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Here you can read about all the different things I am part of. Some tips and advertising. And sometimes something humerous!

It was a very nice concert tour we experienced in Japan this fall. Above all, it was really nice to visit several junior and senior high school and meet thousands of students. The schools in Japan are most often filled with a lot of students! One school we visited was like a Harry Potter school, really old buildings and a strict feeling. I was joking about it and the students who had been very serious from the start, relaxed and laughed. I sang and told them about my life, how every person is unique, important and valuable and that it's ok to be different. And just like Harry Potter choose the good in all walks of life.
The pressure on the students is so big, both from parents and teachers, and some students have a very difficult time and ”give up”. Then it feels very meaningful to talk about that the riches of life don’t depend on grades or top jobs but have other important values. Many of my songs and what I talk about are therefore about love, to love the people around yourself but also to love yourself and that when we love each other and also receive love, we become strong. And then it does not matter how we look, how smart we are or how much money we earn.

This tour I had Mrs Rutsuko Bedow as an interpreter for all my performances. She is my best friend in Japan and with over twenty years of friendship she knows me well. I am so grateful when she is by my side, it is so easy to speak and express myself on stage. She almost knows what I’m going to say before I say it!

In my previous blog, I told you about my manager Mitsuno who died just a few days before we came to Japan. During the time he arranged my concert tours in Japan he had two secretaries who also interpreted all correspondence because Mitsuno did not speak English. Both came and visited different places I sang at. Ms Yukari Hata we got a quick photo with in the taxi before she was dropped off at the train station and Ms Yumiko Soga met us in a backstage room in one of the churches I sang in.

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I really love being in Japan. Sure, there are things you get tired of, but the positives outweigh clearly. So many nice and warm people and great food. 
On this tour I mostly sing in schools and churches but on the last day I'll have a concert in one of Osaka's concert halls. 
We have already done in a lot of things, as follows:

First we flew to Tokyo and stayed with our friends Okabe's in Chiba for a few nights. Gunilla, who comes from Lidköping in Sweden, I got to know many years ago when she came to one of my concerts in Japan. We got delicious dinners that Gunilla's husband Yochan made. We went to Anna's home, one of their two daughters (picture to the left) and Yochan's mom. We also passed by their church where many different activities take place and we also had time for some shopping.

One of the days we also went on our own with the subway to Shinjuku in Tokyo where I've found the world's most beautiful fabric store - Okadaya, with five floors - and this weekend had a lot for sale! Shrinkle free fabrics with high quality and a jersey that is thin and smooth and keeps the shape through many launderings, such fabrics can not be found in the fabric stores in Sweden. So now there will be new clothes sewn.

So it was time for the concert tour and we took the Shinkansen down to Osaka and began with school performances:

Then we had a free day and got really lucky with the weather so we walked straight across the street to Osaka Castle, next door to our hotel. And then we also enjoyed sushi...

After more concerts, this time in churches: Kobe Shinsei Church where it was sold out (it has in fact been sold everywhere), the church is also called the "Hallelujah Chapel". Then the next day Kobe Shinsei Church where I had the great pleasure to meet the girl in the picture. We met 10 years ago when she was only about a year. Now she had a little sister too! On the evening the same day we went to Ibaragi Bible Church where we were treated to lovely song by a choir assembled exclusively for this evening with exactly one hundred singers. They sang several songs and it was so good. They had only had two rehearsals, really impressive! Their choir director Mr. Shinichiro Yamamoto is a fantastic pianist, and I was delighted to sing a couple songs together with him. But it is primarily his own audio and management company he works with and then he travels around and leads 26 choirs all over Osaka in Kansai area.

Then we had a free day again and then we went to see Mitsuno family. Mr. Sadayoshi Mitsuno was Anders Wihk and my manager for several years and last week Mr. Mitsuno passed away due to cancer. His wife and youngest daughter together with their pastor welcomed us to their home. It was a precious time and we shared memories and it was a joyous moment in the midst of missing Mr. Mitsuno.

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Now everything is getting ready for the tour in Japan. I just finished the tour schedule here on the website. It will be great fun to sing and meet all wonderful Japanese again.

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I am so happy! I can eat plums today. Before, as long as I can remember, the palate, throat and chest itches, but the only thing I feel today is the air that wants to get out back there! :-D
Since childhood I have been a "stone fruit allergy sufferer", but thanks to Kyäni, one allergy after another disappears.

Three years ago, I got in touch with the vitamin Kyäni, but I have not talked about it so much because I wanted to see if it's good first. My pollen allergy has almost disappeared, and I begin to be able to eat a lot of fruit, but almonds and hazelnuts still itches. It takes time for the body to change of course, but there is something in these vitamins that causes the allergy decrease.

I use the so-called triangular package. It's a juice "Kyäni Sunrise" you drink in the morning, another more concentrated fluid "NitroFX" you take with a pipette three times a day and finally omega three tablets "Kyäni Sunset" that you take in the evening. I began to eat Kyäni in the autumn and already in the spring, the pollen allergy was much lighter. That's how I noticed it first. Then I have been able to eat apples and pears and carrots and now also plums! I have not dared to try cherries yet, it usually itches, but I'll try the next time I get the chance!

On lenamariak.kyani.net you can read more.

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Oh, what a wonderful life I have! I don’t know how many times I’ve said that this summer. Patrik and I were given and enjoyed a fantastic wedding and a lovely honeymoon trip in Europe. And now we have come home and we’re trying to digest everything we’ve experienced.
 
Some of our friends have said – let’s keep in touch and tell us how you’re doing. So we have quite diligently posted pictures and anecdotes on social media. But everyone doesn’t have Facebook or Instagram, etc. so here's a long blog about everything we've been to.
 
For those who are interested, please continue to read...

June 10, the bells were ringing at Barnarps church. Noomi and Silas, my niece and nephew, walked before us down the aisle. Noomi was wearing the bridal bouquet and Silas the ring. To the tunes of Intåg I sommarhagen (Entry into the summer garden) by Wilhelm Peterson-Berger we walked up to the altar where our priest Mr. Tojje Wirén met us with his warm smile. Being embraced by friends and family touched us deep and both Patrik and I really enjoyed the music and the words that were performed.
 
Thank you Tojje Wirén, Marika Lund, Millan Holm, Gittan & Andreas Glans, Robin Brokvist, Angelita Nooni, Joakim Holgersson, Magnus Ahlgren and Hasse Pettersson for making our wedding a wonderful moment and day!
 
I'll be good for you, surprisingly good for you – are words we'll take with us on our way together in life.
 
One of the songs performed at the wedding was Elvis 'Love Me Tender' as Miss Elvis has made a wonderful Swedish translation of. "Älska mig" has during this year become Patriks and mine "own song".

The dinner and party we had at Hooks Manor - this amazing place on earth. Anders Henriksson and Roger Ekström did a brilliant job as our toastmasters and the day and evening were filled with speeches, songs and music, good food and fellowship with near and dear that we’ll never forget. It's hard to summarize everything, so here are some pictures from the church and from Hook... 

We stayed two nights at Hooks Manor. Enjoyed a long breakfast with many of our friends who also chose to stay overnight.
 
Then we started open all gifts. It took many hours... So many nice, beautiful and personal gifts we received. Incredible! We had intended to enjoy the mansion spa during Sunday but we didn’t have the time. 

On Monday, we picked up our car and caravan. Packed us all in together with our cat Ferdinand who without protest let himself into his cage and then we went on our honeymoon down Europe. An amazing trip through Germany and the Mosel valley, the tunnels through Switzerland and enormously beautiful views...


...until we landed in Italy where I met Norma Ferre as I got to know 31 years ago at a Lions camp in Norway. We have not seen eachother since then so it was really fun!
 
She and her family gave us a fantastic stay and we visited Lago Maggiore and a wonderfully beautiful garden ‘Giardino Di Villa Taranto’ where we walked for hours and enjoyed.
 
Here are some pictures... 

Then we went eastward for a few days. After an exciting day we sat down with a gin&tonic in our hands. We were heading to a campground in the centre of Verona, reached via serpentine roads and narrow streets that we passed with millimetre fitting. The campsite was called ‘Castel San Pietro’. When we get there we miss the narrow entrance and arrive at a dead end ending at Castel San Pietro. There was no turnaround, so the only way was for Patrik to turn around the caravan by hand. It was just a small problem, the road was too narrow, so he had to push the caravan a bit further down the street where it could fit. Just needed to move a hopper and a moped to succeed to twist it around. Luckily a helpful German couple came by who offered their help. They wondered if he travelled by himself ?? "No, I have my wife in the car, but she has no arms" Patrik replied. I wonder exactly what they were thinking...
Finally we found another campsite. That night, the “week-of-regret” was over, we were still best friends and camping life worked really well, even though I guided us on too narrow roads and did not see the red warning text that clearly said we could not arrive with a caravan of our size. Then I also realized that my husband is patient and like to enjoy adventure of the same kind as me!

For a couple of days we went around and visited vineyards, saw huge beautiful views and enjoyed good food before taking a trip down to the Mediterranean coast, more specifically to the resort Aluna Paradù, Marina di Castagneto and met Patriks friends from Stockholm, Kjell & Elin and their children. There we forgot to take photos.
On our way back to the campsite in La Spezia where we left the caravan, we also managed to stop by Pisa! There we took a photo of proof! 

Then it was time for France and we drove along the entire coastline to Saint Raphaël where we checked in at a wonderful campsite where we lived neighbours, were swimming, made dinners and enjoyed a week together with Micael, Sophie, Walter and Hannah Forsmyr. There we also celebrated midsummer with herring and potatoes, Maypole and a Swedish flag. You really become more patriotic away from home! 



The wedding gift from Forsmyr was a three-course dinner at a restaurant on the beach by the Mediterranean Sea. Absolutely wonderful!!! 

 


In France, we also experienced the hottest day of the trip, 35°C at the picture, but in the afternoon it climbed up to 39°C.
 
That day, we only lay in the shade doing nothing when we didn’t take a swim in the pool to cool ourselves!

One of the days at the Riviera we went to Cannes and had lunch at McDonalds. The road to get there goes along the mountain ridges with beautiful views, a breath taking journey on narrow, hilly roads!!
 
In May each year, the annual Film Festival goes off, so when we were there they were still cleaning and erasing all the rubbish.
 
After that we continued to Monaco and Monte Carlo where we drove on winding and narrow roads where we met and saw amazing cars, one cooler than the other... but to live there?? Don’t think so… Wherever you go you find hills, serpentine streets and a lot of people. But to see it and for a while be a tourist, drink a latte at Starbucks and drive on the streets where Monaco's Grand Prix runs every year was an unforgettable experience!

Time flies when you're having fun, and soon it was time to continue the journey north - home! We burned quite a few miles a day but still took one day off in the Burgundy district where we visited, among other things, La Cave de l'Ange Gardien in Beaune. A really charming wine cellar were we bought a wonderfully good sparkling wine and an amazing home made blackcurrant liqueur...
We also took us to the city of Dijon - a very cozy town. Next time we’ll book a mustard tasting!

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