Saturday, 28 November 2020

Blackout, Thanksgiving and Advent



While we don't celebrate the American Thanksgiving in Sweden, for some reason we have in later years still imported Black Friday - which this year turned into Black Week. (Whether in spite of or because of the corona virus may be debated; as at the same time, the government and the health authorities keep telling us to keep distance and stay away from shopping centers...)

For my own part, I was hit by another kind of blackout on Wednesday, when all of a sudden my cable TV/internet/phone quit working. I had been watching something on Play TV in the afternoon, without problem, but then when I tried to switch back to regular TV, everything just froze. I tried the standard trick of restarting things; but that did not help. I had a TV emergency number written down and called to check if there was a general problem. Nope, there wasn't. They arrived at the theory that the fault might be in the power adapter to my my cable box; which it was too late to do anything about that day. I then also realized that oops, if the fault was with the cable box, I also had no internet...

I survived, of course: after all, I still had electricity, and FM radio, and my mobile phone (but with limited data, as I use a cash card). I could even have watched films on DVD if I had wanted to, as the problem was not in the TV itself. Being without both TV and internet at the same time still made me feel oddly disconnected from the rest of the world, though! I don't think that's actually happened before, except perhaps during some power outage (which rarely last long in the city). Usually if I've had internet problems, that has not involved the TV channels; or vice versa.

I was a bit worried that I wouldn't get it fixed before the weekend, but luckily it got sorted out  the next day. They phoned in the early afternoon and said I could pick up a new power adapter at a place within walking distance from where I live. So I did; and when I got back home and plugged that in, all went smoothly back to normal. So... I had my own kind of Thanksgiving Thursday, celebrating being reconnected to the World again! 

I've also done my usual decorating for 1st Advent Sunday - even though Advent celebrations, like everything else, will be a bit different this year. As no congregations larger than 8 people are allowed at the moment, the usual live church services and concerts are cancelled. But, now being back online again, there will be various digital alternatives... (And with Blackout Wednesday fresh in memory, I might try to make use of that!)

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Weekend Reflections

On Friday we had a rare day of November sunshine and blue sky, and I decided to make use of it to go for a walk. As I also needed some things from a chemist's, I walked into the city centre, before noon. It did seem that people have got the message from the latest restrictions as there were very few people about. And a small chemist's shop I passed was all empty of other customers, so I had no problem getting my errand done. Before walking back, I made an extra turn to the main square for a quick check on things.


A few market stalls have been put up wide apart, but I think it's been arranged so that different businesses will take turns being there. (An attempt to keep business going in the city without gathering too many customers all at once.)

Santa's labyrinth. (There's a letterbox for wish-lists in the middle.) Not sure it's the best idea this year to risk getting trapped in a labyrinth of any kind! On this occasion it seemed all empty, but I stayed on the outside all the same...

And the big 'mistletoe' on the bridge had been put up as well. What where they thinking, and what would the Health Agency say about it?! (The couple in the picture did not stop under it, though.)

It was a good day to stop here and there for reflections and photography, though!

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Mid November


Oops, I just realized it's been over a week since I last posted. If anyone is wondering, perhaps I'd better report that this is because I've been feeling gradually better (not worse). Even my blood pressure monitor seems happy now; so I hope the (new) doctor will be too, when I next speak to her. (Which might be tomorrow, if she's better than the other one at calling as agreed.) The weather has been very novemberish, and I've had a lot of indoors things to catch up with. (And I've got started on Christmas cards to be sent abroad...) I've also been out for walks, but they have mostly been short, grey and wet, and with little to inspire photography. (The photo collage above is from the beginning of the month.)

Alas, the corona situation is getting worse again here, including new restrictions almost every day now. Some restrictions are local now and may vary from one region to another, but yesterday the government  announced that from next week until at least mid December (maybe longer), public gatherings will be reduced by law, nationally, to a maximum of 8 people. Apparently this is as close to lock-down as we can get here, without it clashing with our basic constitutional laws. But it's being made very clear that for the time being, we're really expected not to hang out with anyone except those we live with (or work with, for those who cannot work from home); or in shopping malls, gyms, swimming baths, museums, libraries etc. And when we do have to go shopping, we need to be strict about keeping distance; and shop owners must also make that possible. (It seems people have been getting more careless during the autumn than they were back in spring.)

Personally, I feel like I've pretty much been living like that ever since February.

Sunday, 8 November 2020



* phew = "exclamation to express disgust, exhaustion, surprise, impatience, relief, etc"
(  (I struggled to think of a headline for this post, but a simple phew seems to cover it pretty well...)

As reported before, since the beginning of October I've been struggling to follow and make sense of orders from 'Dr Who' about changes in my blood pressure medication. 

From last Friday (30 Oct) I was supposed quit taking beta-blocker altogether (and I obeyed). Over the weekend, I felt increasingly stressed, with blood pressure and pulse rising. Monday, got an appointment with a nurse for Thursday, for blood pressure checkup + flu vaccination. In between, I decided to put my own monitors aside for a couple of days, thinking I perhaps just stressed myself further with too much checking... However, I continued to feel 'weird'. 

Thursday came, and at the Health Care Centre, both blood pressure and pulse turned out alarmingly high. (After the first measurement, the nurse went to get another monitor in case there was something wrong with the first one...) A new ECG was done as well. 'Dr Who' was away (even out of the country!), so I got to see the emergency doctor of the day. Probably for the best!! I'd never met her before either, but she seemed not to understand her colleague's plan any better than I did, so resolutely put me straight back on the betablockers, and said she'll take over from here. As the ECG was okay, and my values did go down a bit while there, I left feeling safe with her instructions, even if still a bit shaky.

Took the BB pills straight away when I got back home, and now back on the dosage of 3 meds that I was on the last week before quitting the BB altogether. (I've had all three for many many years, but the balance between the BB and another one was gradually shifted during the last month.) I started feeling better already the same evening; and today both pressure and pulse seem back to normal/acceptable, according to my own arm cuff monitor which I recently bought (and also according to my own instinct). (I also have a wrist monitor since before, which I find easier to use. And checking that with the new one, I think the wrist one usually also comes ”close enough”. But the arm cuff one is more trusted by the professionals; which may spare me some extra visits to health care. And not least in these corona times, that alone probably makes the investment worth while.)

The new doc's instructions are to use my arm cuff meter at home once every other day over the next 1½ weeks, and then report the figures to the her in a phone appointment. (But of course to call earlier if needed, and she gave me limit values.) 

The photos at the top of the post are from last Saturday, 31 October. Since then, we've had quite a bit of wind and rain, and most of the leaves have dropped to the ground. (The photo saying pulse = part of a company name on a wall.)

Monday, 2 November 2020

At Long Last, Another Seahorse from the Past (for Sandra)

Over a month ago, Sandra the Madsnapper had a post entitled Seahorse from the past which included a huge seahorse sculpture in Palmetto, Florida, and also memories of a Seahorse gift shop that used to be in that spot in the past. (See her post for photos.) 

I've never been to Florida, but I commented to Sandra that seahorse combined with gift shop brought up memories for me too and might even inspire me to a blog post of my own some day. Then came October and I forgot about it. Today, however - with rain and storm hitting my windows here, and Sandra posting about something totally different - the seahorse came swimming back through my mind again... Here it is:

While the seahorse sculpture in Florida is huge, mine is tiny (4 cm) and lives (well...) in an old jewellery box. It's a genuine dried sea horse, I think, with a pin attached to it, to be worn as a brooch. If memory serves me right, I bought it in the gift shop at the Maritime Museum in Gothenburg, probably on a school trip when I was like 10-11 years old, in the mid 1960's. I don't seem to have any old photos to date the memory more exactly. 

Googling seahorses now, I find that they have been around for 3 million years, but may now be under threat of extinction - over-fished because of being very popular in Asian medicine. I had no idea. (The weight of mine does not even register on my letter-scale, though, so I don't think I'm sitting on an unexpected fortune... Just a common souvenir from the past.)

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