Saturday, May 27, 2017

Weekend Reflections: 'Before The Fall'


This is the place where went to take photos last Friday - before my own unfortunate fall (see previous post). It's an old water mill (dating back to the 1600s), with a millpond, a small waterfall, and some additional buildings.











Nowadays the place serves as some kind of cultural centre for artists, with art classes, workshops and exhibitions etc. (Nothing going on for the general public just at the moment, though.)

Weekend Reflections 


From Spring in my Step to Sudden Fall

Last Friday (19th May) was a lovely warm spring-on-the-verge-of-summer day here. In the morning, I took a bus across town with the purpose of buying a new camera. Mission accomplished – details another time...

After I had made my purchase, because it was such a nice day, I decided to go for a bit of an extra walk  As it turned out, not one of my best ideas. There were some nice views along the way (which will appear in another post), but then...

 Photo taken with my old camera.

Walking along this street through an industrial area, I had my eyes (please note: not the camera!) focused on a car that was about to back out from the parking space in front of a shop. I wanted to make sure the driver was aware of me before I passed. He did see me; our eyes met in his rear mirror. But then - as he put it afterwards - I just suddenly vanished from his view and was nowhere to be seen! (Like Alice down the rabbit-hole…) 

The driver and his partner both got out of the car to check what on earth had happened. And found me on the ground, trying to sort out the same, and if I had broken anything… After a little while, I decided I probably hadn’t; so let them help me get back up on my feet. Rather miraculously, I seemed neither to have broken nor seriously twisted anything.

I'm pretty sure that what happened was that while looking at the car, I stumbled on the kerb of cobble stones separating the walk path from the bicycle path. (You can see it in the photo.) I remember doing a little "dance" trying to regain my balance. But alas...

Meanwhile, a shop assistant inside had also seen us and came out and offered us to come in. The most obvious injury was that I was bleeding through my jacket from a wound on my arm (close to my elbow), which also looked rather nasty when I removed my jacket.


The girl in the shop had a first aid kit though, and did a good job of basic cleaning of the wound and providing a temporary dressing while we talked the situation over. We agreed I had probably better also have that wound professionally seen to. So the couple with the car offered me a lift to my health care centre – which I gratefully accepted.

Unfortunately, I arrived during the lunch hour, and I had to wait a while. (However, an old friend of mine was manning the reception desk, and got me a cup of tea while I waited. A little bit beyond normal service...) As soon as the lunch hour was over, I got to see a nurse who gave me a proper dressing of the wound. I had some scrape wounds on my hands too but they only needed ordinary sticking-plasters.

I got myself back home by bus okay. Had to wait a while for the bus too, but it was still a nice and sunny day, the HCC is in the city centre and I bought myself an ice-cream and found a bench to sit on. (Could have called for a taxi if I had felt I needed it.)

When I got home I discovered that I also had scrape wounds and bruises on my right hip, leg and knee, even though (mysteriously!) there was no damage to my jeans. The scrape wounds were just superficial. (Obviously the trousers had been good protection!) The bruises of course behaved as bruises do and got worse over the weekend before beginning to fade… But on the whole I feel very lucky, as I could so easily have been much worse injured.

I took most of the fall on my right side, which is my bad shoulder/arm since before. So yes, pain did catch up with me before the next morning (also triggering the old chronic pain a bit). I’ve not been able to lie/sleep on my right side all week, and it’s still hard to write and so on. Neck/shoulder a bit stiff too, but getting better. Was back at the HCC yesterday and got my elbow bandage changed. Will have yet another checkup of the wound on Monday. But it's healing.

It may be a while yet before I’m back to “normal” presence in the blog world and correspondence, though. But now you know why...



PS. List of worldly items that also were not broken in the fall: 

- my glasses
- my sunglasses
- my wristwatch
- my old camera (held in my left hand at the time but not used)
- my new camera (in its box in my backpack)
- my smartphone (in my handbag)


Nor anything else in my handbag or backpack.

The dark blue trousers I wore bear no traces whatsoever of an accident, even though my hip, thigh and knee underneath still do.

The jacket has been washed, and the only damage is a small tear in the sleeve that can be mended (when I have mended myself!)


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Postcards for the Weekend: Traditional Festivals

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Postcrossing card from Brasil, 2013 (BR-27063)
São Paolo – Carnaval – Sambódromo

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Postcrossing card from Taiwan, 2013 (TW-1047478)
Night Market

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Postcrossing card from Lithuania, 2015 (LT-439757)
Lithuanian folk dance with hats

Borås Summer Thursday
This card is one that I have sent to a few people in Postcrossing. It shows a summer evening concert in the main square in my own town. Thursday nights in the month of July = free public concerts in the square. The surrounding stores also keep open late on those nights. The main attraction, starting after the shops close, is usually some fairly well-known band or singer (preceded by opening acts by promising local talents). I have rarely attended these “late night” events myself. But in general they are popular with a lot of people.

Postcards for the Weekend

Postcards for the weekend 38 – Traditional festival

Thursday, May 18, 2017

And Now It’s Green

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor, nature and water

Yesterday pink, today green! Warm winds and temperatures rising up above +25°C today suddenly brought out all the greens of summer. These tall birch trees line the driveway through an old cemetery close to where I live.

(A place where I often go for walk.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pretty in Pink

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Photos snapped with my mobile phone today in the Town Park. The cherry blossom trees in this park are of a kind that bloom a bit later than those in some of the other parks around town. I like that, because that means we get to enjoy lovely pink trees for a longer period of time…

I also couldn’t resist these lovely pink tulips covered in raindrops. The rain had stopped when I walked into town (after ten) but it was misty, humid, and very still. And the birds in the trees giving a joyful concert!

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Linking to:

Through My Lens

Outdoor Wednesday

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Down the Road

A week ago, last Saturday, there was an event in town in connection with the grand re-opening of a street that has been more or less dug up and in general disarray for a year or more, in connection with laying down new water pipes and whatnot.

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*Västerlånggatan, January 2017

Now the job has been finished at last, and besides new pipes under ground, we have a new visible water feature on the surface, in the shape of a narrow canal with running water and little basins with splashing fountains. The project has been much discussed along the way (couldn't the money have been spent on something more useful etc) – but whatever our opinions may be, it’s here now. And last weekend the Spring Sun joined in the opening celebrations and made it all look rather pleasant and cheerful and relaxing.

There were also peace offerings of free ice cream, festive brass music, balloons for the children, and (for some mysterious reason) a group of marching soldiers (or actors) dressed in 17th century uniforms.

(The expression “bread and circuses” comes to mind…)

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170506 Återinvigning Västerlånggatan, Karolinermarsch

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170506 Återinvigning Västerlånggatan, Karolinermarsch2

The main square is just a block away.

170506 Återinvigning Västerlånggatan, Karolinermarsch1

Guess which drummer became everyone’s favourite? Winking smile

*Västerlånggatan: “West Long Street”.
We also have an East Long Street (Österlånggatan).

Linking to: Friday My Town: Down the Road

Friday, May 12, 2017

Postcards for the Weekend: Traditional Costumes

Zeeuwse Klederdracht

Zeeuwse klederdracht – Zeeland dress (NL)
(Zeeland = a province in south-west Netherlands)
(From Jarina in the Netherlands, May 2017)

I’m fascinated by the contrasts in these traditional costumes – the intricate lace headgear (reminding me of angels’ wings!) vs the clogs.

 

FI-1798022

Traditional costume worn by the Sami people (Laplanders) in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Postcrossing card from Finland, 2013 – FI-1798022

 

NO-103183

Traditional costumes from Hallingdal, Norway.
Postcrossing card from Norway, 2014 – NO-103183

 

Pojkar från Rättvik

Boys in folk costumes from Rättvik, Dalecarlia, Sweden
(A size A5 postcard by photographer Laila Durán; bought at a photo exhibition of her work that I visited back in 2013.)

 

160329 CZ-858154

Traditional costumes from Moravia (CZ)
Postcrossing card from the Czech Republic, 2016 - CZ-858154

 

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Maiden costume from Arkhangelsk province, Russia, 18th century.
Postcrossing card from Russia, 2015 – RU-3443023

 

JP-567064

Boating Maiko Girls, Kyoto
Postcrossing card from Japan, 2014 – JP-567064

 

Postcards for the Weekend

Postcards for the weekend 37: Traditional costumes

Thursday, May 11, 2017

One Year of Duolingo

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A Duolingo post on Facebook today claims that
“You can learn as much in 34 hours of Duolingo as in one entire semester of university language classes.”
(According to an Effectiveness study from 2012
).

As I’ve been spending about an hour a day with Duolingo over the past year – does this mean that I can add twelve more university semesters to my CV? (I seriously doubt that, but couldn’t help suddenly feeling rather impressed with myself…)

Anyway, it is about a year ago now that I first got started with Duolingo, and it may be time for another progress summary – for my own memory rather than with intention to brag. (I have previously posted after six weeks, 100 days, and 8 months.)

My current Duo/multilingo status is as follows:

Flag of Spain
Spanish – Level 20, 43% fluency (started in May 2016)

Flag of Wales 2.svg

Welsh – Level 13 (not yet finished; and no fluency will ever be achieved!) I first tried a few lessons last summer, but gave it up as being too difficult. However, I later picked it up again, and have managed to advance a bit. It is a very difficult language, though. For one thing, they don’t even seem to know themselves how to spell it! (For every word or expression there seems to be at least two different alternatives.) I don’t actually have all that many lessons left to get through now – but endless repetition will be needed if I shall ever get any of it to stick in my memory. (Why I would want to use my memory to store bits of Welsh remains a mystery even to myself. It’s just one of those things…)

Flag of Turkey

Turkish – Level 15. No fluency rating. I have advanced two levels since I finished guessing my way through the first round, though. (It’s a close call which is the most difficult, Turkish or Welsh. Probably Turkish, because there is even less to relate it to, in my brain.)

Flag of France

French – Level 13. Continuing to use the Duolingo app for repetition of what once upon a time I learned in school, I have advanced from my initial 31% to 41%.

Flag of Germany

German – Level 13, and mysteriously I have dropped from ~50% to 41% fluency. The more I learn, the more I forget?? (I’m afraid the Duo app only knows what goes on within the Duo app, though…)

Flag of Netherlands

Netherlands (Dutch) – Level 14 (no fluency given).
Started in January and had worked my way through the Duo lessons before the end of April. Guessing at the meaning of written Dutch is not all that difficult when one already knows German, English and Swedish (or Danish, or Norwegian). Spelling & pronunciation on the other hand...!!! Alas there are no speaking exercises included in the Dutch Duo. (So far I’ve only found those in Spanish, French and German.)

Danish – Level 7 (6%). (Started just recently.)
Much the same kind of challenge for me as with Dutch. Swedish, Norwegian and Danish have a lot of common ground. Swedes and Norwegians usually understand each other without much difficulty (each speaking our own language). Swedes and Danes – with a bit more effort… My only ambition is to add a bit further to my understanding.

Basically, I’m just doing it all for fun, and brain exercise…

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Introducing the new Queen

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…  the new queen of my study, that is … Winking smile

My old laptop, Bella, officially retired from public duties last weekend, and let her successor take the throne from May 1st. The new one’s name is Susie (she’s an ASUS). May she live a long and happy life!

In the photo, Susie is the dark rectangle in the middle (lid closed). The rest of what you see is her throne, royal court and humble servants. (Extra monitor, wireless keybord, various mice devices, scanner/printer and whatnots…)

Ex-queen Bella will be on (offline) standby for a while, in case further consultations should be needed. But we have decided that the time has come for her to “step back from royal duties that can involve extensive travel” (on the internet)…
(Quote from an article about Prince Philip) Winking smile

I kept a sort of diary of my progress (and failures) in setting up the new computer. Basically I tried to find and install software that I’ve become used to using on the old one. A new term I learned in this process was abandonware

… a product, typically software, ignored by its owner and manufacturer, and for which no support is available. [Wikipedia]

One such old servant that I really wanted to hold on to was Picasa (the main photo editor I’ve been using throughout my blogging life). It’s been abandoned by Google; but can still be found “out there” in cyberspace.

Another is MS Works (abandoned by Microsoft) which I’ve been using ever since the very first computer I had at work, way back in the early 1990s… Not much for word processing in later years (I’ve been using Open Office). But the Works database... For one thing, ever since the early 2000s I have been using it for a database list of all the books I read. (The advantage of a database being that you can search and sort it in lots of different ways.) And alas, there seems to be no free software to convert this to other database systems.

When I bought the previous computer (Bella), Works still came ‘free’ with the basic Windows software. I have also been able to still use it on Bella after the upgrade to Win 10. So I hadn’t expected this to be a problem on the new one either. But as it turned out, it wasn’t included on Susie… And my first attempts to install it from the web failed, and I just kept finding links that said that no, Microsoft has now abandoned Works, and Windows 10 does not accept it. So I was beginning to think I’d just have to print out a list on paper from Bella, and be content with that.

But then, suddenly, I discovered that somehow, one of my attempted downloads had actually installed itself – just not among other downloads, but as a fake extra DVD-unit. The laptop has a real DVD unit too; but in the file explorer, there were now two such units; with one of them containing the Works software. It still goes beyond my understanding exactly how this works. But it does; and neither Windows nor my antivirus program seems bothered by it. So I can only assume that “someone out there” has been very clever in finding a way around the installation problems… (Not sure from which site it was that I finally managed to install it. But heartfelt thanks to unknown benefactor!)

The reason I’m mentioning this is not so much that I think these are “must have” software for everyone; but more as an encouragement that if you fail on your first attempt to download something, it can be worth while trying again from another site.

Anyway. I think I have managed to track down the basic software that I’m used to. As for transferring old documents and photos etc from the old computer, I decided to copy them onto an extra hard drive first, and have only transferred the most recent and frequently used stuff to Susie yet. The plan is to take my time with the rest and sort things through and reorganize a bit. (Remains to be seen how that works out…)

Question to other photographers: How do you sort and store your pictures?? Can you find things when you need them?

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