|Not the usual view of the Mediterranean sea from my boat but the view of a beautiful Swedish lake from a campervan.|
I had planned on returning to the boat with my partner in February. Aquarella is standing on dry land at the Basimakopolou shipyard in Kilada Greece where I know she is safe, which is a consolation. However when all the borders closed I knew it would be impossible to get back for quite some time. As my partner and I are in the risk group ( we are both 74) it is especially important to keep to the rules of social distancing. We stayed in the house for nearly three months and even though we could enjoy the fresh air in the garden we longed to get out and see something else. Being privileged of having a partner with a camper van this was an opportunity to get out and about without getting near other people. We can still not cross any borders and we are not allowed to travel more than two hours from our home district but even so its possible to see and experience some of Sweden’s unique and noteworthy nature from our own secure bubble of the van.
In Sweden there is a law called Allemansrätt.
This means in brief the following:
• You are allowed to access any land, except private residences, the immediate vicinity (70 meters) of a dwelling house and cultivated land.
• You can put up a tent.
• You are allowed to collect flowers, mushrooms and berries.
• Driving on private roads is allowed unless there’s a sign saying otherwise.
• Swimming in lakes is allowed.
• You can access any beach as long as you stay away from private residences.
• You are allowed to catch fish in the five big lakes and along the entire coastline.
Source: The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
So instead of another solosail on my boat in Greece I am on a road trip in Sweden with my partner. One overnight stay was on a tiny peninsular with just enough space for the van. We were surrounded by the water of a lake on three sides and while we listened to the creaking and swaying branches of overhanging trees, the van was even rocking slightly in the wind, it was ALMOST like being on board my boat. The sound of a nearby passing train was no worse than listening to a passing cruise ship.
As often before I am producing a video about my painting techniques. This time its been necessary to choose a smaller body of water as subject matter. Instead of the crashing waves of the open sea I have been inspired by the trickling water of a forest stream. The acrylic painting in progress will be available soon as streaming video, more about this later.
|Not painting the bottom of my boat in Greece |
but using an upturned boat as an easel amidst midges
mosquitoes and ticks.
|“Midsummer night” a watercolour I painted at night of the view over lake Fegen.|