August 27, 2013


When Cindy asked for a block representing our homes in the Star of Africa bee I had to stop and think a while. A long while. The Star of Africa bee is about making blocks representing something from your own country; the beemama decides which specific theme.

Of course I’ve been moving around during my life; I’ve even moved from one country to another. Which one of the homes should I pick? The one I lived in as a child? It was a rented one and one I don’t like to think about. The one I live in now? No. Of course it’s dear to me and I helped build it twenty years ago and I’m still taking care of it as well as I can, but it’s not in my home country. Is this the moment I sever my ties to my country and decide to be something/someone else? It doesn’t feel right, so we’ll leave this thought here.

So clearly a house is not what I’m looking for. What else, what is this elusive feeling of home? To make things more difficult I belong to a minority in my own country so not everything is suitable for my means. 


When I’m in Finland I travel around from one place to another, visiting friends and family, never staying for long. (You know fish starts to stink after three days, and the same goes for guests.)This year was no different. I had a marvelous time everywhere I went and I’d loved to stay, but then I’d have to sever my ties to my life in Germany. Not an option.

So what to do? Then it came to me, while I was helping to prepare the table for a traditional kräftskiva. I suppose you don’t have the slightest idea what that is about, do you?

Well, once a year we Swedish speaking people invite friends to eat crayfish with lots of dill and bread. My father used to go catching crayfish end of July with my brother and my godfather. They set out late in the evening with everything you need and spent the night in cold water, looking for the creatures. Afterwards my mother put the crayfish into boiling water and they turned red. Delicious! You are only allowed to catch them for a short time, that is the reason for the once in the year thing.

Nowadays almost no one catches crayfish themselves; we buy them at the supermarket. But still this meal is something quite special for us. We sit around a table decorated with crayfish inspired things, wearing a bib under the chin.  We eat the crayfish, drink snaps and sing silly songs! Crayfish clearly need water to swim, but you’re not allowed to drink without singing a song. So we sing! Songs with traditional tunes, but the texts are a bit different. Quite silly in fact. So silly you cannot help laughing. Of course the snaps helps as well oiling your vocal cords…

This is home to me! This year I was lucky enough to be invited to two kräftskivor. The first one at Mika and Martins place after that waterfall episode at the railway station. 

It was actually such a good party that when I went to bed I couldn't find my jimmies and sat down on the sofa to think about their whereabouts. Three hours later I woke up, still on the sofa and still no jimmies.

The second one during our wool dyeing session with Åsa and friends. 

It was just as good as the first party, only this time I was a bit more cautious with the singing.

Dear Cindy, this is my block for you! I’m sorry for taking such a long time making it, but it’s made with lots of love! The picture is not a good one; the background is white, promise :-)


  1. Uh... I love kräftor and buy them every summer when in Sweden. We even used them for New Years eve once - only disadvantage was that the brändvin made everybody very, very silly before the main course...

  2. How come I can believe that :-) Do you have this tradition in Denmark as well?

  3. Cheers! Singing and drinking do go together rather well I think!

  4. What a sweet block and a fantastic post!

  5. Prost! My Finish neighbor never told me about it. This would have been fun. Gorgeous little crayfish

  6. Lovely cheeky crayfish block! and the dill is pretty.

  7. Lovely block May and the perfect representation of home!

  8. Love the story, May, and the block is just wonderful!

  9. such a great tradition, and a super block too!!!

  10. Great tradition and a lovely block!