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I stayed up way too late sewing on my cool witch's hat in progress, so slept in till it was time to get ready to go this morning. It was a lovely cool morning (+7 C), so it was lovely to put on my wool folk dance skirt and bodice over the linen underdress. Since the underdress for the local area has sleeves that barely go past the elbow, I made a point of bringing the long fingerless gloves I made special to wear at Midsommer (since it is often cool here for Midsommer) and my viking coat (turned so that the black with red embroidery side is out, since that goes better with the folk costume).

We made it to the Gillestuga early enough for me to eat my breakfast and wash the bowl before time to do the walk through of today's dance performance. Then the 30 of us ate the traditional lunch Midsommer together. This year instead of cooking it ourselves they had it catered, and the caterers made a point of making dishes for those of us who turned in our list of food restrictions. Therefore, instead of eating only potato and boring lettuce salad from the meal, as I have had to do for the past six years (since the traditional Swedish Midsommer consists of a lot of pickled herring and other things I can't/won't eat), I got to eat a lovely vegetable and lentil dish, with a nice spinach and other interesting greens salad, something in the falafel family, and a nice "home-baked" bread with brie. I don't know how the others felt about the catering, but I was surprisingly happy with it. The only place they didn't do better than our tradition was that while they did serve the traditional fresh strawberries (imported from southern Sweden, since up here the strawberries are in flower but don't yet have berries), they had only ice cream as an accompaniment, no fresh whipped cream. This may be a good thing, as it meant that I didn't go back for 4ths on the strawberries and cream (of course I didn't take any of the ice cream, since it wasn't homemade).

After lunch we went over to the open air museum at Hägnan, where, since this year we were a smaller group than usual, with fewer strong, tall people than usual, we skipped the "carry the Midsommarstång in a parade around the grounds" part, and just put it straight into the hole in the ground to stand it up before dancing around it. I really enjoy the silly dances we do around the Midsommarstång. I think my favourite is the one where we stomp around like elephants with one arm stretched out like a trunk and the other wrapped around it and pinching our nose. (yes, this really is a thing in Sweden--the first verse of that song is about little frogs who are fun to see, as they have no ears nor tails. The verses about the horses, pigs, and elephants are more fun).

Then we did our on stage performance of folk dancing, which, as always, was much fun, and seemed to be well received. After dancing I had just time to hug a group of my friends who were in the crowd and talk to a lady who came up to me and asked "I so want to dance with you guys--do you have to be Swedish?", I told her that I am not Swedish, and she would be so welcome to join us. Turns out she is a PhD student at the uni, from India, and I gave her my name so she can look me up on the Uni web page and I can get her more info on Swedish folk dance. Hope that she does, since I didn't have time to talk more, since we had to head off to the other park, in the city center, to do it all again.

As always there was quite a contrast between the two city-sponsored celebrations. The one at Hägnan charges an entrance fee and is really crowded, while the one at Glitzudden is free for all, and has much more open space, so feels much less crowded (I have no idea how the actual numbers compare, but I think Hägnan really does have more people in addition to less space). Because Glitzudden doesn't have a dance stage we modify what dances we perform there--choosing things one can do safely on the grass (we don't want to do the spins of the polskas on the grass). As always, after doing some performance dances we then invited the audiance to join us for a couple of dances--the ones where we play follow the leader and walk in a pattern--one needs lots of people to make these work, and we have both enough people and enough room at this park.

Then we packed up the sound equipment and took it back to the gillestuga before heading home, arriving at around 17:00, so just over seven hours after leaving. Since then David and I spent some time talking about the upcoming plans for yard improvement when his brother arrives with the digger and tractor next week, and the earth cellar work we want to do this week. Then he took the new lawn mower down to the black current patch to create some paths between the bushes, while I had a quick bowl of popcorn for dinner, and then went outside and dismantled the "corral" we made last autumn out of old pallets to provide a semi-sheltered area for my car to park in the winter. There being no blowing snow this time of year it is no longer needed, and we will need to be able to drive the tractor and digger through that space when we create the place for the container (as in one of those big things that are used to ship things internationally--the container that has been living at his dad's property is moving here as an additional storage building), and the road we are going to put in from the area behind the sheds to the field. By the time I got that done and started moving O's winter tires which we store for him (since he lives in an apartment) from behind the recycling shed (where we will be doing some major landscaping) to the other side of the forge shed David had finished his mowing, so he helped me carry the pallets to the other side of the forge shed, too, and we agreed that I would move the pile of scrap wood from behind the shed to beside the house tomorrow.

Then I worked on my witch's hat embroidery while they had their (somewhat late dinner) and then we had a house meeting, catching up on everything we three ought to know about how things have been going and upcoming plans. Tomorrow C. will work, David will go help his little brother empty the last of his stuff out of that container, and I will stay home and accomplish useful things (like the aforesaid moving of scrap wood, and moving the wild strawberries from the area that will be landscaped, and baking with that pack of milk that went sour when we weren't looking). O. is also planning on dropping by so that I can re-braid his hair for him to have it presentable before he takes his driving test next week.
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