Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Friday delight

I have always loved going to the circus and was absolutely thrilled when Graham surprised me with tickets to Cirque Du Soleil a while back.
Last Friday it was finally time to head out to the point and the O2 arena! It didn't matter that we got soaked getting there because the show was totally worth it. Cirque Du Soleil is originally from Montreal, Canada but is performing all over the world with different shows. We got to see Saltimbanco.

"Saltimbanco -from the Italian "saltare in banco", which literally means "to jump on a bench"-explores the urban experience in all its myriad forms: the people who live there, their idiosyncrasies and likenesses, families and groups, the hustle and bustle of the street and the towering heights of skyscrapers. Between whirlwind and lull, prowess and poetry, Saltimbanco takes spectators on an allegorical and acrobatic journey into the heart of the city.

Saltimbanco is a Cirque du Soleil signature show inspired by the urban fabric of the metropolis and its colorful inhabitants. Decidedly baroque in its visual vocabulary, the show's eclectic cast of characters draws spectators into a fanciful, dreamlike world, an imaginary city where diversity is a cause for hope"

It really is a fantastic, modern, acrobatic and engaging saga. I most of all enjoyed the mime artist which made me cry of laughter. Every detail in the show is planned to perfection and there is so many things going on at the stage at all times. A true Friday delight!



Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Midsummer's day!

Glad midsommar!

Today is a day when I miss living in Sweden. Midsummer celebrations is something special for everyone with a nordic heart. Last year Graham learnt to drink snaps and dance "the little frogs" around the maypole.

"Midsummer's Eve and Midsummer's Day (Midsommarafton and Midsommardagen) were formerly celebrated on 23 June and 24 June, but since 1953 the celebration has been moved to the Friday and Saturday between 19 June and 26 June. It is one of the most important holidays of the year in Sweden, and probably the most uniquely Swedish in the way it is celebrated. The main celebrations take place on the Friday, and the traditional events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole. Before the maypole is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole.

Raising and dancing around a maypole (majstång or midsommarstång) is an activity that attracts families and many others. People dancing around the pole listen to traditional music and some even wear traditional folk costumes. In addition, many wear crowns made of wild springs and wildflowers on their heads. The year's first potatoes, Soused herring, Chives, Sour Cream, Beer, Snaps and the first strawberries of the season are on the menu. Drinking songs Snapsvisor are also important at this feast, and many drink heavily. When Sweden got its National day (6th june) discussions were hold about making midsummer the Swedish national day because of the strong civil celebration this day.

Because Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse. In the past it was believed that herbs picked at Midsummer were highly potent, and water from springs could bring good health. Greenery placed over houses and barns were supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock; this old tradition of decorating with greens continues, even though most don't take it seriously. To decorate with greens was called att maja (to may) and may be the origin of the word majstång, maja coming originally from the month May. Other researchers say the term came from German merchants who raised the maypole in June because the Swedish climate made it impossible to find the necessary greens and flowers in May, and continued to call it a maypole. Today, however, it is most commonly called a "midsommarstång" (literally midsummer's pole).

In earlier times, small spires wrapped in greens were erected; this probably predates the maypole tradition, which is believed by many to have come from the continent in the Middle Ages. Others argue that some form of Midsummer pole occurred in Sweden during the pre-Christian times, and was a phallic fertility symbol, meant to impregnate the earth, but as there were no records from those times it cannot be proven, and this idea might just be a modern interpretation of the poles form. The earliest historical mention of the maypole in Sweden is from the Middle Ages. Midsummer was, however, linked to an ancient fertility festival which was adapted into St. John's Day by the church, even though it retained many pagan traditions, as the Swedes were slow to give up the old heathen customs. The connection to fertility is naturally linked to the time of year. Many young people became passionate at Midsummer, and this was accepted, probably because it resulted in more childbirths in March which was a good time for children to be born.

In Denmark and Norway midsummer is referred to as the eve of Skt. Hans but it's only in Sweden that it has kept its original name.

In Sweden and parts of Finland the tradition of bonfires are not part of midsummer but of the "Valborg's" evening festivities when winter leaves are burned for summer.

An old Swedish traditon is that unmarried girls should before bedtime midsummer´s eve pick seven kinds of flowers and jump over seven roundpole fences and then sleep with the flowers under the pillow. During the night they will dream about the boy they will get married to."

Photo borrowed from "if photography" and my husband Graham Byrne.!/pages/if-Photography/137275399621543?ref=ts

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Good mood food

Good morning,

Donal Skehan is a young chef from Dublin who started his food blog in 2007. It is so well worth a visit. My first encounter with this inspiring chef was through his book "Good mood food - simple healthy homecooking" which I got from my friend Diarmaid as a Christmas gift last year. Donal has also lived and worked in Sweden which gives a lot of his recipies a swirish twist which I obviously love!

Smile- the sun is still shining!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Beautiful day

Good morning,

The sun is shining from a clear blue sky, I have a big smile on my face and a beautiful wedding ring on my finger.
Apologies for the poor update of this blog but life has been very busy recently.
In a good way that is. On Saturday 5 June, me and Graham said "I do" to each other in Savsjo, Sweden. We had the best day of our lives and couldn't ask for anything more. I can now confirm that a lead up to a wedding is very stressful indeed and there were times when we discussed the possibilities of eloping instead. Looking back I am so glad we didn't. I know our parents would have been sad and having our loved ones there with us on our special day was perfect. I'm trying not to be too cheesy here, but during the day I could literally feel love all around me.
We did the wedding our way, all the way and I am so proud we did. 5 June is our date and I think all our guests will remember it for a very long time too.

Robbie, our dear friend and photographer is 2/3 there with editing. I'm really excited and can't wait to see "our album". Luckily he has given us a sneak peak of a few so I know they are good already.

This is me and "the lads" - Graham, Ross, Robert, Dad, Martin and Pat.

Enjoy the sun!


Monday, January 25, 2010


I stumbled across this photographer's website this morning, Jonas Peterson, and it got me day dreaming here in the office for a few minutes about our wedding in June.
We're planning to have our special day captured more or less like a documentary too and have asked our friend Robbie to do it for us. He's also blogging and doing a 365 day project right now, worth to follow.
Right, back to work!

Take care,
Elisabeth "Lilly"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jäkla snor!

Nu är jag trött på det här! Har haft denna förkylning i nästan 10 dagar nu. Känner att min energi är nästan 100 tillbaka, men näsan fortsätter dock att överproducera snor. Äckligt, äckligt! I morgon bär det i alla fall av till gymmet. Kanske går det att svettas bort de sista bacillerna i bastun!!!
Återkommer med rapport.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

After rain comes sunshine

It's been a long week filled with fever, coughing and sniffling both for me and Graham. It really takes time to get up from a dip like this, but I'm sure we'll get there in the end. We have so many things in our lives to be grateful for and 2010 is really our year! Roll on 5 June!

On Sunday evening we decided we had to get up from the couch and out of the apartment no matter what. Off to the cinema we went to see Avatar in 3D. Well worth it!!

Lilly Elisabeth