House hunters

The most important aspect of planning for our baby's birth, was to find the perfect house to give birth in. Since I haven't lived in Sweden for quite some time, and my boyfriend being from the UK, we don't own any home here. So we have rented a flat in Malmö for the last few months. We love Malmö and it was a great place to begin this Swedish chapter in. It's not a very big city, but we knew that it was closer connected to proper nature that we wanted to live for the actual birth.

I've envisioned a typical Swedish red wooden house with white corners. Plenty of green grass around, and the yard surrounded by a bit of forest and lots of farmland. I wanted there to be land to grow food on, and be near either the sea or a lake. All my dreams begin with visualization, once I have an image clear in my head, I move on to making it a reality. The key important details of this dream house were:

- peace and quiet
- in the midst of soul nurturing nature
- can easily walk barefoot in between indoors and outdoors
- not too near any neighbours, as I potentially would like to give birth outdoors if the delivery happen to happen on a warm and sunny day
- charming character to the house, old and well lived in. Preferably with wood burning stoves and gas oven. And please no leather sofas from the eighties that approximately 75% of the houses advertised on Blocket seemed to have :)
- hospital within 30-45 min drive if we for any emergency reason would need to visit one
- remote, but not extremely remote as we would like our family and friends to be able to visit in the summer
- space to grow food, and lots of light indoors so we can begin the growing process inside in the early spring

The idea was to rent a place from 2-3 months before birth - to get a quiet and peaceful final period to grow and connect to the pregnancy process - to the first 3-4 months of the baby's life. If all sync and we all are healthy and happy when winter of 2017 knocks on the door, we would ideally like to travel to Asia for some time. Rent a beach bungalow to keep connecting with our new family dynamic, get to know our child, and surf and eat healthy local food. We both are freelancers and run our businesses online, so we are not locked to any specific place. Only thing we need really is a wifi connection and our laptops.

If we love living in the Swedish countryside together this spring, summer and autumn, the plan is to later buy something small here. A similar idea and setting as described above.

So our research led us to four houses. One in Skåne, the Southern region in which we live now. This is the first house we visited:

Looked real nice and was very secluded inside of a wild forest. Lots of wild boar roam this area and it is a widely popular destination for hunting them, we later found out. There being a hunting tower right next to this land. We love forest and trees, but it may have felt a bit too enclosed and not as open as we had hoped for. Also weren't too keen on the idea that much part of the land and house was restricted for use.

We continued the drive up north, to mid Sweden more or less, approximately an hour from where I grew up (lived in that area during the ages of 8-16, after I had moved to Sweden from Finland). The second house we had scheduled to meet with had such a different ambiance altogether. Trees and bushes around. A bit of forest in the distance. But the house was mainly surrounded by open fields and pasture. Aaah, a place to breathe...

The owner, who lives a few hundred meters away - the only nearby neighbour - proved to be an amazingly special character. Such a rare find in these kind of countryside villages where older people often are either very religious, or quite narrow minded, or both. But this man was something entirely different. He also was kind enough to let us stay overnight in the house, for us to feel the vibe before we made our decision. As I mentioned on my Instagram, my pregnant body hadn't slept as good as I did that night, in a very long time. The utter quietness, and the natural sound of the fireplace lulled me so comfortably to sleep and it seems the baby was peaceful there as well. Not kicking all night, forcing me to go to the toilet every second hour :)

Plum trees and cherry trees outside the kitchen window. Can only imagine how this garden looks when spring arrives. There is electricity, but I absolutely loved that we could heat the house with wood burning stoves. And that there were chandleries in every room.

In between our house and the house in which the owner lives, is a shower and a sauna. And this old barn with a great dining space, overlooking the field on which he grows organic food. We were free to use both the sauna, barn and make use of some land for growing, he said. Such difference from the first house we looked at where we couldn't use this and that and not go into the barn etc...

Beautiful old earth cellar for storage.

Almost didn't want to leave in the morning. But had a few more houses to visit before we decided.

The third house on our list. But we felt quite immediately that there wasn't any point of continuing looking around. Our hearts were sold on the place we had slept the night before. So I called and cancelled the last one, and called the owner of the previous one to tell him; we'll take it!

Immediately started planning for foods to grow and where, where to plant rose bushes, and where to place the outdoor bathtub. The house owner himself was born at home in the fifties, as were his siblings, so he really liked the idea of us having the birth happening on his land. After the long breakfast conversation we had with him and his partner, it feels like there will be born very many great stories from this new chapter. And it truly feels like the perfect place for us to begin our family life.

So grateful that the baby is arriving in the summer. In my mind I like to compare it with a seed that builds its roots system throughout the spring, and will sprout and enter this world right in time for midsummer when all the trees and flowers are in bloom. Everything feels so natural and in tuned with the natural cycle of life and birth. At the same time, everything in our lives right now feels like being in such a good flow timing wise. Just like it is all meant to happen exactly this way. Exactly right now.

Here's the house again. It's just a few minutes from Lake Hornborga (Hornborgasjön), and coincidentally we will move in at pretty much the same time as the beautiful crane birds migrate back home after the long winter. This lake is famous all over the world for the special spring dance ritual that the cranes do there.

Such a gracious animal...

Crane couples often spend their whole lives together, and their special dance helps strengthen the relationship. During their dance the cranes will usually take giant leaps into the open air, bow and then circulate around each other.

On the way back home we visited my sister who lives 40 minutes away. Her boyfriend had made their own hunted wild boar for lunch. I had never had the steak of a boar before, only in sausage format, in Corsica. Was tasty! Especially the potato gratin...

So grateful to have found a house so near my sisters and other people I hold dear. And the fact that there is a train station ten minutes from our house that takes 1 hr to Gothenburg, and 2,5 hr to Stockholm for the ones that don't drive.

On the way back home in the afternoon, after driving around the country for two days. We missed the last exit in Southern Sweden! And "had to" take the bridge over to Denmark... C'est la vie, we thought. And as we anyway had planned to visit at least once before we moved to the house, we thought it would be a convenient opportunity to go out for dinner in Copenhagen.

Hi Copenhagen City Hall!

Of course as it was Sunday, all kitchens closed at 22.00... so after an almost two hour long walk, which was quite cosy albeit cold, we ended up at the first restaurant we had passed as we arrived from the parking house. The one we passed as we thought we would find something better haha... and despite not having eaten for many hours, I ended up only feeling for orange juice and a lemon sorbet in the end :)

Only a few weeks left to the move now. Some inspiration photos that keeps me dreaming...