Sunday, April 17, 2011

Window Shopping

There is no doubt that you appreciate the weather more as you come out of a dark winter.  People sit facing the sun with their eyes closed, paying homage and looking very content.  In conditions that we, in Queensland, would be putting on the warm coats, they walk around in short sleeves and there are babies being pushed in prams everywhere. You see a lot of dads pushing prams and I am told it is because the Swedish law says that maternity leave must be shared by the fathers who must do no less than three months of the twelve months leave.

So, in the spirit of my first proper Spring, one sunny day this week, I decided to get out of the studio for the morning and go window shopping for my gorgeous daughter Phoebe and for the beautiful Stef, my son's girlfriend.  You never know when they go from being friend to girlfriend to partner. But I think that Dom and Stef will need to cohabit longer for me to use "Dom's partner".  Phoebe would know the right terminology.

Phoebe and I have shopped together since she was a little girl who loved black dresses - yes, even at the age of 4 she had started dressing for Melbourne. So, I imagined Phoeb was walking around Gothenburg with me looking at the shop windows, with Phoeb giving me the rundown on what was style and what was lacking. Her taste is impeccable.

So I started out quite close to where we are living in an area called Haga.  A very upmarket street

And very understated,  In Gothenburg, the shop signs are quite subtle and rarely hang out across the street especially in old historical areas.  I walked past a group of school children out for a walk in the sun and took this photo without thinking about being a scruffy old man photographing children until the teacher gave me a rather pointed dirty look. 

And on past the many coffee shops which have, in the past week or so set up outside areas to take advantage of the improving weather.

And showing welcoming spring messages

And the only piece of graffiti I saw was this..... I took a photo for Dylan as he is the graffiti expert in the family.

But sorry, Dylan, I have no idea of the story behind it.  And it's not especially creative.

In this street there are lots of children's clothing shops.  There just seem to be so many strollers in the streets that there must be a high proportion of babies.  This is not a comment on grandchildren for the benefit of Dylan, Phoebe, Dom, Stef and especially Craig. I know that Phoebe will enjoy seeing what the well-dressed Gothenburg child is wearing and so will Elsie.

Sorry, some of the pics are marred by reflection but after all, this is a window shopping excursion and most of the shops don't open until eleven am every day.

You will see chickens hanging from the clothes line above.  That is because in Sweden, the chicken brings the Easter eggs.

And saving the best for last, Phoeb, the Marimekko designs.

But not to disappoint, here are the windows of the Marimekko shop in Haga.  There are quite a few Marimekko shops here in Gothenburg and we always look in them to decide what we would take home for Phoeb if there were no luggage restrictions.

 A shopping trolley in Phoebe Green with dots

On to a jewellery store where I thought the statues displaying the beads were really great.

And the Kosta Boda shop - my favourite - before looking at some hand thrown porcelain in a glass/pottery gallery

Decorating style this year in Sweden seems to be either Cape Cod style or French Provincial.  All very boring to me.  You expect to see more scandanavian minimalist.

But the lighting and lamps are wonderful and there is always lots of stylish furniture. 

This shop intirgued me.  They only sell things that are heart-shaped.  From heart-shaped pendant lights to heart shaped lollies.

And then there was more French Provincial

And i saw some hand-made traditional leather boots.  Otherwise, shoes seem to be the same around the world.

And these shoes reminded me of the Phoeb.

Many of the shops selling soft furnishings featured things to brighten up the garden because everyone in Gothenburg is reviving their garden right now.

A great use for billy cans.

And for the ladies in my life, the fashionistas, the stylish ones, here are a few fashion shots, starting with Marimekko and associates and then on to Mango and Zara.  A couple of others in between.  More than likely, things will be the same in the southern hemisphere but I know Europe is often a half year ahead.  So, hope you enjoy them.

And this shop is meant for the Phoeb to walk in and buy everything on the racks.

After my walk I met Craig at a lunch place nearby Konstepidemin.  HIs first remark was that this place was just right for the kids.  50's furniture and an interesting mural.  So will sign off with a couple of photos of Egg and Milk, as it is called.  Where we had the old favourite BLTs.

Next week, we are off by fast train to spend Easter in Stockholm.  Will write to you after that.