Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Home again!

We left Claire's and Umeå this morning (late, we had a nice breakfast and conversation before leaving the lovely Villanäs) and headed south. Via one of the best second hand shops in the north,m where Keith bought a carry mat, mostly for the woven "Trangia" tape that was securing it) and I found a really beautiful African batik picture, framed and obviously done by an artist. It's so lovely, subtle and charming, the frame and glass need a good clean, but it will be blipped in time!

We tottled home via Lidl to get picnic supplies, and we parked by a lake in Själevad, just south of Örnsköldsvik. There is an amazing Octagonal church on a hill in the little town of Själevad, but it is always locked in my experience. Today we didn't even try, just drove by to the water, and a really pretty picnic spot.  There's a picture of the church and a description in Swedish, here. It was voted the prettiest church in Sweden!

Today our focus was on a civilised, Camper-van-assisted, snack - then a swim inthe brown, and it turned out, shallow waters. Felt good to refresh ourselves as it was another scorching day, this time without the blessed breezes of yesterday. The weather is soon to break, so we are enjoying high summer as long as it lasts. We emptied the toilet cassette as we neared home, so convenient that the road authority provides these facilities along the main road. We could have filled up with water too but refrained, our next trip isn't till the weekend.

I drove about half the trip, and my reversing and parking is improving (I'm usually very good at parking, but this is a bit of a beast) and apart from sometimes forgetting that things wobble about a bit if you make nippy movements when overtaking, I think it is feeling more and more natural to maneuver this 6 metre-long van. Keith is so calm and encouraging, he says he feels safe and confident, what a lovely man he is.

I have to go and finish today's drawing, begun before breakfast, finished late. I will get back to proper commenting now I have a computer to help me, instead of just using my iPhone. This drawing was done yesterday on a dark ground, which made for some interesting results, I rubbed away the darkness to get the white areas, and enhanced it with grey felt pens in other places. Fun to play with that technique, I think it looks quite sombre.

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