Sunday, August 31, 2014

*59*

On Friday morning I woke up and found myself to be 59 years old, and the sun unexpectedly shining from a clear blue sky (in spite of rain being forecasted for the weekend). I had not made any special birthday plans whatsoever, having been busy with other things earlier in the week (mostly to do with our house finally now being offcially put up for sale – with the internet ad being published on Friday too) – and not expecting the weather to be fine either.

And as I had not invited anyone, and no one had called in advance to ask if I’d be at home, I wasn’t expecting anyone. Two birthday cards had arrived in advance by mail though, which I opened at breakfast:

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I’m not sure how much impact it had on my train of thought, that both cards had animal pictures on them…

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… But anyway, I suddenly decided that it would be a good day for the camera and me to visit the Zoo.

So we did. And it was (a good day).

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Now if you will just bear with me…

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… until I get the rest of my birthday photos sorted …

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekend Reflections: Wolf

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Hmm… Nice-looking reflection… Not sure I really need a bath?

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Well go on then, maybe just a quickie!

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That’s enough!

Borås Zoo, 29th August 2014.
(More pictures of other animals will follow…)

Weekend Reflections

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekend Reflections: Still Raining…

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It’s been a wet week. There are other places in Sweden where the rain has caused a lot worse flooding than just around here (with severe traffic problems etc) – but I can imagine the owners of these garages (down the street from where I live) not being exactly overjoyed about their new ‘lake view’ either…

Weekend Reflections

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Of Rain and Tiny Creatures

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It’s been raining quite a lot over the past week, but on Friday afternoon I managed to get out for a while in a break between the clouds.

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I’ve not seen a lot of butterflies this summer – but come to think of it, it’s not until August and early September that I usually do see them in this park. And the weather has to be sunny!

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Anyway, this Friday I saw two different ones: Besides the Small Tortoiseshell (above) also a Red Admiral, who preferred not to let himself be photographed.

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The Willowherb flowers are growing old…

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… and the Rowan berries are getting red, already.

Another day recently I saw another little creature that did not let me take its photograph, so you will have to take my word for it. It was when I was crossing a street  near where I live that I saw something very small scuttle out in front of my feet, then stop and freeze. Really, it was so small that at first I thought it was a large beetle. But when I bent down to have a look, it turned out to be a teeny-weeny mouse. Truly, it cannot have been been more than 40-50 mm + tail. There was a car coming and I did not want to see the wee thing get run over… I tried to to get it to climb onto a piece of paper I had in my handbag… It wouldn’t though, so the best I could do was just “shoo” it back into the high grass at the roadside (out of which it had come)… And once I got it moving in the right direction, it disappeared very quickly - leaving me wondering what on earth it was I’d seen. Browsing the internet, I can’t find that there are supposed to be any pygmy mice in Sweden! So I can only assume it must have been a very young wood mouse.

Below is a postcard I got a while back from John in England – but on the back it says Printed in Sweden! (so I assume the artist may be Swedish as well)

En smakbit - Tasting the Berries

Friday, August 15, 2014

Empty Rooms (FMTSO)

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Downstairs living room, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen

It’s a strange feeling seeing The House all empty (or nearly so). Actually it’s never been all empty since my grandparents built it and moved in, way back in 1930! (While the extension was being added by my parents in 1992, the old rooms were still full of stuff.)

Because the house consists of one old part + one ‘new’, it has got quite a lot of quirks to it and often seems like somewhat of a labyrinth to a new visitor.

On the ground floor the ‘new’ part consists of entrance hall, bathroom, kitchen and living room; and the old part of two rooms (one of them former kitchen) + hall with stairs leading up (and down to the cellar behind a door).

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Upstairs rooms + (bottom left) the old hall and glimpse of former kitchen downstairs

Upstairs there is a hall, a bedroom/study with two alcoves, and one room that was once upon a time a kitchen (originally, back in the 1930s, they were two families living in the house), then a bedroom, and now is really just an extension of the hall, leading on to the new part – which consists of one huge room that was my dad’s study (but could easily be turned into two smaller rooms) + one small room which was left undecorated and used for storage (but could be turned into another bedroom), in turn leading out to a balcony overlooking the back garden:

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Then there is the old cellar with three old rooms which really can’t be used for much but storage of things not too precious (but my parents certainly managed to fill them, so maybe others will as well!), plus a new garage.

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Indoors cleaners will be doing their job this weekend; then a professional photographer will do his/hers on Monday; and after that the estate agent will get on with the advertising etc.

We had every nook and cranny of the house inspected last week by a technical examiner, for insurance purposes and to be able to give proper information to prospective buyers. There are a number of things that should be seen to by the new owner, but nothing so serious that it would be impossible to move in first (especially if they don’t need all the rooms at once!).

So it will be interesting to see who will buy it: Either someone who wants a never-ending DIY project, or someone who can afford (and prefers) to get the house all done up and refurbished in their own style before they move in.

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Friday My Town Shoot Out: Rooms

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Two Countryside Churches

Back on 22nd July, my brother and I took a little countryside detour, and stopped at two rather typical Swedish countryside churches. 

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Målsryd is a small locality with about 900 inhabitants.
The church at Målsryd is one of five belonging to a bigger parish. This one was built in 1915 and is said to be the last church in Sweden built in Neo-Gothic style. Below is the same church seen from the other side:

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There is no graveyard at this church and we wondered a bit about that; but my guess is that they probably use the graveyard at the main church of the parish:

Toarp church at Dalsjöfors; which is a bigger locality in the district, with about 3400 inhabitants.

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The Toarp church is situated up on a hill overlooking a large graveyard, and with a wide view of a beautiful surrounding landscape beyond.

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The present church is from 1783 and was built in what we call the Gustavian style (named after King Gustav III, whose reign lasted between 1771-1792). It replaced an older, medeival church in the same spot, though.

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“In the year 1783, on the 3rd of March, was laid the first stone to this Temple Building, and with the help of the Almighty it was completed on the 30th Sept the same year, in the 13th year of the reign of King Gustav III. Dean at the time was the Reverend and Doctor of Theology Sven Sandmark, Church Wardens Pär Pärs(son) in Drared and Pär And(ersson) in Slätthult,  Sacristian Bryngel Hans, and the Master Builder and Mason Sven Westman.
SOLI DEO GLORIA – GLORY TO GOD ALONE”

The text on the slate over the door somehow gives the impression of a hastily scribbled note rather than a carefully planned layout… Smile

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Something we noticed in this graveyard that we haven’t seen elsewhere was that they seem to be collecting old headstones* in one long row along the edge, like a wall.

*For those who might wonder “why” …
There are national rules that each grave must have someone responsible for it, or else – after a certain number of years – the plot is recycled, i.e. the gravestone removed and the plot can be used for a new grave. What they do with the old headstones varies from one place to another, though. To me this seems a good alternative, as it helps preserve the history of the neighbourhood. Older headstones often give more information than modern ones as they often include a title or occupation or the name of the place where a family lived.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Surprise (FMTSO)

Actually, it came as a bit of a surprise to me when this morning (Saturday) I looked up the FMTSO link-up page and realised that it was already time for the topic that I had myself recently suggested… I just wish I could remember what it was I had intended to post for that theme… The combination of summer heatwave, a study facing south + lots of documentation to be sorted for the sale of the house has not allowed much time for photo editing lately.

But one pleasant “surprise” recently was finding a quiet place of refuge from the heat to which I can easily escape for a while on a hot afternoon to sit in the shadow and read. It’s in the Remembrance Garden by the chapel in the old cemetery only 5 minutes walk from my home.

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The little fountain in the pond provides a soothing sound of running water. And often this secluded place is quite empty except for a rabbits and birds (and me).

The first day I sat there I noticed that there were some flowers thrown on the ground, next to empty vases. I wondered who would do such a thing… But after sitting there for a while, I got the answer! I’ve not yet been able to catch evidence on camera, but it turns out that both magpies and hooded crows have figured out that the vases make very good drinking cups for birds their size. And if they find the flowers to be in the way, they simply pick those out and throw them on the ground!

Friday My Town Shoot Out

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