Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Eggs

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On Easter Sunday I visited a church service in this church. Those who have been following my blog for a while will have seen it before. It’s the oldest church in my town, belonging to the Church of Sweden. Outside on the lawn, the crocuses were also taking part in the Easter resurrection greetings.

I did not take any photos during the service, but I was tempted. The image I would have liked to be able to show you is of the group of laymen vergers assisting the priest in the service, especially at the beginning and end when walking in a procession carrying the cross and the communion chalice etc. Imagine, if you will, at the front of that procession, carrying the cross, a long-haired young man in very tattered blue jeans; then a woman also dressed in jeans and cardigan (not tattered), a somewhat older woman dressed all strictly in black, and a man in dark blue; and last the priest in full finery with embroidered vestment etc.  The mix fascinated me; and I love it – as to me it represents the wide diversity of The Church. (World Wide as well as this particular one.)

I did not start taking part in any kind of church life until my teens, but when I did, it was in the early 1970’s and coincided with the Jesus movement (in turn related to the hippie culture). I guess that’s one reason why that odd diversity still holds a special attraction for me (because there was a lot of that back then as well, and to me it bears witness of love and tolerance across traditional borders). 

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Just like Christmas, Easter itself is a strange mix of traditions – both religious and secular.

In Sweden, decorated paper eggs of all sizes filled with chocolate and candy are very much part of the Easter traditions. I have a collection of such eggs which I still use as decorations; but nowadays I refrain from filling them up with sweets…

Instead, I bought myself a box of “Eye Candy” this Easter: the complete Downton Abbey series on blu-ray… So that’s what I’ve been up to this long weekend – when not doing other things! Until the very last (sixth) season of Downton I still had my old TV. So it’s a joy to watch it from the beginning again now, in HD.

PS. I did eat some chocolate, too. Just not out of an egg! Winking smile

Through My Lens

Mosaic Monday

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter Tree

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Glad Påsk = Happy Easter!

A decorated birch tree in the town square has become an Easter tradition in my town since… I’m not sure when, but I don’t think it was until some time this century. It connects to older traditions of bringing branches into the home and decorating them with colourful feathers and eggs for Easter, though.

I’m feeling awfully behind with catching up on friends’ blogs as well as my own lately… I’m hoping for a quiet weekend with time for a bit of that…

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Walk Around Swan Lake

On Friday, there was an article in my local newspaper about the bird sanctuary lake in one of our parks, which this time of year is often invaded by a large number of whooping swans. Some people living close to the lake had been complaining about the level of noise made by the swans, especially in the nighttime.

To me, hearing the whooper swans honking high up in the air this time of year is a sign of spring. But then of course, not living all that close to the water, I only hear them now and then when I’m out walking, and I don’t have to listen to them all the time.

However, reading about them in the paper at breakfast on Friday morning, while still having my brother here (and it being a sunny morning), I suggested we might drive over to this park for a walk around the lake before lunch. So we did.

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The lake was still frozen over, except for the bird sanctuary at the other end, where they keep the water open for the birds.

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Personally I would not trust the ice now, even if there were still visible human footprints to be seen on it.

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At the same time, plants (yellow iris, if memory serves me right)are now shooting up through it, eager to greet the sun!

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Because the swans were making so much noise at the sanctuary at the northern end of the lake (where there are also people living nearby), they made another big hole in the ice on the other side of the lake (where there are no houses) – hoping to get the swans to spread out a bit. But of course swans do as they like, anyway…

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Besides swans, there were also various kinds of geese and ducks enjoying the sunny (if still rather chilly) morning.

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There are also a couple of Australian black swans in the sanctuary; black swans are not part of our native fauna here.

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I may be linking this post to some memes coming up in the next few days: Through My Lens, Our World Tuesday and Outdoor Wednesday. You’ll find links to these in the list at the bottom of my blog.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

“Some Tweaks”

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It’s been a weird week, with a few “tweaks” to it…

On Tuesday evening when I turned on the computer to do a bit of my usual this and that (or so I thought), It took control over Me again (rather than the other way round), and without warning  or my active permission started running a new Windows 10 update; which turned out to take all evening (about three hours).

It did finish before I needed to go to bed, though; so at least I was able to turn it off then (and stop it from doing who-knows-what-else-it-might-otherwise-get-up-to-over-night).

When I turned it on again on Wednesday, of course there were still some configurations left to be done. Meanwhile, I was informed that “we’ve got some new features to get excited about” and “we’ve made some tweaks to make Windows even better” etc.

What exactly those “exciting” features and tweaks may be, I still haven’t really had a chance to find out; because the first thing that became obvious was that the “improved” Win10 had decided to no longer accept my wireless keyboard and mouse. As I normally use my laptop as a desktop together with a larger monitor + wireless keyboard (for ergonomic reasons), this caused me considerable trouble. So most of my computer time that day had to be spent searching for solutions to this problem. It turned out I was far from the only one to have run into trouble with that particular (old) keyboard not working with Windows 10. (N.b. I had no problems with it after the first installation back in the autumn though.) There were various tips to be found online – but none that I tried worked for me. So I gave up, and that day had to settle for just using the laptop as laptop for the things I most urgently needed to do online.

By lucky timing, on Thursday my brother was coming for a visit. In the afternoon we went to one of the huge multi media stores at a shopping center across town. Even with extra help it’s not the easiest thing in the world to choose among dozens of available computer accessories, though. I did manage to buy one which was accepted by the computer… But, using it today for the first time for more than a few short commands, I’m not so sure I’m all that pleased with it … It’s smaller than my old one was, and I feel that some of the keys are in different and more uncomfortable positions, and… Hmm… (But perhaps I’ll get used to it…)

The sunset photo above was taken yesterday evening from my balcony. I took some other photos too yesterday when my brother and I were out for a walk; I’ll put those into a separate post later.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Weekend Reflection – More Art

Spring is still making slow progress here (if any). Yesterday we saw a bit of sunshine, though, and in the afternoon I took the bus into town; and walked from there to the Textile Fashion Center. Last weekend when I visited the Art Museum I got an annual entrance pass which is also valid at the Textile Museum. Each individual exhibition over a year may not be to my taste; but the museums are always good goals for a walk.

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An upside-down view of a building where I’ve not yet been inside, it’s a sort of science center for kids (well, mainly). (Entrance fee not included in the museum pass!)

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I stopped briefly at this special entrance to say hello to David Zinn’s little creatures from last autumn’s street art festival, though. They seem to have survived the winter well!

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Outside the Textile Fashion Center we have Jaume Plensa’s giant sculpture House of Knowledge. Since last autumn enjoying the company of a big blue eagle painted on the walls of the University building across the road (and railroad).

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The machine hall at the textile museum has not yet been reopened after the move a couple of years ago. (So there’s something to look forward to.) They had a couple of looms on display in the foyer just now, though. And a sign in the background saying “No Loose Threads”.

Not so sure about that, though, when I got up to the exhibition going on upstairs, entitled “Poetry of the Hybrids”. (Seemed like a lot of loose threads to me!)

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Linking to:
Weekend Reflections
Friday My Town: Inside
Shadow Shot Sunday

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tiddely Pom on Yellow Brick Road

Just now I feel a bit like being stuck in Groundhog Day – like in the movie from 1993 with Bill Murray, about a weatherman suddenly finding himself living the same day over and over again…

The Swedish title of this movie, translated back to English, is “Monday All Week Long” (as we don’t have a Groundhog day here). As it happens, there was a rerun of this film on one of my TV channels this past weekend, and I ended up (re)watching it. And then on Monday morning I woke up to this ‘reality show’ rerun of winter:

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Not really what I like to see at the beginning of March! Winking smile

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But I decided to take the camera out for one last (??) wintry walk before the snow fell off the trees again.

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Just a short turn around “Yellow Brick Road” – my nickname for the street where I live.

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The snow was heavy and wet and already gliding off some of the parked vehicles…

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… and dropping in chunks to the ground off the tree branches…

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And nobody knows (Tiddely pom)
How cold my toes (Tiddely pom)
How cold my toes (Tiddely pom)
Are growing.

Winnie the Pooh

Linking to: Through My Lens & Our World Tuesday

 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

What Is Art?

I’m still living in a monochrome world: Chilly and grey, and snow on and off – and on again… Today it’s “on again”. Yesterday it was temporarily “off” though (streets more or less bare even if still snow on the lawns etc); and as I was tired of staying in, I decided to go into town and visit a couple of art exhibitions.

One was a temporary exhibition at a small art gallery; the artist, previously unknown to me, Therese Szatek. Click on the link to see some of her works. Some of these were also included in the exhibition I saw. I was impressed with some of the big water colours and graphite drawings, which were very detailed and must have required a lot of time and patience.

I also went to see the current multiple exhibitions at the town’s art museum. It was primarily one of these that I wanted to see. The Swedish sculptor Olle Brandqvist is known for his sculptures in stone and tin. Back in 2010, I watched him at work on a giant stone head on several occasions during our street sculpture festival that summer:

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In the current exhibition, there was also a collection of smaller stone heads; but what I liked best was these tin sculptures:

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Each of these was around 50-70 cm high, perhaps. They were set on pillars which let you study the details at eye level.

As the for the other various art exhibited… Well, as so often when walking around looking at certain kinds of modern art, I ended up asking myself : “What is art?” Sometimes, really, I have to say it strikes me as being more about confidence than talent…

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What do you think? Dividing a canvas into two halves and painting one half black, and the other grey, for example. What kind of price tag would you dare put on it? And how famous must you be already, to get an art museum to buy it? (Just asking! There were no price tags, and I have no answers…)

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The whole ground floor was taken up by an installation to do with sausages. As I’m trying to forget about it, I won’t go into details…

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Postcards and Computers

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A postcard that found its way through my door today. Winking smile
The artist behind the illustration is one Anna Chernyshova.

I fell in love with this card because I like books, and illustrations, and fairy tales, and dragons; and I do also find it very interesting what the brain gets up to while we’re sleeping (and why).

And besides all that: If you imagine that book to be a laptop instead, the girl’s face and gestures probably reminds a lot of my own today, when Bella (my computer) decided that she wanted to spend most of the afternoon doing “her own thing” rather than go along with what I had planned to do.  (Something that seems to happen more and more frequently with all my internet devices.) Today she did not even tell me what it was about. I can only hope it was important and legitimate! (It’s a bit like having a teenager in the house.)

Anyway, now I’m tired, and I’m going to try and put her to sleep and myself as well. Hopefully without nightmares for both of us…

 

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