Just before half term Dany, Phil and Edward and Oliver spent a week in a wooden cabin by a lake in Sweden.
We had a week away from it all.
The boys used the canoe and paddled the lake at Flackebo.
This huge lake is only half an oar deep all over and like a giant lily pond.
We had the use of a rowing boat too, which was more my cup of tea.
Talking of which.....at the nearest town, Skultuna, was the most beautiful cafe.
Located at the Messingsbruk brass foundry (founded in 1607), where they still make chandeliers and candle sticks.
Two very small coffees, two very small hot chocolates and four pistachio buns set us back about £25 quid.....
We also found the 300 yr old spa nearby at Satra Brunn. The brand new pool, surrounded by candles, was a delicious 34 degrees centigrade.
In the Swedish countryside all the wooden cabins, cottages and farm buildings are painted a dark rusty red, with white windows.
I love the big barns in these big landscapes too.
'He's a lumberjack and he's OK' - Phil was at home in check shirts and 'double denim'!
The day it rained we went to Stockholm by train.
Nice warm socks - Swedish style.
They're not short of wood in Sweden, that's for certain.
We went for a walk in this enchanting fairy tale forest.
The boys made bows and arrows and we thought we might see a moose. We didn't find one, although we saw rabbits, hares, wild swans and geese and lots of birds.......and something that looked like a wolf.
These little bullocks were very friendly.
A week of no tv, xbox, computers. They played Scrabble, charades and the guitar (I knitted) - and they loved every minute.