Sunday, 5 July 2020

Strawberries and Socks

With all the traditional major celebrations and markets in May and June cancelled, my city is trying some new compromises for July. Usually, Thursdays in July involve the shops in the city centre being open late; followed by free concerts with visiting popular artist(s) in the market square in the evening. (I'm not in the habit of visiting those, though.) This year, as we still have restrictions about big gatherings and keeping distance, there will be no concerts; but they have decided to allow a limited number of food trucks and markets stalls Thursday-Saturday (only a few stalls each weekend, and well spread out all over the square).

I have been buying strawberries a few times since Midsummer :)

The photos above were taken on Thursday around noon, and as you can see it was not exactly crowded.

I also bought some socks from one of the other market stalls - which saved me from having to go into a shop to look for some!

The weekend - Saturday and Sunday - has been rainy, and I've only been out for a short walk each day in between showers. I really welcomed the cooler weather this week though (rain included), as the week before was way too hot for my liking. (Now, the indoors temperature in my flat is more or less back to normal.)

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Watching the Birds

The temperature has dropped quite a bit over the past few days, from over 30°C last week (and too hot) to around 16°C today (and a lot of sudden rain showers pouring down every now and then).

Yesterday afternoon offered a rare interlude of neither too hot nor too cold; and then I went for a walk into the city and back (for no special errand), and on my way home sat down for a while on a bench in the old cemetery, close to this little fountain.

After a while, I had the company of a white wagtail - female, I think. She seemed to be trying to figure out how to get to the water, but I think this pool is not designed for birds (rather the opposite). But she seemed to enjoy hanging around listening to the sound of the water anyway - just like I did. And as I know that there is water to be found elsewhere in the cemetery*, I just enjoyed watching her. *(In the past, I used to wonder why all the taps where you fill the watering cans around the cemetery are always left leaking a little... But then as some point in time, I figured it out!)


After a while, she got bored with just sitting, and went to explore a stone with an inscription nearby. The text is a verse from an old hymn. If she can read, she'd probably appreciate it.

"As the bird enjoys the light of the day, so shall I one day enjoy entering the kingdom of light, while listening to the sound of harps playing and angels singing, and watching the dawn of eternity."
(free translation by me)

 I also met an "old friend": The magpie without tail feathers.

I've posted about this bird before, and then thought it must be moulting. Checking now, I almost can't believe how long ago that was - back in mid April! I have seen this bird a few more times since then - always on the ground - and have had to retract my moulting theory. It still hasn't got any tail feathers. Maybe it lost them in a fight or something?? I don't know; but it seems the cemetery has served as a safe place for it, as it has managed to survive so far.

By the way, if anyone is wondering what happened to my Blue Tits (nesting in a vent in the wall of my building) - so am I! Not long after I had posted about their comings and goings to feed their hungry little ones, I noticed one day that it was very quiet... Obviously they had taken the opportunity to move out one day when I was not looking - perhaps on some early morning. Exactly how they went about it, to get the young ones out of there on their very first flight, I'll never know! 

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Too Hot

This week has continued to be too hot (see previous post), with temperatures up over +30°C, and no wind. And the temperature indoors has kept on rising every day, too. (Phew.)

Today I went for a slow walk into the city around 10:30 am, to buy fresh strawberries from a market stall in the square. I kept to the shadow as much as I possibly could, but actually even the river looked dusty!

This afternoon, a weather front with thunder, rain and a drop in temperature finally came in, though... Most welcome! :) 

Now trying to get some fresh air into the flat before bedtime!

Weekend Reflections

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Home Sweet Home

The Midsummer weekend here has been "up and down" with a mix of sun, rain and thunder, and varying degrees of humidity. In my neighbourhood, quite a few people besides myself seem to have been spending it at home; which in turn means it tends to get noisy, especially in the afternoons and evenings, with all the windows and balcony doors kept open because of the heat, people talking, and kids out playing etc. 

I find a bit hard to cope with the afternoons sometimes, as in hot summer weather that's neither the best time of day for me to be out, nor to stay in - and I can't really think of a third alternative! (And of course, this year, the corona situation adds to the frustration for everyone.) On the other hand, the morning seems the best time for me for anything and everything from sleeping in, being lazy, reading, going out, sitting on the balcony (before the sun hits) - and for cleaning and cooking and doing computer work etc indoors. As I'm not exactly an early bird by nature to begin with, that means my active time of day is rather limited (between late breakfast and lunch!) And the rest... Phew, well, never mind! (Today I managed to fit in a nice nap while heavy rain was drumming away on my windows, though. And with the rain, no need to keep thinking that perhaps I should be out instead...)

This morning (seems like a long time ago now), I woke up with fragments of a dream lingering in my head - and thought I might blog about that later. Now is later, but of course now, my vague recollections of the dream seem even more fragmentary and blurry. Copying the photo of the bird houses from my camera to the computer reminded me of it again, though, because I know it was all somehow to do with "home" - and including some feelings of frustration. However, I can't really recapture the dream itself now, and only vaguely some of my thoughts while thinking about it back in the morning.

For one thing, the audio book I'm listening to at the moment is Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher. It's a 'coming of age' story set in Cornwall before and during WWII. A young girl (Judith) is left behind at a British boarding school while her mother and baby sister go to Singapore to join the father working there. The war means Judith cannot travel to visit or join them later as intended either. She had two aunts in Britain but her main substitute family becomes that of a classmate of hers, living on a big estate. I haven't finished the book yet (it's a long one - 40 hours as audio!) so not sure yet where it will end. Sometimes I'm finding it a bit long-winded, but here and there it does make interesting points - like about family, friends and what else equals "home" to us, but also how we are affected by various crises, both on personal and national level (like the War, back then - and, reading it just now, also bringing to mind the pandemic which is now the Enemy to all of us, where ever we happen to live).

I know that this morning, I also had more thoughts in my head connecting to this, but now I can't recreate them. I think some were probably to do with other people's blogs I'd been reading, too. I think a lot of us have been struggling a bit extra with coming up with ideas to blog about while being ''@home" more than usual this spring! Alas, it seems that having time on our hands does not necessarily mean also feeling inspired and creative...

Friday, 19 June 2020

Skywatch Friday - Midsummer Eve

♫ Where have all the people gone?
Gone to the coast or countryside, everyone... (?)

I'm guessing the few of us left in the city are those who still stubbornly insist on keeping Social Distance! ;)

Last weekend, Sweden lifted restrictions about travels within the country. (For a while, we've been 'strongly advised' not to travel further from home than 2 hours by car.) Gatherings larger than 50 people are still forbidden, though, which means all usual public midsummer festivities have been cancelled. For this weekend, I'm guessing the problems with too many people getting together anyway will be bigger in the coast side towns than here in the inland. 

Today (Midsummer Eve), all the shops in Borås city are closed all day, and probably restaurants and cafés as well.  I'm glad I thought of going for a walk into town yesterday morning as well, as I then managed to buy strawberries from a temporary market stall in the square. They cost a small fortune, but never mind. (After all: Somebody planted them and watered them, somebody else -perhaps- picked them, someone transported them into town, and someone spent a hot day standing there selling them. And I get to eat them!)

Now I'm hoping for a cloudy afternoon, and that noisy neighbours choose to go somewhere else. (We're still in a heat wave here and on sunny afternoons, it gets too hot both indoors and outdoors.)

Happy Midsummer, World - and be careful out there...
(I'll be at home, washing my hands!)

SkyWatch Friday
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