Thursday, October 29, 2015

Allhallowtide (Friday My Town)

I have blogged about Swedish Halloween several times before. (You could probably click on October or November any year in my sidebar archive and find related posts.) When looking for a new angle, I came across the English word Allhallowtide, which is closer to the Swedish word (Allhelgona), and also to our tradions.

I learn that Allhallowtide was first used in 1471, and is derived from two words: the Old English word halig, meaning saint, and the word tide, meaning time or season. (These OE words are also closely related to Swedish words with the same meaning.) It  stands for the Western Christian observance of All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en), All Saints' Day (All Hallows'), and All Souls' Day, Oct 31 – Nov 2: “A time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians."

This year more than ever, honouring the dead seems a far better idea than dressing up in scary costumes to go trick-or-treat-ing… (Cf. my post from last week.)

We are still having beautiful autumn weather, and I took the opportunity today of going for a walk to my town’s largest (and newest) cemetery and visit my maternal grand-parents’ grave there, and also one other grave on mum’s side of the family.

This cemetery is like a huge natural park with a hilly landscape, lots of huge old trees, a stream with wooden bridges over it, a little lake, and a waterfall adding the sound of running water.

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(Odd sculpture that I always find slightly disturbing…)

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This magnificent bush I found on my way back home, so not really on “holy ground”… Nonetheless it reminded me of Moses and the burning bush! (Exodus chapter 3)

Friday My Town: Halloween

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crossings (Friday My Town)

One day about a month ago, I went for a walk to seek out one of the more out-of-the-way street art murals. This litte adventure also led me through an obscure part a of town that I, not having a car, very rarely visit: A huge parking area under the motorway.

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Amateur graffitti - not encouraged by the Town.
But of course we have that kind too!

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2015-09-21 Druvefors, street art, parking

Professional graffitti – very much approved.

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Friday My Town – Crossings

While looking at these photos, there are lots of thoughts crossing my mind - not really related to the photos, and yet this theme seems to underline them.

It has been a sad week in Sweden. I know it quickly spread to international media as well, so many of you probably already heard something about it.

On Thursday, a masked man with a sword entered a school in the town of Trollhättan. Some children that he passed by at first thought it was a Halloween prank (autumn break coming up next week). It soon turned out to be grim reality though. One teaching assistent and one student were killed, and two more injured. The police arrived quickly at the scene (only six minutes from the alarm) and the attacker was shot down. He died from the wounds later in hospital. The teaching assistent who died probably saved more students from being killed and/or injured. The police have found evidence that the attack was planned and the motive to do with racism, but that the killer was a loner rather than part of a group. (Investigations continue though.)

Together with Sweden just now being one of the countries in Europe receiving thousands of refugees every week (and some temporary housing planned for refugees also recently having been burnt to the ground), the situation has stirred up a lot of emotions and discussion.

The present socialist+green government and the four alliance opposition parties (previous government) have agreed on certain new/changed plans re how to deal with the refugee situation. (The extreme right party, the Sweden democrats, were not invited to even take part in these negotiations.)

Personally, the events at the school shook me a bit extra because it happened in my birth town, and even in the area of town where I once went to school myself at age 15. (I lived in a village outside town, but for junior high, we were bussed into town.) The school where it all happened now was not the same building, but that makes little difference. It still brings back memories. Even back in 1970, this was one of those suburb areas (then new) with quite a few problems attached. It seems to me that when a tragedy like this takes place, putting us all in a state of shock, people often react by saying things like “this could never have happened back in my day”. My memories of my school days are not all that idyllic. Yes socity has changed in many ways since then, and I’d say the general pace of things is higher now. But people are not really all that different…

We did not have computer games or cellphones back then, or even the Star Wars films (the killer wore a Darth Vader-like costume). It was also less obvious back in those days who might be a newcomer to the country (as most immigrants then came from European countries). But that does not mean that we lived in some sort of idyll free from antagonisms between groups, or free of alcohol and drug problems, psychiatric disorders or people with strange ideas (and carrying knives).

Where am I going with this? I hardly know myself… But reading/hearing various people’s comments and conclusions over the past few days, it strikes me that fear tends to spread much like random graffitti in obscure places, and that it’s really important in these situations to try and rescue some sober facts from obscurity, and paint a bigger picture to help our “selective memory”…

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Colourful Monday

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My aunt and uncle were in town and we had decided to meet up this morning and go for a walk to look at some of the street art. The clear blue sky was an unexpected bonus - more cloudy weather had been predicted! Nature itself is displaying an absolutely gorgeous palette of colours just now.

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All of you who follow this blog regularly already know that I love water reflections…

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Sculpture ‘Bodhi’ by Fredrik Wretman

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‘Under-the-bridge’ art by Joe Iurato

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Mural by Curiot

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Mural by Inti

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Caroli Church

- - -

Through My Lens

Our World Tuesday

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blue Roses

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These roses on a grave in the cemetery made me stop and look twice. Surely there is no such thing as a blue rose? …

Quite right: On closer inspection, they turned out to be artificial – dewdrops and all.

The question kept nagging me: Why?

Of course I’ll never know for sure what the person was thinking who put them there…

But when I googled “blue rose”, this is what I found:

Due to the absence in nature of blue roses they have come to symbolise mystery and longing to attain the impossible, with some cultures going so far as to say that the holder of a blue rose will have his wishes granted. (Wikipedia)

And then this poem by Rudyard Kipling, which totally convinced me that the choice of grave decoration must have been very deliberate, rather than just “odd”:

Roses red and roses white
Plucked I for my love's delight.
She would none of all my posies--
Bade me gather her blue roses.
Half the world I wandered through,
Seeking where such flowers grew.
Half the world unto my quest
Answered me with laugh and jest.
Home I came at wintertide,
But my silly love had died
Seeking with her latest breath
Roses from the arms of Death.
It may be beyond the grave
She shall find what she would have.
Mine was but an idle quest--
Roses white and red are best!

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reflections of Light and Dark

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“Art is in the Eye of the Beholder”…

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Did you know?

… that the person credited with coining the saying Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, an Irish novelist whose light romantic fiction was popular throughout the English-speaking world in the late 19th century. The line occurs in Molly Bawn (1878). (More famous authors before her expressed much the same thought in other words, though…)

(Sources: The Phrase Finder & Wikipedia)

See more reflection photograpy at:
Weekend Reflections

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Books, Films, TV & Nature

Besides manuals for the new TV and other appliances I did not read a whole lot in the month of September…

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The novels I did read, were in the form of audio books.
Earlier in the summer (I’m not sure if I mentioned it before) I read Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Lady Fiona Carnarvon of Highclere Castle  (=the setting for the TV series "Downton Abbey"). In September, I also listened to the sequel, Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey. If you like Downton Abbey, there’s a good chance you’ll be just as fascinated by the real life stories – or even more so!

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I also listened to two books by Alexander McCall Smith. One was Bertie plays the blues, which is the 7th in the 44 Scotland Street series. I’m not sure I’ve read all the previous ones, but I doubt that matters much. They’re rather like a TV soap opera in the sense that if you miss an episode (or a season), it’s not all that hard to catch up, as things are repeated a lot… 

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On the whole, I think I enjoy his No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (set in Botswana) more – even if those tend to be a bit repetitive as well by now. The Handsome Man’s De Lux Café, which I listened to last, is the 15th(!) in that series.

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On TV, I’m following Poldark, a “new old” British drama broadcasted here this autumn (on Saturday nights). I missed the first episodes but was able to catch up on my new “smart” TV (once I’d got the internet etc sorted…) Breathtaking background scenery from Cornwall in HD.

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I’m also looking forward to re-watching some of my favourite DVD’s on the new TV. Started with the Harry Potter films… Last night The Goblet of Fire (=No. 4).

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Meanwhile, Nature is putting up quite a show of its own outdoors though, this time of year – so I can’t spend all the time watching TV! Winking smile

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Early Autumn Colours

2015-09-26 Majorslunden, fjärilar, butterflies

Butterflies: Small Tortoiseshell, Common Brimstone and Red Admiral.

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Rowan berries turning red.

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The first leaves dropping to the ground.

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That special light.

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Autumn market in town (last weekend in September).

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Through My Lens #9

Outdoor Wednesday

Friday My Town – Sights of Autumn

 

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