Summer lingers on...


Eating al fresco while still enjoying my last mackerel, I realize it has been far too long since I have been checking my blog. Not have been posting for two long months it is time for a little update.


Summer lingers on and it has been far too much of a joy welcoming the sun back, which has been often absent during the winter months draining me from every inch of an desire and energy. Now It feels wonderful being met with sunbeams when waking up looking out on our garden, giving me plentiful of ideas and positive thoughts to carry out. It can be a challenge living so far up north, but the very special thankfulness you then have makes every spring and summer month so very precious.

I am definitely happy about the abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables available, giving me ideas for new recipes, although the old are still very much reused. A summer favorite is Mackerel, homemade fresh pesto and new potatoes, tossed with some olive oil, herbs and salt. So yummy !

Photos © Aina - Modern Country

Summer I love you so very much.

It's just the little things... holding hands with my sister, taking a nap after dinner.
The hammock provide the perfect place to slip away.

~ Aina ~

Beautiful May

Photos © Aina - Modern Country
Spring is in full bloom and I am happy to share these little pleasures with you !
~ Aina ~

In anticipation


Last week we experienced another snow storm and were covered by 20 cm of snow. But today when strolling around my garden I could feel the spring in every breath of fresh air. I was amazed to see that the apple and plum trees were full of clusters of buds. Within a few weeks these buds will burst and the flowers will fill the garden with wonderful scent and I will be there to capture the magnificent sight.

 Plum tree.
Here you can see how generous the flower buds are, not long now before they will burst open !
Old mossy Apple tree buds.
Have you seen any signs of Spring yet ?

 ~ Aina ~

Looking ahead

Hi everyone, it was certainly a long time since we last spoke. I hope you had a great start to the New Year. I am slowly mending from an inflamed shoulder and overworked arms. It really has a visible influence on my energy level to be able to do more, and I am more cheerful now that I can make plans which I can accommodate with gratifying thoughts. I have to get used to blog again also, after 8 years one should think I would know ? However I have to confess, is is increasingly hard for me to think of something new to blog about, and since many now also are on Instagram I have been left with the thought of leave this little space behind. How do you feel about Instagram versus blogger ?
I am not on Instagram yet, however I do read a few. One I do visit regularly is Nigel Slater`s little inspiring place. His images are mouthwatering and recently he reminded me of something, it is certainly time to order in some vegetable seeds!  And so I did. As always I go for the easier grow, like herbs, tomatoes and cucumber. This year however I have been a little brave and will try to grow spinach also. I think it is such a useful and versatile vegetable. I like it best steamed, but often I pick the leaves as I use in salads. It is delicious with fish. And, in addition spinach is hugely expensive here in Norway, always great to save a few pennies..
Have a lovely weekend
~ Aina ~


  Christmas is a little bit different this year. Previous years it has been a tornado of guests, or we have been accompanied with lots of friends and family members. This year we keep things small scale and dinner for only the two of us. The food is easier than normal, a huge thanks to our wonderful fishmonger who makes all the preparations, only for me to set the table and lit the candles. Very thankful, saving my arms and helping me recover from the inflammations. The cards have been written and sent by my husband and the decorations are sparse. Focus on health, warmth and love is the only thing on my mind. And surely that's what christmas is all about ?
I wish you all cosy warmth and much joy. May your Christmas celebration be filled with all the wonderful things you are longing for. Give and receive friendly hugs, appreciate the moments, share the Love.
From the southeast of Norway, To all my blog friends
~ Aina ~


It`s That Time Of Year Again

Hi everyone, I have been wanting to get back to you and say hello for such a long time. I have been missing you very muchDue to an injured shoulder I have not been able to do much, no sewing, no keyboard tapping, no heavy lifting. Even washing my hair has been a real challenge. Feeling very lucky that this is not a permanent situation, realizing how difficult life would have been without my two hands. I am still taking things slow (took me a couple of hours writing this post) but at least, now you know.
Below a note I started writing to you over a month ago, thought maybe it could still be relevant.

Photo © IKEA Life at home

My friends, I hope you are well adjusted to the new temperatures and the changes of the new season. Lately I have been snuggling up and searching the internet for ideas how to make autumn wreaths, ordering a new fantastic bread knife and slowly I am also thinking about what to bake, make and how to decorate our home for Christmas. A bit early perhaps, but cleaning up my coffee table stack of magazines I found a couple of country living magazines from last November and caught myself longing a little bit. Have you already started making some plans ?

Via Design Sponge

This beautiful autumn wreath sparks a few great ideas, how to make a Christmas wreath looking pretty with a fresh mix of seasonal greenery, fruits and berries.

~ Aina ~



 Photos © Aina - Modern Country
Early signs of autumn.
Misty mornings, leaves turning red, stacking firewood with our neighbours, apples ready for jam making, pears are juicy and ready for cooking. Things I will never take for granted..
Hope you are having a relaxing weekend.
~ Aina ~

End of summer

Hi everyone, how was your summer ? What did you do ?

I hope you had a wonderful time and feel energized and happy now when we are heading towards autumn. Personally I can`t believe that four months has passed and this is actually the end of another summer. The evenings are a bit more chilly now and I am busy harvesting the last tomatoes.

Surely my intention was to update my little blog more often this past season and tell you all about my adventures, but somehow it felt more important to be present and enjoy one of the best summer in years. We did not have a single drop of water for many many weeks, not sure what the farmers felt about that, however I am very thankful for every single ray of sunlight that made my cheeks look red and healthy.

I honestly have not spent much time indoors, being occupied with living life to the fullest. What else could you do when summer seduce with such abundance of lively green and rich flavors of seasonal vegetables, fruits, fish and herbs. And the evenings are filled with conversations while enjoying the sunset  when another day is coming to an end. You just have to take it all in.
These moments I will remember and treasure the most when winter is cold and rough.

One morning my husband served me this delicious looking plate. An utterly savory moment I appreciated very much, as he never cooks !

Here a few images I captured this summer.


We watched our friends` lovely little hen house being built, with nest boxes for egg laying and with a couple of perches. 

The second time we arrived the hens eagerly waited to get out digging and airing their feathers a little bit.

With silky feathers they are lovely to hold and cuddle.

We took a couple of weeks off and drove to our rented holiday home in Denmark. We spent a few days in Kerteminde, an old market town and fishing port, which lies at the second largest island of Denmark. Beautiful view here at the harbor. I like spending time by the seaside, I feel very quickly energized.


I loved this small fisherman hut painted in black.

Salty air. Smell of fish, tar and rope.

During our stay in Denmark we also had a couple of memorable days at Gelskov Gods. A charming and unusual Bed & Breakfast, combined with art and French Antiques. Although we originally came to celebrate our 17 years together, I left feeling hugely Inspired by the exterior of the buildings and the fantastic interior.  

This kitchen !! 

Our bedroom had such nice floorboards. And I liked the rather artful solution with an old antique bench for lamps and books as a headboard.

A fabulous old barn crammed full of French antiques and collectables. Only sad that we drove a "tiny little" car.
  All Photos © Aina - Modern Country

As I am very much interested in Scandinavian Art, I experienced a few reflective moments here at the museum of Johannes Larsen.

As I have much to recap here in blogland, I can`t wait to read about your summer activities. I am looking  forward to blog more often with you also. Do have a nice evening and a glass of wine,  


~ Aina ~

Summer already ?



Is it summer already ? How is the weather where you live ?

With temperatures rising up towards 22 degrees, this last weekend was pure bliss here in the south east of Norway. We did nothing else than lazing around all day, sipping cold drinks while sitting in our comfy chairs listening to the soft breeze rustle the leaves in the old apple trees. It is great when all the stress is gone and you hear nothing else than summing bumble bees and a windy breeze tickles your skin.

Photos © Aina - Modern Country

The tomato plants are coming along nicely! Last year half of the seeds did not develop properly, so I think I went a bit overboard this year. Tomatoes are far the most used ingredients in our household, but having more than 40 plants to take care of, I am having a bit of a problem knowing what to do with them. So I started giving away a few. Anyone ?  Also, It`s about time to learn how to preserve I would think...

~ Aina ~

Easter break

Photo : via passerby3 on flickr

 I Wish you all a nice Easter break, eat well and have a nice treat. 
Hopefully you may enjoy lovely sunbeams as well. 

God Påske ~ Happy Easter ~ Joyeuses Pâques !

~ Aina ~

Vintage Garden Tools

Photo : Garden & Wood

During my online search for vintage garden tools I came across Garden & Wood, located in Oxfordshire UK. You can certainly find great deals on Etsy and eBay for used garden tools, or having a stroll around local car boot sales or flea markets, however this shop is rather something very special. Their passion for garden and sustainability with a love for antiques is the perfect combination, evident in their wide collection of unique tools. All original and fully restored. Here you can buy pearls that is no where else to be found. They also offer a restoration and re-handling service, so if you have a much loved fork or spade in need of repair they'll come to rescue.


I always search for spades with wooden handles, and handy small tools as hand forks, trowels and plants labels. When I work in the garden it matters to me that the gardening equipments looks beautiful, it has to do the job well and feel good in the hand also. And it gives you an extra pleasure if the tools has a certain patina, don't you think ?  It just means a lot that it was much loved and that it will continue to be so.

I really appreciate the quality, feel and touch of tools of an older age. (often in stark comparison to the modern ones, sorry but they are just not that good !) However you can still buy good garden tools, but I am not sure if they are worth the hefty price tag.


 Photos : Garden & Wood

Top from left : A brades lawn edger, a large Staniforth`s shear and a large beautiful wooden and metal rake. 
Bottom from left : Asparagus knife, a rare brades spade and a Spearwell Tenderden pattern billhook with original handle. All from Garden & Wood

Photo : Garden & Wood

I also found this beautiful French copper watering can. 

Photo : Garden & Wood

One of the more unique items, a brass bulb grading sieve, which is really difficult to find. Myself use and old wooden flour sieve (sifter) for smaller tasks. That works good also, as long as the sieve has a solid bottom. 

I wish I lived closer to this gem of a shop, however they do offer a mail service order and they will happily send your favourite purchase. They ship all over the world and accept payment by credit card and Paypal through their website. So what is left to say ? Happy treasure hunting !

~ Aina ~