Sunday, 16 May 2021

A Colourful Sunday Walk

Today was cloudy, with a certain risk of rain. I decided to go for a walk before lunch, as it was more likely to rain in the afternoon. I really only had in mind a turn around the old cemetery (where I walk almost daily). But the weather turned out so pleasant (no wind, and neither too hot nor too cold) that I ended up walking  back and forth on randomly chosen paths there for quite a while; and after that also down to the riverside. 

While walking randomly around the cemetery, I kept meeting another elderly lady doing the same thing. The fourth time our paths crossed, I could not help laughing and stating the obvious: "So we meet again!" She laughed too, and we exchanged a few words about it being a pleasant place to walk in, and we both lived nearby (she pointing in one direction and I in another). Then we continued each on her own way. Normally, stopping to talk to strangers is not really a habit of mine (and I suspect not of hers either) - but the way we kept meeting, it just seemed ridiculous to keep looking away every time! 


The flowerbeds of daffodils lining the birch tree avenue through the middle of the cemetery are still gorgeous.


This (above) reminded me of all the "spot the one that is different" challenges that seem to be eternally circulating on Facebook (like one A among rows of X:s) - often claiming that only 3% of the world's population will be able to find it within so-and-so many seconds. Astonishingly, most of my friends seem to belong to that world elite of geniuses (and sometimes even I) - so I don't think I have to explain this line of thought any further!


 You know I cannot resist water reflections!


Marsh marigolds, I think (zoomed in with the camera).


From the bridge, across the river and dam/waterfall, I also spotted some flowerbeds in bloom in the little park... That seemed worth exploring a bit closer!


 



The dandelions are in bloom, too.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

One Day At A Time

It's been an out-of-sync kind of week. For one thing: Spring arrived, then took a step back, then moved forward again, then suddenly threw a massive violent thunderstorm with rain and hail at us, then surprised us with a sunny smile again - only to change its mind once more and pour more water on us today... Not all easy to keep up! 


Thursday (with rain and thunder in the afternoon) was Ascension Day, which is still a public holiday here, in spite of always falling on a Thursday. A bit odd really, as most people nowadays probably don't even know why we celebrate it (even though its name in Swedish is really a lot clearer than both Easter and Pentecost, as it does literally refer to "the day Christ went up to Heaven"). - In the morning, I read a post on Facebook written by the arch bishop of the Church of Sweden, Antje Jackelen. She quoted a comment she had had about this holiday last year (when we were in the beginning of adjusting our lives to various corona restrictions): "Is this the day we celebrate that Jesus started working from home?" and she went on to develop that theme a bit. (Quite a clever take on it, which wouldn't have made half as much sense in 2019; but feeling very contemporary in 2021, with most of us now used to relying more on other kinds of communication than physical meetings.) 

On Friday (sunny), I got up a little bit earlier than usual, as I had an appointment at the hospital for a routine breast screening. (I think these check-ups work basically the same in Britain; and probably in many other countries as well.) I had decided to take the bus there, and perhaps walk back. It would have been my first bus ride in 15 months. However, it did not take place, because I got a text message on the phone that the appointment had been cancelled because of a "stoppage",  and I'd get new invite later. (I think "stoppage" is the best translation of the Swedish word used. I interpreted it as a technical problem, but I'm not quite sure.) Anyway, it meant that quite unexpectedly, I suddenly I had a "free" Friday with no plans at all.

The sun was shining, the air fresh after the rain, and my local newspaper told me that there was going to be a mini version of the traditional spring market in the town square. (B.C. - Before Corona - the spring market used to be a Big event, taking up not only the whole square but also several of the nearby streets.) So I decided on a walk downtown, just to have a little peek. I didn't have the camera with me, but snapped a few photos with my mobile.

The town park was clad in lovely shades of fresh spring greens.

In the square there were a few market stalls giving a "whiff" of Spring Market, but really nowhere near the traditional B.C. atmosphere. (See for example a post from 2015)

I think more people were really attracted to / tempted by the nearby shops surrounding the square. So was I; but I know we're still in a bad situation here with the virus (still too many people in intensive care in the hospital etc). I bought some socks at one of the outdoors market stands, though (one of my spring market traditions). I also went into one clothes shop very briefly to buy a pair of leggings (petrol green), to go with some existing tops in my wardrobe. But further "browsing" for summer clothes will have to wait a while longer.

On my way back home, I passed through another part of the park.



My first ice cream will have to wait until a day when there's no queue! But I was happy to see the white magnolia tree on a sunny day in all it's glory.


So far, not much to complain about, you may be thinking. I agree. The "out-of-sync" feeling didn't really hit me until today, when for one thing it was raining again, and for another, the washing machine in the common laundry room turned out to be broken when I came down to do my washing. Also a kind of "stoppage". (The machine would not open, it seemed to have water left in it, and the problem could not be solved by turning it off and on again). I reported the fault and re-scheduled my booking; it was a bit of extra nuisance, though, since I had already had to postpone my washing this week because of other out-of-sync things. 

Ah well. Now today is almost over; and tomorrow will be a new one!


 


Monday, 10 May 2021

Spring Has Sprung

Today, for the first time this season, the outdoors temperature rose above the indoors temperature (and it wasn't even very sunny). I saw the numbers on the thermometer, but my brain refused to take it in, and failed to translate the fact into what clothes might be suitable for a walk. Although I did choose a thinner jacket than my winter coat (which I still needed only a couple days ago), even that proved too warm.

I did not go very far; but soon noticed that I wasn't the only one surprised by the sudden change of temperature. These ladies, for example, were also obviously over-dressed...


A sea-gull swimming in the river seemed perfectly happy, though.

 

Some wood anemones still in bloom down by the riverside.


Daffodils in the old cemetery, doing their best to make up for being late... (We associate those with Easter here, the Swedish name for them is "pÄsklilja" = Easter lily.)



And in the little playground park close to where I live, the cherry blossoms are out.



Through My Lens  


Saturday, 8 May 2021

Blurry Memories of Tents (Sepia Saturday 569)

The Sepia prompt for this Saturday is a man in a raincoat standing outside a tent. I can't recall any camping photos from my ancestors' photo albums, and myself I never liked camping. On holiday trips in my childhood with my parents we used to stay at b&b hostels or cabins - no luxury, but at least a proper roof over our heads in the night.

So - how do I even know that I don't like camping?

For a year or two when I was 10-11 years old, I was a junior girl scout (brownie). As long as we kept indoors in a basement room tying knots on a rope and playing games, I don't think I objected too much. But the summer before I turned eleven, I was sent to a Big Summer Camp for a week. I hated it. Everything from carrying my dad's backpack (much too big and heavy for me), to the uniform (blouse, belt, skirt - all a bit too tight for comfort), to sleeping in a tent, to cooking outdoors, to the primitive outhouse toilets, to being around lots of people all the time. And at least one night it rained enough for everything in our tent to get soaked.

My memories of details are as blurry now as the photographs I took with an old camera of my dad's. 55 years later I don't think I have to worry much about anyone recognizing themselves (or anyone else) in these photos, should they ever happen to accidentally come across this posts.

Greeting the Flag in the morning

Lots and lots of similar tents...
 

My own version of a tent (drawn in my album)


For some obscure reason they had named it the Eskimo camp.
Well, I do still kind of shiver just thinking about it...!


Campfire at night. If this was a recent photo my impression would be everyone was staring at their mobile phones and tablets. But as there weren't any such things back in 1966, it must have been something else! (Perhaps the Scout Song Book?)

I never went on another scout camp or overnight hike; and can only remember two more occasions, up in my early twenties, when I tried spending the night in a tent at all. Both times, it was just for one night. The second time, it was meant to be two nights, but I got bad reactions to my grass allergy. There was a gang of us and somehow we managed to rearrange things and I went back home early with some other people than those I came with. I've never made another attempt at camping since!

 Sepia Saturday 569

 

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Slow Progress

Horse Chestnut tree

Spring is making slow progress here this year. While some years, everything seems to explode all at once, it's been quite the opposite this year, with very subtle increase of greenery from one day to the next - or indeed, from one week to the next.

Myself I still seem to be in "slow" mode, too, recuperating from the vaccination last weekend. While the worst side-effects wore off in a day or two, I've still had some lingering "harder-to-pin-down" kind of (perhaps) symptoms, like a bit of headache and general tiredness; plus the injection spot staying red and sore and itchy longer than I recall from any ordinary flu-shot. (The latter reaction seems finally to be almost gone today, though.) It's not that I've had any real difficulties coping with things I've needed to do. It's just like everything has seemed to require a bit more effort and "self-peptalk" than usual. 


 

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