It’s been a while since I last wrote (14 months!!) How are you all?
Here in Urshult Hotell we are in full flow of the busy summer season. A heady mix of meeting new guests and greeting those returning. Baking cakes and preparing breakfasts. Managing our new employee and vetting stuck into our own work tasks. Cleaning rooms and making beds. Early starts and late finishes. But in the midst of all this busyness and day-to-day work, I have noticed that life still has its rhythms and no day is quite the same as the one before.
Here in the countryside (or landet, as the Swedes say) one of the major ‘rhythms’ is the changing seasons. I seem to be more aware of these now that I live in nature and work in the seasonal tourist industry (compared to living in London and working as a musician). At the moment it is summer and today’s post includes some observtaions on summer here in Sweden.
Pine forests, baking bread, freshly cut grass: these fragrances fill the air during a summer walk or cycle around Urshult. The forest is particularly fragrant after a rain shower and I very much enjoyed a recent cycle ride through Buskaboda – a nearby village (see below). The bread smell comes from Urshult Bakery, which bakes throughout the night so during an evening stroll you might, for exemple, detect the scent of Sverige bullar (my favourite).
At times B&B life can feel a bit ceaseless, especially in the summer season when we have the highest number of guests. Everyday there are beds to be made, toilets to be cleaned, breakfasts to be made, dishes to be cleaned, floors to be hoovered, food to be bought. It is a bit like managing a very large home with 13 bedrooms rather than the usual 2 or 3. We are learning all the time about how to work more efficiently, how to set and maintain high standards, how to ensure our guests have the best possible experience and how we can stay inspired, motivated and energised through the long days.
This is without doubt my favourite bit of the summer! Spending time with my son Zac who is now 17 months old and wants to explore EVERYTHING! I love seeing him in his little shorts and sandals running about our garden or playing in the sandpit. We have a cycle seat for him on my bike now and he loves sitting behind Mummy on a cycle ride. If I am wearing a scarf he will hold the ends like they are horse’s reins! Yesterday we all went for a swim in Lake Mien and Zac was a bit cautious a first but soon got the idea of splashing about in the (admittedly chilly) water.
Summer is the month of berries in Sweden. Raspberries, strawberries, black currants and red currants can all be found growing wild or in gardens here. A walk in the forest with Zac and our dog Borgust is currently a tasty experience as we stop regularly to nibble on juicy raspberries.
Summer is when cyclists flock to Urshult from all over Sweden, Germany and beyond. There is a wealth of cycling routes passing through here, including the recently opened Sydostleden, which goes between Växjö and Simresahmn.
Summer is the time to get out onto the lakes and swim! There is quite simply nothing like the feeling of relaxing into the cool, refreshing water at the end of a hot working day at the hotel. Ahhhhhh😀
Summer is also the time we have a new shop opening in our basement! The beautifully decorated Broström Antik opens tomorrow Thursday 3 August at 10am and we shall be serving coffee and cakes in the hotel to celebrate.
Well, that’s it from me. I wish you and your nearest and dearest a wonderful, relaxing, scent-filled, refreshing summer.
Until next time!