Happy Birthday, Kerstin!
Kerstin and I are often told how lucky we are to have an old family diary as a source and a guide for our travels and research. What I think is more important in life is to have a bosom friend, a kindred spirit, and someone who inspires you and make you laugh. So my answer should be that – how fortunate I am to have a sister who embodies all those traits.
Kerstin has always been my best friend, or at least since the time she could sit still in a chair. I remember the revelation – that I could actually play with my baby sister. Kerstin and I were staying with a family nanny in her one-bedroom apartment while our parents were preparing the move to our new house in Jakobsberg. She was 2 years old and I was 6. And I realized that Kerstin could now partake in my imaginary play. She was the perfect princess, sitting propped up in a stuffed chair. And she had the looks to go with a sweet princess as well.
Soon, of course, Kerstin started to voice her own ideas about creative play and making things. We were very fortunate to have creative parents. Our dad, besides being an engineer, had a wonderful workshop with any tools we wanted or needed, and lots of scrap material of all kinds. Being a hobby photographer, painter, and writer, our dad inspired and encouraged us to create. Our mother inspired our ambitions in making clothes. We had a sewing machine and a full-size loom, and boxes of fabric, ribbons, yarn, and anything we wanted at our disposal.
Kerstin took advantage of both the materials and the informal teaching at home. At an early age, she surprised and delighted our dad by wiring her dollhouse – of course, the little dolls had to have some lights in their rooms. She still has no fear of wiring lights in real houses. And she even builds real houses!
One year, we made tiny little horseshoes by melting down tin plates and pouring the melted metal into a gypsum mold we had made. It amazes me that we had no parental supervision in carrying out this creative activity.
And then we made traditional Swedish folk costumes – first weaving the fabric for the skirts and aprons and then sewing it according to traditional documents.
Then Kerstin took up painting and inspired me to do likewise. And one year, we decided to have our first art exhibition: Sisters in Art. It was so much fun that we decided to have a follow up: Sisters at Sea.
And then we got the idea of Augusta’s Journey. It has been the most fascinating journey, not to mention how much we have laughed.
So here is a Happy 60th Birthday to my kind, generous, caring, creative, intelligent, and fun sister!
And a few pictures from 2018: