It has been a busy morning today. I got up quite early and my dogs and I took our morning walk. The weather showed signs that it could be rather nice today. not to many dark and big clouds could be seen in the sky.
After that I jumped in to my car and drove to a place called Kinnekulle, just beside the lake Vänern our biggest lake (and Europes third biggest lake). I have friends there that recently sold their house there and will be moving out within weeks. If You like me loves to plant new and perhaps not so hardy plants in Your garden, this is a paradise. They have plants there that shouldn´t survive in this country at all.
The reason they can have these plants (and trees and bushes) is that they live on the mountainside towards the big lake. They are going to move in to the city nearby, but have bought the property just beside their old home and will now build a small cottage there to use as a summer cottage. Well they are retired so they´ll use it all year long to be honest :-) :-)
After the visit I jumped in to my car again and drove homewards. But I continued to drive when I reached the place where I have to turn to come home. It was time to do my duty today. We are having elections to the parliament, the County and Municipal government (I don´t like the word government here but cant really find a better word, but I hope You´ll get what I mean).
In Sweden, like in most parts of Europe, we have rather many parties to choose from. But they have now started to collaborate even before the elections, so it would be more fare to say that we have two blocks to vote on. The middle-conservative block that is the ones that has the power at the moment and the middle-left block that is the opposition at the moment.
We have a tradition here in Sweden to always help those in need so we´ve had a very generous social security net here. This has been miss used quite some time and the government had to make the rules a bit tougher. Unfortunately they made it so tough that dying persons had to start searching for jobs the week before they died!!! They created new laws bur´t didn´t give any guidelines how to interpret them. Time after time they have had to adjust the system to make it less heart less. But I think that would have been done long before the law came to practice! This is what might bring down this government. We don´t like people that kicks people that already is lying down.
The opposition on the other hand has been way after in the polls, until just a couple of days ago when yet another case of kicking people that is lying down reached the news. They want to raise the taxes rather much (the government wants the opposite), especially on gasoline and on people that earns very much. They also wants to restore the social network again. This politics will hit us here on the country side very hard. Politicians seems to have problems with understanding that we must use our cars, because we have no busses going to where we need to go and never on times when we need them :-) :-) Despite the negative effects for us here in the countryside I have just voted for the opposition today.
This is a Gunnera manicata. It might not look impressive but it is actually 2,5 meters high (around 6,6 feet)! It´s a bit smaller this year than usual because it has gotten no fertilizers and very little water during the drought we had here a couple of weeks.
This leaf is 1,5 meter (3,3 feet) wide and it wasn´t the biggest leaf :-) This perennial lives in Brazil as wild and it needs a lot of work to keep it alive during winter here in Sweden. I have tried a hardier, but slightly smaller relative to this one and it did survive one winter. But I killed it during the spring because I removed the protection a bit to early. I live in a much worse zone than this garden is placed in.
There´s also a big risk that we for the first time will have a racist party in our parliament! I would be ashamed to call myself Swedish if that happened. But just a couple of days ago some of our most popular athletes from all kinds of sports begged people not to vote for them. I do hope people will listen to them!
A tiny piece of lake Vänern. If it hadn´t been for those birches we would have seen Läckö castle.
Crocosmia 'Lucifer'. If I should have it I would have to bring it in to my cold cellar during winter.
So now it´s just a long days wait to see the result tonight. They think we all will know around 10:15 tonight if it´s a tight result. Otherwise we´ll know it much earlier.
Have a great day now!