Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Claudio Villa and Sergio Bruni - two great Italian popular singers

There was a time when other than British and American recordings were widely listened to in Europe. Particularly, fine Italian singers, like Claudio Villa and Sergio Bruni were immensely popular - and not undeservedly. These are two of my own favourite songs:

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Simple pleasures nr 14: A nostalgic walk in your neighbourhood

The other day I discovered that there is some really nice oldfashioned countryside quite close to where I  now live. I almost felt like walking in a time-machine, nostalgically recalling fond childhood memories, not from here, but from an environment that was not unlike this one:

Just enjoying a beautiful summer´s day
This old horse-chestnut tree in full bloom is a mighty sight
Sheep grazing contribute to a feeling of  less stress
This kind of wind power I like
During my walk this beautiful song by Schumann came into my mind, here performed by the unforgettable Fritz Wunderlich:

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sofiero castle park - full of rhododendrons

My morning walk today brought me to the Sofiero castle, just a few kilometers north of the city of  Helsingborg on the Swedish side of the Sound. The castle, which used to be the summer residence of  the Swedish kings Oscar II (1829-1907) and Gustaf Adolf (1882-1973), is famous for its park - last year it was chosen as the most beautiful park in Europe. The castle park is at its best this time of the year, when the more than 10.000 rhododendrons are blooming.

Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and Crown Princess Margareta (the UK  princess  Margaret of Connaught) received Sofiero as a wedding gift. They took both a great interest in gardening. The gardens of the estate were redesigned in an English style. As Crown Princess Margaret published two books, Vår trädgård på Sofiero ("Our Garden at Sofiero) and Från blomstergården , illustrated with her own drawings and photographs, which were sold for the benefit of household schools. 

Gustaf Adolf, then Crown Prince, planted his first rhododendron in Sofiero already in 1907. Later on he became an avid collector of rhdodendrons. When he died, there were already 5000 of them.

Here are a some of today´s rhodies:

More information about Sofiero here, and here