I like planning, and structure helps me stay healthy. But a life that’s all structured and routines is a life that’s lacking. It’s often the unexpected, the times that didn’t go as planned, that make the best memories.

Mr Livslevandes calls it “stolleprov”. When you play hooky from the plans, when you in a spirit of adventure just go somewhere without thinking it through, and end up somewhere you weren’t going. A shortcut that takes longer time, an impulsive stop at a local sight.

We’ve ended up in the wood by a strangely grown fir-tree, tasted homemade sour milk at an old farm, visited a perfume shop in the middle of nowhere in Ireland… Gone for a ride to look for more or less useful second-hand finds found on ads. Or just taken a road with no markings to see where it ended up. Yes, we’ve seen a lot of turning areas… but also some truly stunning views.

Stolleprov can also be practical projects that yield unexpected challenges. Like the time we built a shower at our cottage, and bought a shower cabin to put in it. Only the door was to narrow, we had to put the cabin together inside the room. Which was also built to fit the shower cabin, just barely wider. At one time in the process Mr L had managed to build himself in behind the shower cabin, and the sight of him trying to press out of there, against the see-through wall – let’s just say if life is really prolonged by a good laugh I’ve earned some time from that memory! But in the end we got it in there. A true Stolleprov.

Or the day when we decided to take a bath and enjoy the sunset over the lake. We’ve built a platform with 2 old bathtubs on it, overlooking the lake. It’s really romantic, but since we have no electricity there save for solar power, two people taking a bath at the same time takes – time. It involves carrying many buckets of water, and wood for the fire to heat the water, and waiting for the water to get boiling, and distributing the hot water in the bathtubs, and then carrying even more water from the lake to cool it down to a pleasant level.

This night it started raining before we were finished. So what do you do? Give it up and mope because the plans were thwarted? No, you name it a Stolleprov and take the bath in the rain, of course! A new experience, different but not unpleasant. And one I’m sure will always stand out among the many baths we’ve taken together by the lake.

So yes, I need routines and structure to give me the stability of life I require to stay healthy. But I need the Stolleprov as well – because life is so much bigger than our plans, and because of all the great memories they give me.