’s. I follow a blogger who lived in Sweden for a while and shared her experiences with readers. There’s a lot I like about that country.

    1. Yep, it was a busy few days sorting – always something not quite working as it should be. But we got everything ready and fingers crossed they should be fine over the winter now. Oh, Sweden is so beautiful, the sense of community so strong,the social, health care, schooling etc superb. Still free university education even!! A miracle in today’s world. (And yes, my son is seriously considering going there when he’s 18 – he loves the country and also doesn’t want to get ladened with tens of thousands of pounds of debt!)

    1. Ah, Curt, that is sweet. The houses are all sorted and tucked up for the winter! Peggy & you would adore Sweden – so much to see, many adventures to be had and a warm welcome everywhere. Have I sold you yet?!

  7. Annika, what a lovely little house. It looks like it was set in the snow like a puzzle piece. One could become a hermit living there, with not a care in the world. For the world can fight it out on it’s on, I want no part. It is hard to believe November is upon us. You have a wonderful time .and bring food for the deer, for its most certain they will need it.

    1. JC, what a beautiful image – I can just imagine it like a puzzle piece, slotted into the perfect snow! It is a fantastic bolt-hole from the real world – with no TV, computer it is far away from all the news and tribulations. Oh, not sure about food for the deer, they have to fend for themselves but the birds managed to go through a whole bird feeder of seeds everyday. They are so polite though and have a queueing system on the birch tree, hoping their way down one branch to the next until they’re on the feeder. Amazing to watch which we can at close quarters since they are almost tame!

  8. delphini510

    I love your vivid and poetic take on the beauty of autumn and winter.
    The photo is great in its stillness and purity. As long as you keep that heating clonking and candles burning you can’t go wrong.
    Oh , and skis at the ready.:)
    Great quote too.

    1. So glad you liked the quote, Mirja – saved from a while ago in my handy ‘quote’ book. I do like to just glance through it now and then! The photo is indeed serenity supreme…it looks so easy…may we all find that within ourselves. Yep, heating clonking away here although it seems to have become a soft hum after awhile and candles every evening – very cosy and snug. No skis alas…will a sledge do?!😀

    1. What beggars my belief, Janice is how the country keeps running when it is down to minus forty celsius in the North as if it was just a slight frost!! In the UK the country is at a standstill with the slightest whiff of snow!

  9. Love your description! Love the picture as well–I can imagine hiding out someplace like that and being a writing hermit 😀 Enjoy your jaunt to Sweden, and hope you can see the colors before they’re gone. Safe travels!

    1. Thank you so much, Julie! 😀 I was over-awed with the stunning autumn colours and actually speechless for a large part of our journey up to the houses. The near empty motorway weaving around the landscape, beautiful vistas opening up round each corner and yeah, the trees and their golden/ochre/bronze leaves shining in the sunlight. I really thought we were too late in the year. You are so right about this being the perfect writing retreat and I must admit this time I was so tempted to decamp for a month or so and just write! Ideas were just flowing and I was itching to scribble away…family,life pulls away which I’m so lucky for as well though.

  10. Beautiful description of the approaching winter. 🙂 every season holds such beauty, we are blessed with nature’s variety! much peace and light to you, weather the weather well. Namaste, Michelle

    1. Michelle, I love your positive approach about nature’ variety and its blessing – as you can tell I feel the same although your words are a reminder to me to stop that moaning about the cold early winter mornings! Thank you so much for your comment. 😀

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