“We are better connected here in the woods than in Stockholm”

Eva-Jo och Michael Hancock

 

eva-jo-och-michael-hancockWhen Michael Hancock got married to Eva-Jo and they got children they began to spend more and more time in the Hancock summer house in the Björnhuvud village in Eckerö. There were problems with the maternity hospital in Stockholm and Eva-Jo called the Central Hospital in Åland instead: “Do you have room for me here?” They had. Jack was born in May 2001, and the first magical times with the baby were spent in a rampant garden with the forest around the corner. An outhouse, a well, and cold floors could not stop the couple from falling in love with Eckerö.

–We returned reluctantly to Stockholm in the fall. As we were walking around with the stroller in the sleet, surrounded by people, we asked ourselves: what are we doing here? So we moved here for good, says Eva-Jo.
They both have free jobs: Eva-Jo works as a graphic designer and decorator, mostly decorating restaurants and other public spaces. Michael is a journalist and dramaturge.

– We can work from anywhere as long as we have good internet connection, and Åland really shines in that area. We are better connected here in the woods than in our small apartment in Stockholm, Michael says.
-We are also regulars on Eckerö Linjen. Four undisturbed working hours on the bus and aboard the ferry, without having to take the family into consideration. It’s very practical. And the food is good.

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In the course of the years the house has been updated with modern facilities – the latest being geothermal heating and a studio with an office next to it. The Hancocks describe their home as a “200-year-old patchwork that has grown in all directions”. The result is a creative feast for the eye that is constantly changing.

– After having moved from place to place in Stockholm, without even being allowed to put up a nail, it is wonderful being able to experiment and to decide which colours to use, Eva-Jo says.

Petrol blue, lime green, bright yellow, and violet. The toilet is situated in a tower and looks like a throne. The bathtub is big and deep enough for a dip after the sauna. A window that is a shelf because it ended up under the roof when the glass porch was built. On that glass porch they spend a lot of time, with the nature surrounding them and much light pouring through the mouth blown windows.
Travelling for work is a part of their lifestyle, but their home is where they relax.

– What’s cool about Åland is that it’s a great place to rest, but also close to Stockholm, where we have job meetings and can get the city flavour, says Eva-Jo Hancock.