WINTER LIGHT

 

Star in Bethlehem

3rd Advent


Merry advent 3rd. We can now celebrate that we are more than half way through to Christmas.

On this advent Sunday, the Christmas traditions of Norway will be highlighted. Norwegians are consistent with hanging the advent star by the window. Originally, this decoration symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. For many Norwegians, the star symbolizes the beginning of the Christmas celebrations. It is often the very first ornament unboxed to be put in the Christmas home, and your will most likely see an advent star present during all Norwegian Christmas occasions.

Norwegian advent celebrations often include a festive Christmas buffet followed by a traditional ‘7 Slag’- dessert table. ‘7 Slag’ refers to the seven types of home baked cookies that are usually served, such as: Sandkaker, Pepparkakor, Fattigman, Goro, Berlinerkranser, Krumkakor and Serinakakor.


Contributor: Our Norwegian agent, Trine L. Andersen

 

Photographs by Frida Edlund

View the SNÖ Collection here

 

 


 

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LUCIA’S DAY

 

Lucia's Day 

13th December


December 13th is St. Lucia’s day. One of the most cherished celebrations in Scandinavia. Sweden was the first country in the Nordic region to adopt the tale of Lucia, beginning in the 1900-hundreds. Lucia – ‘The Carrier of Light’, is a tale, a legend and a mixture of religious believes. She wanders from city to city, spreading light into darkened winter homes.

Today, girls and boys are dressed in long white gowns, each carrying a candle and walking in a long row, singing the hymn of Lucia, which every child knows by heart. Being named St. Lucia is seen as an honour, as you lead the choir with a crown of lit candles, either in schools or in city streets.

Here in the Skandinavisk office we celebrate Lucia with the simple but beautiful LYKKE candle decorated in white and gold.

 

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‘PEPPARKAKANS DAG’ IN SWEDEN

 

Pepparkakans Dag

2nd Advent

 

‘Pepparkakor’ is closely associated with the Scandinavian Christmas. The spiced, crispy cookie with cinnamon and ginger is an all-time favorite throughout the Christmas season. Sweden is so devoted to this Christmas treat that they have announced December 9th to be the national ‘Pepparkakans Dag’. Shape them as you like and enjoy with glögg (muled wine) after a Swedish Christmas buffet.

Ingredients / Portion for 20 pers. :
– 300 gram butter
– 300 gram sugar
– 3 dl dark syrup
– 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
– 2 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1 teaspoon ground pepper
– 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 2 eggs
– 4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (natron)
– 900 gram flour (save 100g to use later)

Glaze:
– ca. 250 gram powdered sugar
– 1 egg whites
– 1⁄2 teaspoon lemonjuice

How to:
1. Mix butter, syrup and sugar in a pot and heat it until the sugar and butter is melted. Add clover, ginger, cinnamon, pepper and stir it well till it’s mixed.

2. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool down for a while and then mix the 2 eggs in.

3. Put the liquid in a bigger bowl so it’s easier for you to mix it with bicarbonate soda and flour. Mix in the flour gradually and remember to save some for later. The dough should end up smooth.

4. Once the dough is kneaded well, divide into 4 portions and wrap them each up tight with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hour, or overnight.

5. Time to make our ‘Pepparkakor’! Using 1 portion at a time, work on a floured surface and roll out dough to 1/8 inch(3mm) thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter or create your shape with a knife, and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake the pepparkakor at 375 °F or 175 °C in ca. 10 mins. Take them off the pan afterwards to cool down completely.

7. For the glaze: Mix the powdered sugar with the egg white and a little bit of lemonjuice. It has to be thick enough for creating your own beautiful patterns.

Tips:
1. When shaping the pepparkakor, make a hole in the edge of the pepparkakor for a ribbon to go through. Hang it on the Christmas tree as a decorative accessory.
2. Use as table cards or table decoration on the napkin for Christmas dinner.

Good luck with the home baking! We wish you all a happy Pepparkakans dag!

 

 

 

 


 

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‘LITTLE CHRISTMAS’ IN FINLAND

 

Little Christmas in Finland

1st Advent


December has arrived and so has the first Sunday of advent. The time has come to cast the first light.

The celebration of advent is a tradition that Scandinavians hold dearly. It marks a four week countdown to Christmas where small festivities take place, and the anticipation of Christmas is celebrated.

For each Advent Sunday leading up to Christmas Eve, we will highlight a special tradition from each Nordic country. To start, Finland celebrates the first day of advent in a very special way: ‘Pikkujoulu’ means ‘little Christmas’ in Finnish, and it’s an event that Finns take great care preparing for as it kicks off all their December festivities. Friends and families, public and private institutions alike, prepare a preliminary serving of the traditional Finnish Christmas dishes, including ham, rice porridge and plenty of ‘glögi’ (mulled wine). Santa Claus also arrives early in Finland, as he brings out small gifts for the children and little joke gifts for the adults.

To kick start our own ‘little Christmas’ we lit up the first advent Sunday with a Mini Scented Candle. Merry pikkujoulu.


Contributor: Maria Laitinen @ScandiHome

 

From the magical ‘Lapland’ in Finland
Photograph by Maria Laitinen

 

 

Photographs by Maria Laitinen

 

View all our Mini Scented Candles here

 

 


 

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Shared joy is a double joy – Shared sorrow is half a sorrow

 

Shared joy is a double joy 
Shared sorrow is half a sorrow 

Swedish proverb


The best winters – and I mean the coldest ones – are those that start with a 
first covering of snow in the late November dusk. Indeed, what most people 
don’t realise is that, despite the lack of sun, it’s not always dark in a 
Scandinavian winter. The snow takes care of that, creating a pale 
twilight all the way through to spring. 

As temperatures plummet, the air becomes so still you can slice it with
a knife, the sky carries a watercolour brushstroke of ice blue, and the
ground is a silent, absorbent blanket of purest white.

Balance this with the arrival of Christmas, and the frozen wooden houses 
are lit up with the candlit cosiness of community, of intimate gatherings warmed by roaring fires, of indulgent food traditions and home- flavoured aquavit 
to wash it all down with.

A yin and yang of perfectly complementary extremes,
Christmas was made for Scandinavia.

 

 

 

Photographs by Frida Edlund

 

View our SNÖ Collection hereView our JUL Collection here.

 

 


 

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GET READY FOR CHRISTMAS

 

Bring nature into your home


We are slowly getting into the festive season, the time of year when treasures from the forest are brought indoors and given pride of place in the home. We are sharing some of our favourite Instagram posts, so have a look and see how you can decorate with nature this Christmas. 

 

Reuse our Escapes Vase diffuser as a vase for your Christmas greenery! 
Photograph by @_mariannejacobsen_

 

Photograph by @scandihome

 

Use leftovers from your decorations for your Christmas giftwrapping! 
Photograph by @lepetitfika

 

Photograph by @lepetitfika

 

Photograph by @thesefourwallsblog

 

We thank all our loyal instagram followers for sharing beautiful photos! We would love to see how you bring nature into your home during Christmas. So if you have decorating tips or great stories to tell share them on Instagram by using #MySkandinavisk*
*By using #MySkandianvisk you give us permission to use your images and stories on Instagram, Facebook, www.skandianvisk.com, and Skandinavisk newsletter.  

 

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Q&A WITH KASIA RUTKOWIAK

 
You can take the foreigner out of Denmark, but…


Kasia is a Polish blogger with a love for Scandinavian living and design. Her love began to bloom while spending most of her grown up life in Denmark, where her children were born. In 2014, she moved back to Poland with her family. Kasia is an Instagram enthusiast and a real foodie. Her beautiful pictures and writings have been shared with some of Poland’s biggest magazines, and we have followed her journey with interest for several years so it was great to finally talk with her.

Why did you first move to Denmark?

The reason was rather common, I guess. I fell in love with a Dane. We met when I was still in high school, during my first summer holidays on Bornholm. Making a very long story short, we got married 8 years later, just before the last semester of my studies. After I graduated from University, we decided that it would make more sense for me to move to Denmark, where my husband had an established life, house and job. The relationship failed, but it was a very important part of my life path, for which I am grateful.

How does Denmark and Poland differ from each other?

These are two totally different countries, I think. To fully answer your question, I would have to write a book. Generally speaking, life in Denmark is less complicated and less stressful on a daily basis. But it is also less challenging and – in a way, less rewarding. The ideal situation would be combining some of each country’s qualities. Grass is always greener on the other side, as they say. When I lived in Denmark (for 12 years), I missed Poland. Now I miss Denmark. Luckily, my work enables me to enjoy both countries and do what I love with people of both nationalities.

 


When you combine this search for
happiness in every moment with best design, 
standing the test of time, you receive life lasting products
that can repeatedly bring you joy.”

 

 

Besides interior design, have you implemented other Scandinavian approaches to life in your family’s everyday routine?

Having 3 children born in Denmark, it is very important for me to nurture their Danish identity. We try to speak Danish as often as possible (Andrzej, my husband, is Polish but educated in Norway so he understands us without problems), we celebrate Danish holidays, and try to find the perfect balance for our Danish life in Poland.

We watch Danish films and we listen to Danish radio every single day. We like cooking and we enjoy making typical Danish dishes, and each Friday, the kids get a portion of their “Fredags slik” – sweets that we bring from Denmark after each visit, so we have enough for a whole Friday on the couch cuddle. We also made friends with the Danish Ambassador in Poland and his lovely wife, who invited us to celebrate the Danish Constitution Day together at the Ambassador’s residence. I would risk a statement that we have a Danish home, just outside of Denmark.

Which Scandinavian trends do you see as the most profound?

Scandinavians have mastered all the ways to enjoy small moments, and what we call “hygge” has expanded to other continents. When you combine this search for happiness in every moment with best design, standing the test of time, you receive life lasting products that can repeatedly bring you joy. It can be small things. A candleholder that always stands on the table during moments of family time, a meal served on a beautiful plate that’s pretty enough to make you smile not only when you eat, but also when you empty the dishwasher. A set of beautiful bedding, a pretty lamp, decorating at all times of the day.

I strongly believe that you can, and you should, make your home reflect your identity. Some people like their homes “Scandinavian white”, some choose colour (so many amazing colours on Scandinavian walls recently!), but for me that is secondary. It’s more the small things you live with, touch, use and smell (!), that make (or don’t make) you happy. Scandinavians can teach you how to find that happiness in everyday moments.

 

All photographs by Kasia Rutkowiak.

 

What is your idea of the perfect day in Scandinavia?

I love Copenhagen and miss it a lot, so assuming it would be a day off in this beautiful city, I would love to find the time for a morning walk in the Botanic Garden while it’s still empty and quiet, a nice lunch at one of the many amazing restaurants, or a quick sandwich in Torvehallerne, a couple of hours at a museum like Glyptoteket or Torvaldsens sound pretty perfect to me, and an evening meeting with friends (with some more great food, of course). I must do it soon! Love the idea 🙂

You must, it definitely sounds like a day well spent! Thank you Kasia for sharing your story and your take on Scandinavian living, we hope to see you soon in Copenhagen. Get to know more about Kasia, her favorite interior design pieces and discover mouth-watering recipes on her blog, my-full-house.com and on her Instagram, @my_full_house

 

 

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POP-UP STORE IN JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS

 

Our Skandinavisk Pop-Up Store in John Lewis, 
Westfield London 

After a successful Pop-Up adventure in Magasin Du Nord in Copenhagen, we have now relocated our forest themed store to John Lewis & Partners, Westfield London. This is the only location where John Lewis hosts our entire product line. Be introduced to our brand story and 2018 product additions, such as our new Hand & Body Care items, Perfume Oils from our Escapes Collection, as well as our Seasonal Candle collection in new bigger votives, complete with our new fragrance, TRÆ. We are open until the 23rd Dec, one day before Christmas Eve, to help you decide on the perfect gift for that special someone. We are looking forward to welcome you to another Skandinavisk experience!

 

 

Come by and sign up for our newsletter at the pop-up store,
for a chance to win our SKOG Hand & Body collection.

Receive a free Oeko-Tex Tote Bag with every purchase over £50.

 

 

John Lewis & Partners, Westfield London, Ariel Way, Greater London, W12 7FU (opposite BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane/White City tube entrance)

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm Sunday: 11:30am – 6pm
**Extended opening hours will occur during Black Friday 
and the days leading up to Christmas.

 

 


 

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Escaping into Nature

 
Our favourite Escape stories


Escaping to nature is something Scandinavians embrace enthusiastically. Disconnecting from the material world and reconnecting with mother nature is very much what inspired us to create the fragrances for our ‘Escapes’ collection. The recent launch of our new Vase Diffusers saw us working with seven of our favourite Instagrammers, asking people to share their favourite escape into nature in return for the chance to win a vase diffuser of their choice. Some of the answers really touched us, so we thought we should share our favourites. If you have your own personal escape to share, feel free to share it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #EscapeToNature.

 

“The perfect escape into nature would be the woods of Vancouver BC. Pack a few sweets, like Honey’s donuts and wander to the highest point I can manage. Just sit at the top and look out to miles of trees and mountains, and the ocean in the distance.”
Story by @alexmholman.

 

“I like to escape to my father’s vineyard and garden of peonies and roses. It’s relaxing when you are so close to nature and can enjoy the beautiful colours and scents.” 
Story by @ogledalo_online.

 

 
 

“As a typical swiss girl, I grew up by the lake, and every morning the view from my bedroom would reflect the lake and the mountains in the far. When I wanted to escape, it was either one of these two places I would go to. Walking down to the lake and enjoying the peacefulness or walking up on the mountains to enjoy the view from up above. There’s nothing quite like it.”
Story by @aaanouk279.

 

“At home, I love to go to a little mountain which is a very old and calm vulcano. Here, Rocks are as huge as little houses that you can climb on. At the beginning of this year, I was there with my 70 year old dad and he climbed on them like a little boy, and he helped me to climb to the top of the rocks. I will never forget that!”
Story by @giuliettaslittlehome.

 

 

“I would love to escape to our summer cottage in Finland. A place we go to every 2 years. A place where I feel at home. It’s in the middle of nowhere surrounded by forest and just a 5 minute walk to the sea. On your way to the sea you can pick berries for breakfast or just eat them on the spot. Every time we’re there it feels like you can breathe again, the air is so clean. There, I would love to go to the sauna and then jump into the cold water. Or just chill with a korvapuusti (cinnamonbun) and a cup of coffee whilst looking over the meadow. A place where you can just be yourself. I just love being there, and I always feel sad to leave.”
Story by @marinoble.

 

 

 

“Would love to go back to Trolltunga too feel the wind in my hair and breathe in the fresh air. The view of the clearblue water in the fjords and the majestic mountains was absolutely breathtaking. Of all the hikes I had here in Norway that was one of the most amazing adventures. Would love to go back, but studying for a masterdegree keeps me benched.”
Story by @anetop.

 

Our own escapes stories comprise Heia (Norwegian for ‘heathland’), Lysning (the Scandinavian ‘forest glade’) and Rosenhave (Danish for ‘rose garden’), each available as perfume oils, ceramic candles and vase diffusers. See our Escape Collection here.

 

Photograph by Nikki Brantmark (@myscandinavianhome).

 

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Q&A WITH MARIA LAITINEN

 
A Scandinavian Design Advocate in Australia


Maria is born and raised in Lapland, Finland, but is residing in sunny Sydney, Australia since 2005. She is passionate about Scandinavian design and is a certified Health Coach, who has been featured in several Design and Health Magazines. We have interviewed her to get to know her personal relationship with the Nordic region and design.

What are the most significant differences between Finland and Australia?

Number 1 thing that comes to mind is definitely the climate! I come from the Northern part of Finland that has very clear seasons, but here in Sydney the seasons are more blurred. Winter here can sometimes be warmer than summer in my hometown! There are cultural differences as well, of course, and I think the climate plays a part in this too. 

Can you highlight your favourite qualities with Scandinavian design?

A strong history with craftsmanship resulting in finely tuned, high quality pieces must be my favourite thing about Scandinavian design. What can actually look quite understated on the surface is often the most complex piece of design.

 


“A strong history with craftsmanship
resulting in finely tuned,
high quality
pieces must be my favourite thing
about Scandinavian design.”

 

 

In your opinion, are there any Scandinavian trends emerging to Australia?

The “Scandi look” has been a strong interior trend in Australia for years. However, in my opinion it has been a somewhat “stereotypical” view to what is actually a lot more defined and complex. Unfortunately, Australia also has a reputation for its widespread replica industry and a lot of the iconic designs (Scandinavian and otherwise) have been copied. I would love to see the authentic Scandinavian designs gain more ground here, but it will take a while for people to change their views and consumption habits.

Is there anything from Finland you miss?

There is a lot! The longer I live abroad (13 years and counting), the more nostalgic Finland becomes. I miss the forests, the seasons, the sauna, even winter and definitely the snow!

What are your most favourite places to visit when you go back to Finland and the Scandinavian region?

I tend to go straight up to the Arctic Circle where my hometown is and in recent years I haven’t done much travelling around the rest of Scandinavia. I love the northern parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway – the landscapes are beautiful, and it is so serene up there.


Photographs by Maria Laitinen.


Thank you, Maria, for answering our questions. We are sure your advocacy in Australia brings forth the Scandinavian authenticity, and we hope you will soon get to experience the Finnish snow once again. You can learn more about Maria and her inspiring blog at TheScandiHome.com, or follow her on Instagram, @ScandiHome.

 

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A small candle can light up the darkest forest

 

A small candle can light up the darkest forest

Finnish Proverb


The nights draw in sharply here, and October marks the month where those long days of summer are but a distant memory. Though the leaves may cling weakly on their branches for a few weeks more, it’s the return of darkness that drastically changes the habits of its citizens.

Lights reappear on bicycles and gloves reappear on tiny hands, bleary trips to school are made before the sun rises, and when the night comes, so complete and inescapable, one finds oneself fighting constant tiredness and the overwhelming urge to just nod off straight after dinner.

This is the time of year where the body needs time to recalibrate itself to the dark days ahead. When it finally does, winter is embraced as enthusiastically as any other season, the October hors d’oeuvre to months of magic.

It’s the cycle of nature, the irresistible appeal of hibernation, and the treasures it brings.

 

Photographs by Mina Fagerlund

 

 


 

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HAPPY KANELBULLENS DAG

 

Trevlig Kanelbullens dag! 

Like many places around the world, Scandinavia values the traditions of centering shared moments with friends and families around food. In Sweden, they cherish one of these shared moments on October 4th, the national Kanelbullens Dag, in English called, Cinnamon Bun Day.

The tradition was initiated in 1999 by Kaeth Gardestedt, who was the project manager for the Home Affairs Council, to bring forth the tradition of home baking. Every October 4th, no one can avoid a bun. At work, in school, in subway, at all cafes and restaurants, you will be offered cinnamon buns.

Ingredients:
– 14 dl of flour
– 1 teaspoon of baking soda
– 1 dl of powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 2 teaspoons of cardamom
– 200 grams of heated butter
– 50 grams of yeast for sweet dough
– 4 dl of cold or lukewarm milk
– 1 egg

Filling:
– 75 grams of softened butter
– 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
– 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
– 3 teaspoons of raw sugar

Topping:
– Brush the bun with 1 egg
– Top off with pearl sugar

 

How to:
1. Mix milk, baking soda, sugar, salt and cardamom.
Pour the softened butter and yeast in the milk blend.

2. Stir the egg in the milk and pour it all into the flour. Whip (preferably with a machine) for about 10 minutes.

3. Let it rest for an hour under a piece of cloth.

4. Turn the oven to 240 degrees.

5. Pour the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a 40x60cm square plate. Spread the filling on top.

6. Roll the dough like a roll and cut it in slices, approximately 3 cm thick.

7. Brush with egg, drizzle the pearl sugar on and bake the buns for 8 minutes.

Good luck with the home baking! We wish you all a happy Kanelbullens dag!

 

 

 

 

 


 

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SKANDINAVISK POP-UP STORE

 

Opening our Skandinavisk Pop-Up Store in Magasin 

We are delighted to announce that Magasin Du Nord in Copenhagen is the host of our latest Pop-Up Store. This iconic department store, facing the spectacular Kongens Nytorv and the Nyhavn canal, opened in 1870 and has been the city’s most popular shopping destination ever since.

Located just inside the Kongens Nytorv entrance, our Pop-Up will present our winter collection within the theme of the Scandinavian boreal forest. Discover our new Vase Diffusers, SKOG Hand Care collection and our Seasonal Candles, which are now joined by new fragrance, TRÆ (tree), as well as all our original fragrance stories of Scandinavia.

 

We look forward to welcoming you to our world from
Monday October 1st to Sunday October 7th.

Vi ses!

 

 

Come by and sign up for our newsletter at the pop-up store,
for a chance to win our SKOG Hand & Body collection.

See Facebook event here.

 

 

 


 

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ON FINDING PEACE OF MIND

 

FRIDA EDLUND . PHOTOGRAPHER

I was never into horses as a young girl. I saw no charm in riding schools, and I just did not get it when the other girls were fighting like crazy over their favourite pony. But when I moved to Ölsdalen as an adult, my uncle would pass by my house every morning on horseback, with no saddle. After a few weeks, my curiosity finally got the better of me, and I asked if I could join him. At first, I was terrified. Clearly, the horse did not approve of me on his back. If I felt tense, he would feel the same; if I was distracted, he would just stop and refuse to move. Friendship seemed unlikely to happen, but something inside me wanted to keep trying. And then one day we found that special flow. My first gallop was one of the happiest moments ever; it was like our hearts were beating as one. I had never felt so alive.

 




 

Before I moved here, my whole life was in Stockholm, and – like horse riding – living in an old schoolhouse in Ölsdalen, literally in the middle of nowhere, was not part of my plan. I was working as a fashion photographer and, as part of the job, I was travelling a lot. After a particularly intense period of work, I returned to my apartment from a trip to New York, and something had suddenly changed.
When I was in my mid-twenties, Inside me there was this void. I had no energy to keep going; I simply saw no point. What used to fill me with great joy and give professional fulfillment and a desire to constantly develop creatively had been drowned in a massive overload of work, and pressure, and expectations, and self-criticism, and I had completely ignored all the signs of my own emotional crisis in the process.

 

 

 


 

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ON LONGING FOR THE FJORD

 

METTE MORTENSEN . FOOD STYLIST

I grew up in a small community, just outside Oslo. At the end of the road from my parent’s house was the fjord and, one way or another, my most intense childhood memories are all about the sea. We were a small gang of friends from the neighbourhood who would go sailing together whenever we had the chance. Mid-water, we would tie our small motor boats together and, while drifting, we would hang out just like city kids on a street corner. All summer, the boys would try to impress us, racing by in their boats or diving from the tallest rocks, doing all sorts of crazy acrobatic tricks in the water. And we would be sitting on the dock by the boat houses, with freckled cheeks, dressed in shorts and nylon swimming suits, laughing and gossiping all day long.

 




 

In the winter, the fjord would freeze over, and we would break every rule, and cross the ice on foot to get to a nearby island without our parents knowing about it. The sea was our playground and, although I had immense respect for the power of nature, I do not remember ever being scared of the water. On the contrary, growing up so close to the fjord, and the wooded mountains above it, filled me with a sense of security, and I took to the water without fear or hesitation.
When I was in my mid-twenties, I left Oslo for London to study communications at Goldsmiths and, after my degree, I got a job as a runner in a film production company, and later I worked for a lifestyle magazine. However, as much as my hunger for adventure had drawn me to life in the big city, I never really felt at home. There was always this frustrating ambivalence.

 

 

 


 

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ON THE TRANQUILITY OF ISLAND LIFE

MARIE MONRAD GRAUNBØL . EDITOR AND STYLIST

Each time I reach the ferry berth, I get an immediate sense of tranquility; I breathe more freely, and my mind seems clearer. Blame it on the light that in early spring will cast a supernatural, pink haze over the treetops on the other side of the narrow stretch of water separating the island from the mainland. Or the fact that most often I greet this stunning scenery on a late Friday afternoon, exhausted from a week’s work and longing for a welcome respite from the turbulence of the city. Life slows down at Orø, magically starting with the mere expectation of it while waiting for the ferry to arrive to bring us to our weekend cottage.

 

 

It has not always been like that. When my husband and I bought the cottage, it was the run-down holiday retreat of an elderly couple who had never bothered to tend to the garden or mend the roof. The very foundations of the house were rotting away, and the first couple of summer vacations were spent en route between what was supposed to be our very own paradise on Earth and the local builder’s merchant on the mainland. We had to replace everything inside the tiny A-shaped structure of the building, and, though I hated every minute of our endless arguments about the maintenance of the gutters or how we would get the water pump to work, I know now that it has tied us closer to the place. Gradually, we made the house and the surrounding garden our own. We came to know all the little signs of the changing seasons, the loud, terrifying noises of the pines swaying dangerously in the storm, and the true bliss of entering the house to the warmth of the wood-burning stove mingling with the smell of newly brewed coffee.

 

 

 


 

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