In other countries, spring gently spreads over the land. It whispers along the first puffs of the warm westerlies, it unfurls with each yellow-green leave and it spreads, immaterial as the gentle sunlight, from every new bud that opens.
Not in Sweden.
No, here we dig spring out of the snow and ice with a vengeance. For the past week or two, it has been almost consistently over zero degrees during the day and so spring has arrived. Not that you would necessarily know it: there are still four to five centimetres of ice on most of the pavements and up to a meter of snow clinging dirtily to the sides of roads. But we’re gonna find spring, all right. Just watch us.
Today I saw at least three different crews tossing the snow off of building tops (‘Watch out below!’) and every day I am greeting by the familiar screeching of a dutiful worker hacking away at the ice on the pavements. You think we’ll just wait for nature’s to run its course? We’ve been under snow for four months: Uppsala is officially done with nature.
Vernal tinglings aside, life is puttering along at a nice pace. Work has been quite good and writing is fun as well. Green smoothies are my new crack. (Though slightly undermined by the three boxes of girl scout cookies sent to me by my mum. Tried to explain the absolute FTWness of girl scout to Yuki but he never gets American culture. Le sigh.)
Yuki has finished what should be his last class; all dissertation work from here on out. I’ll be headed to Japan next week to tie up some lose ends–and buy as much food and goodies as I can fit back on a plane–and 2010 continues to be shaping up pretty well. We’re even hoping we might go to the Continent next month as I prefer that Yuki should have at least visited a country before up and moving us there. I wish he would actually learn about the local culture, customs and language, but alas, that seems to be too much to ask. So we’re hoping to at least do a one week fly-by of his top PhD hopes (Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland) but we’ll see if it pans out last minute or not.
Okara and wholewheat semlor with soy whipping cream. Yes, they rocked.
Tried making spring-y wagashi (Japanese sweets). They don’t look so great, but tasted fine going down.
Also made kurimanju (chestnut, um, dumplings?) but we ate them all before I took any photos. And I’ve been making dozens of mochi cream (daifuku or mochi filled with flavored an and whipped cream. Current favs: black sesame, afternoon tea and coffee.)
Oh, and little emperor and empress sweets for girl’s day. Again, they lack in looks but–well, you know.