Tuesday, February 28, 2012

G for Grumpy

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Have you noticed the recent Blogger changes? I know GB did, because he blogged about it and was the first to draw my attention to it this morning. It must have changed over night from where I am on the globe!

Using the Pop-up comment forms (with a new look), there is no longer the option to subscribe to further comments on that post. Not everyone wants to do that, of course. I far from always do it myself, but sometimes I do. Especially on a certain blogs where interesting discussions often arise in the comment section. And I would still like to have the option, as well as offer it to others.

Using the Embedded comments form, the option to subscribe is still there. Now, the problem when I’ve tried to change to that alternative here in the past is that then there always seems to be one or two or more people who are mysteriously not able to comment at all. It’s still a complete riddle to me why, especially since the problem does not seem to arise on my latest blog, Greetings from the Past. (With the same readers. And layout based on the same template.) If anyone can offer an explanation I’d be very grateful!

In the meantime, I’m doing one more attempt here to switch to embedded comments. Apologies to Sandra and Ginny and whoever else might be concerned. I don’t want to shut off your possibilities to comment. If it turns out there are still problems, I’ll switch back again. 

Meanwhile, I’d be very grateful if everyone reading this while I have the embedded comments form up, will grant me a favour and put in a reply – and if you fail, please email me instead at mothmail-dawn@yahoo.com  and try to describe what happens. If I get any failure-reports I’ll copy them onto here for others to take part of – hoping there may be someone out there who can help me figure out what’s going on!  Thank you!

As ABC-Wednesday post I’m aware this is not one of my best (I wish it had been C-week instead, because then I could have challenged you with Complaints Concerning Changes in Comments and Communication) but I’m still linking to see if maybe responses from a few more people than the regular followers might help cast some extra light on things. I hope no one will get too grumpy about that!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Straight Out of the Tea Shop

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For Straight Out Of the Camera Sunday

On Friday I visited my favourite tea shop to renew my stash:
A local blend of black (not sure exactly what’s in it but it’s one my favourites), peppermint candy black, black currant black, “peach bonanza” green,  “sea-fire” green (I think it has sea-buckthorn berries in it) and…

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Tropical Dream (green tea with… red currants, papaya and something more that I’ve already forgotten)

I wish there was a button to send scents, but alas…!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Presenting Her Royal Highness Princess Estelle

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This is the only picture of her made pucblic so far:
Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Duchess of Östergötland.
With her parents Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.
Photo from the Royal Family’s Facebook page.

As soon as the birth was announced (see my news post from yesterday: A Princess Is Born), name speculations started. Today when I got home from my morning grocery shopping, I turned the TV on. The name had just been officially announced, and the TV hosts were obviously a bit surprised and bewildered at first about the choice. It took them a while to get their bearings and find the background for it. I wonder if I was the only one reacting with an “Of course!”  and wishing I’d actually thought of making a serious guess of it…

If you look back to a post of mine from two weeks ago, Postcards from the Past, I think that’s where I first mentioned the fact that my p.grandmother’s half-sister Gerda was employed as chamber maid or similar to Estelle Manville-Bernadotte, American wife of the well-known Swedish diplomat Folke Bernadotte, related to/member of our royal family.

Folke Bernadotte (2 January 1895 – 17 September 1948) was grandson to King Oscar II of Sweden, who was King of Sweden 1872-1907 (and of Norway 1872-1905).

Folke Bernadotte also earned his own place in history as a Swedish diplomat noted for among other things his negotiation of the release of about 31,000 prisoners from German concentration camps during World War II. After the war, Bernadotte was unanimously chosen to be the United Nations Security Council mediator in the Arab–Israeli conflict of 1947–1948. He was assassinated on Friday 17 September 1948 by members of the Jewish nationalist Zionist group Lehi (commonly known as the Stern Gang or Stern Group).

On 1 December 1928 in New York City, Folke Bernadotte married Estelle Romaine Manville (born in Pleasantville, New York, 26 September 1904; died in Stockholm, 28 May 1984), whose family had founded part of the Johns-Manville Corporation. They had four sons, two of whom died in childhood, and seven grandchildren, all born after Bernadotte's death.

I have not yet found out at what point in history my great-aunt Gerda came to work for them. I’m hoping to maybe find some clue among the old postcards as I continue to examine these. If I don’t, I may try and think of some other way to find out, because I’m really getting very curious!

Anyway, my immediate reaction to the royal announcement today was that the name could hardly have been more perfectly chosen. It’s a stylish old name not worn out by recent popularity but not sounding too odd either. It’s got a French ring to it that goes well with the name Bernadotte. It’s got royal connection as pointed out above, but at the same time Estelle Manville was not born royal - just as the new little princess Estelle’s father Daniel was not! And it indirectly commemorates a member of the royal family whose life’s work really deserves to be honoured.

I’m sure my grandmother Sally would have loved it. She was a big fan of the royal family – partly, I suspect, because of her sister working for them! When I was visiting my grandparents in childhood, I used to go through old weekly magazines from the 1940’s and early 50’s that my grandmother had saved. They had lots of articles and photos of the royal family then living at Haga Palace (which Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have now taken over as their residence).

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Haga Palace, 2008 (from Wikipedia)

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Our present King Carl XVI Gustaf (in the middle), with his four older sisters, at Haga in 1948 (from Wikipedia). Back then, the Swedish constitution did not allow girls to inherit the throne – so the nation kept waiting and waiting for that little prince…!

Flashbacks, flashbacks… They had the royal princesses as paper dolls in those old magazines and I cut them out and played with them, when visiting my grandmother. I think the magazines may still be upstairs beneath a lot of other rubbish in a closet. If I had not cut out the princesses (and other things) back then in the early 60’s, the old magazines might have been valuable today. But I did. So they’re probably not!!!

So the fanatic royalists are deliriously happy now about a new little princess at Haga; while some fanatic anti-royalists grumble and would rather have the family turned out on the street; and one or two feel sorry for the poor little princess who will grow up with no control over her own life as she is Destined to be Queen and will never know what it is to have a Normal life.

As for myself, I can’t say I’m a fanatic royalist – in some ways monarchy does seem a bit outdated – but on the other hand I’m very far from convinced that as a nation we’d really be better off with another system, at least for the near future. So I wish them well. I think as queens go, Victoria seems well qualified to do a good job of it. As for Estelle, she’ll get a better start in life than most, but no doubt her own share of troubles as well. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Princess Is Born

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The photo is mine, from Sweden’s National Day 2011

The Associated Press
Date: Thursday Feb. 23, 2012 10:52 AM ET

STOCKHOLM — Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria gave birth to her first child Thursday, a baby girl who will one day become queen, prompting banner headlines and 21-gun salutes across the country.

The girl, who is second in line to the Swedish throne, was born at 4:26 a.m. (0326 GMT), said Victoria's husband, Prince Daniel. She was 20 inches (51 cms) long and weighed 7.23 pounds (3.28 kg).

Both the crown princess and the baby are "doing very well," an emotional Daniel told reporters who had waited for the announcement all night at the Karolinska University Hospital in the Stockholm suburb of Solna.

"My feelings are a bit all over the place," he said, switching to English mid-sentence.

"When I left the room, the little princess was sleeping on her mother's chest and they were looking very cozy," he continued in Swedish, folding his arms as if cradling a baby.

Victoria, 34, is next in line to the throne held by her father since 1973. Sweden changed the constitution in 1980, three years after Victoria was born, to allow the eldest heir to inherit the throne regardless of gender. Before that female heirs were excluded. Sweden's last female monarch was Queen Ulrika Eleonora, who ruled for just one year until 1720.

Victoria married Daniel, 38, a commoner and her former personal trainer, in June 2010.

As is custom when an heir to the throne is born, the Swedish Armed Forces celebrated the news with two 21-gun salutes at noon in Stockholm and other cities.

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Entertainment/20120223/sweden-princess-has-baby-girl-120223/#ixzz1nELzQsvJ

BTT: Blogging About Books

Booking Through Thursday: Deb and Yvonne ask:

What do you look for when reading a book blog?
Does the blogger have to read the same genre?
Do you like reviews? Personal posts? Memes?
Giveaways? What attracts you to a book blog?
And–what are your favorite book blogs?

Actually, I don’t regularly follow any blog/meme that is all about books except if you count this one (Booking Through Thursday, which deals with general questions about reading habits rather than reviews).

I only read book reviews online for two reasons: One is if I’m looking for something specific. The other is if I know the blogger and am curious to see what he/she reads – especially of course if I know that at least partly we share the same interests. (And okay, a third reason may be if I just randomly happen to land on one; but that happens with all kinds of blog topics!)

A personal blog post is usually of more interest to me than a book review written by someone I know nothing else about.

I quite like Booking Through Thursday though, because it makes me think a bit on my own reading habits, and widens my outlook too. I do usually go round to look at quite a few other answers to this meme, whether I comment on them or not.

I’ll take the opportunity to mention a new blog by a blogging friend in England:
Once A Librarian. (Also in other contexts known as Scriptor Senex.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

F for Flowers (ABC Wednesday)

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Above are the other Flowers (besides the tulips in Monday’s post) that I bought at the Florist’s this week.

On the left: A yellow begonia for my kitchen window.
On the right: a pink streptocarpus for my bedroom window.

I was very happy to find the latter, because this meant finally also learning its name, which I’ve been trying to figure out ever since I got a blue one last summer:

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För mina svenska läsare: Kornettblomma är det svenska namnet.

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Time for a Semla

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A semla (also known by a few other names in Swedish), is a traditional pastry in Scandinavia, associated with Lent (the period from now until Easter in the Christian liturgial year) and especially Fat Tuesday /Mardi Gras /Shrove Tuesday, which is today.

The name semla (pl. semlor) is a loan word from German Semmel, originally deriving from the Latin semilia, which was the name used for the finest quality wheat flour.

The first version of the semla was a plain bread bun, eaten in a bowl of warm milk. Today, the Swedish semla consists of a cardamom-spiced wheat bun which has its top cut off and insides scooped out, and is then filled with a mix of the scooped-out bread crumbs, milk and almond paste, topped with whipped cream. The cut-off top serves as a lid and is dusted with powdered sugar. Today it is often eaten on its own, with coffee or tea. Some people still eat it in a bowl of hot milk.

Nowadays there are some bakeries and cafés that have them all year round, but they still traditionally primarily belong to the period between February and Easter, and some still consider it ‘cheating’ to start eating them before the first week of Lent, or any other day than Tuesday.

In my childhood, in my family, we had them every Tuesday from Shrove Tuesday until Easter, as dessert after dinner (which we ate when dad got home from work, around 5 pm), and served in the old traditional way in a bowl of hot milk; the milk also sprinkled with cinnamon.

To me they’re still connected with Lent and I don’t eat them any other time of the year. I usually don’t eat a lot of them during Lent either because they’re not all that much of a favourite with me. But I guess I usually have at least one, some time during this period. Sometimes more; depending a bit on company (or lack of), and if I happen to pass by a bakery/café which I know have really good ones.

Yesterday, going home from the hospital/rehab pool, I just missed a bus in town and had to wait 15 min for the next. When that happens, I often pop into a bakery shop/café near the bus square (Lulu’s) to buy bread there – a bit of a change from the brands in the grocery shops and supermarkets. This bakery also happens to make a very good semla. Not that I’ve personally been round to all the bakeries in town tasting their semlor. But the local newspaper does that. Last year Lulu’s won. This year they were out of the competition and instead on the jury!

Anyway. As you might already have guessed, what this ramble is leading up to is that I bought (and ate) my first semla of the year yesterday. I no longer eat them with milk (for one thing I’m lactose intolerant since about 20 years back) so had it with my afternoon cup of tea. I have to say, that bakery does know how to make them. But they’re big, and very filling. After eating it, I was suddenly hit by an overwhelming desire for a rest. So I lay down on my bed to listen to an audio book for a while… and woke up around three hours later! 

In my defense – and the semla’s – I did have rather a tiring day before that. First the rehab pool and then lunch and then going out again to buy flowers and then changing the kitchen curtains.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tulips Tulips

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For Macro Monday at Lisa’s Chaos

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20 February was my mother’s birthday. She was born in 1930; died in May 2009. I was thinking about her today as I walked to a nearby florist’s to buy a bunch of tulips.

Around this time in February is usually also when I get the urge to take down the last of my “winter” decorations and tablecloths etc and replace them with “spring” ones. Even if it’s still rather wintry outside, there is something about the light, the sun getting warmer and the days longer… So yesterday I started my colour changes, and today I finished off by changing back to my yellow kitchen curtains (from red-and-white in winter).

And then I also feel the need of some fresh flowering plants on the window sills (like a yellow begonia in the kitchen window) – and a bunch of tulips!

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Me and my twin at the florist’s! (They have mirrors in the cold room where they keep the cut flowers… So that it looks like there’s MORE of everything. Me included! A bit confusing, but of course it tempted me to take out the camera…)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Sunset

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After a weekend of what we in Sweden call “un-weather” (‘oväder’) – around here a nasty mix of rain, snow and sleet, and icy slushy slippery roads, which I chose not to go out in – Sunday ended with a beautiful sunset (5:18 PM).
– For Straight Out Of the Camera Sunday. –

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Before His Time, Whoever He Was

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In 1919, French artist Marcel Duchamp, associated with the Dadaist movement, made a famous parody of the Mona Lisa by adorning a cheap reproduction of the painting with a mustache and goatee. (the card on the left)

To this he added the inscription L.H.O.O.Q., a phonetic game which, when read out loud in French quickly sounds like "Elle a chaud au cul". This can be translated as "She has a hot ass" ---
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Duchamp

Imagine my surprise, when in my great-uncle’s postcard album I found a postcard which at first glance seemed to be a parody of Duchamp’s parody of Mona Lisa. But… The Swedish card is postmarked either 1901 or 1907 – long before Duchamp’s famous one!

The mustache and beard were added in ink by the sender, who did not sign the card with his (or her?) name, but obviously expected to be known by the recipient anyway.

Read more in my blog Greetings from the Past.

“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone;
the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world
by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and
thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”
- Marcel Duchamp -

Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekend Reflections + Skywatch Friday

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For Weekend Reflections & Sky Watch Friday

The ice on the river has been receding since I last walked this way. I wish it would do the same on the streets, but they are threatening us with more snow this weekend. There were some curious wave-shaped clouds on the sky today when I was walking to the supermarket; and I stopped on the bridge to take a photo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

ABC Wednesday: E for Engrossed

… which I’ve been over the last few days, in the project of setting up a new blog, in which I intend to Expose and Examine a collection of old postcards from the Era of the first three decades of the 20th century, and at the same time Explore a part of my own family history, by Extracting ‘Evidence’ from the cards. I’m feeling quite Excited about this, Even if I Expect it to be a rather slow process. But at least the postcard collection Enables me to set a sort of frame for the project.

In the meantime, I’m also getting back to my physical Exercises in the rehab pool since Monday. Hopefully, that will bring me back some Energy rather than just Exhaust me!

A button at the top of the sidebar will take you to the new blog.
Or just click here:

Greetings from the Past

2012_02_15 Gerda

This is a photo of my grandmother’s travelling and card writing half-sister Gerda. The original photo as scanned to the left. With some improvements made by me in the middle (using Picasa). This photo was not in the postcard album; but when I turned it over I found that it was obviously originally printed on a postcard, and then cut to fit into a smaller photo frame. Luckily, the cutting has left the date – Lyon 26 October 1915 – and the dedication to my grandmother Sally, who would then have been 15 going on 16. Gerda was born 1881, so would be 34 in this photo. I can see the family resemblance between her and Sally in her features.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine’s Day Greetings

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Flickering through the old postcard albums mentioned in my previous post, I happened to notice these two anonymous Valentine’s card sent to my grandmother’s half-brother Gustav (born 1878) while he was living in Galeton, Pennsylvania, in 1908. They seem to have been posted in Galeton, too.

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Passing the loving thoughts on to my blogging friends!

♥ ♥ ♥

I’m working on the layout of a new blog for posting more greetings from the past – in the future…

I decided to put it on a separate blog account using a different signature. And yes (to those who wondered) it will be bi-lingual, if not word-by-word translation at least summaries. I’ll put a link in here as soon as I feel ready.

In the meantime – have a great Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Postcards from the Past

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As mentioned in the previous post, my brother was here for the weekend, and we spent yesterday at The House, getting on with various ‘projects’ there.

In the afternoon, I decided to look through the contents of an old chest that seemed to be filled with old photographs.

Most of these turned out anonymous and I didn’t recognize anyone in them. Those I put back in the chest for now and they’ll probably go to the local historical society or the town archive.

There were also a number of framed family photographs. Do you keep lots of framed portraits around the house? I don’t. My parents had some; my grandmother had lots (and most of the ones in that old chest were hers.) She came from a large family, with a bunch of half-siblings I never met, and I have a hard time telling them apart in old photos. The problem is that there are no notes in grandma’s photo albums either, neither who’s who nor what’s what.

Anyway… I made the decision to de-frame the family portraits, keeping the photos but letting the frames go to a future sale. So I spent a good deal of the afternoon yesterday doing that.

However, at the very bottom of that old chest, I made a find that I’m really excited about. Two old postcard albums from the early 1900s, which seem to have belonged to two of my grandmother’s older half-siblings, born in 1878 vs 1881; one brother and one sister. Both of them went off to America to live and work for some years back in their youth (not together, but separately, I think). The sister also seems to have travelled quite a lot around Europe.

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I took these albums home with me and as I started paging through them last night - I’m hooked!

Unfortunately some diligent stamp collector in the past robbed every card of its stamps… But gently. (Steaming them off I suppose.) On many of them the postmark can still be read though. The cards themselves are of fascinating variety, and the writing on some of them will no doubt also tell a story – of a kind. The handwritings are not entirely easy to decipher, but I expect with practice it might get easier.

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It seems the larger and most interesting album belonged to the brother; but many of the cards were written by the sister. I think the sister probably inherited that album when the brother died. (I know he passed away long before she did.) And then my grandmother  about 20 years younger than both those elder half-siblings) inherited the album in her turn.

The sister is the one of whose story I know the most, and yet not enough details to puzzle it all together. I’m hoping the cards may give some helpful dates. What I do know is that later in life Gerda (as her name was) worked as chamber maid or similar to Estelle Manville-Bernadotte, American wife of the well-known Swedish diplomat Folke Bernadotte, in turn related to our royal family.

Looking things up a while back though, I found that Folke and Estelle did not get married until 1928, and Estelle was not even born yet when Gerda first went to America in her early twenties. I’m not sure if she was employed by Estelle in the States prior to the marriage; or got the job later, in Sweden. Perhaps the postcards will give me a clue. It seems she was back and forth between America and Sweden/Europe more than once.

Many of the cards have writing all over them. They are different kinds of cards and from various countries, some written in Swedish and some in English.

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The smaller album contains cards addressed to Gerda, these are mostly Christmas, New Year, Easter and birthday cards. I’ve not really looked closer at the senders yet.

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I’ll have to ponder a bit on what to do with this incredible find - besides sharing the occasional card on this blog… Actually I’m thinking that every one of them deserves to be scanned and preserved digitally. Since most of the cards are over 100 years old that should not infringe on any copyright laws!

There are about 400 cards altogether in these two albums + I also found some loose ones earlier.

Just now I’m thinking the best thing for me would be to give this project its own blog. That’s probably the simplest way for me to do it and a chance of getting some feedback along the way as well. One card at a time, each in a separate post… That would be like a blog from the past! (I wonder if Blogger can back-date to the early 1900’s?)

While thinking about details I might do a few test posts here.

---

PS. (10:25 pm)

Just did an experiment to back-date a post on my private test blog to 1912. Blogger says: "The post date must be between Jan. 1, 1970 and Dec. 31, 9999." I find that hilarious. I must do a post and pre-schedule it to 9999! What a treat for those who come 7987 years after me!

Weekend Reflections

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▲For James’ Weekend Reflections:
Me taking a rear mirror shot of my brother refueling the car.▲

My brother came down this weekend (I say ‘down’ because he lives 300 km north of here) and we had yet another round of trying to sort a few things in The House outside town.

On Saturday we had another visitor coming to have a look at various research material left behind by our dad; this time concentrating on getting some tips what to do with all the railway-related stuff. Dad wrote or participated in compiling four books on railways (“dead and alive”) in this area. Had his health not declined as it did in the last decade, there might have been one or two more.

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Our visitor this weekend was a sprightly 84-year-old man who worked together with dad on some of the book projects. He certainly seemed to still have his wits about him while at the same time still keeping up a spirit of enthusiasm. He took a tour of the shelves in the study, gave us some hints what might be interesting to whom, and some names and places to contact. Per will follow up these ‘leads’. B himself seemed to know his own limitations, but he did take with him a disc that Per had compiled from dad’s computer + three boxes of slides seeming to relate to projects in which he and dad were both involved.

In the afternoon I dipped into a different kind of project and made a find of more interest to myself… But that deserves a post of its own, so I’ll get back to that!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Fence

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Traditional farm style wooden fence, but here along a town street (not so common!)

Linking to Friday Fences at Life According to Jan and Jer.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rollermouse

About ten years ago, I got a wrist-rest like this with built-in mouse – called a Rollermouse – as a handicap aid to use with my computer. I got it on ‘permanent loan’ for free and very grateful for that, because back then I had very little money and an uncertain future (this was before I got my handicap pension) and it was a big help since I had (still have) problems using a regular mouse.

I should perhaps add that back then I had an old desktop computer. Now I use it together with a separate keyboard when I use the laptop in the study.

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A few years ago, the Rollermouse showed a tendency to sometimes go partly on strike. It was the clicking of the roller-bar that stopped working. It was like that for a while, on and off, with my old laptop. But when I got my new laptop – ‘Bella’ - two years ago, then suddenly the Rollermouse started to work perfectly again with that computer; and has continued to do so, until a few days ago. I’ve connected and disconnected it any number of times during the last two years without problems. Until…

…. the other day it suddenly partly went on strike again, and wouldn’t reconnect whatever I did. When I realized how long I’d had it – really, 10+ years is quite a long time for any computer-related device! – I decided to just buy a new one of my own, since I can now afford it. Last night, I searched and found a web-shop from where I could order and pay by invoice, and on top of all it was on sale just now, and no extra freight cost. So I ordered one.

It’s just that… Guess what I just realized? In the meantime, the old one has once more mysteriously popped back into working order and is again responding as it should! Well, never mind… Actually the gel filled wrist-supports are getting worn too.

Anyway, it struck me that some of you might never have heard of the Rollermouse, and as I also happened last night to come across some YouTube demos of it, I thought I’d introduce it to you.

BTT: Only Five

This week’s question from Booking Through Thursday:

shelovestoread asks:

If you had to pick only 5 books to read ever again, what would they be and why?’

I sincerely hope I never have to make the choice, but if I did…

The Bible. Sneaky choice, because I get 66 books in 1.

I’d like to be sneaky with The Chronicles of Narnia as well because I have those in a box set, and they are each so thin, surely they must count as one? No? Well, I guess I’d pick The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe then.

Three Men in a Boat by J.K. Jerome. I’ve already re-read that at least thirty times or so and know for a fact I never get bored with it.

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. I realize there is no hope of getting away with all seven books in that series in one volume (it would need a suitcase of its own) so I just have to choose one. The Order is the thickest of them all ;) … But the reason it is my favourite is more to do with the fact that it was the one that made the deepest impression on me at first read.

Now I’m in serious trouble choosing the last one. I have a nagging feeling that I ought to take at least one to remind me of my own country, Sweden. Oh, all right. I’ll take Astrid Lindgren’s Seacrow Island. This is another children’s book but also with some memorable grown-up characters in it. Unusually, this was a TV-series before she also turned it into a book, and I’ve re-watched the TV-series more times than I’ve read the book. But I’m sort of assuming for the purpose of this exercise that only being allowed to take five books, I’m probably headed for some isolated place where I won’t be able to watch DVDs of my choice either! This book will help me recall images in my head.

I assure you I’m not happy to be leaving all other books behind, though. I can only hope I’ll never actually be put in the situation. Still, five books (or seventy) is better than none.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

D for Diary (ABC-D Wednesday)

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Which of the quotes above fits YOU best?
Do you, or did you ever, keep a “Dear Diary”?
(If you did: Do you still have them? Read them?)
If your diary-habits changed – do you know why?

I never kept a proper diary for any length of time; and by that I mean the “Dear Diary” kind, i.e. recording feelings as well as dates and facts. The sporadic attempts I made back in my teens, I decided later in life not to keep. (Never regretted that so far, and I assure you it was no loss to the literary world.)

Somehow, I think I always preferred to have real readers in mind, rather than just writing to myself.  So I wrote letters instead: The principle of “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. (In Sweden we go even farther and say “more than ten”.)

[By the way – did you know that this proverb refers back to mediaeval falconry where a bird in the hand (the falcon) was a valuable asset and certainly worth more than two in the bush (the prey). I had no idea until just now when I looked it up!]

Even my attempts at just keeping short notes in a pocket diary show a clear tendency to be a typical New Year’s resolution never lasting beyond the month of March or so. Such diaries I have for a number of years back. But whichever one I pick up, I see the same tendency: I seem to be very busy every January and then gradually my life gets emptier and emptier until next New Year! (This, of course, is a poor mirror of Reality. All it really reflects is my diary-keeping habits.)

Considering this, I have to say I’m rather surprised at myself that blogging turned out a very different experience and that I’ve been keeping this up for over three years.

I think there are three main reasons. The first is that it did not take too long until I made contact with other bloggers; and as soon as I did that, blogging became more of a social activity than like keeping a diary. (By now I know that there are more than two birds out there in the bush.)

The second is that blogging is not really like keeping a diary at all. It can be, but it does not have to. If I don’t feel like writing about personal stuff, I can write about something completely different. Or quote someone else ...

… Or just post a picture! The third thing is that my blogging came to involve and evolve my photography as well as writing. And this too as an extrovert rather than just an introvert experience.

So thank YOU whoever you may be who took time to read this! 

ABC Wednesday – D

Monday, February 6, 2012

Macro Monday: Icicles

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Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.
~ Victor Hugo ~

For Macro Monday at Lisa’s Chaos

Sunday, February 5, 2012

SOOC: Winter Walk

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Looking ▲North vs. South▼ over the river from the same bridge.

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To the north, the river is now frozen. To the south, it is not.

Here is what makes the difference:

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Linking to Straight Out Of the Camera Sunday

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Early Hours

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(Sunrise last Monday at 7:40, through my window.)

And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
~ Genesis 1:5 ~
 

Good News: Time was “back on” again this morning! The radio-controlled clock was still standing still when I went to bed last night, and seemed quite “dead”… but in the morning when I went to check, I found it innocently ticking away and showing the correct time again as if nothing ever happened. (Except the clock was still lying on my ironing board; which is not where I usually keep it!)

I guess it just needed a break!
[laugh, please]

 

 

Friday, February 3, 2012

When Time Froze

I have a radio controlled clock. Or had. That is, I still have the clock, but it no longer seems willing to be controlled, neither by radio signal nor manually by me. Or else Someone Out There is seriously messing with Time!

Suddenly this afternoon I noticed that the clock was four hours behind. So I concluded it probably needed a new battery.

After I inserted a new battery, it moved forward a few hours, then stopped. I took out the battery and tried another. Then it moved forward exactly four hours, and stopped.

I took out the battery and reinserted the same one. The clock moved forward another four hours.

We played this game a few more rounds, then I gave up. Evidently there are now only three times: 12 o’clock, 4 o’clock or 8 o’clock.

Just thought you’d like to know…

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Friday Fence

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Linking to Friday Fences @ Life According To Jan and Jer

Thursday, February 2, 2012

BTT: Random Finds

From Deb at Booking Through Thursday:

heidenkind asks:

“Have you ever read a random book left in a waiting room or on a park bench, etc., and did you like it?”

I can’t recall that I ever found and read a book left behind like that in a public place. (I think I’d probably assume it belonged to someone, so let it lie.)

However, I have of course borrowed lots of random books from libraries in my day; and also bought books without knowing a thing about them. (Link goes to a recent post.)

I also used to make random finds in my parents’ and (back in my youth) grandparents’ bookshelves.

In The House where my parents lived the last 17 years or so of their lives (and where my dad grew up), there was/is one shelf in particular that my brother and I suspect must host some kind of library ghost, because its contents seemed (and still seem) to shift between each visit; even long after mum said she’d stopped reading. (The last years of her life she was no longer able to keep track of the plot from start to end of a novel, so gave it up).

I guess maybe now it’s me who’s acting the ghost (taking the odd find home with me every now and then) – but I’m still not sure…

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One of my finds from the magic shelf in  The House:
A Swedish translation of
Don Quixote from 1928.
There is a stamp inside this copy that indicates it was given to someone (I assume my grandfather) for a review in the newspaper. I know I read it back in my youth; it’s on my list of books to reread. (A list in my head which has not actually been put on paper…)

Thursday, but not Thirsty!

2012-02-02 home, water

… Thankful for Water …

On Monday there was a notice put up on the entrance door where I live, to inform all tenants that on Thursday, we would be out of tap water between 8 am to 4 pm because of some repair work.

Had this been back in my working days (when I was away from home during those hours anyway) I’d just have shrugged my shoulders and tried (but probably failed) to be prepared for hissing and splurting water taps when I got back home again.

No longer working and with nowhere to go (at least nowhere I’d feel comfortable to spend a whole day in mid winter!), my first reaction came close to (a moment of) panic.

First of all, shouldn’t an important message like that be put in everyone’s letterbox instead of just on the entrance door? Because there might actually be old or sick people living on their own who might stay in their flat for three days (especially in the winter cold of -10°C we’re having at the moment) and so never get to see the warning…

So I muttered on about that to myself for a while. But of course I never got round to calling the landlord’s office to complain – since, after all, I had seen the message...

Half way through the 8 waterless hours  – I’m beginning to realize that I still over-panicked “just a little” in my own preparations. I just had no grip how much water I’d need to get through a day with none coming out of the taps! So before going to bed yesterday I filled just about every bottle and jug and bucket that I had… Don’t really know what I was thinking!!!

(I shall probably have to keep flushing the toilet manually the rest of the week to empty those buckets in the bathroom!)

Well - at least it serves as a reminder to be truly thankful for one of those everyday things it’s so easy to take for granted in this corner of the world: Clean, fresh, cold or hot water from the tap, any time of the day.

It strikes me that my somewhat over-panicky preparations may be subconsciously related to childhood memories. In the village where I lived then, whenever there was a power cut (likely to occur in the winter storms), we also had no water. So dad used to go round putting cups over the levers on the toilets etc, to remind us not to use them. This morning, just before 8, I found myself doing the same thing… Having just realized, going through my mornings routines, how much of it we do automatically, without really thinking about it. Flush the toilet, wash our hands, brush our teeth and clean the toothbrush under running water; fill the kettle in the kitchen; rinse out a cup or a glass; fill the sink to do the washing up… etc.

To finish off this post… a favourite family photo of my paternal grandparents, proudly posing at the water well on the property where they were about to build their house back in 1930:

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