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Hi everyone, how are you? This week has been a quiet one for me, but I’ve done some good things. My husband has been away, sadly we have to go to Sweden when we need to get new passports, and his passport expired last year so he’s been in Sweden this week to order a new one – not exactly straightforward, and very expensive. But he’s also seen some friends and his brother, and some clients. To me, it was very weird to attend our online music session with my husband joining in from Sweden with our friends there!

I’ve spent the week learning new songs, working, chatting with friends, going for walks, practising the guitar, and attending whiskey tastings. And I finally managed to clean the house which was very much needed after my husband finished the job of installing a ventilation system.

Back to Castlefreke woods

I went back to Castlefreke woods with my camera club friend, hoping there would be some nice autumn foliage there, but sadly it won’t get any better than this, at least not this year. We had a very nice walk though, with many good chats.

Castlefreke woods
Castlefreke woods
Castlefreke woods
Castlefreke woods
Some colour, at least!

Both my friend and I fell in love with this tree formation… it looks like something from a fairytale, and I thought of the Harry Potter films. But it was very dark, so both of us were a bit disappointed with our photos… we’ll try to go back next week with tripods so we can lengthen the exposure time.

Castlefreke woods
Castlefreke woods
Castlefreke woods
I’m a bit obsessed with taking photographs of paths like this.

My guitar is my best company

I had planned to see a few friends to have a small Halloween party and play some tunes. But the Covid situation is getting worse here, and there is an outbreak in our town. So we had to cancel. I took out my knitted and crocheted spiders to get some Halloween feel – although they’re probably more cute than scary! And I practised my new songs and some guitar tunes – but I wonder if I’ll ever manage to play AND look happy at the same time. Maybe that’ll be the sign that I’ve become a good and confident player?

My web camera is doing a quite good job – this is a screenshot from a video I made. Actually, the best photos I have of myself are made from screenshots. The book you see to the left is a super cool book I purchased recently – a comic book about the life and career of the Carter family. I absolutely love the idea!

Susanne Markus Svalefelt
Looking at this, I now know why my thumb hurts after playing the guitar!

Whiskey tastings

Before my husband left, we did the August tasting with Three drams. We’re so behind with them! Three drams is a subscription service for Irish whiskey, you get three whiskeys to taste per month (or quarterly, if you prefer), with a tasting event taking place on YouTube and Facebook. You can see them afterwards, so it’s no problem if you miss the event and want to hear what they say about the whiskeys. The whiskeys we tasted this time were Hinch 10-year-old blend finished in sherry casks, the Irish American 10-year-old blend, and the first single malt from Connacht distillery in Mayo. I really liked the Connacht, which I’m delighted about because I think they are a brilliant company so I’m very happy to support them by getting a full bottle. I’ll very likely write more about it on my whiskey blog later when I’ve tasted it again.

Three drams

Last night I attended another whiskey tasting, with Cork whiskey society on Zoom. Some lovely whiskeys here, all by independent bottler W.D O’Connell whiskey merchants. My favourite of the evening was the PX 18 (if this is weird lingo for you, it stands for an 18-year-old whiskey that has been finished in a Pedro Ximénez sherry cask), sadly sold out, but there is a 19-year-old coming!

Whiskey tasting

During the winter, and since times are getting tougher when it comes to the pandemic, I won’t have anything fun to share here, since we’ll mostly be at home. But I thought that it could be a good thing to document life during this time using my blog and my camera. It’s also good material for Natalie’s Weekend coffee share, which is all about catching up and sharing our lives during the week.

Last week I did another tech bummer – I told people that if they want to continue to subscribe by e-mail, there are new links in my menus, here and on the music blog. It was just that I forgot to add the links! Sorry about that – they are now added to both menus.

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Comments:

  • 30th October 2021

    Susanne, The trees look amazing. ‘Forest bathing’ and music are good for our soul. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.

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  • 31st October 2021

    Hi Susanne – I loved your pictures of the woods – we don’t have “woods” in Australia – more bush and trees and more spread out. I always think of fairy tales when woods are mentioned. Sorry to hear about the increase in covid cases where you are – we’re so fortunate here to be living in a covid free bubble – but that won’t last forever and once they open the borders it will be our turn to be careful about gatherings again (sigh…)

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  • 31st October 2021

    My husband is Swedish and we live in New Zealand where there is no embassy, so he has been unable to renew his passport. Luckily, we both have New Zealand citizenship so he can travel to get one – Canberra, Singapore or Sweden – but we can’t travel abroad at the moment so hopefully he can get a new one in 2022. And yet I can order a new UK passport online….

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  • 31st October 2021

    The trees with the moss on them are beautiful. Great coffee post, thank you for sharing.

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  • trent

    31st October 2021

    If your husband was away I am glad that he at least had a chance to visit friends and family. Playing via Youtube has to be different – there is always some latency! I like the photos. The one you weren’t super happy with still looks great – I like the dark, shadowy color – it makes the shapes jump out. Sorry Covid is striking your town now – it doesn’t seem to ever go away!

    Hope you had a good weekend and have a wonderful week ahead!

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  • 1st November 2021

    Absolutely beautiful imagery. Those forest shots are stunning. All the best with the passports.

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  • 1st November 2021

    The branches on some of those trees do look spooky. I love being in the woods. My life is quieter with the pandemic but I manage to write a little still. At least we can still enjoy the outdoors.

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  • 2nd November 2021

    Those photos are pretty even though you didn’t get the fall colors. I really like that formation too, it would be cool to play with some different edits.

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  • 4th November 2021

    Your woods photos are beautiful! Surprisingly we do have some woods in Los Angeles like the Angeles National Forest and along the San Gabriel mountains. Here’s to a smooth process in getting these passports.

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  • 10th November 2021

    The tree that looks like mossy arms reaching out might not be what you intended but it’s a beautiful photo. You had a pretty full week!

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  • 26th November 2021

    Oh, Susanne, you know I already love your photography and the beautiful images you create. The balance of skill and art is such a delicate one and you’re clearly finding your own balance! I am sorry your husband had to head to Sweden to get his passport. That seems rather inconvenient, particularly during a pandemic (that shows no signs of abating, sigh…).
    I loved your comment about the trees and “Harry Potter woods. And, your comment on the (lack of) fall colors. I’m currently reading “The Hidden Life of Trees”. Have you heard of it? It’s a quiet, fascinating read by a German man who is a forester and an expert, obviously, on trees. I have learned so much! The info on why trees lose their leaves, and why the colors of fall leaves differ substantially from the green of summer, is so interesting, and I swear I never learned it in all of my biology classes in middle and high school!
    I wish I had forests near me – as I’ve said – but the preserves differ here, and the bigger ones are too far for a day trip, unfortunately. Although we *have* trees, they don’t blanket the hills here as much as they seem to wen one heads further east – closer to where my parents live, and where I grew up. I miss them, and get my “fix” when (if) I get to go visit my family.
    Take care, and thank you again for sharing. <3

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