Sunday, 25 July 2010

under the trumpet tree

As we are blessed with some cloudy skies for the first time in weeks and weeks, I thought I'd take the opportunity to stay inside without a guilty conscience, and show some pics I took recently in the lovely backyard outside my office. People that visit our office often remark at how quaint it is, and it really is, but quaint doesn't always go hand in hand with practicality. The office is in a beautiful house from 1757, called Monteliuska huset (The Montelius house), and it gets freezing cold in the winter and hot like a sauna in the summer. Fall and spring are usually okay, so at least we've got that. But from May until September we've got the great advantage of being able to use the backyard, which outweighs a few of the other downsides.

Cobblestones cover the entire yard, which makes the chairs a bit wobbly, but of course looks very nice. All the buildings are beautiful, with really old wooden doors. This detached house is the garbage room to the left, and a storage room to the right. On top of our office, and some other businesses on the ground floor, there are a few apartments that some very enviable persons live in.

In the corner next to a very small office, is the old stable, that's used as another storage area. But the pièce de résistance, the thing that brings the whole backyard together, and gives us excellent shade in the summer, is of course the amazing tree. It's called a trumpet tree in Swedish, as far as I can find out Catalpa in English. Indian bean tree seems to be another name for it. Funnily we've always called it an African trumpet tree, but trying to find out the English name just now, I find out it doesn't grow in Africa at all. You can find it in North America, the Carribean, and east Asia, and in a backyard in Stockholm.

Outside another small office, that used to be an art gallery, some lovely vines are climbing the walls. I love these so much, and for some reason they cut down some equally gorgeous vines just outside my window earlier this spring. The official reason was that the vines were hurting the house, but there is no trace of that whatsoever, it just looks naked now. They didn't even touch the windows, just grew right up to the roof, looking very majestic. Oh, well, vines tend to grow pretty fast, so let's hope they'll make a comeback halfway come next summer.

This is the door that leads to our offices. Yes, we have two actually, one on each side of the hallway. Behind the tiny window is a very cramped storage space next to my room. The nice black iron door leads down to a basement, that I don't think is being used at all, but for the main electricity central for the house.

This door hides the laundry room, kinda nice place to do your laundry, huh? One of my favorite details is the small roof window on the second floor, I would love to see the apartment behind it.

The tree usually blooms a bit later in the summer, towards the end of July, but since it's been such a tropical heat lately, the flowers just sort of exploded over night a couple of weeks ago, and they smell amazing. Just like honey, like The Jesus and Marychain would've put it. The gigantic leaves become a natural umbrella which is good for both sun and rain. At the moment a magpie has a nest in the tree, and she's got some babies that make very cute chirping noises every time the mum gets back with food.

So, that concludes the little tour of my work oasis here in Stockholm. Feel free to stop by if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, S:t Paulsgatan 11.

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