February 8th, 2004



Flyinge is, quite possibly, the best little Swedish village in Skåne. Aside from the fact that it doesn't have a take-out sushi joint, that is. It was on the outer edge of the circle we drew around Malmö and Lund when we were househunting in 1997 and has so many amenities that when we decided that first house was getting a bit small, I amazed my husband by insisting that we find or build a new house in Flyinge instead of considering any of the other certain-to-be drab, podunk villages in the area or moving in to Malmö or Lund.

Things Flyinge has that other villages are envious of:
  • an ostrich farm
  • a stork project
  • a snail trail (okay, they're slugs, but slug trail doesn't sound nearly as alluring)
  • the famous (formerly royal) stables where you can go and pet baby horses any time you like
  • a fishing hole
  • Pegasus as a mascot
  • 1001 pheasants
  • a plant nursery with a pretty exhibition garden and ginkgo trees for sale
  • the best semla in Sweden (for 1 more week)
  • frequent double rainbows
Speaking of storks, there is nothing that makes you realize you live in Europe faster than seeing storks. They roost in giant nests on chimneys over at the stable. They look like something out of Hans Christian Andersen, until you suddenly realize that they ARE something out of Hans Christian Andersen. They're the stuff of fairy tales, and European children's fiction. They stalk behind tractors during planting and harvesting season, those long pointed red beaks stabbing for insects. They look like a dragon kite when they fly unexpectedly overhead, a Chinese calligraphy of red, black and white on impossibly wide wings.

More things Flyinge has that make living here easy: a country store slash post office, a bank, a hair salon, the district veterinarian, an excellent daycare and school up to grade 6, a sporthall, a gas station, a pizza/burger/kebab joint, a car mechanic, a junkyard (conveniently located far enough outside of town not to be an eyesore), a village community house, a bakery, active Scouts and Sports organizations, a soccer field, a library, the district nurse's office...If we didn't have to work, we'd never have to leave.

Right now, during a grey cloudy afternoon, while the sky is deciding whether or not to continue raining or call it a day, I find myself thinking of the 2 fields in Flyinge that become covered with the bright yellow tangible cheerfulness of dandelions in the early spring. Every year I plan to take the kids and photograph them sitting in that happy glare, and every year I wait just a little too long and they're blown to seed before I get out there. A few years ago, someone planted tulips along all the public roads. In the spring, they welcome you to Flyinge with their nodding red heads and show you the way to the center of town and past it. Last week was the halfway point of winter according to one calendar I've seen. Spring can't come soon enough.
  • Current Music
    Karin singing a parody version of Sankta Lucia in a gravelly voice