The Men Who Walk Through Time, is a quote that we stole from Colin F. and changed from singular to plural. Why? Because we walk through time together. We’re in this for the comradery. This includes all our friends in Scandinavia, the UK, Italy, Germany and everywhere in between. It also includes you. Hanging out, hanging in – sticking by each other through the good times and the bad. Like glue.
All dizzy and under the influence, a dear friend of ours held this speech during a late night out on the down. If only someone would have been sober enough to remember his exact words. We’ve tried but it’s impossible. Like a lion holding a speach for donkeys.
Anyway, here it is, our sense of belonging put into words and transformed onto a sweatshirt and t-shirt that we hope will make you satisfied.
”I don’t need answers - about today. Don’t worry about the future - it won’t go away. I was there before, I’ll be there again. Looking out for you - until I’m dead.”
This friday, the 24th, we release them at 15.00 Swedish time and as usual these are limited so act. Available in sizes S/M/L/XL/XXL and you’ll get them from store.thisisourculture.com where you also will find size charts and all the info you might need.
Today we release our latest product, the Our Culture pocket knife, which is a collaboration with the great minds of Mamnick.
This knife is limited and numbered to only 30 pieces and will be released at 17.00 Swedish time over at store.thisisourculture.com.
Produced in Sheffield and made of 100% British, brushed and stainless steel , this two bladed knife comes with etched Our Culture mountain and a unique number.
Hur blekt är allt, hur härjadt, vissnadt, dödt! Hvar är den blomning nu, som sommarn födt? I dalen domnar allt, i skogen tiges, och till en graf den skumma jorden viges.
Dock, ögat lyftes sällt från grafven opp, en högre värld har grytt för hjärtats hopp, i jordens skymning klarna stjärnelanden, och oförgängligt ler ett hem mot anden.
Så drömmer jag i höstens kväll och ser, hur löfvet faller stelt från björken ner, en naken strand i vikens djup sig speglar och öfver månen silfvermolnet seglar.
Arne Næss (pronounced ‘Ness’) was born in Slemdal, near Oslo, Norway in 1912. He studied philosophy and became a professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo in 1939 just as Norway was about to get attacked during WW2. Despite the difficulties that the war brought, Arne stayed at the University and it wasnt til 1969 when he left the academy to pursue his environmental passions. Næss took part in a protest in 1970 against the building of a dam in a Norwegian fjord. During the protest he chained himself to the rocks of a waterfall and was removed by police, but succeeding in stopping the
Besides philosophy and eco activism, Næssountaineering and he took part in a number of significant expeditions. The love of mountains was influential in his work – the ‘T’ of ‘Ecosophy T’ stands for the Tvergastein mountain hut in the Hallingskarvet massif where he spent much of his time contemplating nature.
He was knighted by the norwegian king, Harald in 2005 and made a commander with star of the Royal Norwegian order of St Olav First Class. He died in 2009 at the age of 96.
Arne was a fan of cool headwear (sometimes handmade in the outskirts of the norwegian countryside). We like honesty, and its probably the climbing and weird hats that attracted us to Næss in the first place – not his philosophy teachings. We are however supporters of anyone whos trying to make the world a better place.
What about the hat then?
Its a reversible bucket hat designed by OC/CC and produced in very small quantity. Chambray on one side and Woodland camo on the other in order to please as many of you as possible. Comes with two special made buttons only available with this piece.
Naess No. 2 comes in two sizes – Medium and large. Please visit http://store.thisisourculture.com for more info and measurements.
RELEASED WEDNESDAY 6/11 20.00 SWEDISH TIME/7 PM UK TIME
O’er the glad waters of the dark blue sea, our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free, far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam, survey our empire, and behold our home!
- Lord Byron
It was the Saturday before my brief two week summer vacation was about to start and I had no idea how to spend my time off work. Scrambling ideas from camping on my own to a trip abroad I met up with a friend for a swim in the mid summer heat. Out of nowhere he mentions that he’s going sailing for a week with a friend starting Monday and after a brief conversation we agreed I should tag along. We went home and started to plan the trip, and I couldn’t help but feel that it couldn’t have panned out any better. Our aim was to get as high up the Swedish cost as we could reach in a week where we would drop of the boat to my friends parents who would sail on. Monday arrived and after the last preparations and shopping we set sail around noon. The boat, a 35 foot single mast, is the perfect size for three men with Carl as skipper and Jimmy and I acting as deck crew and was a delight to sail.
The first days sailing was smooth with nice weather and an easy breeze, and a perfect start to get a feel for the boat and to build confidence of its handle and in ourselves as we knew rougher times would lie ahead. Evening was approaching to we set course towards a guest harbor for the evening. Thrilled to be off we enjoyed a meal and quite a few beers in the first of many beautiful sunsets.
Next morning started off in the same way, a nice steady tempo, and as we had reached the outskirts of Stockholm’s archipelago the scenery changed a bit, with more open water on our starboard side. Towards the evening after a couple of hours with the winds in our sails and strong sun we decided to drop anchor in a cove and spend the night. A nice custom has formed already with a glass of whisky as soon as anchor has been dropped this time accompanied with another magnificent sunset we suddenly hear a bit of noise from the woods nearby. Out jumps a couple of small deer destined to cross the water over to the other side. They barely take notice of us, but the sense of freedom that washes over me at that moment by their sheer presence is hard to top. Later on a huge badger would scurry along the shore line and that night I fell asleep in a blissful state.
Now it was time to leave the comfort of Ålands Hav and having Åland at our starboard side for some cover. We passed Öregrund and were now out on the Baltic Sea, albeit not smack in the middle of it, but it was more than a noticeable change. We were northbound with constant southern winds, and the swells had gained momentum and size. On previous days we had eaten prepared lunches, or perhaps settled with a sandwich, but this day we wanted to cook something extra and as Jimmy was chopping chili a large swell made him lose a bit of traction in his feet and ended up cutting a bit of his thumb and nail straight off. Perhaps a bit of overconfidence together with poor luck, but the first aid kit came rushing out to stop the bleeding.
As afternoon arrived the winds slowed down a bit and we were pleased to reach our destined rest stop in form of the island Eggegrund, just outside of Gävle. A small island that used to house a fishing community hundreds of years ago that now acts as a nature reserve. We attached to a buoy just outside and took our rubber dinghy to shore, going in turns with groceries and bodies to have a barbecue on the stony beach. Just as the sun had set a rainstorm swept in quicker than we were able to react, which meant we had to rush back to pack everything on the dinghy at once and row out to our boat, a few kilos more and I’m sure the dinghy would have sunk.
Strengthened by our first encounter with open sea we pushed the boat harder during the following day as we set sail for an island we had spotted out on our map the evening before. It looked like a nice place to stay a couple of days as we were aching to do some fishing. The winds were strong and with quite a heel we forced our way north making good speed. As we approached the island and were headed in to the hidden cove with a extremely narrow passage in, and we were not far from hitting a rock on the way in, as well as the way out.
We had yet another barbecue as the night fell, and we stayed up late as we knew the next day was free of sailing. We spent the most of the day after rummaging around the island, fishing without catching a single bite, and preparing the evenings meal. It was nice with a break, but the urge to get out on the waters again was overpowering my sense to relax completely.
The next day was straight sailing with southeastern wind once again trying to push us away from shore and with us doing what we could to fight back and stay on course to at least keep a visual on the coast line as we passed a seal reservoir along the way. Today our destination was Agön, a large nature reserve that had suffered substantially from a forrest fire some 20 years ago and boasts an old fishing community with a fisherman’s chapel first built 1660 and mediaeval remnants. Today the fishing community consists of summer dwellers in contrast to the year round living it used to be, but nothing could have prepared me for how idyllic the place was. Instantly my whole entity felt the urge to sell everything I own and move into one of the small lodges in the village. We had a nice chat with some of the locals before we continued our trek through the forrest to the light house on the far end of the island.
We were reaching the end of our trip and we felt the urge to push on. As it was set up we could have stopped anywhere on the way, but with Sundsvall in our reach we wanted to seize the opportunity. As we set out we faced a stronger wind than ever before but our confidence rode high, and we pushed on north. The swells were mighty and caused quite a bit of water to splash onto deck so the waterproof gear came out. For our last night we had chosen Mellanfjärden as our destination. A guest harbour between Hudiksvall and Sundsvall. Just after berth at Mellanfjärden we spoke to some of the people in the harbor, and apparently only one boat had left the harbor that morning, as the wind had been to strong for most. I suppose our naiveté urged us on and delivered an adventurous day to say the least, but in retrospect things could surely have gone awry.
As it was the last night, we had a nice meal in the restaurant in the harbor and a few local beers to top it of. The morning after we set out early to reach Sundsvall as soon as possible.
Over 230 Nautical Miles later with a blown off windex from the second day and quite the adventure we reached Sundsvall around 5 in the afternoon. As we handed over the boat I realised I could have continued on a lot longer, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was giving away my home..
Weather wise, the Swedish summer is still far from over, but at the Our Culture Camp, most of us are now returning to work after a long and very hot semester. This became one of those summers where we all remained “here” instead of vagabond trips to other parts of the world. Maybe thats an age thing? You get to the point where you’re too stubborn and tired to jump on a plane soon as summer arrives. It could also have to do with the fact that few places can match a sunny Scandinavia when the North truly delivers. It makes much more sense to flee the country when its cold, wet and pitch black.
So, we decided to embark on a day trip and catch as much as possible in one day, without dying of a cardiac arrest caused by the heat. We wanted water, history, proper forests and meadows, all packaged in “one walk” and therefore settled for Adelsö, an island 45-55 min outside of Stockholm… but with zero “city infrastructure” in sight.
"The history of Adelsö began with the Stone Age. Adelsö at that time consisted of small islands which emerged from the sea at the end of the Ice Age. Mälaren, a freshwater lake, did not yet exist, so the skerries that were to become Adelsö lay beneath the Baltic Sea. Fishing, bird- and seal-hunting created the foundation for the life of the people living there. Graves from the early and late Stone Age exist, but most of the grave sites date from the Iron Age, mostly the Viking Age"
There are also two ancient hillforts (fornborgar) on Adelsö; one of them, situated on Skansberget near Stenby, is unusually well-preserved. Adelsö, earlier called Alsnö or Alsnu reflects the importance of the area during the Viking Age. The King’s House (Kungsgården) was next to Hovgården and the monarch ruled over the nearby Viking city of Birka.
This is also the site of Kungshögarna at Hovgården. Kungs means king or royal and högarna, from the Old Norse word haugr, means mound or barrow. During the latter part of the 12th century, a Christian church was built next to Hovgården. Birger Jarl’s sons built Alsnö hus, a splendid castle where King Magnus I in 1279 assembled the Meeting of Alsnö. At that meeting, the Ordinance of Alsnö was established, introducing the privileges of the Swedish nobility. During the Middle Ages, Alsnö hus was used as a summer palace for kings and governors but later fell into ruin. What remains of the castle and several graves near Hovgården was excavated during archeological digs conducted between 1916 and 1926.”
We arrived with the small ferry at noon, parked at the local “pub/pizzeria/take away” (think the exact opposite of a classic pub) – Adelsö Krog, and started our little adventure right away.
The ramble/walk we chose was comfy and sweet – 1.7 km with a cool mix of exactly everything we wanted. Just after a few km of deep dark woods we came up on a hill with about 20-25 graves from the early iron age. Even though, only small barrows covered in grass remain, you could still feel the presence of history and the folks that lived here a long long time ago.
A few kind souls had put a few tree benches up on the hill, so it was the perfect place for some rest, coffee or maybe even a couple of bottled beauties.
Our march continued, down a farmers valley and then back into a new big black forest. Left right, left right, left right… and the Our Culture boys covered in flies. Yes flies. There were no mosquitos in sight, but fucking hundreds of flies… drawn to the fresh wax of a Barbour Tarras bag (its camouflage didn’t help).
Eventually the trail went upwards to the coolest look-out tower (in wood) I’ve ever seen. Simple but also a real beaut from a picky architectural point of view. It felt like the Twilight zone from the top of the tower. You could see miles and miles of forests and Mälaren (Swedens third biggest lake)… but not a suburb or part of Stockholm in sight. Its like the creators of this thing built it so that only nature could be seen – which was all good with us.
The sight of water, made us long after just that so we made our way down to Mälaren as fast as we could for a swim and a snack. Couple of amateur sailor couples greeted us with snaps, beer and coffee from their boats. Cool folks in their 60s living life to the fullest and enjoying everything that Swedish summer can offer.
The water of Mälaren was warm and sweet. Flies were gone, and so was all the dirt and sweat from the woods after a couple of swims. We bathed, ate, drank water, bathed some more… and left after an hour or two, waving our new senior sailor friends good bye.
We had most of our hard walking behind us which was good since the heat (and weeks of beer and 100% relaxation) was taking its toll.
The circlular route had turned us around, and we were once again walking through cool small forests with Mälaren on our right side. We had hoped for more wild life than bloody flies, and just as we thought that we were out of luck – a eagle hunting for rats appeared in the blue sky. It greeted us, and we returned the call – by making what we thought were “hello eagle sounds”. You can laugh all you want, but wouldn’t you do the same if the king of the skies flew over and said hello to you?
Some more walking back to Adelsö Krog and the late afternoon had arrived. We were glad and surprised to find out that the small establishment representing the island had their own beer. A bloomy golden thing, perfect for killing the thirst after a long day of summer rambling.
We have said this before, living where we live – it would be a sin not trying to experience as much as possible of nature – as often as possible. There was a time in our youth when we didn’t see the point in it, because we were too busy wasting time. I’m so glad “that time” is over.
Forests, mountains, lakes and seas – here we come.
Manifesto tee out thursday the 6th at 10.00 Swedish time. It comes in two different colours and in really limited numbers so be sure to act fast if you want to wear this one during the summer.