Saturday, June 29, 2013

Queuing for Cake

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Today Borås celebrated its 392nd birthday. The city received its privileges in 1621 by King Gustav II Adolf. The reason was to give local pedlars a legal place for vending their merchandise.

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The city still known as a textile/fashion and shopping centre, its inhabitants are also still said to always be on the lookout for a cheap deal.

It is also supposed to be the rainiest city in Sweden.

Today we seemed to live up to both reputations, because how else do you explain so many people queuing in the square on a rainy day to get a piece of free birthday cake.

A true Boråsian knows how to handle an umbrella and a piece of free cake at the same time. And if you’re also a blogger, you know how to handle an umbrella, a piece of cake, and a camera… (The answer is: Go and stand under a roof outside a shop while you take the photo.)

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As for my ongoing diet, please note that
1/ I had salad at home before I went out,
2/ there were strawberries on the cake, and
3/ free calories don’t count (what? do they?? oh no!)

 

 

 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Macro Monday

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I don’t know/don’t remember the name of these blue flowers. They grow in a flowerbed in a park. I took the photo on one of my walks “in between rain showers” this Midsummer weekend.

Macro Monday 2

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Post about Post Past and Present

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The image above is a postcard from 1969 showing a postal coach from the 1880s (the coach belonging to the Post Museum; the card found in my dad’s desk).

In the 1880s, my great-grandfather was driving a postal coach, even if probably a less fancy one. And if he hadn’t, I would not be sitting here blogging, because that’s probably how he met my great-grandmother! Read more in Greetings from the Past: Postal Service in the Past (my contribution this week to Sepia Saturday).

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As for Postal Service in the Present, postcrossing postcards keep dropping in and making it quite exciting to go and check when I hear the post dropping through the letterbox in my door…

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1. Worms, Germany   2. Ogrodzíeníec, Poland
3. Netherlands   4. Rózyanstok, Poland (sent from Russia)
5. Chișinău, Moldova

Recently Received1

1. Český Šternberk Castle, Czech Republic
2. Odessa, Ukraine
3. Liberty, Kentucky

Friday, June 21, 2013

Midsummer Miscellanea

Today is the summer solstice and Midsummer Eve.

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It seems it was three years ago that I last went to watch a traditional midsummer celebration. I blogged about it in my first Picture Book blog here.

This year, I decided to do Nothing Special, which turned out to be just the right thing. Yesterday was very sunny and hot, and today started out likewise, but with rain showers and thunder forecasted for the afternoon. For once They were proved right… Here the downpour started at 3.30 pm on the dot. But by then I was safely indoors and had already taken in my cushions from the sunchair on my balcony.

I had also been out shopping early in the morning to procure my necessary supplies:

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I really can’t think of anything that better represents Swedish midsummer than fresh strawberries – even if I’ve been eating them for a week or two already ;)

Other Swedes might argue about that… They would probably want to keep the strawberries on the list (unless they are allergic to them), but they might want to add early potatoes, pickled herring and ‘schnaps’. Personally I never really liked pickled herring, and I don’t drink alcohol (it was never in our family tradition); so, being free to do as I please, I’ll just stick to the strawberries…

(Still no need to worry. I had chicken salad for lunch, and I do eat other fruit as well. You have to get used to my sense of humour!)

Here are some other random photos from the week:

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Sunset from my balcony, Monday 22:30 (10:30 pm)

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Two arms of the river coming together, just below a bridge I often cross when walking to the supermarket.

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Favourite view of the town, seen from the west edge of the Town Park.

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The first red waterlily in bloom (Town Park by the river)

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This morning I was up very early and caught (well…) the hare grazing on the lawn beneath my balcony. There was a rabbit as well, but it jumped out of the picture before I could snap it. There are plenty of wild bunnies living in the neighbourhood, but also at least one hare. (If there is only one – this is it!)

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“The early bird catches the worm” …

Plenty of magpies and jackdaws about when I walked to the supermarket a bit later. 

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And a white wagtail

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And I was chased by two seagulls swooshing down at me and yelling at the top of their voice… Not fair, at that point I did not even have the camera out!!

As I’m about to send this post off, there is a strong gust of wind slamming my balcony door shut, rattling the windows, and throwing rain and possibly hail against them… I’m so glad not to be outside!

 Smile

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Strawberry Tuesday

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My salad and strawberry diet (mentioned in the previous post) seems to be going rather well.

Superstitiously I don’t want to say too much too soon, but at least at the moment I am back into some clothes which I came close to giving away a few months ago because they were getting too tight to be comfortable.

Calories are just little tiny creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night.

(And before someone gets worried: No I’m not really just eating green salad and strawberries. Only trying to eat more ‘green stuff’ and less fat, sugar and carbs, and treating myself to plenty of strawberries au naturel to make up for it!)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Another Fairytale Wedding

It is not every day that one wakes up in the morning with no particular plans for the day, and ends up at a fairytale wedding. Just now I seem to be making a Saturday habit of it, though. Last week it was our Princess Madeleine (even if I only took part via television). Today I still don’t know whose wedding it was, but I ended up enjoying (part of) it anyway. And live this time!

We had another beautiful summer day today, after rain yesterday and more rain predicted for tomorrow (actually it’s starting as I write this, Saturday evening); so I decided I’d better take advantage och spend some time outdoors this afternoon.

When I set out from home (after a salad lunch) I still hadn’t decided where to go. I knew that there were “things” going on in the town centre – a sports event, a triathlon… So there would be photo opportunities. But also a LOT of people, and I wasn’t really sure I was in the mood for that. My other alternative was our Museum Park, but that’s a longer walk… I actually postponed the decision until half-way into town (where I had to choose).

But I chose the Museum Park; and no regrets!

I took some photos on my way there too, but I’ll save those for another day and post. This is what I want to share today:

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One of the buildings in the park is this old church, originally built in 1690. It was moved to its present location in the museum park in 1914. I’ve blogged about this church (and museum park) before so some of you might remember it. The church is part of the museum, but is also used for wedding ceremonies and christenings and other special occasions. When I passed it today I noticed a sign on the door which announced that a private wedding ceremony was taking place (“welcome back later”).

So I decided to hang around for a bit and maybe get to see the couple when they came out. While waiting, I had a cup of tea at the café, and a pastry which goes by the name of “mazarin” here (I don’t know what it may be called in English, if you have it at all):

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(I’ve been on a “salad and strawberries” diet all week otherwise… But it was such a long walk today…)

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The café. An old inn which like all of the other old buildings in the park was moved here from somewhere else in the area (instead of just being torn down).

As I sat down at a table outside, I spied with my little eye something interesting half-hiding behind the next building, so I had to go check that out before I drank my tea:

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 Well, now I really had to stay and watch the rest!

Eventually, out they came:

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The couple stepped onto the special flat bridal stone outside the church which has traditionally been used for the same purpose way back through generations. They stood there quite a long time while all the wedding guests came up one by one to hug them and congratulate them.

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The sign says: “Bridal stone from Toarp parish, known to have been used there as late as 1820. The stone was placed just outside the wall around the churchyard, and was used by the bridal couple after the ceremony in the church. They were then supposed to show themselves to all the people while music was played and the horses were prepared for the journey back home.”

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This couple today had evidently decided to follow the old ritual literally. While they were standing on the stone being greeted by all their friends, a musician was playing the accordion in the background, and the invited guests were served strawberries and champagne (or it might have been low-alcohol cider, considering that some of them must have been driving).

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Finally, it was time for the bride and groom to enter the horse-drawn carriage to go wherever it was they were having the reception. Not all easy getting the dress aboard:

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Goodbye, and thanks for the “show” :)
May you live happily ever after, whoever you are!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Link to History

I just have to post a link to fellow blogger Lady Fi’s post with some pictures from Stockholm’s Old Town. Haven’t been there myself since before my digital days. Thanks Fi, for sharing these excellent photos!

Booking Through Thursday–Dream Cast

btt buttonfrom DEB at http://btt2.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/dream-cast/

And while we’re thinking about books converted to tv/movies. Do you ever sit and wonder who could be cast as your favorite characters? (Please feel free to give examples!)

What actors do you think have done particularly excellent jobs with some of your favorite characters?

I do think that the casting of the Harry Potter films was very well done; that’s what comes first to mind for me.


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In general, I don’t really speculate much about casting. When I read certain books I might feel that I’d like to see it on film, but then I’m usually thinking more about landscapes or historical costumes etc, than about which specific actors I’d like to see do the characters.

But there have been films or series in which I have felt the casting to be “wrong”. One example is the Inspector Lynley mysteries which in my opinion played havoc with the whole background story in Elisabeth George’s books. Some quite important characters were removed completely and the rest do not look like they do in my head ;) (especially not Barbara Havers)

If a film/series is really good, the actors playing the main characters may take over the images one had in one’s head from reading – but this one has failed to do that for me:


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Just now I’m reading the last published book in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear – Leaving Everything Most Loved (2013). (Yes, that’s right. After having been “behind” in the series for years, for some reason I’ve now been catching up by reading the last three pretty much one after the other.) I think I could see Maise played by the actress who does Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey… Had to look up her name: Michelle Dockery.

Fabulous: Michelle Dockery shines as Lady Mary Crawley - What the devil is going on at Downton Abbey?<br />

Monday, June 10, 2013

Greetings from the World

In case someone is curious how things are going with my new Postcrossing hobby: Cards keep dropping in. Four last week, and today I got three!

Here is a collage of all eight received so far:

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From: Netherlands x 2, China, Lituania,
Norway, Portugal, England, Germany.

This beautiful card from China had really pretty stamps as well:

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Macro Monday: Lupin

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The lupin is a flower I associate with Midsummer here, but some (in sunny places) were already in bloom this past weekend – and plenty more will be seen soon!

… … …

I just discovered that Macro Monday has moved
from Lisa’s Chaos to 
Macro Monday 2

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while Lisa herself started over in Always in Stitches.

… … …

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Scenic Route

My brother was here for a couple of days and on Friday we took the ‘scenic route’ when driving from town out to our house.

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I asked Per to stop so I could get photos of the horses in this beautiful meadow, but I failed to get any good close-ups, as besides the fence there was also a rather deep ditch between the meadow and the road.

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The extra scenic route we took this day includes a dirt road some of the way.

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We also made a short stop at this charming old mill (at Gingri near Fristad) – on my request, because it’s a very photogenic spot, and I love it when I can show you a bit of Swedish countryside besides my usual town views.

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According to the weathervane on top it’s from 1906.

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Me by the river at the back of the mill.
To the right of me the river runs calm and slow:

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Then it takes a leap down a little waterfall at the mill:

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… and continues on the other side of the bridge past an old textile factory. Between 1863 and 1971, lace was produced here. CIMG4911-001

To give you a bit of historical context, here are some photos I took a couple of years ago of a lacemaking machine at the Borås Textile Museum:

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Click on the road mirror image to see it larger at my other blog
DawnTreader’s Picture Book

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Some of you might also be interested in my Sepia Saturday post this week at my blog Greetings from the Past. I found a photo of my great-aunt Gerda in a nurse’s uniform, and I think it must be from WWI in France (knowing from family stories that she happened to be in France when the war broke out, and postcards confirm that she seems to still have been there in 1918).

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