We are not absolutely sure, but it seems that Spring might finally be here, although our friends Michael and Carina tell us that you can't be sure it won't snow until the end of April. Anyway, there are flowers everywhere and you can buy little pots with flowering bulbs and plants all over the place.
Spring really has meaning for us this year. It was sunny for the first time in a long time on Saturday and the parks are full of people just sitting there in long coats facing the sun. It is still chilly even so. And this is not something we have at Birdwood Tce.
Just a few weeks ago, it was like this outside our studio door and kitchen window.
So in the true spirit of the season, we decided to look at the weather forecast - the Professor has a permanent app on the I Phone - and as it was to be a sunny Sunday, we invited a few people for lunch. We set up one of the picnic tables in the central courtyard.
And Craig set about preparing a Seafood Soup for lunch in our spacious kitchen. Note the usual ballet pose!
We have recently been talking about building a sustainable house. This kitchen leaves a very small footprint. There are two electric rings built into the sink. One of the rings takes about ten minutes to heat up and the other heats up straight away but only goes full bore. We have a lot of one pot meals but always delicious food of course.
I think Craig spends a lot of time dreaming of the new kitchen for Birdwood.
So for lunch, for starters, we also bought some Swedish crackers, salmon and prawn pate and a turkey pate at the markets, Yes, shock, horror, bought pate. He has even bought a cooked chook for tea. But as I said, the kitchen limits us.
Michael made some very yummy chocolate biscuits that are "very Swedish" and have a special name. The Swedes at the meal had a very long discussion about these biscuit/cakes which reminded me of many Kiwi conversations about roast lamb and pavlova - the "Kiwi national dish" So I think this recipe was probably also stolen from Australia. Carina made two types of fresh bread which were also delicious. Here are Michael and Carina below. They are lovely people.
And everyone sitting at the table below. Had a great afternoon discussing everything from global warming to whether you should have to explain art. That was interesting, as Nils (on the left below), who is a well known and succesful Swedish portrait painter whose studio is here, thinks it is absolutely wrong to put didactics next to paintings as that leads people to not have their own opinions. I wont bore you with it all. The wine flowed and the conversation was varied. The Professor entertained with animal stories and I told the story about Joyce and the nuns at Roma. We really enjoyed it.
While Gabrielle's boys played Star Wars. Gabrielle is here on a residency writing a fiction novel with accompanying music and images.
Otherwise, for us, it has been a week of working. Craig was in London for three days and I have been painting - and starting to understand the wax/resin. Paintings blog will follow.