Sunday, September 30, 2012

SOOC/ Weekend Reflections: Autumn Beach

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Those of you who have been following this blog for a while probably recognize these views by now, from the lake and beach near the House where my parents lived. Still some things left to sort out before selling, so I still need to go out there now and then. When I do, I usually try to combine “duty with pleasure”, i.e. a walk down to the beach. Last Monday was the first day in a while with a bit of sun and minimum risk of rain, so I took the opportunity.

See more photos from the same day and place in my Picture Book:
Shadow Shot Sunday: In the Woods

Linking this post to

Weekend Reflections
Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Autumn Market

It’s That Time Of Year again:

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Spring Market and Autumn Market are old traditions in the town of Borås – going back hundreds of years. In the autumn it’s always the last weekend in September.

The goods sold have probably changed a bit over the centuries; even if they always seem pretty much the same to me…

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Why do children love balloons so much?

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“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon”
(quote from Winnie the Pooh)

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I came into town early on Friday while they were still setting things up.

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It soon got crowded though…

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… and rather hard to find elbow room to take photos.

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Christmas is less than three months away…
At the market you can buy Christmas cards or other postcards for just 1 krona a piece. To actually send it somewhere you need to add a stamp worth 6 kronor though (inland postage) – or 12 to another country.

The official currency abbreviation for the Swedish krona/ kronor is SEK. (In Swedish we usually just write “kr”.)

10 SEK = 1,50 USD / 0,90 GBP / 1,20 EURO

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Certain sweets are traditional at markets…
I resisted the temptation this time.

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We had a glimpse of sun yesterday morning for the market and I think the rain kept away most of the day. Today however, the rain was pouring down again.

One thing I bought was a bag, a single strap backpack. It was puffed up with various waste material inside. Getting home, and sticking my hand inside to take that out… I was in for a bit of a yucky experience as it turned out to be a very damp mix of plastic and crumpled paper… Made me realize how hard it must be for those selling their goods at markets in all kinds of weather to keep their goods dry!

It also makes me somewhat doubt the statement on the attached label that the bag is really waterproof...

Never mind, on closer look the entertainment value of that label is almost worth the price of the bag:

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As amusing as it might be to try and argue complaints based on that text, I decided to just keep it and try a ‘man-made’ change instead.

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It’s hard to demonstrate in a photo but I can’t quite figure out what size of wearer they had in mind. Someone with a fullgrow man’s shoulders but a child’s waist, it seems! I had to add an extension to the waist-belt but shorten the shoulder-strap.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

BTT: Carry-ons

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Deb at btt2.wordpress.com. This week’s question is:

Do you bring the book(s) you’re reading with you when you go out? How? Physically, or in an e-reader of some kind? Have your habits in this regard changed?

I rarely bring books with me when I go out, but I do always bring my mobile/ cell phone; and on the phone I always have a couple of audio books stored. Sometimes I listen to a book while walking, it depends on where I’m going. (If there’s a lot of noise or if I’m out with the chief purpose of taking photos, I find it too much of a distraction to also be listening to a book.)

Back when I travelled more often by train, I always used to bring a book. (On a bus or in a car I never could read.) Nowadays I don’t travel much, and a combination of neck- and eyeproblems makes it difficult to sit and read “anywhere”. So even when I eventually get myself a Kindle or similar (probably in a not too distant future), I doubt I’ll be carrying it around with me very frequently.

 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekend Reflections: Floating Flowers

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I don’t know why, but these floral wreaths were floating in the river last week. The plain white one had the name of a school written on it. They have a florists’ programme there so I suppose it was some project to do with that.

Weekend Reflections

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Quick–what are you reading right now? (Other than this question on this website, of course.) Would you recommend it? What’s it about?

The question comes from Deb at Booking Through Thursday

1. The Mystery of Lewis Carroll by Jenny Woolf
This is my “slow read” book at the moment, which means I’m savouring it in small portions.  I’ve only read about 1/4 yet; but yes, if ever you felt curious to know more about the author who wrote Alice in Wonderland, I’d recommend it.

2. Dandy by Jan Guillou (Swedish author) – second in a series about the early 20th century. Just started listening to it as audio book. I’m not sure if even the first part has been translated into English yet (or will be).

With the first part – Bridge Builders – I found some of the historical perspectives and details interesting, but characters and relationships kind of flat, not really leaving much of an impression behind. I suspect I’ll probably end up feeling much the same about this one. Reviews I glanced at vary between finding the book(s) a great literary achievement vs. “unnecessary”…

The first book starts with three brothers born in poor circumstances in Norway, but offered the chance to go to Germany to become engineers. One of them afterwards did what was expected of him, and went back to Norway, engaging in the building of railways. Another went to East Africa, and the third to London. The first book was mostly about the first two brothers; the one that I just started on focuses on the third brother who went to England. It seems that besides engineering it will be about art and literature and especially the Bloomsbury group. I’ve not read far enough yet to decide what I think.

Not A Good Morning

I don’t really like to complain; and yet here I am, feeling the urge to complain about having had to start my morning with a list of complaints…

First I needed to send an email of complaint to the caretaker of my building - about Anonymous leaving heavy objects in places where they shouldn’t be. (Like furniture outside my storage room in the basement. Besides more or less blocking the way to my space, it’s against fire saftey rules to leave/store anything in the corridors.)

Then when I turned on the computer, I found that Blogger has now suddenly taken the final step to turn off the Old Dashboard. Okay, okay, I know it’s not “suddenly” but I still don’t like it…

Many of you probably switched to the New Dashboard long ago. If you are happy with it, and don’t feel a need to join in the kicking and screaming - please feel free to just skip the rest of this post.

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Besides finding the new layout and colour scheme less good from visual impairment point of view, one of my major complaints is that I can no longer scroll the list of blogs (left) and the list of posts (right) separately. I can’t see how this is an improvement for anyone as it means a lot more scrolling back and forth.

So every time I enter the New Dashboard I feel an urge to send complaining feedback to Blogger (and have already done so twice this morning); which delays me and puts me in generally grumpy mood… Sorry about that… I’ll do my best to try and get over it… (Hrmpf!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What’s New?

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I bought new curtains for the kitchen – decided I needed a “treat” after all the work put into getting my home back to normal after the change of windows.

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A friend came by on a surprise visit yesterday and insisted that she wanted to buy me flowers - she didn’t want to buy them before she came as she wasn’t sure I’d be home… So I ended up going with her for a short walk to the nearby florist’s and got to choose which ones I wanted. I picked the cheerful orange chrysanthemums for a bit of autumn colour.

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The white cyclamen I got from another friend three weeks ago… Last Friday, she moved to Australia! (It has not quite sunk in yet that she’s actually gone…)

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Here, autumn is upon us now, with the trees changing colours from one day to another…

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Today has been one of those days when the weather shifts from minute to minute  - and we even had sunshine and torrential rain simultaneously!

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The last three photos are from a short walk this morning (in rain and sunshine).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Home Sweet Home

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My home has been “upside-down” the last week…

“Factually” I was only expelled from home for about eight hours on Thursday (because of a change of windows in my flat, see previous post). It was a fine early autumn day at that (chilly winds, but sunny), and I tried to make the best of it. And yet it felt like an awfully long day (with nowhere to lie down for a bit of a proper neck-rest); which made me realize how lucky I am, not only to have a place to call home at all, but one where I feel at home, and normally quite like to spend as much “hometime” as I usually do/need to.

I don’t mean “realize” like in never having thought about it before (because I have); it just hit me a bit more forcefully than a normal day, as I found myself aimlessly wandering some unknown streets in town, with Paul Simon’s “Homeless” popping up in my head…

So when I got back home in the late afternoon, to my upside-down home, and was met by another realization – that new windows do not equal clean windows, but windows that need extra cleaning before anything else can be done – I decided not to complain but just take my time about it… and be thankful… First of all that the building is being kept in good repair; and second that the timing was “as good as it gets” with this kind of thing. (I much prefer September to December, which is probably how long it will be until they get through all the buildings on the estate.)

I was actually back on wi-fi already on Friday, but my computer has remained “off” the whole weekend, as I’ve been putting my energies towards restoring my home to normal.

Now I’m off to the dentist’s; life goes on…

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Windows Upgrade IRL

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I’ll be “off blog” for a couple of days, because of a change of windows. Not Windows, mind, but windows!

Just spent a day taking down all my curtains and removing flowerpots and “stuff”, preparing the way for the Big Job which is planned for tomorrow.

Before I got started I told myself not to panic.  There’s not all that much stuff just in front of the windows… the only heavy piece is the desk in the study… and if I take out the drawers… and getting curtains down is less of a problem than getting them up again… I can do it

Half way through, I wondered: Where does all this stuff come from? And, more importantly, where am I going to put it?? Because they’ll be doing all four rooms… And not only do they need elbow room when working at the windows, they also need to be able to get to the windows (carrying windows!)…

Phew. Well, it’s Wednesday evening, and now there’s a strange echo from the keyboard because of no curtains and carpet in the study, and I just sincerely hope I won’t need anything from the bottom desk drawer as the drawers are piled up in a different corner of the room than the desk itself, which is shoved to the side (I hope I don’t need anything from the bookshelves either).

Later tonight I’ll disconnect the modem and the router, because they “live” close to a window too.

In the kitchen there’s just space enough for me now to have breakfast at one corner of the table tomorrow morning before I make myself scarce (going to the rehab pool – and after that I’d probably better have lunch in town).  Before I go I shall have to make my bed and take down the bedroom curtains and place those on the bed because that’s really the only space left I can think of…

Wish me luck. I can only hope they do get all four rooms “done” tomorrow, or I might end up spending tomorrow night on the sofa, draped in curtains…

Monday, September 10, 2012

Roots

I’ve known for years that on my mother’s side of the family I’m included in a genealogy book for a huge and locally *well-known “tribe” of people with roots going back to the time around when the town of Borås was founded (1621)  *(Famous mainly for the fact that it IS huge and rather well-researched, I think).

I found the book in one of my raids in The House, and took it home with me. This weekend for the first time I had a closer look, trying to make head and tail of the name-tables and trace my “bloodline” on that side of the family (my mother’s mother’s father).

The very first documented Ancestor in the book is a tenant farmer by name of Nils, born circa 1620. If I got it right, he was my mother’s mother’s father’s father’s father’s mother’s father’s mother’s father’s father’s father. (Don’t wake me in the middle of the night and ask me to repeat that…)

Presumably, even this Ancestor did not spring directly from the hand of God, but must in turn have had parents and grandparents and great grandparents… But as before the 1620s there was no law in Sweden about keeping parish registers, it seems that this is as far back in history as anyone will be able to get.

By now, the “family” is supposed to count around 23.000 members – 16.000 still living. And I who always claimed to have very few relatives…! (Which is still true if referring only to close ones: One brother, one aunt and two cousins. However, digging beyond that, my perspective is beginning to widen a little…)

Out of the Book also fell a family coat of arms. Wow. I got fascinated by coats of arms some years ago in connection with my Harry Potter-mania; although back then I had no idea that I had one of “my own”… Must have been my inherited sixth sense nudging me to get prepared for the discovery! (Read on.)

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Of course this coat of arms is completely fake in that it does not really go back to the 1600s (a tenant farmer wouldn’t have had a coat of arms). As far as I understand, it was designed in the mid 1900s or so…

… but the design inspired by a story about Nils Nilsson, son of the first Nils, who lived 1656-1708. According to tradition, he was a travelling tradesman/pedlar, who even travelled as far as Russia. Once (the story goes) he sensed that he had better get back home very quickly, and he then travelled on a sled over the ice, embedded in a load of straw. This is supposed to have happened in connection with a great fire that devastated the town of Borås in mid December 1681.

So the family coat of arms includes a sled and a sheaf. I’m glad the explanation is given in the book, because at first glance I really didn’t have a clue what those symbols on the shield were supposed to be… ;)

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Walk With Me

In several Swedish towns you’ll be able to find  a special “health path” marked with this sign:

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For a walkpath to qualify for this sign, it should be easily accessible for anyone. For example it should not include steep hills or stairs. There will be signs along the way to help you keep track of how far you’ve walked.  If you follow the whole path (4 km in my town) you will get back to your starting point. But there should also be plenty of possibilities to enter or leave the path anywhere, and to choose shortcuts.

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There is a starting point for my town’s health path very close to where I live, and yesterday I decided to follow it.  I frequently walk various parts of it, but rarely the whole path in one go. Actually even yesterday I got a bit sidetracked when I got into town, but never mind…

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One of our more spectacular pieces of modern architecture – a triangular glass-covered office building.

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Oops, the health path (left) is closed… Even if someone else evidently just went ahead anyway, I think I’ll take the steeper path to the right… I know that from the top of that little hill there is a better view over the town:

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They’ve been building a new traffic roundabout here and I’ve lost the path, no sign in sight… Never mind, I know roughly where I’m supposed to go anyway…

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Some autumn colours are sneaking up on us!

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Back on track, along the river.

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Old textile factory building to the left, the tower of the old church in the middle. (And no, I’ve not gone for a swim, I’m standing on a bridge.)

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A powerful building: The electricity company.

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No autumn colours yet in those trees!

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Entering a street which was officially opened as a new Pedestrian Street, with a ceremony earlier the same day.

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Getting distracted… A vintage second hand shop seemed to have moved half of their stock out on the street.

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A magic toy shop. (Can you see me?)

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The old Town Hall / Court House from an unusal angle.

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The fountain in the Town Square. There was quite a wind blowing so if you got too close to the fountain it was like walking into a rainshower.

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There’s that church tower again.
It has a habit of following you around…

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You know the old superstition of not walking under ladders? I’d include scaffolding. And wheelbarrows…

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I got sidetracked into another shop, but here I am again. It would be quicker now to turn around and walk home in the other direction, but I’ll follow the path…

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The outdoors cafés still popular, even on a windy day.

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Still a bit of exotic touch with the palm trees… They’ll soon be moved indoors into some greenhouse for the winter. Walking towards our Bus Square, where all of the town’s bus routes meet.

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Anna Lindh’s park, with the Non-Violence sculpture. (In memory of Anna Lindh, minister for foreign affairs, who was assassinated – in Stockholm – on 10th September 2003. Nine years ago on Monday…)

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Along the river again… Old factory buildings on one side, and modern housing on the other:

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And the city continues to grow… On the building site behind that fence, a new 12-storey building will be rising.

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Coming to a crossroads again… Following the official path, I should take the one to the left. But I choose to go the right and take a shortcut/detour across the old cemetery. (It’s a shortcut if I really take the shortest way across. A detour if I stroll around a bit…)

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For one thing I get to say hello to the rabbits…

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… and some of my ancestors (great-grandparents, left).

On the other side of the cemetery, we’re back to where we started this walk. Thanks for keeping me company!

Linking to Straight Out of the Camera Sunday.

 

 

 

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