Back at Svanholm

March 16, 2014. I am writing this post on the fifth anniversary of the death of my husband and soulmate, Mark Lindblad. So much has happened since his passing that five years seems like a long time. However, he is still so present with me, that it seems like just yesterday that he was smiling in my direction. Odd how time can seem eternal and instaneous at once.

Last year on this day I remember it was cold and snow was still on the ground here at Svanholm. My neighbor Elisabeth could sense that I was a bit blue and we went for a chilly walk through the forest to the highest point in the area. The wind was blowing and we talked about the losses we both mourned. In contrast, this winter has been the mildest Denmark has seen in a long while and when I visited the same spot last weekend, it provided quite a different view.


I also noticed evidence of the huge storm that hit the area in December with hurricane force winds. Many trees fell in that storm and it was obvious that workers have busy cleaning up in the intervening months.


I have been back at Svanholm for two weeks now. While I didn’t like leaving my Minnesota friends and neighbors behind, it was a treat to leave one of the coldest winters on record and step into spring.


It has been wonderful to be back with my Svanholm friends. I have the same room and neighbors as I had before and everything is quite cozy.


Life in the big kitchen is calmer than when I left last August, as the team is finally adequately staffed. In fact, it looks as though I will have time to regularly make cheese once a week. Tuesdays have become my cheese day and I have already made a batch of feta and a batch of dill havarti, both of which have the advantage that they can be eaten fresh and don’t require a lot of aging.


Life here is much the same, that is the beauty of this place. Last weekend I got reacquainted with the sheep, as it was moving day for them. They needed to be escorted from the field where they spent the winter to the lambing area. Uffe’s new sheep dog handled himself quite well and it was a relatively quick and easy experience. A few of us waited next to the road the sheep needed to cross in order to stop traffic, while Uffe, a Swedish guest, and Uffe’s dog Liam went to fetch them.


Here you can see the sheep crossing the road. In the photo below you will see one of the two “accidental” lambs that were born earlier than intended. They kept up well with the rest of the flock.


We had an unanticipated encounter with some farm machinery, but all went well.


Uffe and Liam celebrated their success once the sheep were safely in their new field. The next move will be trickier because there will be a lot of confused little lambs by then.


After we were done with the sheep, I went by to say hello to the goats. Unbelievably, I have yet to go visit the cows! Quite ungrateful of me, considering how much I enjoy working with their wonderful milk.


There isn’t much else to report from here. I got to spend a fun weekend with Bryn in Copenhagen right when I arrived from Minnesota, before coming out to the farm. I experienced several very cool events, including “Science and Cocktails”, sponsored by physics students (the topic was cannabis), Friday Bar at the Hub (a shared work space for social responsibility and sustainability entrepreneurs), a feminist folk kitchen dinner, a saunagus session (a saunagus master guides you through four sessions in the sauna with various essential oils on the rocks interspersed with dunkings in ice cold water), and a trip to the Louisiana Art Museum with my two good friends Lise and Birthe.

I am also toying with the idea of running the Copenhagen marathon on May 18th. There is a Japanese guest here who is planning to run in it which is what has inspired me. I remember being in Copenhagen last year on the day it took place and feeling a pang of regret.

It was 1984, 30 years ago, that I ran my first of 11 marathons. I was 28, married, but no kids yet. So today I ran 11 miles to see how it would feel (hard, but doable) and have put together a training schedule that I think would get me across the finish line. I will see how it goes over the next month and if I don’t injure myself with the training, I think I’ll do it! Mark would tell me to go for it, I am sure.

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9 Responses to Back at Svanholm

  1. stephenfalk says:

    I can appreciate that chimeric nature of time. I never knew Mark and only know you via e-mail and blog posts, but I am sure you are right that Mark would encourage you in the marathon and all else you do.

  2. You are simply amazing, Katy. I so love your photos and informative and poetic words. Many blessings to you.

  3. Julie Gould says:

    Winter is still in DC with another 6 inches tonight so I’m jealous! Mark would indeed want you to go for the marathon! If you can build up the long runs to 20 miles 3-4 weeks before race day, you’re there. My group and I have our tickets for Machu Picchu in August. I’d like to blog about it. Which site do you use to get started? Cheers!

  4. katylindblad says:

    Julie, exciting to hear that you have your tickets to Peru! I have found Word Press to be fairly easy to use for a beginner. Please do blog about your experience, I would love to live vicariously through you.

  5. Jodi McGregor says:

    Hi Katie! Nice to hear about your travels so far. Sounds exciting as usual. Great spring for you so far. Much of our snow melted in the last week but they are expecting snow in the next few days. I am on my way to Palm Sprong for a little R & R. It will be awesome to sleep in past 2:15am! I thought about you and Mark on that momentous day and couldn’t believe it has been 5 yrs. Hope the day wasn’t too difficult for you and that you had lots of wonderful reflection time. Good luck with your training. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Jodi

  6. Eric Muschler says:

    All sounds like a fantastic adventure. Good for you!

  7. Jim Uttley says:

    Katy, Thank you for the update. It warmed up in the Twin Cities in your absence so that we lost about 1/2 meter of snow, and some roofs are clear. But, another storm is in the works with 4-8 inches forecasted. Enjoy the warmth of the weather and your friends away from home. Have fun in the marathon. Best wishes.

  8. Barb Sears says:

    Hi Katy. What you are seeing and experiencing at Svanholm sounds so comforting. How wonderful that you could ease back into your other world. I can appreciate that you feel Mark is still with you in spirit. Ohmygosh that you are seriously considering running another marathon. More power to you, little sister! I will be impressed if you do.

  9. Susan Dunloo says:

    I loved seeing the neatly stacked wood, the baby lamb and the cheese.

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