Easter in Lisboa

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The easter holidays gave us a few days off to visit old friends and family in Lisboa. Dinner parties become so much cheaper in the local joints, and you can wash the food down with abundant wine without the need for declaring bankruptcy. Of course then you have to dissolve the thin film of oil that coats your oesophagus with aguardente, but by then, your senses have been numbed enough that you tolerate it quite well.

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Lisboa has a knack of surprising us with semi-secret places such as Park, a lounge bar sitting on the terrace atop a multi-story parking lot, right in the middle of the night action. The elevator was broken, so a  5-story climb up the emergency stairs was just the thing we needed to digest all the greasiness from the dinner.

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The price of the booze was above average, still, it was a privileged view over Lisboa by night coupled with some fine music. I was beat after 15 minutes, but the girls they just kept going for what seemed to be hours.

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Taxi rides home in Lisboa are a lottery. You get all sorts of taxi drivers: grumpy, happy, drowsy, political, racist, eloquent, nonsensical, you name it. Very few are women, and this was one of them. She regaled us with stories and anecdotes of her years as a taxi driver and as a Lisboeta. The most impressive memory was of the fire in Chiado in the 80s, where she was working back then. Something I was not around to witness, but was indeed one of those dramatic events that determine a turning point in a place.

A finissage turned middlessage

140506 Lund 02It was with great joy that Holger and I saw so many people coming to the finissage of our exhibition at Martas Café. A lot of people were already there, studying or having fika, and soon enough it was hard to tell who was there before and who came on purpose for the finissage. Still, they were welcomed into the crowd, just as we had wanted.140506 Lund 03Holger put up a few more originals on the wall, even though it was supposed to be the last day. Turned out that the girl who was going to exhibit after us didn’t have her paintings ready yet, so we decided to keep our stuff a week longer. Our finissage turned middlessage – if such a thing exists.140506 Lund 04There were drinks and snacks all around (including Suzanne’s delicious pesto crackers), topped of with twenty-something pastéis de nata Patrícia and me had brought from Lisboa (all gone in the picture in little under a quarter of an hour – great success!), the party hung on for as long as the Café was open.140506 Lund 01Many many thanks go to the Café’s staff who were extremely helpful and part-time curators of the exhibition: Marta, Olga and all the good people working there!

Fruktsam presentation

On the 5th of may, the public edibles initiative Fruktsam held its first public presentation, starting off with some delicious hand-prepared jams and pestos made with hand-picked fruits in and around Lund and continuing with a presentation by one of its founders – Teresa Rauscher. She explained the fundamentals of the initiative – a project that encompasses locating, picking and preparing public edibles such as fruits, herbs and nuts. For that, they provide different tools and data, such as a harvest calender, a harvest map, a fruit-picker and many more stuff. They also hold study circles to discuss and share information about fruit and stuff.

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Representing the city of Lund was Karl-Oscar Seth, who explained how the Kommun deals with public edibles nowadays and how can Fruktsam cooperate in the effective management of these precious (and widely undiscovered) resources in a win-win-win outcome (Fruktsam wins, the Kommun wins, the community wins, yay!).

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Kim Nicholas finished with a scholarly look at the issue, presenting her own research on urban food forestry, and how can such initiatives as Fruktsam, help to bridge urban ecosystems and food production, taking advantage of already existing urban food-producing areas, creating tools and infrastructures to aid the planting, the mapping and the harvesting of public food.

A weekend at Göteborg

About a year after our first visit to Göteborg and to our favourite persian family, we were back again, and again for just one weekend.

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Persians host people like the portuguese do: welcoming booze, loads of food and that warm familiar feeling of organized chaos.

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Our persian/swedish/portuguese guide and friend took us to an iranian pastry shop, but it had little to do with Iran these days, except maybe for the staff. It was gleaming with those rich coloured pastry that Sweden has gotten us used to. Lots of berries, lots of sugar, lots of cream, yumminess in a slice.

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Gothemburgians, like most swedes, lie under the sun as much as they possibly can. Here, they do it in the sloped shores of the canal, in a park where the city walls once stood, with warm coffee, food and drinks.

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The sunny sunday took us to the house of a couple in the family in Lerums Kommun. Alsjö lake lies just by it. There, the neighbourhood is organized around the lake instead of a network of roads. The neighbours must agree on any construction or action that might compromise the neatness and the health of the lake. It’s the commons, an old kind of appropriation that still has a lot of significance around these parts. After a delicious bolognese we were on our way back to the south.