My best friend Janey is over in Europe and has been sending me jealousy inducing photographs of her travels. I asked her to write a little something for the blog, so here is a guest post about her week in a beautiful Swedish summer house.

A Midsommer Night’s Dream by Jane Crowley

Set in the Swedish provence of Småland, home to dense forest, over 5000 glinting lakes, the highest number of moose in the country and of course Pippi Longstocking, a fairytale scene is set for midsummer. A red house nesting in the middle of the forest surrounded by blanketed fields of wildflowers, and a river not far. It’s June and the days are long, light and bright.

The preparations for summer solstice, the longest day of the year, begin early. With 50 of us on the farm (Germans, Swedes, Australians and Brits), we bake bread every day, retrieve water from the well, bathe in the river, decorate the house with local wildflowers, cut the grass, hang up the hammocks, set the trampoline, swat the flies, perfect the bon fireplace, paint signs, build the outdoor kitchen and prepare the wild boar for the spit roast.

There is a secret garden, a homemade sauna, a confession booth, a hunting tower, a magically decorated dual compost toilet-house, and a whisky library room. After creating flower crowns, and dancing around the maypole like frogs, all 50 of us sit at one long table in the garden decorated with candles, wildflowers and jugs of cocktails, to feast on Swedish herring, salmon and the wild boar that has been roasting for ten hours.

Later, by the fire, a glittery rave begins; in the library, more are belowing to Johnny Cash records; in the dining room, a serious game of poker continues in one corner while facepainting is happening in the other; and the rest are frollicking in the fields like fireflies. Sunlight all night long, a midsummer nights dream in a Swedish fairytale.

Thank you again and again to the wondrous hosts Sixten and Sara, and Sixten’s family who have owned the property for over thirty years.

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