Saturday, 30 June 2018

Happy 397th


Yes, another reminder of how the years keep rolling on… Yesterday Borås traditionally celebrated its 397th birthday with free birthday cake for those who happened to be able to meet up in the park at noon. (We keep practising for the big 400 in a few years!)

It was a lovely day for it this year – sun shining from a perfect blue sky (not a single cloud in sight), and yet not to warm either, but around +20 C and a pleasant fresh breeze. (I wish to order this weather for a holiday trip later in July, please! Does anyone know a booking site for that??)




Now what kind of strange bird is this? ▼


▲ Answer: A fake bird of pray trying to scare off guests not welcome at the party – like seagulls and jackdaws…



Even more water lilies in bloom now… (cf previous post)



But hey, there’s also something else floating about in the river just now…



Seems we’ve suddenly got our very own “Nessie”! According to the local newspaper, it’s supposed to be a rainbow-coloured unicorn. (Since when do unicorns have wings – and swim??) It’s here for the Pride Festival that is also taking place this weekend. (To be honest, it was already looking a bit deflated yesterday, compared to when I first saw it a couple of days earlier… Photos below taken with my mobile phone then.)


Thursday, 28 June 2018

A Walk in the Park












Photos from a walk through the Town Park and along the river last Saturday (Midsummer Day and a national holiday here). I don’t think I’ve ever seen the water lilies in bloom so early in summer before. But then the weather throughout May and most of June really has been extraordinarily warm and sunny this year (breaking all kinds of weather records).

Through My Lens

Linking to Through My Lens

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Time Flies…

I suddenly realise that a whole week has passed since I last posted here. Don’t worry – nothing wrong, I’ve just been a bit busy with other things. The actual Midsummer was a quiet affair for me this year, though. Midsummer Eve (Friday) was cloudy and rather windy and chilly, so I did not feel tempted to seek out any traditional public celebrations. On Midsummer Day I went for a walk, but nowhere out of the ordinary. On Sunday my aunt and uncle were visiting. We went out to lunch, and then also drove out to visit my parents’ and grandparents’ graves in the churchyard in the village outside town. We also went down to the lake beach, in the neighbourhood of their old house (but a railway to cross in between). The whole area looks different now because a lot of high trees and hedges have been taken down (both on private and public ground, and on both sides of the railway), opening up the views  a lot. Our garden used to be a very secluded and private space, surrounded by high hedges and tall trees… I doubt my parents would have appreciated the recent “open plan” changes… (But not our problem any more – history keeps moving on!)

2018-06-24 Oresjo

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Weekend Postcards – Tourist Multi-Views

For this post I’m choosing some multi-view cards recieved over the past six months. (I don’t think I’ve posted any of them here before. And if I have… Well, never mind!) Another thing they have in common is that they show places with a lot of history.
Kilkenny Castle Ireland

Kilkenny Castle, Ireland
Postcrossing card from Ireland, February 2018.

“Construction of Kilkenny Castle began in 1192 by William Marshall, the son in law of Strongbow who led the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1170. It was completed 21 years later.” It was owned by one powerful family from 1391 until 1935. After that, “the condition of the castle deteriorated and it was sold to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for the pricely sum of £50. Since then, major restoration works have been carried out on both the castle and gardens, both of which are now open to the public

Grüsse vom Felsenmeer

Felsenmeer, Reichenbach, Odenwald (Germany)
Postcrossing card from Germany, February 2018

Felsenmeer = Sea of Rocks. This area is said to have been formed about 340 million years ago. During that time, two ancient continents collided and the ancient Odenwald was situated directly in the collision zone. --- The rocks which got a rounded shape were exposed during the ice ages (2.5 to 10.000 years ago) and, as a result of frost and thaw and soil creeping, were transported down to the valley. During the 3rd and 4th century the Romans used the "Felsenmeer" as quarry.

180601 DE-7237908

Burgen am Rhein – Castles on the Rhein
Postcrossing card from Germany, June 2018

JJ 2018-125 180615

Groeten uit Havelte - Greetings from Havelte
from Jarina in the NL, June 2018

Havelte is a village in the province of Drenthe in the north-eastern Netherlands. Drenthe has been populated since pre-history, and the most tangible evidence of this are the dolmens (megalithic tombs) built around 3500 BC (upper left image).

Cornish language

Cornish Language
from John in England, June 2018

This was fun, it reminded me of visiting Cornwall on a family holiday trip way back in the early 1970s – and I still have a little brochure I bought then, “A Mini-Guide to Cornish”. Truly “mini” - only 15 pages, and most of the words relate to place-names + a few common phrases.

“Cornish is not easy for the Englishman to learn for several reasons. The tongue from which English is derived, as well as most other languages of Europe, is Aryan. From another branch of the Aryan mother-tongue sprang all the Celtic languages – the Gaelic of Scotland and Ireland, Manx, Welsh* and Breton and Cornish. The interesting fact about all these latter is that […] their sentence construction is not Aryan. It has been suggested that the reason for this is that the Celts, when settling in Cornwall, Ireland and so on, superimposed their Celtic vocabulary upon the method of sentence construction of earlier peoples already living in those areas. […] Cornish, then, for the non-Celt, is difficult to learn and difficult to pronounce.” (Quote from the introduction to the Mini-Guide to Cornish)

(*Having tried a little Welsh via Duolingo, I can only agree… It is very different from other European languages. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pick up more than a few phrases and words. The basic grammar remains a mystery to me.)

Saturday, 16 June 2018

A Grin Without A Cat


“Well, I’ve often seen a cat without a grin, thought Alice; but a grin without a cat! It is the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!”
(Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865)

I suspect that even most people who never read the book are still more or less familiar with this quote. What you may not yet know, though, is that A Cat Without A Grin is also the title of the 2018 International Sculpture Biennial in Borås, Sweden. (But now you know!)

The brochure tells me that the theme was chosen “because of its relation to the surreal, and the interest in nonsense”.

Hmm… In other words: an excuse to mix and display a number of odd art exhibits without taking any responsibility for them to make sense… ; )

The exhibition was opened at the end of May, but it wasn’t until Thursday this week that I found a good opportunity for myself to go and visit the Art Museum, where most of the contributions are displayed this year. Some new or borrowed sculptures are also to be found here and there in the city centre – and some old ones have been temporarily moved to other locations. I made no attempt on this occasion to try and find them all – after all, I have all summer to go looking for them :)

However, walking through the Town Park on my way to the art museum, I happened to notice this new addition to the sculptures there:


It is named Stub or Yggdrasil and is here on loan from another town in the area, for the biennial. The name of the artist is David Myrvold. Yggdrasil is the name of a holy tree (ash tree) in Old Norse mythology – kind of representing the centre of the world, with its branches extending far up into the heavens, and its roots far into the underground. Various kinds of creatures live in or by this tree, and it is also connected to the main god Odin sacrificing himself there. What Myrvold wants to say by showing it as only a stub, I don’t know. But there is a glow within it (from LED lights, I suppose) to suggest there is life in it still… I think the spot to display the sculpture in the park has been well chosen, as it has been “planted” close to two older stone sculptures that also remind of ancient times and unknown mysteries (reminding of old stone monuments like Stonehenge and similar).

2018-06-14 stone sculptures

Along my way uphill to the art museum from the city centre, I also came across this piece:

2018-06-14 minaret

This made absolutely no sense to me until I got back home and read the brochure I picked up at the museum. Quoting what the brochure says about the artist, Iman Issa: “Issa takes inspiration from historical works of art and objects and the way they are displayed in contemporary museological context. By creating new and minimalist sculptures with a resemblance to the original artefact and pairing them up with texts describing the object that inspired the new work, new interpretations arise. The presentation mode challenges our memory, our values and the importance we ascribe to language in this context.” (You may have to read that quote more than once – at least I did!)

There were also some photographs by the same artist on display at the museum, pretty much on the same kind of two-faced theme. I took some of them to be paintings, but the brochure says photographs.  I’ll have to go back for a closer look, I think. (There is no entrance fee for this exhibition so I can go as many times as I like.) I only snapped a photo of one that appealed to me because I like the objects as such (books, pens, papers…):


Iman Issa: “Replica For Illustration”, 2018 (C-print)

The biggest work of art on display indoors at the museum was this one:


▲ Seen from the ground floor.
▼ Looking down on it from the floor/balcony above.


La dépossission - Artist: Latifa Echakhch
A collapsed theatre backdrop  painted like the sky.
(”The sky is literally falling down on us”, the brochure says…)

My favourites exhibited at the museum were probably these two, though – playing with light and shadows, and kind of relating to that Yggdrasil stub in the park.


2018-06-14 A Grin Without a Cat3

(I don’t find these in the brochure so don’t have the names of the artists)

There were also quite a few works of art in the exhibition that on this occasion did not “speak” to me at all… Remains to be seen if they will if I go back again!

Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Friday, 15 June 2018

Weekend Postcards – Clocks / Time Tellers

Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic

Astronomical clock, Prague, Czech Republic
Postcard sent by Ginny from the US, June 2018

When this card arrived (this week), it seemed oddly familiar to me… Flickering through the postcrossing cards received over the past few months, I found that I had actually received another image of the exact same clock back in April (not previously shown on this blog, I think):

180419 CZ-1577539

Postcrossing card sent from the Czech Republic,
April 2018

The sender adds the following info on the back:
”This clock is on Prague Town Hall. It is 608 years old. At the top of the clock there are two windows with figures walking around. On the left and right are Misery, Vanity, Lust and Death.”

On the same day as Ginny’s card, I also received this time-related card from John in England:

Chester's Town Criers

“Chester’s Town Criers – David & Julie Mitchell, the world’s first husband and wife Town Criers.”
Postcard sent from Chester, June 2018

In the past, when most people could not read or write, town criers were the means of proclaiming all kinds of news to the people of the town. And in some places, evidently, they are still keeping up the tradition!

Also this week, yet another time-telling card found its way through my letter-slot:

180612 PL-1481254

Postcrossing card from Poland, showing a timepiece from the History Museum in Kraków.

I don’t know Polish, but with the help of Google Translate I managed to decipher some of the printed text on the back of the card. It seems to say that this is mantel clock with a Cupid figurine, French, made of bronze, and from the end of the 19th century.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Weekend Postcards – Flowers

As followers of Maria’s blog already know, she has had to discontinue her ‘Postcards for the Weekend’ linkup for now. However, I’m thinking that I might continue for a while to share some of my incoming postcards anyway, here on my own blog. (I’m not setting up a linkup, but if others among my readers are doing the same, you can mention it in a comment below if you like.)

This past week I received two postcards with lovely flower arrangements on them:

180527-180604 from Maria (Japan)

This one was sent to me by Maria; posted in Japan.

GHz 180607

And this one came from Ginny in the US

I wish them both good health, and…

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more
and nothing but happiness come through your door.”
(Irish blessing)

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Skywatch Friday


Sunset skywatch from my balcony

SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, 7 June 2018

6th June – National Day Celebrations

6th June is the National Day of Sweden, also known as Swedish Flag Day. The Flag Day has been celebrated for about a hundred years, but it wasn’t raised to the status of a national holiday until fairly recently (2005). Historic events related to this day go back to 1523, when Gustav Vasa was elected king of Sweden. In 1809, an important change of constitutional laws was also introduced on this date (something to do with the balance of power between King and Riksdag/Parliament).

Anyway, the public celebrations of the day seem to be growing. Here they include a special ceremony to welcome new citizens (inhabitants of our city who have been granted Swedish citizenship over the past year), and also a performance by the home guard music corps. When I arrived at the park around 3 p.m. it was absolutely crowded, I think probably the most people I’ve ever seen gathered there. It was hard even to find anywhere on the outskirts from where I could take photos showing the crowd! ; )







Against the odds I happened to meet a friend and together we joined the queue to the ice cream bar, and even more miraculously managed to find two free chairs in half-shadow outside that place when we came out. So we sat comforably for for a while and ate our ice cream, had a bit of a catch-up chat and listened to the music from a little distance.

In the evening, on TV at home, I watched some of the celebrations held in Stockholm, including the presence of the royal family.


Photo from my TV screen: The royal family outside the Royal Palace in Stockholm
The Queen and the princesses are wearing the official national costume ‘Sverigedräkten’
From left to right:
Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel
Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf
Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip
Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O’Neill

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